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Old 10-27-2013, 09:46 AM   #1
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Carbon filters vs. Floss filters...

Hey guys,

this is sort of a continuation to my last thread, i was just hoping to get some more advice, thanks for your help in advance; the quote is copied but my response is new.

Quote: "
1) If your filter has carbon in it, don't bother cutting it out. It's not going to hurt anything, and will not be adsorbing anything in a matter of weeks anyway, so it's entirely a non-factor. As you already have suggested, it's a decent home for bacteria, which is not something you necessarily want to sabotage at the moment.

2) Regarding ammonia. NH3 = ammonia or "free ammonia", NH4 = ammonium, which is markedly less toxic. Ammonia test kits measure total ammonia (NH3+NH4), whereas most 'ammonia monitors' measure only NH3. NH3 and NH4 rapidly interconvert, with the relative ratio being proportional to pH (higher pH means more NH3).

3) Don't trust what the LFS says. They're usually either the same technique your using (liquid tests) or a less accurate test like a strip.

4) Filter floss is actually polyester fibers, often sold either in pet stores as filter floss or in crafting sections as quilt batting. "
End Quote.

New Response:

So what i'm wondering is , maybe since i have 2 HOB's that i could use the one that cycles more water per hour (200 cycles/Penguin) that i could leave the carbon filter in that one, because i DO notice a significant reduction in odor as well as water 'smog' when i use it. I was considering taking the other HOB and removing the carbon filter and using some filter floss instead to see if that makes any difference.
I was also wondering since my PH is testing in at 7.6 (regular PH test) and 7.5'ish (High Ph test) if that could be a reason I'm getting a higher reading. I wish there was a way to just isolate the more harmful NH3 free ammonia. I do use conditioner but that seems to have not made a hint of difference (both Prime and Amquel; not at the same time).

The last question I have was when it all comes down to it, what do the majority of people have the most success with in regards to tank filtering. Now, i realize that is a loaded question since we all have our own unique tanks and fish and styles and preferences but i'm hoping to see some sort of pattern that would help me better understand the art of filtering. Bio-packs vs floss vs carbon vs undergravel vs adding bacteria directly to water vs bio wheel.
Thanks again everyone for your insight!
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:06 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatachimog View Post

I was also wondering since my PH is testing in at 7.6 (regular PH test) and 7.5'ish (High Ph test) if that could be a reason I'm getting a higher reading. I wish there was a way to just isolate the more harmful NH3 free ammonia. I do use conditioner but that seems to have not made a hint of difference (both Prime and Amquel; not at the same time).

The last question I have was when it all comes down to it, what do the majority of people have the most success with in regards to tank filtering. Now, i realize that is a loaded question since we all have our own unique tanks and fish and styles and preferences but i'm hoping to see some sort of pattern that would help me better understand the art of filtering. Bio-packs vs floss vs carbon vs undergravel vs adding bacteria directly to water vs bio wheel.
Thanks again everyone for your insight!
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I am not quite understanding what you are asking in respect to a 'higher' reading? Do you mean ammonia or ph?

Water conditioners such as Prime or Amquel Plus are not going to change your total ammonia readings (NH3 + NH4) and only work temporarily. Established tanks will convert ammonia or ammonia can be removed with water changes- water conditioners do not remove ammonia/ammonium.

I don't know if there is an 'art' to filtering. Its what works for one's specific situation (tank size, bioload/stock, wc schedule, feeding methods, etc). I do not personally use carbon unless its necessary to remove meds (and I only use meds in qt except for prazi). Bio-wheels are heavily over rated, IMO. Adding bottled bacteria products is highly debatable and is simply not necessary in a cycled tank. UGF's are another topic altogether and I personally have not found them effective (messy fish + plants).

I use a combination of filter foam (sponge), bio media (bioballs) and filter floss (polyfill) in combination with very hefty filtration and a big wc schedule. Lots of plants help as well as they are a natural form of filtration. You will likely get a variety of answers here as everyone has their methods and reasoning behind the filtration means they use. What works for one person will not work for another and you will need to figure out what is best for your tank/situation.
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Old 10-27-2013, 11:08 AM   #3
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I use 2.2lb of carbon in my sump all the time with no problems

It polishes the water and removes heavy organics
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:14 PM   #4
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I have never had any problems using carbon in planted tanks even for extended periods. This is a highly debated subject. That being said the tiny amount of carbon the comes in HOB filter cartridges isn't going to hurt and I see no reason you can't use it especially if you think it helps your tank.
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