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Old 07-21-2006, 09:18 AM   #1
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To carbon or not to carbon, that is the question.

In years past I had my 55 set up with a RFUG for bio and a magnum canister with carbon and filter sleeve. I've been reading that carbon isn't necessary. In our new house, I have a great place to put a 55 but it will be look through tanks(visible from both sides). I can't have the UG tubes because they will look unsightly and block the view into the tank.(this will be a show piece in the living room) Can I put a bio media into the container of the magnum and run that with the filter sleeve and that's it? I'll be keeping tiger barbs in the tank if I do end up setting it up.
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:40 AM   #2
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Carbon is a tough one. Biomedia & carbon are unrelated because carbon is for chemical filtration, not biological. Everyone has their own opinion on carbon. I tried going without it for a few months and wasn't happy because there was a definate odor detectable to me. I've since gone back to using carbon and the odor is gone.

Which Magnum is it? I wasn't very happy with my Magnum on my 55 and I think it may not be enough depending on the load. You won't have much room for multiple media. You can get something like the Cascade 700 or 1000 at Big Al's for a reasonable price and you can use lots of media in those filters.
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Old 07-21-2006, 09:43 AM   #3
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Re: To carbon or not to carbon, that is the question.

Carbon is not necessary. The only time I use it is when I'm done treating the tanks with meds because it removes meds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caincando1
Can I put a bio media into the container of the magnum and run that with the filter sleeve and that's it? I'll be keeping tiger barbs in the tank if I do end up setting it up.
Yes.
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:04 AM   #4
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I think it's a 220 magnum. Personally I'm not a fan of the magnums, they are such a pain to take care of. If I bought a new canister I'd go for a x3. But I have the magnum and I'm saving for my wedding in sept so no new toys for me.

The magnum container isn't very big on it so I'd have to get a bio media with as much surface area as possible I'm thinking.
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:35 AM   #5
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I want to clarify, that carbon can be bio filtration, IF its left in the tank long enough for bacteria to cover its surface area.
but since carbon's life span is a mere 7-10 days, its just not gonna reach a bio filter stage that's really useful.

for surface area, ehiem has a lava rock type media that's about as much surface area per cubic inch as you can get.
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:36 AM   #6
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Is Carbon needed? Not really, lots of people run tanks without Carbons.

From what I've read, Carbon is primarly used to remove tannins and phenols. Tannins make your water yellow. Phenols make your water smell "fishy". Carbon can also remove Chloramine, but it takes a long time, and if you have Chloramine, you'd be better off using a declorinator.

If you run your tank without Carbon, and get yellow or smelly water, you might want to consider adding carbon, or perhaps more fequent or larger PWC's.

Carbon may also remove some fertilizers if you are going to grow plants in your tank. I say may because I have no direct evidence one way or the other, since I don't test for iron. If you do grow plants, and do use carbon, you might consider removing it if you notice any signs of a lack of Iron.
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Old 07-21-2006, 10:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
I want to clarify, that carbon can be bio filtration, IF its left in the tank long enough for bacteria to cover its surface area.
but since carbon's life span is a mere 7-10 days, its just not gonna reach a bio filter stage that's really useful.

for surface area, ehiem has a lava rock type media that's about as much surface area per cubic inch as you can get.
I dunno that I'd say its only 7 - 10 days. That number is open to debate
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codefox
Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
I want to clarify, that carbon can be bio filtration, IF its left in the tank long enough for bacteria to cover its surface area.
but since carbon's life span is a mere 7-10 days, its just not gonna reach a bio filter stage that's really useful.

for surface area, ehiem has a lava rock type media that's about as much surface area per cubic inch as you can get.
I dunno that I'd say its only 7 - 10 days. That number is open to debate
Same here, I think the carbon in my fry tank lasts at least 14 days. I don't use carbon in my planted tank because the aggitation outgasses CO2. When carbon gets wet, its like pouring milk on rice crispies.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:57 AM   #9
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I'm in agreement with most here. I don't use carbon in my planted tank, the plants and biofilter seem to be taking care of things just fine. No funky colors or smells.
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Old 07-21-2006, 12:08 PM   #10
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BTW, this won't be a planted tank, fish only.
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Old 07-21-2006, 12:18 PM   #11
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I only use carbon to remove toxins or medications. I like the slight yellow color from the driftwood so I don't worry about.
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