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Old 10-07-2006, 09:28 AM   #1
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Carbon filter always in?

Can anyone answer this question? I have had mixed reports (or miscommunicated ones) as to whether i have my carbon filter pad in at all times? Thanks.
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Old 10-07-2006, 10:00 AM   #2
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Do you mean "Should I" have or "Do I have"? I have a feeling you mean "should I have"? The debate regarding whether folks should or should not use activated carbon in their tanks is an ongoing one.

This mostly stems from the fact that it becomes inert after a couple of weeks and most folks do not change/clean their filters for a month. Coupled with the cost and it is used most often to remove impurieties, if your water doesn't have any, why bother?

Although the media becomes inert...it still serves as a bio-filter at that point, hosting beneficial bacterial colonies.

In the end, if you need it, use it. If you want to use it, use it. Choice is yours.
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Old 10-07-2006, 10:09 AM   #3
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I haven't used carbon in my tank for more than a year now. I agree that most of the debate revolves around it being inert after a couple weeks, and people not changing them. Thus, in a sense, they aren't running carbon either (after a couple weeks or so). I don't see any point to spend money on replacement carbon packs, that dont seem to do any good for me, at least. I would only consider using carbon after medicating my tank (which I haven't had to do, thankfully).
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Old 10-07-2006, 12:09 PM   #4
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I only use carbon to remove meds from the water. I use filter floss all the time in all my tanks. It is a matter of personal preference.
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Old 10-07-2006, 02:03 PM   #5
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I use carbon only for emergencies or to remove meds...my filters run a combo of sponges, bio-media, and filter pads otherwise.
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Old 10-07-2006, 11:59 PM   #6
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It doesn't hurt. The carbon is very textured and provides a good home for the bacteria long after it loses its intended use.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:24 AM   #7
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I use carbon in my external canisters pretty much all the time, changing it once a month (if it was inert after one or two weeks, I'm sure the manufacturer would be the first to tell me while looking at my wallet lol).

I've tried running it without on a planted tank, and the water became less clear. Floss will remove fine particles, whilst carbon removes impurities (chemical or elements). I just find it helps my water quality.

You can only make your decision based on your needs, and on what people have experienced. I know a lot of people don't use carbon all the time, but as I say I never had a problem and rumours that it 'releases' back into the water the impurities it has absorbed is thus far unproven.

Why don't you try it without, and then try it with (a month a piece or something) and let us know what you think?
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