Myths of Activated Carbon - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 01:39 AM
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Tap water is not unusable.
For most. My angelfish do not fare well using my tap water, which can range from medium hardness to very hard whenever it so feels like it. Since using RO water, I've been able to control the hardness, and I've never had any issues or lost fish.


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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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Tap water is not unusable.
Agree. If you treat your tap water, it is alright for most applications. Many, many people successfully use treated tap water, and some have managed to use untreated tap water as well. Obviously frisbee fish, high grade wuss shrimp, and other fussy animals need special accommodation, but lots, probably most, fish and shrimp will thrive in properly treated water.
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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 06:40 PM
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Agree. If you treat your tap water, it is alright for most applications. Many, many people successfully use treated tap water, and some have managed to use untreated tap water as well. Obviously frisbee fish, high grade wuss shrimp, and other fussy animals need special accommodation, but lots, probably most, fish and shrimp will thrive in properly treated water.
Freesbie fish = discus? You really cracked me up LOL.

i've been both with and without carbon in my canister filter. see no difference. so i am happy to save a few bucks a month on carbon. i see carbon could be used to remove color/odor etc, fortunately i have neither of those. heck, in my 2.5 planted, i don't even have any filter just a 40 gph pump that moves water, and no algae either.
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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 08:04 PM
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I glad live in a location where there's no problems with the tap water.
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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 08:39 PM
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I use RO too, because I had to at one point and just continued on with it. I think it's more important for people to understand what's going into the tank, if the source is adequate then use it. I personally don't want to waste anymore time keeping tabs on my water plant. If I were growing plants with no livestock, then my tap would be perfect.
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post #21 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 10:00 PM
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In my opinion carbon has it's good and bad points. Among more advanced aquarists it seems to go through fads, being in one day and out the next.
IMHO Truer words have never been spoken. Some people swear by it, some people swear at it.

I run the AQW, this article causes us the most greif. When I moved to SW I got some online flame (and never went back to that forum) for suggesting carbon may not be all that it is cracked up to be.

I beg of you, if anyone finds good sourced information please add it or at least PM me with a link. The more sources, supporting either position, the more accurate we can keep the article.
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post #22 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 01:13 AM
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...
I beg of you, if anyone finds good sourced information please add it or at least PM me with a link. The more sources, supporting either position, the more accurate we can keep the article.
The best reading material I ever saw on carbon filtration is in the book Captive Seawater Fishes by Stephen Spotte. This is an older book. Yes, the book is about SW systems, but the section on carbon applies to FW also. It is available at places like Amazon.com, but has a completely outrageous price. Unlike most other aquarium books, this book is more directed to public aquariums, and is written like a formal college level text book. In other words, it's fully footnoted and has extensive notes and references. This is something you don't see on most internet pages or your typical aquarium book.

Since the chapter you want on carbon filtration is only about 10 pages long, get the book from your library. Most can get almost any books you want.
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post #23 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 01:10 PM
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What are the thoughts on Animal Bone Charcoal which doesn't seem to be available any more? I have used it for 40 yrs. as a friend of mine always said carbon was useless. Luckiliy I bought a 100 bag of ABC before it seemed to become scarce.
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post #24 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 01:25 PM
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I haven't used carbon in I don't know how long. I saw no difference when I stopped using it, and figured why spend money on something I don't need?

If tank water is discolored, or smells fishy, do some water changes.


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post #25 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 04:25 PM
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I use it everytime I get a new Eheim canister with a cabon pad included, about every 8 years or so. I don't think it hurts anything and it does polish the water for a couple of weeks and then as said before makes for extra bio-media until your next filter cleaning.
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post #26 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 04:42 PM
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But isnt Purigen better and atleast rechargeable?

Once I found Purigen, I dropped the AC and havent used it since.

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post #27 of 39 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 05:07 PM
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But isnt Purigen better and atleast rechargeable?

Once I found Purigen, I dropped the AC and havent used it since.
Yup. Purigen is good, as is Poly-Filter. Poly Filter in particular is good at absorbing Ammonia from the water. (Not to be confused with generic poly filter media)
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post #28 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 04:34 PM
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I live near Long Beach in San Pedro and have used the tap water without issue for 50 years and in my plant tank doing weekly water changes. Tom Barr convinced me over 10 years ago that the water would be just fine and it is.
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post #29 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 04:49 PM
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Just a thought, but does AC remove hormones/pheromones? If I remember correctly, fish secrete hormones (or other organic chemicals) to signal to other fish. If those chemicals build up in the tank, it is pretty determinable to the health of the fish. Not saying a water change wouldn't solve it, or that AC is better then a WC. Just thinking out loud...

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post #30 of 39 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 04:51 PM
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I havent used activated carbon in years. Just bio and mechanical filtration, (mainly bio).

I have heard that AC may cause Hole in the head of discus, but i think that's just paranoia.
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