Activated carbon removing all the good stuff?????
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:55 AM   #1
guitarsrmine
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Activated carbon removing all the good stuff?????


Hello all.....AGAIN, LOL.....another question from an inquiring mind....I run a double-cartridge Aqua-Tech filter on both of my 55 gal.aquariums.....NOW, my question is....since Im using liquid ferts, and API's Carbon Booster(No CO2), should I remove the carbon from the filter cartridges?? I read all over about how well absorbing carbon is, and I don't want to be wasting time AND money adding these ferts if they are getting sucked up by the carbon in my filters......my ammonia levels are ZERO in both aquariums, and all the other parameters(Nitrate,nitrite, ph,etc) are all good, so I DONT want to upset anything by removing the carbon, BUT, I don't want to be adding these other ferts and having them get wasted if the carbon is removing them before they can do their job....thanks, all.....JESUS SAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Oh, can I say that on here??? Also, Im running a small Tetra filter(1 cartridge) in one of my aquariums,along with the Aqua-Tech....I cant remember....I had an issue years ago, which prompted me to add this additional filter.....Ive just kept it going.......too much filtration?? I don't know if any of you folks run 2 filters.....just curious.......have a great Monday,everyone, and GOD bless you all!!!! GODS beauty in nature is seen as I gaze into my aquariums.....such wonderful creations HE'S given us!!!!
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:54 PM   #2
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From what I've gathered it's best not to filter with carbon in a planted tank, I'm not sure but I imagine that it will remove the ferts as well as other beneficial chemicals for the plants.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:58 PM   #3
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I would only recommend running activated carbon at the start of a new tank or to take care of tannins.

Activated carbon does cause HLLE in fish so a lot of people don't use it while they have fish in the tank.

Extra filters are generally not a problem.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:17 PM   #4
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Hmm really I did not know that activated carbon was a no no for the planted tank ! That might explain my java fern thing .
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:32 PM   #5
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There's value in using carbon in our tanks but not in the ways we all think.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by UDGags View Post
I would only recommend running activated carbon at the start of a new tank or to take care of tannins.

Activated carbon does cause HLLE in fish so a lot of people don't use it while they have fish in the tank.

Extra filters are generally not a problem.
Some people have speculated that carbon may cause hole in head disease but I think it is only speculation.(Grasping at straw's)
More likely culprit's would be poor diet,poor maint,Genetic's.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarsrmine View Post
Hello all.....AGAIN, LOL.....another question from an inquiring mind....I run a double-cartridge Aqua-Tech filter on both of my 55 gal.aquariums.....NOW, my question is....since Im using liquid ferts, and API's Carbon Booster(No CO2), should I remove the carbon from the filter cartridges?? I read all over about how well absorbing carbon is, and I don't want to be wasting time AND money adding these ferts if they are getting sucked up by the carbon in my filters......my ammonia levels are ZERO in both aquariums, and all the other parameters(Nitrate,nitrite, ph,etc) are all good, so I DONT want to upset anything by removing the carbon, BUT, I don't want to be adding these other ferts and having them get wasted if the carbon is removing them before they can do their job....thanks, all.....JESUS SAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Oh, can I say that on here??? Also, Im running a small Tetra filter(1 cartridge) in one of my aquariums,along with the Aqua-Tech....I cant remember....I had an issue years ago, which prompted me to add this additional filter.....Ive just kept it going.......too much filtration?? I don't know if any of you folks run 2 filters.....just curious.......have a great Monday,everyone, and GOD bless you all!!!! GODS beauty in nature is seen as I gaze into my aquariums.....such wonderful creations HE'S given us!!!!
Can take razor blade and cut along edge of cartridge and empty out the carbon. Then you can still use the cartridges.
Personally,,I would visit craft store, and look for polyester pad such as for pillow's and cut a piece same size as cartridge and use this instead of cartridges.(cheaper).
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:25 PM   #8
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Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC) should not be used in a planted tank on a regular basis. However, most people never change it quickly enough to impact the nutrient levels anyway. GAC will remain active for a very short time, 48 hours up to a week. So for the people who tell you they use it and have no problems, ask how often they change it. Another argument for it's use is that it provides a huge area for beneficial bacteria. This is true. So does your plants, substrate, decor and hundreds of other materials marketed for this. It is beneficial to remove some medications after treatment and for removing tannins both of which can be impacted by a large water change.

I think the argument that it removes nutrients needs an explanation. GAC has three basic filtration methods; adsorption, diffusion and chemsorption.
Chemsorption is when particles are irreversibly bound to the carbon. Diffusion deals with gases such as diffusing ozone into oxygen. The third and more important is adsorption as opposed to absorption.

Adsorption attracts particles much like static electricity. It has a higher affinity to attract particles that are positively charged. Many of the nutrients we add are chelated. GAC attracts chelated minerals and removes them. The majority of trace minerals are relatively untouched excluding chelated iron. Adsorption alone is the reason GAC removes nutrients. Many feel the molecules of the nutrients we add are too big to become "caught" in the pores of the GAC. Adsorption proves this to be a non-viable argument.

Sorry for the long winded post. I think it's important for people to make an informed decision. Saying "I use carbon and my plants are fine" or "Never use it" simply does not answer the question.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:03 PM   #9
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So is carbon only to be used at the start up and or when wanting to remove a specific substance such as meds ? and can we leave it in as a mechanical medium for bacteria, or should we remove it after say the first week and replace it other medium ?
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:08 PM   #10
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So is carbon only to be used at the start up and or when wanting to remove a specific substance such as meds ? and can we leave it in as a mechanical medium for bacteria, or should we remove it after say the first week and replace it other medium ?
Yes it should be used at the startup and to remove meds. It can be left in as a mechanical medium for bacteria after a week it is nothing more than small rocks essentially. Yes, replacing it with the high tech filtration additions that provide huge surface area for bacteria are far superior however.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: Activated carbon removing all the good stuff?????

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Yes it should be used at the startup and to remove meds. It can be left in as a mechanical medium for bacteria after a week it is nothing more than small rocks essentially. Yes, replacing it with the high tech filtration additions that provide huge surface area for bacteria are far superior however.
Small rock that can leech whatever it soaked in back into the tank.

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Old 03-04-2013, 05:38 PM   #12
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Small rock that can leech whatever it soaked in back into the tank.

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Cannot leach what it has aDsorbed without exposing it to temperatures not achieved in the aquarium.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:00 PM   #13
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Small rock that can leech whatever it soaked in back into the tank.

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Desorption of GAC is a fact. However the methods used are detrimental to the planted tank. The thermal regeneration method
suffers from severe drawbacks, such as the requirement of high temperatures of the order of 300-500C. There are chemical methods as well as ultrasonic.

The "desorption" commonly referred to in the aquarium are from the bacterial byproducts from consumption of organic waste. This is no different than what the substrate does IMO.

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Old 03-04-2013, 06:21 PM   #14
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Actually AC is a pretty handy thing to have around. I agree that most obvious use is at startup to assist the immature biofilter, but I never hesitate to use if I see a situation starts to develop. As long as your dosing there is really no issue with plants. Carbon does not absorb the inorganic salts we dump in. It really depends on your setup and how stressed it is with it's organic load.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:36 PM   #15
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Can take razor blade and cut along edge of cartridge and empty out the carbon. Then you can still use the cartridges.
Personally,,I would visit craft store, and look for polyester pad such as for pillow's and cut a piece same size as cartridge and use this instead of cartridges.(cheaper).
I got turned on to this stuff while researching dirtless worm bedding material. It's essentially the same thing as the polyester many of the filters are made out of, and a darned sight cheaper if you buy the 2" thick stuff and simply split it down the middle with your hands. For $8 at Walmart you get a lot of material and it works really well for replacing inserts in HOBs etc.

http://www.fairfieldworld.com/produc...fied-polyester
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