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Activated Carbon?

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Even though I don't regularly change out my carbon, I'm having a hard time dropping it and placing in more bio-media... Would someone make up my mind for me haha?

Here's my pro/cons list:
Pros
  • Removed organics and other harmful items
  • ^might decrease algae through reduction in organics (My 50% EI water changes might handle this anyhow tho)
  • Provides high surface area for biological growth
  • Can remove trace inorganics (Cu, other metals)

Cons
  • Needs changed/replace on a regular basis to actually work
  • Takes up space that could be bio-media (but also houses some bio-media itself)
  • can remove trace inorganics (Cu, other metals)

So that's where I'm at. The cons aren't out weighting the pros/possible benefits of the pros.
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Remove it and see what happens. If nothing bad...don't replace it. If something does happen...probably better to figure out what is causing the issue and fix that instead of throwing a band-aid at it. I keep some on hand just in case but have never used it and don't have any problems. If anything...you might be better off using Purigen. At least it's rechargeable so you can keep using it over and over.
 

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I'll give you a third option, just to help you make up your mind lol.

Replace the carbon with Purigen. It's better than carbon at removing organics and removing trace elements, but doesn't prove very much surface area for bacteria. The bonus is that it can be regenerated.
 

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Unless you are heavily stocked...the mechanical media in your filter should be plenty of surface area for bacteria. I've never used anything other than double sponges in my AquaClear HOB's and never had issues with ammonia or nitrites. I've never been what I'd consider heavily stocked but I have kept fish that were messy eaters and big poopers.
 
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