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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read bits here and there about not needing the charcoal in the filter and perhaps replacing with media. If this is the case I'd like to know more and what media is recommended. Should I use another bag of ceramic rings? Thanks!
 

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I would use ceramic rings. Charcoal needs to be replaced too often and only works effectively for a short time. If you keep up iwth tank husbandry on a good basis your tank will be fine.


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I agree, I never use carbon anymore. I'm cheap and lazy, and carbon is a consumable item. I have to buy fish food, I don't have to buy carbon - makes my fish hobby cheaper.
 

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Activated Carbon/Charcoal is a chemical filtration media that is mainly used to remove medicines (after treatment is over) from the water and remove tannins (brown tinged water from wood, etc). In planted tanks, it can remove some of the ferts we dose so that is another reason why people don't want to use it. It's just better to use it when it's needed, and you can fill the filter with some other type of media.

In place of the charcoal, you could add more mechanical media (sponges, polyfil, etc. - removes/catches physical debris particles from water) or biological media (Seachem Matrix, Ceramic BioRings, etc - houses beneficial bacteria to keep the water healthy by converting fish waste into safer forms).

Mechanical media can actually serve as biological media as well, but usually has less surface area, so it's less efficient (sponge filters are good).

The ceramic rings (assuming they are the porous rough faced ones, not the smooth faced plastic rings) are biological filtration media. They are decent, but Seachem Matrix has more surface area in comparison, so has more potential of housing more beneficial bacteria, in turn be able to support more fish. So I would get Matrix over ceramic biorings, but the biorings are still alright. Just thought I'd mention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Great, thanks for the tip on the Seachem Matrix. Is this what I need, will the smallest size (250ml) be fine? Looks like I'd probably need to bag it too do you have a recommendation on which bags?

Amazon.com : Seachem Matrix Bio Media 250ml : Aquarium Treatments : Pet Supplies

Now I'm thinking I maybe need to order more and also use in my 29G tank. I'm running a Penguin 350 using the charcoal filters currently, but I need to research the best bio media setup for that filter (sorry to sidetrack since it's not a nano tank).

Thanks!
 

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The Fluval Spec filter uses carbon as fine mechanical filtration. When you remove it you only have the coarse black filter for mechanical. I would add some filter floss somewhere int he filter when you remove the carbon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
This looks like a good solution. Upgrade to the filter media basket, fill the bottom with matrix and cut a filter floss pad to fit the top shelf. It's a bit pricey, but I like the design.

 

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I use ceramic and bio media or foam/sponge media never charcoal (unless I've dosed med in a quarantine tank and its time to get the meds out(directions say put charcoal in after x number of days+water change)).
 
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