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ticman
11-18-2003, 07:37 AM
What are forum members preference as to type and brand of carbon they use? So many types out there that it gets confusing.

Thanks,

Mike

cichgirl
11-18-2003, 08:48 AM
Welcome!! For me, Black Diamond activated carbon - it's coal based (better for water filtration) and seems to last longer. Removes DOC (dissolved organic compounds), which cause discoloration (tannins-plant based food or plant decay) of the water and the fishy smell (phenols). It also removes chlorine and chloramines. I'm sure any coal-based, heat activated carbon is just as effective.
I'm by no means an expert - that's pretty much all I know about the subject. :D

ticman
11-18-2003, 05:31 PM
Cichgirl,

Thanks for the input. I had heard that Black Diamond was a good product. Was curious about your thoughts on other additive with the carbon--ie ammo-carb and similar additives.

Thanks again,
Mike

merlyn2221
11-18-2003, 08:46 PM
Originally posted by cichgirl

I'm by no means an expert - that's pretty much all I know about the subject. :D

Hey cichgirl, you're not supposed to tell anybody that! :wink:

It certainly sounds like you are an expert! :lol:

I use Black Diamond, too. It is IME one of the best carbons around for removing "junk" (the technical term for it) from the water. :wink:

cichgirl
11-19-2003, 09:43 AM
Thanx merlyn... :D I'm just obsessed with my fishes water quality. I can't handle junk in the water.. :lol:

Mike,
I actually don't use any ammo-carb or anything like that. I do use crushed coral in my filters for my africans which serves as a buffer. My tap ph is 7.8 and I like to keep my tank at 8.2 for them. That usually does the trick to help keep the ph up- I rarely have to adjust. For my Neotropicals I use mainly driftwood to gently acidify their water and make it more comfortable for them. If your tank is established you won't need ammo-carb. Actually I don't like to use anything to hinder the natural cycle in my tank. My only additives are buffers to help keep the water stable. I would however, use ammo-carb if I had an overstocked tank, that is, until I could talk my husband into yet another tank... :ok:

chc
11-19-2003, 11:59 AM
To expand on the "established tank" comments....... you really don't need to use carbon if you are making water changes weekly. The benefits of carbon are debatable at best, but what isn't debatable is the fact that carbon can leach chemicals, etc. back into the water. Also, it generally becomes ineffective for chemical filtration in (in most cases) just a matter of a few days.

The key benefit to carbon (and its reputation over the years has inadvertently established as a result) is its huge surface area onto which bacteria can colonize........... but then most people just go and throw it out and add more!

Not worth the trouble generally. I prefer to use PolyFilter for my chemical filtration needs as it will not leach chemicals back into the water. Also, it is in a floss-like medium that allows you to cut it to shape, etc.

Cichlid_Fan
11-19-2003, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by cichgirl
Thanx merlyn... :D I'm just obsessed with my fishes water quality. I can't handle junk in the water.. :lol:

I am the same way!!!

Yes, go with Black Diamond..it's IMO the best you can get. I don't use it, but if you do, use that.

I agree with chc, you won't benefit much from the carbon and it won't clear up your tank. It can even make it cloudier. The most important thing is to have your biological system stabilized.

I ran some tanks without carbon for years with just DLS and had excellent results.

P-Did
08-11-2004, 01:10 PM
Wouldn't ammo-carbon be good for reducing nitrates in an established tank? Since it absorbs a portion of the ammonia, than you'll have less nitrates in the end.

Anyway, that's my reason for using ammo-carb. Tell me if I'm completely off base here ^_^

skiitswitch
08-11-2004, 02:35 PM
Originally posted by P-Did
Wouldn't ammo-carbon be good for reducing nitrates in an established tank? Since it absorbs a portion of the ammonia, than you'll have less nitrates in the end.

Anyway, that's my reason for using ammo-carb. Tell me if I'm completely off base here ^_^

I don't use it because, IMO, that's what the bacteria are in there to do... and 40% water changes when levels get to like 30 ppm nitrates work pretty well for me.

P-Did
08-11-2004, 09:47 PM
I don't use it because, IMO, that's what the bacteria are in there to do

The bacteria are in there to turn the toxins into nitrate. But if more ammonia is absorbed in the first place by the ammo-carb, would it not be logical that the nitrates (the end product of the cycle) be lower?

cich1
08-12-2004, 12:21 AM
i use black diamond but not that often.only to remove meds or tannins from my driftwood.(p-did check your pm's)

z rock
08-13-2004, 10:43 PM
I think of carbon as like a protein skimmer for fresh water.Here's an article that explains all anybody could ever possibly want to know about everything discussed in the above thread including ammo-carb's and polyfilters.
http://www.seachem.com/support/Articles/AqrmFltrtnPrmr.html
It's probably going to take 2-3 naps for me to get through all of it but it's good stuff.

z rock
08-14-2004, 09:37 PM
From what I drew from that article carbon is a molecular filter that removes protein,fats,and amino acids. It's downside is all carbons add phosphate. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.Phosphate is a building block of life,but to much can produce algae.I didn't read that it would leach chemicals back into the water unless there was a massive change in Ph. Which if the carbon gets used up and the tank goes without a water change I guess that could happen.Carbon is a very effective chemical filter.It's about the only one there is.It's probably best to remove it after 3-4 days because it will have removed all it's going to by then.

The ultimate,if one wanted to spend the cash,would be Seachem Hypersorb.Far superior to carbon.Produces ultra pure water. Changes colors when exhausted and can be regenerated....Sounds like awesome stuff. 100ml $5 treats 20g. thats it's downfall!

An alternative carbon replacement.Seachem Renew.Does about the same thing as carbon,does not release phosphate, it's white so it changes color when exhausted.About the same price as carbon.

Polyfilters interesting stuff. Kinda expensive. Haven't researched it yet.

From what I have found on Ammo-carb. This stuff amounts to about nothing more than cat litter,a clay.Called clinoptilolite or clino a type of zeolite..."sodium aluminosilicate".
It is good for removing small amounts of ammonia but will never take the place of biological filtration. Having small amounts of salt in the water reduces it's effectiveness greatly. Mainly good in a situation where a canister (or any type) filter has been cleaned a bit to well and needs some help catching up or starting up a new tank.Exhaust quickly.For emergency or special situations.

Ever heard of useing cat litter as a substrate for a plant tank? I guess the above could be a reason why.