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Thread: Does activated carbon really make a difference?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default Does activated carbon really make a difference?

    I have 5 freshwater tanks all consisting of CA/SA Cichlids. I regularly do 50% WC weekly and gravel vac bi-monthly. I only feed once m-f as I wonk 12hr days so they aren't overdoes by any means. I feed 2-3 times sat&sun. My question is does using activated carbon in your filters really make that big of a difference in quality of water. My water is well and my fish love it and is always pretty damn crystal clear if you ask me. The only time I ever use it is of I have to Medicate a tank I use it after the medication time to remove it. What's everyone's thoughts on this??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    I use it, but with weekly water cha yes I doubt it does much and if it's working for you without o don't see why you should change it.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ef9boy88 View Post
    I use it, but with weekly water cha yes I doubt it does much and if it's working for you without o don't see why you should change it.
    I have activated carbon running in my external Penn Plaxx 1200 and it is said to remove toxins. On the other hand I want to get an extra. I am looking as well for a UV sterileliser. basically activated carbon in a filter as well is a pluss definetly because in my experience a canister filter internal or external without it is not as effective as once with it in.
    Mbuna Addicted

  4. #4
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    There is no need for carbon in your filters unless you are removing meds or a smell from the water. Carbon does not last long. Usually a few days before its absorbed everything it can. Afterwards it will just leach what it absorbed, back into your water. It should be replaced regularly. With your water change schedule you will be fine. Save your money.

  5. #5

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    Well, I have found Activated Carbon has very good absorption capabilities and lasts a long time. I would be interested in seeing a scientific document showing the actual capacities used in water and used in air... I know it works incredibly well for removing odors from the environment as well and lasts a long time,
    It will help keep water clear, and odor free as well as help remove any metals and other things that it will filter out from the water.
    It is not a necessity but is a good addition to any filter and something that should not be over looked when it comes to water quality.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2012
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    Thanks Joe. I would like to see a scientific article on it too. I know who you are because I'm friends on FB with you. Hahaha. Matt Doran Quad City Fishkeepers

  7. #7
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    May 2012
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    Spokane, WA
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    i used it for years thinking it was necessary but the more i read the more i realized you really don't need it except after you medicate. it does remove some toxins in water, just not ammonia or nitrite. usually not necessary in my book.
    show me a cichlid that isn't hungry, and i'll show you a cichlid that isn't happy.

  8. #8
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    Montreal
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    +1 Should not be needed except for specific short term purposes such as stated by Heyguy & Ian.

  9. #9

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    It is not necessary - BUT it certainly does improve over all quality -- odors and color are also reduced using activated carbon-- which is also used in so many other filter applications for drinking water as well.. As well as an environment air filter as well... I have plenty tanks without carbon, my show tank has carbon to help keep it clear and odor free, but researchers have proven carbon to be one of the best filter media for so many different applications. larger systems run tap water through large carbon filters and then directly to aquariums ending the need to use water conditioners for chlorine etc. making automated water change systems possible without the need of chemical dose pumps

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