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enzo2564
09-09-2010, 02:16 AM
I read in a different forum (one that I don't trust as much as this one) that activated carbon will remove the trace elements that we add to the water to help fertilize the plants. I was wondering if this is true. It makes sense since the carbon is supposed to remove water impurities but I wanted to get a more experienced opinion before I go and tear apart my filter cartridges (they come pre-made with activated carbon in them).

rich311k
09-09-2010, 02:21 AM
This is a much debated topic. I feel that carbon will not remove them, others say yes. I never run any carbon. If your pads are over two weeks old it is a mute point as the carbon is not effective anyway.

Plant Man
09-09-2010, 03:29 AM
I read in a different forum (one that I don't trust as much as this one) that activated carbon will remove the trace elements that we add to the water to help fertilize the plants. I was wondering if this is true. It makes sense since the carbon is supposed to remove water impurities but I wanted to get a more experienced opinion before I go and tear apart my filter cartridges (they come pre-made with activated carbon in them).

I have experienced a loss of iron in the water column due to activated carbon. I am positive it removes chelated iron, as for other nutrients I don't know.

chrisfraser05
09-09-2010, 06:06 AM
again its something I have read a little about but nothing realy solid.

Unless you are removing meds I don't really see the point in adding carbon anyway.

As stated above, after two weeks the carbon is doing nothing anyway!

Fishguy2727
09-09-2010, 01:20 PM
I think thaty in order for you to see a big difference in your plants or in a reef aquarium because of the presence of carbon or not the tank has to be doing very well, to the point where trace elements and micronutrients would be your limiting factor. Most people are not at this point with their tanks so they won't see a big difference from carbon. However, like other's have said, in most tanks if you are doing enough water changes you should not need to use carbon all the time.

enzo2564
09-09-2010, 05:07 PM
Thank you for all of the help. I may try running with it and without it it may be interesting to see what works better.

SunSchein89
09-09-2010, 06:49 PM
I have heard some of the same here on these forums. Never did see a 100% sure answer, but I figured I may as well not even bother with it since it's not really necessary to begin with.

Plant Man
09-09-2010, 09:06 PM
I have heard some of the same here on these forums. Never did see a 100% sure answer, but I figured I may as well not even bother with it since it's not really necessary to begin with.

I totally agree with this! Unless your removing meds or tannins, running carbon is pointless.

DrNic
09-09-2010, 09:42 PM
I agree with the general quorum here. Ultimately carbon really isn't 'necessary' unless you have LOTS of minerals in your water and even then your fish filter wouldn't be enough to help.

In most cases the carbon in your filter will get 'filled' within a week or two anyway. You have to keep in mind that activated carbon is really just a porous material. Small molecules and minerals will go into the pours and get temporarily sequestered. They can still come out eventually. Think of it as running a wiffle ball, through a garden of small stones. Some stones go in and stay in, others go in then come out. It's pretty much the same thing (maybe over simplified a little).

The only place I've found where activated carbon is helpful is in water filters for drinking water. Since a much smaller amount of water goes over the carbon (ideally only the stuff you drink), the carbon is able to successfully pull out some mineral deposits. I know I can sure taste the difference between my tap and filtered water.

Pleco380
09-09-2010, 10:49 PM
I had carbon in one of my tanks now I don't have any. IMO carbon is useless.

Dave66
09-09-2010, 11:16 PM
Depends greatly on the quality of carbon used. That is, density, porosity and grain size. Common aquarium carbon is low grade; dusty, crumbly and coarse. Better grade, often sold as lab grade, carbon is harder, finer and cleaner and much better at removing dissolved solids over a longer period of time.

Depends completely on the dissolved solids of your tank whether you'd have to replace the carbon in weeks or months, as well as the quality of carbon purchased.

Dave

Plant Man
09-16-2010, 10:08 PM
I had carbon in one of my tanks now I don't have any. IMO carbon is useless.

Carbon is not useless! LOL

Go buy a fresh piece of Malaysian driftwood, put it in your tank without soaking it or boiling it first and watch your tank quickly turn brown. Then put 1 cup of carbon in a canister with nothing else and watch your tank completely clear in max 2 days.

notscaredtodance
09-16-2010, 10:44 PM
Carbon is not useless! LOL

Go buy a fresh piece of Malaysian driftwood, put it in your tank without soaking it or boiling it first and watch your tank quickly turn brown. Then put 1 cup of carbon in a canister with nothing else and watch your tank completely clear in max 2 days.

Boiling is just as easy, though. :] I only use carbon if my tank is looking cloudy. I'll do a small water change and throw it in overnight. When I wake up the next morning, it's crystal clear and I pull it out.

(I've even stopped putting carbon in the huge 220g tanks at work and they've been holding up just fine, still crystal clear, but we also have UV sterilizers which might help.

Pleco380
09-16-2010, 10:48 PM
Carbon is not useless! LOL

Go buy a fresh piece of Malaysian driftwood, put it in your tank without soaking it or boiling it first and watch your tank quickly turn brown. Then put 1 cup of carbon in a canister with nothing else and watch your tank completely clear in max 2 days.
Alright I suppose it's not useless but it's not my favourite.