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Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1

    Default Various Filtration Questions

    0 Not allowed!
    I've had my tank for five years now, and I still don't know as much as I'd like to about carbon filtration. I know that it takes undesirable molecules out of the water by adsorbing them, but not much more than that. Here are my questions:
    1. I have some plants which I fertilize with root tabs. Does the carbon adsorb the elements in the fertilizer? (And what about liquid fertilizer?)
    2. My tank is 37gal. How much carbon do I need and how often do I change it? I read that you should change it about once a month, but is there a more scientific way to tell when it's spent?
    3. I saw that Seachem has a few products which claim to host anaerobic bacteria and remove nitrate as well as doing everything that regular carbon filtration does. Do these actually work?

    Also, since algae uses nitrates to grow, will leaving the algae that grows in my tank (I don't actually mind how it looks) help keep my nitrates lower? (I know that this won't make a huge dent even if it does work, but it'll still be something.) I think the idea of constructing an aquarium system that's as self-sustaining as possible is really cool, so that's what I'm trying to go for. Thanks.
    Joseph Granata
    My decommissioned 37gal freshwater community tank journal:
    My current 37gal FOWLR tank journal:

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    I don't run carbon in my FW setup at all. Do you have a specific reason for running it?

    And yes, any green growth in your tank will soak up excess nutrients in some amount.

    And theoretically, if you had enough porous material in your tank to house the amount of BB required by your stocking level - think live rock in a reef tank - you would not need filtration at all.

    I can not speak scientifically to the Seachem question, but I do believe that the seagel I used after my reef tank crash helped my tank recover sooner.

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    Here is an interesting thread on filtration...

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Well, I've only been running carbon because it came in the filter and, like I said, I didn't know enough about it to feel comfortable taking it out.
    Joseph Granata
    My decommissioned 37gal freshwater community tank journal:
    My current 37gal FOWLR tank journal:

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA

    Awards Showcase

    【ツ】 - korith first fish for your community tank! - Cyberra a friend for your other neon ;) - Cyberra tetra #3 ;) - Cyberra looks like you like neons.... i hope - genocidex 
    because sometimes they school - genocidex a good school of neons is 6 minimal !!!!! - genocidex for playing along, gift of my choice!!!! - genocidex These seem to be quite popular... - ~firefly~ here's another one... - ~firefly~ 
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    0 Not allowed!
    The filter for my main tank came with a carbon-filled cartridge... And I've never used it. :) I replaced it with a piece of filter sponge.
    1. 2. (No Picture)
    1: Planted Betta Tank 1, Grimsby (male betta)
    2: Planted Betta Tank 2
    3: Eclipse QT Tank

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    If Carbon has been in a filter for more than 6-8 weeks it's ability to attract and bind all sorts of chemicals is usually exhausted. Since it has quite a bit of surface area it's still a good home for bacteria. I'd say might as well leave it in and treat it like you would treat ceramics in any other filter.

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    The only reason to run carbon is to remove toxins. If you have no medications or whatnot to remove, then you can replace with any kind of media your particular tank needs.

    Personally, I run a canister filter full of bio-media only, and an HOB for mechanical filtration only, nothing but floss and sponge.

    So if you want to "polish" your water more (remove more floaties and particulates), you can remove the carbon and replace with sponge/floss/pads...if you lean towards wanting more bio filtration (heavy stocking, messy fish), then replace with a good porous bio-media. Each tank is different...

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