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Carbon

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I have a media cartridge in one of my filters that's got carbon in it, and I was wondering, how long until it needs to be changed?

Also, what exactly does it do? It says on the bottle that carbon "removes impurities", but I have no idea what they mean by that.

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in order for carbon to remove impurities - it takes away traces of meds for example - it needs to be changed every month. If you have it in one of those filter cartridges (which you don't want to change each month) - you can cut a small hole in the sponge and shake the carbon out. you really don't need it except after a round of meds.

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from my understanding.. carbon filters impurities in the water and creates crystal clear water.. and from my understanding, it needs to be changed every few months? meh.. i'm new to this.. LOL... but i'm keen to learn if my understanding is correct or incorrect.. :blink: someone is soon to come along with a koko stick and :SmackBottom: me

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Thankfully, it's a media basket and not a filter cartridge, so changing it is really easy. It's been in there for about 3 weeks and I wasn't sure when to change it. I'm considering just taking it out. There haven't been meds in the tank for a month, and no matter how much I rinse it little chunks of carbon get spewed out of the filter and into my tank when I put new carbon in. So unless it's super important, I don't think I want to keep it in.

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see? told you so.. LOL i got :SmackBottom: by my good friend frederica!! did u enjoy that hun?? :tomuch:

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Oh it's fine, we're all learning. No one knows everything! :)

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It also removes other unwanted chemicals like fluoride (if you have that in your water, we sure do here D: ) that are found in your water out of the tap.

If it gets 'full' it can start seeping chemicals back into the water, so it needs to be replaced semi regularly.

I only use it after a course of meds to clear up any traces. I think it must absorb micro particles of dirt and stuff too, because it really does get the water crystal clear, but it's not necessary (and to me just another expense!). :rofl

I'd rather have some more sponges, floss or other medium for bio filtration (where the BBs can colonise really well) in my tank where the carbon goes instead :yeah: .

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yea you can totally take it out. and use that place for more good media :mytank1: also, when you need it in the future after meds etc - make sure you give it a good rinse in warm water - all the stuff it will leak is INSANE! and i heard the powder is bad for the goldies too.

NOOOO Helen!!!! I am not butt whipping you!!!!!!!!!!!!! :hug we posted at the same time anyways... :happydance

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NOOOO Helen!!!! I am not butt whipping you!!!!!!!!!!!!! :hugwe posted at the same time anyways... :happydance

LOL!

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Alright, sounds good. Thanks!

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I have heard that carbon can help get rid of odor coming from the tank. Anybody know if this true? I use carbon in my tanks, and they never seem to be stinky. :)

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I have heard that about carbon and odor too, but I personally wouldn't use carbon for that reason. I think that odor can be a good indicator of the general health and stability of a tank, so I'd want to be able to smell it. :)

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I have heard that about carbon and odor too, but I personally wouldn't use carbon for that reason. I think that odor can be a good indicator of the general health and stability of a tank, so I'd want to be able to smell it. :)

Ahh, good point. :) I am good on water changes,and using my API kit,but the carbon is a bit of a pain, packing new bags and rinsing can become messy. I also found not to rinse out carbon in a porous sink, the carbon particulate can become embedded into the sink, requiring deep cleaning to get it out. :doh11::oops:

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There is some debate that the fine particles of carbon can cause ulcers. I finally took it out. It does make the water crystal clear, but unless I have a round of meds it isn't worth losing the trace minerals in the water and cuasing irritation.

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My filter media is like a carbon/sponge combo, half sponge and half carbon? I didnt know I had to change the carbon out that often or I would have use the old cartridges that were separate.. Sorry to hijack the thread but if I change it will my tank cycle crash since the sponge is attached??

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I'd be really careful doing that, for sure. What you could do is leave the old one and the new one in the filter for a while, and give the bacteria a chance to populate the new one. :)

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There is some debate that the fine particles of carbon can cause ulcers. I finally took it out. It does make the water crystal clear, but unless I have a round of meds it isn't worth losing the trace minerals in the water and cuasing irritation.

:interesting: Carbon particles also seem to be one of the suspected causes of head and lateral line erosion in fish species susceptible to it (like oscars, so it's no longer in Chacha's tank to be safe) maybe some kind of irritation happening here.

Of course diet and disease are causes too, but the irritation of carbon particles may encourage it. Though I've only seen it rarely in goldies, which is great :) .

Good rinsing and soaking of carbon prior to use should stop that being a problem anyway I guess?

It has it's ups and downs, like most things :painting:

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Most people that I've talked to only use the carbon to remove any medications from the tank. After that the carbon is removed and only the bio media along with the sponge block are used. Some say that they use the carbon media basically until it falls apart, which is what I do. I keep it in and when I do filter maintenance I just give it a good rinse in a bucket of tank water. My opinion is rather than buying carbon media I would double up on the sponge blocks. If the tank is cycled and healthy I would think twice before adding it to your filter.

-Dennis

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