Originally Posted by Phether
Next, I'm wondering if having the carbon filters with my topfin filter is required. I've heard people say that you can replace the carbon with something else and it works the same. Anybody have any idea?
There is no real reason to not
use the carbon in your filter. Some individuals with High pH water will use 100% organic Sprahgen Peat in small amounts (ussually 1 aerated cup per 10 gallons) in order to lower their PH by as much as 5 to 6 points.
I haven't done this myself yet, but after much research, there is only one wholesale brand that meets these requirements of 100% organic without any additives.
It is the "Premier" brand, 100% Organic Sprahgen Peat Moss from Canada. It is available in HUGE bulk from Lowe's for about 10 dollars in a 2.2 cu. ft. container.
THere are LFS stores that carry smaller amounts, but they charge an arm and a leg for it.
THere are many other additives you can put in addition to your carbon as well for assisting your water chemistry like a multi compartment sump filter, but as I said before. THere's very seldom a reason to remove the carbon entirely.