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Old 05-14-2011, 05:13 PM   #1 
Littlebittyfish
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Carbon or not...

If I decide to not replace the carbon filter cartridge in my planted 10 gallon...Do I just leave it alone and not replace it..or do I remove the carbon cartridge and replace it with sponge?

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Old 05-14-2011, 05:58 PM   #2 
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Either way...leave the old carbon or replace it with a sponge......
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:25 PM   #3 
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Originally Posted by Oldfishlady View Post
Either way...leave the old carbon or replace it with a sponge......
I use sponge/foam, but if OFL says leaving the carbon is fine, then it's fine!

OFL, I had always heard that once carbon is full of all the impurities it can hold, it starts to release them back into the water. Not true, I take it?
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:52 AM   #4 
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The trick is it takes longer for carbon to get "full" than it does for the bacteria to completely coat it so that it no longer works...

Don't worry about the carbon in the filter card. Only advice I have is that you keep one or two filter cards with fresh carbon on hand "just in case" you do something dumb like spray poisonous materials over the tank.

I use up a fair amount of carbon since I treat all my girls with antibiotics at the same time and then have to scrub that from the tank but generally I get five or six months out of those bags because I dessicate them so that the bacteria slime coat washes off. I use about six cups of carbon at a time too!

Carbon is a mechanical filter with some special properties that is easy to manufacture... its filtration mechanics are down in the HEPA range and finer so it can snatch antibiotics, dissolved oils and other molecular debris from the water without getting clogged by the larger soluble wastes and 'dirt' that the fiber portion of the filter is designed for. Carbon excels at the molecular level of filtration and right now is the only thing that will take synthetic pesticides out of water so it's something important to have on hand.

But yeah, I concur with OFL, just leave it in and you can even use hot tap water to rinse the filter clean once or twice to re-use it and get about 5 months out of it or you can even cut the floss off it and use it to hold a sponge in place.

The main reason we get charged $2.50 to $3.00 per filter cartridge is simply the handling expense of it... they only cost about $0.28 to make but someone's got to touch em and put em on the shelf.
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:47 AM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunderloon View Post
The trick is it takes longer for carbon to get "full" than it does for the bacteria to completely coat it so that it no longer works...

Don't worry about the carbon in the filter card. Only advice I have is that you keep one or two filter cards with fresh carbon on hand "just in case" you do something dumb like spray poisonous materials over the tank.

I use up a fair amount of carbon since I treat all my girls with antibiotics at the same time and then have to scrub that from the tank but generally I get five or six months out of those bags because I dessicate them so that the bacteria slime coat washes off. I use about six cups of carbon at a time too!

Carbon is a mechanical filter with some special properties that is easy to manufacture... its filtration mechanics are down in the HEPA range and finer so it can snatch antibiotics, dissolved oils and other molecular debris from the water without getting clogged by the larger soluble wastes and 'dirt' that the fiber portion of the filter is designed for. Carbon excels at the molecular level of filtration and right now is the only thing that will take synthetic pesticides out of water so it's something important to have on hand.

But yeah, I concur with OFL, just leave it in and you can even use hot tap water to rinse the filter clean once or twice to re-use it and get about 5 months out of it or you can even cut the floss off it and use it to hold a sponge in place.

The main reason we get charged $2.50 to $3.00 per filter cartridge is simply the handling expense of it... they only cost about $0.28 to make but someone's got to touch em and put em on the shelf.
Thankyou this is good info...goodpoint.. I guess I will leave it alone..I already have an aquarium sponge stuffed into the filter media area in my filter I use it to help hold good bacteria...I just wasn't sure if it would be bad to leave it in there...I may buy the carbon that comes in the box and try to make my own carbon filter pads just incase I need them...Do you know if craft felt is aquarium safe?
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:02 AM   #6 
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Originally Posted by Lion Mom View Post
I use sponge/foam, but if OFL says leaving the carbon is fine, then it's fine!

OFL, I had always heard that once carbon is full of all the impurities it can hold, it starts to release them back into the water. Not true, I take it?
I have read that as well, but I viewed it as a myth or a company that wanted to sell more of the product...lol.....I have left old carbon in tanks for years without adverse reaction......

I no longer use carbon, but as posted it is always good to have fresh carbon on hand for emergency.......it has saved my tanks more than once......
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:10 PM   #7 
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Thanks for the info, OFL - good to know!!!! :)

I use sponge in all my tanks, but when I purchase a new filter, for whatever reason, I always keep the cartridge that comes with it on hand for "just in case".
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