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Old 03-15-2012, 10:19 PM   #11 
MadameDesu
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Whoa, so you can keep the filter cartridge in there forever? Is that what you mean, or am I misunderstanding?
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:42 PM   #12 
thekoimaiden
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Yes. Carbon is actually a massive money pit as it runs out in about a week (no scientific studies have been done on this; it's anecdotal evidence but from VERY experienced keepers). All carbon really does is suck up medications and make the water look cleaner than it is. I haven't bought a carbon cartridge in months and don't plan to any more. I haven't replaced the filters in my tanks and will never need to again barring the media actually getting destroyed. I just rinse it in old tank water. Carbon also removes essential nutrients (trace minerals) that plants use, so if you fertilizer with active carbon you're just throwing money in the trash.

So long story short: carbon is just a ploy by companies to get you to spend more money. It has uses, but those are very limited and specialized.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:59 PM   #13 
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Wow! I had no idea that you could do that. So you just rinse it to get rid of particles? Do you do this during a water change?
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:10 PM   #14 
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Forums like this are great for exchanging this kind of info. You won't get it from the stores and most books don't have it either.

Filter cleanings are part of my water changes. Just a simple squeeze of the sponge will do. It's funny to see just how dirty the old tank water gets. Makes you think: "That was in my tank?"
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:35 PM   #15 
freemike
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Not to hijack the thread but a quick question for koi. I have some old carbon in my tank about 2 months old. I added plants and was going to use liquid ferts will the old carbon remove it or is it essentially dead?
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:40 PM   #16 
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I didn't cycle my 5.5 gallon very long. Then again I didn't have any added bacteria to it so it just had water flowing.
Spike seems to be doing well in his home. But I WILL be cycling my 75 gallon with live plants.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:45 PM   #17 
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Yes sponge medias are the best
never haveta replace them
HEALTHY bacteria!!! I just rinse them in old tank water during water changes.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:40 AM   #18 
thekoimaiden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freemike View Post
Not to hijack the thread but a quick question for koi. I have some old carbon in my tank about 2 months old. I added plants and was going to use liquid ferts will the old carbon remove it or is it essentially dead?
Your carbon is long dead, Mike. You won't be throwing money in the trash. No worries there. Just leave it be as there are lots of good bacteria growing on the cartridge. If you feel the need later, replace it with an aquarium sponge cut to the size of the cartridge insert.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:52 AM   #19 
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I have always cycled every new tank I have set up.
I always use 1 or 2 catfish for the cycleing,in fact every one of my Bettas(except for the breeding tanks)have 1 catfish in them.
I just set up a divided 10 gallon,I took one sponge filter out of one of the breeding tanks I am not using-put it on one side and a new sponge filter on the other side,1 catfish on each side.
I will let this run for at least 2 weeks before I put a female HMPK in each side.
In my 55 community tank I run a cannister filter and a double sponge filter,I will change the filter floss every month,and about every 2 weeks I pull out the sponges and clean them,that way my biological filter is always running.
In the cannister I have the biological media also,gets cleaned when I change the filter pads.
Not saying this is the way it should be done,just the way I like to do it.
As for cleaning the gravel,I can only get to 1 or 3 spots in my gravel,plants,moss and plant roots get in the way!
I just take water out when I do water changes!
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:58 AM   #20 
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Oh yeah,the only time I have used charcoal is after I have had to medicate a tank.
Charcoal is a Dinosaur,it's has come and gone!!
Like the one poster said,if you are using Ferts. and charcoal,you are just throwing your money away.
There are newer products on the market that work as good or better than charcoal for clearing water without all the downfalls of charcoal.
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