Carbon Filtering: Under, Over or Just Right?

BRS

So what do you think about running carbon as a filter for your aquariums?

  • Underrated

    Votes: 60 13.2%
  • Overrated

    Votes: 75 16.4%
  • Just Right

    Votes: 321 70.4%

  • Total voters
    456

Mr Mumblez

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Just right!

I run brs rox with phosguard in mini reactor from brs. It keeps my water crystal clear!
I change out every month or 6 weeks.
Honestly the first time using mini reactor from brs I put regular carbon in it and it rolled some so my tank was dark cloudy the next morning. Well that sucked cuz it took so many floss pads to remove it. It also took lots of scrubbing rocks. So be careful not to let the carbon roll. The rox is way better. This mistake caused my yellow eye kole tang to get HLLE! Ugh but with the use of selcon, prazipro, and some tender loving care my tang is back to perfect health after 3 months.
Oh I also run it 24/7 but dialed the flow way down to a slow stream. Working perfectly since.
 

bdare

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I've been keeping tanks for over 20 years and I've always run high quality ROX. For about the last 8-9 months I've been going without. I have a hippo tang with a slight case of hole in the head. Water quality is good, I have a grounding probe, and I feed selcon soaked nori constantly so I'm trying to see if it gets better without carbon.
 

tdlawdo

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I think it is rated just right although oft misunderstood and used incorrectly. It is good for a week or two after which is not doing much. Often over used as in quantity needed and often misused as in allowed to tumble too much. It does what it is meant to do ...nothing more nothing less. I use ROX in a canister with relatively low flow and change once a month knowing I get most of its usefulness in the first two weeks.
 

brokeaquarist

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Just right! I come from being a freshwater-tank person and I see carbon as essential. The absorption of toxins and heavy metals in the tank is a must.
 

David S

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I think it is rated just right.
I use a small amount of Rox mixed with pelletized carbon in a mesh bag that is in the return of my HOB refugium.
I remove after a few days and replace every month.
I do this as a precaution for any toxins in the tank.
It does not improve water clarity, which is normally fairly good, anyway. Doesn't improve film algae on the glass, either.
But, never had any HLLE issues with my Yellow Tang
 

kenchilada

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Supposedly the dangerous part of carbon is the fines/dust. If you run carbon, DO NOT let it roll or tumble in a reactor because it creates more fines. It should be used passively.

Carbon is most effective the first day or so that you add it. It gets coated with bacterial goo and stops absorbing as exposed surface area decreases. I put mine in a filter bag and put it in the sump after the skimmer, then remove it after a day at most.

I used to love my ozone generator for water clarity but I realize those are "UNCOOL" these days so I can't talk about that. :cool:
 

D4jack

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I believe it is underrated in the reef sector. Some people are under the assumption that it takes too much beneficial organics from the water column. I run it constantly in a 10" flow through filter. And change it once a month. I believe it's benefits far outweigh it's cons, Definitely in a mixed reef where there's competition.
 

Benson0219

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We're going to start a new weekly QOTD where we feature saltwater aquarium methods, ideas, tricks, equipment, livestock etc. where YOU the viewer will decide if the subject of the topic is deserving of the Underrated, Overrated or Just Right rating! So let's get this started and if you have ideas for topics please message me!

Today we are going to talk about running carbon as a water filter for your aquarium. So what's the 411 and carbon? Aquarium carbon is often used in the aquarium industry for the removal of toxic organic substances, odor and discoloration from your tank.

1. So what do you think about running carbon as a filter for your aquariums? Underrated, Overrated or Just Right?

2. Do you currently filter your water via carbon and if so how?


Untitled-3 copy.jpg


image via @Bulk Reef Supply
Just right for me. I run a BRS reactor, keeps the water crystal clear! I run it all the time.
 

biocubeboy

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I feel like UV sterilizes are underrated. Even with carbon a UV sterilizer took my tank to the next level so far as clarity, reducing water changes, and keeping my coral happy.
 

tony'stank

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I think it’s just right when done right
i run a bag of Chemipure blue in my BRS reactor. I change it about every three months
 

Streetcred

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We're going to start a new weekly QOTD where we feature saltwater aquarium methods, ideas, tricks, equipment, livestock etc. where YOU the viewer will decide if the subject of the topic is deserving of the Underrated, Overrated or Just Right rating! So let's get this started and if you have ideas for topics please message me!

Today we are going to talk about running carbon as a water filter for your aquarium. So what's the 411 and carbon? Aquarium carbon is often used in the aquarium industry for the removal of toxic organic substances, odor and discoloration from your tank.

1. So what do you think about running carbon as a filter for your aquariums? Underrated, Overrated or Just Right?

2. Do you currently filter your water via carbon and if so how?


Untitled-3 copy.jpg


image via @Bulk Reef Supply
Great idea. May I suggest linking to what the literature says ... and then run into the 'free for all' ... that might help filter a lot of the chaff from these important reviews.
 

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Rich Klein

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I used to run it a few hours a day, but stopped over a year ago and my water is still crystal clear. Perhaps my chaeto takes care of it? One less thing to service is a good thing.
 

jft

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Carbon is great underrated in my opinion. Used it for years in fresh, FOWLR and reef tanks w/o a problem. KNOWLEDGE and a good grade of carbon is the KEY!
 

fryman

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I voted just right because I think alot if people use it and it's generally safe/appropriate for keeping water clear.

In my nano I have activater carbon in a hob filter and replace it weekly. When I neglect or forget much longer than that, the water gradually gets hazy. Maybe not something everyone would notice but it's detectable when I switch the carbon, water is definately clear.

I honestly don't know if the haziness is "bad" for anything, haven't detected any impact on livestock but it looks better and even if just a cosmetic effect I think it's worthwhile.
 

NYBumkin

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I’d say just right, pushed as a general filter that helps with a lot but doesn’t fix everything.

My reactor setup is a brs full size reactor filled with filter floss, next is the brs mini reactor with a small amount of filter floss and my carbon. After, it heads to a Bashsea 4-18 reactor with 2/3 brightwell bio export cubes and 1/3 Brightwell export no3 cubes. I have the Sicce pump that comes with the brs deluxe deluxe mini reactor kits, feeding the system at a rate of between 30-50 gallons and hour. I’m hoping to promote denitrifying bacteria growth in the Bashsea reactor.
 
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