Do you run Carbon?

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gbroadbridge

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Chemipure blue 5 oz size in sump 24/7. Change every two months for my two nano tanks. Do not run on my 110 yet but its only 2 months old and bio load is low. But maybe start thinking about adding as i have a little ugly phase kicking in 0n rocks. i am starting to add clean up crew over last couple of weeks..
Chemiclear blue is just activated carbon with a synthetic resin that adsorbs chemicals.

Seachem have marketed Purigen for years, and it will do a better job with simliar resins, and can be recharged and reused over and over.

You just need to stack the purigen on top of the activated carbon.

Regards
Graham
 
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gbroadbridge

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Nope. Don't want to risk any chance of my Tangs getting HLLE.
Go to the drugstore and by some fish oil capsules. Unscented, no garlic,etc.

Squirt that on the food you feed the fish.

Happy fish and no HLLE even if you use carbon.

Everyone wins.
 

Cjeippert

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i am trying to figure out what are the benefits of running active Carbon in a reactor or bag. How often do you run it? What are the advantages of running it? What are the disadvantage of running it? I have a brand 1/4 pound of BRS rox Carbon and don't know if I should run it or not. I have tried to read up on it but I can't find to much about it. From what I have read It can strip the good stuff out of the water. Can someone shed some light on this topic.
Chemi-Pure Elite every 5 months.
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That mille is amazing! May I ask where you acquired it and it’s name? It is very pink and your acros have great polyp extension.
 

Cjeippert

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Can’t really get a UV when I’ve a lot of snails, hermit crabs. No direct sunlight. I did got a new stronger light but it just shifted algae growth. From growing on my power heads to the glass. I did reduced feeding with only feeding with chopsticks, but I do feel like carbon has been depleted cause its been there more than month last time I didn’t changed it just rinsed it.
Why can you not have a UV sterilizer if you have snails?
 
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ClownSchool

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Granular Activated Carbon, or GAC, comes in a few different forms each with varying levels of effectiveness. For the difference between the types of GAC, click here for a BRS video (also check out the associated videos on the right, e.g. "How to Get Pristine Blue Water...". By now, or by watching those videos, you should have 95% of your own answers, but to give you personal answers and what I do is this: I run BRS ROX GAC in a reactor (recommend Spyglass from Avast Marine) pretty frequently. I only turn it off when I'm adding amino acids, foods, even chemicals I want to keep around longer than one pass through the sump. o_Oo_Oo_O The reason is that GAC, and ROX especially are amazingly good at binding whatever they can in the water column and holding on to them. I would recommend running it in a reactor if you want to see maximum effectiveness, however, putting it in a bag in an area of high flow would be effective as well. I do both, one tank is an AIO too small for reactors, so I have a bag in the back, another tank is 135 and can support a reactor, so that's where it is. I am running mine 24/7 at the moment for a specific reason, but how often you run it depends on what you are trying to achieve: if you just want to have much more clear water, running it for 5 days or so every month will suffice. If you are trying to neutralize coral toxins, say, leather coral toxins, then you should run it all the time. There are numerous advantages: crystal clear water, elimination of toxins, from livestock or other sources, removal of organic wastes and heavy metals, removal of organics that can break down into nitrates, and help in keeping water clean for larger sized tanks. That helps keep water changes down so 10% weekly is manageable. It is also super effective if one is using ozone: it removes the ozone molecule, or I should say, neutralizes ozone before it reaches the DT. It also helps neutralize ozone produced oxidants (OPO's) that could be harmful to livestock in the DT when running ozone.
Disadvantages: A lot of people say it removes "the good stuff", so I hope this doesn't come across personally, I know where you picked up that term and that probably on this forum. Personally I really do not like non-specific statements like that. What is the definition of "good stuff"? In most cases, people are referring to amino acids, or red sea reef energy, or vitamins added to food, or medications, or something that was purposefully added by the reefer. That is the definition we will use here. Using that definition, yes, GAC removes "the good stuff" as well. But the solution for that is simple. Turn off your carbon reactor or take the bag out of the sump every time you add something you think will benefit your tank, at least for as long as you want the good stuff to stay in your tank. So the major disadvantage is more of a PITA thing than a *true* disadvantage. Now you see why a reactor also begins to make more sense. Instead of getting your hand and arm set, it's pulling a plug out of a power strip. Even better is with concomitant use of a controller, such as Neptune Apex, where you can use your cell phone to turn the reactor off while you add your amino acids.


Here is a link to a great basic article that should conclude the post with one exception: GAC as a causative agent for head and lateral line disease (HLLE)

At this point, you should have a good idea of the what, is, how, why, why not and uh-oh of GAC. You have all the information you need, but in case I missed something, I hope that someone comes behind me and adds to the post. There is a bias towards the use of GAC frankly. I use it as well as many other people. There are reactors that exist just for GAC. So there is something really positive about it, you just need to find that out for yourself, and I think running that 1/4 pound would be a great way to start learning. For the amount to run, think along the lines of 2 cups per 50 gallons.

Cheers,

Lloyd
So, by this reasoning, if I carbon dose with vinegar as well as add amino supplements, am I just throwing money away?
 

ScottB

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So, by this reasoning, if I carbon dose with vinegar as well as add amino supplements, am I just throwing money away?
Could be. My reactor is on a controller and runs for 2 hours each night while I sleep.
 

thatmanMIKEson

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You realise that if you have a reactor sitting idle for 23 hours, the lack of flow will make it anaerobic, in which it will generate lots of ammonia and other nasties.

Then when you turn it on again you pump all that nasty stuff into your tank.

You need to manage the flow rather than stopping it.


Regards
Thats not true, you can quote sources but, im going to say false, please drop real knowledge not just assumptions thanks....
 

ScottB

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Thats not true, you can quote sources but, im going to say false, please drop real knowledge not just assumptions thanks....
I thought that was a rather curious statement to make as well.

I know in my use case that is not possible. My NYOS reactor drains empty once the pump shuts down.
 
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gbroadbridge

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Thats not true, you can quote sources but, im going to say false, please drop real knowledge not just assumptions thanks....
Well I was told this many years ago in relation to canister filters on freshwater tanks

I did some testing and found that without flow the cannister released a disturbing amount of ammonia when restarted even after one hour.

To be honest, I've never done any measurements with stopped flow through a reactor but to me the same rules would apply.

You have water stagnating in a closed space with no flow, so it would seem apparent that the water would be anaerobic in a short space of time.

I'll do some tests with my current reactor, and see if that is indeed what happens.

Another poster mentioned a NYOS reactor which drains. I've not heard of it, but I think most reactors live in the sump and if you stop the flow you just have a plastic tube submerged in warm water with no flow, with media covered in bacteria.

It is quite possible that the ammonia released would be consumed by coral or perhaps it is miniscule in context of the tank.

Maybe @Randy would like to chime in.

Regards
Graham.
 
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ScottB

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Well I was told this many years ago in relation to canister filters on freshwater tanks

I did some testing and found that without flow the cannister released a disturbing amount of ammonia when restarted even after one hour.

To be honest, I've never done any measurements with stopped flow through a reactor but to me the same rules would apply.

You have water stagnating in a closed space with no flow, so it would seem apparent that the water would be anaerobic in a short space of time.

I'll do some tests with my current reactor, and see if that is indeed what happens.

Another poster mentioned a NYOS reactor which drains. I've not heard of it, but I think most reactors live in the sump and if you stop the flow you just have a plastic tube submerged in warm water with no flow, with media covered in bacteria.

It is quite possible that the ammonia released would be consumed by coral or perhaps it is miniscule in context of the tank.

Maybe @Randy would like to chime in.

Regards
Graham.
In that canister filter context, I agree. It is the septic system of the tank. A pretty stinky place.

This context looks safe to me...

IMG-5596.jpg
 

thatmanMIKEson

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Well I was told this many years ago in relation to canister filters.

I did some testing and found that without flow the cannister released a disturbing amount of ammonia when restarted even after one hour.

To be honest, I've never done any measurements with stopped flow through a reactor but to me the same rules would apply.

You have water stagnating in a closed space with no flow, so it would seem apparent that the water would be anaerobic in a short space of time.

I'll do some tests with my current reactor, and see if that is indeed what happens.

Another poster mentioned a NYOS reactor which drains. I've not heard of it, but I think most reactors live in the sump and if you stop the flow you just have a plastic tube submerged in warm water with no flow, with media covered in bacteria.

Regards
Graham.
I think every system is different and you could possibly be right with your situation, thank you for bringing this to my attention so I was able to look into something I didn't even think about before.
You realise that if you have a reactor sitting idle for 23 hours, the lack of flow will make it anaerobic, in which it will generate lots of ammonia and other nasties.

Then when you turn it on again you pump all that nasty stuff into your tank.

You need to manage the flow rather than stopping it.


Regards
But I still do as I said in my original post, and yes there is anaerobic build up (good call)but very minimal to the point that it is unable to effect the system, and mine in particular is a stream 5" from water surface that gasses off most before it enters the sump. I dont believe that the cons of the build up out weigh the need for occasional GAC use to keep water clarity and not to strip the system to much, and the ability to add/subtract time or flow of course is a great option. I've had the best results like this. And if it does supply some ammonia my corals love it ;)

Anyway thank you for bringing this up I did not mean to sound offended, I was just uneducated! :)
 

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gbroadbridge

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No I'll pass.
Ok, go buy some Continuum Aquatics Bio Viv HUFA which is fish oil in a fancy reef safe bottle at about 10x the price. Either way it's good for fish who in nature eat fish and algae, not pellets or frozen food.

My fish couldn't tell the difference.


Regards
Graham.
 
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Ok, go buy some Continuum Aquatics Bio Viv HUFA which is fish oil in a fancy reef safe bottle at about 10x the price. Either way it's good for fish who in nature eat fish and algae, not pellets or frozen food.

My fish couldn't tell the difference.


Regards
Graham.
I don't see the need for carbon. That's just me. My fish have been doing fantastic. No need to change anything.
 

LeftyReefer

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Only in my RO/DI.

I used to run a bag of carbon in my tank, but have since stopped. My corals seemed to do better once I stopped the carbon, but it could have just been the tank maturing... hard to say if it was actually the carbon or not. Regardless, I didn't go back to running carbon. I still have some on hand and wouldn't hesitate to use it, but as of now, I don't see a need to run it 24/7/365.
 

gbroadbridge

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Only in my RO/DI.

I used to run a bag of carbon in my tank, but have since stopped. My corals seemed to do better once I stopped the carbon, but it could have just been the tank maturing... hard to say if it was actually the carbon or not. Regardless, I didn't go back to running carbon. I still have some on hand and wouldn't hesitate to use it, but as of now, I don't see a need to run it 24/7/365.
I'll probably chuck a bag in the week before christmas so all the family can go wow over the tank :)

The rest of the time, I'm perfectly happy with a bit of dirty glass and some algae on rocks.

The fish and coral soon tell me if they're unhappy, and as long as the water params look fine I just let things rock.

A couple of months ago I had to spend an unexpected 2 weeks in hospital. The nano tank went crazy with red and green cyano, but since I cleaned that up, the nano is better stabilised than the 90g. Less is perhaps more.

Life is an experiment.


Regards
Graham.
 

OU812Reefing

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i am trying to figure out what are the benefits of running active Carbon in a reactor or bag. How often do you run it? What are the advantages of running it? What are the disadvantage of running it? I have a brand 1/4 pound of BRS rox Carbon and don't know if I should run it or not. I have tried to read up on it but I can't find to much about it. From what I have read It can strip the good stuff out of the water. Can someone shed some light on this topic.
Crystal clear water no odor I run mine with a small pump and carbon reactor
 

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ProxyAquarist

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i am trying to figure out what are the benefits of running active Carbon in a reactor or bag. How often do you run it? What are the advantages of running it? What are the disadvantage of running it? I have a brand 1/4 pound of BRS rox Carbon and don't know if I should run it or not. I have tried to read up on it but I can't find to much about it. From what I have read It can strip the good stuff out of the water. Can someone shed some light on this topic.

I empathize with you on this conundrum. That said, we do run carbon in a reactor.

First to answer your specific questions:

Advantages of Carbon:
a. Water color - With time aquarium water becomes yellowish. This is due to materials in the water absorbing light, and this lowers PAR. Thus some of the beneficial light is lost. Charcoal filtration can clear the water increasing PAR and thus increase light for the corals.
b. Tannins - Should you have wood/driftwood in your aquascape, carbon will remove the yellow tannin. This will allow light to penetrate the water with a benefit on PAR as above. Tannins can also acidify the water; thus carbon may help with pH.
c. Smell - Charcoal absorbs compounds that can cause unpleasant odors.
d. Medication Removal - If one had to medicate the main tank rather than a hospital tank, carbon can remove the medication at the end of the course. It can also be a life saver, if the life react poorly to a medication. Carbon can lower the level of medication thus helping the responding poorly.
f. Chemical Removal - Sometimes chemicals are used intentionally, but one might want to be removed afterwards. Carbon can also serve as a emergency measure if a chemical unintentionally enters the tank. This is similar to the age old practice of using carbon in the stomach for poisoned or overdosed human patients emergency room.
g. Poisons & Spores - It has been said that carbon can filter out defensive agents released by corals.

Disadvantages of Carbon:
a. User Complacency - Some see clear water with carbon and think less water changes are needed. Carbon does not remove the need for water changes.
b. Phosphates - The source of the carbon matters. Some products are said to have high phosphate and contain matter that will negatively attack a tank. That said, BRS ROX is high quality and our choice of carbon.
c. Disease? There is literature regarding "Hole-In-The-Head Disease," also known as "Head and Lateral Line Erosion" (HLLE), "Lateral Line Erosion" (LLE,) and "Lateral Line Disease" (LLD), in fish. Some speculate this condition may be associated with carbon. This is debated. Some propose that carbon dust is the culprit.
d. Medication Removal: This is an advantage and disadvantage. The latter occurs when one wants to medicate a tank. To do this carbon must be removed; otherwise the medicine will be elimated and the occupants will get no therapy.
e. Dust - Carbon dust is a negative. It may also be related to disease, see above. A low dust version, like BRS ROX, may solve this.

Some insights from our experience :

Placement:
a. Bag - The bag in the sump is easy, concealed, and requires minimal equipment.
b. Reactor - This can be easy and concealed, but requires more equipment. I use a BRS Mini Reactor and have multiple cartridges. The latter are refilled in one session. Some are specialized i.e. carbon with floss, carbon/GFO/floss, or just floss. An advantage to the reactor is increased flow and use as an in-line filter. An example of the latter is placing Lanthanum (Elimi-Phos Rapid) before the reactor so the precipitate is removed in the reactor carbon/floss cartridge.

Timing/Frequency:
- For my son's heavily stocked tank, I change the carbon cartridge with each biweekly water change. Carbon is cheap, and this pattern works. Others get good results with monthly changes. For a heavily stocked aquarium increased frequency is required.

Dosage:
- I use 1 cup per course in a 20 gallon tank. For the char/GFO cartridges, this is approximately 1/3 GFO and 2/3 carbon.

Dust:
- I hated rinsing poor quality carbon. Regardless how well one tried, some carbon dust entered the tank. My solution was to switch to BRS Premium ROX and use a filter. As a filter, I place floss or a circle of pinke floss over the carbon in the cartridge. These prevent carbon particles entering the outlet of the reactor. Initially, I just used the foam separators, but using a disposable filter avoids cleaning foam.

Why and When:
Carbon is used by mankind over time because the small openings in the material are an excellent mechanical filters for organics. I agree carbon is non-selective and may take out helpful and unhelpful organics. However, in total, I find it a positive and a great option.

It is a great stand by for emergencies. If I see stressed life, I take a waiter sample and add carbon and possibly a dechlorinator. With carbon onboard, I feel something might be working while, I test and water change.

There is a definite benefit to water color and PAR. It may be just a personal preference, but that matters.

As for dust and disease, I have managed the dust issue and have had no issues compatible HLLE in two years.

As for when we do not use carbon, I just use a cartridge of floss to "polish" the tank.

In summary, use your best judgement based on your needs and the data you've gathered. All we can do is make an informed decision based on what is best for our tank inhabitants,

Jim
 
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