Using Carbon?

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by MidwestReefer, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. MidwestReefer

    MidwestReefer Member

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    hello everyone. I was told today at my LFS that I shouldn't/ don't need to run carbon on my tank all the time.. but only when, and or if I need it. My tank is 13.5 gl, 12 working gallons, with 1.5 gl sump, and holds about 10gl after water displacement. im finishing up cycling the tank, and will do 10% to %15 WC every week. should i run carbon all the time or no?
     

  2. Oscar47f

    Oscar47f Well-Known Member

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    Its really up to you.. I run carbon because i want to make sure that any pigments in the water are gone allowing for better light penetration(for corals), and it helps remove any chemical toxins from corals ect.. You don't have to use it all the time and can certainly get by on water changes.
     
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  3. 40B Knasty

    40B Knasty Valuable Member

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    I haven't used carbon in my 13g for 3 years or my saltwater 20g transferred into a 40B for a year and 3 months.
    Your LFS is correct. Maybe if you get an oder then sure throw a bag in for a week. They don't last long. If you think about it. People use carbon reactors with 10x the amount you or I would use in a bag and they change it out every week. So the amount of carbon we would use is about 2 days worth of actually being beneficial to the tank.
    I use Marine Pure, Purigen, and a sponge.
    Sponge collect the big particles. Rinse it in used tank water in the bucket when doing a water change.
    Purigen needs to be in a bag that holds very fine particles. Change it every 6 months. Targets ammonia and nitrates.
    Marine Pure has such a huge amount of porosity to harbor so much more beneficial bacteria. Anaerobic bacteria being one of them. That is what turns nitrates into a gas form to bubble up and out of your tank. So if you are turning those nitrates into a gas form before it goes back into your tank. You are cutting the tanks removal of nitrates dramatically.
     
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  4. MidwestReefer

    MidwestReefer Member

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    Also just curious, the LFS said running carbon too long can strip good stuff out your water as well?
     
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  5. BigHildy53

    BigHildy53 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Type of carbon matters also. For example, Seachem renew will clean the water without being too aggressive. I run ZEOvit.
     
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  6. pettoe90

    pettoe90 Active Member

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    I heard that carbon makes for a good biological filter as well
     
  7. Oscar47f

    Oscar47f Well-Known Member

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    Carbon can provide surface area for biological filtration however thats not what its typically used for... And no it will not strip everything good out of the water especially if you follow the recommended amount for your tank.. Too much carbon may be a problem but just the right amount or less will not harm the system just be sure to change it once its been exhausted
     
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  8. MidwestReefer

    MidwestReefer Member

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    Awesome answers guys, thanks very much. After some thought Im gonna try out the Purigen, and keep some carbon on hand, for when I need some. Considering frequency at which I'm doing WC, and the small volume I work with, Clarity shouldnt be a huge deal, with the light bio load I'm running at the moment.. but time will tell haha.
     
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  9. 40B Knasty

    40B Knasty Valuable Member

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    Make sure the purigen in not tight in the bag or in the holding area. Very soft pillow in the bag and room to have little tumble. That's why I will recommend making your own bag. It maybe form fit for the premade bag, but the room you have in the compartment might not be.
     
  10. MidwestReefer

    MidwestReefer Member

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    So do you cut a Large opening in your foam block for it to have room, or do you have it in its own compartment?
     
  11. 40B Knasty

    40B Knasty Valuable Member

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    What kind of filter do you have? Is it a single slide in cartridge for a carbon like the Aqueon 10
     
  12. BigHildy53

    BigHildy53 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Purigen can be used in a BRS deluxe canister also. That's how I do it on my freshwater tank
     
  13. MidwestReefer

    MidwestReefer Member

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    It's a foam media rack style.. So a foam block about 9 1/2 inch tall, with two squares cut out of it. I have 3 big slots in my built in sump on the back of my all in one tank. the first opening is for a optional protein skimmer, second opening holds the media rack, and the third houses the return pump, heater, and ATO. Since i'm not running a skimmer, I put another foam block in the first chamber, because debris was settling at the bottom before it carried over the second chamber with the original filter rack.
     
  14. MidwestReefer

    MidwestReefer Member

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    my 13.5 peninsula for reference

    reef tank 2.jpeg

    reef tank.jpeg
     
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