Activated Carbon

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Cephdoc, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. Cephdoc

    Cephdoc Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I am getting ready to run activated carbon. I have never used this before, and im wondering since i have a full blown reef tank with the Cuttles and Octos, will the carbon suck out and deplete my additives and essential elements i add for the corals? Calcium is on of my biggest concerns, as i couldnt find much on that at all. I just dont want it to deplete it enough to where im adding stuff all the time. I have been adding in moderation, and everything seems great up till my down spell recently, but things are back to normal and im awaiting some eggs. I keep reading it makes the water clearer.. the thing is i already have crystal water, i was wondering what are the true benifits to running the carbon filtration? Besides helping with a inking incident.
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't keep much in the way of a reef corals (I only have two hard corals and one was inherited all the rest are softies). I run carbon in all the tanks, putting a bag in a filter sock in most, and without it, the water will take on a yellowish cast over time. I only add a small amount of vitamins and calcium to my water change water and find the vitamins have the most impact.
     
  3. Cephdoc

    Cephdoc Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    I'm going to run it exactly like you do D, I just don't want it taking all the good I add all the time out. That's what I'm worried about. I have never thought about asking my LFS if he runs carbon. Maybe I should talk to him more about the effects it will have on trace elements. I'm just worried that's all. Also you siphon the gravel everytime you do a water change? Because my cucumber and nassaris snails are doing a great job keeping the sand over turned and clean. Oh and my SS star
     
  4. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Once you have an octo, you will need to disrupt the sand regularly :grin:. My brittle and serpent stars do a great job of finding and cleaning any meat remaining in shells I can't retrieve but they also put out waste and you will see it as gray "dust" when you disturb the sand. I keep a shallow sand bed to make it easier to disrupt (I don't exactly vacuum, I disrupt and siphon the "dust" in the water where I am stirring). The sand in the den areas gets particularly gray. We likely overfeed the tanks but everything is healthy, including my filter feeding gorgonians so I know I am not doing it all wrong. However, the number of ways to do it right are not countable and what works for one species may only give mediocre results for others. If your tank is pristine after a couple of years AND your coals are healthy, then you are on to something. Too often aquarists measure success too soon I fear. Some of the polyps in Cassy's tank are over 10 years old (likely closer to 15). I inherited them when a friend died five or so years ago so I know I am doing well with this particular species. However, other animals need differing care and we don't have it down to a science (and then there is the whole propogation thing). In another, non-ceph tank, I have flower anemones that I have kept for several years but the bubble tips that Linda sent have not done well for me at all. One is still alive but not thriving and the other disappeared when I tried moving it to a different tank because it was shrinking. I don't lose a lot of critters but I keep mostly easy to care for animals and my tanks are sparsely populated.

    As a caution about advice from an LSF, engage the people you are taking advice from in a casual discussion about longevity of animals they have kept. IME, very few have kept stable tanks long term (there are always exceptions and these are the people to seek out).
     

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