Activated Carbon in the filter

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Discuss all topics related to freshwater and planted tanks.

Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:43 am

Activated Carbon in the filter

by thisfish884485

Since I've been keeping fish i have used activated carbon on and off. It seems to have little effect except I have noticed slower plant growth since adding it recently . I have heard that it can remove trace elements and other nutrients my plants will need. I have also heard that it "polishes" the water removing any unwanted coloration. Has anyone else noticed this? Do you think its affecting my plant? What do you think about activated carbon?

Posts: 499
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:35 am

by Zambize4899

I always have it in my filter in an extra media bag. I do it to keep my water crystal clear, and my water is clearer than air. Also, when a fish dies I notice a fishy smell to my tank, and the carbon clears this up quickly.

I can't address any plant concerns.


Posts: 299
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:15 pm

by ChristinaBug2890

I can agree with the smell thing...after adding the activated carbon to my tank the smell changed...its much more pleasent now so its gotta be doing something good.

Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:43 am

by thisfish884485

i doubled the wattage of the lighting and have had no change.I need to test ferts i know nitrates are good 80ppm and i dose for trace and a little potash. Hmm its probably my fish maybe i better ditch the plants for more rocks save the lily.

Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:14 pm

by zambize

I decided to test whether or the activated carbon in my filter is helping and did notice a change in the clarity of the water. Without the carbon the water was slightly grayish. With it the water is crystal clear. The gray tinge to the water probably isn't anything someone would have noticed, but in contrast to the super clear water you can see the grayish color. I don't know if the clarity of the water is influenced by different municipality water supplies though. Our water sucks. It's very hard, off the charts, and it has a very high pH of 8.0-8.2. I'm keeping the charcoal.


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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 8:33 pm

by Tmercier834747

I don't have a problem keeping plants even at low wattages, and all my tanks' water is filtered through carbon.

I suppose if you were going to have a tank with no fish and just plants - bypassing carbon might be a great idea, as I think it really kind've defeats the purpose of the ferts I've been adding recently. As long as fish are invovled, though, I think it best to keep carbon around. The benefits with fish/plants probbly outweigh slow plant growth.

I'm sure with enough wattage, some occasional ferts, and even better -- Co2, the plants really won't care if the water that comes to them has gone through activated carbon.

Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:20 am

by ThisFish884484

Thanks, I have noticed more growth with the new lights and i still have the carbon in.I think the problem was old bulbs. I guess i just needed a reason to buy better Your definitely right about the Co2 but its so expensive and the DIY option seems like a potential disaster. I just might be worth it though .I will try something this weekend if I can refrain from fishing. Keep you posted. Thank god the fish are here!!!

Activated Carbon in the filter

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