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Carbon filtration
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Moment
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Joined: 06 Mar 2007

PostPosted: 2008.04.09(Wed)7:59    Post subject: Carbon filtration Reply with quote

I was wondering if anyone had any experience or information on running a carbon filter on a nano reef with mushroom corals growing in it. Also housed in this tank are anemones. Would this leach trace elements from the water that these animals need? Also if that's the case, would supplementing be enough or would it all get taken by the carbon? So basically will there be more positive or negative effects attained by using a carbon filter.
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2008.04.09(Wed)10:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have read your post a couple times and I don't understand your question. Please re-phrase.
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Michael L.
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Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Location: Nanaimo, B.C, Canada

PostPosted: 2008.04.09(Wed)18:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Moment is asking whether using activated carbon in his/her filter would be beneficial or not.

Is there any specific reason why you want to run carbon in your tank, Moment?
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Moment
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Joined: 06 Mar 2007

PostPosted: 2008.04.10(Thu)15:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I basically want to give every advantage to tank inhabitants as possible. I recently upgraded from a 5g nano set up to a 15 gallons set up. So with 15 pounds of live rock doing all the biological filtration I wondered about the additional benefits of chemical filtration since tank is triple the size and now has 92 watts of PC lighting. I know what effect carbon will have but I wonder if it will rob nutrients from mushroom coral.
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art_of_war
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Joined: 17 Nov 2006

PostPosted: 2008.06.26(Thu)11:11    Post subject: Re: Carbon filtration Reply with quote

Moment wrote:
I was wondering if anyone had any experience or information on running a carbon filter on a nano reef with mushroom corals growing in it. Also housed in this tank are anemones. Would this leach trace elements from the water that these animals need? Also if that's the case, would supplementing be enough or would it all get taken by the carbon? So basically will there be more positive or negative effects attained by using a carbon filter.


moment,

I think I have an idea as to what you're wondering about. The question is: Does carbon filter out all the beneficial nutrients needed in a saltwater nano tank? The answer is...yes and no.

Yes, in the fact that there were some trace elements that some corals need in order to thrive. No in the fact that there isn't 100% proof that all these trace elements are required. I look at the use of carbon in two ways. The first is what does carbon do? It adsorbs (not absorbs) into the water which is a good thing. Is carbon bad? NO. It's not. It does filter out some trace elements but nothing significant. As a matter of fact, if you keep a great deal of soft corals together such as sarcos (leathers), xenia, palys, even some LPS then you've got chemical warfare in your tank. What's the best way to remove them? Carbon filtration.

I hope this helps.
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2008.06.29(Sun)17:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moment wrote:
Well I basically want to give every advantage to tank inhabitants as possible. I recently upgraded from a 5g nano set up to a 15 gallons set up. So with 15 pounds of live rock doing all the biological filtration I wondered about the additional benefits of chemical filtration since tank is triple the size and now has 92 watts of PC lighting. I know what effect carbon will have but I wonder if it will rob nutrients from mushroom coral.
Thanks for clarifying... your original question about "leaching" was a little confusing, it should be noted that carbon can leach phosphates into your water, although not usually a big problem.

As for "robbing nutrients,"---keep in mind, mushroom corals receive a lot of their nutrition from your lighting via photosynthetic ability, and they have been maintained for months without any additional foods. If you are providing "targeted" supplemental feedings from time to time, then this food is going to be in the system for a very limited time, and so the carbon will not have time to remove those nutrients. Iodine however is required for some species of mushrooms, and yes---that is removed by the carbon, which is possibly why some authors suggest using carbon sparingly as opposed to constantly in reef systems. Please read the linked article from Albert Thiel on carbon, and for an interesting comparison, also take a look at the article regarding protein skimming from Holmes-Farley...
http://www.netpets.org/fish/reference/freshref/carbmeth.html
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-08/rhf/index.php
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm
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Moment
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PostPosted: 2008.06.30(Mon)8:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I have since decided against regular use of carbon. In addiction to mushrooms, and hairy mushrooms, I now also keep zoas, and one frag I got even had a little Favite on it. All do very well after many months in tank. I now use Kent Marine supplements to provide extra nutrition. All are well. Regime obviously to their liking.
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art_of_war
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Joined: 17 Nov 2006

PostPosted: 2008.07.01(Tue)8:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moment wrote:
Thanks, I have since decided against regular use of carbon. In addiction to mushrooms, and hairy mushrooms, I now also keep zoas, and one frag I got even had a little Favite on it. All do very well after many months in tank. I now use Kent Marine supplements to provide extra nutrition. All are well. Regime obviously to their liking.


moment,

It's not bad to use carbon. Believe it or not, carbon use is actually good. Right now, you have prodominately mushrooms and zoas. Favites are nice too but eventually, you'll desire at some of the nicer more delicate corals like your more colourful favias (LPS), acans, micromussas, bubbles and even duncans and you'll soon find that carbon may even be a necessity. And, I haven't even gotten to acropora or montipora (SPS).
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MarkLehr
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Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Location: Louisville, KY

PostPosted: 2008.07.12(Sat)19:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll throw my 2 cents in. I would absolutely use carbon in this system.

Both protein skimmers and activated carbon remove organics from the water, with protein skimmer removing polar charged molecules and carbon removing mostly non-polar charged molecules. The two are remarkably similar in benefits and compliment each other well. On small systems without skimming, carbon becomes even more useful.

Additionally, the use of carbon keeps the water more clear and allows for better light penetration. Oddly enough, this is one of the reasons many hobbyists say carbon is a bad. Having never used carbon they decided to try it. The water clears, light penetrates further, and corals burn. They then blame a nutrient deficiency! I blame the internet for the circulation of readily available incorrect information related to carbon usage.

Another problem occurs with improper care. If the carbon bag is allowed to become coated with slime and begins to incur detritus buildup, it will become biologically active. At this point phosphate is introduced into the system as a byproduct of water flowing across the detritus. Again, this has caused bad information to circulate correlating carbon to phosphates. It is not the carbon in most cases causing a phosphate increase. The carbon bag just needs to be rinsed frequently, just like a mechanical filter pad.

Like everything else, be sure to utilize carbon correctly. Keep it changed at proper intervals and clean the bag frequently to reduce detritus buildup, preferably with your daily cleaning of the mechanical filter pad.
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