Running Carbon

snake1

Premium Member
I was thinking of starting and I have an extra reactor,,,, I guess my question would be if my tank is doing great and the water is clear and the corals are all growing and doing fine what is the benefit of the Carbon? Added expense? I am using socks/ good skimmer/and change 10gallons of water a week..... Do I need the carbon? Or will I see a difference in the life of the tank that will change my mind
 

BobbyV

Established since 2008
Carbon removes unwanted chemicals, inorganic waste (makes the water smell better) and takes any coloring out if the water column.

Cheapest place to buy Carbon is BRS. I buy the 5 gallon bucket when in goes on sale for about $68 and it lasts me a long time!
 

Ted_C

Active member
I'm considering taking Carbon and GFO reactors off line on my system. I'm mostly down to a FOWLR though - as most of my corals are gone.

One thing about the ROX carbon to be careful of - if you have tangs - run your carbon output into a filter sock before the skimmer All the time (i.e. not just for the flush - but all the time). My tang developed HLLE every time I changed out the carbon until I started running the output in my skimmer well.
 

aguila88psi

Zoa Addict
The flow will slow down and may come to a complete stop when its time to change or just change every 4-6 weeks, it really depends on how much organics you have in your system.

I use carbon as well and change out every 2-3 weeks, currently use marineland black diamond but will be switching to TLF hydrocarbon when i run out of the marineland carbon.

I've heard of hlle issue with tangs and using carbon but I think its from malnutrition and not from using carbon
 

listen2bob

- David
In the past when I did run carbon without a sock most of my fish developed hlle, foxface, maroon clown, damsels and a neon dottyback. Certainly was not a nutrition issue.
 

BobbyV

Established since 2008
I here this many times that carbon causes HILE. I am curious to know why exactly? Do carbon fines create "irritants"? When it comes to splitting hairs, I hear that corals that feed on inorganics thrive best or better in no carbon tanks.

Such as a pure chalice tank. Thoughts?

If you stick with a strict 10% weekly water change regiment, I would think that all the salt trace elements and available inorganics would boost the growth of softy and LPS.

Hmmmmmm .. .. ..

The mineral mud guy has no carbon and no skimmer - there has to be something to good water changes and letting the corals "thrive" naturally.

I have seen some low budget Thailand systems have amazing corals due to know skimmer or carbon. (Including SPS systems.)

I am thinking of taking my carbon off line - what use is this hobby being fun if you dont play around with different theories. 10% weekly water changes does do a lot of good in my opinion. I pay so much for the fancy designer salt (RSCP) I should put it to work more.
 
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aguila88psi

Zoa Addict
I like the way you think BobbyV, I experiment all the time as well, I mainly use carbon to keep water clear so lighting has better penitration as I use t5's and LEDs and to help remove organics produced by vinigar dosing.

I believe the secret to success is finding a balance of inputs and outputs in your system.
 

snake1

Premium Member
I haven't run carbon yet but as for the theory of the water being to clean for zoas and palys I wonder? I have recently stripped my water of all no3 and phos and my zoas and palys and mushrooms are shriveled and look disturbed almost like they are dying or its the vertimids
 

Ted_C

Active member
That's the theory Bobby -that fines released from the ROX irritate the tangs. I've experimented with it as well. If I run the carbon reactor in my return well - even dumping the first gallon - the tang has hlle the next day. running it in the skimmer well - no problem.
 

sirrealism

New member
No carbon in any of my tanks. Also no GFO or any other additions. Just good salt RSCP and 10-15% water changes every week or more. I do have some nice SPS but all my tanks are mixed reefs. I also dont have to dose much because of my water changes. I am running BB in 2 tanks crushed coral in one and sand in another. I vacuum the sand and the crushed coral. The tank with the sand is the biggest prob tank I have. The sand is a n03 factory. stays at about 25. All other tanks stay 0s. I will be removing sand little at a time but this is my Nem tank and my carpet nem wants sand so I wont be able to remove it all.
 

MrHarvard

"ship it"
I run carbon every so often and never GFO. I only run carbon when my tank looks cloudy or I know someone is coming to look at it just to polish the water..lol. I quit running gfo on my last tank because it was having a reverse effect on my corals they started looking worse. I believe I was over stripping the water. Everyone does thing differently thats the beauty of this hobby. You have to figure out what works best for your own set up.
 
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