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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have another one I would like to discuss and thats AC. I would like to here opinions on the usefullness and how long it lasts.
 

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I don't use it unless I have to remove meds (which has only been once in my days {knocks on simulated wood}). That's about all it's good for.

It is used as a polisher. For some reason *#3 people also use it to remove tannins from the water. Not sure why.

Can also help if you have the "earthy" odor from the tank.

As for longevity....couple of weeks.
 

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Queen Platy
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I used it for quite a while because I believed its what makes my tank crystal clear. I now dont use it at all and my tank is still crystal clear.

But since its good at removing meds, odor and color. I use it for those reasons but I have never had the reason to yet.. so it still sits in my cupboard just in case it is needed. :)

I think it last a couple weeks before it starts releasing contaminates back in the tank.
 

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I used it untill the boilogical filter is completly cycled than i take it out. If your filter pads come with it built in just slice open the bottom and pour it into the garbage.
 

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Livebearer Specialist
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well if you dont use AC then what do you guys use a chemical filtration method?????
becuse Im using AC and after two months I have to buy new AC so what do you guys use ????????????
 

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Queen Platy
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Polyester Fiber. In Walmarts Craft section. You can buy the same at the local fish store but it is more expensive.
 

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Livebearer Specialist
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Hang-on, but how dose the poly-fil provide chemical filtration ?????? I understand that it will do the mechanical pat of the filter but not the chemical filtration. Please exaplain to me how dose you filter work.
 

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Queen Platy
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Chemical filtration is to filter out chemicals like medications, odor (stinky smell), color (yellow brown water) and etc. If you are not medicating your tank or trying to remove odor or color then you dont need Chemical filtration. I only use Mechanical and Biological filtration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK back to the question. What does everybody think about AC needed, not needed or OK to use, also do you buy high quality AC?
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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In 30 years of fishkeeping I have used AC only when I need to remove chemicals and that isn't very often. If I do buy it, I usually just buy the cheapest because basically its all the same just brand names to increase the price.

Not using Ac doesn't cause my tank to have that bog smell. It just smells like fresh clean water because I change enough water weekly to do that. :) If I need something to make my tank crystal clear I would use purigen as its reusable. But I like tannin stained water and most of my fish do to.
 

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But dose that mean you guys only use biological filtration and mechanical???????????? If so then do your tanks have that Bog Smell ??????????????
No chemical filtration needed. However, if you feel more comfortable using it, then by all means do so. It's all about comfort level. Bio and Mechanical is all you really need unless meds are involved. My tanks smell like regular fish tanks to me.

Back on task...if I do use AC...just the regular old stuff will do. Again, I'm only removing any meds that I would have to use. I have only used it once.

I also dose dry ferts. While there is another debate whether or not AC removes these elements, this is another reason not to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I am just copying this from another site where I asked the same question.

Here's a pretty basic explanation about why carbon doesn't keep working forever (taken from about.com). And I believe better quality carbon has a better adsorption capacity.

Question: What Is Activated Charcoal and How Does it Work?
Answer: Activated charcoal is used in water filters, medicines that selectively remove toxins, and chemical purification processes. Activated charcoal is carbon that has been treated with oxygen. The treatment results in a highly porous charcoal. These tiny holes give the charcoal a surface area of 300-2,000 m2/g, allowing liquids or gases to pass through the charcoal and interact with the exposed carbon. The carbon adsorbs a wide range of impurities and contaminants, including chlorine, odors, and pigments. Other substances, like sodium, fluoride, and nitrates, are not as attracted to the carbon and are not filtered out. Because adsorption works by chemically binding the impurities to the carbon, the active sites in the charcoal eventually become filled. Activated charcoal filters become less effective with use and have to be recharged or replaced. Several factors influence the effectiveness of activated charcoal. The pore size and distribution varies depending on the source of the carbon and the manufacturing process. Large organic molecules are absorbed better than smaller ones. Adsorption tends to increase as pH and temperature decrease. Contaminants are also removed more effectively if they are in contact with the activated charcoal for a longer time, so flow rate through the charcoal affects filtration.

And a similar answer from howstuffworks.com:

*Charcoal is carbon. Activated charcoal is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms. According to Encylopedia Britannica:
The use of special manufacturing techniques results in highly porous charcoals that have surface areas of 300-2,000 square metres per gram. These so-called active, or activated, charcoals are widely used to adsorb odorous or coloured substances from gases or liquids. *

*The word adsorb is important here. When a material adsorbs something, it attaches to it by chemical attraction. The huge surface area of activated charcoal gives it countless bonding sites. When certain chemicals pass next to the carbon surface, they attach to the surface and are trapped.
Activated charcoal is good at trapping other carbon-based impurities ("organic" chemicals), as well as things like chlorine. Many other chemicals are not attracted to carbon at all -- sodium, nitrates, etc. -- so they pass right through. This means that an activated charcoal filter will remove certain impurities while ignoring others. It also means that, once all of the bonding sites are filled, an activated charcoal filter stops working. At that point you must replace the filter.


Also note, because adsorption happens via chemical bonding, activated carbon does not leach impurities back into the water.

Revisiting Activated Carbon

Using Carbon in a Freshwater Aquarium - Rate My Fish Tank

I guess I just wanted to here different opinions so that maybe some of the new people can see a few different opinions in one thread.

Thank You
 

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I have limited experience only about 8 years but if your tanks isnt planted i think AC is a good choice, if it is planted AC isnt really all that necessary unless you overstock.
 
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