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Author Topic: Filters and carbon..  (Read 889 times)
laurencasualty
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Filters and carbon..
« on: November 13, 2011, 08:36:27 PM »

so i've heard a lot here about how carbon pads are basically a waste as they do nothing and can harbor bad bacteria (am i right?). anywhoooo, i was just looking and noticed that the cartridges for my filter (aqueon) come with carbon in them, so it's not like i can just remove the carbon pad and keep the regular filter; it's all in one. that said, what do i do?? can i just get different brand filter cartridges and hope they fit in my filter? or do i actually need a new filter, which i really hope i don't....  Angry
i wish i knew more about fish when i bought all this stuff lol. but since what's done is done, i thank all of you on this forumm soooo much for all your help!! <3
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Nossie
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 02:32:37 PM »

What kind of filter is it?
Usually it's a good idea to keep the carbon pads in for the first two weeks of running the filter in case there are any chemicals inside it after setting it up (That you missed while rinsing).
After that, most filters will simply allow you to replace the carbon media if you want, especially external filters Smiley My Eheim is like a giant bucket (it also came with carbon pads) so I'm just sort of mixing and matching there. I haven't changed the pads in it yet, but I intend to use some cheaper DIY media since it's insanely expensive to buy the exclusive materials from shops.

Can you post pictures of the filter and the cartridges mentioned? Smiley
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Dragonii
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2011, 06:16:54 PM »

This why i don't like those filters that use pre made cartridges.
Using carbon will not hurt. In small amounts like that it doesn't last very long as far as being effective.
If you are asking what I think you are asking, you want to know if it's ok to rinse the filters off and reuse them. The answer is yes. The carbon will not continue to be effective as a chemical filtration, but it won't hurt anything. The only bacteria that will grow in it is the same bacteria that grows in the gravel, bio media etc. That bacteria will however die when you clean the pads if you are using tap water. If you really want to get rid of the carbon just make a small cut in the filter on the edge and remove it.
Next time you buy a hang on power filter, get an Aquaclear. They are more versitle and do a better job.
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Nossie
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 01:53:21 AM »

Carbon may leak some of the chemicals it absorbed if it's left in the tank for too long (In some cases 3 weeks is too long), which could be harmful in the long run.
But the main point is that you shouldn't waste your money on buying those expensive carbon pads! Large water changes will be much more useful to your goldies, and if you could fit some more bio filter media into the filter instead of the carbon pads it would be dandy Grin
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laurencasualty
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 12:59:27 PM »

That's what im saying; I didn't buy a carbon pad, the carbon is part of the filter media itself. So that's why im wondering if I need to buy different filters that dont contain carbon.
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Skwishee
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 02:58:48 PM »

You could possibly make your own media for the filter. Dragonii has some great ideas on that kind of thing, like these scrubber sponges, maybe he could advise you with something suitable for your filter type that you could do easily and cheaply yourself?
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Nossie
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2011, 04:09:19 PM »

Of course you didn't buy any carbon pads yet Tongue
But like I already tried to explain (and ask) I'd like to know exactly what kind of filter it is that you have so that I could - possibly - give you some suggestions on what to replace the carbon with.
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laurencasualty
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2011, 06:55:11 PM »

Lol I said in my original post its an aqueon, quietflow 10 to be exact. Will post pics too gimme a sec
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 07:51:11 PM by laurencasualty » Logged
Dragonii
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2011, 10:21:33 PM »

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Carbon may leak some of the chemicals it absorbed if it's left in the tank for too long (In some cases 3 weeks is too long), which could be harmful in the long run.
But the main point is that you shouldn't waste your money on buying those expensive carbon pads! Large water changes will be much more useful to your goldies, and if you could fit some more bio filter media into the filter instead of the carbon pads it would be dandy Grin


Actually Nossie, carbon leaking chemicals back into the water is a very common misconception. It would take extreme conditions, which would kill your fish well beforehand for it to do that. Once carbon has been exhausted it will simply become part of the bio filtration.

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laurencasualty
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2011, 12:00:55 AM »

so, about my filter cartridges then.. lol (: it's high time i change the cartridge according to the box, so should i just go ahead and put in one of the new filters from the pack i bought that are specifically for this filter or return them and go for some other brand (if cartridges from another brand will fit properly)?

also, dragonii, where is this thead about making your own filters; i could look into that, sounds cool!
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fantailer
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2011, 04:49:20 AM »

I have that in 50 gallons.
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Nossie
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2011, 09:05:38 AM »

Just because it says on the package doesn't mean you have to change the filter cartridge, they usually overdo that just to earn money. You'll notice when it gets soggy and will need to be changed.

Dragonii: That's at least what it says in all the books I have, but they could be a little bit old and need an update Wink Thanks for clearing it up though Smiley
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laurencasualty
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2011, 12:24:17 PM »

Lol are you sure I'll notice cuz I have no idea how to tell soggy from normal
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Dragonii
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2011, 02:34:11 PM »

lol, yeah, a lot of books on aquariums are old. A lot of them are written by people that have heard the same things for so many years that they also believe it. So much in the hobby has been told over and over to the point that it becomes believed to be true.
Just like "Fish only grow to the size of their tank"...

laurencasualty, just pull the cartridges out and hit them with some medium pressure water, garden hose or kitchen sink... just something strong enough to wash out most of the debris without tearing the white poly layer apart. Then stick it back in. When they get to the point that they look old, extremely dirty or falling apart... replace them.


DO NOT wash the blue plastic pieces in tap water. Those are designed to be bio media.

Clean them when the water starts to flow around the filter pads instead of through them or if they begin to look too dirty (usually brown).

That filter is not the best design to begin with. The bio media doesn't have enough surface area. There isn't much that you can do about modding the design either. If it isn't too late to return the filter I would take it back.
Get an Aquaclear. They provide the most bio surface area out of the available hang on power filters.
[image]


That large sponge provides your mechanical filtration and a lot of bio filtration. Then you also have the bio media in the bag on top. Carbon for them comes in small sealed bags and if you choose not to use the carbon you can double up the sponge or bio bag for additional bacterial growth.
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laurencasualty
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2011, 12:16:25 AM »

That sounds/looks awesome but I wonder how much moneyyy Tongue
I doubt I can return the filter but I might be able to return the replacement cartridges. Do you think the poor design is why my tank is cycling so slowly >_<
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Nossie
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2011, 07:56:14 AM »

The design of the filter doesn't change the pace your tank is cycling at. That's pretty individual and if you're not adding beneficial bacteria while cycling it, it'll be slower.
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laurencasualty
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2011, 10:28:02 AM »

Bah! I am  Smiley darn tank. Lol. How often can I add the bacteria? I have been doing weekly but I was wondering if I can do more often..
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Skwishee
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2011, 11:23:49 AM »

I'd say stick with the dosage instructions Smiley

What are your parameters at the moment? Also what kind of fish are you thinking of getting?
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scrivens345
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2011, 05:06:04 AM »

I like spray filters .....big sponge inside lasts for years
[image]
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Nossie
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2011, 05:33:15 AM »

I think I have that exact same filter, scrivens Cheesy Came along with a 70 liter I got from a friend Cheesy (Not currently in use)

But when it comes to goldfish, nothing beats an external filter Smiley
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laurencasualty
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2011, 08:11:59 PM »

here's my filter now, it's been in since october 7th. rinse? change? it looks rather gross to me; is that mold at the top?  Lips sealed
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Nossie
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2011, 06:06:15 AM »

Looks completely normal to me, but if that's a part of the carbon pad, it's time to remove that if it's been in for that long.
There's obviously no sludge collecting in it since there are no fish in the tank so the beneficial bacteria don't have anything to work with for the time being. If you think it's gross, I don't see why you wouldn't clean it in a bucket of tank water Tongue
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saldiscus
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2011, 09:10:36 PM »

carbon make your alkali of pond higher, it can make stability of acidity a pond  Smiley
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walk23
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2011, 11:49:01 AM »

Fluval C series allows more flexibility and has added wet dry capability. The ability to use or not use carbon or whatever media of your choice using filter bags. Versatility and in the long run cheaper to operate.
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Nossie
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Re: Filters and carbon..
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2011, 06:33:16 AM »

Absolutely! I agree with walk23, getting those "special" filter pads for your filters is always far more expensive than just finding some suitable filter media for yourself! You can even make your own filter bags pretty easily too Smiley
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