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Carbon Sponge Vs Carbon Pellets

Home Forums Fresh and Brackish Water Fishes Carbon Sponge Vs Carbon Pellets

This topic contains 14 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Eyrie 7 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #300947

    Daddyfish
    Participant

    Hi Guys,

    I’m guessing Carbon Filter Sponges do the same job as Carbon Pellets…correct?

    If so, which am I better off using? If there wasn’t a difference I’d go for the sponge as it’s easier to change, but I’d rather get the best results.

    Thanks in advance!

    #319716

    Bully
    Participant

    I don’t know the answer. I would expect pellets to have more surface area, by volume, than a sponge. Personally, I don’t use carbon in any of my tanks, and the only time I would use it, would be to remove medication. You need to be vigilant when using carbon as you cannot really put a time limit on when it should be changed. There’s no reliable way of determining when it has effectively stopped adsorbing, and if you leave it in a tank for too long it will soon go biological and each time you remove it, you would be removing a portion of your biological filtration – causing potential spikes until the remaining bacteria can repopulate.

    #319719

    Daddyfish
    Participant

    Ok Bully, thanks for the advice. So what is the combination you use? I currently have a nano cube for my Betta and that uses Cotton Wool Sponge > Course Sponge > Fine Sponge > Biopur (clay tubes). I’m setting up a new 60L tank that I’d like to get it right from the off.

    Cheers again!

    #319721

    Eyrie
    Participant

    My personal preference would be a normal filter sponge in the space intended for carbon. This will provide additional media for the bacteria to colonise and can be easily transferred to a small filter if you require a q-tank (eg for quarantining new additions).

    #319722

    Daddyfish
    Participant

    So if the sponge is growing good bacteria what happens when it’s replaced…does it course problems? Should you if this is the case use as little sponge as possible?

    #319723

    Bully
    Participant

    For me it depends on what filter you are going to use on the 60l, if it’s an internal filter you may only be limited to using a sponge and if that is the case then, as above, I would go with a standard sponge. If you are opting for an external filter, nearly always better in my opinion – space permitting – then I would use a ceramic type media. I use Eheim Substrat Pro in all my filters, there are other similar types of media available, I just happen to use the Eheim version. This media is all about biological filtration, and won’t provide the mechanical filtration that a sponge would.

    If you already have the carbon sponge, and want to save a couple of pounds, then you could just leave it in the filter and let it go biological anyway.

    I’m running 3 externals at the moment, and they have differing configurations/my-aquarium but, they follow the same format of coarse media first, through to the biological media which is topped by filter wool (pond floss and cut to size).

    #319724

    Bully
    Participant

    Looks like we cross posted

    #319737

    Bluedave
    Participant

    All good advice from Bully and Eyrie – nothing to add really other than to agree that carbon is not really needed unless removing meds or you have a specific heavy metal problem.

    I replaced mine with ceramic noodles – another sponge is an option as well.

    #319740

    Daddyfish
    Participant

    QUOTE (Bully @ Dec 8 2010, 07:40 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
    Looks like we cross posted /thumbs_up.gif” style=”vertical-align:middle” emoid=”:thumbsup:” border=”0″ alt=”thumbs_up.gif” />

    P.S. It’s an external filter system.

    #319741

    Plaamoo
    Participant

    “If you already have the carbon sponge, and want to save a couple of pounds, then you could just leave it in the filter and let it go biological anyway.”

    I’ve read, though i can’t remember where, that carbon can reach a point of saturation and start returning nasties to aquarium. Any opinions on this?

    #319749

    Eyrie
    Participant

    QUOTE (Daddyfish @ Dec 9 2010, 02:43 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
    That’s good advice about the frequency of changing sponges!


    It’s not so much about changing the sponge as simply giving it a quick rinse in old tank water to ensure that it doesn’t become blocked. In theory the filter floss should do all the mechanical filtration but I find if I leave my filters too long that crud can build up on the sponges as well. If the flow is impeded then the bacteria colonies become less efficient due to receiving less oxygen and ammonia/nitrIte, with the potential consequence that ammonia/nitrIte levels could rise.

    QUOTE (plaamoo @ Dec 9 2010, 04:40 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
    I’ve read, though i can’t remember where, that carbon can reach a point of saturation and start returning nasties to aquarium. Any opinions on this?


    I’ve heard that as well.

    I’d assume that the leakage could only take place after a water change when there will be a lower concentration of medicine etc in the water. So on that basis if carbon is used at the outset when there aren’t any issues it can safely be left to function as biological media. However if it’s been added for a specific purpose it should always be removed afterwards.

    #319751

    Bully
    Participant

    QUOTE (plaamoo @ Dec 9 2010, 04:40 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
    I’ve read, though i can’t remember where, that carbon can reach a point of saturation and start returning nasties to aquarium. Any opinions on this?

    The subject is highly debated but, I have yet to come across scientific evidence (that was not provided by a manufacturer) that proves that carbon leaches nasties back into the aquarium, especially freshwater.

    There appears to anecdotal evidence, and a report provided by Seachem, that demonstrates that Phosphate can leach from carbon back into the water column but, this appears to happen only in a marine environment. I once researched this heavily, quite some time ago admittedly, and drew the conclusion that carbon does not return any of the compounds that it has adsorbed back into the water once it has reached capacity – in a freshwater environment

    #319753

    MatsP
    Participant

    QUOTE (Bully @ Dec 9 2010, 09:09 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
    The subject is highly debated but, I have yet to come across scientific evidence (that was not provided by a manufacturer) that proves that carbon leaches nasties back into the aquarium, especially freshwater.

    There appears to anecdotal evidence, and a report provided by Seachem, that demonstrates that Phosphate can leach from carbon back into the water column but, this appears to happen only in a marine environment. I once researched this heavily, quite some time ago admittedly, and drew the conclusion that carbon does not return any of the compounds that it has adsorbed back into the water once it has reached capacity – in a freshwater environment

    #319754

    Plaamoo
    Participant

    Good info & opinions^, thanks. I also only use carbon in the rare occasion I have to medicate, But it’s good to know.

    #319767

    Eyrie
    Participant

    There’s always something new to learn on here – thanks guys

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