Carbon in a reef tank

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Hi all,

I recently purchased a canister filter to use as a make shift sump as I don’t have room for one at the minute. Tank is only 100l also. I intend to use the canister as purely mechanical and chemical filtration. I currently have 3 baskets and all I’m running is large foam in the bottom tray and a fine floss in the top tray.

I intended to put a bag of activated carbon in the second tray.

Not going to use bio balls or ceramic tubes as the live rock and sand is doing a fine job of keeping the ammonia and nitrites at 0.

My question is, what are people’s thoughts regarding the use of carbon in a reef tank as a lot of information on the web says it’s not a great idea!

Gav

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Reply #1

There's a lot of different views on activated carbon use , in some it has been a possibile cause of lateral line erosion on tangs and removing trace minerals etc , on the other it helps remove toxins from the water produced by corals etc . and also improves water clarity .
I use activated carbon but not constantly , run it for a week or two then remove for a month , before restarting with fresh carbon and repeating .

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Gofro

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Reply #2

Thanks for the reply.

It’s a new tank, only 3 months cycled and I have 2 clowns, 3 green chromis, a goby, a few snails and crabs and a dancing shrimp.

My concern was with the removal of trace elements as I have a small Zoanthid frag and a duncan’s Coral. I plan to add more corals to make it a predominately coral tank.

Would running carbon effect the trace elements that the coral need??

Gav

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Reply #3

Not that I've noticed , if your are doing regular water changes anything lost will be topped up again IF they have been removed . If your planning a mixed reef carbon use will probably be required in the long run , at which IMO an established mixed reef will require a lot more nutrients than the carbon could ever remove . Which would needed to be added out with water changes either way to keep up with demand .

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Gofro

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Reply #4

Ok, cheers for that. I knew I’d need to start supplementing and dosing the essentials for the coral growth, especially the LPS ones I have.

How much carbon should I use? I bought a pot of Fluval carbon which comes with a bag but doesn’t say how much to use. I have a small canister filter with only a 1000lph flow rate and a 100l tank.

Gav

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Reply #5

I use seachem matrix Where the dose is 500ml to 800 ltr , which would work out a little over 60ml to 100ltr , I'm not sure how comparable the doses are between carbons .

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Gofro

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Reply #6

I’ll see if there is any info online about the amount required! Thanks for all the help though it’s greatly appreciated.

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rusty_uk

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Reply #7

Im With @Gav on this one.  Use matrix too and i dose 70ml once a month or so in my 100ltr.

Never seen any issues with it.

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ajm83

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Reply #8

If you use carbon, always use a good one like Rox or Fluval, and rinse it prior to putting it in the tank.

As for amount,  I use 2-3 TBSP in my 100L system normally,  if for any reason the water is looking cloudy or I see any problems I'll chuck in an extra 1-2 TBSP.  I change it fortnightly. 

The amount above is based on the recommendation which came with Rowa's carbon not fluval (who helpfully don't specify the amount), but i think it's close enough for mostly any quality carbon.  Rowa say 500ml/1000L which is equivalent to 3 TBSP/100L.
Last Edit: Apr 12, 2018 9:36:01 am by ajm83

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Gofro

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Reply #9

Cheers for the advice. I couldn’t find any info on the fluval site so went with what I could see suggested on other forums which was much like you have suggested. Went for 4 TBS so I’ll see how that goes.

Can anyone suggest the best brand/stores to get 2 part dosing supplies from?

Many thanks

ajm83

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Reply #10

Cheers for the advice. I couldn’t find any info on the fluval site so went with what I could see suggested on other forums which was much like you have suggested. Went for 4 TBS so I’ll see how that goes.

Can anyone suggest the best brand/stores to get 2 part dosing supplies from?

Many thanks
Personally I'd start with red sea foundation a b and c as the instructions are good and you can get them anywhere, but really any will work fine.

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Last Edit: Apr 12, 2018 12:16:37 pm by ajm83

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