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Filter media question


scotty81
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My 160L tank has a built in top filter, it is divided into 4 sections, with Bio balls in the first, Filter pad and activated carbon in the next, filter wool and activated carbon in the 3rd and Bio rings in the fourth. My question is, do I need the activated carbon??? If not what should I put in the these sections instead??

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What type of fish are you looking to keep??

Will the tank be planted(real plants)?

The tank has been running for bout 5 months, it has cichlids in it and isn't planted. The replacement activated carbon is really hard to come by where I am, so thats why I was wondering if there's alternative

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No, activated carbon is not needed, and I do not run it on any of my tanks. It can does help keep your water clear and some specialised types of carbon can absorb ammonia but this process is achieved efficiently enough if you utilise the space the carbon takes up with other filter medias.

If it is a top filter in one of the all in one tanks I would run it this order/way; (NOTE: you do not need to use replacement medias. As long as it fits in the filter it will work just as well)

- Course sponge, bioballs, noodles or matrix or coral rubble (Any form of biological filtration will suffice, fine sponge.

If you run the filter this way it will work much more effectively. The course sponge will filter out the larger solid debris picked up by the filter, hence preventing the biological filtration media being covered with waste which would decrease the available surface area available for bacterial growth.

The bioballs and then the other compartment with biological media will work as your biological filtration, supporting majority of the filters biological population and converting ammonia -> nitrite -> nitrate.

Finally the fine filter wool will act as a polisher, filtering out all those small particles that have slipped through all the other stages of the filtration process making your water very clear.

Obviously this process would need to be done carefully as you do not want to disrupt the bacterial colonies to much or you will have an ammonia spike in the aquarium.

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No, activated carbon is not needed, and I do not run it on any of my tanks. It can does help keep your water clear and some specialised types of carbon can absorb ammonia but this process is achieved efficiently enough if you utilise the space the carbon takes up with other filter medias.

If it is a top filter in one of the all in one tanks I would run it this order/way; (NOTE: you do not need to use replacement medias. As long as it fits in the filter it will work just as well)

- Course sponge, bioballs, noodles or matrix or coral rubble (Any form of biological filtration will suffice, fine sponge.

If you run the filter this way it will work much more effectively. The course sponge will filter out the larger solid debris picked up by the filter, hence preventing the biological filtration media being covered with waste which would decrease the available surface area available for bacterial growth.

The bioballs and then the other compartment with biological media will work as your biological filtration, supporting majority of the filters biological population and converting ammonia -> nitrite -> nitrate.

Finally the fine filter wool will act as a polisher, filtering out all those small particles that have slipped through all the other stages of the filtration process making your water very clear.

Obviously this process would need to be done carefully as you do not want to disrupt the bacterial colonies to much or you will have an ammonia spike in the aquarium.

So should I let the new fine cloth etc float in the tank for a day befor I put it in the filter, or just put it in??? THe filter has a course cloth bioballs and noodles so all i'd be doing is shifting them around and removing the carbon and putting in the fine wool

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  • 4 weeks later...

So should I let the new fine cloth etc float in the tank for a day befor I put it in the filter, or just put it in??? THe filter has a course cloth bioballs and noodles so all i'd be doing is shifting them around and removing the carbon and putting in the fine wool

Just put straight into filter, no need to float in tank plus it will get a lot more water contact this way

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