Carbon in reef

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AC Members
Apr 14, 1999
Alton, IL
I'm starting a 20 high gallon reef

I have a 55 watt compact flourescent daylight, and a 15 watt actinic

I currently have in the tank 10 lbs of fiji live, going to get some more tonight.

I have an aquaclear 500 and I'm buying a prizm skimmer before corals...

should I put carbon in the filter? Or just leave the bio block in there as the only filtration

oh yeah I also have a powerhead (hagen 204) but don't think I'll need it with softies and shrooms and that AC



No freelancing!
Aug 14, 2001
Real Name
You don't need to put carbon in your filter. As with FW systems, carbon should be used for specific purposes--ie, removing medications or tannins, rather than trying to keep it in there and active all the time. The sponge isn't even needed, if you have enough live rock and live sand, but it won't hurt anything. Just a pain to clean.

Ken b

AC Members
Mar 20, 1999
Wakefield, Ma.
O.G. is correct.

I use carbon, once a week for 24 hours, passively in my sump. If it used in line the bag or container that it is in will gather waste products like the foam block does.

If not serviced frequently the trapped material will start to break down and release nitrate and phosphate, which in turn will fuel algeal blooms.

Lets face it, the harder the filter is to service, the less likely it is to get serviced.:eek: Trapped material will breakdown faster with the water forced through it than if it is left in the tank for the detritivores to pick off the sand.