Active carbon and charcoal

Tom Barr

Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
It doses the plants before it's removed, there's some debate whether it removes traces that much or how much. The main part is using it in the start up phase, not all the time. ADA does not add ferts for the first few weeks typically either.

I'll use carbon as well, namely for color removal and Zeolite for NH4 removal.
After a month or so after each is spent, then the materials become bio media and are just left there.

Tom Barr


Junior Poster
Apr 6, 2007
Nottingham England
Cheers guys, so from what i can tell active carbon is used just for the first few weeks it then becomes inactive and becomes a biological filter media.

I'm planning a 200l set up and will have relitivly low lighting 1-1.5wpg and will have mainly crypts and moss in with a few Echinodorus plants I'm planning on having ADA substrate with added Iron or multi bottom and would like to liquid dose K once a week with water changes. Does this sound ok? too much? too little?

Should i not dose any liquid ferts for the first few weeks if i use carbon?