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[APD] Activated Carbon and the Dangers of email

I believe Dan Barrett wrote this email section below:
> My buddy decided to use carbon after having the tank established a year, &
> it was running perfectly!,
> He never had a problem with green water before.
> Why he decided to use carbon all of a sudden? a newbie to aquaculture I
> guess!
> I warned him not to, he did, got greenwater. he removed it, did water
> changes, reduced lightening, it was gone!
> Case closed.


How can someone change 3 parameters and then claim then it was parameter #1
that caused it in the first place? This seems bizarre to me. :-)

> I have read in scientific books that phophorous does leach out of carbon
> into the water colum.

True it does.
But we don't keep AC (Activated Carbon) in planted tanks for more than a few
days do we?  You'd add more phosphorous with your fish food surely?

> And from what I've seen commonly happen, I'm even more convinced each time
> green water appears, and carbon is in the equation that it's carbon in the
> filter that's the culprit! Remove the carbon, back off on the light
> duration, do water changes, and the problem will disappear.

Again with the 3 parameters? :-))

You seem, to me to be biased against AC and perhaps you are basing your
answer on the end result rather than any science based reasoning?

This is a bad habit as history seems to say we're all very prone to doing
this. However it can and has lead us down paths which may be a complete
waste of time.

For example, it wasn't so long ago we thought that we became ill because of
imbalances in the 4 humours (you know - earth, fire, water and air). Why did
they think this? Because of the evidence of their own eyes and lack of being
able to gather real information. Plus the fact that most people take on the
trust of information from people they assume know better.

In the aquarium hobby the exact same thing is going on. We're not experts
and scientists haven't done any real testing of issues that affect the
average aquarium owner. So we're left on a limb trying to figure out how
something happened.

We can't afford the time or resources to get things scientifically tested
when something goes wrong with out tanks. The test kits we have available
are either too expensive or just not available. So we make judgement calls
based on our own personal experience and what other people tell us.
This is OK, as long as we ensure we or our sources mention this little fact
when they state our opinion. But far too often it isn't and that is where
the trouble starts... :-)

> Or you can do nothing, and the tank will cycle out in a couple months, and
> will usually cure it's self .

Why not try the same but keeping the AC to prove it was the AC and then only
replacing the AC after week if the tank doesn't improve.

You did tell him to do a water change and that will reduce the plant
nutrients that algae feed off. You said reduce the lighting and once more
you give the algae less ability to process the nutrients.
So why couldn't it be these 2 things which did the job?

> To the person who made the comment about being slammed for sharing!?! I see
> exactly what you mean!
> It's little wonder anyone speaks in here! If you share any wisdom,
> (wisdom = knowledge + experience), someone has to shoot it down!

Can't say I noticed any 'shooting'.

> I have 37 years of aquarium experience both in fresh, and saltwater tanks.
> I'm not a newbie, nor am I an idiot! I know exactly what I'm talking about
> before I share....

Well perhaps you're not explaining yourself better then?
Like I stated earlier in this email, how can you say it was the AC fault
when your friend seriously diluted the algae food source?

Tom Barr (and others no doubt) have done a few tests and published them
which seem to show that phosphorous really isn't that a big deal.

One last thing I'd like to point out. Email is a funny medium, I've been
using it since the early 1980s and I know its dangers being in the IT trade.
Since email gives off no emotional content, people take what emotional
content they can from it based on their own personal experience.

Which is why the smilies was invented. :-))

I'm from Scotland UK, you may be from a very different culture and country
so your interpretation on reading this _will_ be different from someone
elses. What I'm trying to say is : try to see the other persons point of view?

I bare you no malice or ill Will. This is all my personal POV - Honest! :-)

> This will be my last comment in this forum!

Fair enough. Your choice. :-)
What more can we say?

Stuart Halliday

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