What's new

Carbon in filter causing HITH

Squidward

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
969
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
i have read discussions on other forums about charcoal in filters causing hith in cichlids.
Discus and Oscars were the two species specifically mentioned

Is there any scientific basis for this theory?
Is it based on some sort of scientific study?
 

StevenF

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2015
Messages
1,073
Reaction score
136
Location
US
I don't have cichlids or experience with hole in the head disease. However I don't believe there is any scientific basis for the this theory. Carbon is mainly used to remove organic materials from the water. It will also absorb some ammonia and nitrite. In many aquariums the levels of these materials is probably higher than what cichlids see in the wild. Furthermore it doesn't add anything to the water. So if it removes things that may be harmful and doesn't add anything that is harmful, how can it harm the fish?

Many African rift valley cichlids live in hard water with a specific list of minerals in it. Many aquarium may not have all of these minerals or may have too much or too little for good cichlid health. If you know which african lake your cichlids came from you could use Seachem Cichlid salt to more closely match your water to their natural environment. If you have had HITH you might want to try this product.
 

Jrw

New Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
19
Reaction score
2
I keep new world cichlids and I don't use carbon and I have never had a fish with HITH. I've always heard that it causes HITH if carbon is used constantly but it is ok to use carbon occasionally/when needed. Hopefully someone that knows will chime in because I would like to know also
 

atlas101

Member
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
It doesn't seem like there is much scientific evidence to support it at the moment, just a lot of anecdotal reports.
There seems to be two main theory's that have been put forward, firstly that small carbon particles are breaking off the filter material causing irritation to the fish leading to the disease, the second is that the activated carbon is causing some type of deficiancy in the water as it indiscriminately removes organic compounds, some of which may be beneficial to the fish, but there is no real solid evidence for either as far as I have read.
 
OP
S

Squidward

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
969
Reaction score
0
Location
UK
It doesn't seem like there is much scientific evidence to support it at the moment, just a lot of anecdotal reports.
There seems to be two main theory's that have been put forward, firstly that small carbon particles are breaking off the filter material causing irritation to the fish leading to the disease, the second is that the activated carbon is causing some type of deficiancy in the water as it indiscriminately removes organic compounds, some of which may be beneficial to the fish, but there is no real solid evidence for either as far as I have read.
Yup, I have read those anedotal reports too
Was wondering if there was some sort of science behind this though.
Something more than the "in my tank......."
 

Jrw

New Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
19
Reaction score
2
Since this question was asked I've spent some time researching it. Basically everything I read states that there is no scientifically proven link between carbon and HITH but there is a lot of evidence to suggest carbon does cause it. One article talked about a group of cichlids being in a tank with carbon and most developed HITH and then were moved to a tank without carbon and they healed up. Still no scientific proof
 

trending

Staff online

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Top