Using Carbon

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by gamma, Jun 4, 2004.

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  1. gamma

    gamma Spaghetti Worm

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    I don't use carbon at the moment and have read that some people do. Before trying it, I wanted to know everyone's opinions on its use.

    What are the benefits of using carbon?
    What are the cons of using carbon?
    What's the diff between high density and activated carbon?

    ;D
     
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  3. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    [quote author=GaMmA link=board=Water;num=1086388786;start=0#0 date=06/04/04 at 15:39:44]What are the benefits of using carbon?[/quote]

    -Water clarity. Takes the yellow out.

    -Reduces some pollutants ... Also said to reduce chemical warfare between corals.

    Probably some other good reasons I don't know.

    [quote author=GaMmA link=board=Water;num=1086388786;start=0#0 date=06/04/04 at 15:39:44]
    What are the cons of using carbon?[/quote]

    -Cheap stuff said to leech phosphates.

    -Have to replace it regularly.


    [quote author=GaMmA link=board=Water;num=1086388786;start=0#0 date=06/04/04 at 15:39:44]
    What's the diff between high density and activated carbon?
    [/quote]

    Don't remember! Anybody?
     
  4. Land_Fish

    Land_Fish Guest

    Randy Holmes farley---
    What is meant by "Activated Carbon"?

    It is a form of carbon with a very high surface area for absorbing organic molecules and catalyzing certain chemical reactions (like chlorine and chloramine breakdown).

    I don't think that any organics are released by activated carbon unless they are being replaced by other organics. So the idea that things will eventually be released is not something to worry about. However, just like a kitchen sponge, it will eventually be "full", or more correctly, fully covered with organics. At that point, it is essentially useless.

    So at some point, it needs to be replaced. How fast that is depends entirely on the flow over the carbon, and the level or organics in the water. I don't really have any opinion whether 5 days or 4 weeks is better. To some extent, I think it depends on how agressive you want to be in removing organics, and how much money you want to spend.

    FWIW, I don't think you can really overdo carbon, within reson.

    Carbon works because its surface is hydrophobic (like an oil). Organic molecules in the water that are wholly or partially hydrophobic will "want" to attach to this hydrophobic surface, and become stuck. Not all organics bind to carbon at all, but many will.


    __________________

    Q) you mentioned before that you might try some testing of carbon effects on pH. Just curious.

    OK, I finally remembered.

    A) I took some tank water at about ph 8.26 and dumped in a large amount of marineland carbon. The pH rose substantially, to pH 8.6. I used more than 10% of the water volume in carbon. I expect that at more normal usage rates, the pH effect is much smaller, but likely measurable for heavy use.
    [hr]
    Interesting article-
    http://www.resintech.com/pdfs/0501ph.pdf
    [hr]

    Actavated Carbon-
    http://www.activated-carbon.com/solrec2.html
    [hr]
    http://www.hallman.org/filter/gac.html

    http://web.archive.org/web/20010420...k.com/fish2/aqfm/1997/jul/product/default.asp

    http://web.archive.org/web/20001205...m/fish2/aqfm/1998/june/features/1/default.asp

    http://web.archive.org/web/20000918...om/fish2/aqfm/1998/may/features/1/default.asp
     
  5. gamma

    gamma Spaghetti Worm

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    Well, I have heard that it really "polishes" up the water making it very clear, that it helps in the chemical warfare between the different corals, it helps remove that smell in your water.

    I for one think my water looks great and doesn't have a bad smell. I'm not really sure if I'm have any chemical warfare in the tank (I only have 3 so far)

    Anyone here use carbon, and if so why did you start using it?
     
  6. Land_Fish

    Land_Fish Guest

    Charcoal absords things that are in the water but can only do so much. It is spent and needs to be removed in 1 weeks time or you can run into other issues.

    So if you use charcoal just remember to keep it fresh.
     
  7. Boomer

    Boomer Feather Duster

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    Dave

    Good post along but this is dangerous

    Charcoal

    Some have accelerates in them not good for any tank. There have been issues of some wanting to use charcoal as in BBQ. You should only use GAC. GAC also has many time the adsorption rate as charcoal, which it is almost useless. Some of the so-called charcoal, at the LFS, in not charcoal but Anthracite coal, also about usless.
     
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  9. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Thanks for the clarification Boomer.
     
  10. gamma

    gamma Spaghetti Worm

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    Thanks for your help guys. I'll do a little more research on those links. Boomer thanks for the clarification.
     
  11. hottielover14

    hottielover14 Torch Coral

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    I use a little carbon for water clarity and for coral toxin.
     
  12. Scoffer

    Scoffer Banned

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    What about those sheets of carbon fiber material? My LFS said is was good stuff, alot easier to use than the GAC, just slide a sheet in my Prefilter area. I need to see what kind of carbon it is I guess...


    Scoffer