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Old 02/26/2021, 03:16 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 11
The chemistry of activated carbon

If you were to add AC to aquarium water, the carbon would react instantly and form bonds.

Surely it would be exhausted instantly. I would have thought submerging it for 10 minutes would be overkill, yet people leave it in their aquariums for a month before changing it.

What are your thoughts?

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Old 02/26/2021, 07:41 AM   #2
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Location: NW Indiana Valparaiso
Posts: 490
A month huh? Hmmmmmmmm.
That would be one nasty carbon filter in a month, a real nitrate mess.
I have seen crazy instructions leading to timelines like that on products but honestly its a on basis need far as cleaning & replacing goes & ea sys is vastly different.
I don't run carbon usually just no need in a mature tank with few nasty toxin producing softies except maybe my Ricordea shrooms but i have some ready for use if i was in need due to some emergency that might arise.
And when i was using it in the early days id inspect it every couple days & wash the filter pac and the carbon in old tank water to clean off gunk then re-use the carbon again for a max of 2 weeks, seemed to polish the water nicely but again yea even the carbon gets muck buildup on it if just left as a long term bio filter and needs to be cleaned periodicly if its to keep being used as expected with results, otherwise just rinse the dust from new carbon & replace if easier & not an expense or on hand issue.
Anyway, this is what worked for me when i had a lot of softies before i went to hard coral and i never had Zoos or Palys due to toxins but carbon would be a good 24/7 on a DT over flowing with that type of stock.

Montipora Digitas, Cyphastrea, Blastos, different Leptoseris, Green Stylo, GSP, gorgonions, Ricordea mushrooms, psammocoras, Birdsnest coral, Clownfish, Watchman goby, Royal gamma, cardinalfish.

Current Tank Info: Nano Reef tank
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Old 02/28/2021, 05:17 PM   #3
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I run carbon. Change it out every 3-4 weeks. No issues but crystal clear water.

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Old 03/01/2021, 05:25 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Spokane WA
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Blog Entries: 55
The standard wisdom is---leave it in the water flow too long, it starts to break down, being basically burnt wood, an organic material that can and will decay. At that point whatever it absorbed goes back into the water stream.


Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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