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joneus

The Great Carbon Debate

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Yes. Charcoal Carbon WILL release toxins back into the water when it becomes saturated, but it can be "recharged" by baking it in the oven which burns off the toxins. This comes from my chemist, health scientist, industrial hygenist, public health microbiologist, and certified OSHA representative father-in-law (just to name a few accomplishments) whom I greatly admire.

I only posted this b/c I've seen several opinions on the nature of carbon and figured I'd ask an expert in the science/chemistry field and share his answer. I hope its not out of context... Thanks! :hi

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I dont think too many people are going to bake their old carbon.....every time i purchase a new filter i take the carbon pack it comes with and put it away for safe keeping for when i may really need it someday to remove medications.(hopefully never)

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Thanks that is great info to know! I've always wondered about that ;)

So baking gets rid of the toxins. That is neat. Not that I will be baking my carbon, but it is very interesting.

Jessica

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Can I ask you what temperature your chemist friend suggests too recharge the carbon? My guess is that it will be higher than any of us are capable of.

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LOL, well I think he probably just mentioned the baking because you can get rid of the toxins that way or whatever, I doubt he thought anyone would try it, I mean carbon is like a couple of bucks....

It is interesting though, I would be interested to know the temp as well.

Jessica

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I just reread my post and please don't think I posted that sarcastically joneus since I love posts like yours. It only helps all of us on our learning curves. Now if we only can learn when the carbon reaches that point that it becomes detrimental and needs too be replaced. Maybe ORP readings? I don't know but am trying too give my fish the best water conditions that is possible and maybe in 20 years I can give all of you that answer. Just remember that all of us keep our fish in UNNATURAL ENVIRONMENTS. Unless we have a spring fed or natural river feeding our tanks it is not natural.

I still would like too know what temp your FIL thinks that is acceptable too recharge carbon.

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Well, I'm positive 99% of Biologics are toasted by 230F and ammonia wouldn't hang around even that long. Nitrates/ites are a different issue all together... Hmm, can't really bake them off but I wonder if a clean water rinse is all they need. I'm getting follow up on this by tomorrow.

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what about ammonium chips? will they release ammonia back into the water once it becomes saturated

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Guest Sapphyra

Very interesting indeed. This isn't something I would necessarily do on a regular basis, but I have been caught a couple times with no carbon at all other than the 'ready to be thrown out' carbon. This could come in handy in a situation like that!

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Guest gldfshkpr

Excellent! Ah, yes... those scientific answers! Joneus, you and your father-in-law are to be commended. Well done.

:rockon

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Guest gldfshkpr

Jetman, I'm working on a theory for a completely 100% renewing aqua system to replace these old tanks. It involves hooking up the hose... seriously, I'm planning this. I want my tanks as natural as possible.

:iwill

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Hey keeper, please don't get me going on this one.

Here are some of my thoughts although they are only pipe dreams as of now. If you have incredible source water it can be done but every system would be different and definately custom.

I will use a 100 gallon tank as an example.

Let about 25-50 gallons of great source water trickle into the tank per day while there is a bottom drain installed too take care of all of the waste. You would not even need a filter but maybe some added oxygenation and that thing called water changes would be a thing of the past. Maybe I have been spending too much time researching pond systems but theoretically it can be done. Any thoughts?

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Guest gldfshkpr

ONe important element would be some sort of water actuated float. Wouldn't want to over flow into the room now. A simple gravity driven mech. It doesn't have to be complicated. IN fact, that's the beauty of it. I'd probably still have a filter. To get that much wast down the outlet... it would have to be a generous current. Any other thoughts?

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My understanding is that it's all theory, not fact. Meaning, there is a lot of evidence to back up the theory that carbon can release toxins back into the water if it becomes saturated. However, it can't be proven to happen.

There are people on the other side of the fence who say there's evidence to support that carbon does not release toxins back into the water.

I just avoid it entirely and use Purigen. It's pretty expensive but in my opinion worth it.

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Guest starsmom

OK, maybe I am missing the point here...but, once the carbon is saturated, does it make a difference if it is "releasing" toxins or if it is just no longer filtering them out? Or I guess what you are saying is that having carbon that is saturated is somehow worse than having no carbon at all? Sorry, I'm just not following this...too much for my brain...

Laura

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My understanding is that carbon adsorbs (not absorbs) meaning that it merely accumulates and holds onto the toxin molecules until it cant hold them anymore. Once it is holding as much as it can, the carbon begins letting the molecules go (I think its kinda like holding too many pebbles in your hand... if someone starts adding more, the pebbles overflow and fall out)... right back into the fish tank.

Hmm... I'll hafta ask him at dinner tomarrow... Merry Christmas everyone!

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