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Active Carbon?


Migaloo

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My 66gal has a built in filter in the hood. The filter consists of a spray bar and 3 long trays, each layered with the white woolly stuff (is that called floss?), black sponge, cartages containing carbon pieces and ceramic noodles on the bottom.

I was hoping someone could enlighten me about the pupose of carbon and what does the term 'active carbon' mean?

I also have read somewhere on here that carbon is unnecessary to keep in your tank and its only pupose is to remove meds from the tank?

I have always had the carbon in my tank because the tank came with it so I always just thought it had to be there. I have even replaced it a few times. So, why would the tank come with carbon already there? My little QT tank also has a similar filter which came with carbon too.

(side note: I currently dont have any carbon in my tank as Im in the middle of a prazi treatment)

Anyway... as you can tell, Im quite confused about the whole carbon thing!

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Yes, carbon is used to remove meds, stains, odor and other contaminants only. Whether you wish to use it on permanent basis or not is up to you however carbon is disposable after being used at least 4-6 weeks so it needs to be replaced constantly on that time duration.

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Ugh I really dislike those filters with carbon!

THe thing with carbon is that it has to be replaced every month - otherwise it leaks impurities in the tank :( There have also been some studies done with how carbon absorbs so much it actually takes too many good minerals from the water and could be a contribution to Hole in the Head Disease.

I think you should cut out those carbon pieces from the filter material.

Also, when you use carbon, make sure you always rinse it very well in warm water before. The dust it leaks it unhealthy for goldies :)

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Thanks for the replies :)

So, apart from it being potentially hazzardous to fish, its also really just a waste of money to keep replacing it.

So does this mean that "active carbon" meants it is working? Then it becomes "inactive" after a period of time?

Is there a way to determine if the carbon is still active?

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For you, Migaloo... :)

Activated carbon, also called activated charcoal or activated coal is a form of carbon that has been processed to make it extremely porous and thus to have a very large surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions.[1]

The word activated in the name is sometimes replaced with active. Due to its high degree of microporosity, just 1 gram of activated carbon has a surface area in excess of 500 m2 (about one tenth the size of a football field), as determined typically by nitrogen gas adsorption. Sufficient activation for useful applications may come solely from the high surface area, though further chemical treatment often enhances the adsorbing properties of the material. Activated carbon is usually derived from charcoal.

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Thanks so much Dennis - a very informative read! You always seem to come up with these great articles!!

I have learnt that carbon is quite complex stuff. I think its something I will only use on an "as needed" basis!! ;)

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