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  1. #1
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    Activated Carbon

    What's the general consensus on using activated carbon in scrubbed tanks? In particular, this article http://joejaworski.wordpress.com/200...k-need-carbon/

    and this statement?

    Why Organics Are BadWhile only a few of the organic compounds are directly toxic to marine livestock, they can stimulate the growth of heterotrophic bacteria which robs your tank of oxygen. These bacteria also create carbon dioxide. The result is lower pH and low ORP, which creates ideal conditions for nuisance algae to thrive. Organics can quickly tint aquarium water to a yellow color which greatly blocks blue spectrum light penetration (actinic 420nm). High levels of organics can also tax a protein skimmer to the point where nitrates and phosphate removal becomes minimal.
    No one knows for sure the total make up of organic compounds in the marine aquarium and what specific effects they have on different organisms. It had been observed that aquariums with high organic levels experience more fish and coral diseases. There is now firm evidence that organics stunt fish growth. The old mystery of how a fish will grow only as large as its container has been solved. It has nothing to do with the volume of water or the size of the tank- organics accumulation is the culprit.

  2. #2

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    Very good read!

    I've seen SM repeatedly say that carbon use in scrubbed tanks is just fine. After reading that article, makes me want to throw a bag in for a few weeks.

  3. #3
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    Carbon only last a few days in a reef tank before the carbon is full/all used up, especially for the 'scrubber / no skimmer crowd' due to the stuff algae releases that carbon will capture. I wouldn't recommend leaving carbon in a system for weeks, it just has the potential to cause more problems than it helps at that point. I have nothing against using carbon, it works great, just use it properly.

  4. #4

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    Ill take your word for it, Ace. Better safe than sorry but that was one of the "myths" the author addresses in that article. He states that a reef could go up to 4 weeks, but does not specifically address those of us with scrubber/no skimmer.

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    The TWP recharge instructions for its D.I. Units says;

    SALTWATER AQUARIA OWNERSSaltwater Purification: The separated and normally recharged, as an Ion Exchanger, anionic resin column, may be converted into a very highly efficient adsorber by effectually neutralizing the charged resin for this adaption to purify marine and reef aquaria saltwater.
    To neutralize the previously recharged, as an Ion Exchanger, anionic resin, for saltwater purification. Dilute the supplied cationic resin recharging fluid by 50% with DI water in a separate container. This is broken down as, 6 ounces of the cationic resin recharging fluid is to be mixed with 6 ounces of water purified through an operational DI column, in a separate acid safe container. The drained anionic resin column is to be filled with this dilute solution of cationic recharging fluid and stirred or drained and repeated once every 15 minutes for one full hour. The column is then to be thoroughly rinsed using at least 3 gallons of tap or DI water.
    The use of the anionic resin, charged in the manner so indicated for the purification of saltwater, is usually performed as an inline unit and part of the aquarium circulatory system. This is accomplished by placing the column in-line with a bypass to allow normal water circulation with only a sampling of the aquarium water being passed through the anionic resin at a flowrate not to exceed 25 gallons per hour. Common practice is to flow only 5 gallons per hour through the unit.
    Anyone tried it instead of activated carbon?

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    Only thing I know of that works similar to carbon that works in SW is Purigen. Chemi-Pure contains 'ionic resins' and it has been proven to be a joke in SW. Just google it. From what I remember, you would need a tank filled with ionic resins 10x the size of the display tank, and then it would last about 10 minutes under normal reef conditions before needing to be recharged. Hardly worth the effort IMO when a canister of carbon will do the same thing. All the ions in SW instantly neutralize the small amount that comes in a bag of Chemi-Pure which is why it is worthless in that product for saltwater.

    http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1474862

  7. #7

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    I do and a firm believer in it. I never ran carbon back when I ran large skimmer.

    I ran first 10 months ATS only and sniffing the water surface of the show tank had an definate odor. Been running carbon approx. 4-5 months now. Since running carbon, water clarity improved and most importantly no odors.

    I use 1/2 cup of Rox .8 carbon per week in a BRS single reactor for a 180g tank. I tried to running 1 cup every 2 weeks but water flow would clog before the 2 weeks was up so went to 1/2 dose weekly.

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    Carbon is effective for only a week ace, however there is a way to keep it at work longer. Kept in a mesh bag in the sump kneaded daily. I learned this from zeo users and works wonderfully. I would not run a tank without gac again. Even when I was scrubber only I dropped that bag in there and in a.few hours the tank was so clear it was stunning

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    Quote Originally Posted by RkyRickstr View Post
    Carbon is effective for only a week ace, however there is a way to keep it at work longer. Kept in a mesh bag in the sump kneaded daily. I learned this from zeo users and works wonderfully. I would not run a tank without gac again. Even when I was scrubber only I dropped that bag in there and in a.few hours the tank was so clear it was stunning
    Citation needed?

    Carbon (and Purigen) works via the pores that trap the stuff you want to remove from the tank, it is a mechanical process. The only thing kneading it will do is 1. Break up the carbon into dust, which is really BAD to do, and 2. At best, it will break up the bio-film that has formed which may or may not be clogging the pores. The risks far outweigh the benefits of 'kneading' the carbon in my opinion. Kneading it is the same as tumbling it in a reactor, which is a big no-no with carbon.

  10. #10

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    I amrunning carbon with tas and small skimmer on a 60 gallon tank (softies and Lps) change carbon every 4 weeks and it's working great

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