Does Carbon Remove Useful Things?

Zerobytes

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I know this has been commented on throughout a variety of threads but figured I would create a new one to try to get a conclusive answer.

Anyway, has it been proven, or not, that running Carbon removes useful "things" as well as the intended targets or does it just filter out the bad stuff?

Thx!
 
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Webslinger

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I usually run carbon a few times a year, when water isn't as clear or has a smell to it. When running carbon I will put it in a reactor and run it for a few days then remove it from the system. It dissipates after a few days and may leech back into the tank if left? I have never experienced anything negative happening from using it. I guess it depends what you have in your tank. A water change will add anything back that was removed, if removed?
 

Brian Bieger

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That is not an "easy" question. Honestly, there is soooo much information already available on this. It is really not that important if it binds some unintended things, the important thing is that it does the job it is intended to do.

At the end of the day, it removes impurities that degrade the quality and purity of water in the aquarium. In addition, pollutants attach to carbon because the attraction force is greater than the force opposing attraction, it doesn't let go of pollutants at some point. Think of it like a magnet. Metal shavings don't fall off of a magnet once it is soo covered with metal shavings that it doesn't pick up anymore shavings. Nor do pollutants "leech back" into solution once the carbon is exhausted... same thing with GFO.

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Webslinger

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I would think if you left carbon in a reactor for a period of time it would disintegrate till there was no more carbon. But i never tested this theory.
 
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Zerobytes

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Yea, you can just see a good amount of comments here and there where folks say it "strips" good stuff. Just wondering if that is scientifically accurate and, if so, what and how important are they.
 

Brian Bieger

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I would think if you left carbon in a reactor for a period of time it would disintegrate till there was no more carbon. But i never tested this theory.
It won't disintegrate if you are using it properly. It is not supposed to be rolling like GFO. It is like any other substance that is you are grinding it, yeah it will "disintegrate". But carbon doesn't "melt' or slowly get reduced like say bio-pellets would.
 
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Dan_P

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I would think if you left carbon in a reactor for a period of time it would disintegrate till there was no more carbon. But i never tested this theory.
As long as you do not tumble the carbon particles, it will physically last a long time, but become less effective at adsorbing chemicals.
 

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I know this has been commented on throughout a variety of threads but figured I would create a new one to try to get a conclusive answer.

Anyway, has it been proven, or not, that running Carbon removes useful "things" as well as the intended targets or does it just filter out the bad stuff?

Thx!
Unless someone has measured something in the aquarium water, e.g. dissolved organic carbon, before and after exposure to a GAC column, you are not going to learn much here. You won’t even receive a straight answer about the simplest and maybe most important question of all: “how can I tell when the GAC used up”.
 

C. Eymann

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I only run carbon for a few days at a time in my SPS reefs, mostly for water polishing. If I had a mixed reef I'd probably always have some in there.
 

C. Eymann

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Hey, why is that? Just curious.
I really only am into SPS tanks these days and I dont really see a need for it 24/7, I also think some of the organic compounds it absorbs can be beneficial possibly? eh, it's worked well for me.
Plus Saves money, HQ carbon can be expensive!

Now for a mixed reef, esp one that's going to have sinularia, sarcophyton, lobophytum etc
etc leathers , I have read studies on some of the compounds specifically sarcophines that can inhibit calcification in certain species of montipora and possibly other SPS/LPS.
In that case, in a mixed reef, I'd run it 24/7

my .02
 
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radiata

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I run carbon, but I'd bet that it removes some of the amino acids that I dose. Since I can't test for amino acids, I guess this leaves me with no choice but to play-it-by-ear and overdose them a little...
 

Albert Bazaar

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I know this has been commented on throughout a variety of threads but figured I would create a new one to try to get a conclusive answer.

Anyway, has it been proven, or not, that running Carbon removes useful "things" as well as the intended targets or does it just filter out the bad stuff?

Thx!
I'm an old timer keeping aquariums since the mid 70's both freshwater and Marine.Carbon was a life saving back in the day.Carbon can take out many things that skimmers can't or don't do well at such as phenols that change the water yellow,hydrogen sulfides and sulfates,along with metals like iron,copper,lead and other metals when they are in the form of oxides..As far as trace elements,skimmers are very effective at removing many of these substances,especially iodine and metals.
Many keepers that dope constantly their aquariums think their animals are absorbing them when actually they are being skimmed out of the system.
ANYWAY,back to carbon,great tool,using some right now on my porch tank it just has cheato and damselfish in it. It only has 2 carbon filters on it and a bubbler.YES VERY OVERGROWN WITH ALGAE.I like to see the Damsels when I go in and out of my door.I will cut out half the algae tomorrow.Can't see the fish anymore!!!

Algae Blue damsels.jpg
 

Belgian Anthias

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GAC does not make the difference between good and bad, toxic or non-toxic. Most organic waste, DOC and TOC, is "valuable" and can be recycled, remineralized and reused. If too much, DOC is found to influence the functioning of the coral holobiont.
As does a skimmer, leaving behind polar compounds, the removal is selective leaving behind the same kind compounds as does a skimmer. If left in the system, GAC may have the function of a good bio-filter.
GAC , as does a skimmer, increases the unbalance in the availability of nutrients and building materials which may cause problems in the long term if not corrected. GAC may replace a skimmer for removing DOC as a skimmer removes only +- 30%.
My sources:
baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=en:makazi:het_water:filtratie:eiwitafschuimer
baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=nl:makazi:het_water:filtratie:actieve_kool
 

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