Question on Running Carbon???

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by italquam, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. bif24701

    bif24701 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I change my carbon every 1-2 weeks. As I don’t use a much, less than half the recommend amount. This ensures best performance while not overly filtering the water IMO.
     

  2. italquam

    italquam Active Member

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    Do you have any pictures of how you have it set up, just curious?
     
  3. bif24701

    bif24701 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I’ll try, my phone camera doesn’t work too well anymore.

    It’s just placing a good roll of poly fiber where the GFO would go in a BRS dual reactor.
     
  4. italquam

    italquam Active Member

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    Which website did you buy the poly fiber from?
     
  5. markstubb

    markstubb Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I'm sure Randy can explain, but what is the reason there's a suggested amount of carbon per gallon? Can you really use too much? I understand too little would exhaust quickly, but what's the problem with using too much?
     
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  6. italquam

    italquam Active Member

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    A very good question.....
     
  7. bif24701

    bif24701 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    If you use large amounts of carbon changed every 6-8 weeks there will be times the water is very clean, event maybe some foods removed. Then times when the water starts getting dirty. This isn’t stable and personnel I like to keep things as stable and consistent as possible.

    It has been observed that corals react negatively when a large amount of activated carbon is suddenly added after long periods of time not using any or no water changes.

    I don’t use a lot because I feel that carbon is very quickly clogged in a reactor or bag and after just a few days loses its filtering power. This is especially true for anyone who adds/doses organic carbon. Small amounts of ROX goes a long way! I use only about 1-1.5 cups per 1-3 weeks depending water changes, water color and smell.
    A good way to test water color is fill a very clean and white bucket with tank water. Fresh clean water should be colorless almost blue. My water is almost perfectly colorless after using ROX. I’m am willing to bet anyone waiting to change carbon after 4 weeks starts to have yellow water, with no or small water changes.

    Using more doesn’t mean it will last longer. No matter how much you use it will clog and get covered in a biofilm. In my system this takes about 2 weeks and then I can see it starts to get clogged. Used to be 1 weeks before I added the prefilter. In your system could be longer or shorter. Best way to know is test the water color like I just explained.
     
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  8. italquam

    italquam Active Member

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    Melev's reef explained in similar fashion on a video he made in you tube which I just watched.
     
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  9. italquam

    italquam Active Member

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    That is the link to Melev's video on carbon
     
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  10. five.five-six

    five.five-six Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    You can just put it in your filter sock in a pinch but it’s much more effective in a reactor.

    Use a sock if you re treating some acute event and don’t have a reactor.

    If you are choosing to “run GAC” full time, then the cost of a reactor will be quickly offset by the increased efficiently of using the reactor and less GAC to buy.
     
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  11. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    There are some risks when first starting GAC in that the water may suddenly become less yellow and more able to be penetrated by blue and UV light, which might light shock corals.

    Long term, I think its more complicated and less clear what disadvantages there may be. Too little organic matter in the water may begin to reduce available organics for organisms to consume, and so may impact other processes, such as denitrification which requires organics. It may also begin to harm larger creatures that like to consume organics from the water.

    FWIW, using a lot does not necessarily imply sudden changes, its how and how often you replace it that matters. Like doing water changes, you can do a lot at once, or less more often. When I was using GAC, I found it a place where bacteria liked to grow (While I was dosing vinegar), so each time I replaced a portion of it and left some to act as a seed for the rest of it.
     
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  12. five.five-six

    five.five-six Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Yes. There have been quite a number of people over the years who have had mass bleaching events associated with carbon start up. IMO for the first time, use a very small ammount of carbon, like 1/2 cup per 100 gal and run it for 6 -12 hrs and wait a few days, observe, do the same again. If you have a bleaching event it can take months to recover so go slow.

    Really, my bigest conserned with continuous GAC, and I do run it on occasion keep 5 gallons on-hand, is stripping the water of trace elements. My fear is more based on superstition than any empirical datum but it’s my fear and I chose to keep it.
     
  13. Forsaken77

    Forsaken77 Valuable Member

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    It's pretty irrelevant because YOU WILL NOT HAVE DUST FROM ROX CARBON as long as you make sure you keep the carbon packed tight between the foam sponges so it cannot tumble at all. If it tumbles, it will grind up and make dust. You don't want tumbling with carbon. I use 50 micron socks, but fine dust particles will get through easily. If there were dust, you'd need something like a 5 micron filter, but there isn't. So you don't have to worry about dust with ROX.

    Yes, it needs to be rinsed before use. So you pack it nice and tight in the reactor then run the output hose into a bucket until it's clear, which will literally be 5 seconds.

    You experienced dust before because Chemipure is not packed tightly in the bag. So if you put it in a reactor, it will grind up more. I also think Chemipure uses chopped up pellet carbon, which has a lot of dust to begin with. ROX is sooo much cleaner.
     
  14. bif24701

    bif24701 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    A reactor is far far more effective. And if you are running any system like a Triton with limited water changes I highly suggest getting a good one like the BRS Dual reactors or even the BRS deluxe
     
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  15. bif24701

    bif24701 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I buy it from WallyMart, craft section, comes in rolls. Be sure it’s 100% polyester fiber, new material. A 3-5 roll will last you months.
     
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