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> Activated Carbon ?
CP
post Sun, 13 Mar 2005 9:56 pm
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I had PM bro Goldrush my query on the use of activated carbon (AC) in bio tanks and received a rather informative reply.
Below is the re-produced reply with minimal censorship and permission has not been obtained (yet) to reproduce it but I guess he wouldn't mind so here it goes:

Quote (Goldrush):

"Activated Carbon has been used for quite sometime, but I wonder how many of us understand why and what it actually does.It is an excellent adsorption media when activated and treated (under very high and controlled temperature) Charcoal and activated carbon are similiar materials, but the activated carbon we are suppose to use is formulated specifically for water treatment.
What you might want to remove I guess is the dreaded DOC
DISSOLVED ORGANIC CARBON
(NOT DISSOLVED OXYGEN CONCENTRATION)that allow frothing of protein on the surface and gives that tea brown discoloration .Right?
Perhaps its potency in adsorption can be summarized in order of its absorption capacity by the following

High to very good adsorption on:

Arsenic (Treated wood Leaches Arsenic into the Water)
Bleach
Chloramines
Chlorine

Colors
Dyes
Hydrogen Peroxide (Disconnect if treating Pond)
Insecticides
Odors
Pesticides
Phenols

Good to Moderate adsorption on:
Acetic acid
Detergents
Hydrogen Sulfide
Mercury
Ozone
Potassium Permanganate
Silver
Soap
Solvents
Vinegar

Low to no adsorption on:
Alkalinity
Ammonia (See Zeolite belo
Carbon Dioxide
Copper
Hardness
Iron
Lime
Manganese
Nitrate

How well the adsorption process works depends on the time in the water (and the pollutant), How much water is passing through how many pores on the carbon, the concentration of the pollutant and the solubility and molecular weight of the compound being removed.

Large ( Macroporous )Lignite and wood based carbon is good for organic and color removal.
Small ( Microporous) coal or coconut shell carbon is better at removing chlorine from water that has few organics.

Contact Time--a minimum of five minutes up to one hour depending on the organic. Recommended flow is 2 gallons per minute.

Cheers
goldrush"

Unquote.

The reason I had started this thread is because I am thinking of discontinuing the use of AC in my filtration.I am bugged by this nagging feeling that AC will adsorb the necessasary trace elements (and nutrients?)that are vital for our goldfishes.A search in this forum shows that most bros here do not use AC.

I must say that I have been using AC for the last 2 years without any problems.The water is crystal clear,the smell of water is pleasant,there are no outbreak of diseases and not a single fatality,though the last two reason may not be due to the use of AC.Some say that AC will take away the colouration of the goldfish,some say it causes 'hole in the head' disease,but to me these are unfounded based on my 2 years of observation of goldfish continuosly exposed to AC chemical filtration.

So if it aint broke why fix it?I find that the growth rate of my goldfish rather slow despite frequent feedings and low nitrates.It takes at least 6 months (some 9 months) for my ranchu to grow from 3 to 6 inches.So I wonder the nutrients in the water had been adsorbed by the AC?

I had just removed the AC from my filter and will monitor for the next 2 weeks on the physical appearance and smell of my tank water.In the meantime,hope that anyone with experience on the use of AC kindly share with us your comments.
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jhansolo
post Mon, 14 Mar 2005 9:39 am
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I have been using AC for the pass 6 months, the main purpose is to contain the smell.

As for the negative effects, I have not observe any of that. I think the grade of AC varies so I had been getting a better brand.
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GFSLAVE
post Mon, 14 Mar 2005 10:40 am
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QUOTE(cpiw2002 @ Sun, 13 Mar 2005 9:56 pm)
I had PM bro Goldrush my query on the use of activated carbon (AC) in bio tanks and received a rather informative reply.
Below is the re-produced reply with minimal censorship and permission has not been obtained (yet) to reproduce it but I guess he wouldn't mind so here it goes:

Quote (Goldrush):

"Activated Carbon has been used for quite sometime, but I wonder how many of us understand why and what it actually does.It is an excellent adsorption media when activated and treated (under very high and controlled temperature) "

*




note: under very high and controlled temperature. Is it because of wrong temperature when using AC ??

I'm new to AC but feel like using it since there are more advantages than disadvantages.
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CP
post Mon, 14 Mar 2005 1:26 pm
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The temperature mentioned is during the process of producing the AC, it has nothing to do with our tank water tempearture when using the AC.
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GFSLAVE
post Mon, 14 Mar 2005 3:59 pm
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Oops !! sorry-big.gif

Btw, which is the better brand to use ? peace.gif

Thanks
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goldrush
post Mon, 14 Mar 2005 4:12 pm
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Dear friend cpiw

I'm glad of some help to your query on AC but perhaps your fear of it being a vacuum in stripping the water of its trace element is a bit unfounded.Maybe I have frightened you of its capacity to remove a wholesome of elements but its removal of such trace elements and its effect on the well being of its inhabitant has never being documented and proven.Perhaps you should conduct two separate samples of tank with similar living condition except that one has AC while the other doesn't to see if you can derive a conclusive result without any prejudice.Set a specified length of time and then observe to see if you can draw any conclusion from there.Keep us inform of their progress if you decide on the project as I feel that a premature rejection of AC does not do justice on such a wonderful aquatic adjuvant .

Regards

goldrush

wink.gif
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CP
post Mon, 14 Mar 2005 6:29 pm
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Yo Goldrush,

As my concern is as to whether the growth of goldfish will be slowed by the presence of AC which sucks up almost everything,it is virtually impossible to obtain 2 sets of goldfish which we know will grow at the same rate to conduct an experiment and to compare.And furthermore,I am just plain lazy to do that. biggrin.gif

Nevertheless as I have mentioned earlier I have already removed AC from my tank and will monitor the water quality over the next 2 weeks and see what happens.

Regards
cpiw
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The Matrix
post Mon, 14 Mar 2005 9:46 pm
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people said using AC will cause hole in the head for discus and some tropical fish. goldfish can use or not leh ?
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CP
post Mon, 14 Mar 2005 9:53 pm
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QUOTE(The Matrix @ Mon, 14 Mar 2005 9:46 pm)
people said using AC will cause hole in the head for discus and some tropical fish. goldfish can use or not leh ?
*


I've used it continuosly in my tank for 2 years,no problems.
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goldrush
post Tue, 15 Mar 2005 11:16 am
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Dear Bros

Before I touch on the possibilities of AC involvement in HITH disease perhaps we should halt and recall over its positive properties as highlighted in this thread before we deem it as something against our keeping.

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/marineland_carbon.php

Now to explain the carbon involvement in HITH disease requires a bit of common sense and contemplation There are several theories that the use of activated carbon in tanks may cause HITH.

One version of this theory is that the carbon could be causing nutritional deficiencies by adsorbing vitamins or trace minerals either directly from the water, or by adsorbing molecules that the needed nutrients could then bind to(acting as an inhibitor to a rate limiting step if you want to call it)
To rebuke this theory,I would like to highlight to bros that. there aren't any vitamins in tap water to begin with, and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and iron should be available in large quantities in most prepared fish foods. Additionally, it is reported that fish rely on food for nutrients, trace and otherwise, making the presence of nutrients in the water irrelevant although fish have been shown to be able to extract various minerals from the water (calcium, iron, zinc, etc.)

Another carbon theory is that some types of carbon may release toxins which cause HITH.Now if you recall,carbon binds to another through ADSORPTION and not ABSORPTION .In absorption there is uptake of chemicals through any tissues or across any pores while adsorption is just an attachment of one substance to the surface of another with resultant higher concentration of gases or chemical in that vicinity.Because of this,there is relative poor binding in adsorption as oppose to absorption which can leach out contaminants if carbon become fully “charged”Perhaps a more specific variant of this theory is that some poorly manufactured carbons might release chemicals that cause stress to the fish. Another theory is that loose particles of carbon dust in the water have some caustic affect.

All carbon-related theories regarding the cause of HITH suffer from one other significant shortcoming: HITH can be found in tanks which have never had carbon of any sort used in them, yet is NOT found in many tanks using carbon. While it remains possible that carbon may be involved in some cases, there is no reason to believe it is a factor in most cases, if any. There is no sound evidence for a link, or even a logical specific theory--at best, the carbon-HITH theories amount to a handful of individual cases where HITH was seen in tanks using carbon, but appeared to improve after the carbon was removed. Since there is little to no information on what other steps where taken in the treatment of the HITH, the association with carbon is rather UNFOUNDED and remain suspicious.

So if you remain skeptical of its leakage and performance ,buy a reputable carbon product and not just some kuching kurak brand(which may be some BBQ charcoal only) and remember AC can never be RECYCLED and REUSED but should be REPLACED AND REPLENISHED when it has fully accomplished its duty(Stick to recommended change as prescribed)


Cheers
good.gif good.gif good.gif

goldrush
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CP
post Tue, 15 Mar 2005 1:15 pm
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So tempted to put my AC back into the system after reading the article,however guess I'll wait 2 weeks and see whats the difference.
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goldrush
post Tue, 15 Mar 2005 5:11 pm
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QUOTE(cpiw2002 @ Tue, 15 Mar 2005 1:15 pm)
So tempted to put my AC back into the system after reading the article,however guess I'll wait 2 weeks and see whats the difference.
*





Sorry pal for putting you in sixes and sevens over AC issues.However try to monitor the water quality without AC for the next fortnight and measure them against water with AC there after with growth rate factor inside.(but 2 weeks may not be conclusive again.....sigh)

regards

goldrush
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jhansolo
post Tue, 15 Mar 2005 6:42 pm
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QUOTE(goldrush @ Tue, 15 Mar 2005 5:11 pm)
(but 2 weeks may not be conclusive again.....sigh)
*



I do think that if the water quality is not down hill, you might as well continue without. I add it because of Mrs complain of smell and it does work.
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CP
post Sun, 27 Mar 2005 11:53 am
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The 2 weeks is up,there are no significant differences actually,maybe because the 2 weeks experiment is too short to see any results.

I have re-intoduced a new satchet of AC into my tank.
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