Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Active Carbon and Filter Carbon? (

Robnjo 05-25-2007 11:34 PM

Active Carbon and Filter Carbon?
What are the differences of these two and the uses in Marine set-ups.
I have always put Filter Carbon in a bag in my Sump, changing it every month or so. Just thinking carbon was carbon,all does the same :?
So how wrong am/was I ?

Mr.Todd 05-26-2007 12:05 AM

Active carbon (aka activated carbon, activated charcoal, activated coal) is the term for the carbon used in filters. Activated carbon has an amazingly high surface area and is super micro-porous. That is why it is ideal to bind up certain chemicals... (for all your chemistry buffs out there it binds chemicals by Vand der Waals forces [london dispersion])

Interestingly enough, active carbon does not bind to ammonia well (comparatively speaking) nevertheless its absorption is so high that it even works for that... Most water filters that you will put on your tap or use in a pitcher use activated carbon...

There are a few ways to produce activated carbon as well as different treatments and additives that are used to increase absorption or otherwise condition the carbon for a certain application. For example, some carbons contain phosphates... which is not so cool for aquariums unless you are growing an algae farm. So you do have to be careful what you buy.

Anywho, yea, they are the same thing... :D :D :D

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