Originally Posted by paintsforyou
Hi Everyone! How long can I leave a carbon out of the tank.
What is the purpose of the carbon? I know it keeps the water crystal clear...but what else is it for? Thanks for helping!
OK Folks: (Another of my â€œlong winded postsâ€.)
Carbon exists in principally two molecular forms: graphite and diamond.
The carbon element has a valence of +4 (similarly -4: for brevity I do not want to â€œget into Quantum Mechanics hereâ€ ).
Coal (and â€œcharcoalâ€ which are virtually identical) are graphite with impurities.
What â€œwe know as â€˜activatedâ€ carbon or â€˜activatedâ€™ charcoal is coal or charcoal which has typically been produced from coal which has been subject to oxidation at a temperature above 250F.
This production results in a material which is very porous at the â€œnanometer (10^-9)â€ size.
The porosity and the carbon have two effects.
In the short term (depending on tank water parameters), two weeks to six weeks, the â€œexposed carbon atomsâ€ in the pores will â€œattachâ€ to other molecules in the water (ie. chemical filtration) and thus
Originally Posted by Blue: Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:08 pm
It removes the odor, tannins, toxic substances, meds and other stains hence the water becomes crystal clear. Usually, 3-4 weeks.
Once the available carbon elements have â€œattached themselvesâ€ to various impurities in the tank water the carbon media ceases to be a chemical filtration media and becomes a biological and mechanical filtration media.
The very small pores and the quantity thereof allow significant surfaces on which ammonia and nitrite digestion bacteria to generate.
Similarly the very small pores also â€œtrapâ€ particulate matter in the tank water.
Once the very small pores become â€œcloggedâ€ with particulate matter the carbon filtration media is useless except for the â€œvery minor effectsâ€ of biological filtration along itâ€™s surface.
Adam Dagma prepared a very good treatise on "Hole in the Head" disease which includes a section pertaining to carbon filtration.
I will generate another thread (as this post is "so long winded") with the URL of this treatise.