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Customer question and answers 18/02/2014

Questions and answers from a customer……

Also, what are your thoughts on the addition of carbon to your system?


Hi there sorry for late reply poxy internet has been down for a bit there.The raging debate about carbon ….eh….well on a personal level i do not use it the main reason is we manage our systems well and in general it would be impractical for us with over 400 tanks as you can imagine.Now on a hobbyist carbon can be a real help.Some will argue that carbon will remove beneficial items from your aquarium and render your environment to sterile but i would have to disagree here.A lot of the problems people have with the health of their fish is seldom down to issues like this.Health problems are usually imported into your aquarium in my experience.So the issue of customers quarantine is big one.Quarantine begins at home and that’s that there are no two ways about it but that is another matter.The most important thing about carbon is replacing it before it becomes a problem in itself 6-8 weeks is usually the bench mark i would tend to sway towards the 6week period because it tends to leach back into the system despite what manufacturers tell you.Also carbon efficacy depends on the tds of the system by this i basically mean the bio load which really boils down to stocking density and waste control.The great thing about carbon is that it can remove articles out of the water preventing them from collectively adding to waste levels but we tend to use it to reduce visual annoyances it is excellent for water clarity issues….ie tannin in the water especially when you use wood in its various forms.Its great for removing meds to after they burn out from treatment.But the most important thing is to keep the carbon as clean as possible or it will just become a sludged up mechanical filter.This will kind of defeat the purpose so protect it from this making sure it is in the cleanest part of the filter.On the basis that it is replaced properly it will please the eye giving a more pristine edge to aquarium water where aquariums with out it will have that tired look about them.Because of the porosity of carbon even the finest particles can be removed but the biggest issue to its use is contact time with the water to be treated.Seldom is it used properly.The contact time in normal use is way off the mark.An inch or too in depth as part of a mish mash of media does not cut it and to boot having carbon as an off shoot to filtration rather like a uv sterilizer does not cut it.For carbon to work best it should be filtering all of the cleanest water so it should be the last media before the return to the tank.If water can by pass it then we are just wasting our time.Like a uv all the water must pass through it or it is pretty ineffective as a safeguard.
But yea if changed regularly carbon is wicked and effective it is used in waste water treatment of all genres not just by us.
Hope this helps dude…..