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Old 09-08-2010, 12:33 PM   #1
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Question New Member - SW Carbon Media Suggestions

I have been using this site for advice for a while now and just decided to become a member. I'm pretty excited to be here and look forward to sharing and gaining advice from fellow members.

I have had my 48 gallon SW tank for about 6 years and have had my ups and downs with the tank. I have had some unfortunate power outages and moves that have destroyed my tank in the past, but I have never given up. I'm at a place in my life right now that allows me to have a more dedicated approach to my tank. I'm looking to slowly build a reef tank and need some advice from ya'll (that's right, I'm from Kentucky!)

First Question -
I'm using carbon media (chemi-pure 10oz. bag) in my Fluval 304 filter and just wanted to know how often I should change the media, and what the best carbon media is for the buck. Is chemi-pure even the way to go? My water looks perfectly clear and the levels are consistent. I know it all depends on tank load and such...so right now I only have 2 percula clown fish (not real exciting). I'm looking to add a protein skimmer (hang on - octopus or AquaC Remora) next and then some corals. Any suggestions on the carbon media for right now?

Here is a little info about my tank as of right now
48 Gallon Glass Bow Front
Fluval 304 w/ carbon media
2 Seio powerheads
50 lbs Live Rock
1/2 inch live sand in tank
2 Percula Clown Fish
36" Coralife Aqualight Pro (150w Metal Halide & 2 65w power compacts)
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:19 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard. I`m going to move your post to the SW aquaria General discussion where more people will see it. Not everyone comes to the welcome wagon.
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-08-2010, 01:57 PM   #4
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Here is a two part article that test several different kinds of activated carbon and try to answer some of the questions you are asking about it.

Feature Article: Granular Activated Carbon, Part 1: Modeling of Operational Parameters for Dissolved Organic Carbon Removal from Marine Aquaria | Advanced Aquarist's Online Magazine

Feature Article: Granular Activated Carbon, Part 2: Modeling of Operational Parameters for Dissolved Organic Carbon Removal from Marine Aquaria | Advanced Aquarist's Online Magazine

part two has all the results and discussion.
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Old 09-08-2010, 02:08 PM   #5
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thanks pat.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:51 PM   #6
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Ken Feldman's articles that Pat linked to are great, but they get pretty technical. When Ken does his testing, he backs it with all kinds of scientific info which is awesome, but can make your head spin.

The best carbons are:
1. Bulk Reef Supply ROX 0.8, (Extruded peat .8 mm. Looks like broken mechanical penicl lead, HCL acid washed).
2. TwoLittleFishies Hydrocarbon or BulkReefSupply Lignite, (HCl acid washed).
3. thefilterguys Bitum for Kidney dialysis, (Nitric acid washed, dust free and pH neutral).
4. Matrix Spherical Bitum.
5. Elos very small pellet Bitum.

ROX 0.8 dosage is 1/3 cup/50g, all others are 1/2 cup/50g. They should all be changed every month.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:49 PM   #7
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yeah, the article that pat linked def. made my head spin. I learned a lot about how carbon works, through I probably need to read those articles a dozen times or so to really understand the science.

I think I'll try out the bulk reef supply for a bit. Any suggestions for a media bag? I use Chemi-pure right now, and the carbon already comes in a mesh bag or some sort. Thanks for all the advice fellas
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:00 AM   #8
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BRS sells little mesh bags (BRS "Mesh" Filter Sock 4 " x 8" 00 1Micron (w/ Draw String) - English). If you run the carbon in your Fluval, is there anyway to slow it down? You don't want alot of flow thru the carbon so it doesn't get ground down. It's really best to run carbon in a reactor so you can see if you have too much or not enough flow. Without being able to see how the carbon is acting in the Fluval, it might be tuff to get the flow right.

This is the reactor in my sump with GFO at the bottom and ROX carbon at the top.
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:27 AM   #9
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There isn't any way I can slow down the flow. The water has to trickle down through my ceramic bio media which is in the 1st chamber, and then I have my carbon in the 2nd chamber of 3 total chambers. Should I not run carbon at all in my canister filter? I haven't had any problems in the past with running carbon, and I really don't want to buy a reactor if it's not necessary.

What exactly do you mean by the carbon being ground down? Sorry for all the questions.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:44 AM   #10
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Yeah sorry sometimes i don't think about the fact that most people probably don't want to read through all that. You can run the carbon in one of the media baskets in your fluval. Shoud be fine there. As long as water is being forced through the AC it will be ok.
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