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Old 04-30-2013, 01:13 AM   #41
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Actually it doesn't release toxins back into the tank. Once it becomes full and is left in the filter it just becomes another media for BB to grow on.
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:31 AM   #42
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Actually it doesn't release toxins back into the tank. Once it becomes full and is left in the filter it just becomes another media for BB to grow on.
Oh, I was told that it can't retain the toxins once it starts to degrade?
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:05 AM   #43
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That was pretty much the thinking from years ago. But what can happen is with some cheap grade carbons phosphates can be released into the water. I'm not sure how many years it would even take for carbon to actually begin to breakdown and degrade. Once it fills it just sits there like little rocks.
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:54 PM   #44
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That was pretty much the thinking from years ago. But what can happen is with some cheap grade carbons phosphates can be released into the water. I'm not sure how many years it would even take for carbon to actually begin to breakdown and degrade. Once it fills it just sits there like little rocks.
What about the one I use (only for removing treatments) it is in pellet form. Would that break down quicker because its not in its natural state?
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:58 PM   #45
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OP, can you get another water change in? I'd really like to see those numbers down.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:20 PM   #46
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What about the one I use (only for removing treatments) it is in pellet form. Would that break down quicker because its not in its natural state?
That I couldn't tell you since I'm in no way a chemist. AquaChem would be the one that could answer that.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:34 PM   #47
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OP, can you get another water change in? I'd really like to see those numbers down.
Excellent suggestion!! Those nitrite reading are TOOOO high. It will affect the fish drastically.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:00 PM   #48
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I just have to say this is good info here! I just was wondering what kind of fish are in OP's tank?
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:10 PM   #49
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Won't be until about 10 pm tonight. Super busy schedule. Tank seems to have started to clear ups it the brown algae has started to subside.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:24 PM   #50
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What about the one I use (only for removing treatments) it is in pellet form. Would that break down quicker because its not in its natural state?
I think the phosphate leeching of carbon is more dependent on the quality of the carbon than how big it is. Assume they're made by the same people and it's the same type of carbon, I don't think it would be different between the two forms.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:28 PM   #51
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I can second that aquachem. The physical shape of the carbon would not make a difference so the same manufacturer with different shapes will have the same quality. On the other hand, the pellet form might have more surface area which would lead to a more efficient absorbing rate.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:42 PM   #52
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I think the phosphate leeching mostly comes from processing technique used by different companies, with phosphoric acid being cheaper/more economical than the non-phosphate methods used by better (ie more expensive).
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:46 PM   #53
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Won't be until about 10 pm tonight. Super busy schedule. Tank seems to have started to clear ups it the brown algae has started to subside.
That's good news but unfortunately doesn't help with original issue. If you can, a water change would do the tank and your fish some good. Post results when done, of you can, I understand its late and your probably tired.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:06 PM   #54
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I think the phosphate leeching of carbon is more dependent on the quality of the carbon than how big it is. Assume they're made by the same people and it's the same type of carbon, I don't think it would be different between the two forms.
Thanks, that's good to know. I thought because the structure of the pellets breaks down fairly easily that it meant that the carbon itself was degrading. Lol.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:15 AM   #55
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Haven't had the free time to do that other water change. When I did the one sunday I did 50% so I figure let it settle for a few days. I will do a test on lunch and post pictures of the fish I have in the tank. I will be able to do another wayer cha ge tonight if nessecary. Tank seems to be better. My lilly pad bulbs are groowing at a really high rate. Fish seem more active instead of hanging out aeound the watee outlet they are swiming around the tank I have bottom feeders (an albino cory a panda cory and a Columbian pleco) (I lost my banjo catfish) I have an opal grommie and some silver belly(can't recal the rest of their name, they look like they have beer guts) I can't remember the other fish names in the tank off the top of my head right now. I have it written down at home. But I will get on the rest of the process tonight I promise. Thank you all for the help. Also in the canister filter I can use the carbon pellets as opposed to the carbon in the bags?? Seems less cost effective to buy the pelets that aren't in the bags any special procedure to take? And ammount to put in the baskets? Its a 4 layer basket the top three are where the BB pellets are and the bottom two are where the catbon go. All the baskets are split in half also. Any advice on that woild be greatly appreciated
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:16 AM   #56
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More cost effective** ( on the issue of the carbon)
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:13 AM   #57
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Personally I would still put the carbon pellets in bags. I buy the bags at my lfs and just reuse them. Do be sure and rinse off your carbon first before putting it in your cannister though.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:22 AM   #58
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Yes I do rinse the carbon off first. The bags I buy are just throw away there is no re-useable bag where I can refill the bag with new catbon.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:09 AM   #59
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Thanks, that's good to know. I thought because the structure of the pellets breaks down fairly easily that it meant that the carbon itself was degrading. Lol.
More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Carbon:

Carbon has a finite amount of absorption/adsorption capability no matter the form. It's all about pore size. In addition to having significant amounts of phosphate and a higher ash concentration, cheap carbon will usually have very tiny pores (not enough absorption) or very large pores (not enough adsorption). It doesn't matter what form the carbon is in - at a chemical level this is still the same.

Quality carbon has a good mix of pore sizes, all of which should be in the middle of the scale. It will have lower amounts of phosphate and less ash. Be aware though, most carbon readily available in a retail environment has phosphates. You have to specifically look for steam-activated/phosphate-free, although I'm seeing that more and more these days. The nice part is that soaking the carbon before putting it in your tank will allow much of the ash and phosphates to leech out. If you're concerned about algae, this is an easy way to avoid the phosphate problem (which is really only an issue for marine tanks, but that's another subject).

Carbon gets "full" when the pores are full of pollutants. They're chemically bound to the carbon and so cannot be released into the water. So for all intents and purposes it becomes inert and bacteria start to grow on it. If you don't change it, it's just another form of bio-media. Generally this happens every 3-4 weeks. This varies based on the amount of carbon you're using and your water quality.

One thing to be clear on. Carbon does NOT remove ammonia, nitrites or nitrates, or most heavy metals. At all. It does absorb plenty though - chlorine, dyes, all sorts of alcohols, even bleach. It's great for driftwood as it absorbs tannins (to a degree). And perhaps most importantly in the aquarium, it removes most medicines. If you have to treat your tank, put some fresh carbon in when you're done.

Also, despite what you read on the Internet, you cannot re-use carbon by baking it in the oven. That is, unless you have an oven that goes to 1700°. That's the only way to burn off all the organics.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the OP's issue, but the question was asked and I just couldn't help myself.
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:20 PM   #60
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Wow never knew so much about it. That was really informative thank you. I'm stunned at that info.
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