Activated carbon, making better use of cheap carbon.

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Activated carbon, making better use of cheap carbon.

Post  liquidg on 30th December 2014, 12:38 am

First up, a little on activated carbon that has come from many other sources over the years.
The first part of the name, being activated, means it is organic matter that been literally cooked at a temp of around 1.095celcius subsequently increasing its internal surface area and destroying impurities.
Also the internal surface areas transitional pores if possible needs to be between 40 and 5,000 angstroms, of which is not possible with the usual material used to make our reef aquarium carbon, bituminous coal is the best over all to make carbon, if you can get it! Its porus nature of angstroms is quite amazing for attracting nuisance aquarium organic matter as we try to use carbon for.

Most of our carbon has come from wood, standard coal or coconut shells, etc,etc and their porus nature is labelled micropores or macropores!
Back in the day we had access to a pottery kiln and were able to roughly reactivate the carbon by returning it via extreme temperature, taking the organics trapped with in, back to carbon and useable once again.
Anything organic once cooked at such temperatures returns to its origin, carbon!

Thatís the explanation of the name, but now a brief explanation on why we use it and what does it take out.
Carbon helps to take out two classes of dissolved organic compounds usually referred to as tannins and phenols.
Tannins are easily described with our local reservoirs water colouration, the tannin from the bark of tea trees and other dead organic matters leaching colours provides its tannin as does all that was alive.
Once anything dies, colouration in organic form comes from it as it is broken down by bacteria, artists use these colours as well.
Some phenol names are tyrosine a common amino acid from essential oils in plants and thymol and eugenol as just a few examples and are all from plants that are made water solubility via the digestive system of marine life if consumed and or via the nitrogen cycles bacteria breaking life down once dead and releasing these substances as water soluble.
Most phenols are what gives your aquarium that fishy smell and are toxic and need to be taken out.
Also some cheap carbons will add extra phosphates to the aquariums waters!
These two following pics are of the cheap carbon that I use as it is when I purchased it, then after I pulverised it to help fit more in the reactor and with absorption of water-soluble organics.
Standard


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