Extruded Carbon vs Granular Activated Carbon
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:28 PM   #1
Cthulhu
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Extruded Carbon vs Granular Activated Carbon


I want to run my tap water through a carbon filter to remove chlorine. I'll use my RO/DI unit's prefilters for that (no membrane or DI).

I have 2 choices of carbon cartridges : Extruded Carbon and Granular Activated Carbon. Which one should I use?
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:32 PM   #2
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GAC. More surface area.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:39 PM   #3
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Didn't know carbon removes chlorine.

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Old 01-17-2013, 12:45 PM   #4
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If you have fish in the tanks i wouldnt use carbon @ all, it's been linked to HITH in fish for years now, though still speculative, more, and more info linking it comes out all the time. A bottle of prime would honestly be better as a capful treats 50 gallons which is 5 ML, and a 250ML bottle goes for around $5. Also a lot of municipals arnt using chlorine anymore, but chloramine which is a ammonia compound i do believe. Just my 2 cents
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:27 PM   #5
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There is no chloramine here, only chlorine. More precisely, they currently add gaseous chlorine, but will soon switch to hypochlorite sodium.

I will have an auto top-off and auto water change system, that' why I want to run tap water through carbon filters to remove chlorine. But I had no idea it could cause problems for the fish...
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrypticLifeStyle View Post
If you have fish in the tanks i wouldnt use carbon @ all, it's been linked to HITH in fish for years now, though still speculative, more, and more info linking it comes out all the time. A bottle of prime would honestly be better as a capful treats 50 gallons which is 5 ML, and a 250ML bottle goes for around $5. Also a lot of municipals arnt using chlorine anymore, but chloramine which is a ammonia compound i do believe. Just my 2 cents
Opinions vary:

Quote:
THE CARBON THEORIES: There are several theories that the use of activated carbon in tanks may cause HLLE.

One version of this theory is that the carbon could be causing nutritional deficiencies by adsorbing vitamins or trace minerals either directly from the water, or by adsorbing molecules that the needed nutrients could then bind to. This theory, however, has several problems: There aren't any vitamins in tap water to begin with, and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and iron should be available in large quantities in most prepared fish foods. Additionally, it is reported that fish rely on food for nutrients, trace and otherwise, making the presence of nutrients in the water irrelevant (4) although fish have been shown to be able to extract various minerals from the water (calcium, iron, zinc, etc.)

A second carbon theory is that some types of carbon may release toxins which cause HLLE. Perhaps a more specific variant of this theory is that some poorly manufactured carbons might release chemicals that cause stress to the fish. (See THE STRESS THEORY.) Another theory is that loose particles of carbon dust in the water have some caustic affect, but there is no support for this that I have been able to find.

All carbon-related theories regarding the cause of HLLE suffer from one other significant shortcoming: HLLE can be found in tanks which have never had carbon of any sort used in them, yet is NOT found in many tanks using carbon. While it remains possible that carbon may be involved in some cases, there is no reason to believe it is a factor in most cases, if any. There is no sound evidence for a link, or even a logical specific theory--at best, the carbon-HLLE theories amount to a handful of individual cases where HLLE was seen in tanks using carbon, but appeared to improve after the carbon was removed. Since there is little to no information on what other steps where taken in the treatment of the HLLE, the association with carbon is rather suspect.
Quote:
There have been a number of cases where the simple presence of carbon in the filtration has actually caused HLLE. In these cases carbon was present when the HLLE developed. Either initially or after trying other treatments that failed or had little progress, the carbon was removed. At this point the HLLE went away. Once it was gone either the carbon was returned and the keeper was trying to get back to normal, or it was returned to see if it really was the cause. When the carbon was returned, so did the HLLE. This seems to be due to carbon removing vital trace elements and micronutrients. These have important functions in the physiology of the fish and its organ systems. This may be similar to how diet can cause HLLE, a lack of vital nutrients causing physiological dysfunctions. These can cause stresses to the immune and other systems ending up being symptomatic in the fish as HLLE.
I had used carbon for years and never had a problem with it. But the OP is talking about using it for his filtration for water used for top offs and changes not running continuously in his tank filters. Big difference.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:15 PM   #7
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I looked it up and there seems to be serious studies proving a link between carbon and HLLE

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/blog...r-hlle-disease

I'll still do some more search about this
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:58 PM   #8
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And this one
http://www.coralmagazine-us.com/cont...king-gun-found

I'm convinced now.

I'll see if I can add a filter after the carbon that would catch the fines.
Or is there a safer way to remove chlorine through a filter? Purigen maybe?

Otherwise, that would settle my dilemma over using or not the full RO/DI. Well, I guess I still won't need the DI stage, but the RO membrane would remove carbon fines.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:55 PM   #9
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so if u feed ur fish flake food for the rest of their life and utilize carbon. some of the substance they might be gettig from tap water are being absorbed and they become ill

i dare say that anyone with a healthy planted tank who is dosing fertilizers, changing water regularly, and feeding fish regularly with a variety of food will ever run into this even if carbon was the cause

although the studies look promising
these studies were also using synthetic sea water... what about those u use just treated tap?
does ro/di play a roll here?
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Opinions vary:



I had used carbon for years and never had a problem with it. But the OP is talking about using it for his filtration for water used for top offs and changes not running continuously in his tank filters. Big difference.
No difference at all if dust is in the water column for any form of use. Whats going to stop carbon dust from getting into the water column of the tank unless he's also using a micron filter before the water goes into the tank. Dosnt need to be a continuous source of filtration. Even slipping a cartridge into a HOB dust is released into the water column. Where ever carbon is used, it runs a risk.

I've been dealing with cichlids for 20 years, and i'll tell you i havnt used carbon in a couple years now, and there has been a definite change in not only the fish health but the biotopes of the tanks as well. I only learned of the risk after a well known fish supplier came to my house 2 years ago to buy my lot of geophagus sp. topajos redhead juvies off me, and noticed i had HITH on some fish in a few tanks i had running, and asked if i used carbon. He then explained to me how he dosnt nor are a lot of well known breeders using it anymore, and are convinced it's carbon being the culprit. Is it healthy for us as humans? Not as bad as asbestos, but not exactly healthy for us either lol

It's a on-going discussion in cichlid forums & other forums i'm apart of, but more, and more of us are ditching it, and getting on just fine if not better without it. I can link all sorts of studies, but i think it's best for people to read this, and do their own research. I'm a fish guy getting into plants recently. I have a lot to learn about plants which is why i came to this forum as it seems to be the best, but i also notice a lot of plant guys arnt well versed into the fish aspect. So hopefully while i learn from you guys on plants, i can add to the fish discussions on here Am i a fish guru no, but this carbon debate to me is something serious to consider.
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Last edited by CrypticLifeStyle; 01-17-2013 at 04:15 PM.. Reason: just adding more :)
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:05 PM   #11
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Since it's the carbon fines that seem to cause HLLE, adding a sediment filter after the carbon should prevent any problem.

This is a sediment filter for RO/DI unit. I don't know why the english description doesn't say it, but the french description says it's a 1 micron filter. That should be enough? I can't find info on the size of the carbon fines.

http://www.reefsolution.com/catalog/...94&language=en
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrypticLifeStyle View Post
No difference at all if dust is in the water column for any form of use. Whats going to stop carbon dust from getting into the water column of the tank unless he's also using a micron filter before the water goes into the tank. Dosnt need to be a continuous source of filtration. Even slipping a cartridge into a HOB dust is released into the water column. Where ever carbon is used, it runs a risk.

I've been dealing with cichlids for 20 years, and i'll tell you i havnt used carbon in a couple years now, and there has been a definite change in not only the fish health but the biotopes of the tanks as well. I only learned of the risk after a well known fish supplier came to my house 2 years ago to buy my lot of geophagus sp. topajos redhead juvies off me, and noticed i had HITH on some fish in a few tanks i had running, and asked if i used carbon. He then explained to me how he dosnt nor are a lot of well known breeders using it anymore, and are convinced it's carbon being the culprit. Is it healthy for us as humans? Not as bad as asbestos, but not exactly healthy for us either lol

It's a on-going discussion in cichlid forums & other forums i'm apart of, but more, and more of us are ditching it, and getting on just fine if not better without it. I can link all sorts of studies, but i think it's best for people to read this, and do their own research. I'm a fish guy getting into plants recently. I have a lot to learn about plants which is why i came to this forum as it seems to be the best, but i also notice a lot of plant guys arnt well versed into the fish aspect. So hopefully while i learn from you guys on plants, i can add to the fish discussions on here Am i a fish guru no, but this carbon debate to me is something serious to consider.
In an outside (by outside I mean outside of tank use) carbon filter the fines can be purged. Just run the water for a bit to get any settlement out. There is also a big difference in the amount of dust created form the granules your putting in your tank filter and those used in a cartridge. I haven't used carbon in at least 10 years but not because of any reports. I just never really thought it did much good in a fish tank unless I wanted to remove medication. But for the first 20+ years I did use carbon. Sometimes. If I could find a nylon from the wife to put it in.
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Last edited by GraphicGr8s; 01-18-2013 at 12:54 AM.. Reason: 987654321123456789
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:17 AM   #13
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But i think staying away from it period is a safer option. Other then what i think, the studys, and the data still are in it's infancy. Maybe there's more to it all too on a bigger scale :-?? If there's alternatives that dont pose a possible harm, then they just seem to be a better alternative. As the reports stated they are still unsure why some aquariasts arnt effected but others are. I had 2 tanks a couple years ago that had hith, then 4 others with the same setups, never had a issue. It's going to be interesting what new information comes out later on. But people should be aware, and a lot are not, though those 2 study's came out 2 years ago with speculation way before that.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:59 AM   #14
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Well, I still need to run my tap water through some kind of filter to remove chlorine. What other choices do I have? Adding products is not an option since it's automated.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:08 AM   #15
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If you have the room leave an open top aging tank.

Guy locally here uses a float that keeps a 55 gallon trash can full and the water from it feeds into tanks, since the water takes a while to evaporate from the tanks the water in the trash can has had enough time to off gas/aerate whatever.


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