excel & carbon? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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excel & carbon?

I just got some Flourish Excel and wanted to double check if the carbon in my cartridge filter was going to negate the effects?


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 01:44 AM
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You don't want to be using that carbon in your filter. Bad for plants.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Phish View Post
You don't want to be using that carbon in your filter. Bad for plants.
This was discussed recently. While I personally think that it might remove some nutrients from the water column, activated carbon has a super short active life.


Bad for plants though? Not so much. Is there much use in using it, no...
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 02:21 AM
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This was discussed recently. While I personally think that it might remove some nutrients from the water column, activated carbon has a super short active life.


Bad for plants though? Not so much. Is there much use in using it, no...

Oh I see, I was just going by what I have read on here the majority of the time. Good to know!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 02:48 AM
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Heck, isn't it time we were honest? sdy284 did ask after all.

We don't use carbon in our tanks because we're broke.
After buying all the stuff for a nice pressurized CO2 setup there just isn't money left for filter carbon. It's easy to see the difference. We buy CO2 and have better looking plants. "They" buy into the carbon filter cartridges and suck perfectly good micro nutrients out of the water. Oh, wait, that's why we don't use carbon. Never mind the other stuff.

Ok, to give a more sage answer, Excel isn't carbon. It has lots of carbon atoms in it though. The active ingredient (which is a secret so don't do a search on the word glutaraldehyde) breaks down into bio available carbon. Some of the intermediary chemicals may be adsorbed by carbon. We'll need a chemist to chime in here.

If you do a search on the forum for carbon filtration, there are some good threads explaining why filter carbon does quite a lot of things. Some of the threads are even accurate. Not the most entertaining ones of course.

If that didn't answer your question, I can give you a different answer tomorrow.
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 04:36 PM
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Wikipedia is not the last word for accuracy, but here is a good write-up about activated carbon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Activated_carbon

Briefly, activated carbon can adsorb a wide variety of molecules, depending on how it is processed. But, it adsorbs big molecules much more readily than small ones. Big molecules means organic molecules. Our basic fertilizers, KNO3, KH2PO4, and K2SO4 are not organic molecules, and are very small molecules. So, it is extremely unlikely that they would be removed by AC. Trace mixes usually contain chelators, which are organic molecules, but not especially big ones, so adsorption of the chelators should be minimal. (One Chelator is EDTA, with the formula C10H16N2O8) Ammonia can be adsorbed by AC, but the AC has to have been processed to do so first.

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