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activated carbon as substrate

9119 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Diana
I was just wondering couldn't someone use activated carbon as a substrate? I mean activated carbon has a high surface area so it could potentially hold and provide nutrients to plants. Also, it would keep the water extremely clear during it's lifetime. Also, activated carbon is pure black and consistently sized, so it is aesthetically pleasing.

What's your thoughts?
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No, it's super light weight with fine particles. It'll be a mess.
No, it's super light weight with fine particles. It'll be a mess.
According to jcgd you can,
You can skip everything except the aquasoil if you have a sensitive wallet. If you have a sensitive wallet yet still want to reproduce the ADA system you can use pumice stone for the power sand, or lava rock but the lava is less ideal. You can sprinkle some quality carbon down there to act like tourmaline. Bacter is fine IMO, it would be a pain to replace it so if you want it you can use it, but you could just fire some filter mulm under the soil. Same idea.

The penac W I believe is pretty much just silica. About 99% or so with a few other things in there. I'd skip it.

Penac P is similar to dolomite. It helps to balance the acidity of the soil.

So a similar system, yet dirt cheap, would be:

Pumice or lava rock
Dolomite (just a sprinkle)
Filter mulm

Aquasoil and powersand can mix over time if you replant alot. But the system as a whole isn't really designed to be reused as there's no way to really separate everything after it's mixed. The soil will naturally move to the bottom as the powersand works its way to the top, but it's not really a huge deal, except the colours don't match.

You can't match the aquasoil though, and I'd recommend it over anything else. The rest? Well... use your head.
I'm not sure what he means by "quality carbon" though.

Original thread just a couple threads below
According to jcgd you can use carbon IN your substrate as part of the mix.
According to jcgd you can,

I'm not sure what he means by "quality carbon" though.

Original thread just a couple threads below
That's not what I said. I said you could add some to the substrate. I have no clue if it would work as the entire substrate. If nothing else, it would be expensive.
Oops. Under the substrate lol
Yeah carbon alone as substrate is going to be too light and will cloud the water.
Active carbon comes in a lot of diffrent shapes. Granular(or pellets/balls) don't cloud the water and is just slightly lighter than some clay based gravel.
Carbon is used to clean, clear and remove substances from the water. Why would one want to use this as a substrate. In a planted tank it would actually defeat the purpose of the plants all together. If this was a quarantine tank only, I can see it happening. At some point the carbon would need to be replaced. Once it reaches it holding capacity, it must be discarded for it would serve no purpose.
Activated carbon reaches a saturation point in what it is adsorbing, then is no longer 'active' in that sense. It remains a good lodging site for nitrifying bacteria, and is very reluctant to release anything it has adsorbed.

For those reasons, it would make a good substrate.
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