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Use of Activated Carbon, Purigen, etc.

_Maq_

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A better way to regenerate Purigen is 1 per cent hydrogen peroxide. It's tested, cleaner than any chlorine-containing compounds.
Activated carbon eliminates dissolved organic compounds. AC made of coconut coir is not good for removing humic substances and tannins, i.e. water coloration. AC made of coal will do. Unfortunately, most cheap Chinese AC are made of coconut coir.
Dissolved organic compounds are the source of many troubles, yet are largely ignored. People tend to seek the source of their difficulties in something else, like lighting, nutrient imbalance, etc. Because of that, AC remains a valued tool of advanced aquarists only.
 

Yugang

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13 Mar 2021
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The benefit of weekly cleaning and WC is consistency, consistency, consistency. 60% weekly water change, weekly cleaning of pre filter, regular deep vacuuming the part of my tank where I do most replanting. My working hypotheses is that the micro organisms and plants enjoy stability and consistency, and do more to help than I can imagine.

A risk with adding active absorbers is that we do not now how much they do, when they stop doing it, and what it means for the balance of the tank when they stop doing whatever they are supposed to do.

Unless I have a clear need and problem to address, which has never been the case in my tank, I believe that less is more.
 

zozo

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16 Apr 2015
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Netherlands
There are many types of activated carbon around it seems. There roams a video on Youtube from some reef guys that take different types of activated carbon to the test. The regular one available in the shops actually is the cheaper bituminous (coal) or Coco shell carbon which is denser in structure and less effective for water treatment and is industrially mainly used for air filtering.

The Lignite base carbon was tested as most effective in colour absorption and longer-lasting for water treatment.
(Brown Coal)

Regarding the article below the wood base activated carbon seems best for colour absorption. I don't remember this being tested in the mentioned video.

 
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_Maq_

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... regular deep vacuuming the part of my tank where I do most replanting. My working hypotheses is that the micro organisms and plants enjoy stability and consistency, and do more to help than I can imagine.
You call this "stability and consistency"? I prefer not to touch the substrate as long as possible (i.e. except occasional re-planting), precisely because I want to provide my microbes and plants with stability and consistency.
 
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I recently paid extra for a new face mask as the filters included with it are not only for filtering out fine dust (the primary reason for buying the mask) but also deal with “nuisance odours”, I wonder what type of carbon is in them! :)

Edit: I should have said that the carbon I’ve been using in my 60L Nano is Superfish and then All Pond Solutions. Both are pelleted but the APS stuff if over twice the size. Both types seem to work well at removing the colour from the water caused by the bogwood.
 
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_Maq_

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It's interesting that hi-tech aquarists usually hate brown coloration, and dose chelated micronutrients at the same time. Humic substances are very good natural chelators, very important in natural waters.
For me, humic substances are of little concern because they degrade slowly, and mostly abiotically. It's the simpler dissolved organic compounds which feed bacteria and algae, and which I'm trying to eliminate by using AC.
 

Yugang

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You call this "stability and consistency"? I prefer not to touch the substrate as long as possible (i.e. except occasional re-planting), precisely because I want to provide my microbes and plants with stability and consistency.
Fair enough. The key is consistency in maintenance of the tank, and avoiding excessive build up of organics.

When I have a major replanting, I may vacuum the soil in about 5-10% of my tank followed by a 70-80% water change. This means indeed that I don't touch the substrate too much, but do have a routine to keep organics under control, also in the soil.
 

_Maq_

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... have a routine to keep organics under control, also in the soil.
I believe particulate organic matter in the soil is more beneficial than harmful. To a degree, of course. It's a substrate for the microbial community which runs the tank. It adsorbs ammonia, phosphates and transition metals, and keeps them cycling (opposed to precipitated).
Keep organics under control ... yes, I agree wholeheartedly. But the implementation seems different in details.:)
 

Yugang

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I believe particulate organic matter in the soil is more beneficial than harmful. To a degree, of course. It's a substrate for the microbial community which runs the tank. It adsorbs ammonia, phosphates and transition metals, and keeps them cycling (opposed to precipitated).
Keep organics under control ... yes, I agree wholeheartedly. But the implementation seems different in details.:)
I am just a modest high tech tank keeper. I studied a lot, know most of the theories, but am still not sure what is a myth and what is science. I do my best with my tank, but nothing like the real experts.

You may have a lot of value for the hobby, so may I suggest you share your experience in a journal? We could learn a lot from you, and I will be your first student if you convince me with your tanks.
 

_Maq_

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I'm not sure whether I am the one to lecture. Yet one feature of my approach is rather special, perhaps: I don't limit myself to information shared within aquarist community, I prefer reading scientific books and papers, and then trying to apply in practice what I've learned from them. Perhaps that's why my opinions and approaches sometimes seem rather unorthodox.
 

dw1305

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UKAPS Team
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nr Bath
Hi all,
I believe particulate organic matter in the soil is more beneficial than harmful. To a degree, of course. It's a substrate for the microbial community which runs the tank. It adsorbs ammonia, phosphates and transition metals, and keeps them cycling (opposed to precipitated).
I think you are <"talking to the converted"> for <"many of us"> on this forum. We've talked a lot about what might <"happen in the substrate">, and <"particularly the rhizosphere">.
too low oxygen. Believe or not, oxygen deficit kills far more plants than anything else. (Just my opinion, I'm in a minority and I can live with that.)
I'm also a <"dissolved oxygen"> fan.
Perhaps that's why my opinions and approaches sometimes seem rather unorthodox.
I'd like to think we are a "broad church", where <"unpopular opinions"> can be aired. A number of members (<"including myself">) have been <"kicked off forums"> for disagreeing with the <"orthodox view">, although we have often had <"science on our side">.

cheers Darrel
 
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Ayrshire
One thing to consider with purigen is the bleach to reactivate it is very hard to get in the UK.
Tesco, asda etc have their own el cheapo thin bleach for 69p. But as bleach is sodium hypochlorite , buy that and make up a 8 percent solution with water. But its very dangerous if not used correctly. Mustard gas if mixed with anything else.
 
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Wookii

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Tesco, asda etc have their own el cheapo thin bleach for 69p. But as bleach is sodium hypochlorite , buy that and make up a 8 percent solution with water. But its very dangerous if not used correctly. Mustard gas if mixed with anything else.

You can't make an 8% solution with it, that's the problem with it - it comes as a 1% hypochlorite solution - so even using it neat isn't as stong as the 4-5% hypochlorite solution that Seachem recommends for recharging the purigen (based on US household products which are 8.25% in a 1:1 mix).
 
Joined
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You can't make an 8% solution with it, that's the problem with it - it comes as a 1% hypochlorite solution - so even using it neat isn't as stong as the 4-5% hypochlorite solution that Seachem recommends for recharging the purigen (based on US household products which are 8.25% in a 1:1 mix).
Hi wookie, You certainly can.
I have 15% solutions here at work, but we buy it full strength and dilute down
 

Wookii

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You certainly can.
Not from the Tesco, Asda el cheapo bleach you mentioned above?
I have 15% solutions here at work.
Yes, I buy a 12% solution from APC Pure, but as I say you can't achieve that percentage with the supermarket thin bleach.

EDIT: Sorry - I think we're at crossed purposes - I thought you were suggesting making an 8% solution from the supermarket stuff, but you mean buying stronger stuff and diluting didn't you?
 
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Not from the Tesco, Asda el cheapo bleach you mentioned above?

Yes, I buy a 12% solution from APC Pure, but as I say you can't achieve that percentage with the supermarket thin bleach.

EDIT: Sorry - I think we're at crossed purposes - I thought you were suggesting making an 8% solution from the supermarket stuff, but you mean buying stronger stuff and diluting didn't you?
Ahh yes crossed wires buddy. No definitely not making an 8 percent from the supermarket thin bleach.
I rarely bother bleaching the stuff as I we source a certain resin for Industrial use and its cheaper to just replace than to try burning off organics etc
 

Wookii

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Ahh yes crossed wires buddy. No definitely not making an 8 percent from the supermarket thin bleach.
I rarely bother bleaching the stuff as I we source a certain resin for Industrial use and its cheaper to just replace than to try burning off organics etc

Might be worth you putting it in little 100ml fine mesh bags and offering it for sale if it's cheaper than the £10 Seachem offering!
 
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