Do you need activated carbon for your fish tank?
Do you indeed need activated carbon for your fish tank. My answer to you is why not?
Thats right, if anything, know 2 things, you get them in the pet store recommended for your fish tank is one. The other, well they use this stuff as part of many water filters used for filtering water for human consumption, so you can be quite sure its going to be good for your fish.
Seriously dude or dudette.
Anyway, so why do they call this stuff 'activated' carbon first of all. Well apparently its not your everyday carbon, so dont try breaking off pencils and dumping them in your filter or start burning wood and throwing charcoal in there either.
Although it may work, it may get your water pretty black as well! So its 'activated' because its processed to provide a large surface area. Why do we need that? Well the larger the surface area, the more effective the carbon will be, the activated carbon I mean.
So now what is it effective for right? Well you guys can go read the technical and scientific jargons out there on the specifics, things like 'adsorption' and a laundry list of chemicals it neutralizes.
For me, I will keep it simple for you in terms of 2 things.
The first is, it helps to remove any odors. Its pretty brilliant in that sense, reduces the amount of peculiar smells that might come out of your aquarium. So why wouldnt you want that right?
The second is, this stuff will visibly, and I mean visibly keep your fish tank water crystal clear. Thats right, any of that brown or green tinge that you might be used to, it takes all that stuff out. So, why wouldnt you want that either right?
Easy peasy, removes bad smells and keeps your water looking clear as tap water.
The thing that you need to ensure is also 2 fold:
1) Make sure you rinse the activated carbon nicely before you put it in your filtration system. This will help to remove any small carbon particles that can cloud the water suddenly.
2) Ever so often, wash it as well. Usually they are sold in porous bags so over time, fish muck will accumulate there. Best is to wash using the fish tank water itself (this way any good bacteria that may be clinging on the large surface area will survive). Again, rinse until not only does the muck runs off but also any residual carbon that may have gotten broken down.
The one thing you need to watch out for is, since activated carbon is termed as chemical filtration, you need to take it out of your filtration system if you are putting medication into the aquarium water. Especially if its synthesized medication and not organic or natural, else the activated carbon will neutralize the medication as well.
Other than that, its good to go, so use it!
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