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Why is Bituminous Based Carbon better than other forms…and why do Aquariums need carbon?

Date Published - 13th April 2014 - Published by - iQuatics Ltd

Bituminous carbon is undoubtedly the best form of carbon for use in aquariums for a number of reasons; when it comes to removing impurities from the water, there is nothing so effective and the fact that Bituminous based carbon is also used in drinking water filtration systems is a good indication of just how useful it is in aquarium applications for cleansing and removing all kinds of impurities.

While carbons made from other materials are useful, they are just not as successful as Bituminous based carbon for a variety of reasons; one is the fact that Bituminous based carbon contains a large amount of transitional pores which are usually sized between 40 and 5,000 angstroms. Other carbon based materials have pores which are much smaller…or much larger and this by association means that they are much less effective at the removal of a variety of impurities.
Research in the field has measured the amount of impurities which Bituminous based carbon materials are able to remove per gram of carbon and then compared the results to other carbon based materials…and the overwhelming evidence points to the fact that Bituminous based carbon wins hands down in terms of productivity thanks to the balance of pores and to the size of the pores found in Bituminous based carbon.
The task which carbon in the aquarium performs is vital to the health of the systems within; not only does carbon remove dyes which may leech out of wood or ornaments placed within the tank but also a substance generally referred to as “dissolved organic compounds” or DOC. DOC is usually a result of the breakdown of plant materials in the water in addition to other sources of unwanted pollution such as tannins and phenols.
What carbon doesn’t do is remove ammonia or nitrates from your water…though it can remove chlorine. Phosphates can be a concern for carbon using fish keepers as an imbalance can lead to algae blooms but if you use a phosphate free Bituminous carbon then this should cease to be an issue.
Carbon…and most especially Bituminous based carbon is recommended in general as a good way to ensure the overall health of your tank. Considering how affordable it is and also how simple to maintain, there can be no sensible reason for not taking advantage of all it has to offer.
Some keepers of saltwater aquariums have doubts over how useful carbon is in the water but the fact is that Bituminous based carbon can remove trace elements such as copper, iron and iodine from saltwater so Bituminous based carbon should definitely be considered.
To maintain your carbon and ensure that you are getting the most from it, check regularly that it has not built up a layer of debris which will clog its pores and reduce effectiveness. Running it under water for a few seconds will cleanse it enough to improve its performance levels to a suitable standard. Because most filtration systems today are well designed, you will find it is a simple task to add carbon to your system but remember that water changes are still vital even with Bituminous carbon doing its job!
Click here to view our premium Airo Carbon
You have just read another great aquarium blog post by iQuatics. If you would like us to blog about a specific subject or have your own aquarium blog content you would like published on our website, please get in touch. Together we can help grow the iQuatics aquarium blog into a vast resource full of combined industry knowledge.

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