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When to Change Your Activated Carbon

Date Published - 11th May 2015 - Published by - iQuatics Ltd

How Often Should You Change Your Activated Carbon?
As any fish keeper worth their (aquarium) salt should know, activated carbon is basically a filtration medium used to keep your aquarium water free from harmful substances like toxins and unwanted bacteria. These carbon products have been specially treated to increase their porosity and surface area, and thus are specifically suited to the removal of any pollutants from your aquarium, making for a much healthier ecosystem for both fish and plant life.
Choosing your activated carbon
There are a number of important factors to bear in mind when choosing your carbon filtration media, not least of which is the specified iodine content. Activated carbon products range in iodine numbers from 600-1200, but as a general rule anything about 1000 should be ample for the majority of domestic applications. Remember that when it comes to ash content, the lower the number the better, though it is almost impossible to completely remove all traces of ash from your carbon filter media. Finally, it’s imperative that you carefully choose the correct particle size when it comes to carbon filtration medium for your aquarium; too small and you risk restricting the flow of water, too large and you could impede water filtration.
Changing your activated carbon
The truth of the matter is that there’s no ‘definitive’ set of commandments on when to change your carbon filter medium, as efficacy can vary greatly depending on the following factors:
1: How much livestock you have in the aquarium which actively produce waste and impurities.
2: The recent introduction of any foreign chemicals and treatments into the water system.
3: The function of the carbon within the aquarium; for example is it being used to cleanse your aquarium water or remove waste products?
A combination of the above three factors will greatly affect how often your activated carbon should be changed. Obviously, the more livestock you have in the tank, the quicker the water will be contaminated with waste products. As a general rule, the physical clarity of the water in your aquarium is a great indicator of how effective your carbon filter is; as the water starts to get cloudier, it’s probably time to start thinking about replacing your existing filter.
Remember that iQuatics wouldn’t recommend trying to re-activate your carbon filtration product manually; in fact, it isn’t even physically possible to do so as standard domestic ovens simply cannot reach a high enough temperature to affect any chemical change. Should you have any other enquiries, please feel free to contact one of our team directly via our live chat feature.

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