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Cleaning with Carbon

Most hobbyists have used carbon at some point — but how exactly does it do its job?

By A. Colin Flood |

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Whether it is for a small betta bowl, 6 million gallons at the Georgia Aquarium, or for freshwater or marine tanks, filtration still falls into one of three categories: biological, chemical and mechanical.

In the chemical department, the primary tool of the trade is activated carbon (AC). A little bit of it goes a long way. Activated carbon does not break down, convert or add chemicals. It chemically adsorbs dissolved wastes from the aquarium; absorption also occurs with activated carbon when it absorbs gasses). Most filter systems in aquariums large and small contain a space for carbon. Carbon is one of the most common forms of chemical filtration available today.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the June 2010 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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