How much and where would I find activated charcoal?

bugsb(9)March 29, 2007

Can anyone tell me about activated charcoal? I have heard it mentioned several times here on the forum to take the discoloration out of pond water but how much, how do you put it in the system and where is a source for it? I have a large pond so will I am sure will need quite a bit.

Thanks in advance.


Here is a link that might be useful: My pond the way it was before the freeze.

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Use it in your filter. You will need to put it in a cloth bag so water can flow through it. You need activated carbon which can be bought at stores that specialize in fish and aquariums or find it online.

Happy ponding,

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 10:17PM
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Thanks Scott,
Is there a ratio of charcoal to water? Does it clear the water of coloration or does it have other benefits?

Here is a link that might be useful: My pond the way it was before the freeze.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 10:22PM
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I know nothing about activated charcoal or what its use is "SORRY" I just want to tell you that I just looked at your pond under construction and it is AWESOME!! How many lbs is it? It looks really big. I love the bridge!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 10:36PM
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greenmythumb(5b il)

you can only find it among a special alaskan tribe and you have to go in person b/c they dont ship anywhere... joking... lol you can find it pretty much anywhere they sell pet supplies. by the fish supply stuff, prices vary. i don't know about using it predominantly for discoloration either. i think it would depend on the cause of this discoloration issue you have. charcoal is used for its ability to absorb and bond with things - as in it's label advertising near the fish stuff is for absorbing odor in tanks, or for worries about chemical polutants/contaminants in ponds. but it is also used medicly to bond with and absorb toxins (chemicals) that have been ingested (by humans or pets). also if you have fish in your pond and treat them for anything you have to take out the carbon so it doesn't do its job and work against you. it will absorb medicines you put in for fish. like an ick problem like i did last year.

if you still want to buy carbon and are concerned about the cost, buy the lose stuff and make your own makeshift container to fill it with like some old nylons or something... just stick it somewhere where the water flows. no biggie...

if your discoloration is the anual greening caused by a nice bloom of algae particles, the carbon won't have much of an effect on that. if you cant stand waiting it out there are other pond friendly things that have been suggetsted to help you get through it like barley and peat extract, bails, or pads. those can be found by pet supply stuff or even farm supplies. then there's koi clay- you can find some rediculous and some awesome suppliers online for that. i dont recall if i got my koi clay from a suggestion here or just from an ebay search. use search links and research it. i think i paid something like 5 bucks for a 5 lb bag. also consider this... if it is algae related - i noticed the more debris, there is more algae b/c there is more stuff for it to feed on. some people tend to freak out if their water is not crystal clear all the time. nature just doesn't work that way. algae is just cleaning up what our hands and nets could't get to. so i find it natural and benificial if only kept moderately in check. it's like the pond version of pill popping to fix every little "problem". some housekeeping and spring cleaning should help it clear up soon if you havent had a chance yet.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 1:10AM
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Activated charcoal is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen which creates a highly porous charcoal. This gives it a very large surface area (kind of like the stuff in your biofilter but on a microscopic scale). When water passes through the charcoal, it chemically binds stuff in the water like chlorine, pigments, and quite a few other chemicals. It slowly loses effectiveness with time as the active sites get filled.

It worked great on the tannins from peat in my pond. My pond went from murky brown to lightly tinted brown in a couple of days. In the aquarium, it will remove a lot of the chemicals used to cure fish diseases like methylene blue, malachite green, etc. which is why they recommend removing the charcoal before treatment.

You can buy it at Petsmart or other pet shops in 1 quart containers for roughly $10. You don't really need it in your pond filter unless you are removing some chemicals or tannins. A healthy pond with biofilter is sufficient.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 10:19AM
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Thanks for all the info. I see now that I don't need charcoal. I thought it did more than it does.
Another good reason for posting questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: My pond the way it was before the freeze.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 1:54PM
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Check out eBay. I found several sellers with great prices for bulk aquarium/pond carbon, both granular and pellitized, way under the cost of buying it at any pet store.

The seller currently listing 27 lbs. in 5 gal. bucket containers for $48.99 delivered to your door via UPS is very reliable. See: ebay auction # 170096856234

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 1:56PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Since there is always some sort of debris getting into my pond I put a bag in the skippy at the beginning of the season. Don't buy the compressed pellets. The bonding agent reduces the ability of the carbon to bond with chemicals. I buy the bags of AC for African Violets in the plant dept at Lowes or Home Depot. It's cheaper and works just fine. African Violets are extremely sensitive to chemical salts in the water and the AC attracts and binds it. Sleepless
( I know you said you didn't need it, Bugsb. I'm just saying it for anyone else who might wonder.)

    Bookmark   March 30, 2007 at 8:19PM
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