Does activated carbon remove tannins?

mantarae88

Member
I’m starting to like the look of black water tanks. I bought Indian almond leaves online for my betta, and was going to buy this stuff called Sera Blackwater, which is a conditioner that tints the water and such without affecting the pH.
Right when I was about to buy it I realized something that I completely overlooked. I run filters that contain carbon in the cartridges. This will just end up removing all the tannins right? *facepalm*.
The almond leaves are almost here already, so I guess I could keep them for cosmetic purposes. I suppose they soften the water as well.
I really do like that black water look though. Dang. I didn’t even think about the carbon. I’ve thought about switching to a sponge filter in my 3 gallon, and maybe later on in my 5 gallon. Maybe that could help?
 

MacZ

Member
Tannins and active carbon literally don't mix. How often do you change the carbon? Maybe just remove it and stop replacing it? Active carbon masks many probable problems, it may be possible that as a result you will be confronted with mediocre and easy solvable things like smell, while cycle problems may occur as well.

I switched from Sera Blackwater to Tetra ToruMin and alder cones, as I don't need a water conditioner. The Sera product is actually named Sera AQUATAN Blackwater. And Aquatan is their brand name for regular water conditioners. So unless you need a conditioner anyways and like it really dark (because if you use that stuff as normal conditioner you will see how potently it colours the water.), consider using other ways to get tannins in the water.
 
  • Thread Starter

mantarae88

Member
MacZ said:
Tannins and active carbon literally don't mix. How often do you change the carbon? Maybe just remove it and stop replacing it? Active carbon masks many probable problems, it may be possible that as a result you will be confronted with mediocre and easy solvable things like smell, while cycle problems may occur as well.

I switched from Sera Blackwater to Tetra ToruMin and alder cones, as I don't need a water conditioner. The Sera product is actually named Sera AQUATAN Blackwater. And Aquatan is their brand name for regular water conditioners. So unless you need a conditioner anyways and like it really dark (because if you use that stuff as normal conditioner you will see how potently it colours the water.), consider using other ways to get tannins in the water.
That’s kinda what I thought.
I use the stock power filters that came with the tanks. Which means using those stock Tetra filter cartridges you can buy at Walmart or wherever. Which contain carbon.
I’m just going to switch to sponge filters, as they’re smaller, create less of a current, and allow a better surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow. And then that way I can also have the tannins.
I searched for tetra torumin, but it wasn’t available to me. So I got Sera. Yes I enjoy the look of the black water. I think it would make my betta feel more comfortable too.
Did you find with the Aquatan, you had to use a lot of it? (In terms of water conditioning). Or is it concentrated like Prime where you only need a very small amount? Just asking because it was on the pricier side, and it’s only a 100ml bottle. Although I only have 2 small tanks so I’m not too concerned.
 

MacZ

Member
mantarae88 said:
That’s kinda what I thought.
I use the stock power filters that came with the tanks. Which means using those stock Tetra filter cartridges you can buy at Walmart or wherever. Which contain carbon.
I’m just going to switch to sponge filters, as they’re smaller, create less of a current, and allow a better surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow. And then that way I can also have the tannins.
I searched for tetra torumin, but it wasn’t available to me. So I got Sera. Yes I enjoy the look of the black water. I think it would make my betta feel more comfortable too.
Did you find with the Aquatan, you had to use a lot of it? (In terms of water conditioning). Or is it concentrated like Prime where you only need a very small amount? Just asking because it was on the pricier side, and it’s only a 100ml bottle. Although I only have 2 small tanks so I’m not too concerned.
I dislike activated carbon filtration generally, as it doesn't do anything for me. Good you change to standard filtration media. :)

I used the blackwater aquatan basically only for the colouration. Here in Germany we rarely have chlorine or chloramine in the provider system, as they have to remove that stuff before sending the water into the tubes. They only add it to the network when the system in general has been compromised. So that's why I keep a small bottle of standard aquatan at hand, in case that happens (maybe once a year tops), but otherwise I don't use it at all and switched to Torumin as it's just the blackwater/peat extract and nothing else.

I have no comparison to Prime, as most API products are not sold here, some are even not allowed to be sold.

It says 5 ml per 20 liter / 5.25 gallon of standard Aquatan on the bottle. Compare yourself. :)
And 10ml per 50 liters of the Blackwater version.
 
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