What to do with carbon filter after removing medication?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Water' started by bigdreams, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. bigdreamsWell Known MemberMember

    Hi all,
    I recently medicated my tank w/ Levimasole and am running carbon in the tank for a few days to clear out the medicine. It's a brand new (only 2 days of use) carbon filter, I hate to just dump it.

    What do you guys normally do? Keep it around, let it dry out and save for another day? These things last a few weeks, so would hate to dump it after just using it a couple of days. I have a planted tank so don't want to keep it in the tank for much longer.


  2. PlecomakerWell Known MemberMember

    Id dump it, but im a bit superstitious with medication.
  3. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    Is there any way to"reactivate" carbon?
  4. BithimalaFishlore VIPMember

    Not that I know of...
  5. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Yes, but it's not something the average home owner can readily do.

    When you use enormous amounts of activated carbon, the outfit that sells you the carbon will often take the used stuff and reactivate it or turn it over to their supplier who may reactivate it.

    Here's an outfit that does it:


    It looks like they use a rotary kiln kind of like what cement plants use to make cement. But they slowly ramp the temperature up so that things desorb and leave the carbon in a more controlled way. The final temperature and atmosphere in the kiln actually reactivates it, not just drive off some of what's been trapped. They seem pretty proud of the end result. :)

    Edit to add: I just throw it away, myself. :)
  6. bigdreamsWell Known MemberMember

    Still seems like a waste to me. I got the matching-sized carbon insert for the Aquaclear 70, but I am thinking next time I will just get a small insert like for a Aquaclear 30 , and use that for a few days instead. Save some money, and does the same job, right, since I only run it for three days instead of four weeks.
  7. AquaphobiaFishlore LegendMember

    You could also buy bulk carbon and tie it into a nylon sockette. Much cheaper that way!
  8. BithimalaFishlore VIPMember

    Personally, I just use bulk AC in a media bag when I want to add it to the tank...
  9. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Yes. Buying it in bulk can be a LOT cheaper than buying the pre-made pouches/bags to go into specific filters. So it doesn't seem like as much of a waste when you need to just toss some away.

    It's best to throw it in the trash, or put it in with your garden. If you pour it down a drain, remember that it's a bit higher density than water, and can collect in traps and other low places, potentially helping to plug off your drains/sewer piping.

    It's like coffee grounds or broken egg shells. They're fairly high density, and not something that should go down a drain - unless you enjoy rooting your drain/sewer, or subsidizing the Roto Rooter guy. ;)
  10. BithimalaFishlore VIPMember

    Well, I just learned something new. . .

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