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Carbon Affects pH?

Kevin Fehringer

New Member
5 Year Member
I "heard" recently from someone I respect that there are different grades of carbon available, and that each is "set" to a certain pH level. For example, if I lower the pH in an apisto tank down to 6.0, then put in a box filter with granulated carbon in it, would it change the pH to 7.0, which supposedly is the most common carbon. Is there any validity to this, or is it an old wive's tale?

Thank you in advance!
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Hi all,
I "heard" recently from someone I respect that there are different grades of carbon available, and that each is "set" to a certain pH level.....
I think all activated charcoals are alkaline, how many bases they donate will depend on the material that was used.

Bone charcoal will be more alkaline than coconut shell, or bamboo, activated charcoal. If you start with a really high carbon source, then you are going to have a charcoal that has less effect on water quality.

cheers Darrel
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Hi all,
This is what <"Tim Hovanec has to say">, and this is the blurb for <"Seachem Matrix Carbon">.

I'm not keen on Seachem's advertising, but I think that this probably covers the important bits
MatrixCarbon™ has a very low ash content as indicated by its minimal impact on pH.........is a bituminous coal-based, macroporous carbon.........Most carbons are washed with sulfuric acid. The phosphate is contained in the ash from the carbon source. The main purpose of acid-washing is to remove ash
It would be the ash (the non-carbon fraction) that contained the potassium carbonate (K2CO3) and calcium oxide (CaO) etc that would raise pH.

cheers Darrel
 
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