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Carbon Affects pH?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Kevin Fehringer, Nov 27, 2019.

  1. Kevin Fehringer

    Kevin Fehringer New Member 5 Year Member

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    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!
  2. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi all,
    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
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  3. dw1305

    dw1305 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    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
    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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  4. themountain

    themountain Active Member 5 Year Member

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    My carbon block filter does nothing to my pH----> in 7.7 out 7.5...barely noticeable
    dw1305 likes this.
  5. Kevin Fehringer

    Kevin Fehringer New Member 5 Year Member

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    Thank you both for your replies! They helped a lot!