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Re: Activated carbon and trace elements

Hi Shawn,

Nice study. So far there are no surprises since you are using fresh
carbon and the study period only covers a short period of time. After
all, folks don't make a practice of replacing the carbon filtration
every four days. Typically, I suspect the carbon is used in dirty
filters for several months. During that time, it might be rinsed a few
times but little other revitalizing is done to it.

It would be more applicable to the aquarium situation if you used
activated carbon that has been in place in an aquarium filter for a
period of weeks and months and if instead of agitating the carbon, you
simply allow the water sample to flow through it without mechanically
disturbing the layer of diatomous algae which grows on carbon granules
in a filter. You also need to use the appropriate ratios of water to
carbon. Your results are skewed by the experimental method chosen.

It might be revealing to see how pure metal salt solutions are absorbed
(those without organic chelation). For that you might want to use
copper, nickel, zinc and molybdenum solutions.

Any chance of performing a study of Fe concentration in a planted
aquarium as the plants use it up? You could do this for a plain
substrate and also for an iron substrate with a small amount of peat in
it. This should help to put the minor amounts of trace elements absorbed
by the carbon in perspective relative to the amounts used by the plants
or the amounts available from a suitable substrate.

Please do continue your study.

Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!