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Old 07-26-2013, 09:44 AM   #1 
smiller1776
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Question CAn i mix extra ammo/carbon chip with sand for bottom of tank?

title says it all, its a 5gal, has a filter until its fully planted, than a step down to a very mild filtration system, thank for your input, and they are not old use chips..
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:07 AM   #2 
shellieca
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Its not something I would do. I've never used ammo chips but my understanding of carbon is that once its "dead" if left in the tank too long it can actually leach bad stuff into the tank. I don't have either in any of my tanks, carbon isn't necessary unless you're removing chemicals/meds or odors from your water. If the ammo chips are meant to remove ammonia there wouldn't be any need for them in a cycled tank. Just my thoughts.
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:24 AM   #3 
Nicci Lu
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Yea, the ammo chips only last for about a week before they have to be replaced/recharged. And I have heard that once full they leech ammonia back into the water, though I wonder if this might be a hobby myth. Not worth the risk, though, IMO.
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:52 AM   #4 
jaysee
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Re:carbon leaching

Many people don't use carbon at all, so how bad can the stuff (excluding meds) be that would be leached back into the water, when in many tanks its not even "removed" in the first place? Carbon works via the van der waals force, which means there is no real chemical reaction that takes place - what goes in is what goes out.

As for going out, different things have different levels of attractiveness to the carbon, or affinity. Things with a high affinity for the carbon will not leach back into the water because of the strength of the bond and the amount of energy required to break it. However, once the attachment sites are all used up, things with a lower affinity for the carbon can be bumped out by something with a higher affinity.


Like the others, I would not put it in the substrate either. With the ammo chips - your tank ought to have sufficient surface area to support a bacteria colony to handle the bioload without the aide of ammonia adsorbing products. It's one thing to have them on hand for an emergency, but quite another to use them long term.

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Last edited by jaysee; 07-26-2013 at 10:56 AM.
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