When we introduced AquaChar as “a biological carbon for long-term use” it was a hotly debated topic in the hobby because of people were familiar with proper use of activated carbon and issues related to misuse long-term use and overdosing.
Activated carbon has been limited to small flakes or pelletize powder for a slightly larger and more consistent sizing. In the BRS “Best Media of 2019” video (BELOW) Ryan made the comment: “Some of the large pellets (granules) may seem easier to use but they are actually designed for air [purification] in most cases..”.
The larger chunk size of AquaChar creates internal porosity to allow decomposing microorganisms to pull external organic internally creating “self-cleaning” longevity.
There are a couple of maintenance tasks that will extend the longevity of AquaChar.
Once a month you can use tank water during a water change to shake out the bag to remove some larger organics and free up additional porosity.
If needed, new AquaChar can be added to the old before placing in the filter.
Unlike other carbons once AquaChar has reached its effective lifespan (between 3-6 months) it can be regenerated with a simple process. With a strong initial interaction some of the effectiveness is covered with the original biofilm pull.
WARNING: DO NOT REMOVE ALL YOUR BIOLOGICAL AQUACHAR AT ONCE. THIS CAN DISRUPT BIOLOCIAL BALANCE RESULTING IN BACTERIA BLOOM AND POTENTIAL LOSS OF CYCLE.
Once you notice diminishing effects with monthly maintenance, the following process offers a limited regeneration of AquaChar by using biofilm remediation to free up clogged porosity for clarity and biological balance.
- Rinse AquaChar you wish to regenerate and place in small container.
- Add Hydrogen Peroxide to the container holding AquaChar and let sit for 12-24 hours. You should see a foam of protein on top of the water when the process is complete.
- Drain the hydrogen peroxide form the container and place AquaChar in thin layer to air dry. DO NOT USE AN OVEN OR HEAT SOURCE!
- Once AquaChar has dried to its original weight, Rinse before using again.
There is nothing like the addition of new AquaChar. This regeneration method is to offer a way to extend the use of AquaChar but may not have the same effectiveness. We recommend mixing regenerated AquaChar with fresh when using.
When AquaChar has exhausted its useful lifespan, it is meant to be recycled into the environment where you can have a local impact that can last thousands of years.
When using AquaChar for FRESHWATER, you can it directly in your garden as is. This allows the organics and bacteria to interact directly with the environment and have a quicker impact.
When using AquaChar for SALTWATER, start by rinsing it well, then perform the regenerations steps, followed by an optional white vinegar bath to and a biological carbon source before use. This method is great for acid loving plants such as tomatoes and blueberries.