carbon reactor in aquarium

What is a Carbon Reactor in an Aquarium? What do You Need to Know Before Use It?

When I came into the aquarium hobby, there were many terms I listened to keep an aquarium clean and healthy. As there were many aquarium filters, I was confused about what I should use. After long research, I decided to use a carbon reactor in my reef aquarium to clean organic pollutants. But do I recommend it to use for everyone? Here is my real-life experience that helps make a decision about whether having it is worth it or not. 

What is a carbon reactor?

Before understanding the carbon reactor, you must have knowledge about the media reactor and its working process. As a media reactor contains filter media, you can use activated carbon inside the media reactor as one of its filtration media. It is called a carbon reactor when it holds activated carbon as a media.

A carbon reactor is a type of aquarium filtration device that contains activated carbon as its filtration media. It removes general pollution from the water, such as dissolved organics, odors, yellow pigment, toxins, and much more. An aquarium that has been suffering from water discoloration can also get rid of it by using a carbon reactor. 

If you want to use a carbon reactor in your reef tank, it will require fewer water changes while keeping the tank clear. Frequent water changes are done for a clear aquarium view and to keep away organic debris from the tank. The most aquarium has water discoloration problem. The water of that aquarium becomes yellow more frequently. For that situation, using a carbon reactor will help the tank keep crystal clear while keeping it healthy for aquarium creatures.

Can I use a carbon reactor in my aquarium?

Unless it is a new tank, you can definitely use a carbon reactor as it keeps the aquarium clean and remove any undesirable debris and toxins. Though it can remove most of the toxins from the aquarium, It is important to know that it isn’t able to remove any high ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. So, the carbon reactor is not a wise choice for a newly set tank. 

If you have a newly set up aquarium or an aquarium that is not cycled yet, it is better to avoid using a carbon reactor in your system. 

What do a GFO and carbon reactor do?

A GFO and carbon reactor both work almost the same way. They both remove organic pollutants and help eliminate the discoloration. They also prevent excess algae growth by lowering phosphate levels. 

What size carbon reactor do you need?

The size of the carbon reactor you need for your aquarium depends on the tank’s pollutants and the tank size. Tanks that you think are heavily dirty need a big reactor to clean up, while a less dirty tank requires a small reactor. You can use multiple reactors in a single tank.

What is the best carbon reactor?

Two Little Fishies ATLPBR150 GFO PhosBan Reactor

This is a hang-on back media reactor, which requires a 4″ wide space for a hanger. It will stand about 12″ beneath the hanger outside of your aquarium, and the tubes will be stuck up about 2″ above the hanger. If you don’t want to hang it, you can use extra-large hoses to fit in your cabinet. Unfortunately, the hoses don’t come with the package which you need to buy extra. 

This model is rated for up to 150 gallons of the aquarium, but in one tank, you can use multiple reactors if you need to use. Keep in mind that you are aware of the flow rate and running your carbon reactor at 20-30 GPH. Too much flow rate can damage the proper environment for aquarium creatures. 

After a few days, you can see the effective result in water quality as this PhosBan ATLPBR150 reactor is one of the best in the market. 

Use of Two Little Fishies ATLPBR150 GFO PhosBan Reactor

However, before installing it, ensure you have read the caution and instruction thoroughly. 


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