Running carbon - how I change it out

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Carbon helps maintain water clarity in my reef, and absorbs some chemicals the corals release as they fight for space on a daily basis. The following shows how I change out the carbon once it has been used up.

First, I disconnect it from its pump in the sump, and set it in the sink. I love the Phosban Reactor's rubber connections, which are simple to press in or disconnect.

After removing the lid and draining all the saltwater into the sink, I'll dump out the old carbon into the trash, then clean all the parts in tap water. A pipe/tube brush works great to clean out the riser tube sections.

These are the basic items I use. Carbon, a canning funnel (sold near where you can find stuff to make your own jelly preserves), and some carbon. I bought a large amount in bulk about two years ago, and bagged it up in separate one gallon bags to keep the majority nice and dry. A single bag will refill my reactor four or five times.

Using the other end of the pipe brush, I press the mesh pad down on top of the perforated red plate in the reactor. The wooden spoon handle would do this as well.

The funnel is then placed on the reactor, and the wooden spoon handle is inserted into the riser tube to keep the carbon out.

Add carbon. My reef may or may not need this much, but usually I use between two and three cups of carbon. The reactor holds three cups, max.

Next, the mesh pad is placed around the riser tube near the top.

Then the second red perforated plate is installed. This will keep the carbon in place during the rinse. Fill the reactor with RO/DI water.

Placing my finger tip on the riser tube, I'll pour out all the water and any carbon dust.

After it is poured out, refill it with water again, hold the center tube firmly to avoid dumping out the core with all the carbon, and pour it out again.

Fill it up with RO/DI water to the top. This keeps it from floating or bobbing in the sump when I put it back.

Screw on the lid.

And reconnect it to its pump in the sump.

I have it set up for the output to pour out over the Mag 7 of my calcium reactor's circulation pump, effectively cooling it.
The carbon is changed out every two weeks.