Active Carbon in Aquariums

Activated carbon in aquariums fulfils the task of water purification. The activated charcoal works by binding toxic particles in the water, so activated carbon in the aquarium will lead to clearer water.


It is used for 2 main purposes:

  • Disposal of medication in the aquarium. At the end of the process with the medication, activated carbon is used to remove any remaining residues. The powdered activated carbon is taken, placed in a sock or mesh and placed in the aquarium for 24 hours. After 24h it will have absorbed all the medicine and the water will be pure.
  • If plants have been planted and the substrate has been moved, the use of activated charcoal is also useful to remove the remains of the substrate.


In marine aquariums, there are many traces of chemical elements present in the water. Activated carbon, in its capacity to adsorb particles in the water, has the danger of eating the salts present in the seawater, including the calcium that corals need for their development.

There are two cases where activated carbon is necessary in the aquarium.

  • If, for example, in a marine aquarium, the substrate and stones are moved and diatomaceous algae, for example, come out, they will remain floating and can move to the corals, destroying them. That is why it would be necessary to use activated carbon for at least 24 hours.
  • In the case of anemones, an active carbon filter is also necessary. An anemone, when it dies, is capable of killing anything you have in the aquarium. It is also necessary to immediately install an active carbon filter.


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