Carbon filter media is used by aquarists for a number of reasons, it is a multi-functional filter media used in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. It is very easy to use and is generally speaking a very affordable, single-use chemical filter media. In a reef tank, carbon is most valuable for its extreme adsorption properties that will remove light-blocking yellow tannins from the water along with odors, medications, and a variety of toxins.

When it comes to choosing carbon media, not all carbon is created equal meaning you're going to see varying levels of performance based on the type of carbon your using. When looking at performance, you can really start to see exactly why Bulk Reef Supply ROX 0.8 Carbon is the most popular filter media as chosen by all of you, our customers.

Bulk Reef Supply ROX 0.8 Carbon media

Why Is ROX 0.8 A Superior Choice?

BRS ROX 0.8 Carbon is a pharmaceutical-grade activated carbon that is relatively hard meaning it has a very low dust level and it rinses clean in a matter of seconds. It is made from a blend of different source materials which matters because it creates a variety of different pore sizes which allow the ROX 0.8 Carbon to remove a wider variety of contaminants. The dense carbon is pressed into tiny pellets that are specifically designed for use with water because it will allow for even fluidization and discourages channeling.

BRS ROX 0.8 Carbon dosage chart and bulk savings

Essentially ROX 0.8 provides the best overall performance when compared to other aquarium carbons and even though it is not the most affordable pound for pound, you still get the best bang for your buck when you compare the lifespan and performance side by side with lesser grade carbons. You can use less ROX 0.8 Carbon material to achieve the same level of adsorption, in some cases up to 50% less!  If you purchase in bulk, the savings can really stack up. 

How To Use ROX 0.8 Carbon

Carbon works by coming in contact with your water where contaminants in the water will attach themselves to the surfaces of the carbon. On a microscopic level, the more pores in the carbon and varying sizes of those pores improves the performance of a particular carbon. Point is, you want to fluidize the carbon and use it in such a way that allows water to easily pass through the entire mass of media, maximizing the water's exposure to the carbon granules.  In an aquarium, you can either use a media bag or a media reactor (preferred). 

Rinsing BRS ROX 0.8 Carbon in a media bag

Media Bag

  1. Measure the appropriate amount of ROX 0.8 Carbon using the 1 tablespoon per 10 gallons ratio or just visit our BRS Reef Calculator.
  2. Fill an appropriately sized media bag or filter sock with your measured carbon. Just be sure the pore size of the media bag is small enough to contain the media.
  3. Place in an area of high flow such as in between sump baffles, in a filter sock, in a media basket or tray.
  4. Replace with new ROX 0.8 Carbon every 1-2 weeks or as needed. Be sure to rinse your media bag thoroughly to keep it clean in between uses. 

BRS ROX Carbon in a BR Deluxe Media Reactor

BRS Media Reactor

  1. Measure the appropriate amount of ROX 0.8 Carbon using the 1 tablespoon per 10 gallons ratio or just visit our BRS Reef Calculator.
  2. Fill the media cartridge with the appropriate amount of carbon.  Be sure there is a foam sponge on the bottom and a 2nd foam sponge on top of the media itself to hold the media firmly in place. 
  3. Insert the filter cartridge into the BRS Media Reactor and proceed to rinse the media using tank water or fresh RO/DI water. Just use the pump to feed water through the reactor and rinse with at least one gallon of water or until it runs clear.  
  4. Install the media reactor on your tank or sump and adjust the flow if necessary to ensure the ROX 0.8 Carbon is not tumbling and is held in place between the sponges. Carbon does not need to tumble inside the reactor and tumbling will only cause a mess, releasing carbon fines into your aquarium.  
  5. Replace carbon media every 1-2 weeks or as needed. Keep in mind a media reactor is much more effective compared to a media bag and will likely exhaust the carbon much quicker because of the increased contact time. The flow through your reactor will gradually decrease over this time as the media clogs up. 

It is important to know that the performance of carbon will slowly decrease over time and drastically fall within two weeks' time, especially in a saltwater reef tank. The carbon will clog up and not be of any benefit so do not allow the carbon to run any longer than 14 days in a reef tank. Remember, it is better to run no carbon at all than allow your carbon to run longer than 14 days, so just pull it out after the time has passed.  In some situations, like when you're trying to remove medications or targeting a heavy concentration of particular toxins, it's best to change it out every 5-7 days to ensure maximum effectiveness.  The carbon just clogs up quicker in these situations and by changing it out more often you can be confident the carbon is working it's very best.