Activated Carbon or Zeolite for clearing water?


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I've had a new problem slowly come along, my water is getting pretty dark colored. I have read a ton of topics on this, and I believe my root problem may be coming from runoff. As my title says, which product would be best suited to help in clearing up my water. I have read one post where it was suggested that zeolite does all the AC does, and then some, but other post I have read it seems that the zeolite in mainly for ammonia problems. I'm a bit confused right now, but it doesn't take much for that lol. Another question I have, when topping off my water, the last time I filled 3 5gal buckets and let them sit for 24 hrs to allow the chlorine to dissipate before I added the water. How do most of you top off your ponds? Is this the best way or should I go the chemical remover route? Thanks.
 
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We top off with a hose. If we add a lot of water we add De-chlor. But our water isn't artificially chlorinated so we don't worry too much about it.

As for the other question - we use activated charcoal on occasion, which works for us. I have no experience with zeolite.
 

Mmathis

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AC would work to remove tannins, a chemical that comes from leaves, branches, wood....if that's what's causing your problem. I believe zeolite is mainly for removing ammonia, but it could have other uses.

Our water is treated with chloramines [ammonia & chlorine]. I have a cartridge that attaches to your water hose that I use when I add water to the pond. But, I also add some de-chlor product directly to the water....just in case.

This what I use -- from Amazon.com for about $32.00. I think it's good up to 10,000 gallons.
image.jpg
 
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crsublette

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If the problem is water discoloration due to runoff or organic decomposition, then the best solution is to first reduce the cause of the discoloration. If the runoff or organic decomposition can not be addressed, such as stopping the runnoff or cleaning up some of the organic decomposition, then you might be fighting an ongoing expensive battle to remove the water discoloration.

To understand more about Zeolite, then read post#10 in thread "Ammonia question... reading from the strip." Zeolite functions due to a cation exchange system and nothing about zeolite implies having an "activated carbon ability" to absorb chemical discolorations out of water. I do not see the connection of "zeolite doing everything activated carbon and then some".


As with most these products, installation and volume used of these two products will determine its effectiveness. For installation, I like the Childer's DIY water filter. These products work best when the water has thorough contact with the product's surface area. Placement is best if you can place the product so the water can squeeze through the product rather than water flowing over the product. Keep in mind that these products will need to be removed to either, in case of Zeolite, to recharge it or, in case of the carbon, to dispose of it.


For chlorine or chloramine treatment, I am a big fan of the water filters that Mmathis has shown above. The most common mistake are folk's auto-fill float or electronic valves sticking or forgetting to turn off the garden hose that is adding water to the pond. To be aware of the number of gallons you have used, then you can install a cheap water gallon counter hose attachment after or before the filter.

The cheapest route to neutralize chlorine and to neutralize the chlorine in chloramine is to use a product called Sodium Thiosulfate. To understand more how to use it, where to get it, etc, then read post#17 in thread "adding water." This product is a basic chlorine neutralizer and does not do all of the unnecessary "fancy features" of other dechlorinators.
 
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Thanks for the replies. I'm going with the carbon I believe. I'm pretty sure the discolored water is more of a run off issue, because I've only had my pond up and running for a couple of months now. Here's one topic I was reading that had me thinking about the zeolite. Particularly the 12th and 14th post from Catfishnut. Maybe I'm reading it wrong?

https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/where-to-buy-order-bulk-activated-carbon.11289/
 

crsublette

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Thanks for the replies. I'm going with the carbon I believe. I'm pretty sure the discolored water is more of a run off issue, because I've only had my pond up and running for a couple of months now. Here's one topic I was reading that had me thinking about the zeolite. Particularly the 12th and 14th post from Catfishnut. Maybe I'm reading it wrong?

https://www.gardenpondforum.com/threads/where-to-buy-order-bulk-activated-carbon.11289/

In attempt to remove discolored water due to a chemical reaction, whether it is due to organic decomposition or runoff, then the activated carbon is best.

I think you are reading his posts correctly, that is in suggesting the zeolite can "clean" the water just as good as activated carbon. I simply do not agree with this statement and do not see how he can make the connection since the two products have two specific different roles. I have never seen, nor could not find any reference, of zeolite removing tannins from water. Zeolite is commonly mixed with other products and, thus, in this situation, then other "stuff" could be removed, but this would be due to the mixture rather than the zeolite.

Also, there are many different formulations of activated carbon. Many forms of cheap pond/aquarium activated carbon, except not all of them, leach excess phosphates into the water, which can lead to reduction of iron (i.e., potential plant chlorosis, that is yellow of foliage) and a potential growth of aquatics plants and algae, that is if other environmental conditions are correct. There are labels of activated carbon notated as "phosphate free".
 
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crsublette

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Thanks @crsublette you've cleared (no pun intended hehe) things up for me. I never knew I would have to pull out my old chemistry book when I started this project.

This is a sign you found a healthy hobby. If the hobby leads ya to increase your knowledge of something that is actually useful, and, at the same time, leads ya to meet good people, then you are golden. :)
 

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