Instructions for Freshwater Use

While these instructions have the same basic outline, this will focus on Freshwater Aquarium use.

Saltwater use instructions

HOW TO USE AQUACHAR:

We recommend rinsing new AquaChar thoroughly before use; however, residual dust is not harmful to your aquarium and will settle inside your filter.

AquaChar can be used in a variety of filtration systems:

  • Hang-on-back
  • Cannister
  • Sump
  • Filter Sock
  • Media Bag
  • Reactor
  • Almost anywhere with flow

Simplest implementation of AquaChar is to place in a mesh bag, then placing the mesh bag in the final stage of cannister or sump filtration.

AquaChar will initially float but will sink as it adsorbs water and organics.

RECOMMENDED DOSING:

Recommended dosing is one (1) cup (~250mL) per 50 gallons (~200L) of water.

Every individual aquarium is a unique system, each user might desire different results. It is important to monitor your parameters whenever making any adjustments to see how your system responds.

What AquaChar does:

AquaChar naturally buffers pH: AquaChar typically stabilizes pH between 7.5-7.8 in freshwater. While ideal for most aquariums, in systems with buffered substrates. Read about use in low pH systems with plants and shrimp in the FAQ below.

AquaChar works for several months: Effective useful life of AquaChar is typically 3-6+ months depending on bioload. When particles appear, add the new dose to existing AquaChar to increase the size of your waste management system!

AquaChar can replace bio-media: Once the initial chemical filtration reaction is exhausted AquaChar can be used like “live rock that is easily cleaned” allowing it to replace ceramics and be used to jump start new aquariums.

AquaChar has a negative ionic charge: The cause of most water clarity issues is Dissolved Organics - which are positively charged. AquaChar magnetically attracts fine particulates, creating crystal clear water within hours.

This creates a smorgasbord: The natural substructure of the fiber and vascular system of trees is preserved in AquaChar. Creating massive surface area for the internal and external colonization of bacteria. 

Which creates a “waste management system”: The larger size and internal porosity creates a biological microsite for aerobic & anaerobic bacteria to break down organics efficiently. A more on demand consumption of organics stabilizes ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates.

Extends time between glass cleaning: Slow-released hydroxides combine with adsorption of free-floating algae reduces time it takes for algae to re-establish on interior surfaces.

Performing monthly maintenance on AquaChar offers a limited regenerative effect that maximizes the effective lifespan. Briefly rinse excess organics off the surface using aquarium water, return AquaChar to your system. 

READ AQUACHAR REVIEWS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

CAN AQUACHAR BE RUN WITH ACTIVATED CARBON?

Yes, AquaChar is a complementary product to short-term use of activated charcoal including those with resins to perform desired functions. When making changes to your aquarium, it is important to do so slowly to see how your system reacts. Measure impact on parameters. Overcorrection all at once usually does not end well, knowing how changes impact your aquarium is key to long term stability.

HOW SHOULD AQUACHAR BE USED IN A NANO SYSTEM?

A unique characteristic is that adding a larger dose of AquaChar for most systems only allows AquaChar to last longer. For sensitive nano systems it is recommended to add a small amount every few weeks to build in the biological stability.

MY LIVESTOCK NEEDS LOW PH, IS AQUACHAR SAFE FOR MY AQUARIUM?

While most aquaria can tolerate a wide range of pH ranges there are certain systems which low pH is needed for survival. Prior to launch AquaChar tested AquaChar in a low pH discus tank that is buffered to a lower pH naturally. We learned that the slow release of hydroxides is neutralized before pH increases with minimal impact to the longevity of the buffer. So, in systems designed for low pH AquaChar primarily performs the clarity and biological functions that makes a huge difference in overall stability.

IS AQUACHAR SAFE FOR SHRIMP TANKS?

AquaChar has worked with the top shrimp breeders in the United States to understand how AquaChar impacts systems that are typically lower in pH.

They found no issues with Neocaridina shrimp. When added directly to the display AquaChar becomes a site where shrimp feed off the biofilm.

For sensitive Caridina shrimp, it is advised to slowly add AquaChar to the system to prevent major adjustments. In systems with buffered substrates we find that AquaChar has minimal impact on pH while still performing the biological microsite functionality.

We also, learned the advantages of having AquaChar on hand in case of accidental contaminations. This has been proven to save whole colonies of Caridina shrimp.

WILL AQUACHAR PULL FERTILIZERS IN MY PLANTED TANK?

This is a specific area where biochar works differently. Prior to becoming CEO, Brian Covey is a hobbyist with 15+ years in planted and competitive aquascaping & 12+ years in reef keeping.

“Early on I discovered the short-term benefits of activated carbon and added it my routine. Being uniformed I would overdose and leave it in the system way too long and realized the negative effects when my plants would show nutrient deficiency and my favorite Sailfin Tang started to show signs of HLLD (saltwater). I removed activated carbon from my routine in exchange for hours of maintenance and routine water changes.”

Since AquaChar is functionalized with hydroxides (OH-) it pulls the dissolved organics from the water and has little interaction with the neutrally charged salt-based fertilizers. To be certain with long term use that this was the case we worked with experienced Aquascapers all over the world to test AquaChar in planted aquariums. Most reported no adjustment needed to fertilizers with only a couple reporting minor adjustments during the chemical filtration period (primarily potassium). This balanced out as AquaChar becomes a biological media.  

CAN I OVERDOSE AQUACHAR?

For most systems AquaChar simply lasts longer when overdosed. In more sensitive systems it is recommended to make small incremental adjustments and test parameters to see how AquaChar impacts your specific system.

CAN AQUACHAR REMOVE MEDICATIONS?

While not our primary function, AquaChar rapidly pulls medications and other contaminants from water in a pinch. We have received stories of accidental mishaps where AquaChar saved inhabitants.

Nothing has made us prouder of our product than receiving messages saying "I am thankful I had AquaChar on hand, I (my kids) did XYZ to my tank and thought I was going to lose everything. I added AquaChar and almost immediately things started looking better!"

For this reason, we recommend keeping AquaChar on hand for these accidental emergency situations for the sake of your pets. 

DOES AQUACHAR HELP WITH HARMFUL AMMONIA AND NITRITES?

Yes, nitrifying bacteria on the surface AquaChar helps establish a balance while readily available hydroxides give them everything they need for conversion.

DOES AQUACHAR STRIP NITRATES AND PHOSPHATES?

When adding new AquaChar there can be some stability in NO3 and PO4 primarily due to organic consumption from a rapidly growing biological population. As the biological stability is built up, consumption increases and less rotting to release these into nutrients. While reduction to 0 isn’t likely based on inputs most customers find these parameters stabilizing lower than normal using AquaChar.

Thank you for your support and interest in AquaChar!
Feel free to contact us with any additional questions!