Zeolite – an excellent filler for Fish Tank Filters! Or maybe he is the BEST filler?
Here is a simple device for highly efficient biofiltration in an aquarium and not only in it, I suggested back in 2001. This homemade biofilter for the aquarium can be installed anywhere. He reliably insures aquarium fish from unexpected ammonia poisoning.
Photo 1. In two plastic cups unpretentious identical airlift filters are mounted. Water is filtered through equal volumes of special highly porous ceramic filler (left glass) and zeolite (right glass). It is important that both the ceramic filler and the zeolite were used for several months as a filtering substrate in working filters. That is, these are living substrates inhabited by bacteria, and the sorption capacity of zeolite for ammonia has long been exhausted. I added ammonia to glasses, achieving an initial concentration of 3 mg / l, and then tested the water for ammonia / ammonium after a certain time from the start of the experiment. This time in hours is indicated on the bubbles with the test sample. We used the ammonia test from JBL. The result of the experiment: after 9 hours, the zeolite filler completely removed ammonia / ammonium from water (the row of bubbles on the right), while the ceramic – only slightly reduced its concentration (the row of bubbles on the left). The result was a clear and complete victory of the zeolite. During the nitrification process, ammonia is oxidized to nitrate ion. The nitrate concentration was assessed using the JBL nitrate test (two bubbles in the foreground). Alas, a clear distinction of colors in this test (as, indeed, in many other tests for nitrates, is not too obvious, and transferring it to the photo is even more difficult). Below is a specially made photo of these bubbles. It can be seen that the nitrates on the zeolite filler formed twice as much. Consequently, the nitrification process on the zeolite filler in this experiment was approximately two times faster than on ceramic bio-spheres.
So, the truth is that nitrification on zeolite is two times faster than on specialized ceramic fillers. I note once again: it was not a new zeolite, but a long-used filter — that is, LIVE — populated with bacteria. It turned out that these nitrifying bacteria work twice as fast on zeolite! This puts under serious doubt the theory about the life of nitrifying bacteria in the pores of the filler.
It should be noted that this is the result obtained on only one branded ceramic filler. In order to make a generalization with regard to the entire aquarium bioceramics, it is necessary to make a series of experiments where the latest samples of highly porous ceramic filter media from world leading manufacturers will be tested. I urge all aquarists interested in this topic to conduct such experiments (with the ceramics that anyone has) and share the results in a special topic of our forum. It will be very interesting!
Experiments to determine the effectiveness of various fillers for Fish Tank Filters conducted. Here are the results. Sunlight , thank!
Have a good fight for clean and non-toxic water in your aquarium!