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Filter Media Bio Balls vs Seachem Matrix vs Siporax


touge
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Hi all,

I just want to know which of these is a better choice for filter media:

- Bio balls

- Seachem matrix

- Siporax

I currently have a wet/dry configuration for filtration and am using bio balls as means of biological filtration. In effort to lower the nitrate level (~20ppm atm), I did some research and it appears that bio balls will not do the job as well. My question is whether it is worth ditching all my bioballs for more porous media like matrix or siporax? which of the two is better (matrix or siporax)?

Thanks in advance

Will

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hi Will

bio balls and matrix-siporax function in different ways.

simply place the matrix underneath the bio balls [submerged]. this will provide your sump with an area suitable for the nitrate munching bacteria to flourish. depending on what bio load you have on the filter, this will not remove all the nitrate, but it will certainly help. nitrates are best removed with regular water changes

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hi Will

bio balls and matrix-siporax function in different ways.

simply place the matrix underneath the bio balls [submerged]. this will provide your sump with an area suitable for the nitrate munching bacteria to flourish. depending on what bio load you have on the filter, this will not remove all the nitrate, but it will certainly help. nitrates are best removed with regular water changes

What he said!

In addition, bioballs increase the tanks surface area footprint = better O2 exchange. People are more likely to have issues with oxygen before any issues may arise with the nitrate. So while it's important to keep an eye on nitrate and to have some method in place to reduce it, it isn't a case of "instead off" but more “in addition to". That is don't trade off you bioball space. Keep bioballs unsubmerged with the denitrification media under water.

Craig

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I couldn't decide so i did both I have a bio chamber and matrix chambers. The matrix ones are submerged abd the bio balls aren't. Just ignore the water level that was when I first ran it up the water level in the sump runs just below the bioballs

IPB Image

cheers

rosco

Edited by rosco
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I'm new to the world of sumps/mini-reef filtration but was thinking you might be best removing your matrix from the bags if its not too small to fall through your egg crate as the water will generally take the easiest path around them rather than pass through - and only going from that one photo, it looks like theres quite a bit of space on the sides for bypass?

Just a thought mate... I could be wrong but no doubt others might post to help us both.

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I'm new to the world of sumps/mini-reef filtration but was thinking you might be best removing your matrix from the bags if its not too small to fall through your egg crate as the water will generally take the easiest path around them rather than pass through - and only going from that one photo, it looks like theres quite a bit of space on the sides for bypass?

Just a thought mate... I could be wrong but no doubt others might post to help us both.

i don't really look for a fast water flow through the matrix.

hey Rosco

plenty of room there for another 100 or so bio balls. and that empty chamber at the front? fill it with koi matting, supprising how much crud that stuff collects. it's just me, hate to see wasted space :lol3:

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colfish - I agree, but its not quite what I meant.

I was suggesting the idea of taking the matrix out of bags or simply spread it out more, so there's less gaps at the edge. Therefore the majority of water will definitely pass through the matrix rather than bypassing it due to less restriction on the edges where the bag is a bit short.

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Lonx,

your thinking is correct. Not only more matrix could be gotten in, but a more even water flow and more matrix/water contact would be had.

It is a simple matter to put a layer of predator mesh or kama harda bio mat between egg crate and matrix to prevent it falling through.

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Thank you y'all! I have ordered 4ltrs of matrix yesterday so will be expecting them to arrive some time next week. In the meatime, I will pick up a container from bunnings to house the matrix and to avoid them from being sucked by the powerhead as my sump does not have separate chambers for matix, its DIY. Will also need to mod my sump to channel the water to pass through the matrix some how, more DIY!

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Lonx,

your thinking is correct. Not only more matrix could be gotten in, but a more even water flow and more matrix/water contact would be had.

It is a simple matter to put a layer of predator mesh or kama harda bio mat between egg crate and matrix to prevent it falling through.

i beleive this bacteria thrives on low oxygen levels.

i just have it in a nylon mesh bag, placed in a corner of the sump. oh well, what it misses this time it will catch next time around :thumbup:

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