MarinePure Bio Filter Media Now Available In South Africa

Discussion in 'Pet Habitat' started by Pet Habitat, 28 Aug 2014.

  1. Pet Habitat

    Pet Habitat

    10 Aug 2014
    Likes Received:
    Cape Town
    The wide variety of biological filter materials available today can confuse almost anyone trying to find the right one for their aquarium. Every manufacturer claims their filter material is the most efficient and easiest to use. Cost considerations aside, efficiency, adaptability and ease of maintenance are the factors considered in choosing the best material. All fish tanks need at least some form of biological and mechanical filtration to maintain a healthy environment. Fish produce wastes which cannot be filtered completely using mechanical or chemical methods. Unless these wastes are removed, over time they will build up to a lethal level.


    In biological filtration, two types of beneficial bacteria known as "nitrofiers" grow in the tank and convert harmful wastes into something less harmful. All aquariums need to have successful biological filtration in order for the fish to remain healthy.Typically it takes about a month to establish a flourishing biological colony that will effectively filter all the harmful wastes.

    These bacteria need a well-oxygenated place to grow; they will colonize any suitable surface in the system. Biofilters are typically highly porous media through which water is pumped. Because air contains 20,000 times more oxygen than water, massive bacterial colonies can be maintained by wet-dry technology, in which water is sprayed or dribbled over a medium; since it is merely kept moist, the thin film of water is constantly bathed in oxygen-rich air. High surface area numbers for biological filter media alone do not make better quality water.

    The main thing with any media when it comes to efficiency and quality is surface area, and this doesn’t just mean the number on the box. A term you won’t hear or see very often is “USABLE” surface area. And this is the most important factor when choosing and applying any media for biological filtration. Whether you are using a fluidized bed filter, trickle filter, or submersed static filter, it is the amount of surface area that is able to be utilized on a consistent basis in a mature bio filter that is the number one concern.

    Below is a comparison of the most popular and highest surface area medias on the market compared to CerMedia’s MarinePure, when I first compared these I wanted to put MarinePure to the test against the best and most widely used medias. All numbers have been converted and expressed as square meters of surface area per liter of media.

    Bioballs - the highest surface area rating of bioballs available is 500m2 per cubic meter. This is equal to 0.5m2 per liter. Sintered glass - Matrix (700m2 per litre) Siporax (270m2 per liter, represents the noodle category and would be the most efficient noodle on the market), Eheim Substrate Pro (450m2 per liter). Out of all these medias, Matrix is the highest. And so this was used as the comparison.

    MarinePure 1.5″ sphere (suitable for both nitrification and de-nitrification) 435m2 per litre.


    Surface area as a function of usable surface area

    I outlined above that “usable” surface area in a “mature” biofilter is what is most important. In a matured biofilter system, biofilms in and on the media surface become thicker, mulm builds up between filter cleans on the outside of the media and in the media structure and as the media matures, more complex and diverse colonies of all manner of bacteria and microorganisms build up in the system and especially on the biological media surface’s.

    Two very important things are needed for a biological filter to function for nitrification (removal of ammonia and nitrite)

    1. Oxygen
    2. Water flow (for de-nitrification, in most cases oxygen is not needed and denitrifying bacteria will not usually grow in oxygen rich environments, but the de-nitrifying bacteria still need water flow to bring them the nitrate to feed on).
    As these mulm and bacteria deposits build up, they clog the pores of the biological media, suffocating bacteria and reducing the usable surface area. When this happens, a great deal of the surface area advertised (depending on how clean the water is prior to entering the biological media, and how frequently the filter is cleaned and the biological media flushed) is lost to, well, let's not sugar coat it, crud building up on, and in the media.

    I have actually done an experiment with a MarinePure ball I left sitting in the bottom of a sump, untouched for 6 months, i got it out, waited until it had stopped dripping water and blew the water out of it into a measuring cup. i got 15mls of water out of one MarinePure ball that was just sitting, locked up in the ball when exposed to the air, showing just how well this material holds water.

    Interestingly enough, after 6 months of sitting in the bottom of a dirty sump, when I blew that water out of it, there wasn’t any waste in it, it was clear water.

    In new blocks, if you put on end in water, you can physically see the water travel up the block, above the surface of the water, the surface tension of the inner pore structure actually pulls water into in.

    Note: in medias with very fine inner pore structure that clog, this cannot occur, as it is blocked and does not allow the efficient flow of water carrying nitrate to find oxygen free zones that may contain de-nitrifying bacteria.

    To be conservative, if you were to say in a mature biofilter, the efficiency of marine pure was reduced by 50%, then the USABLE surface area would still be 217m2 per liter, just over 3 times that of even the most efficient and highest advertised sintered glass type media in a mature system (as i stated above).

    In all honesty, seeing MarinePure operate for over 2 years in multiple different applications, i can say that close enough to 100% of the surface area is usable. As I said above, 50% reduction in efficiency, is being conservative, incredibly conservative, I would say realistically 10% reduction in efficiency at most. Out of all of the media I have ever applied and used in all the filtration systems I have ever designed, MarinePure is by far the most versatile and high powered media I have used for trickle and submerged filter applications, to achieve both nitrification and de-nitrification.

    Even if applying high power nitrifying filters like MBBR filters (moving bed bio-reactors, that are designed to house and promote a large variety of bacterial populations) i would still apply, in some way or another, a volume of MarinePure, simply for its de-nitrification capabilities. The effectiveness and versatility of MarinePure as a submerged and trickle filter based media is, in my experience, unmatched so far in the Aquatic Industry. As a media for use in most application for simultaneous nitrification and de-nitrification, there really is no better media out there.

    Its incredibly high USABLE surface area is reason enough alone to use it, coupled with the ability is has to stay relatively waste free, makes this media a long term investment that will provide years of reliable service.

    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Apr 2016
    madmatt and shaneparkins like this.

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