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Seachem claims Matrix removes Nitrates?

This is a discussion on Seachem claims Matrix removes Nitrates? within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by AbbeysDad Says you - slowing down the flow rate of highly oxygenzted water doesn't remove O2...( My head is starting to ...

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Seachem claims Matrix removes Nitrates?
Old 04-13-2011, 10:50 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
Says you - slowing down the flow rate of highly oxygenzted water doesn't remove O2...( My head is starting to hurt )
Sorry for your headache, but more biology lesson (sorry). PhD. in wildlife and fisheries science, 20+ years teaching at universities, my wife teaches microbiology and manages the microbiology lab. I'm pretty confident in the info below. No charge for this lecture . Sorry it's so long, I don't know how to explain it otherwise...

As I mentioned earlier, there are some bacteria that are facultative anaerobes. That means they work either in the presence, or in the absence, of oxygen. No matter what anyone here says, I bet I can culture multiple bacterial species from any FW tank. The idea that only one or two species of bacteria inhabit a tank is just not biologically accurate. I'll bet $$ I could isolate some anaerobes or facultative anaerobes. A key point to remember is that bacteria (except strict anaerobes) consume oxygen just like the fish do.

To the specific point you raised - the more bacteria grow, the more O2 they consume in the filter. As the water flow slows through the filter, the bacteria in the filter have more time to remove O2 from the water via their aerobic respiration pathway. The water, in effect, is bringing through less O2 volume/minute. Same as adding more fish to a tank=more O2 demand. Once the O2 level decreases past a certain point, the facultative anaerobic bacteria have the ability to change their cellular respiratory pathway, the net effect is then they can use the nitrate.

This also explains why water exiting the filter is O2-poor. The bacteria in the filter have consumed the oxygen from the water. It also explains the periodic feeding "boost" that's required to keep the bacterial population high enough to generate anaerobic conditions. The typical canister, as you said, works with aerobic bacteria and requires oxygen. Aerobic bacteria typically metabolize faster, but can't reduce nitrate.

The one thing I really can't figure out is how the Matrix stuff it would work in a wet/dry filter (drip tray) and any canister filter as claimed. The wet/dry certainly isn't typically ever aerobic!

Shoot, thought I had it figured out, now my head hurts...

Last edited by DKRST; 04-13-2011 at 10:53 PM..
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:08 AM   #12
 
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Sorry for your headache, but more biology lesson (sorry). PhD. in wildlife and fisheries science, 20+ years teaching at universities, my wife teaches microbiology and manages the microbiology lab. I'm pretty confident in the info below. No charge for this lecture . Sorry it's so long, I don't know how to explain it otherwise...

The one thing I really can't figure out is how the Matrix stuff it would work in a wet/dry filter (drip tray) and any canister filter as claimed. The wet/dry certainly isn't typically ever aerobic!

Shoot, thought I had it figured out, now my head hurts...
And here I thought with that build up that all my questions would be answered. May I speak with your wife please?
Btw, seems to me that the wet/dry drip method in the sump is always aerobic.

So for the aquapure, the weekly feeding of sugar water (or yer best booze) causes a temporary bacteria bloom that exhausts the O2 supply so that anaerobic bacteria can process nitrate...suggesting that the rest of the week, more or less, the filter operates conventionally with aerobic bacteria processing ammonia and nitrites...I wonder how the sugar water or alcohol stays in the filter long enough? (and I won't even get into the hobbyist, shooting up his aquarium filter with a syringe of hooch!!!)

But here's the thing I'm not really seeing...in the conventional canister, how is matrix doing what no other bio-ceramic claims to do and allow the aerobic and anaerobic kids to play in the same yard, in what seems to be a highly oxygenated environment. Perhaps if the flow is slow enough, anaerobic regions get created in the Matrix bed...but it would seemingly have to be not much more than a trickle.
Oh well, I guess I'll be going to summer school.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:15 AM   #13
 
Its something I would take with some salt. I've never used matrix because I don't see a big difference in ceramics. I agree that anaerobic bacteria shouldn't be in the canister logically, it just has such a high flow rate it is much more focused towards aerobic. I believe that the bacteria in aquariums that consume nitrAtes are true anaerobes(obligate). They die in the presence of O2, this is why most people only notice them in the substrate, especially sand substrate. No flow and it goes anaerobic. I know that nitrAtes are only consumed in anaerobic conditions. The bacteria species itself may not be obligate anaerobes. If they are not, then its pretty clear that when O2 is present they don't consume nitrates...

If our bacteria actually consumed a reasonable amount of O2 from the water a canister would not work properly in a aquarium. If water exiting the canister is O2 poor, then how does a high tech planted tank maintain O2 levels high enough for fish? I mean its typical little to no surface movement and along with my pressurized CO2 injection. If bacteria were consuming O2 as fast as you suggest simple diffusion and plant respiration would not be enough IMO, considering a tank that has 6x turnover rate. If it was moving slower maybe, but thats the opposite of what canisters do.

ANYWAY.... the whole process is over complicated IMO. I'm still in school for biology major/chem minor. Its a fish tank! Its easy to get in-depth with the biological processes and what is "best". Doesn't change that the $5 DIY sponge filter is magical. No matter how super fancy you get with filtration keep in mind some sponge, bubbles, and physics can do it just as well.

AFAIK adding sugar or vodka to a FW aquarium causes a sever drop in O2 levels and usually it gets cloudier then cloudy. Vodka isn't nice to fish either.

As far as Matrix's claim, you could just test it yourself... Or send me some, My 55gal runs about 40ppm nitrates. My 15 gallon soil "el Natural' still eats 20ppm of nitrates a week out of my tap. I'll be the first to say high tech is fun, but the simplistics have a lot to offer. I named my bamboo shrimp Fluval and put him to shrimp labor :3

Last edited by Mikaila31; 04-14-2011 at 01:18 AM..
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:45 AM   #14
 
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Matrix is said to be quite porous(so is lava rock), and deep inside the material, the lack of oxygen creates anerobic area and the anerobic bacteria then strip oxygen from nitrates(De-nitrification) leaving nitrogen gas which supposedly is precipitated out of the tank
Is also said that De-nitrification is more difficult in freshwater, as there is more oxygen available than in saltwater and low oxygen is what drives De-nitrification.( slow flow and low oxygen = best results ?)

Seems to me that oxygen rich water flowing through this material would not produce desired result's as effectively as water flowing around it.
In any event, I find it cheaper,faster,to perform water change to control NitrAtes.
Maybe I'm just too old school.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:07 PM   #15
 
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And here I thought with that build up that all my questions would be answered. May I speak with your wife please?
Btw, seems to me that the wet/dry drip method in the sump is always aerobic.
OOPS - that was a typo, Wet/Dry is very aerobic, as you said - sorry!
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:22 PM   #16
 
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OOPS - that was a typo, Wet/Dry is very aerobic, as you said - sorry!
Yep, knew it had to be ....lest we suck all the O2 outta the room.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:30 PM   #17
 
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In any event, I find it cheaper,faster,to perform water change to control NitrAtes.
Maybe I'm just too old school.
Nothing wrong with that....Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates ... it's good to have some beneficial bacteria working for us...just as it's good to have scavengers and snails (in moderation) to handle otherwise uneaten food and algae...But it seems to me there are compounds in fish waste that filtration systems won't handle, as well as water concentration from evaporation.
Periodic water changes (rain) is natures way of keeping waters fresh...and so should we in aquariums.
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