Seachem claims Matrix removes Nitrates?
Seachem. Matrix FAQ
I think we all know that bio-media encourages the aerobic bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrites and another bacteria that converts nitrites to nitrates and our WWC removes nitrates.
Unless I'm reading this wrong, Seachem claims that Matrix removes nitrates.
Am I reading this wrong?
It's one of those "it depends" answers. Nitrate can be removed form the system by water changes, conversion and use by plants (they convert lots of nitrate/nitrite over time), and by anaerobic processes. This last process involves an anaerobic process converting the nitrate to gas and can be summarized by:
NO3- http://www.fishdoc.co.uk/images/arrow01.gif NO2- http://www.fishdoc.co.uk/images/arrow01.gif NO http://www.fishdoc.co.uk/images/arrow01.gif N2O http://www.fishdoc.co.uk/images/arrow01.gif N2
Note this conversion to a gas requires anaerobic bacteria. Is it possible to get anaerobic conditions in the "pores" of the media? If so, many denitrifying bacteria are facultative anaerobes, which means they can break down both nitrates and nitrites, depending on oxygen levels. Since anaerobic conditions aren't optimal for aquaria, we normally use plants or water changes to get rid of nitrate.
This does get to something I've see mentioned in passing regarding substrates - since "complete" denitrification occurs only under anaerobic circumstances, denitrification can occur in deeper areas of a tank's substrate, thus supporting the idea that there is a benefit to small anaerobic areas in substrates.
Back to the original question - unless something in the Matrix produces anaerobic conditions (perhaps within the porous media itself?), I don't see how it removes nitrates.
Q: How long does it take for Matrix to grow the necessary anaerobic bacteria to remove nitrate?
A: This all depends on the stage of biological establishment of your tank, placement of Matrix and flow rate. Generally you will start to see improvement in a couple of weeks but every situation varies.
Well the same method used in reef tanks to remove nitrates should work similiarly..
Adding sugar or vodka to a tank will reduce nitrates, since it sends the bacteria into an 'overdrive' of sorts. As far as I know, when you add sugar or vodka, it's actually the aerobic bacteria that do the work.
If I had to guess, I would say that 'Matrix' is a biological media that's somehow infused with sugar. There was a company a while back that sold some sort of 'bio balls' infused with sucrose.
Even the Aquaripure, which is a sponsor of this forum, used sugar or vodka to 'feed' their system. I would imagine they work similarly. but I have no idea how the price comparison would apply...
Matrix has to be replaced I think, while Aquaripure filter media does not.
If you "spike" the bacteria with nutrients, it would be possible to generate anaerobic conditions in the media due to the increased O2 uptake (depletion) by the bacteria bloom resulting from the nutrient influx.
The aquapure uses anaerobic bacteria in a canister and you're correct that it's fed sugar or alcohol (ain't gettin my liquor!) weekly to continue it's processing - they also warn that return water is free of any O2....but also, they say no other bio-filtration should exist...so, I'll confess that I'm not sure how they do aerobic and anaerobic in a single canister...returning water with these flow rates with no O2 - must be magical?
http://www.petmountain.com/Public/Images/help.png Ask a question about this product Matrix bio media is a highly porous media designed to provide exceptionally efficient biofiltration for single site removal of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate from freshwater, marine, and reef aquaria. Each liter of Matrix provides over 160,000 cm2 (170 sq. ft.) of surface, equivalent to over 40 L (10 gallons) of typical plastic ball media! This product is sold by volume. Cited weight is minimal weight.
DIRECTIONS: Use 500 mL of Matrix for each 200 L (50 gallons*) of water. Matrix may be placed in any kind of filter, and is particularly effective in a canister filter. Matrix is sufficiently large that no filter bag should be required for most applications. Matrix works well in drip tray systems, but you may find that the larger Pond Matrix is better suited for such applications.
I'll be derned.
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