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Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate Removing Filter Media

Author Topic: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media  (Read 8407 times)

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Offline Extreme_One

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Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« on: February 13, 2016, 09:43:35 AM »
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#Invalid YouTube Link include https#

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The media allows both nitrifying (aerobic) and denitrifying (anaerobic) bacteria to grow on and through it’s unique structure. This allows it to also control nitrates.

This sounds too good to be true!

So, apparently the unique structure allows anaerobic bacteria to thrive, even in the oxygen-rich environment inside a filter.

I'm upgrading to an external filter in the near future and am considering this instead of ceramic media...

Is anyone using it?

Offline Fiona

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2016, 01:01:27 PM »
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No but if you do I'd love to hear the results. I'm trialing polyfilter at.

Pond guru is a very obliging bloke. I emailed him about something last year, can't remember what it was now but I recall e was very helpful

Offline Dylan5084

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2016, 08:56:19 PM »
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just bought 3kg of this for my external filter will let yous know how it goes in 4-6 months when the bacteria starts to work on the nitrate levels!(if it works)

Offline Paddyc

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2016, 09:18:58 PM »
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I've definitely added this to my shopping list once I've moved house. Not buying anything else til then other than essentials  :)

Offline Fiona

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2016, 09:40:05 AM »
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I'm going to wait and see if it works first.  ;)

Offline Pelajuch

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2016, 08:49:09 AM »
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Hello all. I've had this in my tank for a year, initially internal then moving to an external filter. Has not made the slightest difference to the nitrate levels.

Offline Extreme_One

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Re: Bihome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2016, 11:05:50 AM »
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Thanks for sharing Pelajuch.

I felt it's claims must be too good to be true.

I'd still be interested to know if anyone has had a positive experience with it.

Offline Paddyc

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2016, 11:09:38 AM »
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Thanks for sharing Pelajuch.

I felt it's claims must be too good to be true.

I'd still be interested to know if anyone has had a positive experience with it.

How do you compare experiences with different media? I guess the only way to tell how good it is at homing bacteria colonies is to put mature Biohome Ultimate into a brand new filter/tank and do a fishlees cycle to see how quickly it cycles compared with other media?

Offline Extreme_One

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2016, 11:30:11 AM »
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Simpler than that, I want to hear if anyone has used this stuff and found their Nitrate levels decreased.

Offline Fiona

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2016, 11:38:03 AM »
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I think it would make a mint if they found one that actually worked

Offline Darren_lines

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2016, 07:37:09 PM »
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My dad has this in his marine tanks and after the initial set in period it has made a difference. He used to have to do pretty big water changes, but now can leave it for pretty extended periods and the nitrates stay low.

We log our aquarium levels and when we do water changes, so have a pretty extensive history. But basically, if he does a water change his nitrates settle at around 5ppm., he can then leave it 2-3 months before they rise to 10 and he does another water change. Before the Biohome Ultimate he was doing 60-80l water changes once or sometimes twice a week.

Offline Richard W

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2016, 07:49:01 PM »
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I'd like to know how this works if it does. Does it actually remove nitrates or convert them into something else? The description just seems to imply that it is a filter medium that somehow has the mysterious ability to reduce nitrates. Normal filter bacteria don't actually remove ammonia or nitrites but convert them eventually to nitrate.
Of course, the "other half" of the nitrate cycle involves converting nitrate back to nitrite, but that is hardly what we want. If there were some bacteria that could convert nitrate to nitrogen and oxygen, that would be the ultimate ......................
Does it ever need replacing?
From Darren's post it certainly seems to work ........

Offline Darren_lines

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2016, 08:04:41 PM »
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To be honest, I'm not sure what the nitrates get converted into, but I can say it's not nitrite. Ammonia and nitrite are always at 0.

I imagine it would need to be replaced if it got clogged, and it does seem to slowly dissolve. Decent mechanical filtration before the biohome can stop the blocking, and I'd definitely recommend keeping it in a filer media bag, unfortunately we didn't, but we'll learn from our mistakes.

Offline Richard W

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2016, 08:09:54 PM »
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Just reading up, it seems that this is mainly for use in external filters and the amount used is quite a bit, recommended 1 kg per 100 litres of water, not really practical for an internal filter which would have to be huge relative to the size of the tank. I don't think externals are worthwhile or economical for anything less than 180 litres.

Offline Fiona

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2016, 08:27:32 PM »
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We'v had 1 yes and 1 no, I'd personally want more data than that, or is it just me?

Offline Extreme_One

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2016, 08:37:12 PM »
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How it works (apparently):

Quote
Facultative anaerobic bacteria have the “facility” to live anaerobically (where there is no oxygen) provided they can get a supply of oxygen by “stealing” it from some chemicals that happen to be floating by.  We can make use of these guys.  Nitrate has the chemical symbol NO3.  This means that it is one atom of nitrogen with three atoms of oxygen stuck to it (N + O3). All we have to do is put a colony of facultative anaerobic bugs deep inside a hole where there is no oxygen but plenty of nitrate and they will get their oxygen by taking it from that nitrate as it floats by. If all three oxygen atoms are removed from the nitrate, all that will be left will be the nitrogen atom, and since nitrogen “prefers” to be a gas, it will bubble away into the atmosphere at the first chance it gets.  All we have to do is give our little facultative bug friends the right media, and they will remove the nitrate for us. This media is called denitrifying media.

http://www.mankysanke.co.uk/html/reducing_nitrate.html

So the anaerobic bacteria remove the Oxygen atoms from NO3 and so a Nitrogen atom is left, in gas form and therefore it's vented.

Offline Darren_lines

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2016, 08:56:18 PM »
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Just reading up, it seems that this is mainly for use in external filters and the amount used is quite a bit, recommended 1 kg per 100 litres of water, not really practical for an internal filter which would have to be huge relative to the size of the tank. I don't think externals are worthwhile or economical for anything less than 180 litres.
Definitely external filters or sumps only. I believe it originally came from Koi farmer's filters, and they're pretty massive. He does have a video making a small internal filter using a different type of biohome media, but I couldn't vouch for that.

Of my dad's set-ups both are using sumps. We bought 5 kg of the media, about 4kg went in the 400l's sump and the remainder in the 100l's sump. It is less efficient in the 100l tank, but that could be down to lesser pre-filtration, lower ratio of the media, and the 400l has a skimmer. It has still made a recorded difference in both tanks.

Offline jaypeecee

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2019, 04:42:46 PM »
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Hi Folks,

Just spotted this interesting thread. And it's almost three years old. I have been doing a lot of internet digging on the subject of denitrification. There have been times recently when I have not been able to keep up with water changes to maintain nitrate at less than 20ppm. So, I currently use ion exchange resins (in an internal filter) such as Fluval Clearmax. JBL has recently brought out a product called BioNitratEx, which is a filtration media designed to encourage growth of denitrifying bacteria. No doubt similar to Biohome Ultimate. If I get time, I'll try to set this up.

JPC

Offline Hampalong

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2019, 05:18:00 PM »
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Porous media do work. The bacteria involved are Nitrobacter. But they need to be kept very clean or the pores will block and there’ll be no denitrification.

NO3->NO2->N

Biohome is nothing new. Siporax came out in the 1980s.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2019, 05:37:35 PM »
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I've got Seachem De-nitrate media in several of my filters.
However, as my tap water has a nitrate level of 40ppm, I ended up getting Pozzani filter cartridges to deal with it from the tap.

Offline jaypeecee

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2019, 06:46:47 PM »
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The bacteria involved are Nitrobacter.

It seems strange that Nitrobacter can also work as denitrifying bacteria. Nitrobacter is a nitrifying bacteria and, until Dr Tim Hovanec came along, Nitrobacter was considered to be the bacteria responsible for converting nitrite to nitrate. Perhaps I've misunderstood you. Quite possible - it's been a long day!

JPC

Offline jaypeecee

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2019, 06:53:54 PM »
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I've got Seachem De-nitrate media in several of my filters.

Hi Littlefish,

Please tell me more about the Seachem De-Nitrate. I know of this product but I've never used it. Was it effective?

JPC

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2019, 08:07:50 PM »
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I will admit that I don't know if the product is effective because I'd only had it in some filters for a couple of weeks before starting to use the Pozzani filters on the tap water.
My tanks are generally under stocked, and I don't tend to see an increase in nitrate levels between weekly water changes. As I slowly drop the nitrate levels using filtered tap water, perhaps any changes will be more obvious. I'll report back if/when anything happens.

Offline Hampalong

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2019, 09:32:56 PM »
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The bacteria involved are Nitrobacter.

It seems strange that Nitrobacter can also work as denitrifying bacteria. Nitrobacter is a nitrifying bacteria and, until Dr Tim Hovanec came along, Nitrobacter was considered to be the bacteria responsible for converting nitrite to nitrate. Perhaps I've misunderstood you. Quite possible - it's been a long day!

JPC

Nitrobacter are still one of the bacteria involved with nitrite->nitrate conversion, but only in an aerobic environment. In an anaerobic environment they’re able to get their oxygen from nitrate and nitrite.

Offline Sue

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2019, 12:04:11 PM »
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It used to be thought that the NO2 -> NO3 bacteria in aquaria was Nitrobacter. This is why it was included in the early 'bottled bacteria' products. But Tim Havonec discovered that the bacteria in our tanks is actually Nitrospira species.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC124703/

The early work done on these bacteria was done in waste water where the levels of ammonia and nitrite are much higher, and Nitrobacter is indeed found in these conditions. But the level of nitrite in out tanks is too low for Nitrobacter to be present in large numbers in well aerated regions of the tank such as the filter and other surfaces; it is Nitrospira that does the work of converting nitrite to nitrate in aquaria.

There could well be lots of Nitrobacter in the anaerobic regions though.

Offline Hampalong

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2019, 02:48:57 PM »
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Nitrobacter and Nitrospira are involved in cycling, as well as probably others that haven’t been catalogued yet. In a mature filter most nitrification, in most cases studied, is actually not done by bacteria at all but Archaea, a much under-studied kingdom similar but distinct from bacteria. Nitrobacter, Nitrospira and Nitrosomonas are still always present (in the limited studies done so far), usually in the minority, but sometimes in the majority. Much more work to be done there though, and our “knowledge” of all this is still in its infancy.

Offline jaypeecee

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2019, 08:48:29 PM »
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Nitrobacter and Nitrospira are involved in cycling, as well as probably others that haven’t been catalogued yet. In a mature filter most nitrification, in most cases studied, is actually not done by bacteria at all but Archaea, a much under-studied kingdom similar but distinct from bacteria. Nitrobacter, Nitrospira and Nitrosomonas are still always present (in the limited studies done so far), usually in the minority, but sometimes in the majority. Much more work to be done there though, and our “knowledge” of all this is still in its infancy.

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your replies.

I have seen references to Archaea and it's all interesting stuff. From what you say, it seems like bacteria get nitrification established and then Archaea largely take over. And, yes, it makes sense what you are saying about Nitrobacter's ability to function as both a nitrifier and denitrifier. Now for a question - if denitrification reverses the nitrification process, it appears to produce nitrite, then ammonia and then harmless nitrogen gas. But, aren't the first two compounds going to be toxic to the fish?

JPC

Offline Hampalong

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2019, 09:17:20 PM »
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Let me start by saying I’m no chemist. :)

NO3->NO2->N

It doesn’t produce ammonia but it does produce nitrite. To have significant denitrification in practice you need a lot of porous media, and ideally a slow flow so they take the oxygen off the nitrite aswell (NO2->N).

When Siporax was released on the market there was a booklet available with info about the product, it’s concept and manufacture etc, which also detailed (with pictures) a test setup of their own. The tank was about 2’ x18” x18”, lightly stocked and moderately planted, and the denitrifying filter, which came after an ordinary nitrifying canister, was essentially a large biorb. This was required to give zero nitrates.
I tried a homemade one once with a tapped off trickle from a canister into a 2gallon bucket with about 4-5” of siporax (The outlet was just above the siporax so that the water ‘lingered’). I couldn’t make the incoming flow constant with that method and the tank was reading 1ppm of nitrite (big tank with adolescent Oscars).

Offline daveyng

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2019, 09:58:05 AM »
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A friend of mine set up a slow sand filter in his tank for nitrate removal. 
Don’t know how they work but it was quite effective. Took an extremely long time to get the flow rate through the media correct (if the flow was too slow it caused hydrogen sulphide to be produced).

Offline Matt

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Re: Biohome Ultimate - Nitrate removing filter media
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2019, 08:31:37 PM »
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A friend of mine set up a slow sand filter in his tank for nitrate removal. 
Don’t know how they work but it was quite effective. Took an extremely long time to get the flow rate through the media correct (if the flow was too slow it caused hydrogen sulphide to be produced).

Slow sand filters are definately effective, and in some places are still used for drinking water treatment. I didn't know about the hydrogen sulphide though!!!

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