There are many different kinds of filters for aquariums
. The most common ones are mechanical filters, which pump water through a filtration media that is usually composed of mesh materials with activated carbon inside. This works with the mesh blocking large particles while the activated carbon sucks up the dissolved materials in the water. Filters play an indispensable role in any aquarium because there are a lot of toxins that accumulate in the water due to excrement breakdown, decay of plant, and residue from the fishes, regardless of the source - ammonia, nitrates build-up that could harm your fish life.
So while mechanical filters are great, there is a great drawback to it because you can only pump so much water through this system. It is better to have a redundant filtration system so that while one filter is working the other is supplementing it. A great supplemental filter system is a biological filter. How this work is that a biological media would host bacteria which helps break down ammonia and other harmful chemicals in the water. You do need media to do this, and by media, we are talking about materials that host the bacteria and beneficial microorganism. One great example of this is Brightwell Aquatics Katalyst Bioreactive Filtration Media from Pet Store
This is a great source for microbes to get organic carbon and also colonize the substrate so they can break down the debris that settles on the floor of your aquarium. This bio reactive filtration system keeps phosphate and nitrate levels down by cutting down organic materials. So if you are looking for an effective media for your biological filter, try Brightwell Aquatics Katalyst Bioreactive Filtration Media.
- Bioactive filtration media, providing an ideal colonization substrate and a suitable source of organic carbon to beneficial microbes responsible for uptake of nitrate and phosphate.
- Helps decrease latent organic material, and hence nitrate and phosphate concentrations, in aquaria, greatly simplifying and improving nutrient control relative to methods based solely upon using vodka or other alcohol/sugar solutions as organic carbon sources.
- May be used with MicroBacter7 and/or as part of a low-nutrient approach to aquarium husbandry.
- Improves water clarity through remineralization of latent dissolved organic compounds present in system.
- Safe for use in all freshwater and marine aquaria, including planted and reef systems.
- Made in the USA. Sold by mass, not volume; 1 g = ~1.6 ml of competing media.
Technical Background: In all aquaria, it is prudent to establish a stable nutrient budget in which the rate of nutrient export is not greatly exceeded by the rate of nutrient input, and vice versa; in the proper physical and chemical conditions, the former imbalance leads to increased presence of nuisance organisms such as filamentous algae and cyanobacteria, whereas the latter leads to malnourished aquarium inhabitants. The nutrients of greatest concern to most aquarists are nitrate and phosphate, both of which require active removal and/or remineralization in aquatic habitats to ensure that they do not exceed concentrations that are deemed as safe for the ornamental organisms inhabiting those systems, or that would otherwise impact the appearance of the system, itself. KATALYST provides a static surface for colonization by beneficial microbes, while at the same time providing them with a source of organic carbon, which is required for the uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus compounds (including nitrate and phosphate, respectively).
In this fashion, KATALYST improves nutrient-uptake efficiency relative to systems employing only live rock, live sand, and/or inert plastic material as a substrate for microbial colonization. The colonization of KATALYST with the appropriate types of nutrient-remineralizing microorganisms, such as those found in MICROBACTER7, serves to deplete existing concentrations of dissolved organic material from the aquarium. Instructions and Guidelines: KATALYST should be housed in a media reactor, canister filter, or fluidized-bed reactor with a means of controlling water flow through the media bed, and with a pre-filter in place to restrict particulate material from entering the reaction vessel. Moderate water flow will discourage the accumulation of latent organic material in the media bed, itself, and will improve overall results.
Dissolved oxygen concentration and/or pH in the aquarium may temporarily decrease when new media is added; ensure that adequate aeration of water is employed at all times when using KATALYST, and monitor and adjust pH as necessary. In marine aquaria, maintain operation of protein skimmer at all times to ensure that adequate degassing and oxygenation of water is taking place. Systems with [NO3-] and/or [PO43-] <5 ppm and 0.02 ppm, respectively: employ ~1 g of KATALYST per 2 US-gallons of water in aquarium system. Add 1 ml MICROBACTER7 per 20 US-gallons in system daily for first 4 weeks to seed KATALYST media. In systems with elevated concentrations of these nutrients, employ up to twice the afore-mentioned mass and volume, respectively, of KATALYST and MICROBACTER7. Allow at least 4 weeks for media to become adequately colonized for significant changes in nutrient concentrations to become evident. When nutrient concentrations drop below the target values (user-defined), decrease the daily dosage of MICROBACTER7 to maintain these levels. Replenish KATALYST media as necessary to counter gradual dissolution (on the order of months) that is the result of microbial consumption of the material. The rate of media deterioration is largely related to the nutrient load in the system: the higher the rate of nutrient input, the more quickly the media will be consumed by microbes.
Caution: Keep out of reach of children. Not for human consumption.