With so many choices for biological filtration media in a reef tank. It is often difficult to decide what to use. Bio Balls, live rock, ceramic rings, sintered glass there are just so many choices!
One characteristic that makes one filter media ‘better’ than another is the total surface area. The more surface area there is, the more area there is to grow the bacteria that breaks down waste. In this respect, the new Brightwell Xport Plates and Dimpled bricks are at the very top of the chart. Having 71,000 square feet of surface area per liter of media. Xport Bio and NO3 has more surface area than any other filtration media. 20 times more porous than most ceramic media, and a thousand times more porous than sintered glass. Thousands of times more porous than Bio Balls.
Each brick or plate of media is capable of supporting enough bacteria for an aquarium up to 1,250 gallons depending on the bio load.
Another significant advantage the Xport Blocks has over the competition is that the material is never fired or heated. There is zero chance of aluminum leaching back into your aquarium and causing negative effects.
To improve effectiveness, the media is “doped” or mixed with aragonite. This extra step buffers pH at the bacteria level and prevents acid build up. In competing products, the acid build up eventually kills bacteria and reduces the capacity and efficiency of the filter media.
The Xport’s extreme porousness also allows the media to be capable of processing a large volume of water to filter the tank efficiently. It will also stay wet for up to 36 hours when out of water. This means the bacteria will stay alive during this time and you run much less risk of a tank crash after a power failure.
For aquariums that require just biological filtration, the Xport Bio can be placed in a sump with fast water flow to break down fish waste in to ammonia, then nitrite then nitrate.
If denitrification is desired, you can place Xport Bio in a portion of your sump where water flow is slow. The slower water flow will allow anaerobic zones to develop inside the plate or brick. Anaerobic bacteria will then colonize in those zones and will begin to break down nitrate into nitrogen gas.
When maximum nitrate reduction is desired, the Xport NO3 is the better choice. It is extremely unique in that sulfur is embedded and mixed into the material. When placed in a slow water flow area, a specialized bacterium that consumes both sulfur and nitrate will colonize the brick or plate and efficiently break down nitrates.
For those without sumps, the Xport Plates and Bricks can also be cut into size to fit a canister filter or hang-on-the-back filters. Brightwell also makes cube versions that can be placed just about anywhere.
Soaking the Xport material in a mixture of aquarium water and Microbacter7 for 24 hours prior to installation in your tank will seed the bricks with beneficial bacteria and drastically speed up the time it takes for bacteria to establish. You can then continue to dose the Microbacter7 into your aquarium to help reduce organic waste thereafter.
Brightwell Xport filter media is great for any reef aquarium, saltwater aquarium and even freshwater aquariums. Its unique characteristics give it significant advantages over similar biological filter media so be sure to check this stuff out.
-Take Care and Happy ReefKeeping!