Should you use biomedia? Which one is best and why?

BRS

Would you use biomedia in your reef?

  • Yes! In fact, I already do! (Tell us which biomedia you use and share your experience in the thread)

    Votes: 295 63.6%
  • Yes. I would try it. Seems like a good method for nutrient control.

    Votes: 61 13.1%
  • I dunno... I'm still thinking about it, but I have questions. (Post your questions and we'll help!)

    Votes: 39 8.4%
  • No. I don't like it. I use other methods. (Share in the thread)

    Votes: 55 11.9%
  • No. I tried it, and my results weren't what I wanted. (Please share your experience with us.)

    Votes: 14 3.0%

  • Total voters
    464

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Living the Reef Life
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Controlling nutrients can be a tough task for any reefer. With the rise in popularity of minimalist styles of aquascaping, reefers are using less live rock than they used to, and so surface area for beneficial bacteria is sometimes made up for by use of biomedia. There are many forms like siporax (shown in the photo below), Seachem's matrix, marinepure, and others (which ones did I forget?).

1. Would you recommend the use biomedia for nutrient control?

2. Which biomedia type(s) do you prefer and why?


Photo by @chopsie
qotd siporax - chopsie.jpeg
 

Reefing102

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Perhaps I’m old school and haven’t done enough research but I voted no. I was always taught your rock is your bio media. Anything else like bio balls, ceramic rings, etc were just nitrate factories. I honestly have no plans to change it as it works for my tank.
 

fadijohn

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I have a decent amount of rock work in my display, so I wouldn't say I have a minimalist approach at all. However, I still have a bunch of Seachem Matrix in my rear sump (I have a RedSea Max Nano). I'm new to reefing, but I've been in the freshwater world for years and I've always loaded my filters with lots of bio media (typically Matrix) and have always had positive experiences.

I can't really speak as to whether my rock work would have sufficed without the addition of the Matrix, but I figure there can't be much harm in providing as many places for beneficial bacteria as possible.
 

Montiman

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Biomedia is good in unique applications. After setting up many reef tanks with no Biomedia that did very well I question whether adding mare surface area does anything in the average tank.

That being said when working at an LFS we had a 500 gallon store system that had constant problems with algae, dinos, and bacterial blooms. I couldn't figure out what was wrong but then it hit me that there was no sand or rock in the entire system. I added a couple brightwell Xport bricks and then it all went away. I do believe that in some situations Biomedia can be a good tool but not in over 90% of reef tanks.
 

Quietman

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I have a liter (or maybe it's two) of Pond Matrix in my sump. It was only for seeding new tanks with bacteria and potential home for pods. I don't think the data supports any significant nitrate or phosphate removal they way I have it set up in higher flow area. I do have low nitrates/phosphates - find it hard to get them above 3/.03 but again, I do not believe it's the media (I have removed it for week or two with no noticeable impact to nutrients)
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Fun exercise, relevant, watch nobody complete it for nine pages


:)

somebody try and link a reef tank that could not control its ammonia after cycling, requiring extra surface area other than the common rocks it cycled with. Overdoses of chems into tank don't count... can't handle daily running + feed and waste means too little surface area lets see an example.

Extra biomedia is specifically to address the inability to handle ammonia processing, show a tank in history that can't.

We have been taught by bottle bac sellers and peers that bacteria always, always need our reinforcement to do what water bac do. It's a perfect sales arrangement



Even a dead fish won't recycle a reef, we have shock absorber room for that occasional insult. Trust your bacteria, trust your surface area nobody needs to buy embellishments to reef. It's a feelgood industry, use your money on frags. It doesn't matter if nitrate is produced in aerobic filtration, the live rock is pumping it out too just like redundant biosphere.

When folks have a multi fish kill while on vacation, the extra surface area didn't stop it.
 
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SPS2020

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I don't think it is necessary for nutrient control in most cases.

My two tanks are bare bottom and minimalist NSA aquascapes. I have used Seachem Matrix for years. The media itself has changed form over time from smaller to larger sized pieces. I do like the newer (marble) size pieces better for flow and cleaning.
 

GoTakeANap

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I don't use anything other than rock in the display. Never had a problem in the 10 plus years I've had a reef tank, why change it now. Now as for someone with little rockwork/minimalist scapes, I could see them using some type of biomedia for the beneficial bacteria to live on.
 

BiggestE222

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Controlling nutrients can be a tough task for any reefer. With the rise in popularity of minimalist styles of aquascaping, reefers are using less live rock than they used to, and so surface area for beneficial bacteria is sometimes made up for by use of biomedia. There are many forms like siporax (shown in the photo below), Seachem's matrix, marinepure, and others (which ones did I forget?).

1. Would you recommend the use biomedia for nutrient control?

2. Which biomedia type(s) do you prefer and why?


Photo by @chopsie
qotd siporax - chopsie.jpeg
Nope. Just something that collects detritus.
 

Siberwulf

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I've been able to nuke Nitrates and Phosphates using just live rock and some chaeto in my sump. I don't think adding more would be a good plan for me. In fact, I'm learning how to tweak my fuge so it doesn't pull ALL the Nitrates out...
 

Uncle99

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3 blocks Marine Pure in my sump.
Outstanding surface area/size ratio and mops up a ton.
Allows for more swimming space without sacrifice to export.
Is sustainable! Low foot print! (Positives these days).

Yes, I have read those who claim it leaches aluminum, but, considering the time on the market and the number of super happy reefers that employ it, (myself 10 years) I doubt this is commom. Metals can build up through other additions as well.

ECC3F839-3801-4FA5-ADC2-2FB423E8C7B0.jpeg
 

Gaspipe

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I use Eshopps Bio-Lux Ultra Porous Ceramic Bio Media. I have an AIO and have 2 logs under the filter-pad inside an InTank sleeve.

Hopefully it will be easy to keep detritus at a minimum as the logs are suspended off the floor.
 
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