I asked Seachem and Biohome a question...

Cichlidude

Yes, it is true. After much research and verification I have found out the following:

There is NO media that will reduce/remove nitrates in an aquarium on this earth. The only way to reduce nitrates is with water changes and plants. Period.

So I emailed both asking for some proof that their products reduce any amount of nitrate. Certainly if either company makes these claims they would have positive proof on their web site fully displayed for all to see. Apparently they don’t have any proof.

Here is the email exchange with both companies:

Seachem first:

Hello all,

Hope everyone there had a great Christmas.

I would like some information please. Matrix claims to reduce Nitrates. So I know that you guys can show me the empirical evidence of this via a 3rd party test report of some kind. I would like a link or even a PDF file of the testing that was done to prove that Matrix will indeed reduce nitrates from credible (biologist/chemists) sources that it is capable of harboring anaerobic bacteria that reduce nitrates.

I'm sure you have this I just can't find it on the Seachem Web site or anywhere on the internet.

Thank you in advance and have a Happy New Year.

Regards,

***

Seachem replied:

Hello

I have attached a link to the study on Matrix: "A Study of Specific Surface Area for Matrix, Eheim Substrat Pro, and JBL MicroMec".

It can be found on the Seachem website under Resources, and Studies.

Seachem - Studies



Best,

Seachem support 10312

***

To which I replied to Seachem:

Thank you.

However neither of those PDFs point to any test about reducing Nitrates. Only one PDF mentions anaerobic bacteria ONCE but never says it reducing or removes any Nitrate. All they mention is 'bacteria', which is normal for aerobic which any media will harbor this type but will never reduce Nitrate.

I would like a specific test report that specifies in detail the Nitrate removing properties of Matrix. I need to see the entire test parameters and the length of time this test was performed. Otherwise it appears you may have these test reports but they prove that Matrix does nothing to remove Nitrate. It only colonizes aerobic bacteria like anything else.

Please let me know.

Regards,

***

To which Seachem replied:

Hello,

Thank you for your response. Matrix is a highly porous material that is ideally sized for the support of nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria. This allows Matrix, unlike other forms of biomedia, to remove nitrate along with ammonia and nitrite. All bio-media is only as effective as the bacteria that colonizes it. Matrix does what it is, porous.

Best,

Seachem support 10312

***

To which I replied again:

Hello,

I was wondering if you still have any test reports that scientifically prove that Matrix reduces nitrates. This type of report should fully explain and show what equipment was used, size of the tanks, amount of Matrix used, number of fish, sizes of fish and the filters used along with all water parameters measured.

This type of test would have to be run over a 6 to 12 month period with tabulation of the data every day to prove any nitrate was reduced.

Please email me this test or post the URL where this information is found please.

Thank you in advance,

Regards,

***

To which Seachem replied:

Hello, thank you for your email

As a tech support agent I do not have access to the original documents/data of this study so unfortunately this is not something that I would be able to assist you with. If you would like to enquire this information from our Research and Development lab I can forward your request over to them. If this is information that they would like to/are allowed to share with they will do so. I will provide them with your email as well as this email chain.

Best,

Seachem support 10312

***

To which I replied:

Yes please forward this over to the appropriate people.

Thank you.

****

Email then stopped and I asked one more time:

****

This is a follow-up to your previous request #46287 "Matrix information please..."

Hello,

Still waiting for a reply for the below information.

Thank you.

***

Seachems reply

Hello, thank you for your email

I have forwarded your messages over to the relevant individuals in our research and development lab along with your contact information and this email chain. The information which you are requesting will be provided to you at their discretion. This is currently not information that is publicly available therefore it is not published information. If they choose to share these confidential documents with you, they have your information and will contact you if they wish to. As I mentioned, I am sorry I can not be of more help but these are not documents readily available to me as a tech support agent so I have done as much as I can in this regard.

Thank you for your patience and thank you for understanding.

Best,

Seachem support 10312

**********

No more email from Seachem.

**********

I had a more honest email from Great Wave Engineering the makers of Biohome.

Email to Great Wave Engineering:

I would like some information please. Biohome claims to reduce Nitrates. So I know that you guys can show me the empirical evidence of this via a 3rd party test report of some kind. I would like a link or even a PDF file of the testing that was done to proves that Biohome will indeed reduce nitrates from credible (biologist/chemists) sources that it is capable of harboring anaerobic bacteria that reduce nitrates.

I'm sure you have this I just can't find it on the Great Wave Web site or anywhere on the internet.

***

Great Wave Engineering replied:

Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm unaware of any such study. We've had hundreds of customers report this and a few that haven't had any luck reducing nitrates, but there are no formal studies that I'm aware of.

I'll ask my friends in the UK if they are aware of any, but I'm not sure what it would prove. I suppose it would give us a baseline of how much ammonia can be converted into nitrite and then into nitrate and finally into gaseous nitrogen, but how much that would apply in the real world I'm not sure.

Every tank is a little different, the type of fish, the amount of feeding, that amount of nitrate in the makeup water, how the makeup water is treated. There are a lot of variables, as many as there are fish enthusiasts and so I'm afraid you'll need to take the word of our many successful customers or decide that if we don't have some scientist that has shown this it must not be true.

I'll let you know if I get any further information. Thanks for your interest.

Happy New Year, and...

Happy Fish Keeping,

GreatWave Engineering

***

To which I replied:

Thank you for that information.

So what you are saying is that there is no scientific proof that Biohome reduces nitrates. As you know there are about 5 things that need to be done to reduce nitrates. Biohome can't do them. This is what I expected. Thank you for your honesty. Just to let you know there is no biomedia available that will reduce nitrates at all.

Thank you.

***

No further email from Great Wave Engineering.

***

So as everyone can see, both companies have no evidence or proof of any kind that their products reduce any amount of nitrate.
 

leftswerve

OH, but Joey set up an aquarium last month, full of one plant piece and a Topfin HOB full of bio rocks, and the nitrates are still 0.
So, there, proof....................
 

david1978

Are you still mad? You should of just got aquaclears and used them as they come.
 

Cichlidude

Are you still mad?
A little. Just had to prove why I was a little upset.
 

oldsalt777

Hello Cich...

There are a couple of companies that carry nitrate reducing filter media. I've used both products and they work pretty well. The company names are Acurel and HBH. Of course the best means of removing this form or nitrogen is an aggressive water change routine or the use of certain house plants. I doubt the companies you contacted would refer you to a competitor, so it makes sense they wouldn't provide information about one.

Old
 

Cichlidude

The company names are Acurel and HBH. Of course the best means of removing this form or nitrogen is an aggressive water change routine or the use of certain house plants.
That's OK. Make sure you contact them and ask for positive proof like I did for just the 2 biggest companies. Remember in an unregulated industry you can print, publish and say anything you want without being held accountable.
 

david1978

A banana peel sitting on your lid will reduce your chance of ick by 50%
 

Cichlidude

A banana peel sitting on your lid will reduce your chance of ick by 50%
I am on the Chiquita web site to see if they have any proof of that. I can't see to find it so I have sent them a email for positive proof.
 

david1978

I am on the Chiquita web site to see if they have any proof of that. I can't see to find it so I have sent them a email for positive proof.
I told my wife that once when I was too lazy to throw it away.
 

coralbandit

That's OK. Make sure you contact them and ask for positive proof like I did for just the 2 biggest companies. Remember in an unregulated industry you can print, publish and say anything you want without being held accountable.
They might get to say what they want but we can't ...
Such a shame that most of this falls on deaf ears and is edited by people paid by those two companies possibly ?
Surly there has to be more then 3 people interested in fact or the legitimate pursuit of it ?
Be careful spreading the truth as you see it ..You never know whos toes your stepping on when they don't say a thing ..
I never believed in any of it and figured since I don't have the same problems most seem to that I was the one heading in the right direction ..
Sponge and waterchanges ..Show me one pro doing it different ...
There have been some scientific studies done by private parties but since they don't endorse or sell anything Google will never take you to them ..What would they get out of it ??
That was posted on this forum possibly before any other but seems that is not in favor of the powers to be here ??
Other sites welcomed the info ...
 

Cichlidude

They might get to say what they want but we can't ...
Such a shame that most of this falls on deaf ears and is edited by people paid by those two companies possibly ?
Surly there has to be more then 3 people interested in fact or the legitimate pursuit of it ?
Be careful spreading the truth as you see it ..You never know whos toes your stepping on when they don't say a thing ..
I never believed in any of it and figured since I don't have the same problems most seem to that I was the one heading in the right direction ..
Sponge and waterchanges ..Show me one pro doing it different ...
There have been some scientific studies done by private parties but since they don't endorse or sell anything Google will never take you to them ..What would they get out of it ??
That was posted on this forum possibly before any other but seems that is not in favor of the powers to be here ??
Other sites welcomed the info ...
Well said.
 

kcopper

Well done Cichlidude!

It is so odd how people pick a brand and treat it like some sort of religion that could never be wrong. You must all choose a lord - Seachemius or Biohomercles! Now fight to the death and preach our gospel!

I also really like how Seachem acts like providing evidence that their product works is some sort of trade secret that can't be shared. If they had any evidence of efficacy they would have it plastered up and down their website.

"I used to have high nitrates a year ago, but then I got Biohome. Since then my plants have grown 1000%, 80% of my stock has died off, and my nitrates are lower than ever! It's science!!!!!!!!!" - Internet Superhero
 

david1978

I use just. Ummmm. Water. Yep just water nothing and I mean nothing added. My filters have a sponge and some kind of rings that are old enough to vote.
 

mattgirl

I take most of what these companies claim as marketing hype. If I can't prove it myself I don't pass it along. Take Nitra-Zorb for example. I use it and it works for me. Will it work for everyone, I don't know. I tried the nitrate reducing pads. It did exactly nothing for me. Will they work for someone else. again, I don't know.

I have some matrix in my filters but I also have some lava rock and ceramic rings. Fortunately I didn't fall for or depend on their claims that matrix will grow the right bacteria to reduce my nitrates. I just got it for bio-media so wasn't disappointed when it didn't lower my nitrates.

Sadly about 95% of the claims made by companies about their products for the fish keeping hobby are nothing more than empty claims just to sell another useless product. Some of the products are down right dangerous. I would love to see them pulled off the shelves but sadly, it ain't gonna happen. There is just too much money to be made with false advertising for useless products.

I can actually remember a time when advertising and even news had to be true. Those days are now long gone and it now seems anything goes.
 

Cichlidude

I take most of what these companies claim as marketing hype. If I can't prove it myself I don't pass it along. Take Nitra-Zorb for example. I use it and it works for me. Will it work for everyone, I don't know.
I too have used Nitra-Zorb and I tested it with my so called 'Nitrate Reducing Filter'. I found that it did reduce my nitrates just like you. Agree, will it work for others and how much, not sure? Seeing the light is a good thing.
 

Dunk2

A banana peel sitting on your lid will reduce your chance of ick by 50%

Would putting the whole banana (peel included) in the aquarium water be even more effective?
 

david1978

Would putting the whole banana (peel included) in the aquarium water be even more effective?
Nope on tne lid.
 

jmaldo

Hmm... Interesting

Cichlidude

Good effort!
I am skeptical of claims made without quantitative testing with results. Barring any evidence to substantiate, it appears to be just another marketing tool to sell more "Magic" potion/beans.

Minimum of 50 % weekly water changes along with plants work for me.

About a year ago, I joined in on a discussion about CEC (Cation exchange capacity) of aquarium substrates. Specifically Carib Sea Eco Complete. I had similar results when I contacted them, received some responses but nothing to back-up their claims. But, the last response I received they did make this offer.
We could provide material to anyone willing to explore this further.

Learning all the Time.
 

angelcraze

Wow, I'm pretty livid they can claim their media grows anaerobic bacteria and converts nitrates to nitrogen gas without any real proof. That's total garbage and thank you for sharing that.
 

coralbandit

I can't lay claim to knowing nothing but have a ton of experience .Count for anything ? Not much but if you ask other smart people the crazy thoughts that go through your head you never know who will say what .I have long been skeptical yes even cynical clearly by other peoples view . This on that ;you're not cynical till proven wrong ??
So I asked oh back in 2015 to the GURUS what the deal was with media .
Best Bio media??Not what you think! - The Planted Tank Forum

None of this debunked false claims but people really didn't have an answer and sadly people don't still today .
Monkey see monkey do . That is proven scientific technique right there .

Pretty smart people including Diana Walstad responded to this ..
I said I was the sponge guy for 10 years back then .. 15 years into sponges and I am still experimenting but so far so good .. I like to let my fish do the talking now ! Still a newb and afraid to made of fool of !Those guys on TPT are smart !
 

oldsalt777

A banana peel sitting on your lid will reduce your chance of ick by 50%

dave...

Interesting. I'd prefer to change most of the water in my fish tanks every week and use a bit of standard aquarium salt and reduce the chance of a parasite infection by 100 percent. But, that's just me.

Old
 

angelcraze

dave...

Interesting. I'd prefer to change most of the water in my fish tanks every week and use a bit of standard aquarium salt and reduce the chance of a parasite infection by 100 percent. But, that's just me.

Old
Do you keep soft water fish? And do you dose salt enough to eradicate 100% of parasites all the time or only for a period during QT?

Banana peel was a joke i'm pretty sure. Maybe you knew that too, just making sure.

Lol, everybody starts placing a banana peel on the tank for QT Actually, I wish that worked! That's a pretty easy prophylactic treatment for the fish keeper and the fish!
 

DoubleDutch

Do you keep soft water fish? And do you dose salt enough to eradicate 100% of parasites all the time or only for a period during QT?

Banana peel was a joke i'm pretty sure. Maybe you knew that too, just making sure.

Lol, everybody starts placing a banana peel on the tank for QT Actually, I wish that worked! That's a pretty easy prophylactic treatment for the fish keeper and the fish!
50% chance it works. And even more in case if tanks that haven't Ich introduced.
woehahahahahaha.

I think Cichlidude has to hide for the aquabrands going after him. You blew their cover mate. Be careful at crossings etc........

Anxious to know what next aqua fairy tale is revealed. My guess it is the working of "general" meds "curing" everything besides ebola.
 

oldsalt777

Do you keep soft water fish? And do you dose salt enough to eradicate 100% of parasites all the time or only for a period during QT?

Banana peel was a joke i'm pretty sure. Maybe you knew that too, just making sure.

Lol, everybody starts placing a banana peel on the tank for QT Actually, I wish that worked! That's a pretty easy prophylactic treatment for the fish keeper and the fish!

Hello...

Yes. I did see the humor in that post. Anyway, on a serious note, I keep all kinds of fish from Guppies to Goldfish and many others. I've found the pH of the water doesn't matter. What does, is keeping the water free of dissolved fish waste material. If you change enough water and do it often enough, you keep the chemistry steady and a steady water chemistry is all any aquarium fish needs. As for salt, a little in the tank water will discourage the growth of most, if not all parasites, viruses or anything else that might infect my fish. Nothing bad is going to develop or reproduce in pure water conditions.

Old
 

Jonmott

I’ve had planted tanks for 15 years now, I was always lead to believe that nothing but plants and water changes reduce nitrates, period. In high tech planted tanks we actually add Nitrates to stay in the 10-20 ppm
 

oldsalt777

I’ve had planted tanks for 15 years now, I was always lead to believe that nothing but plants and water changes reduce nitrates, period. In high tech planted tanks we actually add Nitrates to stay in the 10-20 ppm

Hello Jon...

Acurel has an ammonia reducing medium. It's a cut to fit material that attracts and holds excess food and waste material and absorbs ammonia. By reducing ammonia, you will eventually reduce the nitrates. It supplements an aggressive water change routine.

Old
 

angelcraze

Hello Jon...

Acurel has an ammonia reducing medium. It's a cut to fit material that attracts and holds excess food and waste material and absorbs ammonia. By reducing ammonia, you will eventually reduce the nitrates. It supplements an aggressive water change routine.

Old
Oh so the media holds it and it doesn't get converted to nitrate? Also, sorry this is not on topic, but how much salt is a little? Because I thought salt treatment for ich for ex is 1 tsp to tbsp per gallon.

Btw I am not against salt for treatment even with soft water fish at all, but only for treatment and for a short period. I don't use salt all the time, not even a small dose because my fish are not going to get sick in my main tank (not QT) if I QT all my new fish thoroughly first and i'm performing the proper preventative maintenance aka water changes.

Do you keep plants that do not tolerate salt? They do ok?
Thoughts?
 

kcopper

In my opinion, the Acurel pads fall into the exact same category as Seachem and Biohome. They make completely unsupported claims about their products. I can find a shred of data on their website that would make me think their product is any more legitimate than the others. They don't even bother to try and explain by which mechanism they may work.
When someone makes a claim about a product working, it is up to them to prove that it does, not for me to prove that it doesn't.
 

coralbandit

In my opinion, the Acurel pads fall into the exact same category as Seachem and Biohome. They make completely unsupported claims about their products. I can find a shred of data on their website that would make me think their product is any more legitimate than the others. They don't even bother to try and explain by which mechanism they may work.
When someone makes a claim about a product working, it is up to them to prove that it does, not for me to prove that it doesn't.

^^Right there ^^
Right or wrong at least you own your own judgement skills ~!
Did I tell you I make the best fish ? Prove me wrong ...
Sad this is how it goes far too often ..
As soon as you state your opinion you are labeled supporter or hater ..
Skeptical still...
 

david1978

Yea the banana peel thing was a joke but could you imagine if I pressed the issue as a fact. I could sell bannana peels for big money.
 

Cichlidude

Yea the banana peel thing was a joke but could you imagine if I pressed the issue as a fact. I could sell bannana peels for big money.
Chiquita did send me a 50 cent off coupon.
 

coralbandit

Some of us use orange peels .What about garlic another unfounded bunch of rediclousness !
I would think the banana peel would add potassium ?
 

CHJ

Hmm. I have been trying to figure out how to budget for enough biohome to fill an API Filstar canister (or maybe the big penplax, I haven't hooked that up either). I think it would be ~100$.
What I wanted to do was age in the media and then test it against, perlite, rings, foam, hydroponic balls, floss, etc.
I have an empty canister and was looking at my ~50 gal snail pail and a ~6 gal bucket and thinking I could test media to see how long it take to clean up nitrates (and possibly nitrites).
The idea was to run the filter with aged in media on a quantity of water I had added nitrates to. As I make sausages I have cure #1 and #2 so I can dose a pail with whatever level of nitrates or nitrites that I want.
I figure after that just test strip the pail every half hour until it zeroes.

Does this seem like a good test?
If nothing does anything maybe I'll run the tests with all the media I have aged in and not worry about adding biohome to the test.
It is also possible the nitrates/trites used in sausage making are very different than the ones in the tank and will simply cure the media AKA kill the bacteria in it.
 

Islandvic

I remember a year or 2 ago reading different threads on other forums and watching YouTube videos on people running their own tests on the Brightwell Xport and the Marine Pure brick and plate bio-media.

What I saw was a bunch of inconclusive results pointing to how they didn't reduce nitrates, and even a couple of batches of product leached aluminum into the water.

Even Bulk Reef Supply set up a decent 9-week saltwater test that even had a control, to look at denitrification via Marine Pure blocks and plates. Take a look at their YouTube video. The excuses for it not working toward the end started to pile up high.

If these bricks and plates of bio-media can't support denitrifying bacteria, I can't see how other media will either.

Cichlidude , maybe you can email those two companies as well and see what data they have to support their claims.

I think even Biohome came out with their own version of the bricks and plates.
 

Cichlidude

Cichlidude , maybe you can email those two companies as well and see what data they have to support their claims.
I already took on the 2 largest. If they can't prove it, the others will not be able too either.
 

EmiliyaCossack

I told my wife that once when I was too lazy to throw it away.

You know David, you and my husband would get along really well...
 

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