Static K1 as only filter media in a canister

Jordanlp

I was very intrigued months back when I read the test data provided by a website regarding K1 (or similar knock offs) performing much better then traditional bio media in a canister filter, even as a static media, and decided I wanted to try it, as filtration methods seems to really interest me. My main concern was the lack of mechanical filtration in the bottom canister tray, as this was something that everyone does, and works. Anyways over a period of time, one tray at a time I swapped everything out for it. I’ve had nothing but that in my canister for a about 3 months now, I still have a sponge over the filter intake that can easily be removed and cleaned in 5 minutes.

While I honestly have no idea if the claims/results presented by the author of that site are correct about the far superior efficiency of the media over matrix/biohome/Fluval/Ehiem other supposed bio medias, I can report that I’ve had no ammonia/nitrite spikes using only K1 and parameters have stayed stable, and the water very clear. What I am really impressed with is that I’ve not done any maintenance on my canister for the whole 3 months, and when I measure the output flow it’s not slowed down, at all. Every month using the old method I would spend a considerable amount of time removing my filter, cleaning the sponges, changing the floss and cleaning the biomedia, and by the next month the flow had slowed down significantly, so repeat the process. Obviously not doing that has made my life a lot easier, but also Im seeing a bit of change in attitudes and a shift towards a consensus that regular cleaning of sponges/ biomedia being harmful and bad for bacteria, even when using old tank water, so I’m really happy with it.

Just thought I’d like to share my experience with it, and also wondered if anyone else who’s been using it longer then me can offer an insight as how long it takes for it to clog up and require cleaning? I’m liking the idea of lots of gunk and bacteria having months to mature in there without being disturbed.
 

MoshJosh

I'm glad to hear it's working out for you!

I would be lying if I said I didn't have doubts though. Specifically it's hard for me to believe K1 has greater surface area than some of the other static medias on the market. . . (think that is one of the products claims though). But hey, If it truly does have massive surface area in comparison to competitors I guess it wouldn't matter if it was in a fluidized bed or not. . .

My guess it you are having to do less maintenance as the wide opening in the media allow water to flow through it more freely even as it becomes fouled.
 

Jordanlp

From my limited knowledge I think the theory behind the K1 being ‘better’ then something like say Matrix is that although the theoretical surface area of matrix would be much higher, some say those figures are simply area for nitrogen and don’t translate into available surface area for BB in an aquarium setting.

Like I say though I have no idea if this is true, but my theory is the media space in a modern canister is more then enough to process ammonia and nitrite regardless of what media we put in there, but the tiny pores in ceramic and glass medias (the ones with highest theoretical surface areas) mean they clog up a lot quicker, and that’s why the media with that allow better flow pass (K1, Pot scrubbers, 20/30 ppi foams) test better, regardless of surface area, if those results are to be believed. I’ve seen a few bloggers switch to pot scrubbers and report stable parameters, at very least it seems to allow for less maintenance for me while keeping stable water chemistry.
 

AvalancheDave

I ran static K1 for awhile then discovered studies that showed that the bacteria don't need much surface area at all. So I went back to the original bio balls which were easier to handle and clean and everything's been fine.
 

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