Using zeolite in the aquarium

MatildaLjungberg

Member
Hello all!

I had a question on the use of zeolite in the aquarium. I know it's primary use is to address ammonia issues but I haven't been able to find a lot of answers about specifics.

By this I mean, how long does it take to work? How quickly will it remove ammonia from the water? Should you use a media bag & place in in the filter or will it work just in the bag in the tank?

I don't have a need for it at the moment but I like to gather as much info as I can just in case!

Thank you!
 

Jaysee

Member
Since it's chemical media, it works on contact. You would want to put it in a media bag in the filter. IMO it's a waste of money. You should not be having ammonia issues. Period. End of story If you need a product to keep it under control then the tank has some MAJOR issues that need to be addressed, and the zeolite is just a cover up. It's just another way for companies to take money from unsuspecting consumers.
 

claudicles

Member
The big hassle with it seems to be that eventually it stops working and the only sign you would have would be the ammonia rising in your tank. Unless you are constatnly testing, the ammonia could get to quite a high level without you knwing. A properly cycled tank is a much better solution.
 

psalm18.2

Member
I tried it in the past, when I was new to fish. It made my water very cloudy.
 

Aquarist

Member
Good morning,

The only time I recommend using Ammonia Neutralizing Crystals such as Zeolite or White Diamond, is if you are heavily stocked, the tank is already cycled and you are having ammonia issues due to a minI cycle. These products should not be used in place of water changes.

It may well be a waste of money but I do use the White Diamond in my well established 265g tank. I'm heavily stocked but not over stocked. Does it work? I can't say for certain because I don't allow any readings of ammonia in my tank. I do water changes every 5 days.

For me it's a safety net and gives me more peace of mind. I change it out every 3 weeks just as I do Activated Carbon. I have a small bag of the White Diamond in my wet/dry filter.

Using the products while cycling could very well delay the cycling process.

I rinse it prior to it going into my filter to prevent clouds.

Ken
 

Jaysee

Member
how does the zeolite compare to prime, as far as minicycles go?
 

DrTim

Member
zeolites work by ion exchange, specifically cation (positive ions) exchange. They exchange (or give off to the water) a cation usually sodium or potassium ion (depends on the brand) and remove another cation which can be ammonium. But if there is a lot of calcium or magnesium in the water then they will take those instead of ammonium.

So the harder the water (more calcium and magnesium) the less ammonium they remove. Once the exchange site are bond with ammonium, calcium or magnesium they stop working. They can be recharged but it's a hassle.

Basically, they are a short term solution for when transporting fish or when you have really high ammonia and want to use every tool available. They are not for long term use and do not replace a properly functioning biological filter.

By this I mean, how long does it take to work? How quickly will it remove ammonia from the water? Should you use a media bag & place in in the filter or will it work just in the bag in the tank?
They start to work immediately. You should put them in the water flow for best results. Having them in a bag is ok if the water is flowing through the bag such that the water contacts all the media.
 

Jaysee

Member
thank you for that explanation.
 

Aquarist

Member
  • Thread Starter

MatildaLjungberg

Member
Thank you DrTim!
 

DrTim

Member
you're all welcome!
 
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