What Holds The Most Bacteria? And, Of Course, Cycling Questions!

Discussion in 'Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle' started by Fruity, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. FruityValued MemberMember

    I was just wondering what holds the most bb in a canister filter- coarse sponges, bio balls, ceramic rings, or matrix?

    I have cascade 1000s with three trays, how do you guys/ gals prefer to load them?

    I had a 29 gallon with a Sunsun that stated leaking. In it, I had a coarse sponge, a fine sponge, bio balls, and ceramic rings. About 3 weeks before starting a new 55 gallon tank, I added matrix. I moved the matrix to the new tank to seed it, then dosed it to 2 ppm ammonia. For 5 days, it sat at 2, 0, 5. Today I was happy to see .5 ammonia, somewhere between 2-5 nitrite, and 40 nitrate. Dosed back up to 2 ammonia, we'll see what we get tomorrow!

    So I'm assuming I have both bacteria, but they just need to catch up? Or am I in for several more weeks of waiting?

    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  2. AquaticJFishlore VIPMember

    Matrix, ceramic media, sponges. In that order. Yes you have both bacteria, should be caught up soon.

  3. FruityValued MemberMember

    Thanks! Do the plastic bio balls do much or are they worthless?
  4. AquaticJFishlore VIPMember

    Plastic or the white ceramic?
  5. FruityValued MemberMember

    The black plastic balls that came with the Sunsun. I'm thinking about trading them or for matrix in the 29 gallon, oor are they just fine?
  6. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    Lots of people use the plastic bio balls. People use them in trickle filters.
  7. AquaticJFishlore VIPMember

    No other bio media comes close to Matrix. Matrix is just pumice, or porous volcanic rock that has much more surface area than other kinds. 1 liter of Matrix has as much surface area as 170 liters of the plastic bio balls. It also has internal surface area, which allows DEnitrifying bacteria (nitrate eating). I swear by it. It’s up to you, it’s not like you won’t cycle with the plastic ones.
  8. DuaneVWell Known MemberMember

    How does Matrix or lava rock have more surface area then open cell foam? A chunk of open cell foam compared to either Matrix or lava rock the same size has WAY more area. Its not solid with only a single exterior surface, but open throughout with interior surfaces as well.
  9. FruityValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the info! The bio balls are in the filter that is already cycled, but I think I'll replace them with matrix once the new tank is up and running and I have time.

    I think matrix is very porous, so the surface area isn't just the exterior surface, its all the tiny nooks and crevices through them that allow bacteria to colonize? Someone please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!
  10. FruityValued MemberMember

    I've seen mentioned a few places that they're much more suitable to other types of filters, not so much with a canister.
  11. AquaticJFishlore VIPMember

    That's exactly why, it's porous. Each liter of Matrix provides about 170 square feet of surface area. To give you a comparison, a king sized bed has about 42 square feet. Sponges/foam do not even come close to that.

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