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Old 06-21-2015, 01:58 AM   #1
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seachem matrix in reef tank

I have alot of real reef rock in my aquarium. After a while I noticed it doesnt really have alot of surface area for bacteria. Would it be ok to add some seachem matrix in the sump to help add some surface area for bacteria?
I have alot of real reef rock in my aquarium. After a while I noticed it doesnt really have alot of surface area for bacteria. Would it be ok to add some seachem matrix in the sump to help add some surface area for bacteria?
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Old 06-21-2015, 02:44 AM   #2
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I currently deploy 2L of Matrix in a canister filter as my main means of biological filtration in my 20g mixed tank with mostly Acans, Frogspawns, Fungias, Chalices, and Zoanthids.. I also have 40 LBS of Tonga rock with 100x+ turnover with clean pumps. I did not want to buy a Vortech battery back up and figured the canister would be more effective as filtration on a UPS than one circulation pump.

With that being said it's a very nice product than can support anaerobic denitrification in correct applications. Good biological filtration. I also deploy Matrix in my other 3 freshwater canister filters.

For referance I also use Matrix in 90% of my freshwater client aquariums... Extremely effective product I currently have Matrix in over a dozen systems. Great stuff
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Old 06-22-2015, 02:41 AM   #3
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Tbh, matrix irritates me. It's just overpriced pumice.

Why not get live rock rubble instead? That way you will get the added buffering properties of live rock and it will function better at denitrification because the pores run deeper.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:21 AM   #4
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Tbh, matrix irritates me. It's just overpriced pumice.

Why not get live rock rubble instead? That way you will get the added buffering properties of live rock and it will function better at denitrification because the pores run deeper.
Matrix is specifically designed with macropores ideally sized to support nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria. Not all live rock will dentrify to the efficiency as established matrix. If bigger pores were needed, which they are not, consider Seachem Pond Matrix.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:38 AM   #5
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Matrix is specifically designed with macropores ideally sized to support nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria. Not all live rock will dentrify to the efficiency as established matrix. If bigger pores were needed, which they are not, consider Seachem Pond Matrix.
The problem with matrix is that it needs a very slow flow rate or it does absolutely nothing for denitrification. Live rock rubble may not always be as efficient as matrix (assuming the exact conditions are present that is necessary for matrix to be effective) but it doesn't have the low flow restriction that matrix does.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:41 AM   #6
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I mean the flow area of a sump is pretty slow haha.. Also a canister. And once the bacteria starts to colonize in it's really easy for the denitrification bacteria to colonize beneath the aerobic bacteria.. Kind of a beautiful design.
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Old 06-22-2015, 05:56 AM   #7
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I mean the flow area of a sump is pretty slow haha.. Also a canister. And once the bacteria starts to colonize in it's really easy for the denitrification bacteria to colonize beneath the aerobic bacteria.. Kind of a beautiful design.
*shrug* decent point. However I still stand by my suggestion to go with live rock rubble over matrix.
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:11 PM   #8
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Seachem offers Matrix as a good "all-in-one" bio-media solution in that it performs great with flow rates commonly found in sumps/canisters. It is able to maintain good de-nitrification regardless of flow rate by virtue of its size. The larger the individual "pebbles" the more internal room for anaerobic bacteria and larger buffer zone to delineate the anoxic zone within the pebble from the oxygen rich zone at the surface.
Pond Matrix further carries this principle with much larger rock sizes designed for much larger applications and much higher flow rates.

Their De-Nitrate product is the exact same material, but a much smaller size, almost gravel like. That product is specifically targeted at the de-nitrification process and is recommended that the flow rate be somewhere around 25-50 gph max.
Again the reason is related to the size of the individual rocks. The smaller rock will have a much smaller "buffer" zone for the anoxic area within.
The reason the smaller ones are used for De-Nitrate with a slow flow rate is that with a smaller rock the overall surface area, external and internal, is increased exponentially and it helps to compensate for the limitations of achieving bacterial de-nitrification in an oxygen rich closed system.
what the slow flow helps accomplish is allowing enough time for the aerobic bacteria to consume the majority of the oxygen in the water as it flows through the media, thereby reducing the size of the requisite buffer zone that the anoxic bacteria requires. That is why if utilizing such a bio-de-nitrification filter, it should be at the end of the line, but the effluent should be oxygenated and possibly ph adjusted prior to returning to the tank.
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:16 PM   #9
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as a side note, I have about 25 of those pumice scrubbing sticks that I am going to use in my sump as media. I think it will work pretty good.
just don't know if I'm gonna stand them up like rows of pillars or lay them down in layers?


I think standing them up will present the most surface area to the water and will allow pretty free flow around them....
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