Biological Filters

A common problem for many water bodies ranging from lakes to small aquariums is an accumulation of ammonia or nitrites. This creates a toxic environment for fish and can hinder oxygen uptake from the water. Accumulation of nitrites can also cause “Brown Blood Disease” in fish stocks. Ammonia and nitrite are produced from fish, uneaten feed, faeces and decaying organic matter such as plant matter. In a functioning ecosystem, these toxins are converted to nitrates which can be readily taken by plants but accumulation is very common in newly set up filtration systems that have not been given enough time to build up a nitrifying bacteria population sufficient to handle the ammonia load of the water body. Biological filters allow bacteria involved in the nitrification process a space to colonise and help convert more harmful forms of ammonia into lower impact alternatives.

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