Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Expensive denitrifying media such as Bakki House Media has matured, it will have the same or similar facultative anaerobic bugs in it as in a biocenosis basket?

   Hi Kevin,

            I popped a question onto one of the threads on Koikeepers Unleashed forum, perhaps you didn't see it.

 I’m interested in temperatures regarding maturing biocenosis baskets because Bakki showers seem to mature reasonably quickly over here, even in unheated ponds during the last two cold summers where average pond temperatures didn't really get much above 15 C. So I was wondering whether I had been correct to assume that when expensive denitrifying media such as Bakki House Media has matured, it will have the same or similar facultative anaerobic bugs in it as in a biocenosis basket? 

Best regards

 Syd from the UK

          A:  Bakki showers remind me of Aesop’s Fables like the; Tortoise and the Hare. The hare being the Bakki shower and the tortoise the Anoxic Filter or any other filter that’s out there being the analogy that I’m using. Bakki showers do mature faster than all other filters but once the other filter catch-up to the hare then the Bakki shower doesn’t shine as good as we thought. 

          Here’s some more food for thought: Since 78% of the atmosphere is Nitrogen (N2), in what way does the Bakki Shower prevent the impregnation of its medium with Nitrogen? The answer to this is quite simple; it doesn’t! You can’t gas-off 100% of that 78.09% of Nitrogen; Some has to go onto the medium that you’re using and becomes an available foodstuff for unwanted Algae, Cyanobacteria and nitrogen fixing bacteria, too. If the Nitrogen becomes fixed nitrogen then it will become nitrates by a conversion of ammonia.  Fixation processes free up the nitrogen atoms from their diatomic form (N2) to be used in other ways. Biological nitrogen fixation occurs when atmospheric nitrogen is converted to ammonia. Now here’s the clincher… that expensive medium you’re using in that Bakki Shower, with all those hidden little micro pores. Well many bacteria that are nitrogen-fixing organisms exist only in anaerobic conditions, respiring to draw down oxygen levels, or binding the oxygen.  

     We Americans are a funny people, we don’t mind spending money on a Pizza or Cheeseburger, but we do when it comes too high water bills. Bakki showers with their high water evaporation rates, splashing noise and power outages fatalities are too risky here in the states. Nobody that I know of has one and is not something we concern ourselves with. Most Americans play the waiting game with their filters bacteria in springtime, because that’s the way it is. 

       In the UK you do have natural ponds that go through their cycles too like conventional filter do. The Anoxic Filter works the same way as a natural pond does; in fact they both mirror each other in so many ways. You will notice that the Anoxic Filter will spring to life just like a natural pond and their timing is almost identical if temperatures are the same. If you see your UK ponds water lilies coming up, so them you should you see the same in your Anoxic Filter. Mother Nature does things at her own time and pace, but her Voodoo is very powerful indeed. This is now were the Anoxic Filter excels from other filters including the Bakki shower.
Here is a very large Bakki shower filter and look at all the Algae all over the filter and the sides of the pond walls. This is one reason they say it also takes Nitrogen from the air that then becomes a plant food.

             As Syd has stated the expensive denitrifying media like that of Bakki House Media or sintered class media that goes under various names like Siporax is a very good but expensive media to use. As lab test have shown these media do live up to their promise and will harbor the same bugs, as Syd puts it, as the Biocenosis Baskets do. So Syd is very cleaver in thinking that. However, and this is a big however, things begin to change as age sets in. This is where the hare falls asleep and the tortoise now surpasses it.

       These filter medias when brand-new are just unrivaled by other medias that are out there. But time is their chief enemy and clogging will eventually happen. Over twenty years ago in the UK Siporax made clams that a small shoebox full of the stuff could filter a whole pond, and this was true until it clogged up. The Germens did testing on it and found it did do denitrification with facultative bacteria and all was right with the world. That is until more research was done and found that this magical filter media turned brown from dirt (detritus) and the bacteria’s polymeric adhesive that forms to resist the force of the water flowing over it, even when all light sources were eliminated. The brown on the media is the micro collection of that detritus and can visibly be seen by the hobbyist.

    After testing, we found that the OD and ID of the media had good bacteria growth and deep within the media harbored an anaerobic bacterium that was now making more ammonia/ammonium. When exposed to a light source the media would soon get covered with Algae like that of Vermiculite. Denitrification yes, but what they didn’t tell you is it took the Nitrogen and made more ammonia, a very good food source for Algae. In order for us to stop the clogging of the media we had to filter the incoming water down to 1-3 microns. This is called water stripping; the media then and only then will stay open to biological and chemical pathways inside deep within the media and outside the OD and ID of the media. 

This photo 1 above shows some K1 filter medium being used in a homemade filter housing, just like a Nexus.

Photo 2 shows Long strings of black plastic are used in this filter, two different mediums trying to come to the same means.

         We also had to slowdown the flow of water over the media to stop the bacteria secreting their adhesive polymers. These medias are perfect for bacteria growth as long as water flow is slow enough so as not to have the need for the bacteria to adhere to something to prevent water-shear. To solve this problem man came up with plastic media that did not have the micro pores like sintered class or activated carbon for that matter. Even activated carbon will clog and become useless except as a bacteria media once exhausted and that is only on the OD of the activated carbon.
          As I said before, this is a very hard nut to crack when it comes to just the right kind of filter media that will not clog over time. I do want to say I’m not badmouthing any of these filter medias that I’ve mentioned here. There are many that will swear by them and many that will swear at them it just depends on whom you’re talking to at the time. IMO they did not work like they claimed they would. Like I tell everyone: If you think the expense is justifiable to you, then by all means don’t stop using it because of some stupid test reports. 

Anoxic Filtration System ®
February 02-2005-2013
New Updated Version

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