What is thezeolite in the aquariumand when is it appropriate to use it? Let's see its uses inmarine aquariumand sweet aquarium.
What is zeolite and what is it used for?
Therezeolitewhich is commercially available for use in the aquarium is given byhydrated aluminum silicatesmade in one structurehighly porous. This particular structure is able to exchange sodium ions (contained within it) with ammonium ions (present in the tank).
If you were wondering what filters zeolite in the aquarium,the answer is: theammonium. The ammonium ion, in itself, is not harmful to the aquarium, however, in a basic solution, that is, with a pHgreater than7, ammonium converts toammonia.
Ammonia is very dangerous for the health of your aquarium. In practice the zeolite does notabsorbs ammoniabut it prevents its formationabsorbingammonium.
The absorption of ammonium by thezeolite in the aquariumoccurs by reversible ion exchange. This means that the zeolite could be regenerated and reused in the aquarium over and over again.
Activated carbon or zeolite?
These two substances share a great absorbing power but have twofunctionsdifferent. Zeolite absorbs ammonium while iactivated carbonthey absorb any substance. Activated carbon and zeolite will run out in a very variable period that depends on the load in the tank.
When to use zeolite?
Many recommend using zeolite in the aquarium all the time but this is often not advantageous. Zeolite could only be used when there is an emergency linked to the presence of ammonium or ammonia in the tank.
The use ofzeoliteinaquariumsjust started (especially if sweet) is not recommended.
In a newly started aquarium, the massive reduction of ammonium will prevent the proliferation of nitrifying bacteria, increasing the maturation time of the tank.
Use zeolite, in a marine or freshwater aquarium, only when you suspect that ammonia spikes may be imminent. For example, if you have massively introduced a good number of fish, if the filter system has been stopped for a long time or if a fish has died and you cannot remove it.
Once the ammonia has been eliminated, remove the zeolite from the tank.
Ammonium in the aquarium
If you have noticed ammonium spikes in the aquarium, make sure you have used a good test and reliable conversion table. Generally, the accumulation ofammonium in the aquariumIt is related to:
- Saturated and dirty sponges
- Razor clams (used in freshwater aquariums) or matrix (used in marine aquariums) of low quality
- Lack of bacterial activator
- Excessive organic load (linked to the presence of many fish or an overfeeding ....)
If the aquarium is well underway, it will be difficult to see peaks ofammonium or ammonia. Generally, in aquariums that have been running for a long time, the increase in ammonia is linked to the presence of a dead fish in the tank and not removed or a general malfunction of the filtering system.
Can the zeolite be reused?
Just place the exhausted zeolite in a solution rich in salt (at least 5%). The reverse exchange will start: the zeolite will release the ammonium and bind the sodium. Obviously, this process must be done in a salt water tank destined to be thrown away. The zeolite should remain in water and salt for at least 24 hours before it can be considered regenerated. Once this is done, you will have to spread it out in the sun for one or two days, so as to allow it to dry.
How long does zeolite last in the aquarium?
The duration of the zeolite mixture depends on the load of nutrients present in the tank. In no case should it remain in the aquarium for more than 6 weeks (or longer than that indicated on the label of the product purchased).
Where to buy it? On this Amazon page a good compatible zeolite is proposed for both marine and freshwater aquariums.
Zeolite reactor in the aquarium
Thezeolite reactoris a useful tool inmarine aquarium. The most performing models have a programmer that allows the shaking operation at adjustable intervals. The zeolite, placed in the reactor, works optimally: the reactor, if well installed, creates a forced flow of water and managed according to need. In addition, the reactor accumulates nutrients which, at the right moment, are released into the aquarium (by manual or automatic shaking). In this way it is possible to feed the marine aquarium managed with the Berlin method.