How long does it take for beneficial bacteria (BB) to grow on bio balls?

Every aquarium filter must contain mechanical, & biological filtration media. Chemical filtration media is optional. Mechanical filtration media is responsible for removing physical particles that can be seen. Water free of detritus will be allowed to enter biological media that will wipe out soluble chemicals that are dangerous for the life of fish.

Biological filtration is the most important of all types of filtrations. Lack of biological filtration is the reason behind the death of most of the fish. For biological filtration aquarists prefer keeping bio media that has a large surface for beneficial bacteria to colonize on them.

How long does it take for beneficial bacteria BB to grow on bio balls if your aquarium is already cycled?

If you have already cycled your aquarium, then your tank already has heaps of beneficial bacteria growing everywhere. If you have setup a new filter, then good bacteria will take up to 2 weeks to form on the bio media. New bio balls will have new surface area, & you can setup bio balls in the biological media chamber of the filter. Bio media chamber should follow the mechanical media chamber. Mechanical filtration media will trap physical waste particles, uneaten food, dead leaves, & other detritus in the water, & will only allow water to flow into the biological chamber. So, if dirt particles enter the biological media chamber, then it will clog the bio media, & will fill the holes of the bio media where good bacteria can colonize. Water will have difficulty in flowing through the biological media chamber if waste particles stick between the bio media, & water will not be able to touch the good bacteria growing on the media so ammonia will not be broken down into less toxic forms, & ammonia will flow back into the aquarium after passing through the filter. The best filter is the one that allows water to flow through the bio media because this way the result of decomposing toxic chemicals into less dangerous forms is maximum. Also, if the pores of the bio media are clogged then the efficiency of the bio media will be reduced.

If you setup a filter containing plastic bio balls as bio media, then you can see the results within a couple of weeks, but wait a little longer if you want heaps of beneficial bacteria to grow on the large surface of plastic bio balls.  


How long does it take for beneficial bacteria BB to grow on bio balls if you setup a new aquarium?

If you want to setup a new aquarium, then it may take from 3 to 6 weeks for the aquarium to completely cycle, & then good bacteria will be able to establish & start working. If you do everything right then after 6 weeks, your aquarium will be thriving with BB. For a new aquarium, bio balls might take from 3 to 6 to allow BB to establish on its surface.

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