Why are filters containing bio balls good for biological filtration?

Bio balls have an open structure design that not only seems nice but can help in efficiently cleaning of toxic water. The open structure design is used for enhancing the surface area of the ball. With high surface area of bio balls, more good bacteria will cling to it, & beneficial bacteria will colonize on the surface of bio balls. If good bacteria is present on the bio balls, then it will offer nitrification of toxic water. Toxic water containing ammonia will flow through the bio balls, & good bacteria on the surface of bio balls, will break down ammonia into nitrites, & will further break it down to nitrates. Nitrates are less toxic than nitrites, & nitrites are less toxic than ammonia. Presence of high levels of nitrates could be dangerous for the life of fish. Changing partial water frequently will lower the level of nitrates in the water.

Why are bio balls good for biological filtration in aquarium?
Why are bio balls good for biological filtration in aquarium?

Bio balls can only carry nitrifying bacteria. It is unable to hold denitrifying bacteria that some bio media holds which can remove nitrates from the water. Even if nitrates are wiped out from the aquarium water, then still you can’t skip regular water changes.

What is the advantage of plastic bio balls over other bio media?

Plastic bio balls have the advantage of holding heaps of good bacteria due to its open structure design.

When you split a plastic bio ball in half, then you will either find little pieces of ceramic or a sponge inside that offer more surface area for growing colonization of good bacteria.

Sponge filters are very efficient in biological filtration. Most of the sponge filters do not carry any bio media but still they efficiently clean toxic chemicals in the water. Coarse sponges do not clog easily as compared to fine sponges. If large solid waste particles enter a coarse sponge, then they will be trapped inside but if large particles pass through a fine sponge, then it will trap them but will clog the fine sponge very quickly.

Bio balls come in a variety of shapes & designs but their basic purpose is just the same.


How to setup bio balls in filters?

It is recommended to add bio balls in the filter after mechanical filtration media. Foam or sponge should be used as mechanical filter media that will trap solid waste particles, remaining food, dead leaves, & other detritus in the water, but will allow water containing soluble toxic chemicals to flow into the biological filter media chamber. Hence bio balls will clean the toxic chemicals & purify the water but will not clog.

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