For years, lava rock was “the thing” to use for media in a biological filter. With a fair amount of usable biological surface area – both on the outside as well as the inside – it made a good place for bacteria to colonize and grow. The problem, over time is the nooks and crannies that made lava rocks so great, start to clog with debris that eventually turn less effective and can actually cause nitrates (not nitrites) to increase. These nitrates are natural fertilizers that can ultimately feed algae, causing a problem.
Lava rock also becomes very heavy, which can be a back-breaker when trying to lift out for cleaning or maintenance. And, last but not least, the lava rock starts to break down and eventually has to be replaced.
There are other options for biological filter media that are made of plastic, like Aquascape BioBalls™.
Aquascape BioBalls™ provide a textured surface area (19 square inches per ball) for beneficial bacteria to colonize and grow. Aquascape BioBalls™ are the ideal filtration media for use in all biological filtration systems. They can also be used to create oxygen to de-gas pond water.
Features of the BioBalls™ include:
* The center channels of the balls allow them to be strung together making cleaning easier.
* Textured surface maximizes space for beneficial bacteria to populate.
* Maximizes dissolved oxygen levels around bacteria populations
* Compact size allows for placement into smaller areas.
* Paddle wheel design breaks water flow helping to de-gas and aerate water.