Biological filtration is one of the most important aspects of maintaining water quality to keep your aquatic animals thriving.
Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems has scientific and engineering experts to help solve your biofiltration challenges.
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How Our Products Can Help
A key challenge aquaculturists face is the buildup of ammonia nitrogen resulting from fish metabolism. Biofiltration, a prominent component of recirculating aquatic systems, uses cultured bacteria to metabolize ammonia nitrogen into less toxic forms. There are three distinct processes a biofiltration system must be designed to manage: nitrification, mineralization and denitrification. At Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems, our biologists and engineers can help you identify the biofiltration equipment needed to maintain healthy water quality for your fish stock.
Nitrification - What You're Filtering to Keep Animals Healthy
Nitrification is the most commonly discussed and widely known facet of biological filtration and is undoubtedly the most critical since it deals with the breakdown of strongly toxic animal wastes.
Sweetwater™ SWX Bio-Media
Robust bacteria colonization is essential to the nitrification process of converting ammonia to nitrite and ultimately nitrate. With a surface area of 274 ft2/ft3, this proven geometric design provides an abundant amount of surface area for bacteria to colonize.Learn more
Denitrification - Safely Remove Biofiltration Byproduct
Ammonia is the most toxic end product of mineralization and fish metabolism. Bacteria can use the ammonia nitrogen for food and in the process convert the ammonia (NH3) to a less toxic compound, nitrite (NO2). Nitrite, however, can still be lethal to fish in small amounts (in the 1–5 mg/L range). The last biological filtration process, denitrification, uses bacteria to remove nitrate from the water. While nitrate is not strongly toxic, animals don’t live with elevated nitrate levels in nature, so keeping nitrate levels low is important in reproducing natural conditions for aquatic life. In addition, municipalities want to limit the discharge of excess nitrogen into natural waterways and sanitary sewer systems.
HE Cyclonic Bioreactor
This is a fluidized sand bioreactor also known as a fluidized sand bio-filter. The Cyclonic Bioreactor nitrifies ammonia with silica sand. This is a two-stage process in which nitrifying bacteria form a biofilm on the surface of the silica sand that oxidizes ammonia into nitrite (nitrosomonas) and nitrite into nitrate (nitrobacter). Features include:
- Maintains the highest level of system water quality with the lowest operating and maintenance cost
- Its small footprint is ideal for confined spaces
- Available in many sizes for various flow requirements
- Diameters up to 84” (2,134 mm)
- Designed for containerized shipping anywhere
- Connect multiple units parallel for a larger flow rate
Mineralization - Breaking Down Solid Wastes
Mineralization is a fancy word for decomposition, whereby complex organic material is degraded by bacteria into its simplest parts. In aquaculture, this organic material is typically fecal material and uneaten food from the animals. Heterotrophic bacteria digest this material, preventing it from building up to unsafe levels in displays or farms. The end products of mineralization are mostly inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus.
Sweetwater™ Low-Space Bioreactor Filter
Fully automatic, self-adjusting and continuously self-cleaning
This is a robust, nonpressurized biofilter that is much less sensitive to flow
rate variations and power interruptions than fluidized bed sand biofilters.
When operated in low-head recirculating systems, it can easily be sunk into
the floor to reduce the pump pressure. When installed this way, only a few
inches of head loss will occur across the LSB. Because air is used to circulate
the media, the LSB both adds oxygen and strips carbon dioxide! A hood can
be placed over the bioreactor to vent the CO2 outdoors. We have colored them
blue/green to prevent algae growth inside and provide the dark environment
preferred by the Nitrobacter bacteria.
Our scientists and engineers share their insights and advice about biofiltration methods and technology: