As there seems to be some confusion about the usage of MarinePure media I’ve decided to answer these concerns with the addition of a MarinePure FAQ section.
“How do you cut MarinePure blocks and plates?”
MarinePure is a very easy media to cut. The first time I cut a plate I used what I believe to be a tile saw. Further experimentation has shown that this media can be cut with a wide variety of saws, although I’d suggest using narrower bladed ones, such as tile saws or hacksaws, rather than wood saws.
Note: you don’t need to use a fancy diamond tipped ceramic saw to cut this media.
“Why is it recommended that MarinePure products should be rinsed to keep from clogging every few months and changed out every 12 – 24 months when, on the ReefresH2O website, it states that the media is non-clogging?”
The important thing to note here is the exact wording in the MarinePure literature:
Periodic backwashing or rinsing suggested every 3 months or as necessary
Replace material after 12 – 24 months or as necessary”
Please note the use of the words, “or as necessary”.
This is to reflect the many different ways that the media could be used, both in freshwater and marine environments.
Broadly speaking, if the media is used in a flow-through application, such as the cartridges designed for use with the Marineland filters, then it is reasonable to expect some clogging to occur as the media is being used both as mechanical filtration and as biological filtration.
So, where the media is doing double duty we’d recommend periodically rinsing it in tank water.
If the media is being used in a passive application i.e. denitrification, it won’t have water being forced through so won’t be as liable to clogging. In a passive application, with a light flow of water traveling around the media, the movement of water through the media is facilitated by advection and diffusion processes, along with bioturbation efforts of micro-organisms living within the substrate.
In this application the media can, in effect, be self-cleaning. Any clogging that might start to occur will be cleaned up by a combination of the larger microorganisms moving through the substrate and by the migration of different species of bacteria to the clogged site. Think of it in terms of one man’s clogging being some micro-organisms idea of lunch!!
See The Reef Aquarium vol. 3 by Delbeek and Sprung for more on advection.
“if this was used as a base material under live rock then wouldn’t that make it a bit difficult to rinse and wouldn’t it have detritus constantly settling upon it and clogging the surface of it?”
In this application, where MarinePure plates are used directly on the base of the aquarium, there is no necessity for rinsing the media. As mentioned in the previous FAQ, bioturbation and mobile populations of bacteria will keep the plates from clogging. The same will hold true where plates are used vertically against the back or side walls of the aquarium.
“Wouldn’t worms and other micro-organisms find it difficult to burrow through the ceramic material of MarinePure ?”
The highly porous structure of MarinePure and it’s extensive network of interconnected pores and channels, with sizes ranging from 0.5µm to 500µm, provides homes for many varieties of micro-organisms as well as bacteria species. Expect to see many species of worms, molluscs, micro-crustaceans, algae, and more, taking up residence within the structure of any MarinePure product used in a passive or denitrification application.
“What’s the best way of using MarinePure in an external power filter?”
This depends on what your aim is:
If you just want nitrification in a freshwater set up, use as you would any other media, occasionally rinsing the media in tank water.
If you are after nitrification make sure to use mechanical pre-filter media, sponge or filter floss (remembering to rinse it weekly and replace as necessary) before the MarinePure media. Ideally restrict the flow of water through the filter to enhance denitrification.
Note: flow restriction should take place on the inlet side of the filter to prevent pressurization and the associated danger of leakage.
If you have any further queries about MarinePure media, or any other aspect of reef aquaria please feel free to contact me.
©2009 – 2011