Special Bead Media
Over an 8 year period, we tested a number of bead materials to finally get the perfect bead media for the Advantage bead filter. There were 3 different criteria that we had to work with;
Size – The size of the bead was critical. We found that the smaller the bead size was, the closer it will pack together under pressure which greatly increased the filter’s ability to collect even the smallest of particles. The challenge was to find a bead material that was uniform enough in size so that the smallest beads in the material would not escape through the slots in our diffuser head, while the largest beads were not too big to reduce the filtering ability we were looking for.
Composition – In our testing we found, much to our surprise, that the beneficial bacteria grew much better on some materials rather than others. We found one bead material that struggled to maintain a film of bacteria on its surface even after three years. The material we settled on grows bacteria faster than any we tested.
Buoyancy – We needed a material that was as buoyant as possible. We found that the lighter the media was, the tighter it would pack together inside the top of the bead filter once the tank was filled with water. Some bead filter designs use a “fluidized bed” approach to their filters. This means that their filter media is randomly floating within the filter while it is operating. This design may increases the ability of the filter to remove ammonia and nitrites from the water but greatly reduces the filter’s ability to mechanically filter out particles. Our goal with the Advantage bead filter was to provide the clearest water possible while still effectively removing all the ammonia and nitrites.
We feel we have been able to accomplish everything we set out to do with our media. The Advantage bead filter is able to mechanically filter water down to 27 microns while at the same time remove all ammonia and nitrites from the water. Note that these beads will not break down and do not need to be replaced on a regular basis. We have found that the older the beads are, the better they perform. For more information regarding filtration capacity of our Advantage Bead filters, as well as why we are able to offer a one year satisfaction guarantee, see the following article.