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Thread: maybe the real reason porous stone works in showers...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    maybe the real reason porous stone works in showers...

    First let me put a limitaiton on who can post on this thread....All those that sell ANY filter media are asked to not post on this thread, or any other thread I start. i don't like salesman that twist or deceive for economic gain.

    And just incase you haven't recognized yourself as who I am talking about ...
    If you are a BM Specialist i would appreciate you not posting on my thread. I honored your request on your thread; please reciprocate by Not bring your deceitful practices to my discussion.

    Now that being said, I have what I think is amazing news for ALL that are interested in "Porous Media Showers (PMS, lol).

    A little koi show was put together this past weekend. It was a modest production. I think it was even understood that they weren't out to do much. Just get some people and koi together in a big air-conditioned (very smart move) Building. The Building was unique in that it was named the "Dullest" Expo center. The T must have fallen off long ago as I did not see it laying anywhere.
    Good show though...made good by the people. Of course I was relegated to bottom feeder` but what the hey....AZ Ponds provide cheese, wine and BEER for all to consume, all day Friday ...and parts of the other days. REAL Cheese! and REAL BEER!

    Ok back to the dulles' show...so many of the koi "Personalities" were there..I won't mention any that aren't relevant to the info I am going to disclose HERE..but AZ Ponds was womderful...real cold draft beer by the kegs.

    now I went to the seminars...I know I know nasty salesman often speak at those, BUT they tell you right up front that they are salesmen....so you can take what they say with a grain of salt, and measure the worth of the information espoused on a harsh scale.
    I know I do not know most of what a person needs to know to understand how a PMS(Porous Media Shower) works...or WHY it works so well.
    I know it ain't the gimmick of FIR...

    But I thought I had a pretty good idea.
    Some think that the pores in Porous Media stay open.:They are wrong. The "Bio-film" organisms quickly line the pores and when they continue to grow they either plug the hole through growth, or by sloughing off in relatively big bits. And that is a good thing.

    Now let me tell ya what a "Salesman" told me at the show. He talked all the regular beginner crap about bio-films, but then he put up a diagram and made a singular statement about the "anoxic" level/layer of the biofilm.
    ( He didn't spell it, he said it...but that is pretty close to what it sound like and I'm sure the real scientists and researchers on here will help me out by doing a little research about it...Anoxic layer)
    before I go any further I gotta tell ya the salesperson's name....Mark Krupka..
    now while he went through the Nitrite to nitrate yada yada in the begginning of the lecture(and i was yawning)....
    BUT then he mentioned the ANOXIC(sp) layer.
    The anoxic layer is a deeper layer of the biofilm. The organisms in the anoxic layer use the oxygen in the nitrates as the electron ceptor. Now the result is the NITROGEN that was bound in the NITRATES are now free and are a gas at the temperatures within a PMS. So the nitrogen GAS migrates through the above biofilm layers, into the shower water, and escapes into the AIR.....and the nitrogen is GONE from the pondwater! GONE.

    Now if you think I am willing to accept this right yet, you are wrong, but if you research-types will run with this we can see if this guy might be providing the best explanation so far...he mentioned two other areas for me to research in order for me to better understand biofilms worth....
    If you find something worthwhile (bad or good about them then bring it on in).

    But what I original thought was the reason for the PMS working so well was that the pores within the media would fill with similar biofilm cells and that they would be supported by some crude active transport system like the jellyfish use.
    but this anoxic layer fits in better with what might be going on deep in a PMS Pore. The Anoxic layers microbes live beneath the Nitrite/nitrate biofilm layers. They supposedly live where there is no "free oxygen" yet they need oxygen, so they tear apart Nitrates releasing the nitrogen....
    While also providing the normal amonia to nitrite to nitrate bacteria a place to hang back in and recolonize when needed.

    Mark Krupca also talked alot about biofilm work done at a University in Montana. Seemed like it was a state university.
    Intially I thought about why on Earth, Montana would have "biofilm" as a concern for study. But I thought...maybe it is because of the TROUT streams...or the mining.
    Boundary layers are a big interest item for trout stream management and a natural progression would be to the microbe level...and using the microbes as a method of cleaning the water coming from mining areas that have become poluted might have been recognized by tHem.

    But the task of this thread is to see how much of what I think might be happening is making a PMS such a "good system" .................for the moment anyways.

    Post any part of this you can on the more scientific threads. Try and recruit more people and we'll get a larger base of info to support or modify this "understanding."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii

    Hope I don't turn your thread sideways but here goes... From some of your posts, I get the idea you might be a potter as well as a koi guy... If you are, you may be able to produce your own PMS by mixing coffee grains with waste clay, push it through a pug mill, form and shape some BacHouse like PMS and fire to 1300 degrees...

    My understanding is that the coffee grinds will burn off leaving you an American produced PMS... Don't forget that the new BH has a hole down the middle...

    If I misread you and you're not a potter, forget everything I just wrote...

    Aloha! Mike

  3. #3
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Orlando, Florida
    I am sure this process of de-nitrification is occurring within the BH media. I have no idea whether it occurs in such volume as to impact water parameters in a major way. I do know that I have very low nitrate levels now, but had high nitrate levels on my old pond. There could be several reasons. I suspect the use of a porous media shower is one contributing factor.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Mike T I will start another thread about what you have brought up.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Mike M...so I think i see you sorta agreeing with what i am thinking...have you ever heard of the Onoxic layer? maybe it might be anoxic layer.

  6. #6
    Jumbo jnorth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Ok I posted this in the other thread so I will paste it into this one. Based on MikeM's post I should be testing nitrate levels as well. BTW nice meeting you at Koi America Luke. We only said hello as you were in a discusion with Joe.

    Hi guys, I hesitate to jump into this thread but here goes. I have built my own Bakki Shower and I am 90% done with installing it. It's made out of stainless with 3 stacked tray etc so its the real deal. My plan is to use Matala at the bottom with lava on top of that for the first round of testing. I am going to document orp, tds and ph readings daily of my 2 ponds. One pond will have the bakki installed and the other will not. Current orp readings are 195 on the non bakki and 140(ouch) on the pond that will soon be running the bakki. If there is anything else you guys think I should test during this let me know. I have no plans to test ammonia or nitrites as both of these ponds test out at 0 for both always. I will be posting this data to my website starting in the next week or so when I finish the unit up. If this round goes well and shows marked improvement then I may switch media and do another round of tests as well to see if that can be improved upon. BTW this will be at the end of a fairly standard US setup settlement-pump-bead-uv then the bakki.
    My personal koi page Updated 7/8/07
    ZNA Potomac Koi Club

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    You could have hung with Joe and I. I see him more often than any other Koi kichi person. You'd have been welcome to join in whatever we were talking about....you must have thought of something better to do than listen to us. lol.

    If Krupka was shooting straight you have measurable nitrate levels because you do not have enough of the ANoxic microbes ..WHICH I NOW THINK MIGHT BE WHAT THE POROUS MEDIA PROVIDES THE IDEAL LIVNG SPACE FOR.

  8. #8
    D@z is offline
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    It sounds possible from first impressions. I'll give it some thought and speak to some people at work who are better placed academically to do it justice. In the meantime, my one gripe with this and other theories is the length of time the water is actually in contact with the media for. I know the media will become wetted and water will diffuse into the media across the film but I just cant help thinking that not enough contact time is occuring for this type of explanation to be viable. I cant get away from the thought that the actual impact of water on media is more important and this leads me away from BHM being anything different to lava rock etc other than the fact that it wont erode.

  9. #9
    Oyagoi kingkong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    porous cellular structures

    I hope I am not offending anybody posting on this site. It kinda reminds me of my fourth grade teacher. I think I learned more about what I could not do than I could do. It's hard being one of the three stooges you know.
    Cellular materials are the most efficient structures and the most common engineered material form in the natural world. Anybody name two? Techniques now exist for fabricating foams of ceramics with typical grain sizes between 1-5 microns. Guys, leave the lima beans and coffee grinds for a science fair project. Fabrication of a structure begins with the pyrolysis of a resin-impregnated thermosetting foam to obtain a reticulated carbon foam skeleton. The open-pore carbon foam is heated while gases are pulled through it forming uniform nano layering. As it turns out, the bugs love it and thrive depending on CVD (chemical vapor deposits) and pore size adjustments. Have a nica day!

  10. #10
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Orlando, Florida
    Luke, I am aware of the anoxic layer. (Anoxic simply means "without oxygen".) I do not know enough to get into a deep discussion of the functions of different layers of biofilm, but the denitrification process has been used in aquaria to eliminate nitrogen from the system. There have been gizmos marketed from time to time for this purpose, particularly for use in reef aquaria. (As I recall, one promoted its use of ceramic components within the denitrification chamber.) However, the use of "live rock" in great volume seems to accomplish the same result more reliably from what I can tell. Perhaps a reef aquarist will come along set me straight? In natural ponds, the same denitrification process occurs in the sediments, but is also accompanied by hydrogen sulfide formation depending on water movement through the submerged soils, chemical composition of the soils and several other factors. Using the natural denitrification process in aquaria has not been very practical overall due to the bio-load typically present, and the difficulty of maintaining a sustainable balance.

    I am sure some degree of denitrification occurs within a porous media like Bacteria House. The bio-load of a koi pond is so great, however, that I am dubious that it could alone explain the results users see. I tend to think that the breaking-up of the water stream is the major degassing factor, with some ammonia being de-gassed directly into the atmosphere. In the degassing chambers used in commercial fish production, exposure of the water surface to the atmosphere is maximized by using baffles and letting broken streams of water fall through the atmosphere. In the Bakki Shower, water is broken into streams at the top of the structure, and these are made to spread in a thin layer over the surface of the media, dropping through open air as the water falls from tray to tray. The openness of the media expands the atmospheric contact and breaks up the water stream. The water does not re-consolidate until it comes to the final tray. In effect, the degassing mechanics mimic a huge waterfall's exposure of water molecules to the atmosphere, but does it in a small amount of space.

    I would guess that the de-gassing is more important than the denitrification. That may be why SMG saw no difference between BH and lava rock, which is not nearly as porous as BH. However, I am just speculating. I am not sure how a test could be designed to differentiate the two processes where both are occurring at the same time.

    JNorth: I think nitrate levels are your most important test. We know that many systems are excellent at nitrification, but the resulting nitrate is still a nitrogen waste, albeit less harmful. A filtration system which eliminates the nitrogenous waste altogether is going a further step. I think because of the de-gassing, and perhaps also denitrification, Bakki users end up with lower nitrate levels at the same frequency/size of water changes. Your experiment will be interesting if it helps us understand the processes in a koi pond environment a bit better.

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