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Thread: Crystal Bio

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Orlando, Florida

    Crystal Bio

    Ogata is marketing a new filter media product under the brand 'Crystal Bio'. Does anyone know its composition? Looks like a ceramic version of lava rock to me. It is promoted in Ogata advertising as an effective nitrification medium, with denitrification capabilities which maintain substantially lowered nitrate levels compared to plastic media. There is no direct comparison to Bacteria House, but is the obvious competition.

  2. #2
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Hi Mike,

    That's exactly what it is and I had a brief chat with those folks at the Wakagoi show. It's actually made from glass and it looks exactly as you say: like lava rock. The pores are of a more consistent nature though and it is incredibly light. We only spoke for about 30 seconds as I preferred to wander off and look at koi.
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    In the words of the affable Yogi Bara "deja vu, all over again". This concept, of a high surface, porous media that could perform both biological functions of nitrification and denitrification was exhausted by the Germans and then the Brits in the 1980s and early 1990s with their versions of ceramic and glass fired medias.
    The main obsticle to this idea in koi ponds are:
    1) biofouling
    2) aging
    3) the realities of koi stocking and feeding.

    As we now know ( and didn't really know well in the 1980s) biofilm is both nitrifing and denitrifying. But we must favor one over the other for practical reasons. Once biofilm gets aged it becomes thicker and insolating. meaning, it cloggs the flow thru the once porous media. Biofouling is an ongoing condition as the trend in every koi pond is towards an orgaically rich system.
    So we see systems pulled towards high nitrate output the older they get. We aso see films thickening generally becoming fouled and having a denitrifying layer, it is this layer that causes self cleaning by creating a fracture in the film's biomatrix and allowing sections to be pulled off into the surrounding current. The biofilm in general however, remains in tact and as such it seals the surface of all media it grows on.
    Honestly, if providing a zone of nitrification was desirable and practical then we would simple all go back to deep granite rock beds as there is definite dentrification going on there.
    It's a nice idea, but unless youa re going to have a very low stocking level like in a reef tank, your 'coral' will not drain off the nitrate production of large bodied fish. If that were true, it would work in reef systems AFTER you add a half dozen small bodied fish- but it doesn't, nitrates come on and algae grows. You can reduce nitrates by having a 'leaky' system that assaults nitrogenous wastes at each level of creation and reduction. Low feeding, steady inflow of freshwater, evaporation, aeration, trickle towers, FFs to name a few. Each will effectively attack some small percentage of ammonia presence and nitrate species accumulation.
    I'd suggest buying a bucket for water changes before buying a media with the expectations that it will remove nitrates as well as that bucket. IMHO. JR

  4. #4
    Oyagoi Ethan25's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    West Central Illinois
    If the stuff's made of glass, sounds like you may want to wear a nice pair of gloves while handing it. Lava rock completely tore up my hands a couple projects ago..../

    sounds like a decent product...

  5. #5
    Guest Nancy M.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Lakewood, So Calif
    Ken brought back a few samples with him yesterday from Japan. It looks just like my foot scrubber, pumice stone, I can post pictures of it in action if anyone is interested, Ken took lots of pictures of it, in Ogata's showers.

  6. #6
    Oyagoi gspotmc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Walnut, Ca
    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy M. View Post
    Ken brought back a few samples with him yesterday from Japan. It looks just like my foot scrubber, pumice stone, I can post pictures of it in action if anyone is interested, Ken took lots of pictures of it, in Ogata's showers.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    I don't know if you are ready for this and I am quite sure Schilders will spew the beverage associated with that time of day all over his monitor but........
    I have read and learned most of what you've posted on bacteria and nitrogen waste..and I draw most of my basis for what I think about Porous media Showers from you...
    So I was wondering if you've reached your conclusion without considering the PMS this way...
    i beleive the hole sizes and DEPTHS create the right substrate for a collection of bacteria to "handle" the fish waste (both).
    The difference as I can figure it out is that within the deep recesses of the lava rock (and other "better"/BS) the "other bacteria live and Piggy-back off the surface/sloughing bacteria..the water doesn't get into it, the nitrogen is turned by one species and is inturn drawnout of that species by the other species living deeper within the "celss" of the media...and the splashing allows the Nitrogen to bleed off.
    the whole "crevice clogging" idea doesn't seem to negate that...

    My QT pond has been running for 4 years..the water hasn't flowed through the media as much as it flows around it...at least for the past two years.
    However in that 3500 gallon QT I have kept 80 koi from a foot to over two feet...and the water stays within parameters that don't bother the fish, and is clear.
    If the water ever starts to turn I'll know..till then this "block" of lava rock somehow does all I need.
    I'd love to tear it down and put a studier and larger one on the QT..but if it ain't broke......

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