NPX BioBeads are the latest solid carbon dosing product that claims to sustain heterotrophic bacterial nutrient reduction with no addition of liquid carbon sources to the aquarium. The NPX BioBeads are identical in size and shape to the NP Biopellets which we first reported back in October and indeed the manufacturer of the NpX-Bio Beads claims that these are sourced from the same place as the Biopellets with which we are already familiar. We find it a little disturbing that the jury is still completely out on the effectiveness of solid carbon dosing via Biopellets and products like it but just like a big bandwagon, we are already seeing another “manufacturer” repackage the same biopolymer pellets and claim that it is the “finest in Nitrate and Phosphate control”. At first the NpX Bio Beads were listed for very similar prices to the BioPellets but in a very calculated marketing move, the NpX BioBeads come in 550ml and 1100ml as compared to the 500 and 1000ml pouches of NP Biopellets and now they are selling for $45 and $80 Canadian. As a testament to the overall lack of knowledge or data on the effect of using Solid Carbon Dosing in reef tanks, OC has inserted a disclaimer at the bottom of their product page which neatly summarizes our collective ignorance of this new Nitrate and Phosphate reducing technique. Follow the break for full product guidelines from Oceanic Corals.
NpX-Bio Beads are a novel filter media that is used for the control of Nitrates and Phosphate in within the aquarium as well as providing a constant food source for filter feeders and micro fauna.
NpX-Bio Beads are best used within a fluidized reactor with enough flow to keep the top layer of Beads tumbling aggressively. Start with about ½ the total volume of Beads you want to run and work your way up to the full volume over a week or so. The average amount of Beads to aim at is about 550ml per 75 Gallons of water volume, more or less can be used depending on your unique bio load and inhabitants.
The Bio Beads generally cannot be overdosed; however, if your system is very high in nutrients you may experience a bacterial bloom once the Beads have been added. The bloom should clear within a few days but it is essential to make sure your skimmer is functioning properly and that the discharge of the reactor is directed into the skimmer. If the aquarium is not sufficiently oxygenated during a clouding event the oxygen can drop to dangerous levels.
NpX-Bio Beads should be topped up as the Beads dissolve, this usually takes anywhere from 7-12 months depending on your bio load.
Thank you for purchasing the NpX-Bio Beads!
– Maintain sufficient water flow through the NpX-Bio Beads, to prevent production of hydrogen sulphide gas.
– The use of ozone and UV will negatively affect bacterial recruitment of the NpX-Bio Beads and increase the maturation time of the filter. Adding bacterial cultures may alleviate this problem and shorten filter maturation time in general.
– When nitrate and phosphate are already very low before applying NpX-Bio Beads, a decrease in these levels may not be detectable with standard aquarium test kits.
[via Glass Box Design]