The Fauna Marin Bacto Reef Balls that were on display at MACNA and are now available in the US market. Unlike other solid carbon dosing products like bio pellets, the Fauna Marin Bacto Reef Balls are bacteria-based probiotic in a clear gel spheres that use time-release to disperse bacteria.
Instead of flooding the tank with a bunch of bacteria, the slow release ensures a steady population that immediately begins its task and reduces nitrogen and phosphates when released from the carrier gel. The gel was designed to be a neutral carrier that dissolves slowly in sea water without adding extra nutrients to the system. On top of this, the team at Fauna Marin chose the bacteria strain with the reef hobbyist in mind to deliver both a stable and diverse bacterial culture. They also note that any excess bacteria becomes a food source for corals and protozoa and are skimmed by a protein skimmer.
The dosing is pretty simple too. You can just add the reef balls into any type of filter or media chamber that has high water flow. They recommend placing the spheres in a filter bag or stocking. You could easily put them in a zeo chamber, in a media reactor, or add them to a container that has holes to allow water to flow through and put in a sump chamber.
They recommend using just two Bacto Reef Balls per 100 liters (26.4 US gal) and replace every two weeks. When you start out, they recommend half the dosage to see how your system responds.
According to the product description, Bacto Reef Balls claims to provide these benefits:
- Crystal clear, healthy water
- Easier nutrient control: reduces nitrogen and phosphates
- Reduced unwanted algae growth
- Cost effective and efficient
- Supports the natural bacterial flora
- Eliminates troublesome bacterial plaque and Detritus build up
- Removes organic waste products
- Increases the skimming process and minimizes cleaning intervals
- Simplified dosing
- Unique depot effect, effective 2 week doses
Fauna Marin Bacto Reef Balls come in three sizes — a 100ml, a 250ml and a 500ml container that run you $14.99, $28.99 or $49.99.