Re: Creating Anaerobic Bacteria with Pond Matrix
Thank you for using Pond Matrix and also for your questions regarding the product. Pond Matrix will not have any effect whatsoever on pH, so it will not serve as a buffer in the water.
Because your nitrates are quite high at this point, it may take a little bit of time to begin seeing them drop off. There are a couple of things that you can do to help expedite the nitrate decrease:
1) Add Stability: adding Stability daily for about 7 days directly onto the media will place many colonies of denitrifying bacteria on the media. They will immediately begin colonizing the Matrix, therefore being able to consume the nitrates present. You can read about Stability here:
2) Perform a series of water changes to bring the nitrate level below 20ppm. At this point, the denitrifying bacteria already present on Matrix will have a mush easier time lowering the nitrates further. Take a look at these questions from our FAQ; the first is about de*nitrate, though it also applies to Matrix/Pond Matrix:
Q: How much nitrate will de*nitrate™remove?
A: It is recommended that if nitrate levels are very high that they be brought down to at least 20 ppm through water changes before using de*nitrate. At that point de*nitrate will bring the nitrate levels down to 4 – 5 ppm after several days of use. Since de*nitrate™, Matrix™,and Pond Matrix™are all biological support media, they do not actually ever exhaust, but they can grown less efficient with use by pore clogging. Prefiltering the water before it passes through these products will extend its useful life.
Q: How long does it take for Matrix to grow the necessary anaerobic bacteria to remove nitrate?
A: This all depends on the stage of biological establishment of your tank, placement of Matrix and flow rate. Generally you will start to see improvement in a couple of weeks but every situation varies.
Q: I’m using Matrix™, but my nitrates are not coming down, it’s been at the same level for awhile now, what’s wrong?
A: Nothing’s wrong. The product is working just as it should. The removal of nitrates essentially comes down to one parameter: rate. The rate at which your tank is producing nitrates and the rate at which it can remove them. If you fill a bathtub with the spigot wide open and try to keep it from overflowing by draining it out of a straw, it won’t be long until it overflows. However, if you drain it at the same rate it fills, the level will always stay the same. Or, if it nearly fills up and then you drain it at a rate faster than it is filling, the level will drop. The same applies to nitrate removal. To lower nitrates you must equip your tank with the capacity to remove them at a rate greater than or equal to the rate of formation. So, if your nitrates are holding steady and you want them to come down, increase the amount of Matrix™you are using or use de*Nitrate™in addition to the Matrix™(de*Nitrate™will more efficiently remove nitrates per volume of product assuming a flow rate of not more than ~50 gallons/hour). If you need to use a higher flow rate, than stick with Matrix™or try Pond Matrix™, both of which support anaerobic denitrification at higher flow rates.
Please let us know if you have additional questions and have a nice day!