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Aquarium Supplies
Home » Saltwater Aquarium Supplies  » Filter Media  » Biological  » Biofiltration & Nutrient Control  »  NP Biopellets Filter Media
NP Biopellets Filter Media

NP Biopellets Filter Media

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NP Biopellets Filter Media Information

Product Manuals & Documentation

How it works
The positive effects of NP-reducing BioPellets on water quality are based on the principle of immobilization. Waste products from the water, mainly nitrate and phosphate, are converted into bacteria. This keeps the aquarium water clean.

NP-reducing BioPellets are composed of biologically degradable polymers that can be placed in a fluidized filter or filter canister. The pellets will allow aerobic growth of bacteria which consequently will consume nitrate and phosphate simultaneously. The bacteria will use up the carbon from the BioPellets, whilst nitrogen and phosphorus are taken from the water as nitrate and (ortho)phosphate. This conversion of organic BioPellets (together with inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus) into microbial biomass is called immobilization. In addition, anaerobic layers will develop, resulting in additional denitrification.

The surplus of bacteria will be consumed by filter and suspension feeding organisms such as sponges and corals, or skimmed off by a protein skimmer. On average this “solid wodka method” takes 2-4 weeks to give rise to sufficient bacteria to allow nitrate and phosphate levels to drop. The main advantage of this method over using Wodka or sugar as a carbon source is that NP-reducing BioPellets stimulate local growth of bacteria in a filter compartment, instead of all over in the aquarium where they may clog up pipes and hoses. They also prevent the growth of cyanobacteria, as the bacteria growing on NP-reducing BioPellets will compete with these phototrophic nuisance microbes. Finally, NP-reducing BioPellets will save the aquarist a lot of time, as no daily dosages of carbon are required.

Product guidelines
NP-reducing Biopellets can be placed in canister filters or fluidized reactors. The latter configuration may yield better results, and prevents detritus buildup. A proper starting dosage is 0.5-1 liter of pellets per 500 liters of system volume (12,5-25 fl. oz. for every 100 USG). After about 2-4 weeks, nitrate and phosphate levels should start decreasing. For some aquaria experiencing heavy feeding, higher dosages are appropriate. Examples are aquaria which house large quantities of azooxanthellate corals, sponges, tunicates or large schools of Anthias fish. Dosages may be increased indefinitely, provided the aquarium water is sufficiently aerated.

NP-reducing BioPellets are consumed by bacteria, which is why new pellets need to be added every 3-6 months to compensate for digested substrate. This can be seen during inspection of the filter. These figures however depend on aquarium conditions and are strongly influenced by feeding regimes and livestock. Taking regular measurements of both nitrate and phosphate levels in the aquarium is recommended, after which dosages may be increased or decreased.

We also suggest placing the outlet of the pellet filter in front of a protein skimmer, to limit the amount of bacteria entering the system. This has the additional benefit of increased gas exchange (CO2-removal and O2-addition). The pellets should never be used without sufficient aeration, as this may lead to low oxygen and pH levels, especially during night time. Proper aeration can be established with air pumps and protein skimmers.

When heavy feeding is required, it is recommended to combine the pellets with standard phosphate adsorbents. The reason for this is that most aquarium feeds contain higher levels of phosphate than is consumed by bacteria, fish and invertebrates, when compared to nitrogen. Some phosphate adsorbents however deplete alkalinity and may reduce pH. Using phosphate adsorbent media based on iron hydroxide does not have this disadvantage.

  • Maintain sufficient water flow through the BioPellets, to prevent production of hydrogen sulphide gas.
  • The use of ozone and UV will negatively affect bacterial recruitment of the BioPellets 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 BioPellets, a decrease in these levels may not be detectable with standard aquarium testkits.

NP Biopellets Filter Media Reviews

Average Rating
(11 reviews)
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of 2

Excellent product

Reviewers Rating Excellent!

Posted: 1/20/2013 from DORAL, FL UNITED STATES
5.0 5
Experience Level: Intermediate

Comments: I was having problems with high nitrates and phosphates in 300 gal reef tank. I used GFO for a while, but get disappointed with all that mess. I also used some NOPOX additives, but with my tank size that was too expensive in the long run. I did a research and found some interesting posts relating very good results with biopellets, of course there are others with very negative feedback. One thing it was clear to me, they are able to effectively deal with nitrates and in some extend also phosphates, but on the other hand good experiences where always a result of using basic procedures and equipment. I'm now using them for about 6 months in a reef octopus reactor and directing the out flow of the reactor to inlet of the skimmer. Results are expectacular, I'm controlling nitrates to be 1ppm and phosphates 0,04, and no maintenance at all, just add some new bacteria (prodibio biodigest) from time to time to keep a wider variety of strains.

3 of 3 People found this review helpful, did you? Yes No

NP Bio pellets

Reviewers Rating Great

Posted: 12/30/2011 from KEWANEE, IL UNITED STATES
4.0 5
Experience Level: Intermediate

Comments: Product works great! Brings out the best in my skimmer.

0 of 1 People found this review helpful, did you? Yes No

need wts on these

Reviewers Rating Average

Posted: 11/3/2011 from WAKEFIELD, RI UNITED STATES
3.0 5
Experience Level: Expert

Comments: We can't compare value on these biopellet products without a weight. These are the most expensive per liter, but they may have more mass (material). I see they've changed their shape since I bought them from the inventor a while back. Not sure what that will do to performance yet. Will get back on this.

0 of 4 People found this review helpful, did you? Yes No

NP Biopellets

Reviewers Rating Excellent!

Posted: 4/2/2011 from BUFFALO, WY UNITED STATES
5.0 5
Experience Level: Intermediate

Comments: There has been so much negative criticism of NP Biopellets on this review site. This is not a system you set-up and notice results immediately. However, many people do not report good results within three days or even three weeks. It has taken my NP Biopellet system 10 weeks to achieve acceptable results. I have had to monitor the system throughout this period. To achieve good results I had to increase the NP Biopellets by 50% compared to the recommended dosage. I have a 265 gallon system, with a sump, refugium and a very good skimmer. If you are having trouble with nitrates I would consider the following before NP Biopellets were utilized: examine flow within the tank and examine protein skimmer. I would recommend NP Biopellets but would also warn that patience is a virtue.

10 of 10 People found this review helpful, did you? Yes No

trying to be useful

Reviewers Rating Below Average

Posted: 2/8/2011 from Los Angeles, CA UNITED STATES
2.0 5
Experience Level: Intermediate

Comments: I have a fairly heavily stocked 180 gallon reef. I run a 100 micron filter sock, a euro-reef rs-180 alfa, 6 liters of Seachem Matrix in the sump, 250mL of Seachem Phosguard in a reactor, and 250mL of Seachem Purigen on a tray in my bubble trap. I use a tunze auto top off and dose kalk with it. I run two 14k 400w Halides 18" above the tank. Flow is 2 Korralia 6s and a Tunze wavebox. Sump overturn is about 15x. Before adding this media my parameters were stable at: sal = 1.026 phos = 0.01 mg/L nitrate = 2 mg/L pH = 8.3 Alk = 3.5meq (dkh 10) Ca = 430 I added roughly half the media prescribed by the instructions into my reactor and (per instructions) removed the phosguard. The inlet water came from my return chamber of my sump (cleanest water in the system) and my outlet water went directly into my skimmer, (which went turbo btw) Within 3 days I had a major bacterial bloom. My water clouded massively and overloaded my filter sock in a day. I went from cleaning my glass every other day to twice a day. An A.Formosa and a S.Hystrix browned out. My parameters went to: sal = 1.026 phos = 0.2 mg/L nitrate = 5 mg/L pH = 8.0 Alk = 3.0meq (dkh 8.4) Ca = 430 This doesn't seem like a major blow out, but if you consider the phos is about 20x higher and the nitrate is 2x higher and a large amount of nutrient had to be tied up in that bloom as well, it starts to look No Bueno. I guess I should have followed my own advice and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." I am back to running the phosguard. A large (30 gallon) water change and 2 fresh filter socks later, the tank looks almost normal (except the two corals) I suppose I could get another reactor and try to run the phosguard and the np bio-media at the same time, but why? My two cents? If you have alot of flow, and a stable system, don't mess with it, or at least add it slowly and don't use it to replace anything. Maybe it works better on new systems. Two stars only because nothing died.

2 of 5 People found this review helpful, did you? Yes No


Reviewers Rating Excellent!

Posted: 8/3/2010 from Hampstead, NH UNITED STATES
5.0 5
Experience Level: Intermediate

Comments: I have a 35gal. Red Sea Max running for 7 months heavily stocked. My Nitate has always been around 20-30 (like I said heavily stocked )and Phosphate 5.The store I use started using this stuff 8 months ago when it came out in there home Reef tanks. The results were amazing, so 2 days ago I tried it.Today Phosphate 0.000 ,Nitate 5 and dropping. I used 150 ml per 35gals (store told me you don't need much )to much can drop p.h. & it also over time kill cyno. I have researched this product for 8 months and talked to so many peaple who been. Using it since it came out.I haven't heard 1 bad thing other than the other 2 reviews here. Completely Reef &Fish safe.

1 of 2 People found this review helpful, did you? Yes No


Reviewers Rating Unsatisfactory

Posted: 6/26/2010 from REDWOOD CITY, CA UNITED STATES
1.0 5
Experience Level: Expert

Comments: i was running a aquaripure nitrate filter when i installed my new smr1 xl nextreef biopellet reactor with the np biopellets. was going well for a few days buy when i adjust the nitrate reactor it added to much bacteria /effluent to my tank and caused a huge bacteria bloom. killing a couple of inverts:( and stressed the rest of the tank out really bad. im going to just use the biopellets with less than the recommended dose and add more pellets as i need over time. there are 5 over type of pellets on the market that i know of that came out to compete with np biopellet. one company claims that their pellet is non toxic . all other companies say not to use phosban media either. np biopellets is the only company saying you can use phosban. another company claims that they dont need a carbon source to produce then beneficial bacteria, seems far fetched to me seeing how they need a carbon sources to live. this is a great link if you really want to see the different pellets and how they claim things that trys to out do one another.i cant find much info on what company actually lives up to their claims. Seachem Stability and Seachem Clarity both used together from what i read will help the bacteria bloom. i think i would just use the clarity by seachem and not stability because there is already a overabundance of bacteria already that caused the cloud.for now i think the bio pellets are to new to review and ill keep searching. more detailed instructions are needed and how to use proper aeration to prevent the blooms... mine went from great oxygen to almost 0 in 5 sec flat. from what i read, if you get a bloom DO NOT use more aeration. it could help the bacteria bloom even more. stability is the best bet

3 of 14 People found this review helpful, did you? Yes No

Be careful

Reviewers Rating Unsatisfactory

Posted: 6/2/2010 from FAIRFAX, VA UNITED STATES
1.0 5
Experience Level: Intermediate

Comments: I have a fish only with live rock tank that contains 1 triggerfish. Since he is a messy guy I have a problem with nitrates and been doing a ton of partial water changes. I decided to try this product and a massive bacteria bloom took place in my tank. The water became cloudy and some crazy stuff grew all over my sump. I stopped using the product and the water cleared up in a day but my sump is still covered by some form of hairy/slimy bacteria. Also, my trigger was hiding during the cloudy water. Now that the tank is clear he is out swimming around. I am not sure what happened or if I should have waited to see what would occur. Just be careful if you have high nitrates and start using this product.

4 of 15 People found this review helpful, did you? Yes No


Reviewers Rating Great

Posted: 5/1/2010 from FAIR LAWN, NJ UNITED STATES
4.0 5
Experience Level: Intermediate

Comments: I always have had a problem with high nitrates. I tried many different solutions from water changes, new skimmer, GFO's. I also lowered the amount of feeding. Nothing worked. I've been using this product for about 3 months now and my nitrates and phosphates are now undetectable on my Salifert and Red Sea kits. I would have rated this product 5 stars but have noticed that I am starting to get some cyano growth also with some algae but nothing crazy. Not sure what is causing this growth.

12 of 13 People found this review helpful, did you? Yes No

NP Biopellets

Reviewers Rating Great

Posted: 3/27/2010 from DANVILLE, IL UNITED STATES
4.0 5
Experience Level: Intermediate

Comments: For my 100g DT I started out with 500ml. Immediately my PH started to drop quickly especially when my skimmer is stopped when I feed the tank. So if you have high nutrient levels in your tank before BP, start with a smaller BP volume than recommended, keep an eye on PH and on the fish, if PH drops rapidly slow down your flow rate, increase aeration or your fish will die of oxygen starvation. My PH finally stabilized after 2 days. Water is crystal clear which I never had before. It is too early to tell if my corals will respond well with BP so far so good.

10 of 10 People found this review helpful, did you? Yes No

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