Other Uses for Zelbrite

Zeolite Aquaculture

Some fish farms use similar preparation methods to prawn farms i.e. prepared sand and limestone beds, particularly if they are batch breeding. However, most tend to use concrete or polyethylene tanks or unlined ponds.When tank storage methods are used all nutrient removal becomes costly as it must be done externally.

When maintaining a fish ponds or aquaria, ammonias have to be oxidized to nitrite-nitrate but if nitrite levels exceed 0.1 - 0.5 mg/L the pond environment starts to become toxic to fish and other aquatic life.

The nitrification cycle can stall if there is insufficient free O2 throughout the cycle; this is because nitrification requires 4.2 O2 molecules per ammonia molecule. This is not so critical in open pond situations where the surface aeration factor is high but is critical in tank situations where surface aeration is negligible. Zeolite in Fish Farms

Presently the approach of many aquaculture institutions is to use biological filters to facilitate removal of ammonia by complete nitrification

  • This requires a high energy input to simply transport on many passes sufficient ammonia rich water to accommodate full nitrification
  • In the process of nitrification the water becomes acidic (through loss of ions) which requires costly pH adjustment Using Zeolite in static beds, either in ponds or in shallow submerged filtration systems allows ammonia to be removed without conversion to nitrate
  • Energy requirements are substantially lowered - little or no pH correction is required
  • Subsequent ammonia charged Zeolite is available for horticultural use & production of a waste with high value

Zeolite Aquaculture

When Zeolite is implemented in situations where high stocking rates are used the critical nature of overfeeding, which otherwise can lead to fish death and loss of production, is reduced.

In extreme stocking situations there still may be a need for the use of some biofilters.These can incorporate large grain Zeolites, which with their much greater surface area allow smaller filtration units to be used particularly where space is limited.

Zeolites in biofilters will still take up ammonia but at a lower rate due to the surface area differences between particle sizes.This provides a sink for ammonia loving bacteria thus averting boom and bust cycles and allowing a much higher bacteria level (nitromonus and nitrobacta).

Aquarium Case Study

Study conducted using Na Activated Zeolite from Werris Creek, NSW, Australia for ammonia and nitrate removal.

Without Zelbrite

at three months                                 at six months

With Zelbrite

at three months                                 at six months

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