Zeolite - what happens once cycled?

Carissa

Guru Class Expert
Jun 8, 2007
678
0
16
I have zeolite in my main filter from back when I was cycling my 32g. I would assume that as the bacteria breaks down the ammonia locked in it, the ammonia is then gone, freeing up that space to absorb more ammonia if necessary. Therefore it becomes a permanent ammonia remover/recycler. So if something funny were to happen and I got excessive ammonia in the water, the zeolite would be able to lock it up until the bacteria catches up with converting to nitrite, right? If this is true, doesn't this make zeolite good insurance against small ammonia spikes in a cycled tank that would otherwise possibly set off problems? Are there any negative effects to plants from this?
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,696
740
113
It gets clogged with bacterial slime basically after awhile and becomes biomedia.

That's all.
It can be rinsed and recharged a few times.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Carissa

Guru Class Expert
Jun 8, 2007
678
0
16
Good to know. I have the zeolite in two separate pouches in my filter, would it make sense to rinse one off from time to time or would I be taking a big hit on my biological filter by doing that? Also would I have to recharge it using NaCl, or is it likely that it's capacity isn't used up due to the bacterial conversion that would have taken place prior to getting clogged?