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    Thread: Question regarding Bacteria House "Knock-Off" Media

    1. #1
      Otrex is offline Senior Member
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      Question regarding Bacteria House "Knock-Off" Media

      I have a question for some folks who are "in the know" on media for a bakki shower.

      I am aware of Bacteria House media, and also aware of the price for that product ($$$$$$$). I have found, however, that there are many knock-off versions of that product, most of which are not made to the same quality or are downright flimsy.

      Today at a new koi store in Toronto, I happened across a bakki shower running on their main tank. It had a clear glass window so you could see the media inside. The owner informed me that it had been running for a little over a week and he quickly volunteered that the media inside was NOT Bacteria House, but rather a Chinese substitute. Knowing the variance in manufacturing, I asked for an explanation. He informed me that he had traveled to China and seen a couple of manufacturers, and was genuinely unimpressed. However, at his last visit, he encountered a much better quality media than he had seen, and while it still did not match the genuine article, the price it could be delivered for made it attractive to offer in his store.

      He told me it is 100% ceramic, just as in the real product. Each piece measures approximately 6" x 1.5" (round) and is available in a square or rounded shape. Upon touching it and applying a little shearing force, I was only able to break off a couple small crumbs from the ends, which is to say that it felt quite durable to me, and not fragile enough that I can accuse the product of not being 100% ceramic as claimed.

      The owner told me to take a piece home for free and test the durability under water flow for myself, as well as the "wicking" properties of the media. Apparently the higher quality media will hold quite a good volume of water and this helps demonstrate that the media is a porous as claimed.

      I took the owner's offer and brought a piece home. My limited tests this evening have shown that yes, the product does "wick" up water a fair degree (as much as can be expected from ceramic, at least) and it holds about 3 - 5x its weight in water once it's been submerged for a short time. You can shake the media and hear it draining out... it sounds something like the last bit of water running down a drain. As for durability, while it appeared fine under heavy flow from my kitchen tap, I have placed the test piece in my waterfall and will leave it there for a few days before finalizing my thoughts.

      For each 6" x 1.5" (round) piece, the price is $2.85 CAD, or about $2.25 USD. Based on my description above and my pictures below, I would be interested in hearing thoughts on if this will be a valid substitute for the genuine article. The total cost to fill a single 24" x 24" x 6" bakki shower tray will be about $395 CAD ($315 USD), so it's still enough that I'd like to know if anyone has any thoughts before I proceed. I think at best, I would fill 2 of my 3 shower trays with it, using Feather Rock for the upper tray to save some money.

      Here are a couple pictures:

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      Please note that I am not affiliated with the manufacturer or seller, and have no financial interest in the product other than wanting to understand if it's worth the money. At this time, I do not endorse it in any way, but will be pleased to offer my opinion later in this thread if I go ahead with the purchase.
      Last edited by Otrex; 04-23-2015 at 10:29 PM.

    2. #2
      jimfish98's Avatar
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      What I would do is go back to them and see if they have specs on it or can get specs from the maker as to the amount of surface area per piece or per cubic foot. That information will help determine if it is truly an equal product. I am also curious as to how well it holds up long term in a shower with regard to clogging and the time needed to cycle it.



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      vipertom1970 is offline Senior Member
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      good stuff, I got 50 kilos in my shower on the bottom tray. They are not as porous as Cermedia but still good and I plan to get a lot more and cut them to smaller pieces for higher flow.
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      Only the Bacteria House product will give off the far east infrared radiation.

      If it doesn't crumble easily it will be good product.
      Last edited by BWG; 04-23-2015 at 11:26 PM.

    5. #5
      Otrex is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by vipertom1970 View Post
      good stuff, I got 50 kilos in my shower on the bottom tray. They are not as porous as Cermedia but still good and I plan to get a lot more and cut them to smaller pieces for higher flow.
      Do you find that they erode at all under the constant stream of water? How large are your individual pieces? How tightly packed do you place them? Do you position them randomly, or in an ordered fashion? What are tomorrow's winning lottery numbers?

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      Erosion or not is depending on how you design your water distribution. I don't have erosion problem for Cermedia in the first tray but I use distribution tray with a lot of 3/16" holes for even water distribution over the Cermedia and Cermedia is a lot softer than BH. The California Mega numbers for tomorrow drawing are 4, 23, 20, 15 and the bonus number is 69

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      I have the Chinese media and the original Momotaro stuff. For me, holding both in my hands, the Momotaro looks and feels more 'effective'. I know that's a very subjective statement...let me explain.

      The Momotaro stuff has a rougher (deeper crevices) and very consistent surface texture from piece to piece...but the overall shape varies quite a bit from piece to piece. Some seem to have melted (opennings parially pinched closed) while cooling. And they are big pieces! The chinese product seem to have been heated much less...the overall shapes are very uniform and precise. But the surface texture is not consistent: Some pieces have smooth surfaces and others are a bit rougher.

      I'm sure both will work fine. But it would be great to know which one actually performs better. The Momotaro was a lot more costly...mostly because it's from Japan.

      In the end I mostly used feather rock: much rougher and more porous.

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      I'm been using this Media for the last 8 months in my Bakki Shower. Tightly packed and in an orderly fashion.....no clogging...water flow nicely. So far so good.......

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      I don't think it makes that much difference as to what type of media one uses for biological filtration. After all, you can only have as much beneficial bacteria as the food source will provide.

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      Multiple independent university studies related to fish farming have shown that for each type of class of bio media only small differences in effectiveness were detected. When it comes to the hobbyist level and a high profit margin product a lot of creative marketing is involved.

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      Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
      Multiple independent university studies related to fish farming have shown that for each type of class of bio media only small differences in effectiveness were detected. When it comes to the hobbyist level and a high profit margin product a lot of creative marketing is involved.
      Shhh! Don't tell everyone that! LOL!

    12. #12
      vipertom1970 is offline Senior Member
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      If I had to reach deep into my pocket to spend $$$$ on then I would spend it on the best mechanical filter with the least maintenance and just use cheap media like lava rock or feather rock or what ever else.
      Last edited by vipertom1970; 04-24-2015 at 03:21 PM.

    13. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by vipertom1970 View Post
      If I had to spend money then spend it on best mechanical filter with least maintenance and just use cheap media like larva rock or feather rock or what ever else.
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    14. #14
      BWG is online now Senior Member
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      No doubt about it drum filters such as the Profidrum make a huge difference that is noticeable often 48 hours after installation. This has been so obvious it isn't even debatable.

      It could very well bring an end to expensive high head pressure filters.

    15. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by vipertom1970 View Post
      If I had to reach deep into my pocket to spend $$$$ on then I would spend it on the best mechanical filter with the least maintenance and just use cheap media like larva rock or feather rock or what ever else.
      By God, there is such a thing!!!!

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      LOL....I changed it !

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      Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
      No doubt about it drum filters such as the Profidrum make a huge difference that is noticeable often 48 hours after installation. This has been so obvious it isn't even debatable.

      It could very well bring an end to expensive high head pressure filters.
      I'd like to see all repurposed pool paraphernalia regulated to the trash heap. Low profile, low head, high flow circuits need to be the future of North American koi ponds.

    19. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by Aquajoe View Post
      I don't think it makes that much difference as to what type of media one uses for biological filtration. After all, you can only have as much beneficial bacteria as the food source will provide.
      Well, as the amount of bacteria in a system is supported by a food source, the amount of sq ft of surface area per cu ft of media relates to the size of the footprint needed for a sufficient bio filter. The lower the sq ft/cu ft within a media, the larger the footprint for the bio filter. And, based on how much one feeds will also determine the size of the filter and media type. So, while there is a distinct correlation between all this, the bottom line is that it DOES matter what type of media is used, but it will differ with each pond and what the hobbyist is trying to achieve.
      Mike

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      BWG is online now Senior Member
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      It matters but always remember there often is a huge gap between marketing a theoretical outrageous bio square footage and what is actually usable and effective in the real world. Going by manufacturers theoretical numbers only and trying to make comparisons for some of the media types is misleading.
      Last edited by BWG; 04-24-2015 at 09:19 PM.

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