Frequently Asked Questions about EcoBio-Block Family Products
What is EcoBio-Block?
EcoBio-Block is a product made of porous volcanic rock, in the aquarium product (which more quickly and efficiently absorbs pollutants and stabilizes their structure, making it easy for the bacteria to break down organic waste), cement, nutrients for the bacteria, and beneficial bacteria, which are released regularly upon immersion in water. The beneficial bacteria changes the ammonia from fish waste, left-over feed etc. into nitrites and then into safer nitrates, thus clarifying aquarium water, and creating a healthy eco- system. It was originally developed as a natural cleanup system for pesticides, fertilizers, waste water, household waste water and industrial waste water in the environment.
Is EcoBio-Block safe?
Yes, EcoBio-Block is safe for all fish, even delicate ones, as well as other aquatic life such as shrimp, frogs and turtles. The safety and innocuity of EBB Bacteria has been certified according to international criteria.
How do I use EcoBio-Block? Do I just put it in my aquarium?
Rinse the block in chlorine-free water, and soak overnight before placing in aquarium, pond or other water feature.
How long does EcoBio-Block actually take to start working?
It normally takes 2 – 6 weeks for the beneficial bacteria colony to start impacting water conditions. However, due to the fact that live organisms are involved and that conditions in aquariums and ponds vary widely, you will see results as quickly as in two days or in rare cases, it may take as long as 3 months. If your tank is taking longer than normal to show results, we would be happy to extend your warranty, just call us. PLEASE NOTE: In the case of pond products, pond conditions are unpredictable and may need extra product to show results.
How many EcoBio-Blocks do I need for my aquarium, pond or other water feature?
Generally you need one EcoBio-Block Aqua or EcoBio-Stone L per 50 to 100 gallons of water; one EcoBio-Stone M per 15 to 60 gallons of water, one EcoBio-Stone S per 4 to 20 gallons of water, one EcoBio-Planter for 10-25 gallons of water, and one bag of EcoBio- Pebbles for 3 to 20 gallons of water. Please note that the upper limits of the aquarium products are for tanks in good to excellent condition. For tanks with extra fish or in poor condition, please choose the next size up or an additional product. EcoBio-Block nsM comes in a pack of 4 and will treat your pond from 100-400 gallons, depending on the conditions in your water. If conditions in your pond are poor or you have many fish, it may be necessary to add additional product. For larger ponds, we recommend the EcoBio-Block Wave which can treat from 300 gallons to 1000 gallons. The aquarium products are generally effective up to two years. Both the nsM and Wave will be effective for up to three years. IMPORTANT NOTE: Please do not use pond products in aquariums. They are very alkaline and may upset the delicate balance of water in such a limited space. EcoBio-Block Aquarium products have been specially formulated for safe use in home aquariums.
Does EBB remove nitrates?
In the nitrification process, nitrates will begin to accumulate. If there are plants in the tank, nitrates will be used by the plants. Vegetation that grows due to light will also use nitrates. Anaerobic microbes in gravel in an established tank will convert nitrates to NO2, a gas, which will evaporate. If there are no plants or gravel and you want to reduce nitrates quickly, you may have to do a partial water change, however; EBB does encourage the growth of these anaerobic microbes and often you will find low nitrate levels in your tank or pond.
What will EBB do when pH is reduced due to nitrate accumulation?
Nitrification is an oxidative process. It results in lower pH, and loss of alkalinity. However, EBB is contained in a cement block that neutralizes acidity, lessening the likelihood of lower pH. If, however, the pH becomes too low, you will need to do a partial water change. (NOTE: water changes should be done cautiously, as a sudden change in pH level can be very harmful to fish and may be deadly).
What about pH levels?
EcoBio-Block is viable from strong acidic to strong alkaline conditions (pH levels 3 – 11). EBB aquarium products are pH neutral and will not affect the pH in your tank. EBB pond products are alkaline, but are safe for use in ponds.
What should we do about phosphates or other by-product build-up?
EBB is not a comprehensive product. It contains pure live bacillus subtilis bacteria that consume ammonia and nitrites, which are hazardous to fish. Without live plants, EBB has a limited capacity for absorbing phosphates and other substances. We therefore, recommend using EBB with filters and do a partial water change.
Are their other benefits such as minerals dissolving in the aquarium water?
EBB is made of mineral-rich porous volcanic stones. These minerals will gradually dissolve in the water and add some calcium and minimum magnesium and probably various trace minerals back into the water. For marine aquariums, mineral additives are also an option and are easy to use.
Does the temperature of the water have any effect on EcoBio-Block?
Water temperature should not be lower than 50 degrees F or higher than 149 degrees. EcoBio-Block works best at 77 – 140 degrees. At less than 50 degrees, the bacteria will go into hibernation.
Can I use EcoBio-Block with very delicate fish?
Yes, EcoBio-Block is safe for even delicate fish. We saw a tank recently that had very delicate fish in it and they were thriving with EcoBio-Block (the water of course was very clear!).
It has been 4 weeks and nothing has happened, what should I do?
Depending upon the condition of your tank or pond, the temperature, the water, and the amount of fish, there is a variance in speed of results. It averages about 4 weeks before the bacteria colony grows to sufficient numbers to become effective, so please be patient. Once it starts "working", the results are amazing. You can try waiting another couple of weeks, add more EcoBio-Blocks or try changing 1/3 of the water.
What is “new tank syndrome”?
Even if you don’t have a “new” tank you can have “new tank syndrome”. NTS basically refers to a necessary period of time where ammonia and then nitrites increase to very high levels until the beneficial bacteria convert the nitrites into the safer nitrates. This usually happens when you start a new tank, but can happen if you have some kind of dramatic change in water quality or temperature or sudden changes of gravel etc. You can speed up the nitrogen cycle process with EcoBio-Block. Testing the water with a test kit is important.
What are pilot fish?
Pilot fish are fish that are hardy enough to take high levels of ammonia and nitrites, but are inexpensive enough to replace in case of problems with the cycling process.
Is there any other care and maintenance necessary, once I have EcoBio-Block working in the tank?
You will still have to scrape the sides of the tank occasionally and clean the mechanical filter pad. Also, although EcoBio-Block does not affect algae directly, it does reduce algae because it reduces some phosphates and breaks down the organic matter which contribute to algae formation. We recommend to do partial water change about once a month.
Is there a way to avoid algae problems?
The best way is to keep your aquarium out of direct sunlight. Also, do not overfeed your fish. Also, UV sterilizers are excellent for green algae problems.