EHEIM Substrat Pro is used for biological filtration. So, is this filter media capable of removing nitrates from your fish tank?
You can find out in this guide at Aquarium Blueprints.
While the EHEIM Substrat Pro will help remove ammonia and nitrites from the tank water in your aquarium, this product isn’t designed to remove nitrates.
In order to remove nitrates in your fish tank, you will need a biological filter media that has microscopic chambers devoid of oxygen. This is because the nitrate-consuming bacteria is anaerobic as it can only grow appear in surface areas with no oxygen.
There are several biological filter media products that are designed to remove nitrates like the Seachem De Nitrate, Seachem Matrix, Biohome Ultra Mini and Biohome Ultimate. A substrate that is at least two inches deep should also be able to grow the same nitrate-eating bacteria.
To reduce nitrates, you can also add live plants in your fish tank as well as preform regular water changes.
What is EHEIM Substrat Pro?
EHEIM Substrat Pro is a spherical filter media that is built with sintered glass. The media provide a lot of density when it comes to surface area where beneficial bacteria can grow on.
Keep in mind that this product doesn’t come with any beneficial bacteria. Instead, the bacteria colonies will grow naturally in your fish tank over time.
Substrat Pro won’t alter the chemistry of your tank water due to its inert nature. As a result, the pH level and other elements of your aquarium should remain the same as before you added this product into the filter.
What can EHEIM Substrat Pro remove?
Once you fully cycled your tank, the EHEIM Substrat Pro will help remove ammonia and nitrites from the water in your fish tank.
For the uninformed, ammonia comes from decomposing fish food, excrements and other organic wastes in your aquarium. Even small traces of this nitrogen compound are enough to make your fish, as well as other aquatic pets, sick.
Beneficial bacteria will consume ammonia and then convert it to nitrites. This nitrogen compound is also very toxic to the inhabitants in your fish tank.
Can EHEIM Substrat Pro remove nitrates from your aquarium?
Depending on what filter media, or how you set up your fish tank, you can also grow bacteria that will consume nitrates.
The nitrate compound is a lot safer for your fish and other aquatic pets. However, if its level gets too high, then the inhabitants in your tank will eventually get stressed out and sick.
To keep your water pristine, you should have no more than 40 ppm concentration of nitrates. If you have more sensitive aquatic species like the Red Cherry Shrimp, then you should keep nitrate levels to below 20 ppm.
In order to grow beneficial bacteria that will consume nitrates, you will need to create an environment where there is devoid of oxygen. Of course, this is quite tricky for an aquarium as fish, shrimps, snails, other species, plants as well as the beneficial bacteria that consume ammonia and nitrite all need oxygen to survive.
One of the ways that you can safely create surface area for the nitrate-eating bacteria is by having a substrate that is at least two inches deep. Oxygen will have a hard time reaching the bottom of a deep substrate.
Of course, you can add plants and perform regular water changes to help reduce the nitrate levels in your tank as well.
You can also use biological filter media that are designed to limit oxygen from passing through the microscopic chambers. Unfortunately, the EHEIM Substrat Pro is not capable of growing the nitrate-consuming bacteria.
Instead, we recommend checking out the Seachem De Nitrate, Seachem Matrix, Biohome Ultra Mini or Biohome Ultimate if you want a biological media that can remove nitrates in addition to ammonia and nitrites.
You can check out our comparison guide between the Seachem De Nitrate and Matrix with this link.
You can also take a look at our versus guide for the Matrix and Biohome Ultimate with this article.
Lastly, you might want to take a look at how the Biohome Ultra Mini and Biohome Ultimate compare against each other with this post.