I was made aware of micro plastics in fish several years ago from an online publication by Professor Richard Thompson in the UK and immediately I was concerned about whether or not my own fish were contaminated by microplastics because of the use of plastic biomedia, holding tanks, pipes etc… in my AP system.
My fears rang true and not only my own fish but many of my associates reported microplastics in their fish stocks. Many of my associates carried on regardless saying there is nothing to worry about as there is no direct harm to humans. For myself, I wasn’t satisfied and I wanted to reduce/eliminate the mircoplastics contamination for peace of mind.
Well it hasn’t been easy and after extensive research through trial and error, the main cause of microplastics in the system was caused by the plastic biomedia.
I sought an alternative to remove this contaminate from the system and there were a several options available but they were costly and damaging to the environment.
I needed a cheap organic effective solution and I successfully found that pine cone balls were able to replace my plastic biomedia balls with no performance issues.
When processing the pine cones to ensure they were clean prior to introducing them into my AP system, I noticed the murky cloudy water in a few of cleaning drums that I used to wash the pine cones had settled quite quickly and upon emptying them there was a congealed sludge at the bottom that I haven’t seen before. Under the microscope, the sludge consisted on organic material consistent to the pine cones that were covered in other material.
Well, I later found out that the pine cone dust acted like a coagulant in the murky cloudy water and stuck to the other materials and thus separating the them from the water and thus acted like a secondary water filter.
The sludge was recycled as an organic fertiliser.