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Dr. Tim’s Aquatics NP-Active Pearls (450ml)


NP-Active Pearls are a 100% biodegradable polymer DESIGNED and TESTED for aquatic systems.MPN#812540018014#

SKU: 812540018014 Category:
Product Details

NP-Active Pearls are a 100% biodegradable polymer DESIGNED and TESTED for aquatic systems that act as a carbon source for the growth of beneficial bacteria resulting in the removal of nitrate and phosphate from the water.

Product Features

    • Removes Nitrate and Phosphate, Naturally
    • Works in All Aquariums
    • Ultimate in Carbon Bio-Polymers
    • Safe for all Fish and Corals
    • PURE
    • Effectively removes nutrients
    • 100% biodegradable PHA-based pearls
    • Made in the USA
    • Easier than liquid carbon dosing
    • Specifically developed for aquariums
    • 450 ml (1.90 cups) Treats 150 gallons (568 liters)
NP-Active Pearls FAQ’s

  • What Do NP-Active Pearls Do in My Aquarium?

NP-Active Pearls help remove nitrate and phosphate from your aquarium water so these nutrients are not available to algae and other nuisances.

  • In Layman Terms – How Do They Remove Nitrate and Phosphate?

Basically, the process is converting the nitrate and phosphate in the aquarium water into bacteria cells that are then removed from the aquarium by a protein skimmer or by cleaning your mechanical filter. Nitrate and phosphate are nutrients and can only be removed by water changes or by having some organism consume it. In many aquaria, without plants as competitors, algae will consume the nitrate and phosphate, resulting in a tank full of unsightly, messy algae. In many marine aquaria, cyanobacteria, which grows like a red to black carpet over the entire aquarium, will consume the nitrate and phosphate. To grow, algae and bacteria need carbon, nitrogen (nitrate) and phosphorus (phosphate). Studies show that many aquaria lack the right form of carbon for bacterial growth but NP-Active Pearls are a natural carbon source beneficial bacteria can use. As these good bacteria grow, they remove the nitrate and phosphate from the water, basically out-competing the algae for the nitrate and phosphate.

  • What Are NP-Active Pearls?

NP-Active Pearls are a pure, specially made biodegradable carbon for use in aquaria. They are polymers with the technical name poly hydroxyalkanoates, commonly referred to as PHA. PHAs are made from bacteria so they are truly 100% natural and completely biodegradable into carbon dioxide and water.

  • Why Use NP-Active Pearls?

NP-Active Pearls are made specifically for use in aquariums. They are the result of a unique partnership between Telles, Aquaculture Systems Technology, and DrTim’s Aquatics.

  • Why Are PURE NP-Active Pearls Important?

There are other bio-polymers on the market and some are even PHA-based. But many of the other bio-polymers, whose purpose is really to make plastic products, are only 60 to 70% pure. They contain fillers, additives and other chemicals so they can be molded into forks or plates or things. Not only do these bio-polymers not supply as much biodegradable carbon for the bacteria as NP-Pearls, but the chemicals and fillers are left behind in your aquarium! So with PURE NP-Active Pearls with no fillers, etc., you get more carbon for your money and no nasty residues.

  • How Do NP-Active Pearls Work?

NP-Active Pearls are carbon and energy that bacteria store for later use. But bacteria need phosphorus and nitrogen as well. In the aquarium environment, bacteria use NP-Active Pearls to assimilate phosphate and nitrate in the water to grow, producing bacterial biomass which is then easily harvested.

  • How Are NP-Active Pearls Different Than Other Brands of Bio-Pellets?

NP-Active Pearls are PHA based and 100% pure. Other bio-pellets are made from such polymers as hydroxybutyric acid (PHB), polylactic acid (PLA) and polybutyleneadipate-co-butyleneterepthalate (PBAT). In addition, other bio-pellets may not be as pure as NP-Active Pearls. The main use of all biodegradable polymers is to make biodegradable products such as forks, knifes, plates, etc. In order to do this, however, the polymer must be combined with binders, fillers and other things. NP-Active Pearls are free of all these impurities – they cannot be used to make biodegradable products. Other bio-pellet companies do not disclose the source or purity of their pellets.

  • How Many NP-Active Pearls Should I Use?

The recommended amount of NP-Active Pearls is ¼ cup per 20 gallons of aquarium water (3ml per gal). When first using NP-Active Pearls, we suggest starting with 1/3 dose or 1 ml per gal (1/4 cup per 60 gal) and over a few weeks increasing the amount of NP-Active Pearls in your system.

  • How Should I Use NP-Active Pearls?

NP-Active Pearls are best used in a reactor or similar device where the pearls are kept in constant motion. It is important to maintain sufficient water flow, as the bacteria do consume oxygen. If clogging occurs, clean the reactors and rinse the beads before re-starting your reactor system.

  • Should I Continue to Use a Protein Skimmer When Using NP-Active Pearls?

Yes. Basically, bacteria are using the NP-Pearls to grow and then converting the phosphate and nitrate in your aquarium to more bacterial biomass. Protein skimmers cannot remove phosphate and nitrate in their chemical forms, but skimmers do remove bacterial cells. So by converting these nutrients into bacteria cells and having the skimmer remove the cells from the aquarium, you are effectively removing nitrate and phosphate. Without a skimmer, the bacterial cells will eventually die and the nutrients will be recycled in the aquarium. For small systems, without a skimmer, a good mechanical filter or pad that will trap the bacterial biomass is adequate, but only if you remove and clean the filter/pad on a regular basis.

  • How Often Do I Have to Replace or Replenish NP-Active Pearls?

The rate at which additional NP-Active Pearls need to be added varies for each aquarium, due to factors such as feeding amount, fish load, etc. Generally, it is best to replenish your pearls every 6 to 9 months. NP-Active pearls never need to be replaced unless your reactor shuts off and the pearls turn black and produce an offensive odor.

  • Should I Continue to Dose Vodka When Using NP-Active Pearls?

While there is debate about whether one should continue vodka dosing when using NP-Active Pearls, we recommend you discontinue vodka dosing. Both methods are adding carbon to your aquarium, which is good, but too much of good thing can be bad so it is best to choose one method and stick with that. Given that using NP-Active Pearls is easier than vodka dosing we, of course, recommend this method.

  • Should I Continue to Use GFO When Using NP-Active Pearls?

Again a debatable subject. The process of the bacteria growing and removing nitrate and phosphate in your aquarium with external sources of carbon, NP-Active Pearls or vodka, is complex. However, the bacteria do need some phosphate to grow, so using GFO and pearls can remove too much phosphate and stop the process. We recommend using GFO with the pearls when the orthophosphate levels are above 1 mg/L-P, and discontinuing once levels drop below 0.5 mg/L-P.


Product Usage

Use 3ml of NP-Pearls per 1 gal of aquarium water (1/4 cup NP-Active Pearls per 20 gal water). Use a small quantity of Pearls at first, adding more Pearls over time. Note: it may take 2-4 weeks for the process to start. Replenish Pearls every 6-9 months as needed.

Important: NP-Active Pearls should be placed in a fluidized reactor or similar device where the Pearls are kept in constant motion with sufficient water flow. Clogged Pearls should be removed and rinsed well before being added back to the reactor.

A good protein skimmer is strongly recommended.

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Additional information
Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 4 × 4 in