Bricks for nitrate reduction?


New member
Had an idea the other night. Not sure if it has been discussed on any level here before. But instead of remote deep sand bed to create denitratng zones what about bricks?

I was thinking home made bricks with oolitic sand and maybe 2"X2"X6" or thicker. They could be placed in the sump or even in the back of the aquarium. They would be calcium based oolitic sand to help buffer ph, porous for denitrating bacteria, and thick enough to create anaerobic zoness to reduce nitrates.

I believe something like this may provide all the benefits of a RDSB without the complications such as detritous build up which can easily by siphoned off - or bricks could even be take out, rinsed and replaced.

I know people make homemade rock - These would be similar but denser and made uniformly to easily stack or fit into sump/fuge area. Basically they would be sand bricks I guess.

Any feedback, pros or cons plus any links to similar ideas would be very appreciated.


Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
FWIW, sand beds are seemingly more efficient at denitrification than live rock, and bricks that you'd make would, at best, be as porous as live rock, and likely a lot less porous.

FWIW, companies do sell media for this purpose. But the results are not very striking.


New member
Thanks Randy. Just an idea.

I may try to make some of these anyway and see how they do. At best, due to the uniform size, I could get more brick surface area in my sump than of live rock. Spaced or stacked for good water flow. Heck I could put a pump right on top of them - Tough to do with rock or sand.

I will report if I do this and measure my results before and after.