Occasionally the efficacy of Seachem products is called into question. We stand by our products, and we believe that such claims should be investigated to determine their validity.
Aluminum oxide is a widely used phosphate remover. The question arises as to whether aluminum oxide provides soluble aluminum in the aquarium environment, and whether soluble aluminum is toxic to aquarium life. This paper addresses both the question of aluminum solubility and aluminum toxicity. A series of controlled experiments, in both fresh water and salt water, examines the aluminum solubility of aluminum oxide used for phosphate removal. Results of the study indicate that aluminum oxide is so insoluble as to render the material completely safe.
BET surface area measurements indicate that Matrix contains nearly 10 times the specific surface area of Substrat Pro, and more than 20 times the specific surface area of MicroMec. Practically all the specific surface area of both Substrat Pro and MicroMec are in the range of pore diameters to be biologically useful, while some of the surface area of Matrix is in pores that are reserved for physical and chemical processes, not biological processes. Estimates from two different pore geometries indicate that Matrix contains between 4 to 4 1⁄2 times the biologically active surface area of Substrat Pro, and between 8 to 9 times the biologically active surface area of MicroMec.