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Finding a happy medium - or -Fixing a hole where the bacteria gets in and stops the water from wandering

I asked SeaChem if the porosity and therefore the
biological utility of its biological filtering medium,
Matrix, declined as it became loaded with dead bacteria
material and accumulated biofilm.  And this is what they

"Matrix has a porosity large enough to allow for the
washing out of any dead bacteria, so that is not an issue.
As far as the biofilm is concerned, it is normal to have a
biofilm on the external surface area (where the aerobic
bacteria flourish), however this is normal and is desired.
As the aerobic bacteria convert ammonia into nitrate the
nitrate byproducts work their way in the interior of the
media to where the anaerobic bacteria are growing, then
then in turn convert the nitrate into nitrite and then into
nitrogen. The nitrogen gas then is expelled via gas
exchange. . . If it were true [that the porosity
substantially declined] then none of the products you
listed would work and there would be huge increases in
nitrate that would never go away when employing such media.
As this is not the case, it then follows that the effect
you described does not occur."

So I wonder than if other products, like ehfisubstrat,
Biomax, and such behave similarly.  If so, do bioballs have
any big advantage over these other media?  Or would one be
just as well off to use, as I think Jeff Vamos did/does,
plastic toy soldiers or well rinsed red lava rock sold at
better home, garden, building supply and barbecue centers?

Scott H.

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