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A New Type of Aquarium Filter

The Zero Water
Exchange System


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This page discusses the world's first aquarium filter that eliminates the need for water changes in maintaining a safe, healthy aquarium environment for fish.

Here you will find all you need to know about this revolution in fish keeping technology.


At last! Aquarium Upkeep that's Virtually Effortless.
Now you can keep an aquarium in your home without the mess and bother of changing the water.

Hi-Q's revolutionary Zero Water Change System uses green marine aquaculture technology to provide the safest environment for aquatic life.

Using an advanced combination of oxidizing and deoxidizing filters, the system breaks down fish waste in a continuous cycle, creating a mini eco system in your aquarium that cleanses itself, just as in nature.

Unlike traditional filters, the Zero Water Change System brings nature's key biological process to fruition within the closed environs of a home aquarium.

This process is known as the Nitrogen Cycle. The Nitrogen Cycle is the consumption and metabolizing of aquarium waste by beneficial bacteria in separate stages.

Physical or organic waste products such as fish excrement, uneaten food, and dead plant tissue serve as the primary source of nutrition for heterotrophic bacteria, which metabolize the waste into ammonia.

This process, called mineralization, is the first step of the Nitrogen Cycle. Ammonia is a toxic chemical compound which must be eliminated as it occurs in order to prevent harm to fish and aquatic invertebrates.

In the Nitrogen Cycle this is accomplished by certain autotrophic bacteria, which rely on ammonia as their source of energy and nutrition.

These autotrophic bacteria (usually deriving from the Nitrosomonas genus) consume and metabolize ammonia into nitrite. Nitrite, like ammonia, is an extremely toxic presence to fish and must be eliminated as it occurs.

The reduction of nitrite is accomplished by another group of autotrophic bacteria (usually deriving from the genus Nitrobacter) which convert nitrite into nitrate.

This sequence of actions in which aerobic autotrophic bacteria convert ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate is the process of nitrification, or the second phase of the Nitrogen Cycle.

Although the presence of nitrate is considered to be significantly less harmful to fish than either ammonia or nitrite, it is commonly accepted among aquarists that nitrate levels must still be regulated to preserve the health of the aquarium.

With this last point, the difference between the Zero Water Change System and traditional filters comes into full view.

Conventional wisdom has long held that weekly water changes are the only effective method for nitrate removal.

The Zero Water Change System is the first all-in-one aquarium filter that promotes and implements the process of denitrification instead.

Denitrification is the last phase of the Nitrogen Cycle, occurring when nitrate is converted into nitrogen gas.

For denitrification to occur, heterotrophic bacteria must be provided with a low oxygen environment to colonize and oxidize nitrate.

The Zero Water Change System facilitates this environment within its two reverse flow biological filters and undergravel cultivation system.

The filters? water flow compartment is divided into four asymmetrical columns, each containing large quantities of aerobic, anoxic, and anaerobic cultivation media.

The aerobic media is a mass of sponge-filled bio balls, the dense centers of which provide an ideal environment for the cultivation of aerobic autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria ? as stated, these are the beneficial bacteria responsible for mineralization and nitrification.

The anoxic/anaerobic media is a grouping of porous, cylinder-shaped mineral composites, each featuring a hard center allowing for the propagation of facultative anaerobic as well as strictly anaerobic bacteria.

By facilitating aerobic, anoxic, and facultative anaerobic conditions throughout the aquarium, the Zero Water Change System stimulates robust growth of both nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria, enabling a rich autotrophic and heterotrophic environment of exceptional quantity, biodiversity, and balance ? and thus, no water changes!

Click here now to go to the Hi-Q website, where you can learn more and buy The Zero Water Exchange System for your aquarium.
Our Comments: The Hi-Q company was very kind to offer us a free Zero Water Exchange System to test in one of our aquariums, and we thank them for that opportunity.

The written materials above were supplied by them. It all seems to be biologically true.

But for example it is now known that Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter are not involved in nitrification in aquariums.

Many years ago Dr. Timothy A. Hovanec and his associates discovered what's really going on.

Click here to read about that.

More importantly the Hi-Q system has lots of parts. Assembling it from the shipping carton takes too long for us.

It will not run forever without some cleaning, which is also very time consuming.

There is a much better way to deal with nitrate in aquariums.

Just a few inexpensive pieces of Lava Rock will keep nitrates in the healthy range from about 20 ppm. to about 40 ppm.

Click here to read more about Lava Rocks.

But no system to our knowledge can run very long without a partial water change. It is not just the nitrite and nitrate that must be removed.

There are many other chemicals that must also be removed to maintain healthy fish.

Books about
Aquarium Filters and Filtration
The books shown below are listed on You can click on the title or on the image of a book to go to the page at, where that book is listed and discussed. In some cases you can preview several of the pages in that book.
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book.   Aquarium Filtration
By Richard F. Stratton
64 pages
Click on this image to go to, where you can learn more about this book. Aquatic Systems Engineering
By Pedro Ramon Escobal, Martin A. Moe, Jr.
272 pages
Click here to go on to another page in this website with Customer Comments and our Replies about Aquarium Filters.
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