AST Aquaculture & Aquaponics Bead Filter

Bead Filters are generally classified as “expandable granular biofilters” or EGB’s and are distinguished from other filters by the use of plastic floating granular filter media. Water from the aquatic system passes through the packed bed of plastic beads. The beads capture the solids, while simultaneously providing a large surface area (400 ft2 /ft3 ) for the attachment of nitrifying bacteria which remove dissolved nitrogenous wastes. Bead Filters are often referred to as Bioclarifiers for their ability to perform both biofiltration and clarification in a single unit.

Enhanced Bead Media

Why Choose Bead Filter?

  • Tested technology – over 20 years of research and real-world application have proven bead filtration superiority
  • Energy savings – smaller pumps paired with efficient design (beads are lighter than sand, lower head loss)
  • Minimal Water Loss – Less than 10% water loss of sand filter (even 1% water loss can be achived with AST PolyGeyser® technology)
  • Low maintenance – backwashing is quick and automatic pneumatic backwashing save time and labor
  • Excellent biofiltration – media contains 400ft2 of surface area per cubic foot for the biological breakdown of nitrogenous waste
  • Superior clarification – remove 100% of particles greater than 50 microns and 48% of particles in the 5-10 micron range per pass
  • Longevity – media never needs replacement and is resistant to clogging and channeling; immune to biofouling when backwashed regularly

Bead Filter Applications

Filtration Technology for Aquaponics Gardening and Fish Tank Systems

Looking to grow plants and fish? Aquaponics merges aquaculture, the raising of aquatic animals, with hydroponics, growing plants in water. Aquaponics can be located in urban areas, or your backyard and provide all of the benefits of growing your own food.

Our bead filter technology allows home aquaponics or large scale commercial projects to grow healthy, nutrient-rich crops and fish in a small footprint, using minimal water. AST filters provide predictable and safe water quality for your fish crop, while capturing and transforming the soluble and solid fish waste into biologically available nutrients for your plants. These filters backwash themselves, simplifying maintenance, keeping the fish easier, leaving you free to focus on the plants.

Decoupled Aquaponics System Design

AST recommends a decoupled system design. Decoupling the system means that the fish and the plants are not in a continual loop. Instead, nutrients are captured and concentrated for use in fertilizing your plants. Decoupled aquaponics systems take advantage of these benefits:

  • Highest efficiency configuration
  • Lowest water use
  • Less crop and animal risk
  • Compact design in a small footprint
  • Less plumbing
  • Predictable, consistent operation


Visit our showroom to discover more about this next frontier in Aquaponics!

AST filters provide both biological and mechanical filtration in one easy-to-use unit. Install less equipment and take up less space while maintaining superior filtration results. Our filtration systems are easily automated to backwash and drain sludge with no manual intervention. Keeping your cost down while maximizing your production and ROI on business.

  • High density fish keeping made easy
  • Handle high waste load without caking or channeling
  • Minimal water loss
  • Operate at low pressure to allow the use of low to medium head pumps for energy savings
  • Automated backflushing

Large aquaculture facility utilizing multiple AST Bead Filters.

AST bead filters are perfect for lobster distribution centers or seafood retailers who need a reliable system to keep their stock of seafood healthy for market. Our systems are clean and easy turnkey solutions that can easily be dropped in at any location. Maximizing your ROI with extremely minimal maintenance.

  • Reduce mortality rates
  • Reduce water consumption
  • Reduce chiller energy use
  • Simplified water treatment
  • Easy maintenance, minimal downtime

Holding live animals for fresh seafood or bait? Our robust filters can accommodate your business volume and keep your costs down. We can size the tanks, filters, and necessary equipment for you. AST filters perform both biological and mechanical filtration in one easy-to-use unit with few moving parts for easy maintenance. Now you need less equipment and space to achieve the required filtration with an AST filter. Holding systems design with our filters:

  • Increase your holding capacities per unit holding volume
  • Reduce mortality rates
  • Decrease daily water exchange
  • Automated backflushing

Improve Water Clarity and Create a Thriving Environment for Your Koi Pond or Water Garden. Our filters are designed to be robust with easy and simple maintenance, perfect for koi hobbyists or landscape enthusiasts. Try our bead filter with a UV sterilizer to achieve optimal filtration and keep your pond clear from free floating algae. Our experts can help you determine the filtration needs for your setup.

All-In-One Biological & Mechanical Filtration for Commercial Aquarium

AST filters are most commonly used as the primary biological and solids filtration component to an aquatic life support system. Specialized aquarium uses include backwash water reclamation, solids capture, and pre-filtration for sand filters. AST filters can be easily configured to work with pre-existing sand filtration devices to provide optimal clarity and minimize water loss. The water loss is 10% that of high rate fluidized sand filters. This efficiency makes it uniquely suitable for saltwater reclamation.

Solids Capture Filtration For Animal Ponds & Enclosures

AST bead filters can process large volumes of water for animal ponds with high solids, perfect for large species enclosures. In applications where the filter is being used only as a clarifier (solids capture), the filter can be sized according to the maximum daily feed rate or you can choose a filter size that fits your specific system’s turnover.

If your enclosure requires clear water for a display tank, our experienced filtration specialists can advise additional treatment processes such as UV sterilization, ozone, or sand filtration to increase your water clarity.

Which Bead Filter is Right for You?

Contact us for professional advices or visit our showrooms for a demo. From a simple filter to a compete custom system, we will help you find the perfect filtration system for your needs.