Start up your biofilter

ABIL is a high quality living nitrifying culture for the accelerated start-up of the nitrification process in biofilters.

Our culture contains a well organized team of viable concentrated bacteria (both ammonia and nitrite oxidizing bacteria) and is grown to be robust and applicable in a wide range of practical conditions.

The product is sold worldwide to start up biofilters of household aquaria, public aquaria and aquaculture systems.


Ammonia and nitrite are of permanent concern for each aquarium or pond holder and aquaculture fish farmer since both compounds are very toxic to fish.  In nature, both compounds are converted into the less harmful compound nitrate by the nitrification process.  The conversion of ammonia to nitrate is performed by the successive action of two groups of bacteria, the ammonia oxidizing bacteria and the nitrite oxidizing bacteria.

A shortage of one group or both groups of nitrifying bacteria gives rise to conditions which are harmful to the fish.


Based on a thorough knowledge of microbial processes in aquatic biofilters, Avecom developed a high quality living nitrifying culture for the accelerated start-up of the nitrification process in biofilters.  The product is a liquid suspension containing ammonia and nitrite oxidizing bacteria.  This mixed consortium is grown to be robust and applicable in a wide range of practical conditions.


  • Drastic time savings to start-up the nitrification process in biofilters
  • Culture of a well organized team of viable concentrated nitrifying bacteria
  • Both bacterial groups remain and establish in the biofilter
  • High specific nitrifying activity
  • Quality controlled product
  • Proven technology (in scientific publications and in reality)


  • Aquarium industry (both public aquaria and aquaria at household level)
  • Aquaculture industry
  • Active in fresh water and salt water

Biological and quick removal of toxic ammonia

Interested? Please feel free to contact us!

Scientific background

Improved Performance of an Intensive Rotifer Culture System by using a Nitrifying Inoculum (ABIL)

Rombaut, Geert & Grommen, Roeland & Zizhong, Q. & Vanhoof, V & Suantika, Gede & Dhert, Philippe & Sorgeloos, Patrick & Verstraete, Willy

(2003) Aquaculture Research. 34

A dense nitrifying culture (ABIL) has been examined for its capacity to stimulate rotifer growth in a labscale culture system. The nitrifiers were applied in different ways. When ABIL was added directly to rotifer batch cultures, it gave rise to significantly higher population densities (factor 1.5–2.5 higher, P < 0.05). The nitrifiers were subsequently examined for their capacity to enhance the start-up of bioreactors, commonly installed in aquaculture rearing tanks. Of the different carrier materials used in these bioreactors, i.e. CaCO3, gravel and a PVC matrix (Bionet), CaCO3 gave by far the best results. In a third set of experiments, effectively nitrifying bioreactor systems were connected to rotifer culture tanks and operated over a period of up to 10 days. It was demonstrated that the ABIL inoculated CaCO3-based bioreactor allowed excellent rotifer growth reaching rotifer densities up to 5500 rotifers per mL. Moreover, a new system in which the ABIL culture was recirculated through hollow fibres was developed and demonstrated to be effective for supporting rotifer growth up to 3500 rotifers per mL. Overall, the use of the dense nitrifying culture either in seed batch cultures, conventional bioreactors or hollow fibre bioreactor systems in support of rotifer cultures was demonstrated to be effective for improving the water quality and the rotifer growth.

Use of a nitrifying culture to shorten the activation time of biofilters for the removal of ammonium and nitrite in freshwater aquaria

Grommen R1, Van Hauteghem I, Van Wambeke M, Verstraete W.

Meded Rijksuniv Gent Fak Landbouwkd Toegep Biol Wet. 2001;66(3a):79-86.

The removal of ammonia (NH3) through nitrification in intensive aquaculture systems is an important process as the total ammonia nitrogen (TAN, compromising NH4+ and NH3) concentration often is the key limiting water quality parameter in these intensive aquaculture systems. In this study, the performance characteristics of a suspension of nitrifying cells (named ABIL) have been explored This aqueous suspension contains a highly active, nitrifying microbial consortium and is stable for several months when preserved at 4 degrees C. Tests were performed in freshwater at lab scale (70 L, 20 - 24 degrees C). Results showed that the application of the consortium at a dose of 5 mg Volatile Suspended Solids (VSS) L(-1) assures a total removal of ammonium and nitrite species from 10 mg N L(-1) to below the detection limit within a period of four days. Experimentally, at a substrate level of 10 mg TAN L(-1), a rate of biological ammonium and nitrite conversion of the order of 0.3 - 0.5 g TAN g(-1) VSS(-1) d(-1) could be achieved by the consortium in the freshwater aquaria systems tested Provided adequate aeration and dissolved oxygen levels of 6 mg per L or more, no important intermediary nitrite concentrations were noticed Only a small amount of TAN was not found back as nitrate and might have been lost due to ammonia stripping After 12 months preservation of the inoculum at 4 degrees C, no important decrease in ammonium removal activity and only a minor decrease in the nitrite removal rate of the consortium were noticed.

pairi daiza

Avecom nv | Industrieweg 122P 9032 Wondelgem Belgium

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