I'm really wary of using products that I don't understand what it actually does.
I'm using the three pack of nutrafin pure, cycle and waste control. I've never even used the waste control because it says it can cause an ammonia increase. The pure is a water conditioner and cycle supports or adds the BB, but I don't get what the point of waste control is.
They don't ever tell you why lol
Waste control is an enzyme used to break down solid wastes (fish poo, excess food, dead plant material etc) which is why it can cause an ammonia spike (assuming your filter is not colonized enough to handle the load once these waste reserves become ammonia). I have used the Fluval version before without issue, it does actually work.
Lots of claims on aquarium products.......I don't often hear of an issue of someone not being able to keep their nitrate levels high enough. In the nitrogen cycle ammonia is converted to nitrites and the nitrites are converted to nitrates. Matrix/pumice and other biomedia is a good home for the bacteria that consumes and converts these chemicals. The bacteria that converts nitrates is anaerobic and the conditions for it to grow are not ususally found in the aquarium.
Matrix is pumice. I wouldn't expect to be able to see any differences in the performance of Matrix and ceramic rings unless some very careful testing is done. I have plenty of pumice and biomedia in my filter, I don't dose any nitrates, and I still have to use nitrate removal pads as my tap has nitrates and my levels are always too high.
Isnt matrix the bio media design based off live rock to have a specific porosity to harbor various forms of bacteria? If it was simply pumice I believe they would just sell pumice for filter use, much like zoomed has their own take on hydroton. Aerobic bacteria colonize the outer zones of matrix where o2 is plentiful while anaerobic bacteria (de-nitrifying) colonize the core (away from light/o2), if enough is used one might see a dip in KNO3 if this case. Anaerobic bacteria also colonize deep substrate beds, and deep sand beds as well as any other porous object dense enough to accomodate their needs and can be found in more home aquaria than you may think, especially with specialized filter products like matrix out there.
Floaters, moss, and riparian growth could also suck up nitrate. In my aquarium I have to dose KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4 regularly or everything gets zapped quite fast and my 60 gallon tank has 80 fish (not all small), 30 shrimp, and a dozen nerites with 2x daily feedings. I do weekly 50% water changes, I only run basic ceramic bio media and filter floss (no sponges, no pads, no chemical filtration needed and I service my filter once every 6 months. If nitrate is high there is an issue with source water, general maintenance or there is a filtration/flow issue causing accumulation to occur ime.