Orca nitra-guard titanium user review
Well, to start this review off, I just need to state that what I claim in this thread is my own opinion of a product that I thought was worthy of its title as the fastest working biological nitrate removing product on the market. In no way was I sponsored with product samples or paid in any way to do this review. The product that I tested was purchased out of my own pocket from a reputable sponsor’s LFS.
Please note that I haven’t written this review with a lot of scientific references & fancy terminology for the simple reason that I wanted everyone to understand; beginner to advanced aquarists. If anyone is interested in the scientific reasoning behind this product, just post the question & I will try to give the correct scientific answers as far as possible.
Now that I got that out of the way, i just need to give you guys some background on my tank & the reasons I decided to use this product.
First of all, I’ve been in marine reef keeping for about 3 years now & absolutely love the hobby (& all the joys that I get from it) to the full!!!
I’ve always been very keen on testing new products that came on the market, especially when they involve nutrient export methods of any sort. At some stage I even set up a test tank (macro algae refugium tank) that I use to do experiments on. In this tank I have tested everything from mass water changes, vodka dosing, bio-pellets, deep sand beds’s, red sea’s NO3-PO4:X, undergravel denitrator (which worked great for nitrate removal up to a point), sulphur denitrator & lastly the original Orca Nitra-guard biocubes.
In my test tank I pretty much dose to get my nitrate & phosphate levels to where ever I want them to be & then test the product I had to see what results I could achieve.
Out of all the products I used, I received the absolute best & fastest results from the original Nitra-guard. It had dropped my nitrates from 40ppm down to undetectable in less than a month after which I had to remove it from the test tank as the nutrient levels were getting so low my algae started showing signs of nutrient deficiency & slowly started dying off.
I then added these bio-cubes to my Nano cube display tank as I’ve always been struggling with some nitrates & hair algae.
The problem I had in this tank was that I had about 5ppm nitrates & never any detectable signs of phosphates which limited my nitrates to ever reach any lower than 4ppm (darn Redfield’s ratio).
After I added the normal Nitra-guard to my DT, the nitrates dropped to +- 3ppm & stayed there for more than a month without any change which was very frustrating as I had my head set on a much lower level.
My problem was now that I had an aquarium with no hope of reaching my desired nitrate levels as my end goal was to have a low nutrient mixed SPS/LPS reef aquarium & my super low phosphate levels were restricting the removal of my nitrates.
This was where the new Nitra-guard Bio-cubes Titanium looked like a very good option. I heard about the product for the first time from a fellow MASA reefer who could not stop talking about the new nitra-guard and that it is able to overcome Redfield’s ratio problems by removing nitrates in 0 phosphate levels.
So as soon as the new nitra-guard was released, I went & bought myself 500ml of the titanium & added it to my existing original biocubes. (placed in a net bag that I got with the biocubes with an airstone inside as prescribed by orca labs. I also added a small powerhead aimed at the biocubes to increase the flow a bit.)
I added 3ml of titanium for every 1l aquarium water as suggested by orca.
Ive got a 155l nano reef aquarium, so the 500ml was exactly the amount I required.
Orca Nitra-guard titanium Biocubes:
Orca managed to package the product in a very nice container with lots of detail on the product workings & ways to use it.
There is also a manual & net bag sealed in a plastic bag & enclosed in the container which is quite a nice addition.
Once opened, the new product looks nothing like the original biocubes. They look almost like little chocolate blocks with cookie crumbs in it… WEIRD!!! & to my surprise, the new titanium had about 10% of the original Biocubes mixed with the titanium cubes which was also a bit of a surprise.
A comparison picture of the titanium (left) & normal biocubes (right).
Same size & porosity, but very different in color & texture.
What the original biocubes look like after a month’s use.
After the first week I had the product in the tank, I still couldn’t see any drop in nitrates in my tank which disappointed me a bit since I was expecting it to start working by then.
(PS. I used a Red Sea Nitrate Pro test kit as they are one of the most accurate chemical test kits regularly available.)
So I decided to “UP” my skimming a bit (skimmed wetter) & added some prodibio biodigest to help the settling of bacteria on the titanium cubes since it is a biological process.
Another 7 days later, again got out my test kits (not expecting any positive change in nitrate levels).
I first did a phosphate test – still rock bottom undetectable.
Next Nitrates – to my amazement, nitrates were down from 3ppm to 0.75ppm. WOW!!! I did another test just to make sure, & still 0.75ppm. Tested with another test kit (salifert) & it showed 0.5ppm!
This gave me some hope that the titanium actually works, but I was still not convinced that it would reach the desired level. Boy was I wrong!!!
Three days later, out of curiosity, I did another nitrate test… At first I thought I did something wrong.
I got a +-0.1ppm reading, tested again, still +-0.1ppm, tested with salifert, 0.1ppm!!!
YEAH!!! First time ever I was able to get my nitrates down this quick!!! (I can’t even begin to describe the joy I felt when I got that reading!!!)
(This was yesterday so i will just do an update in a week or so to let everyone know of the final results)
This was the best results I’ve ever achieved with any similar product in any of my tanks. This was exactly the nitrate reading I have been trying to achieve for a very long time!!!
I’m pretty sure the nitrate levels will keep dropping until it reaches an immeasurable reading at which stage i will have to probably add some nitrates to help feed my soft & LPS corals... But that's something i can live with...
I do believe that the addition of biodigest (bacterial supplement) improved the performance of the titanium to some extent, but the results is still completely achieved by the Nitra-guard titanium as I have been adding biodigest for at least a year without any reduction in nitrates.
So, to sum it all up:
-Orca’s Nitra-Guard Titanium really works, & it does so faster than any product ive ever used.
-I know there are lots of reefers out there (like me) that have spent countless amounts of money on products to remove nitrates (& hoping their algae will vanish with it) in their tanks without any success, & this is truely the magical product everyone has been waiting for.
-Nitra-guard is probably the easiest & longest lasting nitrate removal method in any type of aquarium
-It dramatically reduces water changes (if the purpose is nitrate reduction).
(please don’t see this as an excuse to completely stop your water changes as WC’s are beneficial in a lot of other ways)
-As far as I know, there are no known side-effects to the product.
-Increase skimming the first couple of weeks to help remove all the waste from the water column. Once you have reached your desired nitrate level, you can set skimmer to normal use again.
-Make sure you get enough water flow over the bio-cubes.
1.Less water changes.
2.Only known product that REALLY reduces nitrates no matter what the circumstances.
3.Very easy to use.
4.Lasts up to a year without replacement.
5.Can be used in freshwater & marine aquariums.
6.Makes reefkeeping much easier.
1.Expensive once off cost (but cheaper over the long duration as it lasts quite long)
I hope this review was of help to anyone wondering whether the nitra-guard titanium really works & was looking for a product to remove nitrates.
I also just wanted to thank Orca for really doing their homework with their products before releasing them & congratulations with your Nitra-guard products!!! (a true nitrate reducing product has been way too long overdue & you finally got it right!!!)
* admin edit * discussion thread on this article can be found here - Official Nitra-Guard Titanium User review - Marine Aquariums South Africa