Bio Cubes or NP Pellets

Discussion in 'Chemical Filtration / Low Nutrient Systems - LNS' started by viper357, 3 Jul 2013.

  1. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    I'm confused. :p

    I'm wanting to venture into this whole pellet or cubes system and I have been trying to understand how each method works and what is needed but I can't settle on a solution. One thing I want to do is make it as cheap as possible.

    The pricing of NP pellets and Bio Cubes is fairly close so I'm happy to try either one, and they both seem to work very well, but

    From what I understand:

    NP Pellets have to be run in a reactor.
    Reactors are expensive, but it would be a simple plug and play method I think? Fill reactor, plug it in and that's it. Set and Forget?

    Bio Cubes, seems they can be run in a reactor or a bag in the sump? Is that right? What is the bomb method? I've also read about air stones? There's seems to be a variety of ways to run the cubes? It's very confusing.

    Any tips or advice on what is ultimately the easiest and least maintenance required method to use? I'm very lazy, I mean busy, :p so I can't be spending hours a week maintaining these things.

    It would be cool if everyone could post pics of what method they use and how they are using it. :thumbup:

    Thanks.
     
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  3. danimal

    danimal

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    same! tagging...
     
  4. Rookie

    Rookie

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    Not really, from what I have been reading, some reactors are quite fussy and need some time to be fine tuned. Read @Jayceew thread and see how he had to tune it to get it perfect. Please note this is the only thread I have read on it. It may be easier...

    They can also go in a reactor but the cheapest way is the bomb method. In this method you place them in the bag which is provided in the container it comes with with an airsone as instructed. This then goes in the skimmer compartment of your sump.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  5. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    hi,

    the best way, and the way cubes were designed to be run, is to use them in the bag provided with airstone and airpump. place in the skimmer chamber if you want to skim out the mulm, or further down is you want to use the mulm for food.

    They cubes are fire and forget, and only need topping up when your NO3 and PO4 start climbing up, so testing only needs to happen, every 3-4 weeks or when you notice the cubes shrinking.

    there are many here that are using them with no issues, they are NOT used in a reactor, and no water changes either @butcherman @carlosdeandrade @Toolboysa @459b @MistaOrange
    and me!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  6. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    Bio Cubes :thumbup:
     
  7. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    also pellets pose an issue when power goes out, flow rates, and have to plumb into skimmer

    my 2c
     
  8. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    Dont forget me :p and @Francois
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  9. williet

    williet Look at the shiny LEDs!!!

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    Hi Dallas et al

    For the first part, any reefer that looks at using biopellets or cubes have come to a point where they are serious about the hobby. Anybody who is serious about the hobby would not have a marine tank without power backup.

    On which is better - I advocate both methods.

    With pellets flow rates are not a biggy, as long as the pellets are tumbling everything is happy. It also does not need to be plumbed into a skimmer.
    Definitely also a set and forget. Fill up with pellets as soon as nitrates start to creep.

    Cubes are great, salt spray created from the airstones - not so.

    It basically goes with what you decide.

    Personally I have been using pellets since 2011 and have had excellent results.

    Would have considered cubes, but lack of suppliers and support down in Durban makes it not viable.(The main shops do not stock the item.)

    I also don't do weekly and monthly water changes anymore, but I do monitor Iodine/Iodide, potassium, and other elements closely and dose as needed accordingly.

    My 5c;)
     
    Last edited: 3 Jul 2013
  10. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Being the king of carbon dosing as I am also very busy, (I mean lazy :p) and always wanted a way out of water changes as I knew that one could get away from doing them, I have tried all type of carbon dosing. From vinegar, to vodka, to sugar to a combination of two or all three and then to pellets (which I HATED, as the flow had to always be optimal, and the when I added new pellets, they all flowed to the top of the reactor) to NOPOX and finally bio cubes.
    I was very sceptical at first as I thought that this is way to easy, as you know us reefers love to complicate things and we love the drama of a challenge.

    CUBES work, I say that categorically, I am not a orca crony, @KillerWhale has never threatened me or paid me. I am just a very "busy" reefer, that has nothing special going for me (ok, my looks don't count here;)) that followed the very easy to understand instructions of, and like @dallasg said, place the cubes inside the provided bag with an airstone and sit back and relax. watch them work, and then start doing water changes for the right reason (if you do them), replenishment of trace elements, or just use Reef-X-Trax, again like I do.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  11. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    yup :thumbup:

    so some simple math based on a 500L system, given 0 < NO3 < 10ppm
    based on sponsor pricing


    NP Pellets
    0.5-1L per 500ml - R750 - R1000
    Reactor - R1500
    Pump - R500
    battery backup - optional but needed - R3000
    Approx cost R R5500 - R6500

    Orca Bio-Cubes 500ml - R550
    Air stone - R10
    Air Pump R150
    Airline - R30
    Actual cost - R740


    Maintenance: based on best practice
    NP Pellets:
    clean pump
    clean reactor
    check pellets are tumbling and fluidised correctly
    Top up as needed

    Orca Bio-Cubes:
    shake bag if needed
    top up as needed


    well thats how i see it
     
  12. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Biocubes. So easy to use and I've never had anything but good results from them
     
    Last edited: 3 Jul 2013
  13. the fish

    the fish

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    i lol at this... well done. i want to get the bio cubes and start working with them.
     
  14. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Oh yes I forgot about this part too, if dentritus is sucked into the reactor it tends to clog it, so you'll need some form of filter sock to make sure your sump water is clean and dentritus free.
     
  15. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    from the site:
    NP Reducing BioPellets a D. van Houten (Import) product - How it works
     
  16. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    dont be, i replied :p
     
  17. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    This thread will have many people adding many points, both positive and negative, for both methods.

    So I am simply going to say NP Bio Pellets get my vote or at least till a few things about the cubes change (wont go into that though)
     
  18. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    thats the point, what are the pros and cons of both that you see...

    what about the cubes need to be changed?

    i have them running on tanks ranging from 20L to 3500L
     
  19. ccwilke

    ccwilke Majestic Pets Solutions Sponsor

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    Nice now I know what I am getting pay day
     
  20. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    but whether NP pellets or Orca Bio Cubes they need to be used according to manufacturer instructions to get optimal usage. that said, it goes for all products, notably chemi-clean
     
  21. Rookie

    Rookie

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    Please do air your views... That way all members will gain a better understanding of the product.
     
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