increasing nitrates to get rid of phosphates?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by mandarinman, 24 Sep 2013.

  1. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    Before I start on this thought. It is just something I have been thinking about. It is not an opinion, I am just looking for help to look at this from various angles.

    The thought is that when using bacteria to reduce nitrates and phosphates invariably due to the protein content of the food we feed our livestock after the nitrates are gone there are phosphates left over. This is due to the redfield ratio consuming both in a fixed ratio.

    Also this would relate more to those who use various forms of carbon dosing. More essentially those dosing liquid carbon sources.

    When determining how much carbon source to dose one uses the level of nitrates. When one reaches zero nitrates one would back off slightly on the carbon dosage as the ideal levels for an assorted coral reef is 3ppm nitrates and 0.08ppm phosphates. The level of usable nitrates is then the determining factor on how much bacteria our tanks can hold bearing in mind we can adjust the carbon source and the phosphates tend to be in excess.

    This is where it gets interesting.

    If we can find a way to increase bacterias access to nitrates while keeping carbon dosing in line then we can increase the bacterias need for phosphates thus using them up and lessening the need for phosphate medias. Bearing in mind that the sea has ten times the amount of bacteria that our tanks have.

    To achieve this higher nitrate one would need a dependable nitrate factory. I am thinking host area for aerobic bacteria. Possibly bio balls in an area with lots of movement and airation.

    What I would hope to achieve is a balance between carbon dosing. Nitrate production.nitrate and phosphate usage to end up with a constant 3ppm nitrate and 0.08ppm through balancing the redfield ratio through increasing the production and use of nitrates thus removing all that extra phosphate.

    For my attempts at this I intend to try and keep nsw levels of perameters
     
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  3. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    It would be a better idea to dose a specific amount of nitrate to the system. People with planted aquariums use Potassium nitrate to increase nitrate levels. Potassium nitrate is easily found as Saltpeter at dischem. This way you can add the exact amount of nitrates you want.
     
  4. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    Using some of the planted aquarium fertilizer calculators online you will find that adding 1gr of saltpeter to 100L of water will increase potassium levels by 3.9ppm and nitrate by 6.1ppm.
     
  5. Istio

    Istio

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    Robbing Peter to pay Paul ?...All Nitrogen assimilation (amino-acid syntheis) reactions,whether zooxanthellae, yeast, bacteria, phytoplankton an algae ect. prefer to use NH4+/NH3. From chemical kinetics is more efficient to use NH4 because (1.) NH4+/NH3 can pass through the cell membrane passively without requiring an active ion transporter and (2.) NO3 must first be converted to NH4+ for the purposes of AA synthesis..
     
  6. mandarinman

    mandarinman Thread Starter

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    That is great info. So to be sure I understand. It is better to have the nitrates produced naturally not chemically?
     
  7. ChrisRaubs

    ChrisRaubs

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    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  8. Istio

    Istio

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    No i dont understand :blush: We're talking biochemistry, even at the level of the cell the laws of chemical kintecs favour the most efficient metabolisms. Ask yourself. Is it better to promote and deliver NH4/NH3 to assimilation reactions (AA synthesis in bacteria, yeast, algae, zooxanthellae ) which leaves you with harvestable biomass (but not perfectly balanced hence the need for Phosmedia) or is it better to promote nitrification which leaves you with nitrate
     
  9. mandarinman

    mandarinman Thread Starter

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    And if you feed that nitrate to bacteria it will assimilate phosphate and nitrate in a ratio (redfield) . So if your phosphates are too high increase nitrate production and dose carbon to increase bacteria number or volume and in doing so remove nitrate and phosphate. The result being less of both due to bacterial action that is manipulated by increasing nitrates by using bioballs
     
    Last edited: 25 Sep 2013
  10. Istio

    Istio

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    Thats why im saying your robbing one to pay for the other. All else constant you can only increase nitrate production by altering nitrogen pathways in the aquarium. Practically that means you are taking away from assimiliation reactions. Potentially a completely different story if your talking about dosing of nitrates as mentioned earlier.
     
  11. mandarinman

    mandarinman Thread Starter

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    Nope if adding bioballs and allowing them to produce more nitrates it is only robbing the skimmer
     
  12. pkc

    pkc

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    Whats all this about bio balls, any media that is not porus in nature or not set up to copy a porus nature will do the same thing.
    If it is a calcium product like shells, the acidic nature of these microbes add the trace elements that made up the media and that's helpful.


    Any way, i like the titanium cubes, I like the sound of using high GI carbs,lol “instead of dosing with out all of the fermentation process happening in the water”
    The cubes sound like the way to go, combined with a pool product phos remover.
    You guys should make your own, that’s my next experiment, making my own high GI cubes,lol, sounds silly but still worth a try.

    I haven’t used the cubes, my anoxic zones function at a very high level, but several of our club members have and they rave about them.
    So for the novice that hasn’t got a solid understanding of anoxic zones anaerobic microbes life styles or small aquarium keepers with tiny bio filtering.
    If I was back there I would use the cubes and pool phos remover.
     
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2013
  13. mandarinman

    mandarinman Thread Starter

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    Talk to dallasg he can hook you up with cubes
     
  14. Bendor

    Bendor

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    You said in your tank thread you used tap water and that your phos is now quite high but coming down rapidly with phos removing media. I would think the way forward is to continue your current plan until you have near zero phos and then see what the system does. It's much quicker to actively remove all the phos and focus on the desired level of nitrate isn't it?
     
  15. mandarinman

    mandarinman Thread Starter

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    Valid point . However this is not in response to this specific situation
     
  16. pkc

    pkc

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    I agree with this as a light variation of what is being talked about here.
    If you have any phos for a time it will sit in the substrate and live rock to release here and there later when phos levels are being worked on so I would get and keep the phos at next to zero always!
    Its not hard to do this.
     
    Last edited: 26 Sep 2013
  17. mandarinman

    mandarinman Thread Starter

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    Agreed
     
  18. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    I'm currently dosing Sodium Nitrate. 1000ml RO mixed with 50g sodium nitrate solution. 1ml will raise no3 by +- 0.365ppm, to maintain 2ppm I dose 10ml daily. Battling to keep nitrates above 2ppm. Considering mixing my second batch 1000ml to 100g.
     
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