NeoZeo: My Experience

Discussion in 'Chemical Filtration / Low Nutrient Systems - LNS' started by Manic, 14 Jul 2010.

  1. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Hey Everyone,

    So with the N-P Reducing Bio Pellets on the market I decided to give them a go. I've been running the full Brightwells NeoZeo systems for 5 months now and decided before I switch over I'll share my experience with the products and the method as a whole.

    The Setup

    Firstly an introduction to my tank is in order.

    Tank Size: 900mm x 900mm x 600mm (Total System Volume: 550L)
    Live Rock: 30Kg of fully cured live rock, was running in old system for a year
    Base Rock: 27Kg of Carib Sea Base Rock
    Substrate: 40Kg Figi Pink Aragonite
    In tank flow: Vortech MP40W (Short Pulse Mode), 2 x 5000Lph SunSun, Resun Waver 15000. (In tank turnover 82X)

    My sump contained my skimmer, zeo reactor, heaters and return pump. Nothing else.

    Skimmer: Orca 135 with enkamet mesh modification (Rated to 1200L, now its only rated to 900L)
    NeoZeo Zeolith Reactor (DIY)

    There was no dsb or refugium in my sump and my filtration relied solely on the reactor, skimmer and live rock.

    Once the tank was filled with water and live rock the NeoZeo method was implemented. The starting procedure for the method was to place 1Kg of zeolith media in to the reactor per 100g of system volume and to start dosing a bacteria strain (MB7) at 15mL/100g every week.

    Routine

    After two weeks of running the system and pumping the reactor every day or two, the carbon source dosing began. My choosen carbon source was vodka due to the cost of using reef biofuel. The method for dosing vodka is shown below:

    • 0.1ml of vodka per 25 gallons of net water volume per day for 3 days
    • Days 4 to 7 – double the dosage
    • Each week after, add an additional 0.5ml regardless of tank size
    • When the NO3/PO4 starts to drop – maintain the current dosage
    • When the NO3/PO4 are undetectable – half the dosage

    The bacteria strain was dosed every week and the carbon source every night after the lights went out.

    In order to maintain the calcium and alkalinity I used Tropic Marine Bio-Calcium, dosed every morning and night.

    Water Parameters

    Day 14
    Salinity - 1.026
    PH (Day, Ph Pen) - 8.3
    Ammonia - 0ppm
    Nitrite - 0ppm
    Nitrate - 5ppm
    Ca - 430ppm
    Mg - 1350ppm
    KH - 8
    Phosphate - 0.1
    Temp - 26 (Varied between 26.5 during the day and 25.5 at night)

    Stocking

    I read a lot of threads on reef central and came across this article in which corals and fish can be added after two weeks if a zeo method is implemented from the start of the tank.

    Initial cycle - just 14 days? - Korallen-Zucht.de

    I decided to give it a go and after 14 days, I added around 6 big sps colonies. I started adding fish and inverts after 20 days. I'm glad to report i didn't have any losses.

    After 5 months my current stock in the tank is as follows:
    9 X Anthias
    9 X Blue-Green Chromis
    1 X Purple Tang
    1 X Fox Face
    1 X Spotted Rabbit Fish
    1 X Midas Blennie
    1 X Six Line Wrass
    1 X Maroon Clown
    1 X Ebli Angel
    1 X Yellow Watchman Goby
    2 X Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
    1 X Coral Banded Shrimp
    1 X Firecracker Shrimp
    1 X Crocea Clam
    15-20 SPS Colonies

    I didn't want so many fish but I'll get to that later.

    2 Months Down The Line

    After two months my water parameters all looked perfect. In fact they were too perfect. My nitrates and phosphates were undetectable on two different test kits. All my sps were fading and starting to lose colour. This is when the real hassle of the NeoZeo method began.

    In order to rectify the lack of nutrients in the water I needed to start dosing almost everything. I started with amino acids, Iodine, Vitamins, KoralColor and magnesium. This is when I started getting fed up with the whole zeo method. What started as a simple dosing regime of adding vodka, bacteria and calcium ended up as a complicated chemistry lesson every night. The dosing took me over an hour to complete every night.

    All the dosing still didn't solve my problems and thus the need to add more fish in order to add nutrients to the system. This worked for a while or until the bacteria caught up.

    4 Months On

    After 4 months my system looked better than ever. The nutrients were low and my corals were growing nicely. I added a few more sps and the clam. This threw everything off once again. The low nutrients coupled with a high calcium and alkalinity demand played havoc with my systems stability. I was getting STN on the bases of all my sps. This was mainly due to the fact that dosing calcium and alkalinity in the morning and night didn't provide enough stability to my system. More dosing was in order, I started doubling the dose on the amino acids and starting dosing restor. I also purchased a calcium reactor to provide more stability.

    Now

    Since the addition of the calcium reactor the STN has stopped and the corals are encrusting over the dead bases. My nitrates and phosphates are still undetectable. I still dose everything that has been previously mentioned, which is time consuming and expensive to say the least.

    Problems Experienced

    Brown Slime on Glass: I attribute this to the MB7 bacteria source. I switched to SeaChem stability and this fixed all my problems.

    STN: This was due to the low alkalinity in the tank and the overall instability of the alkalinity. The new calcium reactor sorted this out.

    SPS Colours Fading: Extremely low nutrients may cause the corals colours to fade. This problem was fixed by heavily dosing amino acids and adding more fish.

    Now what everyone has been waiting for:

    Pictures

    Tank at day 14:
    [​IMG]

    Tank a month ago:
    [​IMG]

    SPS Growth
    Growth tip a month ago:
    [​IMG]

    Growth tip now:
    [​IMG]

    SPS Colour

    Acro Frag a month ago:
    [​IMG]

    Acro Frag now:
    [​IMG]
     
    Neil H and jacquesb like this.
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    FANTASTIC! Many thanks, Manic!
     
  4. Adee

    Adee

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    Well done Gareth :thumbup:

    I can attest to my corals also bleaching at the bases when I did this method. My biggest problem with this method is the lack of a detailed guide as to how to use the whole product optimally to one's individual setup. Also one needs to pay very special attention (if not twice a day) looking for signs of "out of the ordinary pattens". If you not the type of person that can afford all that time spent daily...this method may not give you the results you looking for.

    look forward to your N & P reducing pellets review...will do the same, we can compare "notes".

    whats your final verdict...did it give you the "Zeovit" ULNS look you were looking for?
     
  5. Adee

    Adee

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    Did you dose the potassium supplement?

    this was another caveat...to get a potassium test kit to gauge what needs to be added?
     
  6. Manic

    Manic Thread Starter Moderator

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    I got good growth and increased colouration from all my corals, which is what I was hoping for. The only problem I had was the "Knifes-edge" these systems seem to run on. Everything would be going perfectly and all my dosing was tuned in. The problem comes when corals grow or new corals are added, this changes everything in the tank and then all the dosing needs to be adjusted. When I monitored my tank every hour of every day things were going well, when exams started and I only looked at my tank once a day, thats when things went wrong. Systems like this need constant monitoring and a good eye. Test kits can only tell you so much.
     
  7. Manic

    Manic Thread Starter Moderator

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    I never dosed potassium because I could never source a test kit. I've read a lot of threads on tank crashed due to an overdose of potassium.
     
  8. Adee

    Adee

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    Yep..could not have said it better....reefers really need to be in tune with their husbandry needs when going this route.

    Well I did dose...even though I did not have a test kit...one of those dammed if u do, dammed if you don't scenarios as I was not sure of the effects of not dosing.
     
  9. Manic

    Manic Thread Starter Moderator

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    The main reason I never dosed potassium was due to the incorrect dosing instructions on most supplements. As an example the Tropic Marine Bio-Calcium container instructed to dose 17 spoons into my tank in order to raise the calcium by 28ppm. I did this and my alkalinity went up to 16. Never again will I trust the instructions.
     
  10. Adee

    Adee

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    Eina :(
     
  11. seank

    seank

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    Excellent write up, thank you for informing us. I am sure it will help a lot of people.Can I maybe ask if you could keep on updating this thread, say on a monthly basis
     
  12. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    yoh great write up thanks but def not for me
     
  13. Manic

    Manic Thread Starter Moderator

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    I've got a few more things that I'll add tonight, but for now it is on to the N-P reducing pellets. I'll see how that goes until the end of the year and then I will decide which system my tank will run on permanently.
     
  14. seank

    seank

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    Thank you, please keep us updated as I am also interested in running the same
     
  15. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Your tank looks great, thanks for the info :)
     
  16. Manic

    Manic Thread Starter Moderator

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    Here's the latest full tank shot. I know the pictures are bad but it should give a starting point to compare to when I start the N-P pellets:

    [​IMG]

    Just one for fun, there are six chromis in this coral:
    [​IMG]
     
  17. aslam

    aslam

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    Thank's for the excellent write up,your tank looks stunning.Are you still using the mb7 with the pellets.
     
  18. Manic

    Manic Thread Starter Moderator

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    I stopped MB7 a while ago and switched to seachem stability. I find the seachem bacterial strain to be much better than the MB7. I haven't dosed any bacterial strain since starting the pellets though.
     
  19. Manic

    Manic Thread Starter Moderator

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    I'm starting the zeo method again, the pellets are way over rated and a bit more research and development needs to go into them.
     
  20. Manic

    Manic Thread Starter Moderator

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    Think I need to build one of these:

    !
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Apr 2016
  21. sweetnsour

    sweetnsour

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    very cool, also you can time it to run 3 hours on and 3 off
     
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