NP pellets question

Discussion in 'Chemical Filtration / Low Nutrient Systems - LNS' started by Philip.Cloete, 2 Sep 2012.

  1. Philip.Cloete

    Philip.Cloete

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    Hi everyone

    I wanted to get a phosphate reactor but when I got to the LFS I changed my mind and somewhat confused myself. I have a few questions on what will be the best route for me to take....

    First I am now thinking about getting a NP pellet reactor just beacuse of the good work they do (maybe too good) as I am looking at a mixed coral selection, I don't have a lot of GHA but there is some patches here and there (nothing to worry about)

    My phosphates and nitrates is undetectable but I think its beacuse the algae is consuming it before I can detect it.(I have got quite a bit of algae in the sump beacuse the light is on 24 7.

    So to the question I want a system in which soft corals LPS and SPS can thrive so what route do I take will a NP pellet reactor have a bad effect on my soft coral and also if I get one that is rated lower won't it be better or will it only consume pellets faster.

    I also read that when running pellets you can feed more and fish will be much healthier.

    I am in the dark here and don't want to mess up all my hard work so can the experts on this topic please give advice as to what the best thing to do will be at this stage.

    I don't want to fix someting that's not broken but I want to add sps at a later stage so just want to get water conditions right....thanks
     
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  3. ChrisRaubs

    ChrisRaubs

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    Tagging
     
  4. ChrisRaubs

    ChrisRaubs

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  5. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Ok, so here goes. NP pellets never worked for me, not sure why, but they have worked for many people and very well.
    Secondly, you are very correct about your levels on NO3 and PO4 in your system the GHA could be giving you false readings, that means that you have very little nitrates and phosphates, as soon as you remove this, they will sky rocket, if done too quickly.
    Thirdly, I use red sea's NO3PO4-X dosing regime my NO3 is down to 0.75ppm and my PO4 down to 0.08ppm (I have no GHA).
    I run a 85% softies system with the rest being LPS.
    Fourthly, I have never used any reactors in my system, that's not to say they don't work, in fact I believe that if you go the SPS route it would be better to get your kalk stirer, CA reactor and your PO4 reactor going as this will be highly beneficial for your SPS, your LPS will take a slight knock as they like systems that contain some nutrients (hence why I never drop my nutrients below the levels I have, I don't want to).
    When it comes to feeding, that is a balancuing act, to much/overfeeding will cause nutrients to be higher, but I als know that having weekly water changes of about 12% will keep these in check.

    Marines are highly complex hobby, each tank is different and what works well in some will fail in others.

    In the end the love, time and effort you place into your tank, how much you learn and what you experience, will determine the health of your "in mates." It can be a full time job (I enjoy this part, as I am a stay at home dad), very satisfying and very heart breaking at times.

    BTW, how long has your system been running, I would stay clear of SPS if it's still a "young" system, give it time to mature.

    In the end have fun, and let's see what others have to say! :thumbup:
     
  6. Philip.Cloete

    Philip.Cloete Thread Starter

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    This looks like just the thing I need :thumbup:, I think I will get a quote from jungle aqatics @bryan Think I will start with the bomb method.

    WoW thanks this info clears up alot!!!!!!!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  7. Philip.Cloete

    Philip.Cloete Thread Starter

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    DSB running about a year and DT about 6 months (previous tank broke so had livestock in sump while waiting for new one)

    So my tank is well established (just consuming a lot of alk but I keep it in check + stable)
     
  8. williet

    williet Look at the shiny LEDs!!!

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    Ok I disagree. I have been running NP pellets with excellent results. The secret is how you do it. Don't know much about these bio cubes but I would wait. No pellets have been around for over 3 years. A lot of lessons were first learned eg you cannot run it in a bag in your sump, it needs a reactor, cannot run ozone with it... The list just goes on. There are some awesome systems using biopellets. Look at Krzysztof tryc's system. He even moved zeovit to np pellets!!!! Look at my thread on np pellets and I have a nice guide to setting up!
     
  9. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    @williet, do you mean with any form carbon dosing regime? Well this is not true, I personally use O3 too and with great success along with NO3PO4-X.
    There is very little destruction of bacteria outside the method of O3 introduction, be it via a skimmer or reactor, O3 breaks down very rapidly in sea water back in O2.
    Read these for more info:http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/Redox_Potential.html
    and: OzoneFAQs, and http://www.cwtozone.com/uploads/SalesDocs/Markets/Aquariums%20%26%20Zoos/Papers/Technical%20Papers/WATER%20CHEMISTRY%20IN%20MARINE%20AQUARIA%20TP.pdf

    There is much debate on the subject, but I used O3 successfully 20 years ago and still use it today.
     
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  10. ChrisRaubs

    ChrisRaubs

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    It's quite impressive hey,,,

    The nice thing about this product is that it doesn't need a reactor to work... Bomb method is great. However if you're like me, and like to have cool gadgets, you can run it in a reactor. Either way its as effective as you need it to be...

    i was also thinking about running NP pellets, as a truly beneficial DSB has to be way big, more space than what i've got available... So NP was probably the best way to go, the only thing that put me off was the fact that:

    1) You need to replenish the pellets on a regular basis, if memory serves me right, about every 3-6 months... :whistling:
    2) Dosing stuff on a weekly/ bi-weekly basis to keep the bacteria happy, which i in anycase don't understand at all... :blush:

    I then came across this post for Orcalabs,,, It essentially does the same thing, and the only thing you need to dose is bacterial cultures, and only at start-up or whenever you detect param problems...

    This significantly reduces the operating cost, which is a huge bonus... ;)
     
  11. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    @Philip.Cloete : Whether it is NP pellets or Orca biocubes, or any solid carbon "dosing" methology, please remember it is biological, not chemical filtration.
    The cubes / pellets simply provide a home for bacteria, with available carbon in their honmes.
    Both work and actually work well. The differences between the two are essentialy:
    Pellets require tumbling, i.e. a fluidised reactor. This ensures that biofilms are continually "sheared" off, exposing new surfaces for colonization.
    Biocubes do not require tumbling, due to its huge internal surface area, caused my micropores and internal channels. Bacteria literally eat into the cubes to get at the carbon source locked into the media. It siply reqires decent flow of well oxygenated water, so any hang in filer will do, or the dirt cheap "bomb" method will cost you a fraction of a pellet reactor.

    Now, I do not have experience with pellets, so cannot list its advantages, oither than manufacturers claims, and the fact that if employed correctly, will reduce nutrients. There are however some potential dangers with pellets, the predominant one being a too abrasive action. This could cause bac not to settle on the media in a manner which inevitably causes the meDia to not reach its full potential.
    Another, and far bigger, concern is that abrasion will cause some of the carbon to be released into the water column, causing a bacterial bloom, which will rapidly deplete oxygen if your gas exchange is insufficient.

    I am yet to find a concern with biocubes.
     
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  12. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    it is not a prerequisite to regularly dose a bacterial culture to either system, as in tank bac will settle on the media over time. With pellets the flow must be just right to achieve this.
    There is no need to dose a carbon source with either, they in themselves are the source.
     
  13. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Another consideration is that po4 will likely increase over time, regardless whether pellets or cubes or even vodka is used. Casuse: bac take up no3 and po4 in a specific ratio, but we add more po4 than taken up in this ratio, hence the need for some xtra dedicated po4 removal by means of chemical filtration. For niw (apparently not much longer though) this is our onLy option.........
    So you still gonna need that reactor, or wait a bit for the next best thing since bio cubes..
    When u say your po4 is undetectable, what test you using? Kit or photometer with low range reagents?
     
    Last edited: 2 Sep 2012
  14. williet

    williet Look at the shiny LEDs!!!

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    Good question. O3 kills any pathogen/bacteria in the water it is inserted into. What it does is it is just counterproductive towards what carbon dosing/bacteria is all about. Mulm goes into your o3 reactor and kills the bacteria in the Mulm and all the no3/p04 consumed gets returned back to the water column. This is the main reason I can find from my research done. So that is the only issue.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  15. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Regarding ozone, if employed correctly, it will have a deliterious effect on waterbourne bacteria, but in both the cubes and pellets we are ealing with substrate bound. In the case of pellets, ozone could reduce the amount of bac available to colonize the media and therefor slow its effectiveness. Remember, biofilms are regularly cleared off the media and needs recolonizatio.
     
  16. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    It was mentioned that you have a bit of algae, if its there, yiu likely have some po4, either rock bound or just enough to fuel its growth. This is evident from the growth in your smp. Consider the distance from your lamp vs thedisyace of your tank Lights. I could f course be wrong... Anfd the growth in sump could purely be attributed to settling and on site decomposition in the sump.
     
  17. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    You mention a tank where sps, lps and softies thrive... I highly recommend you rethink this, as besides the three generally come from vastly diffrent locations in and around reefs, chemical allelopathy is real and substances like diterpines released by for example leathers and palytoxins from zoas will stress out the sps corals. Someone mentioned lps liking more nutrient rich water... Dunno so much about that... It really is species dependant... The misconception is that there is elevaed nutrients where lps are collected... As I said: misconception... Truth ยป There just more food.. Far removed from dissolved BNO3 and Po4.
     
    Last edited: 3 Sep 2012
  18. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    So...... In essence, my recommendation would be to invest in orca Biocubes, either in a hang on filter or by employment of the "bomb" method and purchase some GFH which can be run in a PO4 fluidised filter, or in a hang on filter.

    Think yo mentioned you have a dsb, you can choose to remove this or keep it for its benefits of addition of some live planctonic larvae and nutrient processing.

    Start paying careful attention to parameters such as pH, salinity, temperature, alkalinity, calcium and magnesium and most importantly, keeping the parameters in your system stable. Slowly but surely start selling off your softies to make room for sps...
     
  19. Philip.Cloete

    Philip.Cloete Thread Starter

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    Thanks guys yes I think I will go with the biocubes and monitor everything for a while if I see there is more phosphate I will add an phos reactor and also when I see the softies is starting to have a tough time I will get rid of them and add lps and sps I recently added a monti cap so will monitor him for a while before adding anything else.

    Thanks again for the help!!!!
     
  20. Philip.Cloete

    Philip.Cloete Thread Starter

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    Thanks guys yes I think I will go with the biocubes and monitor everything for a while if I see there is more phosphate I will add an phos reactor and also when I see the softies is starting to have a tough time I will get rid of them and add lps and sps I recently added a monti cap so will monitor him for a while before adding anything else.

    Thanks again for the help!!!!
     
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