Questions about reducing NO3 media/methods

Discussion in 'Advanced Topics' started by Gif_Hasie, 8 May 2017.

  1. jairus1

    jairus1

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    Thats all nice and well, see i like keeping my tank and dosing regimes as simple as humanly possible. At first i also struggled everyday with nitrates stuck at 50ppm, water changes did not help, all in one bio pellets did not help, nopox did not help. That is until i was advised to go with a vinegar/glucose mix, That has dropped my problematic 50ppm down to 0ppm in a matter of 3 weeks. This was almost 1.5 years ago. I have since started up my second tank and again zero reactors on the tank and i can pretty much decide where i want my N03 to be. Currently i dose 15ml over a 24h period and that will keep me rock steady everyday at 2ppm , if i want 0ppm then i will increase dose by 5ml and in 2 days i will be rock steady at 0ppm. I have used this method for over 1.5 years and its the easiest thing to do under the sun. Yes vodka has its issues and loads of guys experienced cyano when using it, vinegar however is 8x weaker than vodka so is more forgiving than dosing vodka. So what im asking is, why would i complicate ny tank when vinegar does things so easily and is controllable.
     
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  3. Belgian Anthias

    Belgian Anthias

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    A BADESSystem does not use denitrators.
    For removing ammonia-nitrogen from the system adding some elemental sulphur to the system in a filter bag hanging free in the water? Or used in a layer at the bottom of the sump? In that case there is no effluent.
    When a bioreactor is used the Ph of the effluent equals the influent after aeration. H+ is used the moment later as it is produced as calcium carbonate is mixed with the sulphur as base for the growing biofilm.
     
  4. Belgian Anthias

    Belgian Anthias

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    What is more easy than ad some sulphur in a bag and wait? No dosing , no hussle;. VODKA dosing may help but does not solve the problem and it is very unreliable. For example, how much of the carbonhydrate must used to assimilate ( making protein) 1ppm nitrate daily? This is easy to calculate; But how much is effectively removed?
    Most VODKA doses are based on assumtions. To lower the nitrate level only a bit more as the daily production must be removed daily? But as one thus not know how much this is and one thus not know how much of the cultivated protein is actualy removed by the skimmer, how one can call this easy? How do you control the level? There is no control at all because one thus not know how much is actually removed from the system. How one keeps the level at the desired level?
     
  5. jairus1

    jairus1

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    I dont vodka dose, i vinegar dose. How do i know it work? Well because my test kits and corals tells me it works. How hard is it to adjust a doser up or down a few ml's to reach your desired N03 result, not hard at all cause its basically set and forget. I can test my water at anytime of the day and my N03 will be at 2ppm where i want it to be. How i look at lcd is as follows
    When we lcd we basically strip the tank of nutrients, so what i need to do is put back just enough for the tank to thrive on and the lcd feeds the bacteria and consumes any exess nutrients. Almost like tuning your car on a dyno to get optimal performance. So YES lcd is controllable and can easily be fine tuned to what you want to achieve( if you targeting a specific number) If as you say lcd is based on assumptions then my assumptions must be spot on as my N03 is not even a factor for me in my tank because i control it and not the other way around. Don't get me wrong though, im not in anyway saying your badess method does not work, there are many ways to achieve the same goal in this hobby. I've personally done the nopox route and the bio pellet route and for me it did not do anything, vinegar/glucose How ever was something that worked for me amazingly. 1.5 years no waterchanges on previous tank and new tank is now just over 2 months old with the same water in as the day i did initial fill and lcd still going strong and i can decide where i want my N03 to be at.
     
    Last edited: 22 Oct 2017
  6. Belgian Anthias

    Belgian Anthias

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    Adding carbohydrates!?

    Most reef aquaria are minimum nutrient systems where food is a limiting factor and as most reefers have banned bio-reactors most systems have also a very limited life support. When carbohydrates are used +- 8 grams biomass must be produced daily to assimilate 1 gram NO3-N daily. The produced protein is the equivalent for +- 20 grams food with 35% protein. 20 grams of this food added and consumed will produce 4 grams nitrate. When the cultivated bacteria die away, some bacteria have a very short life cycle, all this is released back into the system. When carbohydrate is dosed one must not only be very accurate but one must also be sure that most grown biomass is removed by the skimmer. But we know a skimmer will only remove +- 35%, the rest must be consumed or is released back into the water column. By dosing carbonhydrates nitrification may be held back in some areas where carbon hydrates accumulate ( 40-70% C:N 1-2), the bio-waste may be mineralized but not nitrified and if nitrified nitrate will accumulte instead of being removed. The method needs a lot of attention and is in my point of view very unreliable for nitrate removal from a closed system. Once started to use it one must dose carbohydrates to assimilate nitrate which is the result of a previous dose of carbohydrate and after some time one thus not know any more if the nitrate build up is natural or caused by the carbon dosing.
    An other aspect is phosphate. Most reefaquaria have very low phosphate. Assimilation of nitrogen needs phosphate. Phosphate may become the a limiting factor. This may result in an overdose of carbohydrate which is not consumed. This may lead to problems when phosphate comes available some time after feeding.
    Dosing carbohydrates must be done very accurate to prevent bacterial slime and clogged "living" stone.
    Adding carbohydrates does not solve the problem of nitrate accumulation and thus not extend the possible capacity of the system. VODKA dosing does not remove anything from the system and depends completely on the reliability of the skimmer which at its best removes only +- 35% of the cultivated protein.
     
  7. Belgian Anthias

    Belgian Anthias

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    Nice to hear it works fine for you. But it thus not solve the problem of nitrate accumulation. You must keep on dosing for the rest of your live as dosing carbohydrates promotes nitrate production due to the production of protein. Vinegar does not only contain carbohydrate; As vinegar is not natural in seawater, what happens due to the other part of the substance?

    It is not my BADES system. BADES is just an acronym for the process. it is a natural process. A BADES System is an aquarium system where BADES is used to remove amonia-nitrogen from the system. it is not an invention.
     
  8. Belgian Anthias

    Belgian Anthias

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    Do you want to reduce nitrate or reduce the nitrate level?

    1) use
    Chaetomorpha 250 grams must be harvested to remove 1 gram nitrate No toxines are released
    2) Why other critters to make it effective? A DSB works fine although one has no control over the removal rate ore the effectiveness. The removal is limited due to the limited availability of organic carbon and sulphur. Adding some sulphur may solve this without clogging the DSB.
    3) and 4) What can these do more as would a cheap biofilter?
     
  9. Richard01

    Richard01

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    Keep it simple and enjoy the tank more. I use everything you are not going to use as you have READ it doesn't work for others, but works wonders for me. Ive got a 4 foot algae scrubber and 5 foot dsb 200kg rock with dosing vinegar.Every tank runs different.
     
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  10. r0ckf1re

    r0ckf1re

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    So how much of Sulphur must be added?
     
  11. Dexter

    Dexter

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    nice explanation of thing....but getting sulpher beads in South Africa is not the easiest thing under the sun.
     
  12. Belgian Anthias

    Belgian Anthias

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    Do they not make wine in South Africa? Supply store for winemakers. Supply for greenhouses , used in sulphur burners. It is used to cultivate bio-vegetables and -fruit. Must be at least Technical grade for to be used in an aquarium, 99.9% sulphur, no other additives.
     
  13. 459b

    459b Moderator

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    Are you adding normal powdered sulphur?
    We get that in SA, easiest is it get it from nurseries. Fish shops used to sell it in a compacted pelleted form that was added, along with other media, into a sulphur reactor.
    Sulphur reactors or denitrators used to be much more common but have slowly lost favor since bio pellets, carbon dosing etc.
     
  14. Belgian Anthias

    Belgian Anthias

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    The use of denitrators is not advised , but to remove some nitrate-nitrogen any quantity will do. To control the nitrate level and the nitrate removal rate at least 1% of the total system volume is used. 1 litre sulphur for a 100 litre aquarium. Followed by at least the same quantity of calcium carbonate media.
    For the use of a BADES reactor ( denitrator) a simple basic rule for estimating the amount of the sulphur necessary was introduced. http://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=en:badess:basisregel#basic_rule

    To remove 100% of the ammonia-nitrogen BADES is used by means of a biofilm which grows on the sulphur. This way the life support capacity of the aquarium system can be increased considerably.
    This can be done by using a BADES Biofilm reactor or by just adding some sulphur to the system.
    When used just to remove some ammonia-nitrogen, any quantity will do but the layer must be 2cm to 3cm thick ( one side in contact with the water), in rolls hanging free ( columns) 4 to 5 cm thick. Not more http://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=en:badess:bades_bio_filter#spc_system
    When used in a BADES biofilm reactor at least 1% of the total volume is used. This way all ammonia-nitrogen can be removed and the nitrate removal rate can be controlled.

    To lower the nitrate level a bit more as the daily production must be removed. To close the nitrogen cycle the daily ammonia-nitrogen production must be removed daily. Removed from the system!

    All info about BADES and the research data base is available in the Makazi Baharini wiki: http://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=en:badess:start
     
  15. Dexter

    Dexter

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    Ill try nursaries...ive tried chemical places and petshops before and couldnt come right
     
  16. Belgian Anthias

    Belgian Anthias

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    I do not advice the us of denitrators but sulphur denitrators properly managed work a lot better as carbon based methods which depend on a third party. Most sulphur denitrators are badly managed and kept anoxic, this way the use is very limited at a low nitrate level and they are very sensitive for mismanagement. A good sulphur denitrator must have a flow of at least one time the total volume of the system each day and must NOT be kept anoxic. With a good sulfur denitrator the removal rate is easily managed and the nitrate level can be controlled at the desired level. These denitrators are very reliable and remove easily 8 ppm nitrate daily at a nitrate level less than 1ppm NO3-N.

    An example of sulphur beats used: http://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=en:makazi:chemie:zwavel
     
  17. 459b

    459b Moderator

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    Interesting. The times I've seen people using sulphur denitrators, they have aimed and recommended for anoxia.
    Your links says I don't have permission to access?
    Do you have a pic of your tank?
     
  18. Belgian Anthias

    Belgian Anthias

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    In that case one has to register as explained on the access denied page. Registration is for free. Some pages can be accessed without registration.

    This is a known misunderstanding. When one has to optimise the denitrification rate in the water column a DO of less than 0.5 PPM is advised. Heterotops will change their aerobe methabolism to anaerob at a DO below 0,5 ppm. Autotrops, who grow +- 4 times slower as heterotrops, would always lose competition for oxygen against the heterotrops, so they have developed a different pathway and can change methabolism a lot sooner, where DO is consumed fast they are able to start using nitrate before the hetetrops can this way surviving the competition. Autotroph denitrification has been determined at a DO of 3ppm.(Hignette1996) Anaerob does not mean that there is no free oxygen. Anaerob means that other sources of oxygen are used by the organism instead of free oxygen. It has nothing to do with oxic or anoxic. ( anoxic means that the DO is below 0.5ppm) All this in the watercolumn!!!!

    But we do not have to optimise the conditions in the water column because we are using a biofilm. We have to optimise the conditions in the biofilm! This can be done by using a reactor.

    When the guidelines of M.Longouet, who was the first to use sulpur denitrators for seawater aquaria, are followed, the reactor is NOT kept anoxic. Hignette published that denitrification still takes place at the MAAO at a flow rate of 10 litre / hour for each litre sulphur used. http://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=en:badess:bades:maao

    In each biofilm there is a OMZ ( oxygen minimum zone), this is a zone where the oxygen is consumed faster as it can be supplied . This zone and the zone on the substrate is ideal for anaerobe metabolism. This also take place at a normal DO of +-6ppm in the water column. This is a normal natural process. When using a reactor one can optimise the reactions by correcting the flow.

    Anoxia? Why?
     
  19. Belgian Anthias

    Belgian Anthias

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    We never used powder but theoretically there is no difference. The aim is to give room and space for a biofilm to grow on the sulphur to induce BADES. In practise it will be more difficult to keep it in a reactor. Normally the media is put in between two patches without squeezing it together. Normally MBR are used to prevent clogging When used in a BSD it can be mixed with the sand, but used as a BADES bio-filter ,hanging free in a filterbag, this may cause problems as the bag must have very fine openings to keep the sulphur inside. if you have more questions about BADES please log in to our wiki Makazi Baharini. On the bottom of a page you will find the possibility to make remarks or ask questions which may be followed up. http://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=en:badess:start
    Used as a denitrator, a BADES reactor, or as a bio-reactor, a BADES biofilm reactor, it probably makes no difference.
     
  20. ziguri

    ziguri

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    Water changes never always worked for me. Especially if you have alot of rock, alot of nutrients could get caught in there and leeched back out i guess. Water changes could be a good option in smaller systems though.

    Carbon (VSV) dosing worked the best for me. Cheap and works well!
     
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  21. Belgian Anthias

    Belgian Anthias

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    Carbon dosing is a method which is the best for the peace of mind. Nitrate and ammonia is not measured any more and this gives the falls signal that everything is OK. But everything stays in the system, nothing is removed. If the same normal feed ratio is maintained the carbohydrate doses needed to assimilate the produced nitrate must increase? What will or may happen over time with the accumulated bioload? Carbon dosing is an often used method in zero emission aquaculture systems but in such systems the bioload is harvested after a period of time! How long one may keep on dosing carbohydrates before reaching the maximum bio-capacity of the system? And how one will know this limit is reached?
     

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