Using biopellets in denitrator reactor?

Discussion in 'Chemical Filtration / Low Nutrient Systems - LNS' started by Visser, 14 Aug 2012.

  1. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Im currently experimenting with a couple of ways of maintaining low nutrient systems including my own undergravel denitrator (which has been working very well btw)
    My question is: would it be possible/viable to replace the sulphur media with biopellets inside a sulphur denitrator as a main foor source?
    Would it be more stable than sulphur?
    Would the ph of the outlet still be very low?
    Has anyone ever tried it?
    Would it be more/less effective than sulphur?

    Any comments & ideas will be appreciated!!!
    Thanks guys!!!
     
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  3. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    I know that the new ORCA bio cubes can be used in a denitrator as media so I dont see why bio pellets cant. Maybe clumping could be an issue as this is not a problem on the cubes.
     
  4. Toolboysa

    Toolboysa Moderator

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    I assume you your asking cause you looking for alternative way to reduce nitrates

    http://npbiopellets.dvh-import.com/index.php/How-it-works.html : " The pellets should never be used without sufficient aeration, as this may lead to low oxygen and pH levels, especially during night time " Usually your skimmer should the job for aeration

    The currently avail pellets need to tumble not sure if a sulphur denitrator can do this. There is hope though there is a new XL pellets http://reefbuilders.com/2012/08/03/xl-biopellets-jumbo-biobones-fluidized/

    Another alternative is to use the local version ORCA Bio-Cubes there are a few guys running these.

    Hope this helps abit
     
  5. ScottK

    ScottK

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    How high is the flow in the denitrator? NP pellets need to tumble to be effective and as I understand (have never owned one) denitrators generally have pretty low flow.

    As @mariusmeyer and @Toolboysa have said the bio cubes may be a better option.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  6. Visser

    Visser Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Thanks @Toolboysa, just a question, but isnt low oxygen circumstances exactly what is required inside a denitrator?
    Im just looking for an alternative food source to put into a denitrator & was wondering if the carbon polymer of biopellets could work, but i think the biocubes will work a bit better. Thanks for the advice.
    Is the biocubes also a carbon source?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  7. Toolboysa

    Toolboysa Moderator

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    as I understand it. The bacteria uses up the oxygen. So yes low oxygen would be a result. Which is why they recommend aeration of some sort. Personally I found that my skimmer did the job well enough.

    As I understand yes the bio cubes are a carbon source. Its just infused into a polymer so its easiers to use than say liquid dosing eg vodca/NOPOX ect. With my new tank Ill be setting up in a few months Ill be using a combination of cubes and NOPOX. NOPOX is only going to be for fine tuning. Cause if I go away the cubes must systain the tank.

    But if you want to no more about the cubes @irie ivan has been using them for about a year already I think.

    Rumor has it the next evolution of ORCA cubes will have a PO4 remover infused aswell
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  8. ScottK

    ScottK

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    I'm no expert at this so please feel free to correct me if I am wrong but my understanding is that a typical denitrator works on creating an anaerobic environment for the consumption of nitrates. Both NP pellets and bio cubes work on the opposite requiring an oxygen rich environment for the establishment of the bacteria to consume NO3/P04.
     
  9. Visser

    Visser Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Thanks for the info guys, i just read the biocubes description on orcalabs website & wow, i think ive just been converter to a biocubes user, lol.
    This is actually perfect for the test i want to try on my denitrator!!!
    Can you guys perhaps tell me where i can buy them & what their normal price is for the different sizes?
    Thanks @mariusmeyer, @Toolboysa, @ScottK.
    I was a bit sceptical of the biocubes when i first heard of them, but seems that they really do work!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Deniballs (AquaMedic), NP pellets, Bio cubes, Vodka, any carbon source can be used in a Denitrator filter.

    Aqua-Medic have been using Deniballs as early as 1995 that i can remember. May be earlier.

    The trick is to control the nitrate out of the reactor. By far the most controllable method of maintaining nitrate. IMHO
     
    Last edited: 14 Aug 2012
  11. Toolboysa

    Toolboysa Moderator

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    Good to see you posting again NJ being missing your years of expertise in matters
     
  12. Visser

    Visser Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Thanks nj, thats the answer i wanted to hear about the denitrator.
    In your opinion, what is the optimal nitrate level of the outlet water to try maintain?
    Thanks!
     
  13. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    The nitrate depends on the type of system and corals one is keeping. For SPS try and keep the nitrate below 1ppm. For softies and LPS I try and keep the nitrate between 3 and 5. If the nitrate is to low i find that the corals bleach after a while.
     
  14. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Did you pursue this any more?
     
    Last edited: 24 Feb 2013
  15. Visser

    Visser Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Ive experimented with the bio-cubes in a denitrator, but found that the normal bio-cube bomb method is so much easier & very reliable that it is actually a waste of time to place them in a denitrator...
    With the bio-cubes in denitrator, i found that the bio-cubes causes the denitrator to start up much faster than normal (about a week) & the outlet water is a dead solid 0ppm nitrates.
    The outlet water's ph was still very low at around 7 but it could definitely be a solution if you have the space for a denitrator in your sump (unlike me)!
    I also tested some bio-pellets i the denitrator, but that was only a mess. The biopellets clumped together to the point where it completely blocked the water circulation & then everything started going bad from there.
     
  16. Visser

    Visser Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    & as for the low nutrient sps system... Im busy at the moment rescaping my system to become LNS sps tank with a small mix of lps & some nice colored polyps...
    Already running ULNS in my tank & all the sos are coloring up nicely. (Just takes a while as some of the sps has browned quite lot from the higher nutrients i use to have.)
     
  17. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    I am interested in the type of Denitrator you tried the bio cubes in. Can you elaborate a little and how you controlled flow and at what redox you ran the denitrator. What media did you have in the denitrator other than the bio cubes?
     
  18. Visser

    Visser Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    I used a skimz cm122 calcium reactor that i converted into a denitrator.
    In the bottom, i placed a course sponge & a finer sponge on top.
    I then placed a very course sponge (the black ones that koi farms use) rolled up against the inside of the denitrator & then placed the bio-cubes inside this sponge.
    This helps prevent the flow inside the reactor from flushing out the cubes yeast. (creates a low & high flow area)
    As for the redox... Im not sure as i only ran it in a test tank to see what the results are.
    I didnt use any additional media except for the sponges to allow some extra bacterial settling ability.


    As for flow control: The reactor came with very nice valves on inlet & outlet, so i just connected a 6mm RO pipe from my return pump outlet into the reactor valve
    & turned it down to about 1 drop every 2 seconds...

    See attached diagram:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 25 Feb 2013
  19. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Thank you for the info. It is a pity that you did not measure the redox. Did the bio cubes produce excessive mulm?

    Did you measure the NO3 exiting the reactor and did you try and increase flow through the reactor to increase or maintain a specific NO3.

    Sorry for all the questions as I am also experimenting with them.
     
  20. Visser

    Visser Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Im also sorry i didnt take redox, would have been interesting.

    I did adjust the flow through the reactor after 2 weeks but i found that the cubes work so well that even if i go up to about 4-5 drops/second, the nitrates remain at 0.
    Only when i raised the flow to a fast dripping rate did n read nitrates, so it is definitely a winning idea.

    I only tested the cubes in denitrator for about 4 weeks, & i didnt see any mulm around them, but they will eventually create some after a coulple months use.

    Will you let me know what your results are with the cubes?
    Thanks Keith
     
  21. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Will do. Thanks for the info. :thumbup:
     
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