Vertex Pro-Bio Pellets- a guide

Discussion in 'The Serious Reefer' started by Jamie@Vertex, 4 Apr 2012.

  1. Jamie@Vertex

    Jamie@Vertex

    Joined:
    6 Aug 2011
    Posts:
    189
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Germany
    Ultra Low Nutrient Systems with Vertex Pro-Bio Pellets

    Most of us are now familiar with carbon dosing systems for marine tanks. Having found their start with dosing vodka, sugar and vinegar, they have evolved to a variety of liquid carbon sources that must be dosed daily to the aquarium in order to maintain a balanced bacteria population. With the advent of biologically degradable plastics, bio-pellets broke onto the scene. As their name suggests, these are small extruded pellets, now available in various shapes and sizes, made of a completely biodegradable plastic, which is based on carbon. The very thing we want to offer our bacteria.

    These plastics are made via the bacterial fermentation of sugars to produce a linear polyesther of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Being a solid, they are not dissolvable in water, rather, they are broken down by other guilds of bacteria, during which process they assimilate nitrogenous wastes and phosphates. Via continuous skimming of the system, surplus bacteria are consistently harvested, thus exporting the unwanted wastes.

    As Vertex Pro-Bio Pellets do not simply dissolve into the water, rather require bacteria to consume them, there is no chance of overdosing the carbon source, which is an issue with liquid carbon dosing. With the Pro-Bio Pellets one does not need to continually add the carbon. It is there in a fluidised media filter ready and waiting for the bacteria. This greatly simplifies the carbon dosing method.

    When starting with this method, one needs to follow certain guidlines, especially in aquaria with existing high nutrient levels. It is recommended that one begin with about 25% of the final amount of Vertex Pro-Bio Pellets, to allow the bacteria population to slowly rise and consume the excess nutrients. As it is recommended to use approximately 1ml pellets to 1 litre water; a 500 litre tank would finally require 500ml pellets. To begin, one should use only 125ml and increase this amount to the full charge over a period of a few weeks.

    Before using the pellets in your filter (we recommend the Vertex Univeral Media filter, available in 1.5l and 2l sizes), they should be soaked in aquarium water overnight. Otherwise the micro-bubbles of air trapped within them will make them float to the top of the filter canister and be ejected into the aquarium, unless a fine filter stops them. After filling the appropriate amount of pellets into the filter, bring the pump flow up just enough that the pellets dance about with no dead areas. More water movement is not required and too much flow will tend to push the pellets against the filter sieve and block the flow.

    FAQ

    Must I use a skimmer with pellets?

    The short answer is yes! The idea of any fitration system is the export of undesirable elements, in this case nutrients. By supporting the reproduction of bacteria, we are supporting the incorporation of nutrients into a removable entity, the bacteria. Unless one has an awful lot of filter feeders removing this bacteria, it will simply die and break back down into the waste product one wished to remove. A skimmer effectively harvests the bacteria and, thus remove the nutrients from the system.

    Do I need to feed the reactor output directly to my skimmer?

    No, there is no need to do so. The bacteria produced is a food source for many filtering creatures, such as sponges, clams, fan worms, etc, as well as many sps. Removing it directly would be missing an opportunity to provide a natural food for your tank and further support the biodiversity.

    Are pellets only for salt water?

    No. Pellets may be used in any biologically driven filtration system that requires a carbon source. Ponds, freshwater tanks, even sewage treatment may be handled with a pellet technology.

    Can pellets be combined with other systems, such a zeolith-based filtration?

    Of course, as they are simply a solid carbon source. Zeolith will enhance the function of the pellets, as well as keep the water very free from fine particles.

    Can pellets be used with ozone or UV?

    This is not recommended, as both of these filtration aids attack and kill the bacteria. Their use would be counterproductive.

    Must pellets be run in a fluidised reactor?

    In essence, yes. They must be kept well oxygenated with flowing water. Compacted pellets will develope anaerobic conditions, which is not inducive to NO3 reduction and may produce poisonous wastes.

    Are pellets good for FOWLR tanks?


    Certainly, and this is an excellent method to control wastes. As the LR will provide a good basis for bacterial guilds, the pellets will be quickly populated by bacteria. Pay special attention to nutrient levels when you start. With high existing levels of NO3/ammonia, which are common in fish-only systems, start with less than 25% of the planned final dosage to allow the levels to come down slowly and prevent a bacterial bloom. Make sure your skimmer is functioning at top efficiency.
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. Jamie@Vertex

    Jamie@Vertex Thread Starter

    Joined:
    6 Aug 2011
    Posts:
    189
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Germany
    Vertex Pro-Bio Pellets-Loading the Vertex UF-20

    I use the Vertex UF-20, which holds up to 2l of material. Below you can see the various parts of the reactor as delivered, plus the UF Up-Grade sieves (white, fine sieves). The UF series is delivered with black sponges, as well, but I have misplaced them!

    [​IMG]

    Before being used, the Vertex Bio-Pellets should be soaked overnight in RO/DI or tank water, to help eliminate trapped air within the pellets. If this is not done, or not allow to soak long enough, the pellets will tend to float!

    [​IMG]

    Check the screw of the lid to make sure there are no materials in the threads that may prevent a clean closure. In the foto, as I have been using this reactor for a few months, one can see bits of debris that have caught in the threads as I was cleaning it. These need to be removed with a soft towel or cotton swab.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a shot of the delivered foot and top sieve of the UF series reactors. It has relatively large holes which may prove to open for certain filter materials.. This can be remedied by using either the sponges, which come with the reactor in the box (not shown) or the Up-Grade sieves, which are finer, but do not clog as quickly as a sponge.
    These two sieve sets may be used together or seperately. An interesting variation is the large-holed sieve on the bottom and the fine one at the top.

    [​IMG]

    The foot sieve is easily reoved by loosening the PVC nut, removing the existing place and securing the new plate with the nut.

    [​IMG]

    After placing the bottom sieve, mounted on the centre pie into the reactor, fill the reactor with the desired amount of pellets (or other media) and add enough water to keep everything wet. This helps the media settle. For pellets (and most media) it is to not recommended to fully fill the reacter, rather leave some head room for the pellets to move about in. Now replace the top sieve of choice and fasten with the screw-nut into place.

    [​IMG]

    Here we see the fine sieve properly installed. Note the pellets in the centre tube. This is almost impossible to prevent, but these pellets will be forced down into the reactor due to the downward flow direction and not go into the tank.

    [​IMG]

    In this foto we have a minimum flow rate. All the pellets are in motion, but you can see there is a slight devision in the middle where the just added pellets are slightly seperated from the partially used pellets. This is due to the size difference between the new and old pellets. Not a problem! Note the head room above the pellets.

    [​IMG]

    here we see the flow set too high. As you can see, the head room is gone and pellets are being pressed against the top sieve. Reduce the flow to keep the pellets free moving and not pressed to the sieve.

    [​IMG]

    Below one can clearly see the seperation that takes place between the different pellet sizes. This is a sign of a well set flow, where there is a gradation. Not too much, not too little flow.

    [​IMG]
    __________________
    Jamie Vande
     
  4. williet

    williet Look at the shiny LEDs!!!

    Joined:
    29 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    1,141
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Amanzimtoti
    Hi Jamie

    Great instructional and great for helping NP pellet user beginners - it answers many questions. I also used the Vertex instructional (From the website)to gain an understanding on how the pellets work! It helped me get it right! I also cannot stress more using the right reactor for the job ;)
     
  5. Tremayn

    Tremayn

    Joined:
    21 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    5,226
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Lenasia
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Vertex Pellets guide Forum Date
Vertex bio pellets Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds 6 Jul 2014
vertex pro bio pellets special The Serious Reefer 14 Mar 2012
Attention Vertex Skimmer Owners Protein Skimmers, Mechanical Filtration 1 Sep 2016
Vertex Products General Discussions and Advice 6 May 2016
Vertex omega 150 impeller ► Sponsor Request Forum 4 Apr 2016
Vertex power supply ► Sponsor Request Forum 16 Oct 2015
[wtd] Vertex power supply Wanted 16 Oct 2015