Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby kitiara » Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:13 pm

Kmuda I have been following this thread as well, and I'm impressed. As previously stated, I want to be you when I grow up! :lol: Although I must say that my attempts of getting a decent filter for my 55 seem rather feeble now. For right now, I'm going to have to stick with one or two filters due to budget issues, but I'm going to follow your advice and guidance to bigger and better things in the future.

And your livebearer tank has been interesting to me. My 28 gallon has for the last four years run with a Fluval Plus 2 and a Penguin 200. Prior to my newfound water changing and water testing knowledge, this tank would go for months without a water change and I never lost any fish. After aquiring my oscar and finding this site, I was curious about my guppies and took a water sample up to my store to get tested. Granted, this was a test strip, so not exactly accurate, but still able to show if anything was seriously wrong. There wasn't, hardly anything showed up *except* for the nitrates, and even then the test strip didn't show that the levels were very high. So, I basically have no idea how that happened, obviously, but it makes me curious to how yours have such high readings. Maybe your guppies are dirtier than mine? :lol:
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:31 pm

I would not consider the livebearer tank nitrate readings as "high". They are certainly within the 20ppm limit we try and keep. But historically, they have been higher than my other tanks.

One day after water changes.... nitrates are registering a flat 0 on the Oscar tank. No hint of orange at all. Straight yellow. Same color of the tube as it appears after you add drops from bottle one, before you add drops from bottle two. As if no drops have been added from bottle 2 at all

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100g- Red Oscar Fish, Male Convict, 3 SDs - 20 gallon sump
55g - 21 Year Old Kissing Gourami + friends
55g - Angelfish - 29g Livebearer Community
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:46 pm

I got so caught up in the elimination of nitrates from the Oscar tank that I did not discuss the other interesting result from last week, that being a further reduction in nitrates on the Kissing Fish tank.

Test results from November 7th:
Image

Test results from November 14th:
Image

What changed? I replaced the Fluval 404 with an Eheim 2217. I moved over the 1 tray worth of Matrix that was in the 404, using it in the Eheim 2217. Otherwise, the 2217 is filled with Eheim media (do you need any further reason why I am in love with the Eheim Classic series).

I'm not sure about the increase in the Angelfish tank and Livebearer tank. I cleaned the filters this weekend to rule that out. They did get several feedings of frozen blood worms last week, that may account for it.
100g- Red Oscar Fish, Male Convict, 3 SDs - 20 gallon sump
55g - 21 Year Old Kissing Gourami + friends
55g - Angelfish - 29g Livebearer Community
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 wife, 1 old lady, and one of the sub-adults broke back in.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:00 pm

Still registering an absolute flat zero on nitrates in the Oscar tank. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I'm pumped. I now have to take this to the other tanks. That will make my wife happy. :lol:

I'm on vacation next week. I see a lot of PVC in my near future. I need to find a way to hide these things.
100g- Red Oscar Fish, Male Convict, 3 SDs - 20 gallon sump
55g - 21 Year Old Kissing Gourami + friends
55g - Angelfish - 29g Livebearer Community
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 wife, 1 old lady, and one of the sub-adults broke back in.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby jonesboy » Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:12 am

Congratulations on this! I look forward to seeing if you can duplicate this and how. I don't know if I'll ever be able to swing that denitrate tower in my house though! :lol:
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:19 pm

See folks. It can be done. Here are nitrates on the Oscar tank from the last week. Still zero nitrate creep. Keep in mind that for the first several hours after performing the test, the tubes display the same yellow as they do when you first add drops from bottle one. It's only after they've been out for about 1/2 a day (or overnight) that they start to develop a darker tint.

This tank is currently running with zero nitrates and has been for the last two weeks. So skeptics, bite me. :pottytrain2: :lol:

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Image

For reference, a comparison between all tanks. The focus the last two weeks have been on the Oscar tank and the other tanks are suffering a bit from it but still acceptable. I will be performing additional experiments on the other tanks in the coming weeks.

Image

I lost two Angelfish in the Angelfish tank. My two biggest males. No clue what happened. So I need to re-baseline Nitrates in this tank over the next couple of weeks.
100g- Red Oscar Fish, Male Convict, 3 SDs - 20 gallon sump
55g - 21 Year Old Kissing Gourami + friends
55g - Angelfish - 29g Livebearer Community
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 wife, 1 old lady, and one of the sub-adults broke back in.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby gryffin » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:10 pm

I'm sorry about your angelfish.

What are the basic components required to try to replicate your results? It

I've done some reading on the deNitrate and understand that it needs a lower flow rate (~50 gph) than a typical canister to be effective as an anaerobic media. I'm new to reading the posts on this topic- so forgive my stupid questions- what made you decide on the tower design? Was it necessary to acheive the desired flow rate/residence time?

I'm already using Matrix as my primary biological media- though I can probably fit a bit more in my filters.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:56 pm

I chose the tower because it is the simplest most effective method of applying the maximum amount of deNitrate media. The drawback to this filter is you are going to spend a bit over $100 on deNitrate media. It may be possible to accomplish with less media, I don't know. I do know the results I am getting out of probably 8kg of SeaChem deNitrate mixed with probably 2 liters of Eheim Ehfilav.

The object is to get as much media in use as possible, feed the filter from the bottom with water exiting from the top (think of the design of an Eheim Classic), to have some pressure inside the filter, while maintaining a flow rate of about 30gph, with monster mechanical filtration leading into the deNitrate filter. After several years of experimentation I never achieved these dramatic results until I placed the 20 Micron filter in front of the deNitrate tower. The Micron filter was purchased at Wal-Mart (at a cost of $28). It is an OmniFilter U25 Whole House Sediment Filter:

Image

I am not using the 5 Micron cartridge that comes with the filter. Instead I am using the RS1 20 Micron Pleated cartridges that can be purchased separately ($7 for two cartridges). I am going to get about 1 months use out of a cartridge before it will need to be replaced (so cost will be $3.50 per month). I consider the Micron filter essential to the success of a deNitrate tower.

Pressure inside the filter is achieved by using a pump that is much more powerful than needed (in my case a Quite One 4000), stepping the pump tubing down from 3/4" to 5/8" tubing, and by using a ball valve to regulate flow. Sounds much more complicated than it really is. Below is a basic diagram of the plumbing involved.
Image

How you construct the denitrate tower itself is up to you. The important part is that you include a mechanism to allow the filter to be turned off and disconnected for maintenance and you allow a mechanism to open the filter up to clean/replace media. I purchased the parts today to build another one, this one improved over the current one, using screw on drain access caps for the top and bottom of the PVC pipe. I will drill the pipe and use bulkheads for the inflow and outflow (still trying to find the right bulkheads).

For a quick disconnect, I am using the quick disconnects made for a Magnum 350 but will be switching to the quick disconnects made for an Eheim 2217 classic (the inflow disconnects). The Magnum disconnects are cheaper, the Eheim Disconnects, while more expensive (about $25), they are more durable, trustworthy, and reliable. There are less expensive plumbing options but you wind up piecing too many pieces together (in my opinion) to make it work.

EDIT: An important note. My Denitrate Tower is NOT an anaerobic filter. It remains aerobic. O2 test out at 7ppm on the outflow, which is only 2 ppm lower than the main tank. Denitrification is occurring inside the internal pores of the deNitrate media. The fact that the filter itself is not establishing an anaerobic zone is important. This means it is "Safe Denitrification", without all of the concerns, hazards, and risks of an anaerobic filter.
100g- Red Oscar Fish, Male Convict, 3 SDs - 20 gallon sump
55g - 21 Year Old Kissing Gourami + friends
55g - Angelfish - 29g Livebearer Community
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 wife, 1 old lady, and one of the sub-adults broke back in.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby hurt » Wed Nov 25, 2009 12:56 am

From your diagram I don't see what you are doing to maintain pressure in the tower. Is there a ball valve after the outflow of the tower?
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:19 am

I'm not sure "pressure" is the right word (although the next filter will probably have a pressure gauge on it, out of curiosity). "Force" is a better description.

Water comes out of the outflow under some measure of force, similar to what occurs when you hold your thumb on the end of a water hose.

I think the "force" comes from stepping down from 3/4" to 5/8" and then partially closing the ball valve that serves as the flow regulator.

The inflow to the Denitrate tower is 5/8". The outflow is 3/4". There is no ball valve on the outflow. So I am certainly doing nothing there to intentionally create pressure inside the filter. In fact, I intentionally created the outflow to be larger than the inflow to prevent pressure build up inside the filter (reducing flood risk). But the water is coming out under a measure of force. It's not just trickling out under a smooth flow.

If building one of these filters, may the force be with you. :roll: :lol:
100g- Red Oscar Fish, Male Convict, 3 SDs - 20 gallon sump
55g - 21 Year Old Kissing Gourami + friends
55g - Angelfish - 29g Livebearer Community
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 wife, 1 old lady, and one of the sub-adults broke back in.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:18 pm

I finally got all of the pieces together to build my improved Denitrate tower. I had to make trips to both Lowes and Home Depot, as well as an order from Drs. Foster and Smith (for the bulkheads) to get everything I needed.

One note to anyone that builds one of these. Home Depot only has the 4" PVC in 10 foot lengths. Lowes has it in both 10' and 5' lengths. The main body of my filter will be a 5 foot section of 4" PVC tube.

A pic of the parts is below. I've taken the liberty of identifying where each part came from. That's the biggest headache with this, trying to find the right PVC components.

Image

Image

I've drilled 1 1/2" diameter holes in the end caps, mounting up the bulkheads. Only Home Depot has the "flat" end caps. Lowes only has the curved ones and the curved ones will not allow proper mounting of the bulkheads. For the threaded clean out caps, only Lowes has the flat ones. Home Depot only has the pipe wrench type caps. I'm using both. More details on that later.

I used aquarium approved silicone when mounting the bulkheads. I am allowing that to dry overnight before I continue. I'll post additional pics and instructions when I get started on this again tomorrow (or maybe Friday).
100g- Red Oscar Fish, Male Convict, 3 SDs - 20 gallon sump
55g - 21 Year Old Kissing Gourami + friends
55g - Angelfish - 29g Livebearer Community
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 wife, 1 old lady, and one of the sub-adults broke back in.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby hurt » Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:11 am

I may have misread something, but before you had said that HOBs could make the denitrator less effective. And I thought you said because it replaces all of the oxygen it uses by breaking the water surface and anaerobic bacteria is what breaks down the nitrates. But since the water in the denitrator is not anaerobic and the anaerobic areas are actually inside of the media would that mean that this type of denitrator should/would work just as well if using it in conjunction with HOB filters rather than canisters?

Edit: also would you say the more media the better? like if it were to be made with 20 feet of 4 inch, instead of 5 would it work better, or would that increase the difficulty of maintaining it and be more likely to become dangerous with anaerobic filtration occurring?
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:32 am

I think you misunderstood what I was theorizing on the HOBs. The theory was that, because these medias work on the bases of ammonia oxidizing bacteria consuming oxygen before the water enters the internal pores of the media, that HOB filters would remove ammonia outside of this process, so less ammonia would enter the canister filter, resulting in less stripping of oxygen by bacteria on the filter media within the canister, resulting in lower denitrification rates.

I am not done with this theory just yet. I still consider the concept valid. However, one thing I did not take into account was the loss of mechanical filtration associated with the removal of an HOB filter. This loss of mechanical filtration will result in increased detritus clogging the internal pore structure of the media inside the canisters, which absolutely has an impact on denitrification rates.

Certainly, the more media the better. But I've already been down the 20' of PVC pipe path and did not get as good a result as I am now. The problem with 20' of PVC pipe is it's going to take one monster of a pump to push water through it.... and pumps that big are VERY loud. Not to mention that maintenance is very difficult. I'm assuming this type of filter will have to be broken down every 3 to six months (that's one of the problems with denitrication, slime, and this slime clogs the pores needed to support denitrification). I am currently thinking though the process of having two of these Denitrate Towers in use, so one of them can be broken down and cleaned every 3 months without loosing all of the denitrification capabilities for the couple of months it takes to break a filter in.
100g- Red Oscar Fish, Male Convict, 3 SDs - 20 gallon sump
55g - 21 Year Old Kissing Gourami + friends
55g - Angelfish - 29g Livebearer Community
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 wife, 1 old lady, and one of the sub-adults broke back in.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby hurt » Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:16 pm

Ok, that makes sense now, but wont the canister filters you are using remove the ammonia even more effectively than an HOB would? Which would leave the same as or less ammonia to enter the denitrate tower. Oh and I would like to add that I am not trying to poke holes in your theory because it obviously works, I just want to do it without spending $300 dollars on canister filters above the cost of the denitrator, and still get similar results, but with HOBs.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:09 pm

Please go back and read page 2 of this thread where HOBs are discussed in detail. I don't think you'll be able to achieve these results (or much results at all) using HOBs. Explanations for this are in the discussions on page 2.
100g- Red Oscar Fish, Male Convict, 3 SDs - 20 gallon sump
55g - 21 Year Old Kissing Gourami + friends
55g - Angelfish - 29g Livebearer Community
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 wife, 1 old lady, and one of the sub-adults broke back in.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby hurt » Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:03 am

Now that I have reread page 2 I am even more confused, you say that you don’t think similar results would be possible using HOBs when you also state that you are using a penguin 350 on the tank with 0 nitrate creep. You say the reason HOBs wont work is because they remove too much ammonia from the water that the tower will not receive to eliminate O2 inside of the pores of the media. You also said that the canister filters will allow for some denitrification but to say
I don't think you'll be able to achieve these results (or much results at all) using HOBs
it must mean that you think the majority of the denitrification comes from the canisters themselves and the denitrification tower performs minimal amounts of denitrification, because you already have substantial capacity to remove ammonia in the canister filters you have running. You also stated that you do not need to add filtration to remove ammonia,
My goal was (is) to reduce nitrate creep, so my sump is a water reservoir, not a wet/dry filter
which should mean that using an HOB rather than a canister should not result in any less ammonia entering the tower. Why should it not work using HOBs, I realize that without the canisters I would not get their added denitrification, but from my understanding the majority of it is coming from the denitrate tower, so maybe the nitrate creep wouldn't completely dissappear like it has with you, but shouldn’t just the tower along with the 20 micron filter still provide a drastic decrease in nitrate levels?
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:41 am

We are cross referencing "projects". My prior references to HOBs was related to their use in conjunction with canisters filled with SeaChem Matrix. I have no negative opinions upon use of HOBs in conjunction with a Denitrate Tower, although I suppose the same concepts apply.

My point on HOBs, and the point of misunderstanding, is that you are not going to achieve any level of denitrification using SeaChem Matrix in an HOB as you would using SeaChem Matrix in a canister filter. Not that they have any affect on the Denitrate Tower. The Denitrate Tower is completely independent of the canisters and/or HOBs and should function the same provided enough mechanical filtration exists, which is where the Micron filter comes in. Place the Micron filter as a prefilter to the Denitrate Tower and mechanical filtration will not be a concern.

That's not entirely true. I got three weeks out of the 20 Micron filter on my Oscar tank.... and I have mass amounts of filtration on the tank. On a tank with an HOB or two, you may only get a week out of the Micron filter as mechanical filtration will be limited.

The ability to achieve zero nitrate creep is coming from the Denitrate Tower, not the canisters. I have canisters full of SeaChem Matrix on other tanks. While I have reduced nitrate creep on these other tanks, I have not eliminated it, nor will I without further actions. The only place I've eliminated nitrate creep is on the Oscar tank, which contains the Denitrate Tower, and I did not reach that level of denitrification until I added the Micron Filter.
100g- Red Oscar Fish, Male Convict, 3 SDs - 20 gallon sump
55g - 21 Year Old Kissing Gourami + friends
55g - Angelfish - 29g Livebearer Community
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 wife, 1 old lady, and one of the sub-adults broke back in.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby hurt » Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:50 am

Perfect thanks for clearing up the confusion. Now I can start saving to make my own tower.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:07 pm

This weeks update. Started to get a small measure of nitrate creep registering in the Oscar tank on Thu - Sat. I believe this is due to reduced flow resulting from the Micron filter becoming clogged. I still had flow, but it was no longer under "force". I replaced the micron cartridge so we'll see if there is a return to zero nitrate creep.

Image

On the below test results, you have to exclude the Angelfish tank as there was a 100% water change (complete tank break down) associated with replacing the gravel substrate with sand substrate. This substrate change occurred on Monday. I've intentionally made the sand bed deeper than is normally recommended. It's between 3" and 4" in depth.
Image

I've dosed everything but the Oscar tank with Instant Ocean Natural Nitrate Reducer. We'll see what difference that makes in the upcoming weeks.

On a side note, construction of the latest Denitrate Tower is complete. My daughter calls it "King Kong's Bong". :lol:

My wife calls it the "Big Ugly Green Thing", as in, "Where is that big ugly green thing going?".

Image

Image

Image
100g- Red Oscar Fish, Male Convict, 3 SDs - 20 gallon sump
55g - 21 Year Old Kissing Gourami + friends
55g - Angelfish - 29g Livebearer Community
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 wife, 1 old lady, and one of the sub-adults broke back in.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:17 pm

This weeks update. Keep in mind that my water changes on the Oscar tank have been much reduced... to less than 50%. I am included pics of the prior weeks testing to simplify comparisons.

Pics from the last two weeks:
Image
Image

You can see that I started to accumulate a small amount of nitrates the week of 11/21 -11/28. This was caused by reduced flow, a result of the Micron filter becoming clogged. So to keep nitrates at zero, I now know I need to replace the Micron filter every two weeks. It's also interesting (and further proof of the "Safe Denitrification" concept) that denitrification decreased as the flow decreased, which is counter to "classic denitrification" where you want the flow reduced to drips per minute. In order to achieve maximum levels of "safe denitrification" it is necessary to keep the flow above 30GPH but less than 50GPH.

As of this mornings nitrate test, nitrates are back to zero and I expect them to stay that way through the next week. This coming weekend I will likely need to replace the Micron cartridge.

On to the other tanks, each of which has been dosed with Instant Ocean Nitrate Reducer.

Image
Image

First off, the results from the Angelfish tank on 11/28 have to be discarded due to increased water changes (a result of switching from gravel to sand substrate). Aside from that, it appears that the rate of nitrate creep is a bit reduced in all three tanks, with the best results coming from the livebearer tank. But its too early to expect significant results.

I redosed all three tanks this weekend and look forward to next weeks results. Each tank is representing a different configuration:

Kissing Fish Tank: Instant Ocean Nitrate Reducer with a gravel substrate
Angelfish Tank: Instant Ocean with a deep sand bed (about 4")
Livebearer Tank: Instant Ocean with a shallow sand bed (less than 2")
100g- Red Oscar Fish, Male Convict, 3 SDs - 20 gallon sump
55g - 21 Year Old Kissing Gourami + friends
55g - Angelfish - 29g Livebearer Community
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 wife, 1 old lady, and one of the sub-adults broke back in.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby hurt » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:19 pm

are you using the quiet one 4000 or the quiet one 4000 High head?
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:45 pm

I'm almost certain it's just the Quite One 4000.... not the HH version.
100g- Red Oscar Fish, Male Convict, 3 SDs - 20 gallon sump
55g - 21 Year Old Kissing Gourami + friends
55g - Angelfish - 29g Livebearer Community
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 wife, 1 old lady, and one of the sub-adults broke back in.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby hurt » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:43 pm

How much do you reduce the flow? I mean would you be able to use a smaller pump and just not reduce it as much or is the quiet one 4000 pretty much the perfect pump for this setup?
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:55 pm

I consider the Quite One 4000 perfect for this setup, although the flow is SIGNIFICANTLY reduced. I think the act of reducing the flow is creating "force" (similiar to holding your thumb over the end of a water hose) and this "force" is forcing the water into the internal pores of the media. Not only that, but with the Micron filter in place you will want the extra oomph.
100g- Red Oscar Fish, Male Convict, 3 SDs - 20 gallon sump
55g - 21 Year Old Kissing Gourami + friends
55g - Angelfish - 29g Livebearer Community
4 Cats, 2 Shelties, 1 wife, 1 old lady, and one of the sub-adults broke back in.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby hurt » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:52 pm

If you were to increase the diameter of the tower do you think you could raise the flow level? Like raise it from 30 gph with 4" to 65-70 gph with 6"?

And also are you still planning on(or already have) putting a 100 micron filter before the 20?
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