Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

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

Postby Kmuda » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:33 am

You do not want the flow to exceed 50gph, regardless of the size of the filter. The 30gph flow rate is not based upon filter size or filter mechanics, it's based upon the properties of the SeaChem deNitrate media.

I have not yet placed a 100 Micron filter in front of the 20, but it's on my list of "things to do".

I only made it two weeks before a replacement was required (this time). I did not get "reduced flow". I had the flow shut down. Due to health issues with my wife I was not as attentive last week as I should have been and the Micron filter blocked the flow sometime before Saturday, when I discovered the issue. :(
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 15, 2009 6:06 pm

Kmuda wrote: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.


A way to make them easier to hide may be make multiple shorter towers running in series with each other rather than one big tall eyesore.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:06 pm

hurt wrote: A way to make them easier to hide may be make multiple shorter towers running in series with each other rather than one big tall eyesore.


I started there. I've been down many roads with this:

Image
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While all of the above resulted in some benefits, none of them resulted in zero nitrate creep. That has only occurred with the current, much simplified, design:
Image

Soon to be "improved" upon.... as if you can improve zero nitrate creep, other than in construction and (of course) aesthetics.
Image
Image

The "tall tower" works. But I actually wanted to try a much shorter "barrel type" using 8" PVC, but could not find the necessary components.

By all means, try out different methods. I will stay with the unsightly tower because I know it works. The current plan is to ride out the existing tower until bacterial slime renders it ineffective, at which point I will replace it with the new tower (filled with new media). I will then clean the media in the existing tower, wait a month or two (or 1/2 the time the running filter is expected to be effective) and then add this tower back into the system, running separately, in conjunction with the new tower. This way I will always have a cycled (functional) Denitrate Tower running. I can break one down for cleaning without removing denitritification capabilities completely.

And don't forget the micron filter. I consider it essential to making all of this work.

Some other important points:

1. Each 90 degree elbow add's the equivalence of 1' of head height, which makes it that much more difficult to maintain necessary flow rates (and force/pressure). Do not underestimate pump requirements. The multiple "tube" designs requires much more pump than the single tall tower.

2. Water must be fed from the bottom and exit from the top.

3. Tubes laying horizontal do not work. The media ends up flattened out and the water flows over the top of it.

On a side note, all of the media I have in use in this Denitrate Tower is three years old. It's been through the gametes of the previously identified designs. So while there is an initial expense in excess of $100 worth of media, you do get long life from it.

To answer your PM, the 30gph-50gph is based upon the properties of the media. This flow rate is actually suggested by SeaChem and my experiments prove them out. Above 50gph and the water being forced into the interior of the media contains too much oxygen so effective denitrification does not occur (you just get standard nitrification). Below 30gph and the water is not forced into the interior of the media, limiting denitrification. Get the flow rate too low and you wind up with standard denitrification (and all of the risks that entails) instead of "safe denitrification".
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 » Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:05 pm

This weeks update: 12/19/09

Last Saturday (not today) I noticed that I was again starting to accumulate nitrates. A check of the filter revealed it had slowed to a trickle, so I replaced the Micron filter. Five days later, nitrates were again at 0ppm and have held steady (at 0) the last two days. So flow rate is confirmed as critical and unlike standard denitrification, a lower flow is bad. 30gph is the sweet spot.
Image

I did not perform a water change on the Oscar tank this week. I'm going to let it ride and see what happens next week. Even though it's important to note that for the last month I've only been performing weekly 50% water changes on the Oscar tank as opposed to the normal 100%. Today, I only performed a gravel vac, resulting in about a 5% water change.

As for the other tanks. I've been dosing for 3 weeks with Instant Ocean Natural Nitrate Reducer. If you read the patent, they do not identify results until after 4 weeks of use. I think, however, that I am seeing some result in the Angelfish tank and the Livebearer tank. You decide.

Below is a pic of nitrates prior to starting dosing with Instant Ocean Natural Nitrate Reducer, followed by a pic from today, three weeks into weekly dosing:
Image
Image

Oddly enough, what it appears I am experiencing is counter to what was suggested by the patent in that the patent identified better results when using gravel over sand. It appears I am experiencing the exact opposite. But then again, that component of the patent may be associated with the "granular material" as opposed to the "powder in a liquid suspension", which is what is being employed in the Instant Ocean Natural Nitrate Reducer.

Regardless, next week is week 4, which should be the week results are confirmed. However, I am not doing things according to how the patent is laid out in that I continue to do my regular large water changes. The patent details decreases in nitrates over a period of time eventually winding up in stabilized nitrates around 10ppm, in the absence of water changes.

One thing bothers me about this..... in the Kissing fish tank, I cannot gravel vac as the PCL beads (powder) is in the gravel (I can see them being sucked up if I push the gravel vac into the gravel). I think that is impacting nitrates in the tank, potentially preventing a drop in nitrates. In the angelfish and livebearer tanks, I do continue to gravel vac visible poo from the surface of the sand, but this is minimal compared to what I need to do with the "pleco poo" and "Kissing Fish Scud Counter Measures" ladening the gravel in the Kissing Gourami tank.

So as it stands now, my recommendation is that this product will work better with a sand substrate than with a gravel substrate. I may break down and cease performing water changes on the livebearer tank to see what happens.
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 Ravyn_Smoke » Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:51 am

The results from your Oscar tank are outstanding Kmuda. It makes me wonder when denitrate filters will be something aquarists reguarly rely on.

Is there a place where you posted more info on the Instant Ocean Nitrate Reducer? I'm curious to know exactly how it works.

Edit: Nevermind, I found the previous thread.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby jonesboy » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:40 am

I've noticed this thread hasn't been updated in a month. Have there been any changes in results?
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:07 pm

A quick update... a little over a month ago, I broke down the "Safe Denitrification Filter" and replaced it with King Kongs Bong. Thus far, I have lost almost all denitrification and it has not returned.

The media was cleaned the same way as done previously. Perhaps after about 3-5 years of use, it is simply incapable at this point. I'll give it another couple of weeks and then replace the media.

A couple of photos of the reconstructed tower. Here is a full on shot of the filter. It's in a small bucket just to ensure there is no leakage. Access to the media is a threaded drain plug on the bottom.
Image

And here it is in it's normal position (to the right of the photo), partially obscured by the cabinet I store my extra media in.
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 » Mon Aug 30, 2010 10:02 am

I should have clarified in the prior post, the filter made it six months before a drop in denitification occurred, indicating the media needed cleaning. So that is the benchmark, six months of nitrate free water.
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 » Sat Sep 04, 2010 6:46 pm

Kmuda wrote:Thus far, I have lost almost all denitrification and it has not returned.


Scratch that. While I have not yet managed a return to zero nitrate creep, I have discovered the filter was (is) reducing creep. I made the mistake last week of not opening the shutoff valve after water changes, so I ran a week without it. When I performed my nitrate test today I was surprised as the results were much more of a solid orange than I am accustomed to. So the filter is (at least was) working, albeit not as well as previous. But it looks like, perhaps, it's just a matter of time.
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 Ravyn_Smoke » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:49 pm

This is a great thread, I'm always coming back to it while working on getting better filtration on my Oscar tank.

I do have one question about the plants though. Do you think any type of terrestrial plant would provide the benefit of reducing nitrate creep or do some kinds simply work better? I have a ton of pothos vine sitting in vases all over my house and I'm thinking about adding them to the tank and seeing how it works.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:48 am

Fast growing plants will work the best. I have used pothos vines. They will survive for several months. I don't recall exactly how long mine lasted, but I know they at least made it for the better part of a year. Perhaps yours will do better.
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 Ravyn_Smoke » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:09 pm

These have been in vases for several years, I don't know why moving them to a tank would hurt. I've used them in terrariums and they seem to grow fine as long as you don't submerge the leaves.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:17 pm

I think the problem I have with terrestrial plants on my tanks is water changes... in that the roots become exposed to air for a period of time each week. I've designed a simple concept in my mind, just have not implemented it yet. Involves suction cups and plastic soda bottles cut in half. The suction cups are used to attach to plastic bottles to the aquarium and the roots of the plants sit in the bottles. When a water change is done, the cups remain filled with water so the roots stay submerged. An even better concept would be some type of hook attached to the soda bottles with the "hook" hanging over the edge of the tank. This would be better because I'm not sure how long the suction cups would be able to hold the soda bottles once the water is drained.

But that is the problem to overcome. Plants do not like their roots exposed to air.
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 Ravyn_Smoke » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:13 pm

I'll play around with that and see if I can work something out. Any time I let one of my vases go really low I always end up with some die-back so I think you're on the right track. I've got so much pothos I can experiment with this-put some in the soda bottles and leave some to be exposed and see what the effects are.

I know I've read the answer to this question in a thread somewhere but I can't find it now. How do you hold the plants in the back of your aquarium right now?
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:32 pm

Some are tied to other objects on the back of the tank (such as filter tubing) using elastic string. Others are just placed there with the pressure of the lid holding them in place.
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 Ravyn_Smoke » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:38 pm

Thanks, I'll let you know what kind of results I get with the plants.
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:39 pm

Bump - Per request
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 Capt Dave » Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:10 am

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

Postby 1wickedchild » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:11 am

I have a question then but I don't want you to think I am saying anything bad about you. I have been told by others that it isn't a good idea to switch out all at once. What do you think about this was it told wrong or is it a good idea??
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:50 am

Please clarify, are you asking about switching out all filter media at once?
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 Capt Dave » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:31 am

Kmuda what type of pump are you using on the tower? A submersible?
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:29 am

A seriously throttled back Quite One 4000. It is submersed in the sump.
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 Capt Dave » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:14 pm

I wonder if it is possible to create a completely anaerobic tower by slowing flow down and re oxygenate the water in some type of sump or chamber...
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Re: Title Changed to Kicking Nitrate's @ss?"

Postby Kmuda » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:52 pm

Certainly, but that was not what I was trying to achieve. With an anaerobic tower you introduce all of the risks associated with such a configuration including all of the complexities associated with levels of organics. Too much organics and you wind up with hydrogen sulfide. Too little and you wind up with incomplete denitrification, where the nitrates are converted back to nitrite or ammonia.

My goal was "Safe Denitrification", which is what I achieved.
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 Capt Dave » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:49 pm

Okay. And you say you get 6 months of denitrification before media needs to be replaced? Or just cleaned?...
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