NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphate

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Re: NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphat

Postby Kmuda » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:55 pm

I went with Dr. Tim's because, to the best of my knowledge, his product is the only one specifically designed for aquarium use (a joint effort between three individual companies), containing 100% PHA. Other products are are made from the raw material that would otherwise be used to make plastic forks, spoons, and such..... repackaged for aquarium use. These products will contain variable compounds other than PHA which (IMO) are potentially harmful or, at a minimum, may result in premature degradation of the pellet or potentially introduce degraded compounds that are not removed by protein skimming.

All reasons why I went with Dr. Tim's product but all reasons admittedly based only upon theory because the only product I've actually put into use is Dr. Tim's.
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: NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphat

Postby Ted » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:30 pm

Way back I contacted a company to get a sample of this to see if it worked and maybe do some repackaging of my own. One side or the other lost interest at some point. Dr. Tim probably jumped sooner. :D
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Re: NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphat

Postby ~RuSh~ » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:15 pm

That's a good enough reason for me. I'll be ordering Dr tims np active pearls as well.
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Re: NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphat

Postby ~RuSh~ » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:22 pm

Any updates K?
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Re: NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphat

Postby Kmuda » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:42 pm

It's been one of those weekends Rush. Barely had time to squeeze in the water changes. I'll get a standard weekend update posted perhaps tonight. The short story is that I had nitrate creep back into the picture Thu-Sat last week. Not sure why. Mon-Wed looked great. Slime production was still paramount. I'm thinking the issue is with Pearl loss due to the pearls being ejected from the reactor and the amount of slime that was on the pearls themselves. So I stirred up the pearls on Sat, removing a good percentage of the slime, and I've added the top sponge back into the reactor, which means a daily cleaning of this sponge to keep flow rates optimal.
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: NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphat

Postby ~RuSh~ » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:50 pm

You are getting slime inside the reactor? I suppose the bacteria grow right on the pearls if they can... Would you say that the slime in the reactor is from insufficient flow?
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Re: NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphat

Postby Kmuda » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:43 pm

That's possible but I think you can expect slime inside the reactor period. With a higher flow I suppose there would be less accumulation in the pearls but I don't see how it could be eliminated. I wish I had the funds to build a design with a mechanical stirring component. :lthumb:

I'm doing 500gph now. :huh:

You'll have less of an issue with what you intend to use. It's a larger reactor than I am using.
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: NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphat

Postby lou9729 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:52 pm

I am considering using NP-Active pearls. Excellent info! Thank you. May I suggest adding Miracle Mud 2 w/plants & an AquaRay GrowBeam 500 to your sump. The plants thrive on excess nitrates and phosphates and consume CO2 (which combats lower acidity levels due to biological functions). They also produce benificial O2 which your fish will love. I will continue to follow ur thread because I am a huge fan of new technologies and have been itching for a new toy, but I don't want to throw my system out of wack, like I'm sure you already know, can be done in an instant! LOL Thanks again, you are doing research for all of us, and I appreciate the effort and info you supply. 8-)
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Re: NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphat

Postby ~RuSh~ » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:25 am

Any updates here Kmuda? What have the nitrates/phosphates been doing?
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Re: NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphat

Postby Kmuda » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:57 am

Rush, I'm have to admit, I'm a bit disappointed at the moment. I have been unable to maintain zero nitrates. I ceased dosing with phosphate because I started to develop a brown algae issue. To be perfectly honest, I've been too busy to sit down and really think it through. I continue to get slime in massive amounts. I continue to get reduced nitrate creep. I just cannot get it back down to "zero" nitrate because of the phosphate limitation. I also continue to get pearl loss as the pearls get small enough to make it through the screen, which also contribute to the issue. I tried running with the little sponge screen in the reactor but it gets so coated with slime and shrunken pearls that it clogs almost shut in less than a day.

I either need to be at a lower flow rate, have a larger reactor, or both. I also need to figure out a phosphate dosing level and move from the potassium phosphate I was using to pure phosphate. I am not positive that the phosphate locked up in the potassium phosphate is available to the bacteria.

The first step is to improve my reactor, going with one of the pellet mashers for a large tank.

In the meantime, I continue with the experiment. We know this works. I've already proven that much. Now I just need to decipher how to maintain 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: NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphat

Postby ~RuSh~ » Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:01 pm

But what are the nitrates hovering at? There must be some phosphates from the foods you are feeding?

If you are exhausting the phosphates you are obviously still reducing the nitrates somewhat, right?
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Re: NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphat

Postby Kmuda » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:24 am

Absolutely. Nitrates continue to be removed, just not ALL removed, which is my goal. They are getting into the low orange range. I'll get a photo up tomorrow.
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: NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphat

Postby David » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:03 am

Kmuda a few questions about using the pearls, I've been following this thread for a while now.

At what point would it be faster and easier to do regular water changes?

Is this design more for the extreme fish keeping?

For someone like me with 1 O in a 75g, is this efficient/beneficial enough to use?

To me and my novice fish keeping, this seems way involved to keep nitrates at 0. I almost think that if I were to set it up I would try to keep nitrate below 5-10 with fewer water changes instead of going for 0. I already try to maintain nitrates below 10 with just water changes, less frequently would just be an added bonus.
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Re: NP-Active Pearls for the Control of Nitrate and Phosphat

Postby Kmuda » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:30 pm

My goal has never been to reduce water changes....... well, that may not be exactly right. Let me clarify.

I perform water changes every week, never fail, come rain, sun, snow, tornadoes, flu, or whatever, the water gets changed. Even if (when) maintaining zero nitrates, I continue with water changes. My intent is not to eliminate water changes but rather to minimize the harmful effects of the water in between water changes. In other words, establishing an environment that is always healthy rather than one that is healthy on Sat. following a water change and then declines through the week.

That said, it would be nice to reduce the quantity of water changed. I regularly perform massive water changes. A 70% water change in my house would be considered a small one. It would be nice to get this down into the 40% to 50% range and still manage low nitrates. It's not that large water changes are bad. When it comes to Oscars, they are very important. They are, however, potentially dangerous. If you don't get the temp right or if the water company changes something in the water, large water changes can have an unhealthy effect. To minimize this risk, I would like to get down to a 50% water change and still maintain low (to non-existent) nitrates.

Nitrates are not the only reason to do water changes but they are the reason we must do such large water changes.

Currently, when it come to freshwater use, I would consider use of NP Pearls something better left to the hard-core amongst us. At least until I can decipher the long term use code.
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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