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Featured Keeping nitrates and phosphates in check

Discussion in 'Filtration / ULNS' started by biotec, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. biotec

    biotec Registered

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    I am just wondering how everyone keeps thier nitrates and phosphates in check
    Many moons ago it was as simple as keeping on top of water changes.
    I know a few people that do not change any water, just top up!
    How do you keep the devils in check?
    Nitrate reactor? phosphate removers? bio pellets?
     
  2. Evilscoop

    Evilscoop Registered

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    A fair few of us have moved to aquatek bio pearls and are getting good results.....
    Some go the expensive route and use zeovit....
    some use a nitrate reactor with sulfar beads.....
    Some just say do regular water changes....

    Nearly all but us pearl people, run rowa phos as well to sort the phosphates
     
  3. biotec

    biotec Registered

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    Do you run your rowa in a reactor to, or a pair of tights?
     
  4. Evilscoop

    Evilscoop Registered

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    not with pearls...pearls need the phosphates too...
    I changed my reactor from rowa to pearls about a month ago :D
     
  5. diver 807

    diver 807 Registered

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    I run my rowaphos in my external filter in a mesh
     
  6. jrob3rts

    jrob3rts Registered

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    Rowa in a reactor or external is the only way which worked for me. the bag method didn't achieve enough flow.
    Another option is to implement algae, such as Chaeto. Doesn't always grow but if you get the mix or light and nutrients right, like me it grows like mad. Best placed in the sump as it does grow and needs trimming back regularly.
    Evilscoop, are you running pearls and rowa then?
     
  7. Evilscoop

    Evilscoop Registered

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    god no jrob3rts, that would be silly :D

     
  8. biotec

    biotec Registered

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    I have cheato in my sump, seems to double its size every week, trim trim trim! always trmming the bush!
    I do like the pearl idea, just hard to work out how they make bacteria grow, that you can grow in your tank using normal methods?
    I come from a engineering and fuel background, so used to new products that come onto the market and promise everything?
     
  9. jrob3rts

    jrob3rts Registered

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    Cool, probably just mis-read the above.
     
  10. Evilscoop

    Evilscoop Registered

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    they essentially provide a carbon source...similar to VSV or Vodka dosing...but without the hassle...
    The bacteria live in the water anyway, just generally not enough to work, thats were the carbon source comes in...
    I also dose prodbio, which are the de-nitrifing bacteria in little ampules
     
  11. biotec

    biotec Registered

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    Its all clever stuff then!!
    Do you all still water change then also?
     
  12. jrob3rts

    jrob3rts Registered

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    The pearls seem to work (though I have not tried them yet). I seem to have a good balance so when I receive mine (currently in the realms of Royal Mail) I might decide not to use them for a while because my chaeto seems to be controlling the nitrates really well. Currently measuring 2ppm which is a huge drop from 40-50 a while ago. Rises to between 2 and 5 before a water change which is good.
    If Chaeto is growing, it should be absorbing Nitrates. Are you concerned about your values, or just trying to lower it more?
     
  13. Evilscoop

    Evilscoop Registered

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    yes def still water change...
    I was a swine for changes...didnt do it for a year (my year of neglect after a crash)
    I dove in again with nitrates at about 50 or 60. 4 weeks on with pearls and weekly changes im down to about 20
     
  14. biotec

    biotec Registered

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    Not concerned as yet as its a pretty new set-up, around 8 weeks now.
    Just considering the next gadget to buy thats all.
    Pearls seem very new on the market, so no horror stories sufaced as yet
    My readings are
    ammonia 0
    nitrite 0
    nitrate trace
    phos 0
    34 ppt/1.025 sg
    calcium 420

    440 litre volumn, 25 litre water chang every 2 weeks

    But not crammed the tank yet, and looking to avoid a crash etc
    Years ago we used fluidised sand filters, protein skimmer and external filters
    Now it seems there is a product for everyones taste and budget rather than to fix a problem
     
  15. Evilscoop

    Evilscoop Registered

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    skimmers are still important imho, unless your going down the miracle mud route :D

    Yes pearls are new...but were on trial for a long while before being sold, and are based on NP pellets..which have been around longer....
    If you look at vodka or VSV dosing, which is were pellets/pearls came from, the documentation goes waaaay back...I just think pearls are safer than adding vsv or vodka to a tank......but I moved from vodka to pearls
    hope my fish didnt go through the DT's lol
     
  16. biotec

    biotec Registered

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    Still run a skimmer, its a aqua medic perc tank, so think the standard skimmer a good one anyway, seems to pull rubbish out instantly, like soon as you clean the glass, 5 minutes later skimmer pulling green sludge out, or if i move some live rock, or sand, its pulling brown poop out.
    I dont plan to avoid water changes, they dont seem a chore, so carry on, its always worked for me.
    vodka dosing a fish tank!!! good job its not rum, or i be living in there to!!! lol
     
  17. Clearwater

    Clearwater Registered

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    I have been running MM and Cheato for 12 months
    sump is lit 24/7

    Nitrates have always been close to 0 Salifert
    Phosphates after 6 months were 0.06 D&D which is too high
    I add 1ml of vodka per day and three drops of zeo Bak each week
    I have used Rowa Phos in a reactor, to get the initial bio load down
    the first RowaPhos lasted 10 weeks and the second reactor has been
    in place now for 14 weeks PO4 is 0

    I do a few water changes, mainly out of concerns for trace elements, though the
    MM is supposed to provide this.

    I am looking to do some more water changes because of concerns about what we cant measure

    Ca is maintained via a reactor 450
    Mg has to be buffered around every 7 to 9 weeks 1350
    K has always been constant at 380
    NO3 varies between 0 and 0.2
    PO4 is O if it comes back up I shall change the RowaPhos
    PH is 7.8 <>8 depending on the time of day
    KH is normally buffered to 8 and re-dosed when it falls to 7

    System size is 1000 ltrs

    No Skimmer

    hope this helps
     
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