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Old 07-24-2011, 02:01 AM   #1
helenwheels
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Nitrate removal media


Ok, don't say "remove the cause". I did, it was my failed cheato experiment. So my nitrates are huge (don't know how huge, since the test solution was off the chart in redness). Thank goodness all inhabitants are happy. And knock wood I don't have any algea ( another mystery)

I have a 60 gal tank and 10 gal sump. So even with 25% water changes every 2 weeks I figure it will take about 8 weeks to get back to .15

So... I'd like to bring in the cavalry. Has anyone used Kent nitrate sponge or similar media? I am about to put in an order to aqua cave and thought I might throw that in the cart. Or has anyone used other denitrifiers with sucess? Opinions?

H
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Old 07-24-2011, 02:16 AM   #2
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:59 AM   #3
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chemi pure elite = bigger lifesaver
also i like seachem's seagel. its a great product and you dont need a lot to treat a tank.
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:05 AM   #4
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I use seachem denitrate. Works for me. I do not think Aqua Cave carries it. You can get it at "That Fish Place." Cost about $30 a gallon.

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Old 07-24-2011, 08:29 AM   #5
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just remember, nitrate removers, like any "removers" dont actually remove anything, they just bind. You have to ask yourself when using these things... "if it "removes," then where does it all go?"
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:00 AM   #6
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+1
they material binds it and then we have to remove the material. its like a skimmer. the gunk is taken out of the water column and put in a cup. we have to dump the cup or it just sits there.
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:07 AM   #7
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True, on the reading material, it states you can leave it in the filter as it does not leach back out into the water column. I have a 4' PVC tower about 3 foot high filled with Seachem denitrate as part of my filter system on my 60 cube. I also have some macro algae inside the tank to give it a green look. I usually have 0 readings on nitrate but after about 6 months of usage (lightly stocked tank only two fish), I change it out. I will see the nitrates go to 10 and I know it is time. Prior to the sea chem, it was hard to keep nitrates below 20. Now no problem at all.

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Old 07-24-2011, 12:13 PM   #8
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The sea chem de-nitrate (I actually use the pond stones because of the volume of my water flow) will CONTRIBUTE to the removal of nitrates because they are porous enough to breed the anaerobic bacteria necessary for the final stage of denitrification which will release nitrogen as a gas, so indeed, it will remove and not bind nitrates. The only thing is, if you go to their website, they mention the gallonage per hour limitations on their products. I switched to pond stones (just larger) and filled my eheim with them.
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:05 PM   #9
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Great info! Did a 20 gallon water change today (well truthfully my son did it while I complained "siphon out the cave! No, too deep! Point the powerhead at the rock! No, not there! Don't pour in in so fast!) I'm down to about 60-80. I'm going to take a water sample for a professional reading tommorow, and by some sea chem.

This s what I think I understand from your comments: If the nitrate is "bound up" the skimmer will help remove it? And if it is "bound up" it is still there it still needs to be removed via water change or skimming but is less toxic?

H

Last edited by helenwheels; 07-24-2011 at 11:08 PM.. Reason: Bad typing
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:31 AM   #10
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The skimmer helps take the dissolved organic compounds (junk) out of the water. The small bubbles carry the doc's up into the collection cup and allows you to remove them. This piece of equipment helps to keep the water in a better, cleaner condition for the fish. Water changes are still necessary however. I don't know anything about the nitrates being bound up. I just know in my 60 cube, I have a skimmer and a chemical aide (denitrate) and I have 0 readings on the nitrate. When the chemical gets old, the nitrates go up. I do 10 gallon water changes every 2-3 weeks as well.

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Old 07-25-2011, 12:45 PM   #11
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just keep up with the water changes and siphoning. the nitrate levels will come down. that is unless you have another source of the nitrates. do you have any HOB/canister/wet-dry filters on the system? what about filter sponges that are not cleaned?

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Old 07-25-2011, 02:27 PM   #12
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Thanks, Geoff!
Beside the stupid cheato accident, I think I am pretty good at eliminating nitrate producers. I have a new sand bed, 2 overflow filters in the sump with mechanical filtration (either floss or pads) as well as some carbon. These are cleaned every week at water change and the never appear overly gunky. I also have several lbs of live rock (3 nice pourus pieces) underneath the overflow filters that get swished in the wc water. I finally got a skimmer up and running, a reef octopus bh1000.

The biggest thing that contributes to my baseline nitrate level is my sun coral collection, talk about nitrate factories! I can't see any way around the nitrates caused by the huge amount of food they eat! This is why I really can't see myself graduating to SPS.

I wouldn't worry so much about the nirtates, except I really want an RBTA. I tend to lean toward instant gratification so waiting and being responsible is killing me!

H

Last edited by helenwheels; 07-25-2011 at 02:36 PM.. Reason: Meant sps, not LPS
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Old 07-25-2011, 03:46 PM   #13
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i think you have not been given the best info about nitrates.

take a read through this thread. this will help explain how nitrogen is processed in our systems.

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Old 07-25-2011, 04:25 PM   #14
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I went and got a whole container of sea chem de-nitrate, before, then got it in the tank, to find out its just rocks...

I took them out, and picked up some large dry rock that was just as porous.. a lot cheaper too
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Old 07-25-2011, 09:04 PM   #15
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Ahhh, Geoff, at times like these I understand why I dropped chemistry so many times and got a liberal arts degree instead.

So, I have read through the thread. Ok, skimmed. Lots of info on beer (I like a good hefewietzen)

Anyway, what I got was nitrogen is processed by two types of bacteria, aerobic and anaerobic. The former lives on the outside of the LR, gunky filters etc and processes waste to nitrates. The latter lives inside LR, in the deeper areas of the sand bed, etc. These process nitrates in to nitrogen gas. It is important not to let any waste sit in the tank for too long, as they create nitrate faster than the anaerobic bacteria can process it. So if you clean filters (needed to catch the detritus before it breaks down) often, blow the gunk off your rock (which should be live, fairly porous and enough to handle the nutrient load) and skim, you are essentially removing the gunk that creates nitrates and keep that to a level that the anaerobic bacteria can keep up (changing nirtate to nitrogen gas.

So, I have gotten off track somewhere. I believe it, happens to me all the time. What did I miss?

I really appreciate your help. Sometimes this hobby makes me feel really dumb (but dumb in a good way!

H
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