The Reef Tank banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there a point in the load cycle or can you add enough filtration where water changes are not necessary? It just seems like you should be able to set up a more self sustaining tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So I guess what I'm seeing there is a simple NO to my question. In a small system, there is no way to completely eliminate water changes and have a self sustaining tank. That sucks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
correct. poop happens, evaporation happens, chemistry happens- I really like the reef keeping thread however, because it narrows it down to the basics of those things- and helps to create an easier (not work free) tank regimen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Water changes are not just to add they are to remove too...
what do water changes add? I thought the purpose of them was to remove nitrates.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
water changes remove poo and nitrates/phosphates, but they add beneficial stuff like calcium, magnesium, vitamins, and other trace elements needed by corals
Thanks. I didn't know that. Good to know in case I add some corals to my tank. I just ordered a nitrate filter and wondered why it said to still do a water change every couple of months even tho it removed all of the nitrates.
 

·
Shark...fish are friends
Joined
·
5,096 Posts
a nitrate filter? can you give us a link? Most mechanical items really aren't needed... most of your filtration is done by live rock, and if you are running a bigger tank then a skimmer will be your best investment... I'm not running any mechanical filtration (I have a HOB filter, but its empty just for water flow) and I do a water change every week and a half or so lately and everything still seems to be doing good...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
a nitrate filter? can you give us a link? Most mechanical items really aren't needed... most of your filtration is done by live rock, and if you are running a bigger tank then a skimmer will be your best investment... I'm not running any mechanical filtration (I have a HOB filter, but its empty just for water flow) and I do a water change every week and a half or so lately and everything still seems to be doing good...
I work at Saint Leo University where we have a 2100 gallon tank built by "Fish Tank Kings". I mentioned to one of the people taking care of the tank that I was starting a bigger tank and yesterday they showed me the nitrate filter they use and gave me this link. They make small units for home aquariums and they work great for removing nitrates, much better and less messy than a skimmer. and much less water changing.
http://www.aquaripure.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=59
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
I work at Saint Leo University where we have a 21,000 gallon tank built by "Fish Tank Kings". I mentioned to one of the people taking care of the tank that I was starting a bigger tank and yesterday they showed me the nitrate filter they use and gave me this link. They make small units for home aquariums and they work great for removing nitrates, much better and less messy than a skimmer. and much less water changing.
http://www.aquaripure.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=59
Ok, now i'm really curious about this...can this really work and reduce nitrates and phosphates?
 

·
Shark...fish are friends
Joined
·
5,096 Posts
I'm having troubles connecting to the link on my work computer, but I'm going to assume the reason they are using it is because with a 21,000 gallon tank it is really difficult to do a 10% water change weekly! So they use big expensive equipment that in the hobby world isn't practical, or needed. I'm assuming this would be what we would refer to as a "nitrate reactor", or "phosphate reactor". Some people use them, but I think they contain things like zeolite that absorbs nitrates which you then change and dispose of - this could become pretty expensive, but changing 2100 gallons a week could be expensive too! So in their set up I assume that is why it makes sense.

I'm still fairly new, but I think its just added cost that you don't really need in the hobby world. Also in their situation they are probably dosing all of the nutrients on a regular basis that the tank inhabitants might need, normally we get those nutrients through our water changes using a good quality salt mix (instant ocean reef crystals, or another reputable brand).

I think the "Reefkeeping made easy" thread talks about reactors so I'd go do some reading over there, its located in the think tank forums as a sticky because there is a ton of information there and much more knowledgeable people discussing them than me =)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, now i'm really curious about this...can this really work and reduce nitrates and phosphates?
The guys here really swear by them. The only downside I see is that they are a little large for small tanks.
When the tank here was installed, they put in a skimmer but had terrible Nitrate problems. Now that they have replaced it with the nitrate filter, the nitrates are always 0 and we aren't losing fish like we did at first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts
Now the link is not pulling up for me. When I had it pulled up earlier it said it doesn't use media, you only need to "inject" sugar water or alcohol into the unit periodically.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm having troubles connecting to the link on my work computer, but I'm going to assume the reason they are using it is because with a 21,000 gallon tank it is really difficult to do a 10% water change weekly! So they use big expensive equipment that in the hobby world isn't practical, or needed. I'm assuming this would be what we would refer to as a "nitrate reactor", or "phosphate reactor". Some people use them, but I think they contain things like zeolite that absorbs nitrates which you then change and dispose of - this could become pretty expensive, but changing 2100 gallons a week could be expensive too! So in their set up I assume that is why it makes sense.

I'm still fairly new, but I think its just added cost that you don't really need in the hobby world. Also in their situation they are probably dosing all of the nutrients on a regular basis that the tank inhabitants might need, normally we get those nutrients through our water changes using a good quality salt mix (instant ocean reef crystals, or another reputable brand).

I think the "Reefkeeping made easy" thread talks about reactors so I'd go do some reading over there, its located in the think tank forums as a sticky because there is a ton of information there and much more knowledgeable people discussing them than me =)
I'll let you all know how mine works when I get it set up and running. At $239.00 for one the size needed for my 40 Gallon, it would pay for itself in very little time. Heck, a good skimmer is almost that expensive and is really high maintenance.
 

·
Shark...fish are friends
Joined
·
5,096 Posts
I don't think nitrates would really be their problem if its fish only tank. Fish are typically not harmed by nitrates unless they are at a super high level. The problem with high nitrates would tend to be caused by overfeeding a tank, or not cleaning it (which again, cleaning a 21,000 gallon tank would be tough - you would have to get a scuba diver with a shop vac in their to suck out detritus).

Nitrates are created by the amount of waste that is in the tank decaying. Bacteria breaks down waste and creates ammonia, which then is converted to nitrite, and then converted to nitrate, and then in the hobby world is typically kept low with water changes, but it will eventually on its own convert to N2 (nitrogen gas) and move out of the water and in to the air. The larger the surface area and the more surface agitation you have the easier it is for this final stage of nitrate to turn to N2 and float out of the tank. But again, if you aren't doing regular tank maintence to clean the poo out, that very well could be their problem... there is too much detritus decaying and turning to nitrates, and lack of water changes cause them to not be removed fast enough, so they turned to a mechanical means of removing them...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Now the link is not pulling up for me. When I had it pulled up earlier it said it doesn't use media, you only need to "inject" sugar water or alcohol into the unit periodically.
That's what they do here in our big tank. From what they were telling me they use drinking alcohol to feed whatever is growing inside the unit. Must be happy critters!
 

·
Shark...fish are friends
Joined
·
5,096 Posts
I'll let you all know how mine works when I get it set up and running. At $239.00 for one the size needed for my 40 Gallon, it would pay for itself in very little time. Heck, a good skimmer is almost that expensive and is really high maintenance.
I'm not saying it won't work - I'm sure it will work (they've proven it works on the 21,000 gallon tank), all I'm saying is its probably an unneeded expense for someone with a hobby tank. On smaller tanks skimmers aren't even needed, although once you get to the 30-40 gallon range is where skimmers start to become more effective and people start suggesting you get them (although some suggest them on all tanks, its really not necessary on smaller nano tanks since they are so ineffective on small tanks).

If you are doing a fish only tank then this might help you be able to go longer between water changes since you don't need the added nutrients, but you still need to do water changes to remove detritus. Otherwise if you have a sand bed it will get filled with detritus and eventually become a bomb that explodes and crashes your tank with nitrates and phosphates that are absorbed in to the sand. So you still want to siphon the sand to remove the poo.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top