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Old 12-17-2003, 04:27 PM   #1
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Nitrate reduction

How does removing the filter media decrease nitrates, or, put the other way, how does having mechanical filtering increase nitrates?

I have not sprung for a protein skimmer yet, though I plan to. It hurts my head, however, to pay a couple of hundred dollars for such an apparently simple process. Bubbles take the bad stuff to the top to get skimmed off, right?

Would it not accomplish the same thing to put an air stone in the back of an over-the-side filter and let the filter media trap the organics as they try to pass through?

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Old 12-17-2003, 05:47 PM   #2
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The key is, you have to remove the waste from the water column to remove it from the system. This is the problem with mechanical filtration, it traps food that otherwise may be consumed by other organisms in the system. In the filter, the food simply rots and contributes to nitrates.

Creating the "skimmer" as mentioned would also not remove it from the system and the water/air contact time would probably not be sufficient to do much.

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Old 12-18-2003, 05:03 PM   #3
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There are some sites that have DIY plans for skimmers, I don't have any on hand here at work, but look around.
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Old 12-18-2003, 07:56 PM   #4
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It should also be noted that protein skimming does not actually remove nitrates. They remove DOC's which can indirectly reduce nitrates since there is less of these DOC's to breakdown in the system and, in turn, there is less nitrate creation.

Running chemical filtration is another method of ridding the system of DOC's. I, like many others, run carbon 24/7 in an effort to minimize DOC's.

However, if a skimmer is in the budget, buy one. They remove all sorts go "gunk" from the water.
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