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Old 08-05-2010, 11:57 AM   #21
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People are trying to tell you that in all likelihood, that system isn't going to work. Denitrators are usually a form of carbon dosing and without a really nice skimmer on your tank and a lot of its own TLC, it will eventually do more harm then good.

For a basic setup, do water changes. If you can't commit to that, then you probably shouldn't be setting up a SW tank IMO. Its the most basic form of maintenance, and no matter what you are running, needs to be done.

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Old 08-05-2010, 12:28 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Jimbo7 View Post
People are trying to tell you that in all likelihood, that system isn't going to work. Denitrators are usually a form of carbon dosing and without a really nice skimmer on your tank and a lot of its own TLC, it will eventually do more harm then good.
Not necessarily. Denitrators can be sulfur-based or be just a fancy expensive duplication of a deep sand bed (DSB) using anaerobic bacteria to convert nitrates to nitrogen. That Aquapure unit is the later - using anaerobic bacteria. No different than a DSB really. I'm sure it works just fine. [Edit: I just reread the fine print on that unit... looks like you're right Jimbo - they mention having to dose sugar water or alcohol.]

My issue with thing is the claims many of the folks use to sell them. Seems like many of these places love to trot out the "hate water changes?" mantra and make people think they can eliminate water changes. That, and they make overblown statements to prove how much the unit will save them money wise. The unit we're talking about... their website talks about cost savings and uses a baseline of weekly 35% water changes on a SW system to show how much money you'll save. Who the heck does 35% weekly water changes? And then they claim you only have to do water changes every 3 months. I suppose you could, but if you have a reef you'd better be dosing a bunch of trace elements to replace everything you're losing. And once you add up all the money spent on supplements, pretty sure you'll be spending more $$ in the end.

Sorry... got a little side tracked there. Denitrators work, but are not the cure-all for tanks. The best thing to do when starting out a tank is to get in the habit of doing regular water changes, and develop good tank-keeping habits (not overfeeding, blasting off rocks with a turkey baster before a water change, keep an adequate cleanup crew, have good flow with no dead spots, etc). Doing these things are inexpensive and actually not as time consuming as you think.

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Old 08-05-2010, 01:03 PM   #23
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I couldn't agree more with Kurt!
I have a 125 reef, do 20 - 25 gallon PWC's every other week, but I'm now doing them every week.
I also have NP Bio-Pellets (solid form of vodka dosing) in a gfo reactor which keeps my nitrates under 5, and a dual chamber GAC/GFO reactor to polish the water and keep phosphates in check. I STILL DO PWC's at least twice a month.

Yes, there are those tanks that go months with no PWC's. They have 3 small fish in a 125g that is predominately SPS corals. They feed very lightly, overskim, and run carbon, etc.
More inmportanly they have years of experience and these started out as test systems that usually went through a crash or two before they hit the right combination for stability.

If you want to be in and out of the hobby in a year or less then try every shortcut in the book. If you want a tank that matures over time and gives you hours of pleasure (both the watching and the maintenance) then take the go slow approach and do it by the book.

These are my rules for a succesful SW tank:
Rule # 1. Nothing Good ever happens Fast in a salt water aquarium
Rule # 2. Don't add anything (supplements/chemicals/minerals)you don't test for first.
Rule # 3. PWC (Partial Water Changes) are your friend, and cure many ills.
Rule # 4. QT EVERYTHING before adding it to your tank (mandarins excepted, corals should be dipped)
Rule # 5. Use only RO or RODI water (either buy it or make it)
Rule # 6. All animal species live longer on a 30% reduced caloric intake. Only feed every other day at most (fish species dependant)
Rule # 7. Hyposalinity is the best, safest, and most effective treatment for marine Ich (IMHO)
Rule # 8. A Refractometer is a MUST HAVE, not a luxury.
Rule # 9. Anemones will never live anywhere near their normal (aprox 30 years) lifespan in a home aquarium. Leave them in the ocean.
Rule # 10. The tank size recommendations for fish are there for a reason - HEED THEM!

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