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Old 03-20-2010, 07:20 PM   #1
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Denitrator.

So I am making a coil denitrator. From the sites where it shows how to build them, they all say it is for saltwater. Can it be used for fresh? I don't see why not. It will still work the same right?

Also, what size return pump should I use? I am thinking no more than 50 gph. I got an old windshield washer pump from work and I am going to wire it to be used in the wall socket. Do you think this will be sufficient? Thanks, Alex
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:18 AM   #2
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I think it'd work fine for a freshwater aquarium as well. The only problem I see with this is it's effectively taking all of the O2 out of the water. Fish need O2... I'm just sayin. It's a cool idea though.
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Old 03-22-2010, 07:31 PM   #3
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I know. I plan on having 3 air stones to help with that.
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Old 03-22-2010, 10:57 PM   #4
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if you dont mind me asking why do you need a denitrator?
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:01 PM   #5
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If I'm correct, having something to remove Nitrate would eliminate the need for water changes as the final product of the nitrogen cycle would be removed.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:22 PM   #6
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nemo I don't mind. corrado pretty much answered the question.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:26 PM   #7
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So in effect you would just have to do top offs? What about built up gunk on the sand bed? I suppose if you have a power head that flows parallel to the substrate surface, it never settles down and then you wouldn't have to do a vac on it.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:56 PM   #8
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I think that this is a cool idea, but only in certain circumstances, such as a tank that's hard to access. While yes the nitrate levels wouldn't rise, other chemicals usually removed during water changes would. I don't know what chemicals they are, but I'm sure there are some. Are these chemicals harmful to fish or plants? Who knows... but pretty much any chemical in high enough concentrations isn't good. Plus, the little bacteria that "eat" nitrate don't necessarily just make it disappear, they just convert it to something else. So whatever that "something else" is, is going to build up in your tank unless it's used by another something else.

In response to your original question about return pump size... if I had to make a guess, I'd say that the water flow through this coil is directly related to how efficient it is. Meaning that if it's too fast, the O2 won't have enough time to dissipate and you'll never get the nitrate eating bacteria. I'd try to find some examples online and see what pumps they used.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:05 PM   #9
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I should have clarified a little sorry. I don't want it to completely eliminate the water changes, just to help. I plan on having a lot of fish and I am not sure how big the bio load will be. I will still vac the gravel bed. I do agree with you corrado.
They say the flow coming out should be a fast drip. I will just have to experiment I guess.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:41 AM   #10
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I figured you wouldn't want to eliminate water changed completely.

Anyway, you're probably right about experimenting. You can always get use the Y and ball valve people use when they have sumps. Basically in the output for the pump, you attach a Y. On one Side of the Y you'd have the coil, and on the other side you'd have a ball valve that leads back to the tank (or sump, in the case of a sump). You then simply adjust the ball valve more open or more closed to get the flow you want through your coil.

Also, how do you plan on getting the DC washer fluid pumps run on AC power? I guess you could just buy a 12v adapter and do some simple wiring. Aren't washer fluid pumps loud? Just things to consider. I wonder how much GPH those pumps are. Also, I doubt they're submersible, so you'll have to do an external mounting. And you'll have to find some piping/tubing that'll mount to the pump nicely. (I'd salvage some washer fluid piping from a car). If this works out well, I might have to make a trip to the junkyard. :p
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