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Old 02-21-2003, 03:02 AM   #1
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DIY De-Nitrator

Ok, here it goes.

I was searchin the web one day and saw some interesting sites for DIY De-Nitrators....So,,,,,I decided to build one. And here it goes....I believe that it works because in just one week, my Nitrate levels have dropped from 50ppm to 10ppm....Check it out...

This is what I did for my 55 gal tank. ( Note: I would add 1 inch of pipe and 1-1/2 feet of 1/4 inch tubing for every 10 gal above 55 )

1 - 4inch x 18inch thin wall PVC pipe
2 - 4inch end caps
1 - 1/4inch pass through tubing connector ( L shaped )
1 - 1/4inch pass through tubing connector ( Straight )
50 feet 1/4inch clear tubing
Bio-Balls to fill container
PVC Cement
Plumbers Epoxy (clay two part)
Stainless Steel or Plastic Hemostats ( to control flow )

OK, now that you have the list, lets put it together:

1st, take the parts and wash them well in a mild soap and bleach solution. ( Rinse very well making sure to not leave any residue) and dry them well.

2nd, Drill 2 holes, one in the center and one about 3/4inch from the side, the appropriate size for the pass through connectors. 5/16ths should do it.

3rd, Mix a small amount of epoxy and epoxy the straight connector in the center hole. Then epoxy the L shaped one in the other hole ( facing the way your tubing is going too coil to it.

4th, Take the tubing and carefully start at the very bottom and wind your way up to the top on the inside wall of the pipe.

5th, When you make it to the top, tape it into place.

6th, Fill with Bio-Balls or other media biological purposes

7th, The epoxy should have hardened enough by this time so you can connect the tubing to the L shaped connector. ( if not, don't hurry. Pop a cold one and wait a few more minutes, your working too fast.)

8th, After attaching the tubing to the L shaped connector, you can glue the top on. ( make sure the connector is very secure before doing this, because there is no turning back after glued.)

9th, After the end caps are glued, let stand for 24 hours to let everything set.

10th, Hook up time!!!! You can attach this with a T to your return line out of the sump, or get a pump for this. ( I use gravity to feed it by siphon power. Much cheaper) Anyway, you should have ample tubing left over for intake and return lines. Now, you want the flow to go into the side connector and out of the center connector. Let the water flow into the sump to get aerated and pumped back into the aquarium. ( THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!! THIS WATER HAS NO OXYGEN AND MUST BE INDUCED WITH OXYGEN BEFORE RETURNING TO THE TANK ). Use the Hemostats to control flow to no more than 2 liters per hour and not much less than that, to insure you do not get Hydrogen sulfide released.

This is it. All there is, there aint no more. Please do this at your own risk....As I said...it has helped me and I don't want to be responsible for any tank crashes....

Here are some pics of the project. There aren't enough and they are crappy, but I think you can get the idea.
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Old 02-21-2003, 03:07 AM   #2
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DIY De-Nitrator

Here are the rest of the pics
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Old 02-21-2003, 09:54 PM   #3
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I have read that these tend to clog up as the bacteria builds up in the tubing. Hope you will update us as to how it works out long term. I started to attempt one of these, but never did get around to it. Sounds like it's working out great so far!
Logan J
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Old 02-21-2003, 10:33 PM   #4
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Yeah I thought of that too.. I did use 1/4 inch ID tubing so I hope it will last at least a year,,,don't know..I will keep posted though
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Old 05-06-2003, 08:31 PM   #5
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Hey I am a bit mixed up... can we use a water pump to pump water IN the de-nitrator, and just have it come out the other end, into our tank?

Also I don't quite understand the Oxygen part... how does the water leaving the de-nitrator get oxygen before it comes into the tank??

Thanks
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Old 05-06-2003, 10:34 PM   #6
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Hey I am a bit mixed up... can we use a water pump to pump water IN the de-nitrator, and just have it come out the other end, into our tank?
Sure you can, it would be best to have a small pump that will push just enough through it to get no more than 2 litres per hour out of it. You will have to crimp the end possibly to slow it down to this..
Ok, here goes the best way I can explain it.
The water going into the chamber will be entering at such a slow rate, all oxygen will eventually be void in the water and the bacteria that thrives on oxygen, convert and start using the nitrates instead, so, by the time the water comes out is is void of oxygen and void of nitrates. The trick is, to get the flow just right. It may be more or less, depending on the size of the de-nitrator. If it goes to fast, you will not get any effect, and if it goes to slow, you will create Hydrogen Sulfide and you will have a smelly mess on your hands. It is a bit tricky, and will take about 14 days to see any effects good or bad. Once you get it right, it will last approximately 1 year. Now, remember that I mentioned that the water is void of oxygen? Well, if you put this back in the tank without oxygenating it back up, it can harm the inhabitants because of lack of oxygen. You will drip or run the return side back into the overflow, or into the wet/dry, or filter. This will allow the oxygen void water to mix with fresh oxygenated water to return to the tank.

I hope this clarifies
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Old 05-06-2003, 11:23 PM   #7
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yeah thanks!, okay so check it: I went to home depot and of course, with my luck, they didn't have what I needed. Instead I found this cut pipe, its 3 inches by 27 inches and since it was cut they gave it to me for free. Also instead of caps, I found a great cap but on top of that it also functions as a great stand... not letting the structure fall! So I am thinking this: Instead of using the normal width of 4 inches I'll use the 3 inches and make the de-nitrator a bit taller, to accomodate the number of bio balls, plus my tank is only 29G anyway. As you can tell, I love DIY stuff, its fun for me, and it goes hand in hand with my best hobby freshwater tanks - So yeah my de-nitrator will be 3 inches instead of the 4, and I am thinking of making it about 23 inches tall instead of the 18 8O - I know this will make the force of the water going through a little tricky to find.. but hey, hope it works and not smell!
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Old 08-19-2003, 08:51 PM   #8
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Electrobes,

Any luck with this?
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Old 08-19-2003, 09:24 PM   #9
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Tim

How is your coil working, now approx 7 months later? Have you had any jam-ups or glitches?
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Old 09-22-2003, 07:14 PM   #10
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*bump*
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