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Old 09-10-2008, 12:08 PM   #1
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Sulfur Denitrator

Contemplating building one of these. Anyone built one and/or running one now? If I do , it would be gravity fed from the overflow maybe recirculating dripping back into the sump.

My son wants me to build out another 90 for the game room so I may wait till then and add it as a part of that build so I can build the stand the enough room.
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Old 09-10-2008, 12:55 PM   #2
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I had a denitraitor but it was one of those that anerobic bacteria did the job. Worked pretty good too.
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Old 09-10-2008, 01:43 PM   #3
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Same thing just a different media. Most I've seen are 4-6" tube varieties. I'd rather have a short fat one (no jokes please)for space consideration.

Standard denitrators are the most basic type and consist of simple chambers through which a very slow flow of water is passed providng a better environment for the growth of denitrifying bacteria than standard external power filters, so they tend to be more effective at removing nitrate than conventional filters. This type of denitrators are usually the least effective form among denitrators.

Carbon-fed denitrators need to be dosed daily with sugar or alcohol to keep the filter running effectively and are more efficient than the standard types where the bacteria have to find carbon in the water. Some of the latest units now come with a special media that slowly releases a separate carbon source for the bacteria, which makes them quite low maintenance. You know which brand I am referring too, right?

Sulphur denitrator is the latest approach to use sulphur beads as the media to encourages the growth of the bacteria which oxidise sulphur to produce sulphate and reduce nitrate to nitrogen gas in the process. This means there’s no need to add a carbon source like alcohol because the bacteria get everything they need from the sulphur medium and the water.
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:52 PM   #4
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That was a pretty good post Captain. I wish I could add more reputation points to you but it says I have to give them to others before I can give you any more. Great info there.
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Old 09-10-2008, 03:57 PM   #5
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Great post! What kind of flow are we talking?
I have you covered Mike.
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Old 09-10-2008, 04:14 PM   #6
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Trying to work that out. Some use a pump to get pressure into the reactor, other gravity depending on the setup location. Then there is the recommended recirculation loop that is supposed to dramatically increase the contact time and the process. There is a HUGE thread on RC about it. I'll post the link later.

For me I was thinking gravity out of a HOB overflow (so if the siphon breaks I don't get wet feet), let it gravity feed to the bottom and drip from there into the sumo and skimmer. Then if I REALLY REALLY have to I can drill out and add the recirculation loop with a powerhead or something.

Everything I read it seems to have more plus than minus, though it is going to eat away your alk and screw with (lower) your PH.

But it seems like a simple build, much like the scrubber. My main thing is I really don't want this 4 foot tube thing I'd rather go short and fat but I'm just not sure if the loss of height would negatively affect the pressure I need from the non-pumped gravity feed.

I got time to work through it, the new 90 build won't get started for another month or so.

Figured I might get some good suggestions or interesting banter on the topic.

I will tell you the results people seem to get are outstanding.. 100ppm to 0-5 in days to weeks. I'ma sucker for a pretty face so I tend to over feed and well .... hence my DIY interest.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:12 PM   #7
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A possible suggestion. You may want to think about using a ball valve to restrict or increase flow into the unit......
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Old 09-11-2008, 10:52 AM   #8
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The design will be based on 1/4" Polyethylene Tubing and John Guest fittings. The main fitting hooked into the external overflow box (like u use on an ro device). It will flow down into the denitrator , possibly recirculate there, and out of the bottom thru another John Guest value (with a restrictor on both the intake and outtake side).

The key to whole thing seems to be maintaining enough contact with the bacteria and the sulfur long enough for the bacteria to be fed so they don't start feeding off the sulfur and creating sulfate gas as a byproduct. This is done by controlling the outtake amount (and even better by recirculating). Once you get the flow right so that you have 0 nitrartes coming out and no rotten egg smell (meaning there enough bacteria to consume the nitrate and not too many to cause them to start to consume the sulfur) you know you have it set right. Then you just wait for all the aquarium water to slowly cycle through the denitrator.

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