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Old 08-28-2013, 01:56 AM   #1
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Get rid of nitrates without more WC's?

I keep seeing threads about high nitrates and I know how much of a chore WC's can be. Just because you have high nitrates doesn't mean you should have to commit your every free minute to a partial water change. Don't get me wrong, WC's are essential to getting rid of other harmful wastes that we cannot test for. But once a week for a typical aquarist should suffice for the nitrate plagued as well. The solution is a nitrate reactor. Setups cost around 200+ which is out of the question for most of us. Here is a link to a simple, very effective, and the part I know your waiting for, CHEAP solution. Here is a link to the build. Hope this helps. Read the notes in the thread carefully about GPH (50 or less) and the use of Seachems Denitrate as its very important to the functionality of this build.
http://www.ultimatereef.net/forums/s...d.php?t=387870
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:27 AM   #2
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I like it, very nice find. Personally, I have an extra HOB filter that I plan on throwing some phosphate removing media and just using that. It seems like even though it would be a little less efficient the ease of cleaning would be a good plan for us lazy reefers
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Old 08-28-2013, 08:28 AM   #3
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Thanks for that, I'm bookmarking it

And Mebbid...I think you mean "nitrate removing media", not phosphate...though I suppose you could run Phosguard in the reactor as well....
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:53 AM   #4
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Very smart way of purifying the tank water. But, a bit labor intensive for me, a non-handy type. I removed most of the nitrates and all the other forms of nitrogen in some of my tanks by dropping the roots of the Chinese Evergreen into the tank water, the leaves are kept above to take in the CO2 from the air. The plant needs only subdued, room light and a little aeration around the roots.

The nitrates stay at or below 10 ppm in most setups. Not nearly as much work. But, if you like to tinker, then go for it.

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Old 08-28-2013, 11:24 AM   #5
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Thanks for that, I'm bookmarking it

And Mebbid...I think you mean "nitrate removing media", not phosphate...though I suppose you could run Phosguard in the reactor as well....
Nope, I definitely mean phosphate. My nitrates already read 0; I've just been looking for a way to drop my phosphates a little more.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:13 PM   #6
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I like it, very nice find. Personally, I have an extra HOB filter that I plan on throwing some phosphate removing media and just using that. It seems like even though it would be a little less efficient the ease of cleaning would be a good plan for us lazy reefers
Yeah I hear ya, in that case make sure you use matrix and not denitrate.
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Old 08-28-2013, 12:26 PM   #7
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Nitrogen Forms

Aquatic plants, if you have them, will need some nitrogen for cell growth. Never heard of a cube of water with fish and plants having no nitrates. How does bacteria live with nothing to eat? The tank would lose it's ability to cycle.

If you had a test kit that was accurate enough, I'm sure the water would show traces of nitrates. Even with land plants emersed in my tanks that use all three forms of nitrogen, there must be some left in the water. They're needed to maintain healthy water conditions.

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Old 08-28-2013, 12:33 PM   #8
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Aquatic plants, if you have them, will need some nitrogen for cell growth. Never heard of a cube of water with fish and plants having no nitrates. How does bacteria live with nothing to eat? The tank would lose it's ability to cycle.

If you had a test kit that was accurate enough, I'm sure the water would show traces of nitrates. Even with land plants emersed in my tanks that use all three forms of nitrogen, there must be some left in the water. They're needed to maintain healthy water conditions.

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I'm referring to my salt water tank

My macro algae devours all my nitrates but isn't quite up to the task concerning phosphates.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:51 PM   #9
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Can I buy the nitrate removing stuff at a petsmart... And can you tell me some good products for nitrate removing stones
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:24 AM   #10
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SeaChem Matrix does a great job at removing 'trates....
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:16 AM   #11
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Hello again Fish...

Research a company by the name of Acurel. Seems to me, they have a cut to fit poly fiber pad that works to remove nitrates from the tank water.

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Old 08-29-2013, 09:21 AM   #12
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I don't think that Acurel pad would support denitrifying bacteria, which remove nitrates. It may use some other chemical reaction to break them down, but then what is it introducing into the tank?

Matrix (along with not overfeeding) works for me.
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:31 AM   #13
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I looked into those pads and everything I've heard from them stated that there was no visible impact on their nitrate levels from using them.
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Old 08-29-2013, 11:12 AM   #14
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I've used the Acurel poly fiber in my tanks for about a year with good results. I do large, frequent water changes anyway, so there's no need to test the tank water. There's no time for nitrogen to build up before I change out the water again. It's always pure. I particularly like the clear water I get from the dense material in the pads. The stuff catches just about everything that floats in the water.

You can "Google" Acurel and check out their site and make your own decision.

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Old 08-29-2013, 12:57 PM   #15
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Yeah I've used those before, I think they are ok I just wouldn't want to have to keep buying the media. I like one and done processes, not in the ignorant fashion but the smart one. I know you don't like tinkering Bradbury but some of us like to see our work unfold before us so we can give ourselves a pat on the back for beating the system
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:15 PM   #16
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Matrix is one and done. I just rinse mine in old tank water if it looks like it has any buildup on it.
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Old 08-30-2013, 02:47 PM   #17
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This is great, I was just in the planning processes of putting together a diy reactor to run various media and this is exactly it! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:18 PM   #18
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This is great, I was just in the planning processes of putting together a diy reactor to run various media and this is exactly it! Thanks for sharing!
No problem! I'm making one soon for my turtle tAnk
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:19 PM   #19
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Nitrates is a good indicator of the total amount of pollution in a tank.

Water changes are super easy, especially on a weekly basis. IMO/IME it would not be practical to do water changes more frequently than once weekly, but it can be done. If a tank is accumulating significant nitrate in between water changes, then there is something wrong with the system. These tanks IMO should not be using any kind of nitrAte reducer or plants because it would be impossible to know how dirty the water really is.

These nitrate reducers and plants are great for stable tanks that do not and WILL NOT have changes to weekly nitrate levels. Nitrate level could increase due to increase fish load, feeding, or fish growth.

IMO nitrate reducing devices are not worth the time or money in the freshwater world since it should not make a difference in routine maintenance and water change. I've spent several dozens of hours researching this topic and have tried adding nitrAte reducing devices like pond matrix, but it was for the purpose of keeping the water cleaner in between water changes. There was no other good explanation I can give for getting these kinds of nutrient exports. I would not use it in overstocked tanks, just like many terrible cichlid tanks out there.
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Old 08-30-2013, 11:54 PM   #20
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Nitrates is a good indicator of the total amount of pollution in a tank.

Water changes are super easy, especially on a weekly basis. IMO/IME it would not be practical to do water changes more frequently than once weekly, but it can be done. If a tank is accumulating significant nitrate in between water changes, then there is something wrong with the system. These tanks IMO should not be using any kind of nitrAte reducer or plants because it would be impossible to know how dirty the water really is.

These nitrate reducers and plants are great for stable tanks that do not and WILL NOT have changes to weekly nitrate levels. Nitrate level could increase due to increase fish load, feeding, or fish growth.

IMO nitrate reducing devices are not worth the time or money in the freshwater world since it should not make a difference in routine maintenance and water change. I've spent several dozens of hours researching this topic and have tried adding nitrAte reducing devices like pond matrix, but it was for the purpose of keeping the water cleaner in between water changes. There was no other good explanation I can give for getting these kinds of nutrient exports. I would not use it in overstocked tanks, just like many terrible cichlid tanks out there.
I hear what your saying but this device is not intended for those who are a novice at maintaining parameters. I guess I should have made that clear, but the audience who responded I think are the more educated aquarists. What I do not agree with is that high nitrates means something is wrong with an individual system. Not everyone can afford RO/DI systems or buy distilled water for every WC. Many people have taps that are high in nitrates and of course this will contribute. Should they consider better purification methods? Absolutely. The purpose of this is to reduce nitrates in heavy load tanks, but NOT do less WC's. Like you stated, once a week is enough. It's a buffer, not a replacement for routine WC's. I agree with you 100% that it's purpose is to keep the water cleaner in between changes. Totally necessary? No, but helpful for someone like me with turtles.
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