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My Bio Pellet Experiance


reefnjunkie
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I suppose it'll be an ongoing thread I will update over time ( at least I sure hope so, becuase if not something did not go as planned)

 

First a little background- it was not long ago I was saying how I would not be trying or using bio pellets since my NO3 was nearly zero and my PO4 was in the .02-.05 range.

 

It may have been a coincidence, but ever since the impeller on my skimmer broke (and it took a week to get a replacment) I've not been able to get my NO3 below 25 for any length of time. Granted I feed my fish very well and my skimmer is a beast but even after 20% water changes weekly (110 gallons(laugh)) the NO3 still gets back to 25ish. I tried the ATS for about a month with no change so I thought its time after reading for nearly a month every possible thread about bio reactors I could find

 

I went with the large Aquamaxx reactor and their pellets with a 400GPH pump. I was scared enough from reading all the threads were people basiclly nuked their tanks from stripping the NO3-PO4 to fast and not feeding enough to compensate for no nutrients that I am starting with much less that suggested.

 

My goal is reducing the NO3 (not eliminating them) maybe keeping them in the <5 range but still allowing me to feed as much as I do

 

The bag said .5-1 liter per 125 gallons to start and I opted to go with .5 liter for roughly 550 gallons. The return is right in front of the skimmer intake and the pellets are flowing/rolling well. I have left the GFO reactors on line even after reading some say not to so the pellets will colonize faster, but others say different

 

Day 1;

NO3- 25+

PO4-.08

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Hey Brad,

 

You have inspired me to also run NP pellets now. Since bacteria that live on the NP pellets eat much more nitrate than phosphate, I'll keep running GFO at the same time. I'm going to start with a small amout of pellets as you have described.

 

Carbon dosing ya!

Mark

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Hey Brad,

 

You have inspired me to also run NP pellets now. Since bacteria that live on the NP pellets eat much more nitrate than phosphate, I'll keep running GFO at the same time. I'm going to start with a small amout of pellets as you have described.

 

Carbon dosing ya!

Mark

 

You have inspired me to....................wait and see what happens with your tanks(laugh). Hope it goes well!

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Bio pellets work great. I used then for over a year and my tank was super clean and I dont ever remember testing nitrates in my old system. I would advise to still run gfo since the pellets reduce nitrates a lot faster then po4 and the po4 build may darken the Sps a bit. Overall I think they are a great way to dose carbon and people who have problems didn't know what they were doing and set them up wrong.

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There was more to that quote' date=' I sound really evil in your version.[/quote']

 

DOH! Sorry James, it was the paranoia in my that made me ask-i did edit your reply but thats why I asked if I was reading it wrong, I liked the first part (laugh)

 

Kriz2fer, I did run across a thread (or two) where you mentioned your experiance and thanks for chiming in. Overall if done properly they can be a good thing, there are common practices that have resulted in negative experiances, one of which is the initial amount used, I may have gone a little extreme on the cautious side using only 500ml for my water volume but from all the 'bad' stories I have read it seemed safest.

 

I did run across a few posts where people mentioned a depletion in K so I may be picking up a Potassium test kit I have some of Brightwell's Potassion-P if needed.

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Ill watch this, it seems like some educated people with higher risk tanks, it has the best shot at some good answers

 

One thing I am curious is what made you look into it? The test results? Or is something looking funny? I guess I am wondering if this a preventative thing? or are you looking to fix something? Does the increased nitrate/phosphate look like it is doing damage or are you just trying to stop it from getting worse

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Ill watch this, it seems like some educated people with higher risk tanks, it has the best shot at some good answers

 

One thing I am curious is what made you look into it? The test results? Or is something looking funny? I guess I am wondering if this a preventative thing? or are you looking to fix something? Does the increased nitrate/phosphate look like it is doing damage or are you just trying to stop it from getting worse

 

I guess it has been the elevated NO3 and the cost involved wit the GFO, granted I have found threads that explain regenerating GFO but thats another thread(whistle)

 

I'll admit I feed my fish quite a bit, but a fat fish is a happy (healthy) fish. My skimmer is rated is rated 400 gallons heavy bio load, 500 medium and 700 light SWC 250 1A Extreme

 

http://www.saltwaterconnection.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=38

 

I would say I'm medium at best and roughly 500-550 gallons. The impeller on my skimmer broke awhile back and prior to that with all things being the same I was keeping my NO3 at nearly 0 with my salifert test (using the low range) granted I had not check in about a month prior to the impeller breaking and thats only becuase the feeding regiment was the same, actually everything was the same and every time I tested it was the same nearly 0.

 

After the impeller busted my NO3 rose to over 25 and even with weekly 100 gallon water changes the best I was getting was a NO3 of 10- I will admit, I cold cut back some feeding and maybe I will but I have consider pellets only because I am not going to dose vinegar on a daily basis. I've followed the pellets for nearly a year and thought if I was diligent enough I was ready to give them a try.

One of the biggest things I have read is that people dont add nutrients back into the tank well I got that covered- I have a LOT to lose so believe me I am being very cautious, maybe I do go the vinegar route, maybe a denitrator-time will tell

 

I've talked to folks that have used them succesfully and still do so.........we will see

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I guess it has been the elevated NO3 and the cost involved wit the GFO, granted I have found threads that explain regenerating GFO but thats another thread(whistle)

 

I'll admit I feed my fish quite a bit, but a fat fish is a happy (healthy) fish. My skimmer is rated is rated 400 gallons heavy bio load, 500 medium and 700 light SWC 250 1A Extreme

 

 

I hear you on the GFO cost thing...its crazy!

 

Your feeding style is one that is shared by many of my clients. I am very interested to see how it works. They want spotless tanks, flawless corals, but want to feed a ton! It does lead to crazy water change schedules, which gets costly. The one downfall I would have is only getting to visit these tanks weekly at best. I would need a tried-and-true method. I hope you find it! But be careful, I know you are, cuz I have heard about, and seen, your bank of corals!

 

on a side note how you like the skimmer? I was thinking of getting the same one for a large tank build...probably around your gallonage. The one thing I am wary of is if they are finiky to dail in and dont do well with changes (putting your hand in the water, water changes, etc). Like I said about weekly visits, I need dependability, even if it sacrifices a little performance.

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I just got my bio pellet reactor going today. My pellet maker reccomends 50 - 250 ml of pellets per 100 gallons of system water, so I started with 250 ml. It doesn't look like much in a big reactor and doesn't seem to be flowing evenly.

 

Brad, did you add any bacteria to the reactor to jump start it? BRS talks about waiting 4-8 weeks for results.

 

Mark

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I ran about a liter of pellets in my 500 gallon(aprox) system for over a year. I really didn't notice a large decrease in nitrate drop... and after about 6 months I got fed up and started vinegar/vodka dosing. A month of ramping up to some pretty large numbers and my nitrates had really come down. About that time I started a sulfer nitrate reactor. Danik had one and it was pushing out 0 nitrates constantly for months on end without any real maintenance so I built a larger version for my tank. Within a couple of months of cycling I was pushing out a steady stream of 0 nitrate water! I let it run for over a year with absolutely no maintenance until I decided to clean all of the detritus that had settled in the reactor over the year out (I don't filter the water prior to entering the reactor). My nitrates went up to 25-50 within a week! The reactor quickly cycled back up and I am continuing to put out nitrate free water with 30-40 fish, some of them pretty large. I pulled the pellets out of my system after the nitrate reactor cycled and I haven't looked back. I think the sulfer reactor is one of the easiest and best pieces of equipment I have put on my tank.

 

Mike

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I just got my bio pellet reactor going today. My pellet maker reccomends 50 - 250 ml of pellets per 100 gallons of system water, so I started with 250 ml. It doesn't look like much in a big reactor and doesn't seem to be flowing evenly.

 

Brad, did you add any bacteria to the reactor to jump start it? BRS talks about waiting 4-8 weeks for results. You can seed it with bacteria but it is not gonna hurt of you don't.

 

Mark

 

Yes it takes a while for the bacteria to build up, maybe wait for at least a month before noticing any real results. You should post a video of the reactor do we can see the flow rate.

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I had contemplated trying one of these as well but I never have nitrates so I have not worried about it once my tank is fully stocked with fish I may but my bioload is to small and even though I feed heavy its not a problem yet. Also I have not found a nano sized reactor yet either but that would not stop me from building one =)

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I had contemplated trying one of these as well but I never have nitrates so I have not worried about it once my tank is fully stocked with fish I may but my bioload is to small and even though I feed heavy its not a problem yet. Also I have not found a nano sized reactor yet either but that would not stop me from building one =)

 

 

I saw a nano reactor at SEAMAX. Looked pretty cool, I think it was an in sump one.

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on a side note how you like the skimmer? I was thinking of getting the same one for a large tank build...probably around your gallonage. The one thing I am wary of is if they are finiky to dail in and dont do well with changes (putting your hand in the water, water changes, etc). Like I said about weekly visits, I need dependability, even if it sacrifices a little performance.

 

I love the skimmer, and it has never been finiky, I dont adjust it ever, I set it once and there it stays

 

If I understand correctly? You are going about 1/5 the amount the instructions said? this is because you arent trying to remove them all just limit the nutrients? sounds like a good plan

 

I may increase them in time, I started with such a small amount more for the reason I tead a lot of threads where people started with to much and I wanted to be safe not sorry

 

I just got my bio pellet reactor going today. My pellet maker reccomends 50 - 250 ml of pellets per 100 gallons of system water, so I started with 250 ml. It doesn't look like much in a big reactor and doesn't seem to be flowing evenly.

 

Brad, did you add any bacteria to the reactor to jump start it? BRS talks about waiting 4-8 weeks for results.

 

Mark

 

Man thats a huge difference from mine, and quite the range-WTH, 50-250 ml I guess they dont want to get a bad rap for giving poor recommendations/advice(whistle). Mine brand said .5-1 liter per 125 gallons yours 50-250 per 100 (drooler)

 

Also I did not add the bacteria, I thought about it but decided against it. I have heard it takes a few weeks to notice any changes , we will see

 

I ran about a liter of pellets in my 500 gallon(aprox) system for over a year. I really didn't notice a large decrease in nitrate drop... and after about 6 months I got fed up and started vinegar/vodka dosing. A month of ramping up to some pretty large numbers and my nitrates had really come down. About that time I started a sulfer nitrate reactor. Danik had one and it was pushing out 0 nitrates constantly for months on end without any real maintenance so I built a larger version for my tank. Within a couple of months of cycling I was pushing out a steady stream of 0 nitrate water! I let it run for over a year with absolutely no maintenance until I decided to clean all of the detritus that had settled in the reactor over the year out (I don't filter the water prior to entering the reactor). My nitrates went up to 25-50 within a week! The reactor quickly cycled back up and I am continuing to put out nitrate free water with 30-40 fish, some of them pretty large. I pulled the pellets out of my system after the nitrate reactor cycled and I haven't looked back. I think the sulfer reactor is one of the easiest and best pieces of equipment I have put on my tank.

 

Mike

 

Mike I have almost bought a denitrator twice and just never pulled the trigger, I still may, I know they work and honestly forgot about them or I may have gone that route-stil may.

 

 

So I know today is only day 3 and I have yet to test my levels but the skimmer is pulling serious serious black gunk and one of my maximas clams is not openong all the way, my other 5 clams all look great and no changes- I dont like the looks of the clam and I can say from experiances that every clam I have seen looking this way dies, I guess we will see.

 

i need to upload some pics

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Stupid IPad-(wife) It has its limitations(nono)

 

 

Anyway here is the clam;

 

IMG_3951.jpg

 

and every other day except today it looks like this one;

IMG_3952.jpg

 

and here are the others (or some of the others)

IMG_3953.jpg

 

 

This acro has looked this way a lot since starting the pellets;

 

IMG_3954.jpg

 

it used to do this all the time when I fed the tank back when it was in my 75, it does this as there are nutrients in the water so those pellets are surely realeasing some things (expectedly)

 

Believe me, I am eye balling my tank like there is no tomorrow, I think I check the reactor at least 3-4 times a day plus the skimmer-

(nutty)

 

 

Well nearly 72 hours later NO3- 20 from 25

But I did do an 80 gallon water change yesterday in preparation for the new 6 week project I will be starting-

 

here is a teaser pic-

 

IMG_3948.jpg

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I bet you're not. Even though you are using the wrong kind of pellets. :-p You're going to have to eventually at least double the amount to get them lower than 10, I think. I know they work, I just hope you have as good of an experience with them as I have.

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I bet you're not. Even though you are using the wrong kind of pellets. :-p You're going to have to eventually at least double the amount to get them lower than 10' date=' I think. I know they work, I just hope you have as good of an experience with them as I have.[/quote']

 

I know I'll be needing more pellets, I picked up a 500ml bag today but it will be a month at least before I add more

 

I'm really trying to do this on the "overly cautious" side

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