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View Full Version : When to start running GFO?


jraker
09/22/2015, 08:47 PM
i am getting a gfo reaction soon, and i am wondering when to start running it
my phosphates are approx 0.2-0.1ppm
the person at the LFS said that i should lower my phosphates, then add the reactor, is this true?

also, what reactor is best? phosban or BRS media reactor?

thanks in advance

thegrun
09/22/2015, 10:57 PM
I would say that your phosphates are high enough to warrant running a reactor. I'm not sure what your LFS person is Talking about, the purpose for running GFO is to reduce phosphates, why wouldn't you run it? I haven't used the phosban reactor, but the BRS runs well. I suspect there isn't a big difference between the two so let the price dictate the brand.

Isaacs55
09/23/2015, 12:31 AM
It's best to get phosphates as low as you can before you add a reactor only because you will run through your GFO relatively quick, and then end up having to buy more. Adding GFO to a high phosphate tank would be a waste. Well not completely a waist cuz some is better than none. It would be more counter productive if you got it low first. Your GFO will last way longer this way.

tkeracer619
09/23/2015, 02:11 AM
There is a lot of misconception with phosphates in a reef tank. The phosphate ion freely bonds with calcium carbonate and that bond is easily broken. Water however is very poor at holding phosphate in suspension.

The outer layer of your rock has phosphates bound to it and there is phosphate floating around in the water. If you do a water change all you do is remove what is in the water column. Lets say you do a 20% water change. You drop the level instantly 20% but since the water was only holding 5% of the total phosphate in the system all you did was remove 1% of the total phosphate because the phosphate bound in the rock will try to reach an equilibrium with the water. You may very well be adding it quicker than removing it via water changes.

GFO is by far the best way to drop phosphates in a typical setting, there are great ways of maintaining in or exporting it in the long run and there are also cheaper ways to export it but I feel in a running system that has a phosphate issue GFO is the most appropriate method.

GFO exhausts rapidly when first installed on a tank with a phosphate issue which often makes it seem like it is doing little. Rest assured it uptakes a set amount of phosphate per gram of gfo. It is simply the bound phosphates leaching out of the rock and trying to create an equilibrium with the water that makes it appear to be of little use.

On very large tanks where GFO becomes cost prohibitive people often recharge the GFO, it is a rather simple process but does take some rather dangerous chemicals. If you need to recharge it there are many tutorials, just proceed with caution.

oseymour
09/23/2015, 08:00 AM
There is a lot of misconception with phosphates in a reef tank. The phosphate ion freely bonds with calcium carbonate and that bond is easily broken. Water however is very poor at holding phosphate in suspension.

The outer layer of your rock has phosphates bound to it and there is phosphate floating around in the water. If you do a water change all you do is remove what is in the water column. Lets say you do a 20% water change. You drop the level instantly 20% but since the water was only holding 5% of the total phosphate in the system all you did was remove 1% of the total phosphate because the phosphate bound in the rock will try to reach an equilibrium with the water. You may very well be adding it quicker than removing it via water changes.

GFO is by far the best way to drop phosphates in a typical setting, there are great ways of maintaining in or exporting it in the long run and there are also cheaper ways to export it but I feel in a running system that has a phosphate issue GFO is the most appropriate method.

GFO exhausts rapidly when first installed on a tank with a phosphate issue which often makes it seem like it is doing little. Rest assured it uptakes a set amount of phosphate per gram of gfo. It is simply the bound phosphates leaching out of the rock and trying to create an equilibrium with the water that makes it appear to be of little use.

On very large tanks where GFO becomes cost prohibitive people often recharge the GFO, it is a rather simple process but does take some rather dangerous chemicals. If you need to recharge it there are many tutorials, just proceed with caution.

I just tested my phosphate with a Hanna ULR and it read .1. Are you saying my phosphate is higher the checker is just reading whats in the water column. Should i be running GFO?

Isaacs55
09/23/2015, 10:10 AM
There is a lot of misconception with phosphates in a reef tank. The phosphate ion freely bonds with calcium carbonate and that bond is easily broken. Water however is very poor at holding phosphate in suspension.

The outer layer of your rock has phosphates bound to it and there is phosphate floating around in the water. If you do a water change all you do is remove what is in the water column. Lets say you do a 20% water change. You drop the level instantly 20% but since the water was only holding 5% of the total phosphate in the system all you did was remove 1% of the total phosphate because the phosphate bound in the rock will try to reach an equilibrium with the water. You may very well be adding it quicker than removing it via water changes.

GFO is by far the best way to drop phosphates in a typical setting, there are great ways of maintaining in or exporting it in the long run and there are also cheaper ways to export it but I feel in a running system that has a phosphate issue GFO is the most appropriate method.

GFO exhausts rapidly when first installed on a tank with a phosphate issue which often makes it seem like it is doing little. Rest assured it uptakes a set amount of phosphate per gram of gfo. It is simply the bound phosphates leaching out of the rock and trying to create an equilibrium with the water that makes it appear to be of little use.

On very large tanks where GFO becomes cost prohibitive people often recharge the GFO, it is a rather simple process but does take some rather dangerous chemicals. If you need to recharge it there are many tutorials, just proceed with caution.

I didn't know you GFO was rechargeable. I thought DI Resin was the only thing that could be recharged? That's great to hear though. Time to read and conduct a few science experiments lol it makes sense though with phosphates being bound to the rock rather then only being in the water column. Like a tank with high nitrates being bound in DSB or crushed coral or also soaked up by the rock when doing water changes will only take it out of the water column, but quickly equilibriated back in the water column.

nuxx
09/23/2015, 11:50 AM
Agreed I'd start now, but start at about 1/3rd the recommended amount.

Through some bad test kits our water was at 64ppm Nitrates and .41 PO4.

After about 1000 gallons of changes, we were at 10ppm Nitrates and .19 PO4.

After a week of GFO, we were down to .03 PO4. Now we're at .0 all the time.

Mark75
09/23/2015, 11:56 AM
GFO is rechargeable but from my research it is a lengthy process, not worth the effort to me.

nuxx
09/23/2015, 11:56 AM
Just get the cheap stuff on Amazon or eBay. Works fine.

Isaacs55
09/23/2015, 12:18 PM
Just get the cheap stuff on Amazon or eBay. Works fine.

Which GFO from amazon do you buy? Cuz I buy the expensive BRS GFO

nuxx
09/23/2015, 01:15 PM
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RI5M34Q?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00

jraker
09/23/2015, 03:21 PM
thank you for the responses. i will be getting a reactor (whichever costs less, probably phosban) and i will take your advice on the GFO. this helps a lot

tkeracer619
09/23/2015, 06:07 PM
Are you saying my phosphate is higher the checker is just reading whats in the water column. Should i be running GFO?

Yes, you are correct. I would run GFO.

tmz
09/24/2015, 12:39 AM
Calcium carbonate surfaces like rock and coral sand will bind some PO4 which as the level in the water drops will equilibrate adding more to the water. After keeping po4 low in the water for a while the level on the rock and sand will be the same as the water and will stop leaching.

I prefer a PO4 level of 0.02ppm to 0.04 ppm( per hanah 713).

I like the phosban reactor over the BRS reactor. I use BRS HC gfo because: it's dense, adds little to no dust and fine after a brief rinse and doesn't grind up. It also tolerates regeneration well which can save on costs.

jason2459
09/24/2015, 12:59 AM
Yep, I switched to the High capacity stuff too because it regenerates a lot better then the regular gfo where some of it turns to mush and rinses away. I'll regenerate it 2-3 times and lasts me well for a very long time. I rarely have had to use it. I have switched to Aquamaxx HC GFO as it's the cheapest HC GFO I've found so far and as far as I can tell is exactly the same as the BRS stuff. If anyone finds any cheaper I'm all ears.

I also hate the BRS reactor as I think it's too narrow and leads to more clumping even with the media tumbling. But I think they have a larger diameter one I have not tried. I'm currently using an innovative marine minimax full sized and have been very happy with it so far. I just had to run some gfo due to some programming and feeding mishap on my apex feeder. lol

tmz
09/24/2015, 01:15 AM
I've gotten as many as ten regenerations.

jason2459
09/24/2015, 01:20 AM
I've gotten as many as ten regenerations.

That's awesome. I'll never need to buy more GFO at that rate. I'll keep going then. I've not thrown any of it away.

tmz
09/24/2015, 01:33 AM
Store it wet in RO water. Randy Farely suggested to me the pores may close up or crack otherwise. I use plastic coffee cans for the whole process and storage. It doesn't degrade wet and there is no bacterial issue.

jason2459
09/24/2015, 01:35 AM
Thanks. That's a really good tip.

tmz
09/24/2015, 01:39 AM
You are welcome.

jraker
09/24/2015, 04:17 PM
brs reactor is on its way. hopefully this helps.

Buzz1329
09/24/2015, 07:57 PM
Good info, thanks!.

But can you point me to a site/thread that explains how to regenerate HC GFO?

Much appreciated,

Mike

jason2459
09/24/2015, 10:32 PM
Good info, thanks!.

But can you point me to a site/thread that explains how to regenerate HC GFO?

Much appreciated,

Mike

Two links I use for reference. Just be careful.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2010/10/chemistry

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1734717&page=24

tmz
09/25/2015, 10:27 AM
Mike,

Here's my thread on it:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1838961&highlight=gfo+on+the+cheap