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View Full Version : Help me choose nutrient reduction methods


NewbReefer316
10/18/2016, 11:12 AM
I'm planning out my basement display and grow out system and looking for some help deciding on a couple different things.

I originally wanted to have a separate display and grow-out/frag system but decided to combine them to make my life a little easier.

System will consist of a 90g display with 2 50g Low Boy frag tanks 48x24x10 plumbed together. I will start off with mostly softies and LPS with a couple easy SPS and as the system balances out I'll eventually add more SPS.

Here's my question, if you could choose 2-3 of the following options to work together for nutrient reduction what would you choose:

Oversized skimmer
Biopellets
Large refugium
Algae Turf Scrubber
ULNS (Zeovit or AquaForest)
MarinePure blocks
Siporax

Pandagobyguy
10/19/2016, 12:30 PM
Ats/skimmer/LR
imo least maintanence and provides nutrient reduction of N and P (in all forms)
All bacteria based methods will still end up nitrates rising (and therefore more wcs)

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pisanoal
10/20/2016, 08:02 PM
All bacteria based methods will still end up nitrates rising (and therefore more wcs)

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Incorrect. Anaerobic denitrifying bacteria reduce NO3 back to N2 which gasses off. LR accomplishes this, as would Siporax as it is basically super efficient LR. All LR provides is surface area and pore size adequate for multiple layers of nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria. Phosphate reduction is also seen via bacterial methods. I voted for siporax instead of extra LR in the sump. Much more efficient use of space and probably cheaper. Can get it on ebay for a pretty good price. 1 L of siporax for every 100L of water volume. I got 5L for around $55 which is good for about 125 gallons. Use the pond size (25mm) stuff if you go this route. There are some really good threads on it

mr9iron
10/25/2016, 09:54 PM
ATS/Skimmer/LR/Fuge

Mark9
11/02/2016, 06:35 AM
I use none of these "methods" and my nitrates are 0 in both of my tanks.
Lots of live rock, adequate skimmer and I don't overstock.

baringcs
11/06/2016, 10:06 AM
Incorrect. Anaerobic denitrifying bacteria reduce NO3 back to N2 which gasses off. LR accomplishes this, as would Siporax as it is basically super efficient LR. All LR provides is surface area and pore size adequate for multiple layers of nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria. Phosphate reduction is also seen via bacterial methods. I voted for siporax instead of extra LR in the sump. Much more efficient use of space and probably cheaper. Can get it on ebay for a pretty good price. 1 L of siporax for every 100L of water volume. I got 5L for around $55 which is good for about 125 gallons. Use the pond size (25mm) stuff if you go this route. There are some really good threads on it

Yep and it works well enough that some folk have to dose nitrates as they have gone to 0 but still need to reduce phosphate levels more or dose phosphates as they are at 0 and still have nitrates that need to be reduced... I like the siporax/marine pure blocks with vv dosing and good skimming.

NewbReefer316
11/07/2016, 11:59 AM
Yep and it works well enough that some folk have to dose nitrates as they have gone to 0 but still need to reduce phosphate levels more or dose phosphates as they are at 0 and still have nitrates that need to be reduced... I like the siporax/marine pure blocks with vv dosing and good skimming.

Thanks for the input. What is vv dosing? Vodka/vinegar carbon dosing?

Also, is there a reason you went with siporax over the marine pure?

baringcs
11/07/2016, 12:40 PM
Some say tank water shows elevated levels of Aluminum on triton water tests when using marine pure blocks. I don't think any negative reaction has been shown other than some particular leather corals though. But could be wrong...

Since my build is new I just decided to have the sump designed to incorporate the 25mm siporax pond media... I also have marine pure blocks and may decide to use them..

yes vv is vodka/vinegar aka carbon dosing which is what zeovit is as well.

75mixedreef
11/07/2016, 01:12 PM
I voted for ATS and fuge, but you do not need a large one to have good effect. Same for the skimmer. I prefer redundancy, so having a fuge, an ATS, and a skimmer will really help you out. Other methods are too much hassle or cost to set up. I don't want to have to dose crap or buy a ton of extra equipment. I prefer a set and (almost) forget. Trim the macro algae and the ATS, and empty the skimmer cup, clean neck if needed. That's all I want to do once a week when I have time alone. Doing something every day is not practical with kids around. I usually get an hour or so once a week or more though so the occasional maintenance works better for me. Plus with kids, low cost is better.

*One more thing since I see a lot of oversized skimmer votes. People often jump to a larger skimmer as their fix-all tool. I think oversized skimmers are ineffective and begin to remove too much to the point where your water does not have much for food content for your corals and filter feeders. Removing excess food before it decays is good, removing all food though is not. Skimmers do not remove nitrates and phosphates so they do not replace biological nutrient export, they only supplement it. Get a properly sized skimmer. Skim dry if you plan on "dirty" or nutrient rich water for corals that like a lot of food, or skim wet if you plan on corals that like pristine water like acros. You don't need to go with an oversized skimmer that costs more just because you want the water to be cleaner.

baringcs
11/07/2016, 02:43 PM
its not a hassle to squirt a vv maintenance dose in the sump while I'm feeding the fish and looking at the corals each evening.... IMO that's a lot less work that cutting macro and cleaning an ATS screen..

as far as cost, a liter of vodka is like $10 for the cheap stuff and a gallon of vinegar is a couple of dollars..it mixes at 8:1 vinegar:vodka not gonna break the bank.. if it does this is probably the wrong hobby to be in. I don't have to pay for replacement bulbs or electricity vv dosing..

I understand the demands of kids, have raised two.. my daughter was on a travelling softball team.. every fri/sat/sunday we were gone somewhere playing...

I agree about the skimmer.. get one sized for the bio load..

ali1
11/07/2016, 03:30 PM
Vodka has been effective for zeroing out nitrates. ATS, skimmer, and fuge plays some role in reduction , but never wiped it out. I still use these methods in my tank now for supplemental filtration

75mixedreef
11/07/2016, 03:41 PM
Cost is not the factor for vv dosing, but brand name stuff and reactors do cost a fair amount. Plus they take up space that I do not have much of. The issue with the hassle and kids is that every time I am at the tank, they are too. Feeding is easy because they can watch the fish eat, but going into the sump is a pain because they want to get their hands wet. With kids, locks on the sump are a must. Plus I forget to do things like dose every day. I sometimes go a couple days without feeding too (I really need to invest in a auto feeder, maybe I could talk to the wife about Christmas). That's why I don't like the daily dosing, its just not for me, weekly maintenance is much easier.

LED bulbs are like $20 on Amazon, they last for years and us 24W so you can't say that's much power. Maybe 300Wh a day on 12 hours per day when the power company charges by the KWh. Around here its 11 cents per KWh, so I'm looking at around $1 per month to run this light. The ATS is fed off the drain from the tank so I don't even have the pump to pay for in energy costs or for buying the pump. Grabbing algae off the screen and tossing it once a week seems pretty simple to me. Its easier than cleaning the skimmer cup at least.

NewbReefer316
11/08/2016, 10:04 AM
If I decide to dose anything it will have to be on a pump. I've got a little 25g tank upstairs that I started the aquaforest method on and I've probably missed more doses that I've made here lately.

I'm leaning towards going with either siporax or marinepure with a separate fuge and good sized skimmer for now. The main reason is to utilize the equipment I already have. Later down the line I will be looking at adding a ATS and cheato reactor to potentially replace the fuge. I absolutely hate dealing with filter socks but realize the importance of mechanical filtration so I'm trying to find a good sump design with easy access to the socks.

yraveh
11/10/2016, 08:01 AM
a liter of vodka is like $10 for the cheap stuff and a gallon of vinegar is a couple of dollars..it mixes at 8:1 vinegar:vodka

do you mix them prior to adding them to the DT? whats the advantage of dosing with both over just one of them?

organism
11/14/2016, 12:07 PM
Use those marine pure blocks at your own peril, they spike aluminum and vanadium which I've had endless problems with.

Guillo
11/14/2016, 07:36 PM
Water changes

baringcs
11/22/2016, 12:05 PM
Use those marine pure blocks at your own peril, they spike aluminum and vanadium which I've had endless problems with.

Hey organism,

Would you mind expounding on the types of issues you have had?

Like I said in my post I'm going siporax route but have some marine pure blocks that I purchased just before folk started talking about issues.... :sad2:

Would be interested to hear your experience and what types of corals had issues.

organism
11/22/2016, 01:44 PM
Sure here's an older thread. Tons of softies and LPS issues that all went away after I pulled the marine pure blocks.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2570210&highlight=aluminum

NewbReefer316
11/22/2016, 02:32 PM
Blah, I just bought 2 8x8x4 bricks and 2 8x8x1 blocks and designed a sump around them to use in my system. Just read about the aluminum being potentially hazardous to shrooms and LPS... My system will be predominantly LPS and softies :(

Greg 45
11/22/2016, 04:06 PM
Why isn't a sulfur denitrator added to this list

NewbReefer316
11/22/2016, 04:18 PM
Why isn't a sulfur denitrator added to this list

I'm a newb and don't know much about them. Seen a couple references to them in threads but not much talk about them that I've come across.