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Old 06/23/2010, 08:14 PM   #1
sedor
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My EcoBak Solid Carbon Source Journey

For those that are not aware Warner Marine has introduced a product similar to the NP Biopellets called EcoBak. Although they are classified to be the same product and achieve the same results as the NP Biopellets, they are actually made quite differently and don't face a lot of the same issues that people have with the NP pellets such as slime, and the need to drive 300+ gph of flow through them to keep them clean and tumbling. They also claim to last slightly longer, remove PO4 slightly "better", and cost considerably less than its current competition. Only downside is at the moment you have to purchase the product directly from Warner Marine, so they can be slightly more difficult to obtain. Hopefully by the time a lot of folks are browsing this thread, that isn't the case any more and they are readily available at any retailer.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Jon Warner directly today regarding this product and purchased 500ml for my 125G tank so I could try it out. My goal is to have completely eliminated the need to dose vodka into my tank within one month, and in turn avoid all the nuisances associated with vodka dosing mainly being visible bacteria cultivating on the glass and in the plumbing. One of the benefits to using a solid carbon pellet such as EcoBak is that it is contained within a reactor.

For now, we wait until I receive the product in the mail at which time I will snap some pictures and begin the documentation process. If anyone else out there has used this product already, please feel free to share your experiences.


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Old 06/23/2010, 08:24 PM   #2
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Ryan,
What makes this pellets better vs. NP pellets?.You saying they will remove PO4 slightly "better"--how?

mike


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Old 06/23/2010, 08:30 PM   #3
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I don't have any real experience with this product yet, but according to Jon Warner (of Warner Marine) they are slightly more effective at PO4 removal. Of course, he might be slightly biased What most people seem to like better about the EcoBak pellets are the cost of course, and the fact that they require a lot less flow because they are made to not clump together like the NP pellets do. Also, at $20 less the price difference is a big plus.


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Old 06/23/2010, 08:33 PM   #4
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I agree on a price point. I am running NP pellets for 4 days now, so i dont have much exp either. so far no slime


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Old 06/23/2010, 08:42 PM   #5
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sedor, there already is a Eco-Bak thread that has a lot of info already gathered!. I actually thought i saw you post in it??? Or do you just want to start another one.
Bill
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...1847060&page=7



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Old 06/23/2010, 09:03 PM   #6
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I for one am glad he started a new thread. When I get my pellets I will start one as well. Documentation of experiences are great but without pictures who's to say how one persons idea of the pellets working may be different than another. Pictures speak 1000 words and im glad he will be posting pictures as will I of the progress once the pellets arrive.

Allot of the solid carbon doesing threads I have seen have allot of conflicting and fuzzy facts about this type of product.
After all it's fairly new. Hopefully we wont find out long term use is detrimental. That would be a hoot!


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Old 06/23/2010, 10:29 PM   #7
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I wanted to start more of a personal experience with the product which is what this thread will eventually be all about. I probably did post in another EcoBak thread, I have been researching the idea of solid carbon dosing for a little while. As soon as I receive the product and get everything going I will start documenting as much as I can and hopefully provide a personal experience. I strongly suggest others day the same. I have always felt that there is truth in numbers and it never hurts to have multiple people saying something, even if that certain something is the exact same thing.


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Old 06/24/2010, 02:13 AM   #8
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im going to run them both one in my 90 gallon full sps and one in my 29 nano sps and lps i will update and depending on which one work better for me that one will go one the big boy 400


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Old 06/26/2010, 07:26 PM   #9
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So I received the shipment in the mail from Warner Marine today, no pretty packaging as Jon mentioned, but then again it kinda makes you feel special getting something in a ziplock bag from a company like WM





I thought at first I wouldn't have to buy any additional strainer or anything, but turns out the pellets are too small and fit through the grate that comes on my reactor so I had to go out and buy what everyone else is using for this purpose.



I simply cut a hold in the center and fit it over the tube in the reactor...pretty self explanatory. Of course don't use sponges in the reactor as it will collect detrius and we are trying to avoid that in this situation.





I am using a Precision Marine reactor just because its what I have laying around.



One of the benefits of EcoBak pellets over the competition is that apparently require less flow. Although I can't comment on the truth of that what I can say is that a Maxijet 400 is not enough flow. I went out and got a Maxi 1200 and it seems to be doing the job quite well. There is a small amount of movement, but not a ridiculous amount. Right off the bat I noticed the pellets do not float which is nice. I ran it with some regular RO water for a while to remove anything "unwanted" from the pellets and then added it in the sump of my reef, which again is a 125G with a medium bioload. I will post specs of my tank later. This is 500ml of EcoBak pellets. Let the journey begin...now we wait to start seeing some results.



Currently I dose 19ml of vodka into my tank daily. I plan on continuing to do just that for the next week and then cut the dose in half. Unless I am noticing dramatic results I will cut the dose in half again the next week until I am vodka free. I guess i'll have to change my signature at that point


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Old 06/26/2010, 09:39 PM   #10
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so where can i buy these pellets? do they have a phone number? what is the actual cost, and how long before they need to be re-plenished?

thanks for any info.


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Old 06/26/2010, 11:38 PM   #11
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As of right now all you have to do is visit warner marine's website (do a google search) and contact the company. Actual cost is $35 + shipping, and they need to be replenished when they dissolve. That could be 4 - 6 months, it could be considerably longer. I hope to provide some clear information like that when this thread progresses.

Hopefully soon this product is available on all our favorite websites right beside the np biopellets. Don't quote me on the cost or anything. I am not a rep for warner marine, I just happen to have jumped on board with this product and seeing as how its still fairly new I wanted to create a log of my experiences with it. The fact that I dose a fair amount of a carbon source into my aquarium on a daily basis makes me a prime candidate because I assume most people who attempt to use this product will be trying to eliminate the need for carbon dosing.


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Old 06/27/2010, 11:29 PM   #12
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guess this is not publicly available yet


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Old 06/28/2010, 11:20 PM   #13
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Technically it's not publicly available, but i'm not anyone special that was chosen by Warner Marine to test the product. They are having issues with packaging and the product should be released to the market pretty soon. In the mean time you can call Warner Marine using the number on their website and just request how much you would like and they will ship it out to you.

Quick update. Its only been a couple days so there isn't much to say. My maxi 1200 doesn't seem to be rumbling the pellets like I assumed it would, but so far the product is standing true to its word that it doesn't clump up. I've starting and stopping the flow every once in a while to kind of shake everything up, but I don't even think that is necessary. So far I am still dosing my regular vodka dose into the tank so I can't tell if adding the pellets are actually doing anything, but with that being said I am not noticing any negative results whatsoever either. Hopefully when I finally ween off the vodka dose, the pellets will take over and I won't notice any nutrient spike. I am being a little cautious as far as weening off the carbon source goes. I am told I could just quit the vodka dosing cold turkey and shouldn't notice any issues, but I wanted to play it safe. I overfeed my tank quite a bit so I depend pretty heavily on the carbon source to remove the nutrients from the water.


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Old 06/29/2010, 12:25 PM   #14
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I am tagging along. I too have been running this product in a BRS dual reactor and am anxiously awaiting results although I have heard you wont see much difference until the 1st month passes. It has been a week and a half for me and my water seems to be clearer but that is all so far.


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Old 06/29/2010, 12:59 PM   #15
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Please feel free to share your results along with me on this thread. Were you carbon dosing before, or are the pellets your first attempt at NO3 and PO4 control?


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Old 06/30/2010, 12:23 PM   #16
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This is my first attempt at carbon dosing so far. I have been using GFO and Carbon in a BRS dual reactor for some time now and have always kept my phosphates at or below .02 but wanted to try this out because of what I heard about carbon dosing improving colors in corals. I actually did the same mod as you with the plastic mesh stuff from Michaels and it works great. My pellets did clump together slightly for the first 3 days or so but now they are gently tumbling very nicely. I have had a consistent problem with some diatoms on the sand as well that already seem to be improving slightly. This stuff seems almost too good to be true. For those that don't know the current tank of the month is using the NP biopellets which are supposed to have the same type of results but are manufactured differently. I don't know the technical info too well but this is supposed to be some type of plastic polymer that creates a localized area for bacteria to grow (in the reactor) instead of growing throughout the system within the water. John Warner spoke at our recent SCMAS meeting and seemed very impressed that they were able to come up with this to make this type of carbon dosing so easy to use.


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Old 07/03/2010, 04:05 PM   #17
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So its been about a week now. I am getting ready to cut my vodka dose down from 19ml per day to about 9 tomorrow and in a week or so I should either see an algae bloom or at least a nitrate spike, or the biopellets will take over which is what I am hoping.

So far I have had to shake up the pellets every couple of days because detrius is getting stuck in amongst them. Actually i'm not shaking it up but more or less just blowing into the tube that goes into the reactor and it readjusts everything and kinda stirs it all up. I'm still not entirely convinced that this maxi 1200 is enough flow as its not moving around very much, but there is a slight rumble. I'm told that this is all that's needed and I will stick to that hoping for the best.

Otherwise I have yet to notice any change in skimmate production or coral coloration. I have always had a bit of a PO4 problem and one of the main reasons I wanted to try the biopellets was because I was having to dose way to much vodka to make a dent in the PO4. I didn't assume I would notice any major changes for at least a month anyways so for now the big test will be whether or not cutting the vodka dose in half will hurt anything. Lets keep our fingers crossed.


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Old 07/09/2010, 06:23 AM   #18
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So after one week I haven't noticed any difference although I still want to do an NO3 test this evening. The pellets are moving around a lot more and i'm convinced that I do in fact have enough flow now so its like everyone else says. You have to stir them up (or i've actually been blowing into the tube that goes into the reactor every couple of days) for a while and then eventually they will start to bounce around on their own. My skimmate level has not increased either but this is only week 2 and i'm happy right now everything is still just staying the same. Week 3 I am dropping the vodka dose in half again to 4 ml and after that will be the ultimate test when I stop my daily dosing all together.

Overall so far I am happy with the pellets, they have been almost no maintenance, I don't really have to worry about them and they at least haven't caused any negative effects in the tank. I'm really looking forward to cutting out the chore of adding vodka to the tank every single day. If these work my tank will be truly automatic, minus water changes of course, but maybe that's the next step.


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Old 07/09/2010, 08:28 AM   #19
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Any other users have diffeernt flow rates? Going to run 250-350 ml (65 gal) in a TLF reactor and looking for a recomended flow rate. I have seen everything from 100-not sure what flow of MJ1200 is. I was running 100 with gfo and it was a slow tumble. Also no reports of begining nutrient levels, then 3 weeks later... Whats up with that. I know they are a new product but if you are going to report success, prove it.


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Old 07/09/2010, 08:48 AM   #20
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I'm on week 2 and my skim is thicker and my green hair algae is dying.

My firefish are becoming more playful im not sure if it's just that they are starting to not be afraid of me or what but they are coming out now to the front of the tank instead of swimming around the back where I can not see them. They are about 6 weeks old to my tank.

I will keep posting as I see improvements or problems.


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Old 07/09/2010, 02:14 PM   #21
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Hey Ryan, don't know if this is a WM Pellet only thread, but I started using the Vertex pellets as of yesterday. I'm running them in a BRS dual reactor powered by a MJ-1200. I'm only using 250ml of the pellets at 70 total system gallons. I'll keep you updated.


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Old 07/09/2010, 02:48 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadally View Post
Hey Ryan, don't know if this is a WM Pellet only thread, but I started using the Vertex pellets as of yesterday. I'm running them in a BRS dual reactor powered by a MJ-1200. I'm only using 250ml of the pellets at 70 total system gallons. I'll keep you updated.
Did you take out the sponges in the BRS reactor? If so, may I ask what you used in place of them? The Eco-Bak tends to come out of the reactor as the sponges are gone.


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Old 07/09/2010, 03:10 PM   #23
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Sang scroll up, Sedor posted a picture of the product he used




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Old 07/09/2010, 03:17 PM   #24
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Hobby lobby


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Old 07/09/2010, 03:22 PM   #25
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DOH, didnt even see that Gresh. Thanks again!


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