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Old 04/29/2015, 02:50 AM   #1
maxxII
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ARID E18 reactor (Phosphate Control!!!)

This is a lengthy post. For those of you with ADD who will get distracted by squirrels and small shiny objects here ya go:

ARID E 18 pulled phosphates in my system from 0.08 ppm down to 0.00 in 11 days. No water changes, no phosban, no change in anything other than adding the ARID E 18.

Want more details?
Keep reading.

Iíve had phosphate issues with my tank for as long as I could remember.
Itís been so long that I honestly assumed that it was just something that SPS keepers just had to find a way to handle.

But I was never really able to get my phosphates under control.

When I say phosphate issues, I mean like doing 50 gallon water changes a week on a 250 gallon system while running GFO (half full normal sized/smaller Phosban Reactor) and changing out the GFO once a month was able to keep it down to 0.05 ppm.

I didnít feed Nori because of the phosphate it added to the system. I didnít feed any dried or prepared foods because of the phosphate preservatives they contained.

I soaked all frozen foods in RODi water for 30 minutes to thaw it and pull phosphate preservatives/binders from it, strained it through a brine shrimp net, and then dumped the water down the drain. The strained food was then squeezed out while it was in the brine shrimp net to remove all available water from it. The food was then fed to the tank.

My tank is and always has been bare bottom so that I could keep a handle on detritus build up.

Iíd been running a bio pellet reactor for the past 3 yearsÖdidnít do anything. Seriously.
The pellets tumbled, I saw no change in my system. Iíve still got the original pellets sitting in the reactor from when I first set it up 3 years ago.

I would try and run a refugium and had no luckÖ..I either didnít get enough flow through it or I wasnít able to keep the chaeto rolling so that it didnít brown out on the bottom. I tried using Caulerpa racemosa and never really got good results either. I was also always concerned about it going asexual.

I tried lanthanum chloride with minimal resultsÖsure phosphate was temporarily lowered, but washing filter socks every two days and scraping the annoying white film off the glass from the LC got to be ridiculous.

After eliminating every other variable in my system, I was able to pretty much able to narrow down the source of phosphates to my rock. I had purchased Pukani rock as live rock waaaaay back in 1993 when it was the hot new thing.

Between the constant high phosphate levels and a heater failure which killed off all SPS and bleached out my anemones, (two H.magnifica anemones IĎve had since Mar 06 and Nov 2010 respectively), I was very close to calling it quits in the hobby.

I figured Iíd give it one more shot and see if I could change things around and make this hobby fun for me again.

To that end, I decided to downsize and reboot.

My system was approximately 250 gallons consisting of a 120 gallon display, a 58 gallon display, a 40 breeder frag tank, all plumbed into a 75 gallon tank used as a common/shared sump containing about 50 gallons.

I drained and cleaned out the 120, leaving the 58 and the 40 breeder plumbed into the sump. All remaining livestock was moved over to those two tanks, (anemoneís, clowns, and some ridiculously hardy LPS and a Derasa clam), while I got things going again.

Old Pukani rock was removed from the system, and new base rock was procured from BRS and Marco Rocks.

But what to do to ensure I had no additional problems with phosphate?

I stumbled on JBNYís post about his rebuild where he mentioned an ARID C30 reactor from Pax-Bellum. JBNY seemed very happy with his C30 and stated it was working on his 270 gallon tank. Iím not a person to geek out about fellow reefers, but JBNY is someone who I very much respect and has been around for awhile. Iíve followed his build from the get go, and remember when he had his old set up as well. Most importantly, Iíve seen that JBNY isnít one to endorse something unless he feels it works for him and heís also not afraid to state if he doesnít like something. For you newbies to the reef keeping world, JBNY is the one who went waaaaaaaay out of his way to test various metal halide bulb and ballast combinations to determine PAR ratings and how each bulb ballast combination worked out together and most importantly, he documented and photographed his whole process. This was something that helped A LOT of people out when choosing bulb/ballast combinations and how they looked.

http://cnidarianreef.com/G180/

So JBNY stating he was happy with this C30 and that he thought it was worth while was something of interest to me.

I did some digging and found very little about the ARID reactors, or Pax-Bellum outside of Manhattan Reefs.

http://www.manhattanreefs.com/forum/pax-bellum-llc/

The concept is nutrient export via algae. Itís not an algae scrubber, but itís somewhat similar. Basically you use macro algae to out compete nuisance algae in your system, stripping the water of phosphate and nitrates. This is not designed as a refugium per se with regard to being a pod farmÖ.this is simply for nutrient export.

ARID stands for Algae Remediation Illuminated Device. E is for enhanced and 18 refers to the size of the reactor.

To dumb it down, itís a lighted tube that you run water through and grow algae in. Once every week or two, you remove some of the algae and either throw it in the trash or give it to someone else. This is how you export the nutrients. Simple right?

Itís lit by LEDís which run though a central tube down the middle of the reactor. There are two chambers in the reactor, separated by acrylic strainers which allow water to flow through from the bottom up to the top, and back into your tank.

Seemed cool enough, but how about the longevity of this ARID thingy?

Turns out theyíve had one running continuously since 2007. They have videoís to prove it.


Does it get hot or heat up my tank?
No. The heat sinks for the LEDís are outside of the reactor and donít come in contact with water at all. In fact, the lights themselves donít come in contact with the water at all. They fit inside a hollow central ďspindleĒ that the algae is wrapped around for growth.

Does it use a lot of electricity?
According to Tristan from Pax-Bellum using an E18 with a Maxi-Jet 900 pulls about 36 wattsÖthirty six watts. A LOT less than I would be using running a normal refugium or an algae scrubber.

Can you only grow chaeto in it?
No, you can grow other algae in it as well. Chaeto just grows fastest which is nice for nutrient export since thatís the whole purpose of the ARID reactor.

Using it on a reverse lighting cycle will also stabilize your tankís pH. It is recommended that it not run for more than 18 hours, in order to get maximum algae growth.


I contacted Tristan via email and phone and spoke with him several times regarding the ARID.

Tristan heard me out and wanted to know if I planned on running a skimmer or going skimmer less. According to Tristan, if using a properly sized ARID reactor, a skimmer was not necessary. Iíve been in the hobby for along time and Iíve seen many fads come and go. Iím too entrenched (or brain washed if you prefer), in having a nice big skimmer for my system, (Super Octopus 5000 internal) to give it up all willy nilly.

Tristan laughed and heard me out. Based on our conversations, he recommended I get an E18 for my set up. Had I chosen to go skimmer less, Tristan suggested going with an E24 instead.

I went with the E18.

Two weeks later, it arrived in the mail.
A week after that, I was able to obtain some chaeto for it.

I set the ARID E18 reactor up on April 17th 2015. I took the GFO reactor off line as well.
The reactor is being fed by a Maxi-Jet 900 from my sump.

I took water to the LFS to get tested using their Hanna HI93713 low phosphate meter.



No3 was too low to measure using their Salifert kit.
Po4 was measured at 0.08 ppm.

First week of the ARID running, I wasnít sure I saw any algae growth. Chaeto didnít look like it was doing anything.

I asked JBNY how long it took his C30 to start doing anything. He stated it took about a week. Oddly enough, the next day, I saw some growth in the Chaeto.

On 04-23-2015 chaeto growth was observed in the reactor. ARID reactor had been running for 5 days at that point.

On 04-24-2015, I took another water sample to the LFS for testing using the same Hanna HI93713 meter.

No3 was again too low to measure
Po4 was measured at 0.03 ppm.

5 days of running the ARID E 18 and I now had phosphate levels I struggled to reach using massive regular water changes and GFO.

Chaeto growth was very visible as it was filling in the reactor. The nice thing about the LEDís being in the center of the reactor is that itís basically backlit so you can clearly see algae growth.

Today, (04-28-2015) I took another water sample to the LFS for testing.

No3 once again too low to measure.
Po4 was measured at 0.00

Yes, zero point zero zero.

11 days of running the ARID E18 and my Po4 levels were undetectable?????

I also brought chaeto to the LFS so they could sell itÖgot $10 store credit for it.

Low phosphates, better looking more stable aquarium, and store credit to boot!

Algae growth in the 58 and 40 breeder is minimal at best. I havent scraped the glass in over a week. Ordinarily that would mean I had a fairly heavy film of algae on the glass.

Not now.

Tristan states that the ARID reactors are so good at pulling phosphates and nitrates from your reef that you actually need to dose nitrates to maintain a healthy reef. They include a 6 month supply of iron supplements and nitrates to dose with the reactor.

I havent dosed anything yet, because I honestly didnít think it would work this rapidly.
That changes tomorrow.

Bottom line, Iíve had the ARID E18 reactor from Pax-Bellum up and running for 11 days, and itís worked amazingly. Better than I actually could have hoped in all honesty.

I donít work for Pax-Bellum and couldnít pick Tristan out of a lineup if my life depended on it.

But this thing works and has made a huge impression on me. Other reeferís may not need the ARID Reactor, or may find other ways to accomplish the same thing. I can tell you that Iím very impressed with the ARID reactors. It does everything I wanted it to do and it does it in a rather compact package (compared to a refugium).

Here are some pictures of the ARID E18:

Body of the reactor. Itís actually clear acrylic that has been wrapped with a flexible soft Styrofoam cover to keep light from seeping out. It still seeps out, but it dims it significantly. It also protects the reactor body from dings, scratches etcÖ



Innards of the reactorÖpretty much a spindle with two ďscreensĒ separating the algae chambers.





LED light assembly Ö.These go inside the ďspindleĒ. You can see the heat sinks on top of the assembly. The heat sinks get hot to the touch. According to Pax-Bellum, these produce about 181 PAR on the E18. The LEDís are wrapped around the pole so there is 360 degree lighting.



Once every week or two, Tristan recommends shutting down the reactor, removing about 1/3 or so of the chaeto and disposing of it, and restarting the reactor. Since my chaeto had more than doubled in 11 days, I decided to go ahead and remove some. Here are pictures of the chaeto ďchambersĒ being loaded:

Bottom chamber



Top chamber




Top reinstalled and thumbscrews tightened downÖreactor is almost ready to go:



Inserting light assembly into the reactor:



I ordered the quick disconnects with my reactor. They make disassembly and reassembly of the reactor much easier.

The only other option is a calcium reactor input so that you can feed your reactor effluent directly into the ARID reactor. JBNYís C30 has this option and according to Tristan, it does cause back pressure so that a larger more powerful feed pump is needed if you order the calcium reactor input for the ARID reactor. I decided to go without it.

Iím only running Kalk right now, so I donít really need it, but when I get my calcium reactor running again, Iíll see if that has an effect.

This is a fairly new piece of equipment and according to Tristan, mine is the first one in Missouri.

Iím not normally a fan of being an early adopter of something, I dislike being a beta tester for products I have to pay for. If itís free, Iíll happily test some piece of equipment outÖ
But I paid for this, (not a free sample or a prize that I won) and as I stated earlier, Pax-Bellum has a proto-type of this reactor which has been running since 2007.Ö.so the kinks are pretty much worked out of this thing. From what Iíve seen, this was pretty simple to get running and working.

Unpack. Install algae. Plug in tubing and feed pump. Set light timer. Let it do its thing.

Once a week or two, unplug, disassemble, remove algae and dispose of 1/3 - Ĺ of it. Reassemble, plug back in. Repeat as necessary.

Assuming this gets any replies or I get the impression that anyone besides me is reading this Iíll continue to post updates to this thread.


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Old 04/29/2015, 04:00 AM   #2
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They had a booth set up a couple of weeks ago at a local Reef Club Frag Swap in Rhode Island. I talked to them quick a bit. I am interested to see your continued results. I run BB with no other reactors, GFO, etc... except for Kalk & Calcium. Phosphate isn't an issue, but nitrates are a little higher than I like. I'm not looking for zero readings across the board, just lower.
Thanks for the write up and any continued info or feed back.


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Old 04/29/2015, 04:45 AM   #3
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That's great man. How have your coral responded?


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I'm not saying let's get rid of all the stupid people.* I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem work itself out.

Current Tank Info: 150g DT plumbed to an 80g frag tank and 220g sump in the basement. ~6-MP40s ~ 12 ATI powered t5s ~ Reefbrites and Radions supplementing ~ Custom GEO Skimmer ~ GEO CA Reactor 6x24~ Iwaki 70 Return ~
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Old 04/29/2015, 05:35 AM   #4
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So far, I'm seeing increased polyp extension in everything except my blastomussa. That one looks unhappy.
SPS appear better, but to be fair, I've only has the reactor running for 11 days.

Time will tell how this works for me long term...but I'm happy with the results so far!


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Old 04/29/2015, 06:55 AM   #5
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Thanks for sharing. It's nice to hear you found something that works for your setup. As well as the power of algae for the good of a tank.

Stay dry.


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Old 04/29/2015, 08:02 AM   #6
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Nice simple design


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Old 04/29/2015, 08:23 AM   #7
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So I will mirror maxxII's experience. I have been running an C30 ARID since December 30, before that I had been carbon dosing using vodka and using GFO and GAC for a good 10 years. My tank was being restarted from a tank crash and I had been having problem with SPS for a good 6 months or so. After speaking to many people I decided to ditch the carbon dosing and GFO, so I needed another solution. On my older tank I had good luck with using macro algae to control N and P, but it was a pain to maintain. The ARID looked to be the same basic concept of using macro algae for nutrient export but easier than what I had been doing years ago, I went with the ARID.

My tank is 270 Gallons with another 130 gallons of sumps and frag tanks hooked in. As a wrote earlier my tank is being restarted so I am doing a lot of maintenance as well as keeping records when I am measuring various parameters.

I am not someone who is slack on maintenance and have a pretty good handle on controlling nitrates and phosphate with the current means available, water changes, carbon dosing, and using GFO and GAC. My N and P numbers are not crazy high, but I have always worked to make sure they are kept in check.

So about 1 week before I received my ARID I took both my vodka doser and my GFO off line. I received the ARID the next week, plumbed it into my tank. I have my main pump running through a manifold so I was just able to tee off of that into the ARID, so I did not have to add a pump.

My readings for the tank on the day it was installed.

Dec 30th
NO3 7ppm Salifert test
PO4 0.02 Hanna HI 93713

Jan 11th
N 2.5
P 0.02

Chaeto is starting to slow down growing.

Jan 27th
N 2
P 0.01

I start dosing Nirates, to keep chaeto growing.

Feb 9
N 1
P 0.02

Feb 16
N .5
P 0.01

Feb 22
N .5
P 0.00

At this point I am able to keep P at zero or let it clime by controlling how much nitrates I dose into the tank. I have decided that I am going to make sure I have both some nitrates and some phosphates in the tank. I have been playing with dosing amounts to try and get the N to about 5ppm but keep P under 0.05. I have also reduced my photo period for the ARID Reactor to 11 hours from 18. My current test results are as follows.

N 2.5
P 0.01

Right now I am very happy with my ARID, my only gripe is that it is a pain to clean, but chaeto has always been a bit messy when changing it out even when I had it in a refugium.

Here is my unit in the fish room.


Here is it on day one with jus a little chaeto in the chamber.



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Old 04/29/2015, 09:17 AM   #8
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Do you guys still use skimmer? How much does one of these cost?


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Old 04/29/2015, 07:18 PM   #9
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I still use a skimmer for my tank. I'm too brainwashed into having one to be able to give it up entirely.

I bought my ARID E18 when it was on sale and ordered the quick disconnect valves for mine. Mine was about $550 plus shipping.

I know that sounds like alot, but when you factor buying a new tank/stand alone refugium, drilling it out if it didnt come pre-drilled, buying or building a stand, plumbing, feed pump for the refugium, and lighting for the refugium...you really arent that far from what I spent.

You could definately do things yourself and save money, but you'd be spending your time in labor, and you can get a cheap light for the refugium, but you'll have higher electrical costs and bulb replacement costs as well.

This also takes up less room than a stand alone refugium.

I'm not advocating this as a be all/end all solution for phosphate & nitrate control.
For me, this was worth the "risk" since I knew the science behind it ,(it's a lighted tube refugium), and I was seriously considering get out of the hobby all together due to repeated issues.

Everything else I tried didnt work for me. So far, this is.

BTW, I noticed a typo in my initial post... I bought the Pukani rock in 2003 not 1993. So it was old, but not that old.


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Old 05/02/2015, 11:13 AM   #10
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Had water tested again yesterday:

Nitrates are still undetectable.
Po4 has risen to 0.02 ppm via Hanna HI93713 (same one used before).

I'm assuming that the increase in Po4 is due to me removing the chaeto. Instructions state not to remove more than 1/3 of the chaeto, but I pulled out at least 2/3 of what I had.

I have added iron supplements, (Included with the reactor) but have not dosed No3 supplements, (also included with the reactor).

Corals still look healthier. So do my anemones. I have 3 H.magnifica anemones, and have had one for 9 years, one for 4.5 years, and one for a single year.

Further updates as warranted.


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Old 05/03/2015, 08:12 PM   #11
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Tagging along. Thinking of getting the nano version for 45g


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Old 05/04/2015, 01:28 AM   #12
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PH in the tank is lower than it was last week.
Tank is in the basement, and it's warming up outside, so AC is being run more.

Is the pH depressed because I took out too much cheato, or because we're using the air conditioning more?


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Old 05/04/2015, 05:30 AM   #13
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Possibly due to you closing the windows to run the AC. I would check the water parameters to make sure all OK.


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Old 05/04/2015, 08:51 AM   #14
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maxxII, with the ARID, when your N is undetectable and your P starts to rise, if you start dosing N you will see the P start to go back down to zero. Basically at this point you are N limited when there is not enough N the bacteria can not consume the P. Adding the NO3 allow the bacteria to continue to consume P which will drive the Phosphate levels down.


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Old 05/04/2015, 12:51 PM   #15
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Thanks Joe. I've been dosing the iron manganese supplement but not the nitrates...I'll start dosing the nitrates today. I'm seeing cyano in some spots ,(I know...I'm a mess), and I think that could be one reason No3 isnt detectable.


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Old 05/09/2015, 09:23 PM   #16
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I bought a Hanna HI96713 photometer.
I'd gotten a couple of erratic results from the LFS I'd been taking water samples to (they have the Hanna HI93713 shown in the original post). I think the LFS employees would get distracted and either record the wrong information or read things incorrectly. I've also replaced all of my salifert kits with new ones. I've noticed the kits begin to lose accuracy after a year, so I replace them every year.


I also sent Tristan this email:


"Tristan,
I dont recall if I mentioned this or not when we spoke, but my system had multiple issues some of which only got worse after I neglected the system for abit after my heater crapped out....shocking that things get worse when you neglect them, I know...


So here is where the questions for you come in....

Using new salifert test kits, and a new and newly calibrated Hanna HI96713 photometer, my parameters are:

DKH - 11.5
Ca - 460
Mg -1500
NO3 -0.00
PO4 - 0.00

Bryopsis appeared and has a foothold. I raised Mag up to take care of it, and have noticed the tips have frosted indicating it's working. I've done this in the past, (raised Mg up to 1700 and kept it there for 3 months to eradicate bryopsis with no ill effects to fish, clams, SPS, or anemones), but I didnt have the ARID E18 then either.

I've been told elevated Mg inhibits photosynthesis in bryopsis, but doesnt affect other marine algea, to inlcude Cheatomorpha. Do you see elevated Mg causing an issue with the Cheatomorpha, or is this a non issue? I'm still seeing growth in the Cheato in the reactor and PO4 has dropped from 0.02 to 0.00, but I'd still feel better bouncing it off of you.

NO3 is showing as 0.00 but I still have green cyano in the system, so I know there is NO3 available, and it's being taken in by the cyano. Will the Cheato out compete it for NO3? I'm leery of dosing NO3 when I have cyano in the system for fear of feeding it instead of the Cheato. Do you recommend:

Let the Cheato outcompete the cyano and dose the NO3 supplements as instructed.

or

Use Chemi-Clean and take care of the cyano, then begin dosing the NO3 supplements.


Overall, I'm very happy with the reactor. PO4 is still much better than before and corals are looking better already. The threads on Reef Central and on Manhattan Reefs are the biggest and most active so far, and there are alot of people who seem genuinely interested in your ARID reactors. Locally, I've brought this up to the LFS where I usually go, and directly sent a link to the RC thread for the manager and owner....with any luck, they may become customers or a dealer for you as this store does alot of maintenance and set up work for businesses and individuals with aquariums.

Finally, over on Manhattan Reefs, one poster stated Joe Yaiullo was in the process of setting up eight ARID C30's for the Atlantis Marine World 20K gallon tank...is this true? I'm hoping it is because that would give you guys more exposure and "legitimacy" in the eyes of folks who havent yet heard of you guys and the ARID reactor. People say all kinds of things on the Net and I'd prefer to have confirmation before parroting that information about elsewhere.

I apologize for pestering you with these questions, but this is a new situation for me and I'm loathe to do anything that will be counter productive to what progress I've already made.

Thanks for your time,

MaxxII"

Here is his response:

"Hi Nick,

Stop resisting the Nitrate supplement

The cyano doesn't require nitrate in the water column to grow, it produces it's own nitrate and thrives when nitrate is not present in the water column. This is cyano bacteria's evolutionary advantage, being able to fix nitrogen into nitrate it can survive where other photosynthetic organisms can't. Dose the nitrate keep the ratio between 20:1 - 200:1 (target 100:1)

Same with the bryopsis. This is turf algae that uses its holdfast to extract nutrients from the rock (substrate) Elevated Mg does kill off Bryopsis, at 1500ppm your Chaeto should be fine. I've only noticed it stunting the growth around and beyond 1600ppm.

Your other parameters look great. One other kit I recommend is saliferts boron test kit. Macro algae consumes a lot of boron and most salt mixes are deficient. Luckily there is a cheap source at your local grocery store "Borax" laundry booster. 1 teaspoon raises 100 gallons about 1ppm. NSW is 4.4ppm. Brittle and crumbling chaeto is a sign that your tank is boron deficient. Toxicity in a small number of organisms starts to occur around 20ppm.

Yes, Joe Yaiullo bought the C308 system that is in our MR forum. He is setting it up on his 20k gallon reef as soon as he builds a platform above the reef for it. I may go out there and help him set it up. He's my old boss, I use to culture coral for that tank.

Glad the E18 is working out for you. Now you'll have to feed your tank more.

Regards,

Tristan"


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Old 05/13/2015, 08:16 PM   #17
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I've bedn dosing the NO3 supplements for a few days now.

I have about 135/140 gallons total in the system right now.

Started dosing 2mls of the included NO3 supplement.
No change in NO3 readings, still undetectable via salifert.
Next day dosed 4mls.
No change in NO3 readings, still undetectable.
Last night I dosed 8mls of NO3.
14.5 hours later I tested and finally got some detectable results.

NO3 showed less than 0.2...it appeared to be about half as much so I ballparked it at about 0.1.
At this point, I goofed. I'm still working midnights and had not had coffee yet, so my brain wasnt fully engaged.

I should have tested for PO4 at this point.
Instead, I dosed an additional 8mls of NO3, and added Nori to the tank,(which I know from experiance does have PO4 in it).
Then it dawned on me that I should have tested PO4...

I went ahead and tested PO4. Elapsed time between dosing NO3 and adding Nori to the tank and fosing NO3 was approximately 5 minutes.

PO4 measured at 0.00978 ppm.
So basically at 0.01 ppm. With NO3 being at 0.1 ppm and PO4 being at 0.01 ppm, I'm at the 100:1 ratio that Tristan reccomends for the ARID reactor.

My ARID Reactor has been running for almost a month now, and I'm still happy with it and its doing exactly what it's supposed to do.

I've also got some additional KNO3 powder coming so I can start making my own NO3 supplement. Using 8mls a day means I have about 13 days left in the included bottle of supplements.

As always, further updates as warranted.


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Old 05/13/2015, 11:27 PM   #18
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Thanks for the in depth review. Very intriguing.


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Old 05/14/2015, 02:10 PM   #19
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I'm thinking the 100:1 should be more like NO3-1ppm and PO4-.01ppm. No?

How's the cyano? Did it get any better or worse?


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Old 05/15/2015, 04:01 AM   #20
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JBNY will probably correct me if I'm wrong, but he stated in his build thread on page 42 that he was keeping his tank with NO3 at 2.5 ppm and PO4 at 0.01 ppm.

I'm still trying to find the right balance of NO3 to get to where I want to go....which is naturally a stunningly healthy tank that people pay more attention to than a TV. Right now I'll settle for healthy acros and somewhat interesting display.

The cyano has lessened significantly in one tank (40 breeder which is BB), but has not changed too much in the other, (58 gallon which has a sand bed).

So far, most of the corals look healthier and happier. The only exception appears to be my wall hammer which was fine with dirtier water. It was moved within the last two weeks, so that might account for its unhappiness...its getting more flow where its at now, but it cannot attack my duncans where it's currently at either...

I tested the water again yesterday at about 330 pm which was about 24 hours after the last test and dose of NO3.

NO3 was now at about 0.2 ppm (its a judgement call with the kind of test where you compare the color to a printed sheet you hold next to the sample....I hate those. I much prefer the other style of Salifert test kits where you add drops of reagent until the color changes. Much easier than trying to determine varying degrees of pink against a white back ground).

PO4 tested out at 0.00 ppm.

So was the PO4 depleted by the chaeto in the reactor in under 24 hours, or was it sucked up by nuisance algae that I'm trying to get rid of?

I dosed 7mls of NO3 this time, down from 8 mls. I want to see if the NO3 level remains about the same, or drops down. I'm fine with keeping it at 0.2 ppm if that means I have a PO4 level of 0.02 ppm.

I also dosed the Iron Manganese solution, added another sheet of nori to the tank, (if the angel keeps being fed, he wont snack on my zoa's or my few LPS).

I'm supposed to be asleep right now....I've been working midnights this past month and I'm transitioning to dayshift today.....

I got off work early and got to bed at about 1230 am. One of the kids woke up at 315 am with a nightmare and couldnt get back to sleep.....Now she's out and I cant get back to sleep....sigh.

Might as well go test water and see what I get after about 14 hours between doses.


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Old 05/15/2015, 04:31 AM   #21
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Just tested water.

NO3 was less than 0.2 ppm
PO4 was still 0.00 ppm


I'm kinda surprised the PO4 was still undetectable. Its actually only been 13.5 hours since the last dose of NO3 and me adding Nori to the tank.....so maybe the PO4 I got in my earlier test was from the Nori?

I'm also surprised that the NO3 level went down that quickly. Now I'm wondering if 8mls is not enough for a daily dose, and I need to up it some?

The KNO3 powder should arrive today along with my Walter White starter kit. I'm going to mix up a solution and see if there is any precipitate or residual detritus that falls out of suspension and collects in the bottom of a sealed flask. If it doesnt, then I shouldnt have to run an airstone in a container to keep it mixing. If it does, I will.

I want to be able to figure out how much NO3 needs to be dosed daily and then mix up at least a weeks worth of NO3 supplement and use an extra dosing pump I've got to add it to the tank over the 7 day time frame. I dont want to be chained to the tank adding NO3 every day....it's just not practical for me to do so with the kids being so young.


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Old 05/15/2015, 07:43 AM   #22
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I was using about 60ml a day from the standard solution that they send.

When mixing my own, I am adding 21ml a day, I think that is adding about .75ppm of nitrates a day.

Right now my NO3 is about 2-5 ppm and the PO4 is been at 0 for a week. My chaeto is hardly growing in the reactor right now. So after about 5 months it looks like the PO4 is limiting my growth, which is exactly what I want. I have no algae in the main tank, no cyano anyplace.

At some point you will have to make a choice, add more fish and feed more to keep some nitrates in the tank, or get a dosing pump and have it add some nitrates. I have added about 12 little fish and am feeding the tank more, but still I am dosing. I have a BRS dosing pump sitting around from when I was dosing carbon, so I can easily put that online if I need to.


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Old 05/15/2015, 08:00 AM   #23
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Thanks Joe.
Are you concerned about the lack of PO4 in your system preventing growth of your corals? I saw your latest pictures and the frags look good.

This is all preparatory to rebooting the 120. The stock list for the 120 will be:

Blue line angel, (small 2 inches...already had him for almost a year.)
Tomini Tang, (small 2.25 inches...already had him for 6 months)
Mated pair of Rod's Onyx Percula clowns, (had them for about 11 years)
Bonded pair black ocellaris clowns, (had them for about a year)
Small Yellow Tang, (1-1.5 inches...enroute from Blue Zoo Aquatics)
Small Doliatus Rabbitfish, (2-2.5 inches...enroute from Blue Zoo Aquatics)
Small Starcki Damsel, (0.5-1.5 inches...enroute from Blue Zoo Aquatics)

The two pairs of clowns are a gamble, but I need them to keep the other fish out the three H.magnifica anemones I've got and had for several years. The tank is being designed around them. I figure with several fish swimming about the tank, I can keep the clowns from venturing too far from their anemones and beating on each other.

I just need to get the new fish eating prepared foods and that should help with the NO3 input. I may still have to dose NO3, but it should be less than before. I'm going to have to get used to feeding more...for the longest time I fed very little to avoid increasing PO4 in my tank. Having this reactor means I need to feed more.

This is a change I'm happy to deal with.


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Old 05/15/2015, 08:19 AM   #24
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I'm not that concerned about low PO4. Last time my tank was N at 0 and P at 0 using GFO and carbon dosing, and I still had very strong growth.

My plan in the future is to play with the amount of time I have the ARID reactor lit. Right now I have the light on for 12 hours down from 18 and will drop it down to 8. At some point I think there is a balance between lighting the reactor and how much nutrients it will pull out. Even if I can keep the N at 5 and P at 0 I will still be happy.


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Old 05/15/2015, 08:46 AM   #25
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That makes sense.
What NO3 kit are you using, Salifert?

Keeping NO3 at 0.2-0.5 ppm seems reasonable.

I'm still amazed that I'm actually saying that....less than a month of running the ARID, and I'm now concerned it's takiing too much NO3 and PO4 out of the water column.

That's a good problem to have, and not one I've had to consider before.


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