Originally Posted by njdevilray
Iíve tried a number of things and Iím at my wits end in trying to reduce the nitrate level in my 55 gal tank saltwater tank. With weekly 10% water changes I maintain 20ppm which is no good for coral.
I have a wet/dry system which seems to reduce the nitrites and ammonia but not the nitrates.
I recently tried de-nitrate, stone like material which doesnít appear to do anything. Perhaps Iím not using it correctly. I initially submerged it in my wet/dry after the bio filter but believe it may need oxygen so I placed it in wet/dry . Still no luck. The water flow may be too high at 350gph.
Anyone have any luck with this type of filter material. The canister filters have same type of product, i.e Nitra-Zorb, etc. Can this material be recharged or do they need to be replaced, and if so how often? .
In using the aquaripure filter, do I need to remove the wet/dry which does appear to do good job on ammonia and nitrites?
A wet/dry is primarily a compartment with media designed to harbor large quantities of aerobic nitrifying bacteria. Aerobic nitrifying bacteria in a wet/dry will rapidly convert all organics into nitrates (and a few other by products.) They were most popular because people thought that organics in the tank were bad and nitrates were better to have in a tank. Some types of freshwater fish will tolerate high nitrates and so these tanks often still use wet/dry systems. They are NOT well suited for a reef tank and they are in fact nitrate factories.
Almost any saltwater aquarium with live rock will have enough nitrifying bacteria in the tank when an Aquaripure is used. The exception might be in extremely heavily stocked tanks.
The de-nitrate should NOT be placed in a high flow/ well oxygenated place and so you were using it wrong. However, it is not as efficient as the Aquaripure and will need to be replaced every 3-6 months as the pores become clogged. Each time it is replaced the anaerobic bacteria has to build up before becoming effective again.
Nitra-Zorb is designed to remove ammonia. Itís name is a little misleading. It is only useful in brand new uncycled tanks. Otherwise it will mostly function as just any other biomedia such as what is in your wet/dry.
Direct vodka dosing requires a very powerful skimmer. It can be tricky and dangerous to figure out the correct dosing routine for your tank.
The Aquaripure is safer as all the nutrient stays inside the filter. Also, it needs no skimmer and can actually replace a skimmer in most tanks. A skimmer can be used with the Aquaripure though.
I would recommend you use the Aquaripure and gradually remove all the biomedia from your wet/dry. In its place you can add more physical filtration such as polyester fiber, pads, and sponges. Whatever you use you want to make sure you replace it or rinse it in tap water every 2-4 weeks.
The Aquaripure will contain aerobic nitrifying bacteria as well as the anaerobic denitrifying bacteria. I also do not recommend using UV sterilizers with the Aquaripure.