DIY Nitrate Filter - Page 4 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #31 of 127 Old 02-27-2012, 07:10 PM
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Ive been trying to colonize my 110g with floating ceratopteris cornuta for just this reason. The blackbeard algae is getting unbearable in the 110g, and adding algaefix to kill it makes the fish look sickly for a few days. I might just buy a square foot or two from my LFS next time im there to just cover the surface. Im getting aggravated having everything ive bought for that tank completely covered in bba.

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post #32 of 127 Old 02-27-2012, 09:14 PM
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@beetlebz: I can completely sympathize with you. I had bba break out in my 6 gallon. I ended up throwing away my plants, and drying my decor in the sun!
Algaefix is a double edged sword. I stopped adding it a while back to control algae. It leaves dead algae all over the tank and it is hard to remove! Plus it reduces the oxygen level in the tank. Never treated bba with algaefix though.
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post #33 of 127 Old 02-28-2012, 05:58 AM Thread Starter
Dern threadjackers! lol

So yesterday I went to Petsmart looking for a [short term] chemical intervention to temporarily reduce nitrates (since my previous three attempts using store bought water hasn't done much). My thinking is that the nitrate filter will take some time to cycle and begin removing nitrates (assuming success/fingers crossed). In the meantime the nitrates are too high. (Seachem Tech supports suggested I could begin to see nitrate reduction in as little as 7 days with Stability).
I was looking for Fluval Lab Series Nitrate Remover, but they didn't have any. The closest I could come is Fluval Clearmax which is supposed to adsorb phosphate, nitrite and NITRATE. I added all three packets xfered into an AC70 media bag. I just did a test this am and so far NOTHING (still have way high nitrates). I may need a 50% store bought water change!

I continue to add three capfuls of Stability each day (to continue through Friday). I have been pulling the siphon tube to add the Stability/water mix right into the new filter inlet. Although much will migrate to the tank, hopefully some will remain in the intended target. Don't know if this is any better than just adding to the tank.
This morning, there was a tiny snail on the end of the siphon tube. I may need to get some sponge over the tip.

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post #34 of 127 Old 02-28-2012, 08:05 AM
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:(

well, I can certainly start work on my anaerobic canister filter addition, if the chemical route isnt working like you had hoped. Im interested to see whats going to happen with your matrix filter too. Ill wait for your results AD. By my research, even without the nitrate absorbent media, should do a phenomenal job of reducing nitrates. My only concern is that its 'too good' and it can cause some nasty side effects for the fish, chemically. I just remember reading that if the tank starts to smell funny (or bad) you need to remove some media or speed up the water flow. Either way, I have my fingers crossed for it's success :)

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Last edited by beetlebz; 02-28-2012 at 08:10 AM.
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post #35 of 127 Old 02-28-2012, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beetlebz View Post
Ive been trying to colonize my 110g with floating ceratopteris cornuta for just this reason. The blackbeard algae is getting unbearable in the 110g, and adding algaefix to kill it makes the fish look sickly for a few days. I might just buy a square foot or two from my LFS next time im there to just cover the surface. Im getting aggravated having everything ive bought for that tank completely covered in bba.
Might try tank blackout,snails,shrimp, and perform water changes at night,or let water set to off gas CO2 before using and see if this helps.(couldn't hurt)
Some say BBA is more a CO2 fluctuation problem, than lack of CO2, or poor flow in their high tech tanks.
They are much more knowledgeable than I, and often suggest the above ,along with cutting away or removing what they can.

My aplogies for straying from topic or any such infraction percieved.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #36 of 127 Old 02-28-2012, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
1077 - 50 lashes with a cold wet fish <hehe>

Okay, back to the fray....skeptic that is me, I took the Fluval Clearmax out of my tank filter and set up a test.
In my other AC70, I set it up in my 2 gallon bucket and let it run for hours. I tested the water when I set it up and as I knew it would be, there was 60+ppm nitrates. So I let it run from about 9am and I just took another sample at 1:30pm and there was no difference!!! This product does not really remove nitrates as indicated on the box - I suppose if it removes nitrites, one could say it eliminates nitrates....but not REMOVE.
A fool and his money are soon parted.

Now Beetle, back to you saying I hope it (nitrate filter) isn't too good - I'm not sure what you mean.
Fresh water in nature has little/no nitrates. Reading between the lines, I think you may have been referencing more conventional de-nitrator reactors. Reactors that have a trickle output to starve the canister chamber of oxygen...if/when there is an anaerobic die off, there can be some pretty foul odors.
In this prototype with the Matrix and De*Nitrate products the flow rate is maintained at 3.5gph. The system is dependent on the macro pores of the media to create the oxygen depleted areas for anaerobic bacteria.

I got some 'city' water today for my next water change. Looks like it has 10-20ppm nitrates. Maybe I should be looking for distilled or RO to get the tank level lower...or bite the bullet and get the tap water filter.
Seachem Tech support tells me I'll just need to be patient for the filter to (cycle) mature before it will begin to lower nitrates. (c'mon...fast food, fast cars, fast women...I gotta wait for a filter!?!? <hehe>
[all for now]

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post #37 of 127 Old 02-28-2012, 04:15 PM
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I was reading up the other day (and of course now I cant find the website) and I found a gentleman who had used sort of a homemade canister filter (as you did) using a commercial denitrifying media as an anaerobic biological filter medium. What he found was that the right media, the right flow, and the right application worked wonders, but so well that it produced hydrogen sulfide, which is toxic to the fish.

I found it..
Detritrification - How to Remove Nitrates from Aquarium Water.

If you follow the link at the bottom in interestingly suggests that just placing lava rock in your tank as decoration can remove nitrates. Hrm... to think of all those ugly lava rocks I thought looked cool, then got tossed a few years later.

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Last edited by beetlebz; 02-28-2012 at 04:19 PM.
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post #38 of 127 Old 02-28-2012, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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If you follow the link at the bottom in interestingly suggests that just placing lava rock in your tank as decoration can remove nitrates. Hrm... to think of all those ugly lava rocks I thought looked cool, then got tossed a few years later.
That's what 'live rock' is all about in SW where nitrates are even more critical. Which brings us to another possibility and that is a deep sand bed. If you by chance have a tank with a sand substrate, 3" or so of sand should produce anaerobic conditions that may help.

Still Beetle, we shouldn't rule out Fluval Lab Series Nitrate Remover. I'm thinking it should work where the Clearmax failed. Worth a try?

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post #39 of 127 Old 02-28-2012, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by beetlebz View Post
If you follow the link at the bottom in interestingly suggests that just placing lava rock in your tank as decoration can remove nitrates. Hrm... to think of all those ugly lava rocks I thought looked cool, then got tossed a few years later.
Btw, this is exactly the principal behind Matrix and De*Nitrate - but I'll bet you knew that

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post #40 of 127 Old 02-28-2012, 06:06 PM
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I have a hard time with the fluval nitrate remover. One 'dose' I suppose, removes 25ppm of nitrate per 50g. I would need 2 doses to reach the 100g, and two more to double that nitrate removal. And I would have to recharge it every week when I did a water change (although with less, id imagine).

Im not going to lie to you, Im half tempted to go to petco or somewhere similar and see if I can score some lava rock. I need to dig in my buckets of fish stuff too, see if I have any left somewhere. That seems to me an easier experiment than a sand substrate (which I do not have atm). Im redoing the substrate in my 55g, but that tank is planted, so the nitrates trail off anyway.

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