DIY Nitrate Filter - Page 9 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #81 of 127 Old 04-03-2012, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
Correction - after a day or so I noticed a bulge in the top of the sand canister. Apparently trapped air and/or gases. When I unhooked the hoses there was a large rush of 'air'.
I reversed the flow through the sand so the Tom pump is pulling from the top of the canister. I realize now that this is the only way for this to work properly without some kind of venting (which could cause leaking).

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post #82 of 127 Old 04-06-2012, 09:36 AM
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Id personally like to see the filters separated once they have both had a chance to mature for a month or two so the nitrates in and out could be tested independently. My 110g is almost completely covered now with water sprite and so far the nitrates are still 'blood red'. Stupid tap water. I need to recheck my 20 long planted, ive opted for 2 small water changes a week instead of 1 big one every week or every other week to see if that would help too, ill test it tonight to see what comes up. So far, just plants to remove nitrates has been a bust

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post #83 of 127 Old 04-06-2012, 10:45 PM
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i havent noticed any difference in plants helping yet either. if there is a difference its almost nothing as of now.

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post #84 of 127 Old 04-07-2012, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
Well the sand filter canister was a bust as the flow rate through it slowed to nearly nothing. I suspect that with time and the slow (3.5gph) pump flow rate, the dense sand packed and if not plugged, severely restricted the flow. I tried a smaller canister with <= half the amount of sand, but after a couple of hours the flow reduced to drops again.
In thinking of what else might work, sponge came to mind, but I don't have enough on hand for that. Pot scrubbers, gravel?
Instead, I filled the canister with polyester fiber floss which should provide a satisfactory platform for beneficial bacteria and serve to polish the water before returning to the tank.
With all of the swapping, one of the siliconed "T" 's in the original canister came loose, so I redid both fittings with the glue gun.
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post #85 of 127 Old 04-07-2012, 11:14 PM
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thats why i didnt use sand, that was my fear aswell. i just went with regular gravel as i had alot of it onhand. i dont know if i wasted my time and money as of yet its still very new. i figure worst case i can do dump some floss in there like you did.

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post #86 of 127 Old 04-08-2012, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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thats why i didnt use sand, that was my fear aswell. i just went with regular gravel as i had alot of it onhand. i dont know if i wasted my time and money as of yet its still very new. i figure worst case i can do dump some floss in there like you did.
Sand seemed like a good second stage. Not so sure the filter floss won't also restrict flow when it begins to load with 'stuff'. I may need something else like more open cell foam???

Gravel could work, but I think the flow rate would need to be very slow I think. The point of the Matrix and De*Nitrate is the macro/miro pores that may encourage anaerobic bacteria with faster (than trickle) flow rates.

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post #87 of 127 Old 04-08-2012, 05:42 PM
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i would have liked to use bio balls but i didnt have any and i was impatient. i read alot on the subject and from what ive read theres no reason the gravel shouldnt work but that remains to be seen.

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post #88 of 127 Old 04-08-2012, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
Although bio balls are good for aerobic bacteria in a wet/dry sump to handle ammonia and nitrites, I don't think they'd be a good choice in a denitrator. You're better off with gravel or some other material that serves as a platform as there is much more surface area.
(The Aquapure for example uses open cell foam - 4 tiers, coarse to very fine).
Still, with gravel, I think you'll need a trickle flow through there the get the oxygen level low enough to support anaerobic bacteria.

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post #89 of 127 Old 04-09-2012, 12:57 AM
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too bad i couldnt get my hands on that foam thay use. i also wouldnt mine feeding the coil if i coukd figure a way to do it without getting air into the system.

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post #90 of 127 Old 04-09-2012, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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too bad i couldnt get my hands on that foam thay use. i also wouldnt mine feeding the coil if i coukd figure a way to do it without getting air into the system.
You indicated you were using gravel - where does "feeding the coil" fit in?

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