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  1. #11
    Senior Member AbbeysDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fermentedhiker View Post
    You're missing the point of my comment. If a nitrate reactor is designed properly the entire chamber(or nearly so) is anaerobic and so there isn't any need for special media. Anything with surface area will do. The fact that De-nitrate is designed to work anywhere in regular filters as your comment points out, means that you can't be sure if your reactor is creating the correct environment or if it's just that you have enough de-nitrate to do the job. I'm not saying it isn't a good choice for media, just that it makes it hard for you to evaluate the efficiency of your design.

    Either way I hope it works.
    I made no such comment...Per Seachem, De*Nitrate will only work for denitrification in filters with flow rates less than 50gph. There are very few filters with any real media capacity that have such a low flow rate.

    Commercial denitrators for my 60g cost anywhere from $280 to over $600. The efficiency of this DIY filter is the very low cost ! (well, presuming it works).
    Although many commercial denitrators use a drip flow rate to starve the chamber of oxygen, why not use an inexpensive media that facilitates the process better? I'd also suggest that the macro pores of the Matrix/De*Nitrate products creates an overall platform area that far exceeds many other medias.
    If necessary, I can slow the 3.5gph flow rate to reduce O2, but I shouldn't need to - I'm pumped that this will work.





  2. #12
    Senior Member AbbeysDad's Avatar
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    I modified the dispersion plate, added more media and a filter pad up top.
    Attached Images Attached Images  



  3. #13
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    cool. but why do you need this?



  4. #14
    Senior Member platytudes's Avatar
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    To filter nitrate. His tap water is already higher than the ideal of less than 20 ppm.



  5. #15
    Senior Member AbbeysDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zmkm View Post
    cool. but why do you need this?
    I guess you didn't read the thread :-( Fish, fish waste, food and plant waste produces ammonia. Ammonia gets oxidized into nitrites and nitrites get oxidized into nitrates. If the cycle was to complete, the nitrates would be broken into nitrogen gas - hence the nitrogen cycle. Nitrates build up in the water and that's one of the biggest reasons for the weekly water change...to dilute the nitrates. Oh some would argue that we're also removing pheromones and other crud, but in fact these are also just nitrogenous compounds that break down into soluble organics.
    Anyway, as it turns out, I have very high nitrates in my well water. I can do a huge water change and not reduce the nitrates in the tank water. Now nitrates can be tolerated by most freshwater fish up to a point, but high nitrates negatively affects most fish in overall health and longevity - think of it as a water quality issue.
    Most agree that nitrates should be less than 40ppm, with 20ppm or less even better. My well water is about 60+ppm.

    The more conventional nitrate filter or reactor uses anaerobic bacteria to extract the oxygen molecule from the nitrate, harmlessly releasing nitrogen gas. Conventional nitrate reactors use a trickle flow to starve the filter chamber of oxygen. The aquarium water is very oxygenated. When it enters the filter, the oxygen is used up by aerobic nitrosomonas and nitrobacter bacteria to process ammonia and nitrites. As the water moves ever so slowly up the chamber into oxygen starved areas, anaerobic bacteria colonies exist and convert the nitrate into nitrogen gas that gets harmlessly expelled into the air.

    This DIY filter, uses the Seachem Matrix and De*Nitrate media to facilitate oxygen depleted regions without such a low flow. The media is very porous with macro and micro pores. Aerobic bacteria can colonize the surface and deplete the O2 while inner pores contain little O2 and anaerobic bacteria can thrive.

    It is my hope to manage nitrates at a very low level so I can reduce the volume and/or frequency of water changes to either use purchased water or my well water for more modest water changes and still have a very healthy water quality.



  6. #16
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    That's great, I hope it works well for you! I've made similar filters that were gravity fed so water moved down the column with the outflow at the base. Is there a biological benefit to having the water flowing the other way or does it work better with the equipment setup? Or perhaps both?


    Sent from my iPhone using MonsterAquariaNetwork app



  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
    Thank-you! I did not know I had such high nitrates until recently...although it makes sense. My well is 110 feet deep, but across the road is 95 acres of a farmers field that gets organic and chemical fertilizer. As for drinking water, my wife became seriously ill over 25 years ago and although unrelated, as a precaution, we began having bottled water delivered...and have ever since.
    Nothing says country like the smell of "organic fertilizer" when the soil warms!



  8. #18
    Senior Member AbbeysDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubRosa View Post
    Nothing says country like the smell of "organic fertilizer" when the soil warms!
    Well, it can be 'fresh'. Was bad enough in days of old with a conventional spreader. These days they use huge tanker trucks and spray the 'tea'. 'nuff to knock a buzzard off a $hit waggon!



  9. #19
    Senior Member AbbeysDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auburn.Tigers View Post
    That's great, I hope it works well for you! I've made similar filters that were gravity fed so water moved down the column with the outflow at the base. Is there a biological benefit to having the water flowing the other way or does it work better with the equipment setup? Or perhaps both?
    There is no biological benefit in direction of flow. I have even read about DIY units that use 4" pvc pipe laying on it's side with inlet at one end and outlet at the other. I set this up quite like a commercial canister filter that uses a siphon to draw water to the bottom of the canister and pump out from the top. The only real advantage here is less head height to pump the water back to the top of the tank.



  10. #20
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    Okay, thanks!


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