Alternative for aqua lift pump

Tj203

Candiru
MFK Member
Sep 11, 2019
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So are the only 2 choices I have for a feed pump for a Nitrate Sulfur reactor or calcium reactor The aqua lift or pump that wears out the diagram 1 or twice a year or an expensive peristaltic pump. I am leaning toward the peristaltic one because I can pull the water through the reactor and I read that is a better way. But don't want to spend that kind of money the reactor and media was enough.
 

epond83

Plecostomus
MFK Member
Nov 10, 2009
801
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Duvall, WA
The diaphragm pump cost have gone up a lot in the last couple years and still wear out often. You might be better off buying the expensive one once.

Or buy the 'cheap' one and when it dies upgrade. The other problem with the cheap one is the output slows over time even when cleaned which will make tuning your reactor difficult.
 

fishdance

Polypterus
MFK Member
Jan 30, 2007
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You could also go low tech if your budget is tight. A 20L bucket with a screw tap dripper (adjustable) is very reliable. Top the bucket up before it gets too low so the drips are always the same size.
 

Tj203

Candiru
MFK Member
Sep 11, 2019
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Low tech? Though the lifter pump was low tech. The only reason I put the jebao is i have one sitting in my basement. What is the good one or are u just saying that doseing pumps are low tech because they are cheep and not $800?
 

CombatWombat

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Apr 23, 2019
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Here's my two cents. You don't need a separate pump. I just built a nitrate reactor using Seachem's deNitrate media.. We'll see how it goes, maybe I'll pack it with sulfur instead. Anyway, I have a single loop, which goes through a canister filter (FX6), then another pump (blue line 40), then a chiller, and returns to the tank. For the reactor, I made a T-junction before the chiller, and another one after the chiller. So from the first T-junction, I have a ball valve, then a needle valve, then a flow meter, and finally it goes into the reactor. It comes out of the reactor into the other T-junction, right after the chiller. There is enough head loss through the chiller to produce enough flow through the reactor, and I'm able to dial it in using the needle valve. I currently have it set to 0.5 GPM.

I can post a picture if you want, let me know.
 

Tj203

Candiru
MFK Member
Sep 11, 2019
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I built one to out of denitrat and a 3 inch pvc pipe too but I could never get it to reduce nitrates it worked as a bio filter and thats it. I tried all kinds of flows between 20 and 50 gph because thats what it calls for and never got it to work thats what made me buy a real denitrator. I had read very good thing about the seachem so I know it will work for some people. Maybe I did not have enough only had about 2 L in the pipe. As far as running it off your return pump I completely agree that is the best way, but it would be way to much work to add a line to my set-up. When I 1st did my set up I had a nice manifold but when I redid my sump I got rid of it. I am going to get a eco tech vx-1 when they are off of back order and for now i bought a cheap peristaltic pump off Amazon for $25 that came in an encloser with a speed control knob that is working great just don't think it will hold up for years of running but we will see.
 

CombatWombat

Feeder Fish
MFK Member
Apr 23, 2019
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I built one to out of denitrat and a 3 inch pvc pipe too but I could never get it to reduce nitrates it worked as a bio filter and thats it...
So that makes me wonder, can i just replace the bottom portion of my 4" pipe reactor with sulfur, and put denitrate on top, with, say, a foam pad in between? Shouldn't that work too? I see all of the designs have outflow on the side and a gas purge valve on top.. I'm wondering if that's necessary. I have my outflow from the top, so if there's any gas, it will be carried into the tank and dispersed. Is that in any way problematic? I have tons of aeration in the tank.

Sorry for hijacking your thread, I just figured you might have some experience with sulfur.
 

Tj203

Candiru
MFK Member
Sep 11, 2019
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So that makes me wonder, can i just replace the bottom portion of my 4" pipe reactor with sulfur, and put denitrate on top, with, say, a foam pad in between? Shouldn't that work too? I see all of the designs have outflow on the side and a gas purge valve on top.. I'm wondering if that's necessary. I have my outflow from the top, so if there's any gas, it will be carried into the tank and dispersed. Is that in any way problematic? I have tons of aeration in the tank.

Sorry for hijacking your thread, I just figured you might have some experience with sulfur.
It should work the only difference between sulfur and Calcium reactors are they are usually recirculating so it uses two pumps one to pump the water in the reactor and one to feed it. I don't see why it won't work except the flow requirements are very different for the seachem it is 20-50gpm and for my sulfer reactor it is 8 gallons a day that I am dripping now. I don't get how seachem can process so much more bacteria. But sulfur denitrator work they use them in waste water plants and they have been around for years. The only think to watch is your PH because it will drop to 6.2 or so in the reactor thats why sulfur denitrator use a 70/30 sulfur Crushed coral mix to buffer the PH back up. I have a cichlid tank so I am going to rum my sulfer effluent through another cheap reactor filled with Caribsea ARM plus the CC i have in the sulfur reactor. I think seachem works a bit but with a sulfur it is possible to get down to 0 if you wanted to, i am going to aim for 1-3 ppm nitrate. The main reason I wanna run this is so I can cut down on water changes and save money on the trace minerals that I dose. I had the tank set up with a continuous water change but was having a hard time keeping my GH and KH up i have the only well in the northeast with soft water. After reading up about sulfur denitrators I don't get why more people don't use them. If you can cut down water change it help keeps the water Parameters stable and you save money. Depending on your tank size it is $169-300 for the reactor and $100_150 for media and you need a feed pump $20_1000 crazy to spend more the $200 and i got mine on Amazon for $25 And it works great so far. As far as the gas mine dose not have anything to let it bleed off it just goes out the effluent line. It's nitrogen gas so it will not harm anything.
 

Tj203

Candiru
MFK Member
Sep 11, 2019
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Just wanted to show that the sulfur reactor is cycled and is now coming out nitrate free. I was dripping at 8 gallons a day and now I bumped it up today. I had to check it twice because I did not believe it cycled so quick. I seeded it with my seachem by running it in series with the reactor for 5 days and now it is by itself. the seachem has been running for 3 or 4 weeks now.

I can't wait to see how long it will take to get my nitrates down. I have well water and it comes out of the tap at 5ppm nitrate everything else is great. So I will be nice to get my tank down to 1_3 ppm I'm sure the fish will love it too lol. I have found it hard to keep it below 40ppm. With 680 total water volume even changing 200 gallons hardly puts a dent in to it

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