Nitrate reactor

johnnymax

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Jun 7, 2019
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I am trying to understand this. So, it is basically an anaerobic digester like they use to produce methane from waste, but there is no waste added, other that what is in the water?
Is there bio media in the reactor, or does the bacteria just survive in the slow moving water?
Is the principle, that the water moves so slow that all the oxygen is removed before it exits and it becomes an anaerobic environment?
Sorry for so many questions. I am setting up an IBC Tote to grow our my Hawaiian Gold Tilapia, and I have plenty of space for filtration and maybe a nitrate reactor.
 

twentyleagues

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In my salt days I used an aquapure and ended switching eventually to biopellets and a reactor. Ive often wondered if biopellets would work in fresh. Itd be nice to see a more detailed step by step set up walk through of your system. I think itd help alot of people understand how it works. Nice work!
 

Raka

Jack Dempsey
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Oct 22, 2019
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Awesome! I have been curious about this as well but have found little to no info on. Thanks for posting your build!

I have found by changing the terms anoxic/anerobic around in searches to yield different results. There is a lovely 6 part piece by Jay's Aquariums on Youtube that really breaks this process down.

Anaerobic = total absence of free oxygen (O2) or bound oxygen (NO2, NO3)
Anoxic = absence of free oxygen, but presence of bound oxygen.
 
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johnnymax

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Anaerobic = total absence of free oxygen (O2) or bound oxygen (NO2, NO3)
Anoxic = absence of free oxygen, but presence of bound oxygen.
Anoxic is a new term for me. Now to look into it. 🔬
 

DDK

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You must really hate water changes lol! But interesting to say the least. I tried the denitrifying bacteria method with bio pellets (dr tims) along with plenty of ceramic media but i never could get it to work. Even after 3 months nitrates would remain the same until i did a water change so i just gave up and pulled the reactor out. How much did you spend on this diy set up?
 

twentyleagues

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You must really hate water changes lol! But interesting to say the least. I tried the denitrifying bacteria method with bio pellets (dr tims) along with plenty of ceramic media but i never could get it to work. Even after 3 months nitrates would remain the same until i did a water change so i just gave up and pulled the reactor out. How much did you spend on this diy set up?
Remained the same? Or steadily increased? If it remained the same then it was working just not on a scale you needed to be at.
 
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ryang85

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I actually use this method in managing septic lagoons and it's where I got the idea. First pond is highly aerobic, second pond is a settling pond the third is anoxic. ( i now realize I've been mixing up the meanings) we dont run methane digesters but in theory its an identical to our systems on a large scale. Most treatemnt plants run a UV sterilizer but your going to want to avoid that until the reactor is really going.

Once the system is up and running ( hopefully in the next 2 weeks) i will post a detailed write up. On how I built it. For now i will attach a quick sketch I made to help others understand the layout. I'm still experimenting with how much bio media you need per aquarium gallon but in the case I'd say bigger is better. If you have room it wouldn't hurt to make more big chambers for bio media.

And being a college student my free time comes and goes in waves. Having to do three 25 gal water changes per week usually isn't bad but sometimes when I get busy It becomes a hassle. And now I can leave the tank alone for 2 weeks with auto feeders and just ask someone to keep an eye on it for me. If i dont do any water changes at all the nitrates stay below 10ppm.

Also in terms of cost. My smaller one cost roughly 50 dollars including the recirculating water heater pump without bio media. I used a gallon of seachem denitrate media hoping that the larger surface area would help more. That stuff isn't cheep so I am going to try stuffing pot scrubbies into the current one I am building. Dollar store pot scrubbies fit perfect into 3" pvc so it seems like a good option. I get most of my pvc fitting for free leftover from construction jobs. 50 to 100 dollars is realistically the cost for someone to go and buy everything. I would also budget in an extra 50 for an jabeo auto doser. I also was spending a lot if money just using hot water for tank changes. I live in the PNW so the water this time of year needs to be heated 30 degrees before I can put it into the tank.

20191225_121053.jpg
 
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ryang85

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So the water goes through the coil first? To remove oxygen? What will you be using to inject the vodka?
Yes, the coil helps remove most of the oxygen. And I use a syringe or auto doser with 1/4 inch air hose on the end to inject. Then on the pvc pipe is a valve with a 3/16 in barb fitting.
 

twentyleagues

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Yes, the coil helps remove most of the oxygen. And I use a syringe or auto doser with 1/4 inch air hose on the end to inject. Then on the pvc pipe is a valve with a 3/16 in barb fitting.
So you are injecting the vodka into the 3" pvc? The water pressure doesnt push out of the 3/16 barb. Obviously I'm interested and have tried multiple nitrate reactors on fresh to end up with next to no nitrate reduction.
 
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