Nitrate reactor

ryang85

Exodon
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Dec 9, 2019
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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.
I am using 1/2 inch pvc where I inject the vodka. In the picture all of the thinner pipe is 1/2 inch but you can do it any size. Only the area that contains the media is 3". And it pushes out of the barb when the valve is open. I put the hose on the barb then open the valve and Inject the vodka, then close the valve. I drew a better diagram explaining that process.

Feel free to ask as many questions as youd like to.

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DDK

Plecostomus
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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.
always just increased. after a 80% w/c I would be left with +/-40ppm of nitrates a day after (i always test the next day cause the nitrates in the filters will dilute into the clean water), and it increased to roughly 80ppm to 120ppm in the next two weeks when i would do another w/c. The dr tims was just a waste of money to me, never saw a difference with or without it lol. Went through two bottles and it was just burning cash at that point. I dont clear algae off the back walls of my tank and that alone takes care of roughly 80ppm of nitrates so I can do biweekly water changes instead of weekly lol
 

ryang85

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So I finally got home and got some time to set it up.I checked every dollar tree within 45 minutes and only came up with 44 pot scrubbies. After looking online I guess they are backordered and I struggled to find anything in the 3" size I needed. Out of frustration I bought a bag of lava rock


I hung the pipes(canisters) above the sump as planned20200107_123206.jpg
Then for the plumbing everything it the same as the sketch except I needed a valve on the recirculation line to keep steady pressure on the outlet.
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The black hose going in is from a 100 foot coil I have wrapped up and sitting in my sump.
 

ryang85

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Some more pictures. Also I wont be able to say much about its effectiveness for about a week or two until I get it cycled. I'm going to try and keep the tank at around 30ppm nitrates so I can notice a drop when it happens. I am getting a shipment of fish in later this week so I should be able to keep the nitrates high but until then the current residents will be happy with being overfed a little.

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ryang85

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As an update, I did a initial dose of 5ml vodka on the first day and was running less than a gallon per day output for the first 4 days, pretty much as slow of a drip as I could get the valve to go. After 5 days I now have 0ppm nitrate output pushing 3 gal/ day. As of tommarow I'm going to dose 2ml vodka twice per day then slowly start increasing the vodka and flow rate per day to keep nitrate output under 2.5ppm.
I got my new fish so my nitrate are climbing at roughly 5 ppm per day in the tank. So my goal will to be a 5pm drop in nitrates per day on the reactor. So to drop 5ppm per day I will need to cycle roughly 30 gallons/day to keep nitrates steady.

Since I've transferred a lot of fish out of my 70gal into my 180 gal, my reactor on the 70 has been working great. I have no slime build up and the nitrates are staying around 10ppm. I could keep it lower but I would have to clean filters twice per week to fight slime build up. I left the the tank for 2 weeks while I was out of town and when I returned the parameters and fish were in the same shape as when I left them.
 
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ryang85

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now up to 15gal/day. Dosing 5ml twice per day with 0ppm nitrate output. Progress has been good. The nitrates in the tank are creeping up at 2ppm per day. So I do still have some way to go to get to 0ppm creep.

On a side note my tank has become slightly hazy in the past day. Im not sure if its due to the carbon not being completely absorbed by the reactor or some other bacterial imbalance since I greatly increased the bio load. Hopefully it will sort itself out in a day or two.

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BIG-G

Goliath Tigerfish
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Just a curiosity.
Would it be possible to over dose the reactor?
I know it can be dosed too much and the carbon not be used up resulting in a bacterial bloom in the tank.
That’s not what I’m referring to.
Would it be possible to overdose with vodka and the alcohol actually kill off bacteria inside the reactor?
I would think that it would close to impossible to kill off if dosing the tank,
But dosing the reactor is a much smaller volume of water.
 

ryang85

Exodon
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Dec 9, 2019
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Just a curiosity.
Would it be possible to over dose the reactor?
I know it can be dosed too much and the carbon not be used up resulting in a bacterial bloom in the tank.
That’s not what I’m referring to.
Would it be possible to overdose with vodka and the alcohol actually kill off bacteria inside the reactor?
I would think that it would close to impossible to kill off if dosing the tank,
But dosing the reactor is a much smaller volume of water.

I think it would be possible on a large scale to mess things up but it wouldn't actaully kill off the anoxic bacteria, but would cause a heterotrophic bloom(slime) and clog the reactor. The worst case is that youd cause a massive amount of sulfur hydroxide to be produced and poison youd tank and possibly even your house. Oxygen detoxifies it pretty quickly but it a massive overdose there might not be enough present.

I think it would take a massive dose like 50ml+ since generally when I have slime it's a slow build up over multiple overdosing days. I only adjust dosing in increments of 2ml max so it would be highly unlikely and youd probably have a mess in your tank and sump/canister before that happens.

I should comment my favorite way of tuning the cycled reactor is actually by smelling the output. It should have a very light sulfur smell when your nitrates are below 10ppm. Too strong means I will have slime and need to lower the vodka dose, no smell at all means the bacteria ran out of carbon so I need to up the dose.
 
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