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Oddball

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You would be able to test the conductivity of tap vs tank water and get an idea of how much more organic matter would be in the water though. I'm thinking that for a practical approach, if turbidity would be able to be assessed and controlled through water changes with a $10 tds pen. I assume state water has regulations about turbidity but I'm not sure in what requirements have to be met. I just wasn't sure if the conductivity would be a realistic approach. The idea has been thrown around to monitor when you should water change to keep acceptable nitrates and stuff, but I'm confident that stuff shows up on the pen.
If you're reasonably certain that the turbidity can be attributed to suspended organics, then the TDS pen is applicable. My recommendation for the turbidity meter is that it should be used in setups containing inorganics. Materials such as clay and PCC would not read on a TDS pen.
 

Woefulrelic

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If you're reasonably certain that the turbidity can be attributed to suspended organics, then the TDS pen is applicable. My recommendation for the turbidity meter is that it should be used in setups containing inorganics. Materials such as clay and PCC would not read on a TDS pen.
Do these inorganics contribute to the brown blood disease?
 

Oddball

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Many thank you's, Phil. So you feel just large enough sump and turnover (and of course water change; I run 100% in 3 days continuous WC) would not be enough and a skimmer would be needed on top of them?

I don't quite get the link between the organic particulate and nitrite (and ammonia?). If that particulate is still rotting, then yes, no question and it is obvious. But if that particulate is the end product of the biochemicals reactions of the decomposition, like say clumps or conglomerates of fine fiber, or keratin-derived compounds or many other benign biochemical polymers etc. that contain no ammonious nitrogen that'd still need to be converted or no nitrogen at all, then there should be no link between such particulate and fish health, at least based on the nitrogen cycle. No?
All true. However, in dense bio-load applications, turbidity caused by only metabolized organic material is only a fraction of the suspended particulate matter. I've seen what appeared to be clear water koi ponds still produce buckets of foam from an included fractionator. There were no applied inorganics other than the ash content in the koi's feed. This material was separated out via sock filtration since a protein skimmer would not cause a reaction to inert ash/clay/pcc.
 
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Oddball

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Do these inorganics contribute to the brown blood disease?
No. Because inorganics do not result in the production of nitrites. Inorganics do possess mass. Therefore, they can contribute to displacing water molecules which, in turn, reduces the amount of available DO. Turbid-water rearing applications are assisted by increasing aeration to the system. Either mechanically via air injection or chemically via H2O2 application. H2O2 must be strictly applied since the peroxide will also destroy living organics and can affect the bio-filter.
 

Woefulrelic

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So if the inorganics aren't as much of an issue, and organics ?can? be measured with a tds meter, the tds meter may be a tool to combat brown blood disease? Assuming organics are the major factor and you can run a tap vs tank to get an idea how much organics have been added? If the turbidity is from inorganics it isn't highly relevant but brown blood disease also shouldn't be as much of an issue?
 

Oddball

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Correct on all counts. Also, keep in mind that if the bio-load is already suffering from the effects of nitrite toxicity, suspended inorganics can exacerbate the problems in that the fish's already lowered O2 absorption capability will be adversely impacted by the inorganic material's displacement of the water's DO levels.
 
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thebiggerthebetter

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Clearly you know a lot more about this than I, so much so than a lot of this goes over my head. So the organics I mention are dissolved chemicals, and the organics he mentioned are organics suspended in the water column as particulate to cloud the water? I just want to make sure I understand it correctly. That makes these heavily stocked tanks a lot more scary.
Sorry. Fully dissolved chemical compounds, organic or inorganic, would not contribute to turbidity. Turbidity is only effected by particles which are suspended in water column. Since the discussion started around turbidity, I thought we have not been talking about dissolved organics. Perhaps I thought so erroneously.

Now to me, the important point that Phil makes is that both kinds of organic particulate matter are usually present in turbid tank waters - both benign (metabolized) and still rotting (the metabolic processes have not finished). But the latter release ammonia and nitrite that can be measured by our water test kits, I assume. So the source of NH3 and NO2 is not important, what's important is that they be not there and read zero. No?

The foaming skimmer then is just an effective mechanical filter that lessens bioload by filtering out microscopic particulate matter continuously and without clogging, that's all it is, right Phil? Oddball Oddball

Another interesting point is about DO that Phil makes.
 

Oddball

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The foaming skimmer then is just an effective mechanical filter that lessens bioload by filtering out microscopic particulate matter continuously and without clogging, that's all it is, right Phil? Oddball Oddball

Another interesting point is about DO that Phil makes.
Yep. Same as in a SW protein skimmer. Out with the bad, keep the good.
 

jlnguyen74

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I see. Thanks, John. The reason for my asking is I always wonder how long would a tank like this last.

I am talking merely volume of fish over volume of water. Just shooting in the dark, this is about 10x-100x more than the 1 cubic inch of fish per gallon rule of thumb. I know this is doable short term with a tremendous water turnover and a very large sump but over long term... that's what I wonder.

Cuz in some of my tanks too I run over 1 cu inch over gallon and while my sumps are 2x-5x bigger than the volume of my tanks, I wonder what's the turnover to shoot for so the fish thrive, not survive. Naively and crudely thinking, I'd think the turnover should be a few minutes, that is say at 2 min the incoming water should be 30 x the tank volume in one hour.

So in your case, I'd probably be ok to experiment like this with a 1200 gal sump attached to your 600 gal tank and 30 x 600 = 18,000 GPH, which however would blow all these fish around like in a hurricane... Just looking to learn, mate, if you will to share your expertise.

Perhaps one could get away with a 4 min turnover and 9,000 GPH which is still very strong flow in a 600 gal but a lot more manageable by the fish.

I wonder what Phil would tell us Oddball Oddball . He'd be concerned with the brown blood disease, I am sure, at the very least, with any lesser overall water volume and lesser turnover.
That tank has a 180-gal wet/dry with a 2000-gph Iwaki pump. It has been heavily stocked like that or more for close to 10 years with variety of fish. I do weekly water change, or once every 2 weeks once the filter catch up/settle with the change in bio load
 
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thebiggerthebetter

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Yep. Same as in a SW protein skimmer. Out with the bad, keep the good.
Cool. I am glad how much I've learned in such a small amount of time. Thank you.

So foaming / protein skimmer is a mechanical filter that takes care of particles so fine, submicron, that they go through a polishing mat... and/or clog the mat and render it ineffective.

The rotting particles then can be viewed as a myriad of tiniest fishes swimming around and exhaling ammonia (and nitrite because the particles are inhabited by the nitrifying bacteria?) and increasing the bioload. I guess Phil says this increase can be significant, even crucial in some circumstances such as 10x-100x overstocking as done at many fish farms.

On the other hand, if the particles are carrying BB's, they should aid in removing ammonia and nitrite right there in the tank water column, unless the colonizing requirements of the bacteria that convert nitrite to nitrate differ from the requirements of the bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite and the former for some reason cannot settle on these particles as well.

I am trying to understand why it is that you appear to be concerned with the nitrites in particular and not with ammonia, Phil?

Is it wrong to lump them together in thinking about what's been discussed?

I am operating on the assumption that the only end product of nitrogen cycle in the rotting process is ammonia. Perhaps you will come back and say rotting organic matter produces nitrite directly too? Not via BB's?
 
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