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Old 24-09-2007, 12:12 PM   #1
o2bubble
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Default Experience on reducing nitrate level

Hi all, I came across this very good article from another bro:

Update on Nitrate level management
Right, here's the story......

For the past few months, I've been trying to think up of a solution of getting rid of the high level of nitrates in my tank, I've gone through quite a number of products without much use. I've finally succeeded in reducing the nitrate level in my tank to near zero from 100over ppm.......

First of all, I set out to find out which product could actually house the denitrifying bacteria to break down the nitrates to nitrogen gas without resorting to a denitrator because for a denitrator, you've got to get the right flow rate, otherwise the output would be nitrite if the flow is too fast ; and if the flow is too slow, Hydrogen Sulphide would come out(Deadly to all organisms).

So far, the products I tried:

1. Algone
2. Tetra Nitrate Minus
3. Sea Chem De*Nitrate
4. Sea Chem Matrix


Initially, I placed the Seachem Matrix into my OHF, covered with 2 layers of sponge, one white and one green, so water could flow over it , as suggested by the instructions...... They did mention that it would take several days though, so I waited.... I also added an Algone Satchet to where the water entered the OHF, as mentioned in the instructions.

In the meantime, I took the time to test out the denitrate and the nitrateminus.

So, I took out about 50ml of my aquarium water which contained about 100 ppm of nitrates and placed it in a jar. I repeated it for 2 other jars, so that I had 3 jars of 50ml aquarium water. Then, I placed an equal amount(about same amount as the water) of Tetra Nitrate Minus, SeaChem De*Nitrate separately into each jar and capped it tightly.

The results are as below:

1.The nitrate level in the jar containing the Seachem denitrate dropped to zero in 2 days.
2.The nitrate level in the jar containing the Tetra Nitrate Minus dropped to zero in 3 days.
3.The nitrate level in the jar containing only the aquarium water still had a nitrate level of 100ppm.
4.After 2 months of waiting, the nitrates in the tank did not drop at all, I did twice weekly change of water, 30% each time.

So from there, I could conclude the following:
1.The SeaChem Matrix or the Algone wasn't doing much significant help in reducing my nitrate levels in the tank.

2.There is the denitrifying bacteria present in the aquarium water, and they just need a medium to live in , as seen in the jar with the Seachem Denitrate. (Also that the Jar that had no medium inside had no change in the nitrate levels.)

3. The Tetra Nitrate Minus claims that the pellets break down the nitrates , so I guess that's what happened.

4. If the Matrix couldn't help with the water flowing through it at such a low rate, it would be useless to use SeaChem Denitrate at all since the Matrix is supposed to be for filters with higher flow rate.

With this information, I was all set to modify my OHF to provide an anaerobic region for the bacteria to house in. I bought a Miki 888 OHF filter and did the following modification:

Using the supplied Acrylic barrier plate, I glued another piece of acrylic onto it so that I could ensure there would be a barrier to prevent the water from flowing under the barrier back into the output. I glued the whole barrier asembly to the OHF box to ensure that the water could only overflow and not underflow to the output area. After the silicone dried after 2 days, I washed the OHF box and placed a layer of SeaChem Denitrate as the bottom substrate, about 1 and half inches high. I then placed a layer of sand over it, really fine sand that I managed to obtain from C328. This was to provide the anaerobic region for the bacteria. Oh yah, had to wash the sand first before using it, was damn milky.
Please refer to the diagram below:

< See attached image - dennis >

I then took the old green and white sponge from my old OHF box and transfered it over to the new OHF box to cover the sand and installed the whole DIY OHF box.

Done!

Changed 30% of the water for 3 consecutive days so that the nitrate production could balance out with the breaking down of nitrate.

Result now: Close to zero level of Nitrates.......
Yah, I did also read about Marine tanks using the sandbed only to house the bacteria, guess it also helped in my denitrification also hehe.....

I'm so happy!

Just wanted to share this with all bros and sis! Hope it can be of useful info for u all.....

But of course, must also remember to change water once a week at least yeah? No nitrates doesn't mean no other bad stuff for the fish.....

Cheers!
Mas
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Old 29-09-2007, 11:34 PM   #2
carlfsk
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hey bro, thanks for your effort in sharing.

But are you using this for your planted tank? I though your plants will need the nitrate?
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Old 30-09-2007, 02:20 AM   #3
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This article is much suitable for non-planted tanks.

Nitrates do not cause algae. It is ammonia that causes algae. In planted tanks, people dose alot of nitrates to ensure the plants get enough. Plants need nitrate almost more than anything else, it is a macro nutrient needed by them.

Algae is also caused by an imbalance, if you have alot of Potassium but no Phosphate and Nitrates, there will be algae issues as well.
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:22 PM   #4
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Can we have the source or link for references ?
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:45 PM   #5
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I measured my nitrate to be 15-25 ppm before adding just a bit of tetra nitrate-minus into the soil. I hope to reduce further without adding more plants as the space left is limited now. This way, I can put more fishes without introducing more than needed nitrate with the same amount of plants. Correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2bubble View Post
I measured my nitrate to be 15-25 ppm before adding just a bit of tetra nitrate-minus into the soil. I hope to reduce further without adding more plants as the space left is limited now. This way, I can put more fishes without introducing more than needed nitrate with the same amount of plants. Correct me if I'm wrong.
more fishes = more ammonia = higher nitrate
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Old 01-10-2007, 07:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o2bubble View Post
3. Sea Chem De*Nitrate
How long was the setup to test this out? de*nitrate can work only when bacteria build up, isn;t it?
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Old 02-10-2007, 11:26 AM   #8
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I believe the test setup was quite sometime else the tests will not work due to not enough bacteria yet for the test water. Anyway, I'm not sure, maybe you can try to search for the author who I believe is from this forum with the post as well.

will try to measure my nitrate level again in 1 weeks time to see if tetra nitrateminus works.
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