Do it yourself Denitrator

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by Jakerupe, Jun 24, 2008.

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  1. tigermike74

    tigermike74 Panda Puffer

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    Thanks for the awesome info! I'm looking to lower my nitrates. Since restarting my 150G last month, my nitrates are through the roof right now, about 180ppm!!! That's even after doing a 50G water change!!! :eek: And nope, I don't have any livestock and don't plan on it until it gets down to liveable region, like zero.
    I'm a little confused to the design. The external clear hose is the input on top. On the inside of the cap, what does it connect to? The yellow tubing inside, what does the upper end connect to? I'm assuming that will connect to the upper endcap. What is connected to the output that is drilled to the side of the tube just below the end cap? I'm assuming the end on the bottom is unconnected, as that is the water feed that will push the water up the denitrator. Either gravity feed, or pump feed will drive the clear tube input, right? Sorry if I am being dense, I just want to make sure I understand before I go and make this. Thanks! :)
     
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  3. Jakerupe

    Jakerupe Skunk Shrimp

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    Make sure you tape up the clear tubing or use a type that light does not penetrate. Algae will grow otherwise. The inside connects to the top of the yellow tubing

    Yes, should be what the input connects to, same as above.

    Inside the tube nothing is connected. The yellow tube will just terminate at the bottom of the unit, the water will fill up through the bio balls to the output. On the outside just tubing that will return the water to the sump. Gravity fed will work fine, you really would only need a pump if you do not have a sump.

    As far as your nitrates now I would assume you are just cycling with live rock and the die off from that will cause your nitrates to be this high, they'll lower.
     
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  4. tigermike74

    tigermike74 Panda Puffer

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    Awesome, thanks! I checked all of the Lowes and Home Depots in my area and none of them sell 3" PVC piping, grrrr. Looks like I have to try a local plumbing store.
    It's funny about my cycling. My tank is technically 4 years old, though it's been non-running for the last 2, though I did not drain the tank. I left the rock in the saltwater over the 2 years to prevent it from drying out and dying off. After I replumbed my system to have a UV filter, I scrubbed the tank, filled it with fresh saltwater and I restarted the filters in the tank. I dropped a half cup of pure ammonia to start the nitrifying cycle and after 2 weeks, ammonia is 0ppm, nitrites are 0ppm, but nitrates are 180ppm. I am guessing I just don't have enough bacteria built up yet. Patience is a virtue, but it sure is hard when my LFS has a baby porcupine puffer that is calling "bring me home!!!" :)
    Thanks for the help!
     
  5. Jakerupe

    Jakerupe Skunk Shrimp

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    Every lowes that I have been in has had the pipe, strange but hey we all think you CA people are nutz here in the mid west. They also sell them in two foot sizes, I looked it up at Lowes in San Diego and they didn't carry it?!?!?

    When you let your tank sit did you have any pumps in it? I'm not sure but that probably is going to cause you more problems then letting the rocks "die off." There is a lot of bad things that happen in the anaerobic parts of your tank. Id also check you "fresh" salt water that you are adding to see if there are nitrates in there. Did your nitrites ever spike? Something is way off if your nitrates are that high, my tests dont even go that high!
     
  6. tigermike74

    tigermike74 Panda Puffer

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    Unfortunately, San Diego would end up being a 4hr drive, round trip for me. I'm sure a local shop should have the pipes. :)
    When I left my tank stagnant, I removed all the pumps and drained the sump. I didn't want the pumps and PHs to corrode in the tank. The only water left was in the tank, which sat still. I'm sure the still water killed off much (if not all) of the rock. I tested my saltwater mix after circulating for 24hrs and the nitrates are reading 0ppm in my bucket. I have a couple guesses why my nitrates are so high. My biobale in my sump/wet/dry completely dried out and so all that bacteria died. Then the other theory is the rocks are starting to cure all over again, like you mentioned. My nitrates did spike, 4 days after my big ammonia spike, which is where I was getting dark red on my nitrates. Heck, 180ppm may even be underestimating what it really was. One good thing though, after testing tonight, my nitrates are now down to somewhere in the 80-160ppm range. Still high, but at least they are lowering; the test water is no longer beet red. My kit only goes to 160ppm, but the readings before were WAY redder than the dark orange on the chart for 160ppm. Hopefully things are starting to settle now and will get to normal soon. If it doens't, I'm going to have a fun time trying to figure out what's causing this. :(
     
  7. fishoholic

    fishoholic Purple Spiny Lobster

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  9. Jakerupe

    Jakerupe Skunk Shrimp

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    Ok the quote above was referring to the water coming out of the denitrator, that’s just a tube back to the sump.

    As to getting it out of your overflow I wouldn't... water level will change, power outage may not re-prime it. Simply run the hose into your tank. Tangster made me a "J" tube that would hang on. You just need some patience and 1/4 plastic tubing and some heat to bend it. Should look like a coat hanger. Make sure you pre-filter with a mesh bag. I went back and used R/O tubing for mine.... oh yeah in case you didn't catch it make sure that the tubing you use does not let light in, algae will grow in the tubing. You can tape the clear tubing with electrical tape or use some heat shrink-wrap.
     
  10. fishoholic

    fishoholic Purple Spiny Lobster

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    How would you start the siphon? Thanks
     
  11. Afterdark230

    Afterdark230 Flamingo Tongue

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    same way you start all siphons start sucking untill you get water!
    lol or you could use a pump to help prime the line and then once its running remove it

    :p
     
  12. Jakerupe

    Jakerupe Skunk Shrimp

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    Like After said, once the water is up over the J tube it will take care of itself.

    Or you can fill the input tube by dunking it in the tank, then connect it and untie it keeping the unattached end in the tank....no sucking required!!