High phosphates and nitrates

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by beamer, Jun 5, 2004.

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  1. Craig Manoukian

    Craig Manoukian Giant Squid

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    [quote author=beamer link=board=Newbie;num=1086480105;start=75#79 date=06/12/04 at 12:26:54]I would like to get away from as much maintenance as I can. [/quote]

    We can all dream, eh?
     
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  3. beamer

    beamer Sea Dragon

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    Why not? ::)

    Cindy
     
  4. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    [quote author=Matt Rogers link=board=Newbie;num=1086480105;start=75#78 date=06/12/04 at 12:15:10]Have you explored other options regarding your phosphates and nitrates? I hate pushing chemicals, but 12 years ago or so I used Phosban on my tank in college and that seemed to help. Of course this may not shut off the source of phosphates, but it may keep them in check. Please get other opinions on this, as my experience was limited.[/quote]

    Iron based Phosphate removers like Phosban and Rowaphos are very useful tools. However, they can only grab the inorganic Phosphates in the water column. They work better at preventative maintenance then fixing a very high Phosphate concentration.

    Crushed coral traps detritus which will pollute your system. You either have to get it out of your tank or have a DSB capable of processing your bioload. Since a DSB isn't going to be able to do the job with the amount of fish you have, crushed coral with siphoning is the next best thing.

    Lets not forget that we have to have a home for the nitriying bacteria in your system to remove the massive quantities of Ammonia all of your fish are putting out. The crushed coral will give them a home. If you went barebottom, you would likely have a cycle once the ammonia overloaded the bacteria. I suppose you could build a massive sump and put tons of live rock in it or bioballs to create more habitat for the bacteria. If you used the bioballs your next post would be why are my Nitrates through the roof? Nitrifying bacteria don't only live in sand or rock, they are everywhere but most species require a surface. One of the main purposes of Live Rock is to provide surface area for the bacteria to populate.

    Barebottoms also have to have massive flow to blow the detritus off the bottom and into the water column for your skimmer to pick up. You could go this route if you have high flow and a great skimmer but you would have to remove quite a few of the fish or add bioballs, a biowheel, live rock in the tank and sump, etc.
     
  5. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Minor correction: I remembered that I used Phosguard, not Phosban.
     
  6. mojoreef

    mojoreef Bristle Worm

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    Curt Nitrifing bacteria live on every surface of the tank, Lr, power heads, the glass, fish, inverts, everywhere. As long as thier are surfaces thier will be a large population on nitrifing bacteria.
    See that seems to be to common misconception about BB tanks. In every tank the common problem is in dealing with fish waste/detritus/organics. Where things go different paths is how we deal with the above mentioned. With someone that goes BB thier concept is to get rid of the vast majority of the waste/detritus so that it never goes down the reduction process. Because the vast majority is exported prior to breakdown thier is very little left to have to deal with. Thus the normal ammount of LR will take care of the balance.
    Folks that go with DSB's/plenums and so on make a different choice. Instead of just removing the waste and so on they choose to allow it to rot in thier tank. The detritus/waste entes thier dsb's and so on and bacteria begins to brea down the nitrogen portion of the waste/detritus (what we call rotting) the balance of what ever the material is in the waste sinks down into the substraight.
    Remember Curt in a BB system your just not leaving the stuff in thier to get an ammonia spike, you are reducing the load of it in the tank so that you dont have to allow so much to rot away.
    In regards to the flow required. You dont need massive flow, just flow that is designed correctly to get the detritus in the water column, where it can be taken up by corals and/or go down the overflow to be removed. Curt that almost all Public Aquariums have no sand on the bottom of thier tanks and have no bioballs or biowheel type filtration. Just descent flow and simple sand filters to trap the detritus.

    Matt thanks for the kind words. The CC I used was very thin, just a decorative layer I experemented with and removed a few months later. the tank has been bare bottom for a long time.


    Mike
     
  7. mojoreef

    mojoreef Bristle Worm

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    Oh and just to shine a another light on things to dentirification occurs in aerobic zones at each level of the N cycle also. Just another thing the experts didnt want to share.


    Mike
     
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  9. Craig Manoukian

    Craig Manoukian Giant Squid

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    Mike,

    In general does a combination of high and low cross directional flows keep the dtritus suspended in the water column?  TIA
     
  10. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    Yup. I know that they live everywhere. Some of them are even motile. However, a number of species do NOT like the UV we hit them with when we fire up our MH's so I thought that the most effective species would be in our LR and substrate.

    I was completely guessing as to how much surface area is needed to process such a high bioload. I cannot even imagine dealing with that many fish in my tank. It just seemed to me that she needed more surface area for bacteria with that bioload.

    Thanks for the info that the normal amount of LR will do the job.
     
  11. mojoreef

    mojoreef Bristle Worm

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    Sure you will find more is sand and in LR. you will even find them in the water colun if the enviroment if the conditions are correct for them. I dont think your going to find enough UV in our tanks to stop them from populating.
    Actually Curt thier is a formula. I used it to see if she had a chance at it but it wasnt close, even under perfect conditions Cindy would need a sand bed bigger then my tank to be able to completely biologically handle the waste sheis going to get from a bioload like that. This is why I suggested manually removing as much as she could through syphoning. the reduction of the sheer biomass will greatly reduce tha ammount of bacteria she needs to filter the balance.
    That same concept Curt is the concept behind a BB tank. With the use of flow you can direct detritus to the overflows of your tank where is can be removed by a skimmer or what ever other filters you may have. Every ounce of detritus you remove is equal to an ammount of detritus you do not have to biologically decompose.

    Craig thats a good question. What I try to do is to create a flow pattern where detritus is not allowed to settle on the bottm of the tank. Once pushed off the bottom the balance of the flow in the tank blows it all over the place. it makes it available to corals and dusters and then it get taken down the overflow, from thier I have a bunch of little vacation plans set up for it, hehehe

    Mike
     
  12. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    Thanks for the info.