When to change rowaphos

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by trijam, Apr 19, 2011.

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  1. trijam

    trijam Coral Banded Shrimp

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    I've been battling a GHA problem for a about a month. I started with chemipure back in early Feb but switched over to a TLF reactor with Rowa. I've noticed my phos has gone down, reading undetectable both out of the reactor and in the DT and I'm seeing some reduction on the GHA. My nitrates are still around 5 but have come down from 20. I'm wondering, my rowaphos has been running for about 4 weeks, how long should it be before changing? I recently started to expand into SPS and was wondering also can I run BP along with rowaphos. TIA ;)
     
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  3. evolved

    evolved Wrasse Freak

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    I run GFO and change it religiously every 4 weeks. GFO based products care supposed to last between 4-8 weeks, but I I'm not willing to push it.

    You could always use plain old GFO and save some coin over the rowa. ;)

    BP = BioPelets? I suppose you could, but the BioPelets would negate the need for the GFO.
     
  4. trijam

    trijam Coral Banded Shrimp

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    I thought the BP along with a good skimmer took care of the extra nitrates whereas the GFO only deals with phosphates.
     
  5. evolved

    evolved Wrasse Freak

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    True, to an extent, but the bacteria which colonize the BP would also help with phosphates I would tend to think, but I'm probably not the most adept person to answer that question.
     
  6. cwinn

    cwinn Astrea Snail

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    im also running gfo in a brs reactor and it eliminated my lingering hair algae problem
     
  7. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    evolved, your understanding is correct based on the research I have done thus far into carbon dosing

    the principle works like this

    bacteria is limited by the amount of free carbon ( the building block for all life forms)
    we introduce a carbon source
    bacteria populations increase due to the availability of extra carbons
    this excess bacteria consumes nitrates and phosphates and is then skimmed out, taking those nutrients with it

    bear in mind, that an excess of free carbon in itself is of little use if there are no nutrients to feed bacteria created by it

    and the nutrients concerned nitrate and phosphate have to be in the correct ratio ( 1.6 - 1 I believe)

    thus what often occurs is that nitrate is utilised leaving an excess of phosphate

    and its this excess of phosphate ( which is out of balance with nitrate) that many carbon dosers seek to remove by using GFO in addition to the carbon source

    Steve
     
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  9. trijam

    trijam Coral Banded Shrimp

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    So Steve you would recomend using the rowa in conjunction with the BP?
     
  10. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    it would depend on the overal condition of my aquarium when starting with the carbon dosing

    if I was using pellets to reduce nutrients in a relatively algae free set up
    maybe not

    if I was using pellets or AN other form of carbon dosing in a system with algae issues, then I would certainly continue to run GFO in tandem with the carbon source

    its often nitrate that is the limiting factor in the carbon sources ability to remove all phosphates

    the ratio of nitrate to phosphate being removed is higher- so often Nitrate bottoms out leaving a surplus of phosphate
    GFO can help to even the numbers during carbon dosing

    Steve
     
  11. trijam

    trijam Coral Banded Shrimp

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    Thanks Steve, I have been dealing with a dwindling GHA problem and suspected that the nutrients were the reason for the lingering GHA since the rowa has shrunk the GHA considerably in the first 4 wks but the impact has been lessening here in the past 2 wks so I'll set up my second reactor with BP. Is there a brand you would suggest? TIA ;)
     
  12. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    On the Bio pellets

    IMHO - you cant go wrong with whichever product/ brand you go with
    check out Warner Marins sponsor section as there is a good thread on their product
    and as Jon Warner does spend a decent amount of time on site, if you have any questions or concerns, Jon's presence is reassuring IMHO.

    also new 3 reef Sponsor BRS has a pellet product which is getting good reviews around the www.

    Steve

    Additional information that may help you decide on GFO at same time as Bio Pellets or not

    if your test kits are revealing 0 on Nitrate and phosphate- but you still have residual algae issue - I would run GFO

    if your test kits are revealing 0 on phosphate- a low level on Nitrate and you dont have much of an algae issue - then the pellets ability to contribute to the lowering of nitrates may be caused by a lack of phosphate
    (remember the bacteria need a ratio between Nitrate and phosphate and thus in the absence of 1, their ability to remove the other is compromised)
    under those circumstances, many have removed GFO and found that the pellets can then finish the task of zero ing out the nitrates

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011