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  1. #1
    Dremel_Master Fragged_it is on a distinguished road
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    Sulphur Denitrators

    I've been running a sulphur denitrator on my system for 15 months now and love it. Is there anyone else using them?

    What are the pros and cons that you've found from running one?
    William Tell has stretched his bow till it won't stretch no furthermore
    And/or it may require a change that hasn't come before.
    - Robert Hunter

  2. #2
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    Paul_N is on a distinguished road
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    I ran a DIY one when I first switched from FOWLR system to a reef. My nitrates where through the roof (180+) and it got them down to below 50. It just couldn't seem to get them down much lower than 40 for me. I switched to vodka dosing to try to get the nitrates down to zero and also didn't want another piece of equipment. It did work drop my nitrates initially quickly from the 180 -50 within 4 weeks.

    *edit* I followed this thread on the "other forum". You can see the one I built mid way down the page. You can also see the "moved on" under my user name....lol!

    http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...1288082&page=5
    Last edited by Paul_N; 04-09-2010 at 07:50 AM.
    Paul

    There are too many people, and too few human beings.

    "Fools who love giving advice on our garden never tend their own plants at all"


    My 220 upgrade that never happened: http://www.reef2reef.com/forums/memb...ade-build.html

    My system before I took it down : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Awegh6QmjMM Currently tankless...:sad:

  3. #3
    Dremel_Master Fragged_it is on a distinguished road
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    That's my story. I was off the chart with my FOWLR, it looked like someone bled into the vial. It was so red I can't be sure what they were. The DIY sulphur denitrator got me down to 20ppm (as well as some radical changes in my filtration), but it could never get me below 20. Rather than going to vodka dosing I purchased a solid denitrator and I've been at 0 ever since.

    I'm curious to find someone running one longer than I have been to see if there has been any long term ill effects. So far mine has been the best purchase second only to my skimmer.

    Anyone else using them?
    William Tell has stretched his bow till it won't stretch no furthermore
    And/or it may require a change that hasn't come before.
    - Robert Hunter

  4. #4
    Dremel_Master Fragged_it is on a distinguished road
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    wow.
    40 pages!
    William Tell has stretched his bow till it won't stretch no furthermore
    And/or it may require a change that hasn't come before.
    - Robert Hunter

  5. #5
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    Paul_N is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fragged_it View Post
    wow.
    40 pages!
    Actually that thread split and it's 40+ pages for every split so I think it's at like 85 total pages...
    Paul

    There are too many people, and too few human beings.

    "Fools who love giving advice on our garden never tend their own plants at all"


    My 220 upgrade that never happened: http://www.reef2reef.com/forums/memb...ade-build.html

    My system before I took it down : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Awegh6QmjMM Currently tankless...:sad:

  6. #6
    Registered Member beaslbob is on a distinguished road
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    I am glad it is working to your satisfaction.

    FWIW this is my take

    1) extremely hard to adjust.

    2) assuming correct operation, they reduce nitrates but do nothing for phosphate. As do almost all nitrates reducing methods except macro algaes. Like nitrate sponges, dsbs and so on.

    So you get phosphates with low nitrates. The perfect conditions for cyano bacteria.

    I just maintain unmeasureable nitrates and phosphates with macro algaes and in the process create a tank the is a net consumer of carbon dioxide and producer of oxygen each 24 hour period.

    But that's just me

    and my .02
    Last edited by beaslbob; 04-11-2010 at 12:43 PM.

  7. #7
    Dremel_Master Fragged_it is on a distinguished road
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    Thanks beaslbob. I greatly appreciate your .02!

    I have to admit, I am constantly fighting cyano... I have two areas on my sand bed that it comes and goes, almost weekly. My phosphates are unmeasurable, but they may be being consumed causing the test to be inaccurate.
    William Tell has stretched his bow till it won't stretch no furthermore
    And/or it may require a change that hasn't come before.
    - Robert Hunter

  8. #8
    Registered Member beaslbob is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fragged_it View Post
    Thanks beaslbob. I greatly appreciate your .02!

    I have to admit, I am constantly fighting cyano... I have two areas on my sand bed that it comes and goes, almost weekly. My phosphates are unmeasurable, but they may be being consumed causing the test to be inaccurate.

    Oh i think the test is accurate. It's just telling ya the cyano is consuming all the phosphates.

    Afterall the tank is still producing nitrates and phosphates. Just that the nitrate and phosphates consumers are keeping up.

    my .02 (a double charge?)

  9. #9
    Registered Member ReefNightmare is on a distinguished road
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    I have the Midwest Denitrator but is in the closet,
    I never set it up,my nitrates are below 2 and phosphates below
    0.0 . I do water change every month, and run 3 phosban reactors
    with media,plus lots of macroalgae.I have heavy stock in my 95g Reeftank(11 fishes)
    Do you think would it be good to set up the DN?
    Do you guys see your nitrates levels going up after a while and
    then you do WC or they are always undetectable?

  10. #10
    Dremel_Master Fragged_it is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReefNightmare View Post
    Do you think would it be good to set up the DN?
    If your nitrates are 2, leave it in the closet. If, bychance, they climb someday, then set it up.
    William Tell has stretched his bow till it won't stretch no furthermore
    And/or it may require a change that hasn't come before.
    - Robert Hunter

  11. #11
    Registered Member scalare102079 is on a distinguished road
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    use a midwest aquatics unit as well, love it! Helped me out tons when I wasn't capable of performing my normal routine water changes...

  12. #12
    Registered Member ReeferBen is on a distinguished road
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    I use a midwest unit as well, keeps Nitrates undetectable. I use GFO and carbon in a duel BRS reactor and my last hanna colorimeter P04 test came out at .01. I also do bi-weekly water changes.

  13. #13
    There is no substitute.
    Acroholic is on a distinguished road
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    I have the large Midwest Unit as well, and the one thing I did was get rid of the cruddy pinch valve they give you for adjusting the effluent rate. I replaced it with a USPlastics needle valve, and it works great.

    I have found that every few months (5 or so) I need to take the unit apart and rinse everything because you get a buildup of white bacterial film that causes the rotten egg smell that you cannot get rid of by increasing the effluent rate, as the Owner's Manual states to do.

    The bacteria buildup looks like egg whites cooked in boiling water, and if you rinse the calcarous and sulfur media, along with the separator sponges it starts right back up without a long new cycle. I clean the entire unit since I have it apart.

    I believe the bacteria film just plain and simple clogs the reactor after a time.

    Another good thing to do is lube the reactor top O-ring with silicone lube every time you open it up.

  14. #14
    Registered Member beaslbob is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReefNightmare View Post
    I have the Midwest Denitrator but is in the closet,
    I never set it up,my nitrates are below 2 and phosphates below
    0.0 . I do water change every month, and run 3 phosban reactors
    with media,plus lots of macroalgae.I have heavy stock in my 95g Reeftank(11 fishes)
    Do you think would it be good to set up the DN?
    Do you guys see your nitrates levels going up after a while and
    then you do WC or they are always undetectable?
    Both nitrates and phosphates are unmeasureable continuously. I do no water changes. Nitrates measured with the API test kit, phosphates with the low reading salifert test kit.

    Tank is balanced out with chaetomorphia macro algae in a refugium.

    I also use the diy 2part and add some kalk in top off water.


    my .02

  15. #15
    Dremel_Master Fragged_it is on a distinguished road
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    My manufacture added a step by step start up of a sulphur denitrator on his forum. He uses a Pinpoint Nitrate monitor to demonstrate how to cycle these units. He used a 60 gallon FOWL tank with nitrates at 29ppm. It took 2 days 14 hours to bring the tank down to 0ppm.

    Denitrator Build from Start to Finish - David's Tanks and Innovations




    William Tell has stretched his bow till it won't stretch no furthermore
    And/or it may require a change that hasn't come before.
    - Robert Hunter

  16. #16
    Registered Member sirjustis is on a distinguished road
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    I just started one yesterday.... Man I hope I get it rite.

  17. #17
    Registered Member robert is on a distinguished road
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    I have run a DIY sulphur denitrator for a few years now. Recently I had the opportunity to test it on a 170 gallon mixed reef with nitrates > 40 and phosphates at 0.29. After eight days nitrates went to 0 and phosphates are down to 0.13ppm. Its not well known, but properly configured, sulphur denitrators are quite effective at removing phosphate. Too bad none of the commercial versions that I have seen are built correctly.

    Once the denitrator is fully popped and after your nitrate hits 0, you have to dose nitrate to the system to drive the phospahte down and maintain nitrate to phosphate ratio (above 16:1) necessary to inhibit cyano.

  18. #18
    Registered Member sirjustis is on a distinguished road
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    robert is your reactor recirced? all the ones i see are not. i plummed mine as a recirc but i do not believe this is neccessary. your thoughts?

  19. #19
    Registered Member sirjustis is on a distinguished road
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    currently on my DIY reactor i have a maxijet 1200. im thinking this is to much. i just shut it off for the afternoon to see if maybe i can get some colonizing in the next 6 hours! i can always switch to a maxi 400, thats like barely any flow. anyone want to jump in?

    Denitrator Build from Start to Finish
    this is the site where i have currently recieved all my info.

    my tank rite now is between 40-20ppm nitrates. the only thing i havent done is run my reactor wide open for 24 hours, but it has been on line that long, just not wide open. coming out the effluent this morning was identical to my tank. again that was 20-40ppm on nitrates, per api. so i imagine the trates are in there.

  20. #20
    Registered Member robert is on a distinguished road
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    Yes, I run run a re-circulation pump inside the media chamber. My dead water volume is 3% of total water volume and media itself is slightly less than 1.5% of total water volume. Media should be mixed - not separated - this is important for phosphate removal. Flow rate is equal to the total dead water volume per hour.

    So if you have a 100 gallon tank - you would want a 3 gallon container (dead water volume) - filled with 1.5 gallons of mixed media. You would run a flow rate through the denitratorr of 3 gallons per hour. My internal re-circulation flow is 100 gph - I don't think more would hut anything as long as its not so much so as to move (and stratify) the media.

    During break-in, while the bacteria are setting up in the denitrator, you may find slowing the flow through the denitrator helps things get going, but once you can detect a drop in nitrates at the output - open it up to nominal flow.

 

 

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