Aquari-Pure nitrate filter

Discussion in 'Equipment, Lighting, Hardware, Aquarium Filtration' started by reeffirstaid, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. reeffirstaid

    reeffirstaid Well-Known Member

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    Product Website: Aquaripure

    I've seen mention of this device several times on forums. I thought I would take a few moments to give you my perspective, as these filters are not cheap and I assume a variety of people have bought one.

    If you want to save your time reading this entire post, My advice as long time aquarist, aquarium writer and consultant, is DO NOT BUY ONE. If you continue reading, I will explain why.

    The aquari-pure is basically a biological de-nitrator. Inside the canister is a filter media that encourages the colonization of anaerobic bacteria, which consume a carbon source and breakdown nitrates into CO2. According to the manufacturer the media within the aquari-pure never requires changing. The filter comes sealed, with a label warning that if it is ever opened any warranty is voided. Overall it's a simple enough device, an inlet hose is powered by a small cobalt powerhead, with an outflow that can be positioned anywhere on an aquarium wall or sump. There is a dosing port on the filter's top, where a carbon source is injected, feeding the population of anaerobic bacteria. Now to the bad news.

    Like any de-nitrator, the aquari-pure must cycle. This takes several weeks. Every three days the system must be dosed with a carbon source. The manufacturer provided source is a liquid, very similar to Red Sea's Nitrate and Phosphate reducer. When fully cycled and operating normally, the aquari-pure does lower nitrates, often taking them down to zero. The issue arises when the filter constantly de-cycles. Over the course of the nearly two (2) years I had an aquari-pure, the system would de-cycle monthly, and nitrates within the affluent would rise to well over 70 ppm. I never could determine the cause of the de-cycle, as the flow rate was set to manufacturer recommendation and I was following the dosing schedule, using the provided liquid.

    When it does work properly, the output tubing quickly clogs up with a white, slimy bacteria film, and the entire unit has to be shut down and the tube cleaned with a pipe cleaner. The short shut down period typically causes the filter to de-cycle, releasing high nitrate into the tank for several weeks unit the bacteria has replenished. If the filter is working correctly it often leaches a strong rotten egg stench, making the room the tank is in smell badly. This rotten egg smell is sulfur, often produced by de-nitrifying bacteria, though the filter is not equipped with anything to absorb the smell, allowing it to "stink up" the surrounding space for a matter of hours or days.

    If you leave on a trip and can't dose the tank every three (3) days, it will de-cycle and you will return to a nitrate filled aquarium.

    Based on my experience and the ridiculously high price tag, I would rate the aquari-pure as one of the poorest aquarium products I've encountered in terms of both cost and performance.
     
  2. beaslbob

    beaslbob Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review.

    Kinda confirms my thoughts.

    Much better to use macro algaes then any anaerobic/anoxic bacteria driven nitrate reducer.

    still that's just my .02
     
  3. god503

    god503 Member

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    I COULD NOT DISAGREE WITH YOU MORE!!!! I have been using aquaripure for the last 2.5 years and I NEVER had the problem that you are describing. I have never had it recylce ever!. The smell and the cleaning of the output tube IS mentioned in the user manual. It is no surprise! you are supposed to adjust the flow of the output one a week. as for the smell I let it drip as clsoe to the water surface as possible and i cover the area where it does enter the tank and i get no smell in the house. I hooked up a doser to feed the aquaripure on a daily basis about 2 ml a day of the carbon source and i never worry about feeding it. This has been THE BEST investment i have ever made. my nitrates have stayed 0 since it has cycled when i first bought it and i make a TOTAL yearly water changes at 3. I have a 90 gallon corner tank with a **** load of lps, acouple of sps and WAY TOO MANY FISH!
     

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  4. god503

    god503 Member

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    20140122_233843.jpg upright picture
     
  5. reeffirstaid

    reeffirstaid Well-Known Member

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    Wow, glad to hear the Aquaripure worked out for you. I contacted John, the device's creator on numerous occasions and he walked me through a variety of strategies to get better performance. A few questions:

    Do you still perform water changes, and if so, during a change, do you shut the pump off to the aquaripure entirely?

    What are you dosing? The aquari-pure provided liquid or something else as a carbon source?

    What effect, if any, has the filter made on your alkalinity and ph?

    I found the unit prone to de-cycle any time that the pump running to it was deactivated for more than a few minutes.
     
  6. god503

    god503 Member

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    I do water changes once every 4 months since there are no nitrates. I also use a ozone reactor to polish the water so I don't get yellow water and automatic dosers to replenish elements ( I dose 9 items). these three things together allow me to stretch out the water changes AND overstock the tank. This year im going to test out water changes every 6 months.

    I was originally giving vodka to the aquaripure but I switch to there carbon source and it seems I get better performance with it.

    does not affect my ph or alkalinity. this is why I like the aquaripure over what other people do by dosing vodka directly in the tank. I don't have to worry about overshooting and the carbon source stays in the aquaripure instead of going in the tank.

    I have a chemistry degree and I looked real hard when I made my purchase a couple of years ago. I prefer this over biopellets because it can handle my bio load much better. outside of the lps that you see in the picture, this is my fish count:

    90 gallon corner

    3 orange female anthias
    1 square back male anthia
    3 purple anthias
    1 large naso tang
    1 large powder blue tang
    1 yellow tang
    1 kole tang
    1 flame angel
    1 lemon peel angel
    3 manderins
    6 cromids
    1 scopas tang
    1 lion fish
    1 blenny
     
  7. god503

    god503 Member

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    regarding your decycle. I think your aquaripure is not cycled correctly and the reason it seems that is decycles when the pumps turns off is it may be using the unprocessed vodka to lower the nitrates and when the pump stops it shoots back up. if I were you I would get a fresh bottle of bactiria from there website and recycle it with that.
     
  8. oceandiver1980

    oceandiver1980 Member

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    I like your tank, we just purchased a used one exactly like this a couple months ago. LFS said this tank is pretty rare? I am looking for a lid or hood as the one with it was broke. Any suggestions?
     

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