Algae Reactor or Media Reactor for Nitrate Reduction?

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adamf83

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Just after people’s opinion on whether to go the Algae Reactor route or Media Reactor route for nitrate reduction.

The tank is 125l with around another 25-30l in the sump and has been setup 2.5 years. The fish are happy , buts it’s corals (LPS only) I’ve struggled with, most have lasted 3-4 months before dying off. Whilst they were alive , all parameters (except nitrate and phosphate) were fine and in line which various recommendations I‘ve read on here.

My nitrates are around 50ppm (although it’s hard to tell from the test kit), my phosphates are 0.16 so before I purchase any new corals, I’d like to get these down to a lower level that I can maintain and see if that is the cause.

I change 25l of water every 2 weeks and my last water change was 50l because I‘m unable to lift barrels and buckets for a few weeks due to some surgery I’ve had. I expected the the 50l change to make a bit of a dent in the nitrates, but it didn’t appear to.

So, in short, is an Algae Reactor the way to go or a Media Reactor the way to go?
 

Bouncingsoul39

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Algae reactor. But you need to get at the cause of the issue, algae reactor is treating f the symptom. Be it over stocking, over feeding, detritus build up in sump, rock, or sand or all of the above. Do you have a good protein skimmer that’s working well to pull out the nasty stuff? If the skimmer sucks, that can also affect nitrate as it pulls out gunk before it breaks down into nitrate.
How about the filter socks? changed with clean ones weekly?
 
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adamf83

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Algae reactor. But you need to get at the cause of the issue, algae reactor is treating f the symptom. Be it over stocking, over feeding, detritus build up in sump, rock, or sand or all of the above. Do you have a good protein skimmer that’s working well to pull out the nasty stuff? If the skimmer sucks, that can also affect nitrate as it pulls out gunk before it breaks down into nitrate.
How about the filter socks? changed with clean ones weekly?
Thanks. I have a Bubble Magus Curve skimmer, sometimes it collect s nasty stuff, sometime it doesn’t. It’s never pulled really dark skimmate.

I‘ve never liked filter socks , the sump isn’t in the easy place to work with, so it makes changing them hard work. But there is a build up of what might be detritus in the sump, so I’ll work on cleaning that up.
 

PeterC99

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Cheaper solution - Refugium in sump with chaeto! Here’s a pic of my homemade refugium from egg create and Neptune refugium light. Have overstocked 90g with NO3 at 2 to 5 ppm.

95162818-A51C-411F-9788-C2D708B0630F.jpeg
 

BiggestE222

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Just after people’s opinion on whether to go the Algae Reactor route or Media Reactor route for nitrate reduction.

The tank is 125l with around another 25-30l in the sump and has been setup 2.5 years. The fish are happy , buts it’s corals (LPS only) I’ve struggled with, most have lasted 3-4 months before dying off. Whilst they were alive , all parameters (except nitrate and phosphate) were fine and in line which various recommendations I‘ve read on here.

My nitrates are around 50ppm (although it’s hard to tell from the test kit), my phosphates are 0.16 so before I purchase any new corals, I’d like to get these down to a lower level that I can maintain and see if that is the cause.

I change 25l of water every 2 weeks and my last water change was 50l because I‘m unable to lift barrels and buckets for a few weeks due to some surgery I’ve had. I expected the the 50l change to make a bit of a dent in the nitrates, but it didn’t appear to.

So, in short, is an Algae Reactor the way to go or a Media Reactor the way to go?
If an up front charge is not a problem I would recommend the Pax Bellum N18. I tune in based via photo period. It will lower phosphate and nitrate to near zero if you run it for a longer photo period. I see that RUSALTY has Chaeto available. It is 599.99 though. I do sale Chaeto back to my LFS fit about 20 a week. So I am making money back.
 

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BiggestE222

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Thanks. I have a Bubble Magus Curve skimmer, sometimes it collect s nasty stuff, sometime it doesn’t. It’s never pulled really dark skimmate.

I‘ve never liked filter socks , the sump isn’t in the easy place to work with, so it makes changing them hard work. But there is a build up of what might be detritus in the sump, so I’ll work on cleaning that up.
I have a Curve 7 on my RedSea 200 XL. They need a daily high water level. Usually get best skim are when the water level is 10-13 inches deep.
 

Spieg

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I vote algae reactor as well. Costs less in the long run. Maybe reconsider using mechanical filtration as well... socks or floss may require more routine maintenance, but it's worth it IMO (better than cleaning the whole sump all the time).
 

ReefGeezer

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I don't see as much discussed about carbon dosing anymore, but that would be an option for lowering N&P also. It is effective and inexpensive. As to the OP's question, I'd use algae rather than some sort of media. A series of big water changes to initially lower the levels might be a good start.

Also, I'd ask myself how nutrient levels got that high. Over stocked? Over fed? Ineffective skimming? Lack of substrate for nitrification? Etc.?
 
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adamf83

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I don't see as much discussed about carbon dosing anymore, but that would be an option for lowering N&P also. It is effective and inexpensive. As to the OP's question, I'd use algae rather than some sort of media. A series of big water changes to initially lower the levels might be a good start.

Also, I'd ask myself how nutrient levels got that high. Over stocked? Over fed? Ineffective skimming? Lack of substrate for nitrification? Etc.?
Thanks.

In terms of stocking, I’ve got:

2x Clownfish
1x Idris Wrasse
1x Dwarf Bi-Colour Angelfish
1x Sandsifting Gobie
1x Firefish
1x Pistol Shrimp
1x Fire Shrimp

and assorted CUC

Is that overstocked given the size?

In terms of feeding, twice a day, a single frozen cube (defrosted and strained) in the morning, same in the evening.

I don’t know if my skimmer is performing as it should, as I pointed out in a earlier post, I don’t get dark, nasty coloured skimmate, so some tuning required, I suspect.
 
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ReefGeezer

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Thanks.

In terms of stocking, I’ve got:

2x Clownfish
1x Idris Wrasse
1x Dwarf Bi-Colour Angelfish
1x Sandsifting Gobie
1x Firefish
1x Pistol Shrimp
1x Fire Shrimp

and assorted CUC

Is that overstocked given the size?

In terms of feeding, twice a day, a single frozen cube (defrosted and strained) in the morning, same in the evening.

I don’t know if my skimmer is performing as it should, as I pointed out in a earlier post, I don’t get dark, nasty coloured skimmate, so some tuning required, I suspect.
I wouldn't say you are overstocked. I would cut feeding in half. Thaw a cube in the morning & feed half then, and the rest in the evening.

I don't have any experience with your skimmer but it sounds like there may be some efficiency issues. Most skimmers are sensitive to tuning. Maybe someone familiar with that model will chime in and offer some help.
 
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