This isn't specific to just the denitrator but all reactors in general as well as any 'used' saltwater. (as in not freshly made). It's a PITA cleaning the sulfide at the bottom of a reactor lol.Good to know guys. I think the biggest tip I learned is don't let the reactor sit without running and then turning it back on after a couples of hours to a day.
Personally I would run only the chaeto. Plenty of systems run chaeto only for export now, I suspect the majority of systems actually, and the mud and rubble just adds complexity and other potential issues. When it comes time to deep clean my system every few months it's nice to snag the buckethead vac and remove every piece of detritus in the sump.My tank is a Redsea Reefer 250. I'm planning on turning the stock ATO reservoir into a fuge with several inches of miracle mud and rubble rock. Figure I can grow pods in there and in the cheato reactor, as well as utilize the mud as a remote deep sand bed. It's only 2.5 gallons in the ATO but I figured on about 4 to 6 inches of miracle mud... What do you guys think?
People will disagree but I just run the effluent and fill a 5 gal bucket with the feed pump wide open.Hi guys. I just set up my denitrator but left it offline for 2 weeks so that I can get my alk up. Now can I just flush it out with clean saltwater? Or do you recommend removing the media, washing it, then reinstalling? There are some black spots on the sulfur pellets but nothing major. Thanks...much appreciated.
Some of the gas will trap in the effluent line and bleed off.tldr; jump to Solution.
I am testing a new TS-1 to add to my fowlr and got extremely annoyed that the reactor design doesn't seem to be built to get air out efficiently. So I fixed it. I have another reactor running on my reef for a few years, and I never had to think about air bubbles there, because on that design bubbles get 'trapped' at the output hose and are the first thing that get pushed out, keeping the reactor free of bubbles.
On the TS-1 however, bubbles get sucked right past the output, though the pump and get chopped up like a skimmer and recirculated, or get trapped in a vortex going down the center downward tube that pushes water to the bottom. This design only lets bubbles out when the reactor pump is off.
I am feeding the reactor with water that recently exited the skimmer, meaning it is likely supersaturated with air. In the first night of my test, the reactor went from mostly bubble free, to having ~50ml of air trapped in the vortex. I am feeding it 1 drop per second from my tank and letting the effluent go down the drain.
So, onto my very simple solution. Forgive me if it has been presented elsewhere - I didn't find it when I was searching.
1. Swap the hose on the output with the bubble release.
2. Install a short (~2" in my case, not optimized) 1/4" tube in the bottom of the push connect fitting on the new output.
3. Enjoy bubble free reactor.
The reason this works, is because bubbles that are flowing though the system tent to get trapped in a vortex in the center downward tube. At ~2", the currents are stable enough for an air pocket to form immediately after the physical obstruction that my new 1/4" tube provides. The means, when the water is pushed out of the reactor, it will take the air bubbles out first.
1. Make sure the new 1/4" tube is secure, the water current is strong and if it gets pulled out and stuck at the bottom of the reactor, you will have to tear the reactor apart to get the tube out. I was able to use vinyl tube and RODI tube together to make a snug fit, but a reef-safe epoxy or solvent glue would be much more secure.
2. Make sure your feed pump is pressurized and unidirectional. The forces in this setup will try to suck water backwards from the return. If your input is unpressurized, water will just flow out the input, and air or water will get sucked into your output. If your feed pump could ever fail or turn off while the reactor pump is still on, please add a check valve to prevent a reactor crash.