Can BIOPELLETS reduce PO4 and NO3 holistically?

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Instead of turning off the GFO reactor totally at times, you may try turning down the flow so that you can only see the top layer moving ever so slightly, so they process less water and last longer.

I'll try that too. In fact I'd rather do something like that, or limit the GFO in the reactor, because turning off the reactor intermittently will mess with the water flow in the system. Which would then trigger the ATO incorrectly, which would alter salinity, etc.. I'd rather have the water flow remain as consistent as possible. Same reason I hate turning off the skimmer unless absolutely necessary.
 
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Just an update. I switched to Rowaphos, and it dropped my PO4 to 0.07, and stayed there for a couple of weeks, they started creeping back up. I had 2 cups simmering in my Torq. I did the same dose again a few days ago, and PO4 again returned to 0.07 and is currently staying there.

These results are a bit disappointing, since this will get expensive. I bought bulk, and went with the 5L bucket for $170, but if I go through 2 cups every couple weeks, it will be used up in no time.

I am hoping that the PO4 is being sucked out of the live rock, and eventually will deplete that storage. How long that will take, I have no idea. Hopefully before I run out of Rowaphos I will start to see better results. I think if I am still changing it out that frequently at the time when the 5L bucket is used up, I will look into another solution, either LACL or try increasing Nopox again.
 
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Saltees

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Just an update. I switched to Rowaphos, and it dropped my PO4 to 0.07, and stayed there for a couple of weeks, they started creeping back up. I had 2 cups simmering in my Torq. I did the same dose again a few days ago, and PO4 again returned to 0.07 and is currently staying there.

These results are a bit disappointing, since this will get expensive. I bought bulk, and went with the 5L bucket for $170, but if I go through 2 cups every couple weeks, it will be used up in no time.

I am hoping that the PO4 is being sucked out of the live rock, and eventually will deplete that storage. How long that will take, I have no idea. Hopefully before I run out of Rowaphos I will start to see better results. I think if I am still changing it out that frequently at the time when the 5L bucket is used up, I will look into another solution, either LACL or try increasing Nopox again.
I share the same dilemma. I find controlling the PO4 with ROWA expensive too even with 5L bucket. But please don't stop till you find another solution...I made the mistake of stopping and the PO4 got absorbed back to the substrate and I have to spend more GFO to get those out. LaCL will be my go to, if you don't wanna dose into skimmer neck, you can consider 5 micron socks.
 

GARRIGA

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Lanthanum does not work well for low levels of phosphates. Also, many people had fish wipeouts from using it incorrectly.

It needs to be SLOWLY dripped into a 5 micron sock.
I use Phosphat-E and don’t have any 5 micron anything. I think the issue with others having issues was perhaps using pool products and possibly overdosing plus Brightwell does recommend a small micron as well but I don’t know if that’s CYA or actually needed.

I’ve suspended use because I was able to get them back below levels I require and now want to see if extended carbon dosing handles it effectively enough. Has in the past but if it doesn’t I know this treatment works but as with everything should be perhaps done in half the recommended dosage vs rushing the process.

What I don’t know is the prolong use since I’m not filtering it out with a low micron filter and just expecting it to settle out. Perhaps it attaches to detritus and when I clean get it out that way.
 
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Saltees

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I will be trying to dose into the 5 micron sock instead of the skimmer neck, as my ICP showed out of range lanthanum that was not there from my earlier ICP 6 months earlier. And I am using TM ELIMI PHOS RAPID, not swimming pool stuff.

2C1F8016-B0A2-4A91-BC92-4C88E48ACE31.png
 
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92Miata

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When I've had tanks with these sorts of numbers, I've found vinegar/vodka/etc to be much more easy to control and much more effective than biopellets. Biopellets seemed like a fantastic low maintenance idea when they showed in the hobby, but given how cheap and easy to get dosing pumps are at this point - they just seem like there's not really a good use case for them anymore.
 

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When I've had tanks with these sorts of numbers, I've found vinegar/vodka/etc to be much more easy to control and much more effective than biopellets. Biopellets seemed like a fantastic low maintenance idea when they showed in the hobby, but given how cheap and easy to get dosing pumps are at this point - they just seem like there's not really a good use case for them anymore.

I'm beginning to think the same thing regarding biopellets. It is not working well for me. My nitrates went down to 30, then just hovered in the 30-35 range for the next month. I have enough biopellets in my Torq for 300g, which is 2x my water volume.

I do notice a daily buildup of the slime pictured below in my return chamber, which I remove with small net. I'm wondering if this is dead nitrate-loaded bacteria coming from my Torq, and the nitrates are just being re-released into the water column.

If so, the output from the biopellet reactor should probably be fed to the skimmer input, which means the Torq is not that great for biopellets, since it just drops the water output on top of the sump water level with not that great of a chance to make it to the bottom of the sump where the skimmer input is.

Anyone else been down this path?

IMG_4911.JPG
 
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Saltees

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I'm beginning to think the same thing regarding biopellets. It is not working well for me. My nitrates went down to 30, then just hovered in the 30-35 range for the next month. I have enough biopellets in my Torq for 300g, which is 2x my water volume.

I do notice a daily buildup of the slime pictured below in my return chamber, which I remove with small net. I'm wondering if this is dead nitrate-loaded bacteria coming from my Torq, and the nitrates are just being re-released into the water column.

If so, the output from the biopellet reactor should probably be fed to the skimmer input, which means the Torq is not that great for biopellets, since it just drops the water output on top of the sump water level with not that great of a chance to make it to the bottom of the sump where the skimmer input is.

Anyone else been down this path?

IMG_4911.JPG
I'm not experiencing such foam/gunk, but my skimmer is in the same chamber as my BIOPELLET TORQ 2L though. these if not skimmed out, are excellent coral food according to Dr Tim. BIOPELLETS are just time release carbon dosing, I'm thinking of supplementing it with liquid carbon dosing, like NOPOX/Vinegar. My PO4 is going off the charts...blinking 0.90ppm on my HANNA, my GFO is getting exhausted extremely fast.
 
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Saltees

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When I've had tanks with these sorts of numbers, I've found vinegar/vodka/etc to be much more easy to control and much more effective than biopellets. Biopellets seemed like a fantastic low maintenance idea when they showed in the hobby, but given how cheap and easy to get dosing pumps are at this point - they just seem like there's not really a good use case for them anymore.
I'm habouring similar thoughts therefore I raised this very thread to question its validity. I recognise with high PO4, you'll have to bring it down first with GFO, LACL, etc. then use carbon dosing liquid or pellets to manage long term.

When I was using TM's liquid carbon dosing the recommended benchmark is to use TM NP BACTO BALANCE if PO4 is <0.1ppm and TM ELIMI NP for >0.1ppm... NO3 levels are irrelevant and/or self balancing with the given PO4 then.

IMHO, every tank has its very own equilibrium number, and corals do adapt given time. I was hoping biopellet is the holistic elixir to sustain this number, thus weaning the tank off the costly GFO.
 
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92Miata

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I'm habouring similar thoughts therefore I raised this very thread to question its validity. I recognise with high PO4, you'll have to bring it down first with GFO, LACL, etc. then use carbon dosing liquid or pellets to manage long term.

When I was using TM's liquid carbon dosing the recommended benchmark is to use TM NP BACTO BALANCE if PO4 is <0.1ppm and TM ELIMI NP for >0.1ppm... NO3 levels are irrelevant and/or self balancing with the given PO4 then.

IMHO, every tank has its very own equilibrium number, and corals do adapt given time. I was hoping biopellet is the holistic elixir to sustain this number, thus weaning the tank off the costly GFO.
The alternative to GFO-then-carbon is dosing carbon and nitrogen (nitrate usually) at the same time. It takes longer, but it will drive down phosphate.
 

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excellent discussion everyone.

I'm heading back into the biopellet game trying to keep my NO3/PO4 down thus in research reading mode again. I used it years back because it was cool, but really never had a need for it until I do now with an overstocked larger system. Liquid carbon dosing got my numbers down, but trying to go low maintenance auto-mode with biopellets again.

What do you guys think about different types of biopellets? The discussion here seems to validate that it may have NO3 reduction but little PO4 as @Randy Holmes-Farley called out. However some of the manufactures cited using a different polymer to target specific bacteria thus saying their magic pellets help with PO4. Doesn't seem to be the case here.

Also @ReefKeeperElite experience with 2x the recommended amount of biopellet for his volume is not encouraging to dust off my old reef octopus biopellet reactor.
 
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excellent discussion everyone.

I'm heading back into the biopellet game trying to keep my NO3/PO4 down thus in research reading mode again. I used it years back because it was cool, but really never had a need for it until I do now with an overstocked larger system. Liquid carbon dosing got my numbers down, but trying to go low maintenance auto-mode with biopellets again.

What do you guys think about different types of biopellets? The discussion here seems to validate that it may have NO3 reduction but little PO4 as @Randy Holmes-Farley called out. However some of the manufactures cited using a different polymer to target specific bacteria thus saying their magic pellets help with PO4. Doesn't seem to be the case here.

Also @ReefKeeperElite experience with 2x the recommended amount of biopellet for his volume is not encouraging to dust off my old reef octopus biopellet reactor.

I believe I wasn't seeing great results because my Torq was not right next to the skimmer. The nitrate-laden bacteria emitted by the Torq were were mostly remaining on the top of the water after it slid down the Torq body, and then the nitrates were being released back into the water column as the bacteria decayed, essentially negating the removal of nitrates by the bacteria.

I moved the Torq closer to the skimmer, which has eliminated the bacteria slime I showed in my previous post. My nitrates only went down a little bit after doing that, but these two things, i.e. the elimination of the slime, and the small reduction in nitrates (without adding any additional pellets), has got me taking this to the next level:

My plan is to plumb the BioMaxx XL reactor shown below off my manifold, and put the output directly in front of my skimmer input. Not attached to the skimmer pump, just sitting there in front of the input. I have already started the project, and plan to have it up and running within the next week. This reactor can hold up to 10 cups of biopellets, but hopefully I'm way under that before getting my desired results.

I'll keep you posted.

1666995883204.png
 
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excellent discussion everyone.

I'm heading back into the biopellet game trying to keep my NO3/PO4 down thus in research reading mode again. I used it years back because it was cool, but really never had a need for it until I do now with an overstocked larger system. Liquid carbon dosing got my numbers down, but trying to go low maintenance auto-mode with biopellets again.

What do you guys think about different types of biopellets? The discussion here seems to validate that it may have NO3 reduction but little PO4 as @Randy Holmes-Farley called out. However some of the manufactures cited using a different polymer to target specific bacteria thus saying their magic pellets help with PO4. Doesn't seem to be the case here.

Also @ReefKeeperElite experience with 2x the recommended amount of biopellet for his volume is not encouraging to dust off my old reef octopus biopellet reactor.
Another reason for me going with biopellets is to contain the gunk/brown slime from taking home in my pipes, filter media, crevices, etc. as a result of liquid carbon dosing.

I believe liquid carbon dosing with a dosing pump, can be made equally effortless compared biopellets, but with the above mentioned con.

I can’t believe my eyes when I pulled through my 1” drain pipe, I get almost 6” of gunk!

As far as the type of pellets, I was using DVH All in One claimed to lower PO4 and NO3, and the current Dr Tim’s NP Active Pellet… they don’t put a dent in my PO4. Often than not, I have to intervene with GFO.
 
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Saltees

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I believe I wasn't seeing great results because my Torq was not right next to the skimmer. The nitrate-laden bacteria emitted by the Torq were were mostly remaining on the top of the water after it slid down the Torq body, and then the nitrates were being released back into the water column as the bacteria decayed, essentially negating the removal of nitrates by the bacteria.

I moved the Torq closer to the skimmer, which has eliminated the bacteria slime I showed in my previous post. My nitrates only went down a little bit after doing that, but these two things, i.e. the elimination of the slime, and the small reduction in nitrates (without adding any additional pellets), has got me taking this to the next level:

My plan is to plumb the BioMaxx XL reactor shown below off my manifold, and put the output directly in front of my skimmer input. Not attached to the skimmer pump, just sitting there in front of the input. I have already started the project, and plan to have it up and running within the next week. This reactor can hold up to 10 cups of biopellets, but hopefully I'm way under that before getting my desired results.

I'll keep you posted.

1666995883204.png
Let’s see you do that!
 
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Saltyanimals

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Another reason for me going with biopellets is to contain the gunk/brown slime from taking home in my pipes, filter media, crevices, etc. as a result of liquid carbon dosing.

I believe liquid carbon dosing with a dosing pump, can be made equally effortless compared biopellets, but with the above mentioned con.

I can’t believe my eyes when I pulled through my 1” drain pipe, I get almost 6” of gunk!

As far as the type of pellets, I was using DVH All in One claimed to lower PO4 and NO3, and the current Dr Tim’s NP Active Pellet… they don’t put a dent in my PO4. Often than not, I have to intervene with GFO.

RE: the nasties coming out of a biopellet reactor.

I've always heard to make sure it exits near a skimmer to remove out as you stated which I followed myself years ago. However is that thinking still valid today? here's why: years back we all targeted zero/zero and hence the reactor exit to skim out. Today we hear that the carbon dosing process actually feeds coral. If we believe this, then why try and immediately remove 'coral food'? Sounds like your experience with placement didn't give you the reduction you expected maybe because it leached back into the water i.e. your coral didn't eat it fast enough.

And thank you for sharing your non-productive feedback on Dr Tim's NP Active on effect to PO4. I already have "regular" biopellets, but considered just buying the NP Active for the potential PO4 reduction. Is this another example of marketing? =)
 
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RE: the nasties coming out of a biopellet reactor.

I've always heard to make sure it exits near a skimmer to remove out as you stated which I followed myself years ago. However is that thinking still valid today? here's why: years back we all targeted zero/zero and hence the reactor exit to skim out. Today we hear that the carbon dosing process actually feeds coral. If we believe this, then why try and immediately remove 'coral food'? Sounds like your experience with placement didn't give you the reduction you expected maybe because it leached back into the water i.e. your coral didn't eat it fast enough.

And thank you for sharing your non-productive feedback on Dr Tim's NP Active on effect to PO4. I already have "regular" biopellets, but considered just buying the NP Active for the potential PO4 reduction. Is this another example of marketing? =)
Can't say whether one biopellet is better over another. I would still manage PO4 with GFO especially with high fish load like mine.

But I wouldn’t repeat the mistake of turning off the UV for the purpose of seeding or carbon dosing, especially when we are managing ICH.

IMHO, for the biopellet to work exceptionally, some regular heterotrophic bacteria dosing (MB7, Waste Away, etc) is warranted. Since dosing is required for the purpose, why not just do liquid carbon dosing like NOPOX, Vinegar/Vodka, etc. you may ask. Only concern and a major one for me. is that you get this slime/gunk all over your system, especially the pipe works, and bio media (SIPORAX) when you do liquid carbon dosing.

The corals may eat them in nature, but nothing we do in reefing is natural.
 
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New BioMaxx XL biopellet reactor installed on my manifold today. Maxed out with 10 cups of biopellets. Output pointed to skimmer input. If this doesn't make a nice dent in my nitrates I will be scratching my head. Hoping to have some effect on PO4 too.

Tests before installation: NO3 = 32.3, PO4 = 0.13
Hoping for the best, and will let you know how it goes.

 

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New BioMaxx XL biopellet reactor installed on my manifold today. Maxed out with 10 cups of biopellets. Output pointed to skimmer input. If this doesn't make a nice dent in my nitrates I will be scratching my head. Hoping to have some effect on PO4 too.

Tests before installation: NO3 = 32.3, PO4 = 0.13
Hoping for the best, and will let you know how it goes.


I guess we won't know your results for several weeks while the pellets seed and start working. Will be looking out for your results. My take away so far from this thread is a confirmation that it doesn't have material impact to PO3.
 

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I guess we won't know your results for several weeks while the pellets seed and start working. Will be looking out for your results. My take away so far from this thread is a confirmation that it doesn't have material impact to PO3.
Most of the 10 cups (around 8) were transferred from the Torq, which have been going for a couple months now. I topped it off with another 2 cups whilst transferring to the BioMaxx. So I’m hoping to see results much sooner.
 
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