Does LR reduce nitrates??

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by Mortie31, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. Mortie31

    Mortie31 Active Member R2R Supporter UK Reef Club Member

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  2. GoVols

    GoVols "VFL" R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award MTRCMember Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Did not read the article but the deep pores of live rock grow the bacteria that consume nitrates and gas them off.

    To myself nothing beats Live Rock but that's JMO :)
     
  3. Cronicreefer

    Cronicreefer Active Member

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    It's all about surface area for the bacteria to live. There are ways to increase the biomass by providing carbon/sulfur source for the bacteria to feed on but it still comes down to having enough surface area for enough bacteria. Proper anaerobic zones must also exist for natural denitrification to occur. Live rock has clearly proven to be beneficial in the hobby and I don't think tanks would be as successful without it.
     
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  4. GoVols

    GoVols "VFL" R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award MTRCMember Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I tried man made bio-media in an reactor (at a 20-gph flow rate) and the end result was that it just spewed nitrates out into the open water column, like bio-balls :D
     
  5. Mortie31

    Mortie31 Active Member R2R Supporter UK Reef Club Member

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    The article is saying that LR actually doesn’t work!!!
     
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  6. Mortie31

    Mortie31 Active Member R2R Supporter UK Reef Club Member

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    That’s what I thought but the article is suggesting LR isn’t any good at reducing Nitrates, only good at ammonia and nitrite...
     
  7. GoVols

    GoVols "VFL" R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award MTRCMember Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Glad I didn't read it :D
     
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  8. Cronicreefer

    Cronicreefer Active Member

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    You did not establish a proper anearobic zone or did not have a proper food source to establish a large enough biomass to facilitate full denitrficiation. I ran sulfur denitrator for a while and it worked amazing because it is large anaerobic zone with sulfur aa an electron donor to facilitate full denitrification. You don't create extra nitrates because of using bio-balls, they do what they are supposed to do, turn ammonia into nitrate.
     
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  9. GoVols

    GoVols "VFL" R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award MTRCMember Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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  10. GoVols

    GoVols "VFL" R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award MTRCMember Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Bio-Balls spew nitrates back out into the open water column.
    And a sulfer denitartor is a whole different thing.

    BRS tried man made bio-media like I did and they came to the same results that I came to and they stopped testing.

    I soaked the media in Bactor 7 for 24 hours before putting it in the reactor.

    Gave it a shot and my nitrates went up.

    No worries over here :)

    Just wanted to give it a shot and I have no need to carbon or bacteria dose.
     
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  11. Cronicreefer

    Cronicreefer Active Member

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    I''ll rephrase what I mean because your article explains it also. They are not producing more nitrates than what is produced without them, merely because your oxygen reducing bacteria is all concentrated in your bio-balls there is not high enough concentrations in the live rock/sand to produce an anaerobic zone sufficient enough for denitrification. There is nothing wrong with bi0-media but certain products can achieve denitrification while others can not and you just have to be aware of the difference.
     
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  12. GoVols

    GoVols "VFL" R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award MTRCMember Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Exactly :D

    And it's Randy's article. I'm just one reefer reporting to results that I came to. When I dumped the reactor media and went back to my old method and live rock. Did some water changes and my nitrates went back down to about 5ppm and held.

    But (lol)... to say that live rock does not complete the process is just crazy ;Wacky in my book ;Bookworm

    Ya'll carry on and I'm not saying that man made media is a bad thing but most folks that I know have to keep feeding it bacteria.
     
  13. Lasse

    Lasse Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    I do not think point 5 is valid in our modern aquaria with a high turnover of streamers and pumps. IMO it does not matter where the nitrate is produced - it will be mixed directly to the water column in every case. the nitrifying biofilm is most active in the oxygen rich surface and by definition – that is there the waterflow is strongest. However, a lack of a special biofilter will have the NH4 to stay longer in the water and hence be aerated out as NH3 in the modern skimmer systems we have today. Therefor contribute to a lower NO3 production. IMO you have to choose – do you want have some NH4 content or some NO3 in the water column. I prefer fast nitrification in a biofilter and to handle the NO3 in another way.

    The article is in line with both what I have learned about denitrification and my own experiences in the field – I´m not surprised

    It also show how slow the nitrification process is in a only LS based system

    Sincerely Lasse
     
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  14. GoVols

    GoVols "VFL" R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award MTRCMember Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Lasse,

    We'll just have to respectfully agree to dis-agree on point #5 :) in Randy's article but it backs up to what BRS and I came to.

    Freddie
     
  15. brandon429

    brandon429 why did you put a reef in that R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I love purple coralline live rock for what it does always, which is munch ammonia

    What it may or may not do lead to bio pellets, carbon dosing, vsv, dsb, ats and all kinds of fillers. The answer is, four percent of the time in anyone's setup it's reducing and not actually producing nitrates.

    The ocean keeps its pores open better than our aging stagnation
     
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  16. Mortie31

    Mortie31 Active Member R2R Supporter UK Reef Club Member

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    Interesting discussion, any comments on the actual paper attached though!!
     
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  17. brandon429

    brandon429 why did you put a reef in that R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I couldn't preview the link, too risky to download onto phone wo knowing origins.


    Based on what Lasse and others wrote, how do you square that article away with all the extra new things invented for nitrate control

    In the 90s live rock and sand was claimed all that was needed
     
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  18. GoVols

    GoVols "VFL" R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award MTRCMember Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I keep the pores open on my live rock by firing all my pumps and gyre to full flow once a week, but I also run a bare bottom reef to be able to run that much flow (all at once) and lift out the detritus from the live rock and bare bottom floor to my filter socks.
     
  19. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    Why not? If nitrate is generated 1 or 2 mm down into a sand bed, it has a somewhat equal chance of drifting deeper for denitrification, or drifting out for entry to the water column. That doesn't happen on a bioball.

    FWIW, many tanks do not have high flow everywhere.
     
  20. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor

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    I think they see the problem with their experiment:

    "The denitrifying bacteria that play key roles in water treatment are mostly heterotrophic (Cai, 2008). In this experiment, the reason why LR lacks the ability to degrade nitrate may be due to the lack of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) as a reaction substrate and energy source."

    Their experiment did not involve an operating reef tank (whether with extra dosed organic carbon, or that naturally there from organism and bacteria degradation of foods, etc.).

    Really, I can't see how one would expect this to work without organic matter. The chemical equation for denitrification demands it:

    organic + 124 NO3- + 124 H+ → 122 CO2 + 70 N2 + 208 H2O

    It's like putting a mouse on Mars and saying, wow, it died, Mars doesn't support life. Maybe from lack of O2?
     
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