Is Marine Pure effective at reducing nitrates? We learn some valuable lessons. | BRStv Investigates

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reefnaddict

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I would like to see results with a sump packed with Marine Pure blocks. My meaning being a sort of extreme deep sand bed effect. Top layers with aerobic bacteria, and blocks 3 layers deep or so harboring anaerobic bacteria. Theoretically The top layers would have a faster water movement out of the sump, (path of least resistance) therefore carrying more dissolved oxygen for aerobic life. While the water that sinks down to the lower blocks would be slowed and the oxygen used up giving the anaerobic critters the right conditions to feast. If you get my rambling meaning.
 
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jason2459

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If you're going to fill the sump up then I might choose to go with siporax or pukani dry rocks . The supposed benifit of the ceramic blocks is space savings.
 
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siggy

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I'm curious if the koi pond enthusiasts see favorable results
Using this product, I see that is the target audience for the Chinese stuff, just thinking
 

Forsaken77

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Well, we sent out all four samples to Triton today. One plate, one block, one box of balls and one control. Since all these tanks started with the same water source, zero water changes and had almost identical inputs of just top off and mysis, I think we will get to the bottom of one portion of this discussion for sure. Does it add aluminum measurable by Triton? If it does I think the question evolves. Is it a toxic form and at what level does it matter. I have to say, the volume of "successful" reef tanks using this type of media seems to have hit a critical mass where the measurable impact is certainly worthy of a larger conversation.

We are curing some blocks for a different test. I will make sure we send in samples of the cured blocks as well to give another window of how they perform in a more controlled environment than a standard reef tank. I am certain there is a larger story going on here which is begging for more exploration : )

Or more "explanation" from the company. I'd say their 2 week test hardly counts as a test at all.
 

Ryanbrs

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There is a lot to discuss here for sure. I guess in relation to all this there is one thing I think most reefers seem to agree on. Aluminum claims aside, the media does not seem to be a barrier to long-term success. There are just too many people using them with successful reef tanks to make a significant argument otherwise. To that point, I figured I would share one of the tanks that are using them here. This is Zach's tank, he has been running two plates in the baffles of his sump since he started the tank a year or so ago. This is just anecdotal evidence but id say 90% of what the reefing community does and recommends is science-based plausible theories and a critical mass of anecdotal evidence from end users. In the absence of legit peer reviewed experiments, it seems to have served us well.

Might notice he also doesn't run a skimmer, just the algae scrubber and marine pure. Lots of paths to success : )



 
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Nanofins

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BTW, the tank was started in September 2015, so that’s approaching 2 years, rather than 1. I also only do 30-40% water changes every 3-4 weeks, and use no carbon or gfo. Now it is possible that the ATS is removing metals such as Aluminum and actually acting to protect the tank, but I have no idea.

Second, I'm now ashamed of that sump picture. That looks grody. In my defense, I just moved the tank a few weeks ago and had to rip out all the equipment and wiring and don't have everything back to normal.
 

Scott.h

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If you can get past the leaching window of what I can guess is about 6 months, they can undeniably hold a lot more bacteria then rock itself. Hence why I still have them going in all of my tanks. It's going to cost a bunch, all said and done in triton tests and unnecessary 20% water changes though. It seems to effect softies more then sps, although I'd bet money some tip irritation has been from them since my alk is rock steady at 7.0 day and night
 

Brew12

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BTW, the tank was started in September 2015, so that’s approaching 2 years, rather than 1. I also only do 30-40% water changes every 3-4 weeks, and use no carbon or gfo. Now it is possible that the ATS is removing metals such as Aluminum and actually acting to protect the tank, but I have no idea.

Second, I'm now ashamed of that sump picture. That looks grody. In my defense, I just moved the tank a few weeks ago and had to rip out all the equipment and wiring and don't have everything back to normal.
You should be ashamed. That sump does look grody. You make it look like sumps are nasty detritus collectors used to hold spare equipment. :p
 
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Roggio

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Sump shamed lol :)

Ryan, I've read a few threads that said you guys pulled the remaining blocks out of the BRS 160 due to some kind of conflict with Zeovit? Wouldn't the blocks just act as surface area and increase the effectiveness? Especially since you're using reefsaver in the display.

I'm currently struggling with nitrates in my new systems. My systems are rather large and it's just not always feesable to do a $100 dollar water change when it has a minimal effect on nitrates. My fish are starving and I'm growing lots of macro. I'm just hoping all the blocks I added and vodka/zeostart dosing kicks in.


BTW, I suffered some pretty bad injuries in the military and was even paralyzed for awhile. Keeping a reef was a major form of therapy for me. The videos and affordable options you have put out have really helped me in the hobby. You and the team have undoubtedly had a very positive impact on my life and I've always wanted to be able to tell you thanks...

Thank you
 

Ryanbrs

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Ryan, I've read a few threads that said you guys pulled the remaining blocks out of the BRS 160 due to some kind of conflict with Zeovit? Wouldn't the blocks just act as surface area and increase the effectiveness? Especially since you're using reefsaver in the display.

I'm currently struggling with nitrates in my new systems. My systems are rather large and it's just not always feesable to do a $100 dollar water change when it has a minimal effect on nitrates. My fish are starving and I'm growing lots of macro. I'm just hoping all the blocks I added and vodka/zeostart dosing kicks in.


BTW, I suffered some pretty bad injuries in the military and was even paralyzed for awhile. Keeping a reef was a major form of therapy for me. The videos and affordable options you have put out have really helped me in the hobby. You and the team have undoubtedly had a very positive impact on my life and I've always wanted to be able to tell you thanks...

Thank you

I made the decision to pull them out because one of the biggest reasons to use zeo is the solid repeatable system behind it. I just felt like that volume of marine pure was a pretty significant deviation from the standard Zeo system and seemed unnecessary after the fact. I really doubt it would have made a significant difference, we are running zero P04 and nitrate regardless. I think you could say the same thing about the Fuge and Zeo but I couldn't help it, I really wanted to try out the h380 Kessil : )

Thank you for your service and the kind words, it means a lot. I think reefing can have a healing effect on a lot of different elements in a person's life. I had someone message me the other day letting me know the videos and his reef tank helped him kick heroin for the last few years. Save his life, marriage and allowed him to be a real father to his children.
 

40B Knasty

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Great job as always guys! Big fan of the Marine Pure. 2 blocks in my 13g brackish & 1 in my 40B. Nitrates have been easy to control sitting at 1ppm to 2.5ppm. I do weekly water changes just to import lost elements and to keep phosphates down.
I am also an injured person with major back issues. So the more knowledge you feed us. The less headaches it is or time on our feet that I spend running around to find cures for the problems. Thus leaving me more time to enjoy what I have created for an underwater world vs. doing unnecessary things and bad purchases with money I do not have. I thank you and my tank thanks you!
Blatzphemy, thank you for your service as well!
 

bif24701

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From what Ive read on this forum and many others, real marinepure blocks don't leach aluminum, but there are some counterfeit ones from China that do, why I made sure to buy mine from BRS instead of ebay,etc.

You guys really need to include the brightwell aquatics no3 export brick in the next test as well since it's specifically designed to reduce nitrates. I know they have got some bad PR from a bad production run of bricks that disintegrated in the tank after two weeks or but supposedly that's all fixed in current batches and it would really be nice to know if they work as claimed.

Lastly, unlike the no3 export bricks which include a built in carbon source the marinepure blocks may need an organic carbon to denitrate effectively, you should set up another batch of marinepure blocks for the test that you carbon dose every day with vodka, red sea no3po4 , etc. I really think this will make a HUGE difference in your test results. I've added a marinepure block, a no3 export brick, to my sump about 3 weeks ago and every day I take my daily dose of vodka in a syringe and stick it down next to the block and spray it right onto them, I've had a ongoing nitrate problem for months running around 40-60 ppm nitrates. Now I'm at 20 ppm and dropping lower every day. I hesitate to give the marinepure and brightwell blocks full credit though because I also added a red/blue homemade led light to my chaeto and took out the compact flourescent light that I had, and since then my chaeto has went from 6" diameter ball to a basketball sized clump so that could be the cause, most likely though it's a combination of all or some of these things.
Absolutely, they do need a carbon source. I think that MP is going to show it is very effective at controlling reducing the production of nitrate. When a bacteria film develops on/in the MP I believe that there are layers that process the ammonia/nitrite and then lower down on the bottom layer there is a layer of bacteria that process the nitrate produced around it in to N2 gas. Nitrate that's already accumulated is harder to deal with IMO. I have 3 blocks in my 285 gallon system and dose potassium nitrate regularly to keep >5ppm NO3.
 

bif24701

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Thank you for your service and the kind words, it means a lot. I think reefing can have a healing effect on a lot of different elements in a person's life. I had someone message me the other day letting me know the videos and his reef tank helped him kick heroin for the last few years. Save his life, marriage and allowed him to be a real father to his children.

I can relate to this in several ways, not going to say how but this hobby has helped me deal with anxiety and depression as well as other issues. I love this hobby and have used it as an outlet for my high intensity life style and keep my busy mind working on something constructive.
 
Tidal Gardens

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I read for hours and hours every thread I could find and never saw anything that would lead me to believe they Leach toxic aluminum, the negative reactions you mentioned were very anecdotal and typically coincided with other changes besides just adding marinepure to a system, and were never in the scale of disastrous that we would see if they leached something toxic. Have I read every thread .. no of course not the internet's a big place. I'm not mad, why would I be? I did my research before I bought the product and now that I have it it seems my research was sound, everything is looking great and nitrates are dropping. When I set up my 300 gallon i can now have a much smaller sump size than my original plans which is awesome. I do think think the Triton testing with regards to aluminum content are not discerning enough for any of these at home experiments to be remotely valid, which is the entire basis of your claims that it leaches aluminum.
7 months and lots of 20% weekly water changes. It killed my toadstool and almost my neon green spaghetti leather. Kenya tree also. But I had these fragged in a second tank and replaced. I just didn't get on line and cry about it. I didn't know what was going on at the time and it took me a bit to figure it out. I have 6 blocks, 3 systems, all purchased from brs, not Chinese knockoffs. Burry your head in the sand if you want, but here is last weeks triton results after month 7. No aluminum based gfo ran either. Draw your own conclusion.

IMG_6210.JPG
 
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Ryanbrs

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Got the Triton results back today. Again all of these tanks were fed close to identical amounts food, no other inputs and zero water changes over a couple month period of time. Pretty much confirms the results others have had. All of the marine pure tanks were significantly higher than the control.

Control with no marine pure 1.64 ug/l
Large marine pure block 51.00 ug/l
Marine pure plate 174 ug/l
Marine pure sphears 32.00 ug/l

I think we are in the same place. While there are some ideas it's not entirely clear why seemingly only a fraction of people have had issues. Could be a simple as the attention to rinsing. Could also be anecdotal and the aluminum isn't actually in a toxic or an available form in the tank. Could be just soft corals are impacted. Lots of different things. I think thought leaders like Randy Holmes-Farley have certainly demonstrated the potential toxicity of aluminum.

So I think the real question is why use marine pure at all? The primary reason was to add high-density filtration the tank but there are other ways to achieve that goal so I am not sure that is good enough considering the unknowns related to aluminum. The other reason is reefers claim rapid results lowering nitrates by simply adding this media to the tank. If it is really that easy I think that's pretty compelling. I have always had my doubts about the media's ability to do that and in this experiment, it certainly didn't seem to achieve that goal. We are working on a revision to that experiment in a bit more realistic envisionment. Hopefully in a few months we will be able to shed additional light on that. We are also curing multiple MP blocks prior so I think we will get a window into if this is an ongoing issue or an initial issue, potentially related to rinsing the duty fines from transport.
 

Brew12

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Got the Triton results back today. Again all of these tanks were fed close to identical amounts food, no other inputs and zero water changes over a couple month period of time. Pretty much confirms the results others have had. All of the marine pure tanks were significantly higher than the control.

Control with no marine pure 1.64 ug/l
Large marine pure block 51.00 ug/l
Marine pure plate 174 ug/l
Marine pure sphears 32.00 ug/l

I think we are in the same place. While there are some ideas it's not entirely clear why seemingly only a fraction of people have had issues. Could be a simple as the attention to rinsing. Could also be anecdotal and the aluminum isn't actually in a toxic or an available form in the tank. Could be just soft corals are impacted. Lots of different things. I think thought leaders like Randy Holmes-Farley have certainly demonstrated the potential toxicity of aluminum.

So I think the real question is why use marine pure at all? The primary reason was to add high-density filtration the tank but there are other ways to achieve that goal so I am not sure that is good enough considering the unknowns related to aluminum. The other reason is reefers claim rapid results lowering nitrates by simply adding this media to the tank. If it is really that easy I think that's pretty compelling. I have always had my doubts about the media's ability to do that and in this experiment, it certainly didn't seem to achieve that goal. We are working on a revision to that experiment in a bit more realistic envisionment. Hopefully in a few months we will be able to shed additional light on that. We are also curing multiple MP blocks prior so I think we will get a window into if this is an ongoing issue or an initial issue, potentially related to rinsing the duty fines from transport.
Great info!
 

pfoxgrover

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Got the Triton results back today. Again all of these tanks were fed close to identical amounts food, no other inputs and zero water changes over a couple month period of time. Pretty much confirms the results others have had. All of the marine pure tanks were significantly higher than the control.

Control with no marine pure 1.64 ug/l
Large marine pure block 51.00 ug/l
Marine pure plate 174 ug/l
Marine pure sphears 32.00 ug/l

I think we are in the same place. While there are some ideas it's not entirely clear why seemingly only a fraction of people have had issues. Could be a simple as the attention to rinsing. Could also be anecdotal and the aluminum isn't actually in a toxic or an available form in the tank. Could be just soft corals are impacted. Lots of different things. I think thought leaders like Randy Holmes-Farley have certainly demonstrated the potential toxicity of aluminum.

So I think the real question is why use marine pure at all? The primary reason was to add high-pdensity filtration the tank but there are other ways to achieve that goal so I am not sure that is good enough considering the unknowns related to aluminum. The other reason is reefers claim rapid results lowering nitrates by simply adding this media to the tank. If it is really that easy I think that's pretty compelling. I have always had my doubts about the media's ability to do that and in this experiment, it certainly didn't seem to achieve that goal. We are working on a revision to that experiment in a bit more realistic envisionment. Hopefully in a few months we will be able to shed additional light on that. We are also curing multiple MP blocks prior so I think we will get a window into if this is an ongoing issue or an initial issue, potentially related to rinsing the duty fines from transport.

I cant say how awesome it is that BRS is willing to provide us great videos (love the MACNA videos as well) and their hard work on these experiments. What is even more awesome is that they will listen to customer feedback and spend money to answer our questions! Thanks for testing the aluminum in these tanks and helping to filling in one more piece of the puzzle.
 

Scott.h

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All that said I still think they provide a lot more surface area to someone who has limited space. If I had to do it again I'd store them in a container with used water change water and cure them. Swap the water out weekly. I'm thinking 6 months to cure to safe levels. Its extra work, but in my overstocked tank with a big eel I did see a difference, MP being a main additive where a tank running once at 60 no3 got down to around 10. Just like the graph studied, it did climb back up some after. No3 still distinctively lower then it once was. Just being aware of what the MP does the ticket. Hence the "investigates" series and discussion.
 
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