New sulfur denitrator working great!

Surfzone

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So let me get this right. Once you get to your target NO3 level turn up the flow going through the reactor or turn it down? I'm a little confused on this. I would rather not go to 0 in my tank. I guess the real question is once I get to the target range how do I keep it there?
 
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@fishmaan77

If you google sulfur reactor set up videos, there's someone that recommends removing the media once a year and rinsing or as needed.

Did your pre-filter help keep the media clean? I won't be setting mine up for a while.
 

FirstContact

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So let me get this right. Once you get to your target NO3 level turn up the flow going through the reactor or turn it down? I'm a little confused on this. I would rather not go to 0 in my tank. I guess the real question is once I get to the target range how do I keep it there?
I thought you left the drip rate alone once you reach your target level bearing in mind that the effluent output may change over time as inputs change.
 

Belgian Anthias

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So let me get this right. Once you get to your target NO3 level turn up the flow going through the reactor or turn it down? I'm a little confused on this. I would rather not go to 0 in my tank. I guess the real question is once I get to the target range how do I keep it there?
What may happen if you turn the flow down using an anoxic kept reactor? Even less oxygen and less nitrate will be entered. The anoxic space will increase but the nitrate availability in the reactor will be reduced. The autotrophic bio-load (T.denitrificans) present needs nitrate as an oxygen source and all nitrate available may be used up. A lot of bio-waste becomes available for heterotrophic anaerobic remineralization also needing nitrate, if nitrate is not available sulfate is used as an oxygen source. Heterotrophic sulfate reduction produces ammonia and HS. If oxygen and nitrate are not available sufficiently to remove produced HS one may turn such reactor into an HS and ammonia factory. To avoid this, keep the flow high enough.

A reactor can only remove daily what is entered daily. The water entered will contain about the same amount of oxygen but a changing amount of nitrate. To remove the daily nitrate production of 2ppm every day, having a nitrate level of 20 ppm, the daily flow must be +-1/10 of the total system content. To remove the same amount daily keeping the desired nitrate level of 2ppm the daily flow needed equals the total system volume. To lower the level from 2ppm to 1ppm and keep it there the flow must be doubled to remove the same amount of nitrate daily, 2x the total system content daily in this example. The higher the flow the more oxygen is entered daily which must be consumed to make denitrification possible.
In an aerobic reactor, sufficient aerobic remineralization and nitrification can take place to support the systems carrying capacity and to consume enough oxygen for autotrophic and heterotrophic denitrification to take place. This way most by these processes produced ammonia and nitrate can be exported by using BADES.

At a high or low nitrate level, only a bit more as the daily nitrate overproduction must be removed daily to lower the level.
This means targetting 0 nitrate in the effluent is not needed which limits the risk for nitrate starvation in the reactor.

Using a BADES reactor, the reactor is not kept anoxic and the flow is increased as high as possible for maintaining the desired nitrogen removal rate. Such a reactor is big enough for handling the flow needed.
Using a BADES reactor, once the balance is found at the desired nitrate level the reactor becomes self-regulating.
Using a BADES reactor the flow can be managed in the function of the nitrate removal rate, this way managing the daily nitrate removal rate.
BADES bioreactors are kept aerobic and work fine with 2ppm DO in the effluent. Simultane nitrification/denitrification is targetted.
The only difference between a BADES reactor and a sulfur reactor is the fact sulfur reactors are kept anoxic, BADES reactors are not.
For making use of BADES a reactor is not needed.
More info about using BADES, biological anaerobic denitrification using elemental sulfur.
 

NO3

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Hello all,
It’s been a while since I last updated my adventure in destroying NO3 with my SD. A few weeks ago, exactly this past Memorial Day weekend, I uninstalled my SD, cleaned it and replaced with new media. Last week, I saw the water turn cloudy in the reactor, it was like that for a few day and it cleared up. My drip rate was 1 drip every 2-3 seconds.

I took my first test yesterday and I was absolutely floored!!
D885635F-5ACD-4BCB-A9AE-F4D7B1918908.jpeg
09ED9495-2EEC-40D0-BC12-EF40828A4D85.jpeg
B242524C-501B-476C-84A2-866130AC49B9.jpeg

I now have zero NO3 and NO2 coming out of my SD. I am using Salifret test kits. I checked my levels in my tank and my NO3 is thru the roof and I have a slightly elevated NO2 levels.

I have my drip rate at 1 drip every second right now. I’m going to wait for a week or so to increase it and retest the levels.
NO3
D885635F-5ACD-4BCB-A9AE-F4D7B1918908.jpeg
09ED9495-2EEC-40D0-BC12-EF40828A4D85.jpeg
B242524C-501B-476C-84A2-866130AC49B9.jpeg
D885635F-5ACD-4BCB-A9AE-F4D7B1918908.jpeg
09ED9495-2EEC-40D0-BC12-EF40828A4D85.jpeg
B242524C-501B-476C-84A2-866130AC49B9.jpeg
 

NO3

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Hello No3,

Any updates to your nitrate issues?
Hi,
I really don't have any updates yet. The NO3 in my tank is still high but my SD is producing 0 NO3 and NO2. Every time I try to increase the drip rate to 2-3 drips per second, I get readings of NO2 and NO3 from my SD. Then I dial it back down. Should I keep it at 1 drip per second for a few weeks or should I up the rate and continue to test? Any help is always appreciated.

NO3
 

2Wheelsonly

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Hi,
I really don't have any updates yet. The NO3 in my tank is still high but my SD is producing 0 NO3 and NO2. Every time I try to increase the drip rate to 2-3 drips per second, I get readings of NO2 and NO3 from my SD. Then I dial it back down. Should I keep it at 1 drip per second for a few weeks or should I up the rate and continue to test? Any help is always appreciated.

NO3
I just started mine today, it's the TS-2 model on my 300G. I'll be sure to document the experience here...

After doing a ton of research on these myself I noticed that a common issue was making sure everything was air tight and shaking the bubbles out. The slightest amount of air would disrupt the process due to oxygen. Sounds, like you have that covered as your effluent is 0.

Do you think maybe your reactor is too small for the tank's nutrient input? All signs point to that being the case!

I personally will be happy just to see my nitrates drop some, I am worried this thing will take me to zero when I am aiming for 10-15. My current situation is fine, all corals look good but I am worried about not being able to control no3 as it rises past 30+.

**EDIT: One more thing to add:

How long are you letting the new drip rate "kick-in"? I would think the reactor needs time to catch up to the new flow rate correct?
 

robbyg

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Hi,
I really don't have any updates yet. The NO3 in my tank is still high but my SD is producing 0 NO3 and NO2. Every time I try to increase the drip rate to 2-3 drips per second, I get readings of NO2 and NO3 from my SD. Then I dial it back down. Should I keep it at 1 drip per second for a few weeks or should I up the rate and continue to test? Any help is always appreciated.

NO3
Increase the drip rate to two drips per second and then measure the NO3 a few hours later. It will have some amount of NO3 but that is fine. Wait several days and test again and it should get back down to zero as the bacteria levels increase. Then up it again and rinse and repeat until you get to a point where the level will not drop to Zero after a few days. At this point your reactor size is probably maxed out and you should dial her back to the last position where NO3 was Near or at Zero.

An ORP probe is really a big help with SD reactors.
 

Belgian Anthias

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Hello all,
It’s been a while since I last updated my adventure in destroying NO3 with my SD. A few weeks ago, exactly this past Memorial Day weekend, I uninstalled my SD, cleaned it and replaced with new media. Last week, I saw the water turn cloudy in the reactor, it was like that for a few day and it cleared up. My drip rate was 1 drip every 2-3 seconds.

I took my first test yesterday and I was absolutely floored!!
D885635F-5ACD-4BCB-A9AE-F4D7B1918908.jpeg
09ED9495-2EEC-40D0-BC12-EF40828A4D85.jpeg
B242524C-501B-476C-84A2-866130AC49B9.jpeg

I now have zero NO3 and NO2 coming out of my SD. I am using Salifret test kits. I checked my levels in my tank and my NO3 is thru the roof and I have a slightly elevated NO2 levels.

I have my drip rate at 1 drip every second right now. I’m going to wait for a week or so to increase it and retest the levels.
NO3
D885635F-5ACD-4BCB-A9AE-F4D7B1918908.jpeg
09ED9495-2EEC-40D0-BC12-EF40828A4D85.jpeg
B242524C-501B-476C-84A2-866130AC49B9.jpeg
D885635F-5ACD-4BCB-A9AE-F4D7B1918908.jpeg
09ED9495-2EEC-40D0-BC12-EF40828A4D85.jpeg
B242524C-501B-476C-84A2-866130AC49B9.jpeg
The tested water is reactor effluent water ? Having 0 nitrate and 0 nitrite does not exclude ammonia production due to sulfate reduction. For removing HS in an anoxic reactor nitrate is needed. HS will not be smelled. If HS is produced this may be shown by ammonium being present in the effluent. The water must be satisfied before H2S is smelled. No panic, produced HS will be oxidized when leaving the reactor. ( normally the reactor effluent water is aerated before entering the system to stabilize pH)
Slowely increase flow. The daily nitrate removal rate is daily flow ( drip rate) x ( influent NO3 - effluent NO3)
Increase the drip rate to two drips per second and then measure the NO3 a few hours later. It will have some amount of NO3 but that is fine. Wait several days and test again and it should get back down to zero as the bacteria levels increase. Then up it again and rinse and repeat until you get to a point where the level will not drop to Zero after a few days. At this point your reactor size is probably maxed out and you should dial her back to the last position where NO3 was Near or at Zero.

An ORP probe is really a big help with SD reactors.
 

Belgian Anthias

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Because my 60 minutes where expiered.

Hello all,
It’s been a while since I last updated my adventure in destroying NO3 with my SD. A few weeks ago, exactly this past Memorial Day weekend, I uninstalled my SD, cleaned it and replaced with new media. Last week, I saw the water turn cloudy in the reactor, it was like that for a few day and it cleared up. My drip rate was 1 drip every 2-3 seconds.

I took my first test yesterday and I was absolutely floored!!
D885635F-5ACD-4BCB-A9AE-F4D7B1918908.jpeg
09ED9495-2EEC-40D0-BC12-EF40828A4D85.jpeg
B242524C-501B-476C-84A2-866130AC49B9.jpeg

I now have zero NO3 and NO2 coming out of my SD. I am using Salifret test kits. I checked my levels in my tank and my NO3 is thru the roof and I have a slightly elevated NO2 levels.

I have my drip rate at 1 drip every second right now. I’m going to wait for a week or so to increase it and retest the levels.
NO3
D885635F-5ACD-4BCB-A9AE-F4D7B1918908.jpeg
09ED9495-2EEC-40D0-BC12-EF40828A4D85.jpeg
B242524C-501B-476C-84A2-866130AC49B9.jpeg
D885635F-5ACD-4BCB-A9AE-F4D7B1918908.jpeg
09ED9495-2EEC-40D0-BC12-EF40828A4D85.jpeg
B242524C-501B-476C-84A2-866130AC49B9.jpeg
The tested water is reactor effluent water ? Having 0 nitrate and 0 nitrite does not exclude ammonia production due to sulfate reduction. For removing HS in an anoxic reactor nitrate is needed. HS will not be smelled. If HS is produced this may be shown by ammonium being present in the effluent. The water must be saturated with HS before H2S is smelled. No panic, produced HS will be oxidized when leaving the reactor. ( normally the reactor effluent water is aerated before entering the system to stabilize pH)
Slowely increase flow. And wait a few days. Having nitrate in the effluent is not a problem as long there is less nitrate in the effluent as in the influent. ( the effluent is aerated) The daily nitrate removal rate is daily flow true the reactor x ( influent NO3 - effluent NO3) At a high nitrate level an anoxic kept reactor may be able to lower the nitrate level, which means more as the daily nitrate overproduction is removed daily. Wich means also the nitrate level will decent and less nitrate can be removed at the same drip rate, till the moment the critical point is reached and the removal rate equals the overproduction. What to do now? How an anoxic kept ( ORP controlled?) reactor may continue to lower the nitrate level? Often seen at this critical point is that users decide to lower the flow in an attempt to increase the anoxic zone with a very unpleasant result, a result which has given sulfur reactors a very bad name. Lowering the flow can never increase the removal rate as a reactor can only remove what is entered. For this reason, it is better to start increasing the flow from the beginning, only a bit more as the daily nitrate overproduction must be removed to lower the nitrate level. This way creating a real BADES reactor. No need for 0 nitrates in the effluent after startup, which also eliminates the risk for nitrate starvation within the reactor. A BADES reactor must be big enough, mainly to be able to consume the increasing amount of oxygen entered when increasing the flow. For example: to remove 1ppm nitrate daily at a level of 10 ppm the daily flow must be at least 1/10 of the total system volume. To remove the same amount when the level has descended to 5 ppm the flow must be doubled. To bring the nitrate level at 1ppm the daily flow must be at least equal to the total system volume. In most cases a 1% reactor will be able to handle a flow of the total system volume daily. An anoxic kept sulphur reactor can be usefull for LNS and VLNS having a very low daily nitrate production, if managed properly.
Increase the drip rate to two drips per second and then measure the NO3 a few hours later. It will have some amount of NO3 but that is fine. Wait several days and test again and it should get back down to zero as the bacteria levels increase. Then up it again and rinse and repeat until you get to a point where the level will not drop to Zero after a few days. At this point your reactor size is probably maxed out and you should dial her back to the last position where NO3 was Near or at Zero.

An ORP probe is really a big help with SD reactors.
An ORP probe does not work at all for managing a BADES reactor. ORP is OK but standard ORP reading ( probe) is not very sensitive for oxygen changes, not suitable for managing the oxygen content and certainly not for preventing sulfate reduction in an anoxic reactor. Not suitable for estimating the DO content in the reactor or in the effluent water. A waist of money for this purpose. There is no need for keeping a sulfur (BADES) reactor annoxic for removing nitrate ref: https://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=nl:makazi:het_water:orp ref: https://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=en:makazi:het_water:orp
BADES works fine without a reactor, in normal aquarium conditions. Just by adding sulfur to the filter bed of a biofilter ref: https://www.baharini.eu/baharini/do...es:het_bio-filter_dat_geen_nitraat_produceert.
 

NO3

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I just started mine today, it's the TS-2 model on my 300G. I'll be sure to document the experience here...

After doing a ton of research on these myself I noticed that a common issue was making sure everything was air tight and shaking the bubbles out. The slightest amount of air would disrupt the process due to oxygen. Sounds, like you have that covered as your effluent is 0.

Do you think maybe your reactor is too small for the tank's nutrient input? All signs point to that being the case!

I personally will be happy just to see my nitrates drop some, I am worried this thing will take me to zero when I am aiming for 10-15. My current situation is fine, all corals look good but I am worried about not being able to control no3 as it rises past 30+.

**EDIT: One more thing to add:

How long are you letting the new drip rate "kick-in"? I would think the reactor needs time to catch up to the new flow rate correct?
Hi,
I don't believe my reactor is small, I went with the next size up. I have the Korallin S-3002 which is rated up to 400 gallons. I have a 90 gallon FOWLR, no reefs just rock. And to answer your question, I'm upping my drip rate then testing after a day or 2. If it's at zero, I'll let the drip rate stay for another few days then up it and re-test.

Good luck with your unit, make sure it has an air tight seal and let the bubble out of the effluent everyday. This is very important. Please keep us posted with any updates!

NO3

NO3
 

NO3

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Increase the drip rate to two drips per second and then measure the NO3 a few hours later. It will have some amount of NO3 but that is fine. Wait several days and test again and it should get back down to zero as the bacteria levels increase. Then up it again and rinse and repeat until you get to a point where the level will not drop to Zero after a few days. At this point your reactor size is probably maxed out and you should dial her back to the last position where NO3 was Near or at Zero.

An ORP probe is really a big help with SD reactors.
Hi,
Thank you for your reply. I just increased the drip rate and I'll check the levels soon. I actually see some haze/fogginess in the SD. Upping my drip rate will resolve that. I appreciate the advice.

NO3
 

NO3

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Because my 60 minutes where expiered.


The tested water is reactor effluent water ? Having 0 nitrate and 0 nitrite does not exclude ammonia production due to sulfate reduction. For removing HS in an anoxic reactor nitrate is needed. HS will not be smelled. If HS is produced this may be shown by ammonium being present in the effluent. The water must be saturated with HS before H2S is smelled. No panic, produced HS will be oxidized when leaving the reactor. ( normally the reactor effluent water is aerated before entering the system to stabilize pH)
Slowely increase flow. And wait a few days. Having nitrate in the effluent is not a problem as long there is less nitrate in the effluent as in the influent. ( the effluent is aerated) The daily nitrate removal rate is daily flow true the reactor x ( influent NO3 - effluent NO3) At a high nitrate level an anoxic kept reactor may be able to lower the nitrate level, which means more as the daily nitrate overproduction is removed daily. Wich means also the nitrate level will decent and less nitrate can be removed at the same drip rate, till the moment the critical point is reached and the removal rate equals the overproduction. What to do now? How an anoxic kept ( ORP controlled?) reactor may continue to lower the nitrate level? Often seen at this critical point is that users decide to lower the flow in an attempt to increase the anoxic zone with a very unpleasant result, a result which has given sulfur reactors a very bad name. Lowering the flow can never increase the removal rate as a reactor can only remove what is entered. For this reason, it is better to start increasing the flow from the beginning, only a bit more as the daily nitrate overproduction must be removed to lower the nitrate level. This way creating a real BADES reactor. No need for 0 nitrates in the effluent after startup, which also eliminates the risk for nitrate starvation within the reactor. A BADES reactor must be big enough, mainly to be able to consume the increasing amount of oxygen entered when increasing the flow. For example: to remove 1ppm nitrate daily at a level of 10 ppm the daily flow must be at least 1/10 of the total system volume. To remove the same amount when the level has descended to 5 ppm the flow must be doubled. To bring the nitrate level at 1ppm the daily flow must be at least equal to the total system volume. In most cases a 1% reactor will be able to handle a flow of the total system volume daily. An anoxic kept sulphur reactor can be usefull for LNS and VLNS having a very low daily nitrate production, if managed properly.


An ORP probe does not work at all for managing a BADES reactor. ORP is OK but standard ORP reading ( probe) is not very sensitive for oxygen changes, not suitable for managing the oxygen content and certainly not for preventing sulfate reduction in an anoxic reactor. Not suitable for estimating the DO content in the reactor or in the effluent water. A waist of money for this purpose. There is no need for keeping a sulfur (BADES) reactor annoxic for removing nitrate ref: https://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=nl:makazi:het_water:orp ref: https://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=en:makazi:het_water:orp
BADES works fine without a reactor, in normal aquarium conditions. Just by adding sulfur to the filter bed of a biofilter ref: https://www.baharini.eu/baharini/do...es:het_bio-filter_dat_geen_nitraat_produceert.
Thank you for the detailed explanation. Great read.

NO3
 

Darrell Brady

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Were are yall finding sulfur media everyone seems to be sold out I want to restart my media reactor?
 

Belgian Anthias

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Hi,
I don't believe my reactor is small, I went with the next size up. I have the Korallin S-3002 which is rated up to 400 gallons. I have a 90 gallon FOWLR, no reefs just rock. And to answer your question, I'm upping my drip rate then testing after a day or 2. If it's at zero, I'll let the drip rate stay for another few days then up it and re-test.

Good luck with your unit, make sure it has an air tight seal and let the bubble out of the effluent everyday. This is very important. Please keep us posted with any updates!

NO3

NO3
What is the volume of the reactor and how many sulfur and how many calcium carbonate substrate is used in volume. ? Separated reactors, separated media in one reactor, or mixed substrates? It makes a big difference. One should have at least 1% of the system volume of sulfur and the same amount of calcium carbonate media. in this case total +-2 gal or 8l. A FOLWR tank has a low carrying capacity which limits the fish load and size.
A denitrator does not increase the carrying capacity as this depends on the capacity to reduce ammonium, not nitrate removal. Applications of BADES, a BADES biofilter, or BADES biofilm reactor, do increase the carrying capacity as simultaneous nitrification and denitrification can take place and be managed. ref: https://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=en:badess:start ref https://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=nl:badess:start. A normal nitrifying biofilter with a mix of calcium carbonate and sulfur as a substrate for the growing nitrifying biofilms will remove a lot of the produced nitrate, This can be done in a refuge. A nitrifying biofilter not producing nitrate can be created.
 

NO3

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Hi,
My SD has separated media in one reactor. I would say 3/4 is sulfur and 1/2 calcium carb.

NO3
 
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