New sulfur denitrator working great!

robbyg

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Messages
1,542
Reaction score
1,616
For me, having a trace to zero nitrate is good. I do not have corals to worry about. I may have a video of my tank before I lost all my fish, I think my tank had COVID-19 :(

NO3
Nice tank :)
My only worry is what do these units do when your no longer feeding them Nitrates, do they really produce Ammonia? There is so little public info on them that I feel l am a pioneer. I do know that the one thing you do not want to happen is for the reactor water to drop down in -250 ORP range. Mine dropped down to -300 which I think is where the probe bottoms out on readings and within hours my fishes skin started to blister and look like they had really bad ick. The corals did not seem to have a problem with it. Of course the reactor was producing HS and if you ever get that rotten egg smell just make sure to bleed the reactor into a separate bucket at a much higher flow rate until the water coming out has been cycled out several times.
I wish someone with more experience like @Lasse would chime in. He seems to have been using these a lot longer. This is my second time using the reactor in a five year period. I am very good at getting them up and running but have no clue on how to throttle them back.

BTW your going to need some Nitrate if you want that nice Coralline algae growth to cover your rocks.
 
Mega Meltdown After Sale

Lasse

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
6,280
Reaction score
18,966
Location
Källarliden 14 D Bohus, Sweden
I wish someone with more experience like @Lasse would chime in. He seems to have been using these a lot longer. This is my second time using the reactor in a five year period. I am very good at getting them up and running but have no clue on how to throttle them back.
I´m more familiarly with norma denitrification reactors (build on heterotrophic bacteria - not autotrophic sulfur bacteria ) like my reversed DSB. The way of handle them to handle low amounts of produced NO3 is to lower the amount of DOC added and rise the flow a little. As I understand its difficult to rise the flow with sulphur denitrators because they can produce NO2 in worst case. One way (but rather unlogical) could be to ad som NaNO3 to the tank. If a FO tank - try to avoid KNO3. In a FO there is no consumption of K and K concentrations above 500 - 600 can be fatal for fish IME. This problem also highlight the size of the denitrator (if used the original sulphur denitrification concept - not the BADES concept) - do not ovesize it - make it in size to manage the daily NO3 production and little more - let it take long time to go down to zero.

If there is a lot of Tangs and other algae eaters - feed a lot of nori and other algaes - they are rich in N.

Sincerely Lasse
 

robbyg

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Messages
1,542
Reaction score
1,616
@Lasse It’s interesting that you mention using a smaller reactor. The first time I setup my Koralin 1502 I added the recommended amount of Sulfur and found it to be very difficult to manage it once the NO3 went low.
This time I used 1/2 the media and have found it to be much easier to work with at lower nitrate levels.
There are so many other questions I would like to ask but it’s late so I will post back tomorrow.
Thanks for the help.
 

2Wheelsonly

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1,401
Location
Floyds Knobs, IN
While I’m new myself when it comes to using these as I am still breaking mine in (2 weeks). I read a lot about them and spoke to several folks who used them long term.

Came down to a few options:

Undersize/less sulfur, one person I spoke to took it offline and actually removed 30% once nitrates hit zero.

Increased flow, didn’t care about nitrites said tank volume processed quickly (not sure I like this).

Amino acid on doser daily, acro power has always shot my nitrates up (this is the option I’m going with once my no3 gets low).
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
38,221
Reaction score
26,169
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Nice tank :)
My only worry is what do these units do when your no longer feeding them Nitrates, do they really produce Ammonia?
How and why do you think it might produce ammonia?
 

robbyg

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Messages
1,542
Reaction score
1,616
While I’m new myself when it comes to using these as I am still breaking mine in (2 weeks). I read a lot about them and spoke to several folks who used them long term.

Came down to a few options:

Undersize/less sulfur, one person I spoke to took it offline and actually removed 30% once nitrates hit zero.

Increased flow, didn’t care about nitrites said tank volume processed quickly (not sure I like this).

Amino acid on doser daily, acro power has always shot my nitrates up (this is the option I’m going with once my no3 gets low).
I cannot find any conclusive proof that Amino acids do anything for a Reef Tank. I did see one study that suggested certain class of SPS could become deficient in a specific Amino acid, but even then it was not presented as a typical problem. In any case there has got to be a better way to handle this than deliberately creating more nitrate in my tank.

If it comes down to it I would rather make a small five gallon bucket that has been seeded with rock gravel and bacteria and just dump sea food scraps into that and use a three way valve on input and output of the reactor so it feeds on that container when I need it offline.
 

Belgian Anthias

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
869
Reaction score
392
Location
Aarschot Belgium
How, I have no idea.
Why, is because of something @Belgian Anthias said in a previous post.
As explained previously, in an anoxic kept denitrator used to target 0 nitrates in the effluent, sulfate reduction can not be avoided. Anaerobic remineralization using sulfate instead of nitrate produces HS and ammonia. In an anoxic denitrator also DNRA takes place ( +- 15% of the total heterotrophic nitrate reduction) by which nitrate is reduced to ammonia. ref: https://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=nl:makazi:bio-chemie:dnra In an anoxic kept denitrator nitrification is not possible, the produced ammonia will be released in the system. If the effluent does not contain nitrate, it may contain a lot of ammonium.
BADESSystems do not make use of anoxic kept denitrators.
 

Belgian Anthias

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 31, 2017
Messages
869
Reaction score
392
Location
Aarschot Belgium
I cannot find any conclusive proof that Amino acids do anything for a Reef Tank. I did see one study that suggested certain class of SPS could become deficient in a specific Amino acid, but even then it was not presented as a typical problem. In any case there has got to be a better way to handle this than deliberately creating more nitrate in my tank.

If it comes down to it I would rather make a small five gallon bucket that has been seeded with rock gravel and bacteria and just dump sea food scraps into that and use a three way valve on input and output of the reactor so it feeds on that container when I need it offline.
Adding amino acids increases the C:N ratio and limits nitrate production! As does any organic carbon supplement. Fast growing heterotrophs use NH4-N as a nitrogen source outcompeting nitrifiers for ammonium.

Did you try to use high protein food > 35% protein? This will lower the C:N ratio and increase the nitrate production. One may manage nitrate production just by managing the food protein content.
You may add a simple biofilter or refuge for managing the nitrogen content as desired by you.
 

NO3

Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
47
Reaction score
14
While I’m new myself when it comes to using these as I am still breaking mine in (2 weeks). I read a lot about them and spoke to several folks who used them long term.

Came down to a few options:

Undersize/less sulfur, one person I spoke to took it offline and actually removed 30% once nitrates hit zero.

Increased flow, didn’t care about nitrites said tank volume processed quickly (not sure I like this).

Amino acid on doser daily, acro power has always shot my nitrates up (this is the option I’m going with once my no3 gets low).
Why would you under size and remove 30%? Isn't it our goal to hit zero levels? I'm confused.

NO3
 

robbyg

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Messages
1,542
Reaction score
1,616
As explained previously, in an anoxic kept denitrator used to target 0 nitrates in the effluent, sulfate reduction can not be avoided. Anaerobic remineralization using sulfate instead of nitrate produces HS and ammonia. In an anoxic denitrator also DNRA takes place ( +- 15% of the total heterotrophic nitrate reduction) by which nitrate is reduced to ammonia. ref: https://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=nl:makazi:bio-chemie:dnra In an anoxic kept denitrator nitrification is not possible, the produced ammonia will be released in the system. If the effluent does not contain nitrate, it may contain a lot of ammonium.
BADESSystems do not make use of anoxic kept denitrators.
I wonder what @Randy Holmes-Farley thinks of this? I would love to hear his thoughts.
 

2Wheelsonly

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1,401
Location
Floyds Knobs, IN
Why would you under size and remove 30%? Isn't it our goal to hit zero levels? I'm confused.

NO3
I would never want to hit zero nitrates in an sps dominant tank nor would I want to be at 50+...

Don’t care if I’m at 5-10-15 as long as my test kit is extremely light or light pink and not hot pink I’m happy.
 

2Wheelsonly

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
1,081
Reaction score
1,401
Location
Floyds Knobs, IN
I cannot find any conclusive proof that Amino acids do anything for a Reef Tank. I did see one study that suggested certain class of SPS could become deficient in a specific Amino acid, but even then it was not presented as a typical problem. In any case there has got to be a better way to handle this than deliberately creating more nitrate in my tank.

If it comes down to it I would rather make a small five gallon bucket that has been seeded with rock gravel and bacteria and just dump sea food scraps into that and use a three way valve on input and output of the reactor so it feeds on that container when I need it offline.
Aminos add nitrates and plenty of trusted coral farmers swear by them. Do I think they are required? Nope! Do I think they are the magic bullet for colorization? Nope!

Are they cheap? Yup! Easy to dose? Yup! Are they readily available online and at my lfs? yup!

Sounds like the perfect candidate if I wanted to set and forget my sulfur denitrator and just dose to keep the tank from being no3 deficient.

Your suggestion about the three way valve sounds like you’re making it waaaaaay harder than it needs to be.

Why do we have sulfur denitrators on our tanks? We have no3 and need a way to export them. We choose these because they do the job but do it well.

It a lot easier to nuke the no3 and just add a little amount to find a consistent parameter than tweak drip rates and rig some contraption to adjust these things. Let them do their thing and just add back if they take away too much. It’s simple! That’s the zeovit strategy too btw...
 
Last edited:

robbyg

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2019
Messages
1,542
Reaction score
1,616
Aminos add nitrates and plenty of trusted coral farmers swear by them. Do I think they are required? Nope! Do I think they are the magic bullet for colorization? Nope!

Are they cheap? Yup! Easy to dose? Yup! Are they readily available online and at my lfs? yup!

Sounds like the perfect candidate if I wanted to set and forget my sulfur denitrator and just dose to keep the tank from being no3 deficient.

Your suggestion about the three way valve sounds like you’re making it waaaaaay harder than it needs to be.

Why do we have sulfur denitrators on our tanks? We have no3 and need a way to export them. We choose these because they do the job but do it well.

It a lot easier to nuke the no3 and just add a little amount to find a consistent parameter than tweak drip rates and rig some contraption to adjust these things. Let them do their thing and just add back if they take away too much. It’s simple! That’s the zeovit strategy too btw...
The problem is that we typically do not know all the things most of these products add.
Yes you get higher Nitrates but what else is going up? Adding a bucket some fitting and 2x three way valves is about 3 hours work. It's not a big deal to make it.

BTW this was the video that turned me onto doing some further reading on Amino Acids.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
38,221
Reaction score
26,169
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
As explained previously, in an anoxic kept denitrator used to target 0 nitrates in the effluent, sulfate reduction can not be avoided. Anaerobic remineralization using sulfate instead of nitrate produces HS and ammonia. In an anoxic denitrator also DNRA takes place ( +- 15% of the total heterotrophic nitrate reduction) by which nitrate is reduced to ammonia. ref: https://www.baharini.eu/baharini/doku.php?id=nl:makazi:bio-chemie:dnra In an anoxic kept denitrator nitrification is not possible, the produced ammonia will be released in the system. If the effluent does not contain nitrate, it may contain a lot of ammonium.
BADESSystems do not make use of anoxic kept denitrators.
What is the source of the nitrogen for that claimed production of ammonia?
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
38,221
Reaction score
26,169
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Adding amino acids increases the C:N ratio
Does it? How?

Perhaps there is a translation issue on what raising the C:N ratio means. Are you claiming it means raising C relative to N, or raises N relative to C?

The way you wrote it, it seems to claim that dosing amino acids increases C relative to N.

How do you propose that happens? The C:N ratio in amino acids is lower than the ratio in ordinary seawater (that is, less C and more N in amino acids than in seawater).

Let's explore that claim, which is obviously incorrect at face value.

Suppose that the aquarium is at the standard Redfield ratio of about C:N ratio typical of the ocean at about 6.6:1

What is the C:N ratio in amino acids?

Here's a list:
alanine C:N = 3:1
valine 5:1
isoleucine 6:1
leucine 6:1
methionine 5:1
phenylalanine 9:1
tyrosine 9:1
tryptophan 11:2 = 5.5:1
serine 3:1
threonine 4:1
asparagine 4:2 = 2:1
glutamine 5:1 = 2.5;1
cysteine 3:1
glycine 2:1
proline 5:1
glutamic acid 5:1
aspartic acid 4:1
lysine 6:2 = 3:1
histidine 6:3 = 2:1
arginine 6:4 = 1.5;1

As you can see, only two amino acids have a C/N ratio higher than the redfield ratio, so unless your tank is skewed from the redfield ratio, or you only dose those two amino acids, i do not see a basis for the claim that adding amino acids raises the C/N ratio.
 

Lasse

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
6,280
Reaction score
18,966
Location
Källarliden 14 D Bohus, Sweden
What is the source of the nitrogen for that claimed production of ammonia?
IMO - Organic matter that will be mineralised by anaerobic heterotrophic bacteria using sulphur compounds (and elementary sulphur) as electron acceptor (example) plus DNRA bacteria ( Dissimilatory Nitrate Reduction to Ammonium ) (example)(wikipedia)

Sincerely Lasse
 

NO3

Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
47
Reaction score
14
I would never want to hit zero nitrates in an sps dominant tank nor would I want to be at 50+...

Don’t care if I’m at 5-10-15 as long as my test kit is extremely light or light pink and not hot pink I’m happy.
Ok gotcha, for a sps dominant tank you would need a slight reading of pink.

NO3
 

Lasse

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
6,280
Reaction score
18,966
Location
Källarliden 14 D Bohus, Sweden
On cellular level (and many of the organism discussed here is uncellary organisms) there is many times pathways for direct uptake of amino acids as an N source. It can´t be excluded that some microalgae (and zooxanthellae) plus bacteria is able to a direct uptake of N through aminoacids.

Sincerely Lasse
 

NO3

Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
47
Reaction score
14
Wow, all you guys here are truly amazing with water chemistry, I'm compelled to take notes and scan thru my daughter's chem book and see if I can reply intelligently lol!

NO3
 

Coral in your reef tank?

  • Pack in as many as I can get

    Votes: 66 14.5%
  • A lot but leave room for growth

    Votes: 303 66.4%
  • Less is more

    Votes: 63 13.8%
  • Very very few

    Votes: 13 2.9%
  • Fish only...blah!

    Votes: 6 1.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 5 1.1%

Online statistics

Members online
670
Guests online
2,455
Total visitors
3,125
PremiumAquatics.com
Top