Nopox and gfo use

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry by Randy Holmes-Farley' started by michael jahn, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. michael jahn

    michael jahn New Member

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    Saw a post the other night where randy holmes farley (who I've trusted on everything for 10 years) said he uses nopox, gfo, and gac athe the same time. Red sea says it will mess with the bacteria of the nopox. I want/ will follow Randy's advice. Can someone tell me why its ok to use nopox and gfo?
     
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  2. jsker

    jsker Reefing is all about the adventure Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    NoPox is a form of carbon dosing, using methanol as the main ingredient. GFO is granular fericoxide/ iron used in the absorption of phosphates. using them both together, ones need to not strip the system of phosphates. That all. We need a slight amount of phosphates in our system for coral growth.

    Welcome to posting on R2R
     
  3. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor

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    GAC strains certain organics and other compounds . Many in fact. Neither as I understand it will effect bacterias meaningfully unless perhaps used to aggressively.

    And Red Sea says some really weird things from time to time that make little to NO sense.
    No really Its like opinion rather than fact it seems.
    As muck as I've learned from thier technique some odd ones pop up from time to time.

    And welcome to Reef2reef.
     
  4. Alfrareef

    Alfrareef Well-Known Member

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    I can't give you the technicalities but can share my experience.
    I'm using with sucess that combination for several months and the advice I can remember is to use both with caution. I always start with half dose and give time for things to happen.
    Welcome!
     
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  5. 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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    Methanol is a minor component, possibly even there only as a denaturant in the ethanol. The two big ingredients are ethanol and acetic acid. :)
     
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  6. 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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    Thanks. :)


    The rational for GFO is that carbon doing is imbalanced to excess nitrate removal due to some of the organics beign consumed in denitrification, which reduices nitrate and not phospahte.

    I agree with the above to just be careful to not drive either N or P too low. :)
     
  7. michael jahn

    michael jahn New Member

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    Thanks everyone for posting! Amazing info, just what I was looking for. Thanks again
     
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  8. Scurvy

    Scurvy Pirate Reefer R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I also use all 3 and see no adverse affects. I use about 50% of recomended GAC and 1/3 for GFO. Only dose NoPox as needed, usually once, maybe twice a week to keep No3 about 5ppm.
     
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  9. jsker

    jsker Reefing is all about the adventure Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I figured you would know better than myself;):D what the the ingredients are in NoPoX.
     
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  10. 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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    It is about 6:1 ethanol:acetic acid. The acetic acid is ~3% of the total mass. There are much smaller amounts of isopropanol and methanol in it, which may be there as denaturing agents in the ethanol to make it much cheaper for the manufacturer to avoid taxes.

    This is my DIY based on the ingredients:
    mix one part vinegar to one half part vodka and one half part water, you'll be pretty close. If you want to get even closer, add a little more vodka and a little less water.
     
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  11. dragon99

    dragon99 Valuable Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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  12. jsker

    jsker Reefing is all about the adventure Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Thank you.
     
  13. DipSpit

    DipSpit Active Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    So I have to jump in here because I'm in the same boat ... ish.

    Currently dosing 10ml on NOPOX in my system totaling 180g. I have tapered down the dose (from 22.4 ml according to manufacturers directions) which has brought my NO3 from very high to holding at 5ppm (Salifert) which I expect to slowly taper down a bit more.

    My PO4, again testing with Salifert, reads in the 0.00-0.03 range. It is hard to tell with that test though.

    I am now noticing small spot of cyanobacteria starting to form. I am aware of the quickness at which carbon dosing can work on NO3 but that the PO4 will take longer to bring down.

    Would it be more likely to have the cyanobacteria to be forming due to an unbalance of the Redfield ratio (This is a huge can of worms and I can't really decipher a clear answer here - there are lots of schools of thought - most over my head) or that the Salifert test is indicating the wrong level?

    Should I add a small portion of GFO or let things ride out? I have noticed no other ill effects aside from the aesthetic of the cyanobacteria. There is a semi-bleached birdnest frag (but that is unrelated I am sure).

    Best course of action?

    EDIT: I guess it could also be that my NO3 is still too high for the current PO4 content?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  14. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor NJRC Member

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    I don't know the origin of amounts, but the DIY Nopox I've been using is 500 mls vinegar, 375 mls vodka (80 proof), and 125 mls RO/DI.

    EDIT TO ADD:

    I believe I've found the recipe breakdown of what I've been using.....or should I say @dragon99 did with the link above. Over on RC, shermanator had his grad students run NOPOX through an NMR, and found the following:

    6:1 EtOH:AcOH (ethanol : acetic acid). The AcOH is ~3%.

    So you can make your own NOPOX (roughly) by adding 1 part vinegar to 1 part 30% ethanol.

    There are a couple impurities around 3 ppm, but otherwise it's quite clean stuff.



    With Vodka at 40%, the simple dilution with RO/DI results in the same exact proportions as above. Good to know!
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  15. 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 don't agree with the ratio of nutrients idea that gets bandied about. Technically, I cannot see how it could work. If there is enough N and P for something like cyano to grow (and everything else is enough), it will grow. How would having more N or P stop it from growing?

    The only way this can work in some cases is if something else starts growing at higher N or P that is scarfing down all the available (fill in what it might be here, iron,etc.) to stop the cyano or other pest from growing as well.
     
  16. DipSpit

    DipSpit Active Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Now - assuming my PO4 is reading correctly via salifert at the 0-0.03 range, I guess NO3 just need to come down a bit more.

    I guess the only way to know is to let it ride and see what happens? Then when my NO3 lowers more and the cyano is still an issue it has to be PO4?
     
  17. mrtian97

    mrtian97 Well-Known Member

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    for the diy Vodka/vinegar solution, how much do you add for a 90 gallon system with medium load of fish. I am currently using GAC and GFO mix in a reactor at 1/2 the recommended qty from brs calc. so far my system doing well, sps is growing, but I would like to see on how to improve the color my corals
    Thanks
     
  18. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor NJRC Member

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    I simply use the NOPOX instructions as far as dosing:

    Measured Level (ppm) ....................Daily Dose ml/100 L (25 gal)
    NO3 above 10 ---------------------------------------3
    NO3 above 2.5, but less than 10 ------------------2
    NO3 above 1 but less than 2.5 ---------------------1
     
  19. mrtian97

    mrtian97 Well-Known Member

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    thanks, which testing do you like for NO3?
     
  20. becks

    becks Well-Known Member

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    I stopped using nopox because it really fuelled a cyano outbreak in my tank.
     
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