Poor Man's Nutrients Control - Donovan's Nitrate Destroyer

Levinson

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If anaerobic zone in DND lowers pH, wouldn't any crushed coral skeletons in it slowly dissolve and increase calcium in the water just like a calcium reactor?It seems like this isn't an issue judging by the posts but I wanded if it could have an impact on the water chemistry balance in a negative way.
 

Lasse

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That's a pity. I have quite a bit of siporax lying around and I was planning on using them for my DND. Now I'll only be able to use some in the aerobic zone closer to the inlet.
I dose silicate to my tank on a regular basis for my sponges but the leak seems like too much.
Do you reckon I could throw in just a few pieces of siporax in the DND anaerobic zone and let it leak out silicate just a little? Like a reactor? Or is it too risky?

Put them in a cage - easy to remove - in either the beginning or end of the reactor - automatic dosing :)

If anaerobic zone in DND lowers pH, wouldn't any crushed coral skeletons in it slowly dissolve and increase calcium in the water just like a calcium reactor?It seems like this isn't an issue judging by the posts but I wanded if it could have an impact on the water chemistry balance in a negative way.
The classic denitrification process - as in this construction - rise the alkalinity (and the pH) - not the opposite. Other processes that happens the same time can decrease it - its normally difficult to say what will happens. But if the denitrification process is the dominating process - Alkalinity/pH will raise.

Sincerely Lasse
 

Levinson

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What is the recommended size for the inlet tubing? I remember reading some posts saying 1/4 inch clear vinyl tubing (about 6.35mm). When they say 1/4 inch tube, I believe that would be the internal diameter. Is that big enough? Is anything bigger than that with a valve going to be good enough?
 

blazn

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The diameter of your input tube would basically be determined by the output tube and your valve precision. I'm running airline for my output tube and just using a 'quick connect' 1/2" valve on my input, so my input tube is 1/2", which is larger than needed. It did take some tweaking to get that valve set to the proper flow, so the more precision of your valve, the easier it will be to control the flow.
 

kvansloo

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Parts needed:-

3" or 4" PVC pipes (3 to 5 feet in length)
Matching flat end cap x 4 pieces
1" nipple x 1 unit
1" jam nut x 2 units (to match with the nipple)
Clear flexible hose (for effluent outlet)
Bio balls (medium & large size)
Ceramic rings (large seize)
Crushed coral (roughly 1/2" in size)
Pumice rocks (seachem denitrate/matrix or equivalent)
Piping works tools (hacksaw, PVC cutter, PVC glue, mechanical drill etc)
Reef safe ball valve (to match with your inlet pipe/hose)
Another length of clear flexible hose or 1/2" PVC pipe (for water inlet)
Small water inlet pump or you can tee-off your return/overflow (your decision)
This is the original list of parts, it shows 1/2 inch for inlet. Here there is no size for the Outlet, but it should be smaller then the inlet. That helps slow the water down I think the size was 3/8.
 
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Solo McReefer

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I am very sad and hard to believe that Mr. Donovan has passed away. I have spoke with his wife and she informed me that he has been drowned into the sea while looking for some corals and passed away on 07Jan18. I pray to god that it should not be true and wants him to do more to make this hobby better and for good of his family. Please pray that the message I have got is not true. He is one of the mentor for me and I hope also for more like me.
Condolences
 

Keecha

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I have been running the DND for 4 weeks now. And I am really amazed at the results today.
Past 2 weeks regularly tested the output and adjusted the flow and VSV dosage and this has now paid off.
4 days ago my nitrate coming out of the reactor was still 50/100, today 5 !!!
I still have a long way to go before the whole aquarium is at this value, but now there is light at the end of the tunnel :smiling-face:

4 Days ago (left) and today (right):
IMG_20240522_193556.jpg
IMG_20240526_133717.jpg
The joy was short-lived :loudly-crying-face:
After that day the values climbed back up again, and still are 50/100
I've changed from VSV to pure vodka, i've increased the dosage, inject new bacteria, changed flow, ...
Still no change in the output of the reactor. Because of a bacterial bloom, i've lowered the vodka dosing.
But now i'm desperate.
I've battled the nitrate problem for about half a year and thought this was the solution, but now i'm close at giving up the whole reef.
 

blazn

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The joy was short-lived :loudly-crying-face:
After that day the values climbed back up again, and still are 50/100
I've changed from VSV to pure vodka, i've increased the dosage, inject new bacteria, changed flow, ...
Still no change in the output of the reactor. Because of a bacterial bloom, i've lowered the vodka dosing.
But now i'm desperate.
I've battled the nitrate problem for about half a year and thought this was the solution, but now i'm close at giving up the whole reef.
Very strange! You had your DND working and now it isn't. If flow & carbon input were maintained, I'm not sure how it wouldn't continue to decrease your N03. It almost sounds like your bacteria died (lack of flow, carbon, etc). I've had mine in action for basically a year now, with a constant minimal flow and a total daily dose of 4ml of vodka. It's been 'rock solid' and super easy to maintain. It's such a great tool, I certainly hope you're able to figure out the problem!
 

Keecha

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Very strange! You had your DND working and now it isn't. If flow & carbon input were maintained, I'm not sure how it wouldn't continue to decrease your N03. It almost sounds like your bacteria died (lack of flow, carbon, etc). I've had mine in action for basically a year now, with a constant minimal flow and a total daily dose of 4ml of vodka. It's been 'rock solid' and super easy to maintain. It's such a great tool, I certainly hope you're able to figure out the problem!
So would you advise to open up the filter, rise the media with Ro water and start again?
Or just add new bacteria for a couple of days?
 

blazn

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So would you advise to open up the filter, rise the media with Ro water and start again?
Or just add new bacteria for a couple of days?
Adding new bacteria for a while would be easier and may get it 'kick started' again, but it may be beneficial to open it up and clean it out and start over. I certainly hope you're able to get this figured out, as I'd hate for you to get to the point of "giving up the whole reef"!!
 

Keecha

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Adding new bacteria for a while would be easier and may get it 'kick started' again, but it may be beneficial to open it up and clean it out and start over. I certainly hope you're able to get this figured out, as I'd hate for you to get to the point of "giving up the whole reef"!!
Thanks again for the advice!
I'll try adding new bacteria for a couple of days, if I don't see any improvement I can still open the filter to start again.
 

piranhaman00

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I don’t understand how you guys get flow that is sustained. I’ve switched pumps and now even use an RO gate valve for precision but over time the flow through the pump slows down, I’m constantly adjusting it based on the drips through it.
 

Solo McReefer

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I don’t understand how you guys get flow that is sustained. I’ve switched pumps and now even use an RO gate valve for precision but over time the flow through the pump slows down, I’m constantly adjusting it based on the drips through it.
If it were mine, I would use larger media

It's probably just getting clogged as the smaller media moves between the space between the larger media

My guess

I have priced out all the parts and stuff, using Reborn large calcium reactor media and ceramic balls, Maxspect nano balls

1718877916993.jpeg
 

Solo McReefer

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It also seems to me
1000002681.jpg

Froma design point of view

Is to have the water flowing upward in each tower

1000002684.jpg
1000002686.jpg
1000002685.jpg


Then your 3/8" - 1/2" guest push bulkhead connectors, are coming out and through the top cap. And not out of the side

With the water flowing upward in each tower, you minimize creating a concrete brick at the bottom of each tower

Best top cap would be flat 4", like the first pic, with threads. I just hadn't found one for this diagram. That way your bulkhead pass-throughs are not going through curved surface

The acrylic reactor at the top, is only 120 bucks, it's 4" x 18". Spray it with black Krylon, if you want a 'pro' version

But that defeats the "poor man's" and DIY vision and nature of the thread

Anyway, having a threaded top, as opposed to cemented, means you can troubleshoot it if needed, which I suppose would be needed. Especially if you use the Marine Pure type material or Maxspect balls, or Brightwell blocks. That stuff breaks down after 3 or 4 years, and disintegrates
 
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piranhaman00

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If it were mine, I would use larger media
It's probably just getting clogged as the smaller media moves between the space between the larger media

My guess

I have priced out all the parts and stuff, using Reborn large calcium reactor media and ceramic balls, Maxspect nano balls

1718877916993.jpeg

I don’t think so. The system isn’t pressurized so increasing flow would just result in overflow, not more flow
 

Solo McReefer

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I didn't didn't say anything about pressurization

What exactly are you objecting to?

If you put pressure on these homemade reactors, you gonna make a homemade water bomb
 

Solo McReefer

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Additionally

At the cost involved

What would prevent one from adding a 3rd or 4th tower to absolutely assure anaerobic conditions?

Each 4"x18" tower costs about 30 bucks and that's with the fittings,threaded cap, bulkheads, valves, tubing, excluding then media

Ok,, maybe more with these

You'll need one per tower
1000002693.jpg



 

piranhaman00

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Anaerobic conditions are easy to achieve, the problem is too much anaerobic activity
 

piranhaman00

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I didn't didn't say anything about pressurization

What exactly are you objecting to?

If you put pressure on these homemade reactors, you gonna make a homemade water bomb

If the system was closed and clogged and it would become pressurized. My system is open,
 

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