What's your experience with sulfur reactors/denitrators,

Dragonsreef

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Ive been battling high nitrates in my 12 year old 265g reef for a while now. They tend to stay around 30-40ppm. Everythings growing fine but i do notice better growth when i do more water changes to bring it down to <25. So i would like to get it to stay between 10-25. I currently have a 30g refugium, biopellet reactor and a large reef octopus skimmer for filtration and do 10% water changes weekly. To get levels where i want them i have to do 20% weekly which adds quite a bit of inconvenience cause i don't have the extra storage room.

So ive been looking into sulfur reactors since they seem to target nitrates specifically. My phosphates stay between 0.04 and 0.08 so i don't want to affect them. Those of you that have tried them or still use them what are your thoughts? Pros and cons? Anything to look out for and do some reactors perform better than others?
 
AS

Dan_P

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Ive been battling high nitrates in my 12 year old 265g reef for a while now. They tend to stay around 30-40ppm. Everythings growing fine but i do notice better growth when i do more water changes to bring it down to <25. So i would like to get it to stay between 10-25. I currently have a 30g refugium, biopellet reactor and a large reef octopus skimmer for filtration and do 10% water changes weekly. To get levels where i want them i have to do 20% weekly which adds quite a bit of inconvenience cause i don't have the extra storage room.

So ive been looking into sulfur reactors since they seem to target nitrates specifically. My phosphates stay between 0.04 and 0.08 so i don't want to affect them. Those of you that have tried them or still use them what are your thoughts? Pros and cons? Anything to look out for and do some reactors perform better than others?
Question. Might the improved growth with water changes be related to higher micro nutrients rather than lower nitrates?
 
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Dragonsreef

Dragonsreef

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Question. Might the improved growth with water changes be related to higher micro nutrients rather than lower nitrates?
I dose and monitor with icp tests pretty regularly so the only thing i can for sure say is different is the nitrates
 

Cory

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First make sure your no3 arent a false no2 reading. Then if your no3 is real, id say that they work very well however for me the alkalinity they eventually consume wasnt worth it. But mine wasnt a full blown denitrator with pump it was diy and passive with no pump. But it worked! I took it oit and then no3 dropped to zero. I think a very lightweight rock i put in was providing natiral no3 reduction. Its like as light as a sponge so i bought it.
 

Zonly1

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I've been running one on my 210 sps dominated reef + 55 gallon frag tank for over 2 years, I love it. I bought the AquaMaxx TS-2 and used LSM (no longer available) and ARM CaRX media ~60%/40%. I won't run without it now...Nitrates stay steady at ~ 5. I'd say go for it.
 
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dyno

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I've been running one on my 210 sps dominated reef + 55 gallon frag tank for over 2 years, I love it. I bought the AquaMaxx TS-2 and used LSM (no longer available) and ARM CaRX media ~60%/40%. I won't run without it now...Nitrates stay steady at ~ 5. I'd say go for it.
Hi, how fast do you run the efluent? I have a kamoer set up but don’t know what speed to run it at. Everyone says 2 drops a second but give no numbers to run by on the kamoer?
 

Dennis Cartier

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Two drops a second is about 6 ml a minute. However you are going to need to set your effluent rate based on the nitrate in the tank and the size and age of the sulfur bed. You are going to need to start very low and work your way up. Too fast and you will have nitrite left over in the effluent. Too slow and you will get hydrogen sulfide.

When you see the effluent coming out reading 0 nitrate, you are in the zone. If the effluent reads super high nitrate, it means you have the nitrite in the effluent and you need to slow it down a bit more.

Dennis
 

dyno

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Two drops a second is about 6 ml a minute. However you are going to need to set your effluent rate based on the nitrate in the tank and the size and age of the sulfur bed. You are going to need to start very low and work your way up. Too fast and you will have nitrite left over in the effluent. Too slow and you will get hydrogen sulfide.

When you see the effluent coming out reading 0 nitrate, you are in the zone. If the effluent reads super high nitrate, it means you have the nitrite in the effluent and you need to slow it down a bit more.

Dennis
Hi @Dennis Cartier thanks for your post. I have a lot of air in the unit after about 10 days. Do I need to do anything to help it escape?
 

Dennis Cartier

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Does your reactor have a purge valve located in the top? If so, open it slowly and let the air escape and close it when water starts to come out.

It is normal for gases to build up in these types of reactors and require purging periodically. The gases will be already depleted of oxygen, so the main issue with them is if their volume grows too large and they interfere with the circulation pump. Venting them periodically will prevent them from eventually causing the circulation pump from losing prime and stopping.

If you are unsure how to vent with your reactor, post a photo and we will try to help.

Dennis
 

c-horse

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I used a sulfur reactor, but then I removed the sulfur prils from the reactor and put them in a mesh bag in my sump. My nitrate went 20 ppm to around 0 in one week. I can now feed more, up to 7 times a day. Best of all I do not have to fiddle with controlling the flow rate and do not have to worry about hydrogen sulfide. This approach has experimental data proving it effectiveness. You can read the more on it at the links on this page here:
 
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