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High Nitrates Level? Try This!

 




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Mark
Veteran

May 21, 2000, 8:41 AM

Post #1 of 312 (302898 views)
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High Nitrates Level? Try This! Can't Post

I have been thinking about some hobbyists who are faced consistently with the problem of bringing down the high nitrates level. Many times we know that plants is obviously the best but this may not be easy for some of us living in high rise apartments or condos. So, my lab tech. cleverly thought about modifying an existing filter box from a conventional wet filtration system into a WET AND DRY FILTRATION SYSTEM. The modification takes only half an hour and the system is put to test for 2 weeks. The results which was checked daily were very comforting and convincing.
Day 1 - 250ppm (for the last 6 months)
Day 2 - 200ppm
Day 3 - 100ppm
Day 4 - 50ppm
Day 5 - 10ppm
Day 6 to 14th days - 10ppm

Picture of the modification is on the way.


Hans Ham
Deleted

May 21, 2000, 7:37 PM

Post #2 of 312 (302562 views)
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Hi
This system has been used at sea water aquarium for long time .
This is the most efficient filtration today,wet/dry or TRICKLE TOWER.
rdgs.Hans



Khoobg
Webmaster


May 21, 2000, 9:58 PM

Post #3 of 312 (302582 views)
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Hi Mark,

We have been trying all the time to convince fish lover on the advantages of having a trickle filter.

Your results just published will definite help us to prove its advantages.

Thanks and Cheers Smile


Khoobg
Webmaster


May 22, 2000, 7:20 AM

Post #4 of 312 (302581 views)
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Filter Drawing provided by Mr Mark Richman :-



Mark
Veteran

May 22, 2000, 6:24 PM

Post #5 of 312 (302581 views)
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About the drawing, the no. of bio-balls are 1200 pieces and not 200. The filter contains 1 ton of water.

Further observations on the system:
1). Algae is reduced significantly due to less nitrate registration, and water in the pond is very very clear.
2). 4 out of 6 bug eyed adult koi have their eyes returned to normal.

Will give you guys more report whenever there are new discoveries.

Cheers!

(This post was edited by Mark Richman on Oct 5, 2001, 9:00 AM)


Ben
User

May 22, 2000, 9:56 PM

Post #6 of 312 (302572 views)
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Mark,

Thanks for good piece of informations.

Cheers


Frederick
Novice

May 23, 2000, 1:20 AM

Post #7 of 312 (302574 views)
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I read with interest about the popeye of koi being returned to normal. Do you mean popeye by saying bug eyes?


Mark
Veteran

May 23, 2000, 2:16 AM

Post #8 of 312 (302577 views)
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Nope. I am talking about koi eyes having a bluish tinge on the top.


Bancherd
User

May 23, 2000, 7:21 AM

Post #9 of 312 (302569 views)
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Alright! Thank you for sharing the information with us.

Now, if I could only finish my trickle-filter.

Bancherd


rahim
User

May 23, 2000, 8:02 PM

Post #10 of 312 (302568 views)
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Hi Mark,

A very good piece of information. I've been wondering on how does the nitrate dissappear chemically?
I mean we all understand that ammonia converted to nitrite and then nitrite converted to nitrate and then it will be absorbed by plant in the filter.
I do understand that trickle filter is excellent in term of its oxygen contents that can increase ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria. But who eat nitrate?

Can anyone care to elaborate?

Thanks


Melvin Tan
User

May 24, 2000, 10:56 AM

Post #11 of 312 (302572 views)
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Hi,

for all in Singapore and those interested in coming to SGP, C&B recently changed all their fibre tank filters to wet/dry type. 1st chamber is cotton wool, then cockle shells and last chamber is synthethic sponge/green mats. Go take a look if you have time - its a miniature version of Mark's excellent idea except that its on a much smaller scale and no bioballs. Last chamber is "dry" 'cos the outlet pipe is twice to three times the size of the inlet pipe. Did not take any pics 'cos I'm a walk-in customer there.

I have my own theory why the wet/dry filters take up the nitrates. The semi-dry chamber will allow algae to grow on the filter media surface and as we know algae needs phosphates, nitrates, etc. Since the microscopic floating algae that give green h2o are not present in a mature pond to absorb the nitrates,the algae in the "dry" chamber will have no competition for food. This is based on the observations of my own filter where I've packed the filter mats almost right up to the water-line of each chamber. I then place bio-balls at the top which are half submerged and I find green looking stuff growing in the bioballs which look like algae.

Can any scientist reading either substantiate or debunk this? It's just my own theory.

By the way I'm an Economist by training and formerly by profession. So plse feel free to shoot down the theory as I have no specialised knowledge to rebut.

Cheers!


Mark
Veteran

May 24, 2000, 6:38 PM

Post #12 of 312 (302570 views)
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Hi Rahim, Melvin and All
The chemistry and bacteria reaction of the trickle filter is difficult to explain it on this forum as they evolve around the H+(Hydrogen), O2(oxygen) and N(Nitrogren).

In short, the large increase in the good bacteria together with its bacterial reaction and O2 *takes* away the nitrites during the conversion process(ie from NH3 to N02). The end resutlt is no or little nitrites is left for Nitrobacter reaction after going thro' the trickle resulting in no or little nitrates(which is the end product) leaving the filter system and back into the pond.

Hope this help and best regards.

(This post was edited by Mark Richman on Dec 5, 2001, 9:00 AM)


Mark
Veteran

May 24, 2000, 6:50 PM

Post #13 of 312 (302572 views)
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For further investigation, I will be taking away the fibre mattings from the 2nd and 3rd chambers(please see drawing up the forum). I will post the findings here a week or 2 later, so come back for them. In the meantime, do give some thoughts to this system. I am convinced it is good.


rahim
User

May 24, 2000, 9:35 PM

Post #14 of 312 (302569 views)
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Hi Mark,

I am thinking the same thing. That is to remove the submerged mat and see if trickle tower is effective enough to entirely replace the mat.

Heard that trickle filter is 100 times more effective than normal submerged filter. If that is true than this is good way of increasing filter capacity and solve overcrowding problem faced by many of us.

Hope to see the result from you soon.

Thanks


Khoobg
Webmaster


May 24, 2000, 10:22 PM

Post #15 of 312 (302569 views)
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Hi Mark, Rahim and all,

I have been using my Trickle filter with 7000 bio balls for a lng time and server my pond well. No nitrate problem and my pond is crystal clear all the time.

Mark, may be you should also do several experiment by using different flow rate. I personally feel that if the water is passing too fast through the trickle, the efficiency is much lesser.

Post your current flow rate for information.


Mark
Veteran

May 25, 2000, 6:33 AM

Post #16 of 312 (302571 views)
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Hi Khoo and All
I am using a 120GPM submersible pump at the moment.

Per Mr Khoo request, I will be setting up 3 systems with about the same stock level for this experiement. I will also be using a 75GPM, 120GPM and 200GPM pump for each system respectively. The filter will be strictly equipped with only bioballs (est. about 3000 bio-balls). Will post my findings in a week or 2 later.

Regards.


Khoobg
Webmaster


May 26, 2000, 4:33 AM

Post #17 of 312 (302569 views)
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Hi Mark,

Great. We shall wait for the results of your testing. Thanks


Doc Conrad
User


May 26, 2000, 7:54 AM

Post #18 of 312 (302568 views)
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I am glad to see you are finally learning what many of us have known for years, that trickle tower filters drop the nitrate levels. That is also why good lava rock trickle tower filters clear up the green water without UV lights, they starve it out for nitrates. The trickle towers are documented to hold, believe it or not, anerobic bacteria which do the nitrate to nitrogen gas conversion. I realize this seems to be a contradiction in technical terminology, since the anerobic bacteria are those who live without oxygen, and this is a oxygen rich filter. So there is still an unsolved mystery here for me, namely why do trickle towers make this happen when normal filters do not? I don't know the answer to that question, I only know it happens. Since I have installed massive wet/dry trickle towers on every pond and aquarium I have, I don't even need to bother to ever measure nitrates, since I know they will never bother my hobbies.

Someone, I forget who, dragged me by private mail over here for this. Whoever it was, please write me at DocConrad01@aol.com instead of my old twobouves@aol.com address. My wife uses the twobouves@aol.com address and bought me an entire new account and an entirely new computer so we could surf without having to read each others mail or wait turns (yes we also have multiple lines to the multiple computers). This was a good discussion, thanks to whomever it was for dragging me over. Please also look at the current alkalinity and pH discussions at www.koimag.com NI discussion board, some of you may find that discussion useful in some way. Have a very good day, I always enjoy your site.

Roddy Conrad or DocConrad01@aol.com


Doc Conrad
User


May 26, 2000, 7:58 AM

Post #19 of 312 (302569 views)
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Oh, my goodness, Mark has finally figured out why his koi were bug eyed, namely the high nitrate levels were doing it! Does that mean when I post here once again that I can run my salt up to 1.0% for either salt or koi without getting bug eyed fish he will finally believe me?

Just a question, Mark, think through the data which led you to post the absurd posted observation that salt levels above 0.5% causes bug eyed fish and see if what I say here is not so.........I certainly see no bug eyed fish up to and including 1% salt levels........

Roddy Conrad


Mark
Veteran

May 26, 2000, 8:46 AM

Post #20 of 312 (302574 views)
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Hi Doc
Thanks.

To All - A little discovery/discussion about bug eyes vs salt here.



(This post was edited by Mark Richman on Mar 5, 2002, 9:00 AM)


Doc Conrad
User


May 26, 2000, 6:37 PM

Post #21 of 312 (302568 views)
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I will look forward to your tests of flow rate, but will mention in advance I find no influence whatsoever of flow rate on a wet/dry trickle tower filter. I can vary flow rate by at least a factor of 10 with no difference in the filtration function. Residence times from 2 seconds to 2 minutes in the wet/dry towers have given me identical results.

Doc Roddy Conrad


Doc Conrad
User


Jun 2, 2000, 6:35 PM

Post #22 of 312 (302569 views)
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Two things I learned since posting a few days ago on this topic. One, a friend of mine also got popeye from high salt, but it was at the 1.8% level and she killed about half the koi in the tank at this level. Second, I just got a bunch of technical information from the Nitritech UK filtration equipment manufactuer. Clearly stated in thier trickle tower filtration literature is the statement, "Used as a De-nitrification unit, on the last stage of your filter system for removal of nitrate (NO3), note only when used with SYNTEC media." So Mark and I are not the only ones who have documented the removal of nitrate from the water by trickle tower filtration.

Roddy Conrad


Mark
Veteran

Jun 6, 2000, 6:50 AM

Post #23 of 312 (302569 views)
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I like to acknowledge that Trickle Filtration System indeed takes away nitrates in pond/tank.

Tests on the 3 Trickle systems which I promised is not over yet. So guys please be patience for the results.
However, I have got good result arising from the test of the existing filter system mentioned up the post in terms of their advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages:
1. A trickle filter is indeed a fantastic system that remove ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.
2. It increases the O2 in the water tremendously.
3. There is no foul smell coming out from the filter box unlike before.
4. You don't need the fibre mattings to assists in the water filtration.
5. The size of box is scaled down from a 3 media filter chambers to 2 (ie. 1 for settlement and the other for bioballs).
Disadvantages:
1. Bioballs are expensive (S$0.25 ea) as compared to fibre mattings. (I know of some that cost S$0.10 ea.)
2. You need a settlement chamber to filter out the heavy stuff in the water before entering the trickle system.
3. System will not work for a virgin pond and new filter.
These are the nitrates results:
Day 1 10ppm (Late morning - all f/matting and heavy brushes moved out)
Day 1 10ppm (EOD)
Day 2 10ppm (EOD)
At this time, I decided that we should bring the nitrates back just to proves its effectiveness.
Day 3 10ppm (Late morning - moved bioballs out and returned f/mattings)
Day 3 70ppm (EOD - noticeable nitrate level increasing throughout the day)
Day 4 100ppm (EOD - returned bioballs and moved out f/mattings again)
Day 5 50ppm (early morning)
Day 5 10ppm (EOD - excellent nitrate reading)
*EOD* End of Day
Note: These results were taken and recorded by lab technician.


Doc Conrad
User


Jun 8, 2000, 10:26 AM

Post #24 of 312 (302569 views)
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Trickle towers will work well with a large range of media choices from my experience. Certainly lava rock is a good choice. I don't know about the matting, if Rich says it does not work, I will certainly believe him. I use lots of different materials for trickle towers successfully, but have not tried Japanese filter matting myself yet. Open cell foam works okay for me, though. So does plastic scrub pads, biobale, lava rock, bioballs as Rich uses, Siporax is the best of them all but rather expensive...

Love this thread and what Mark is doing with it...such a pleasure to see such competent work...

Roddy Conrad


Mark
Veteran

Jun 8, 2000, 7:07 PM

Post #25 of 312 (302573 views)
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Hi all
The f/mattings in question were immersed in water as you can see from the pic up the post. They are moved out for the benefit of some hobbyists who wanted to know if the trickle works in the absence of f/mattings. I agree with Doc Conard that if f/mattings were used in place of bioballs, the trickle system will perform an equally good job. So far I have not post my experiments on the 3 systems which I promised to try them out on 3 diff. flow rates. In fact I have also a 4th system with the only the japanese f/mattings running at 75GPM. All 4 tanks are heavily overload and results so far have been *fantastic*. (You saw in my up post that I have problem building up nitrates for the experiment - isn't this something great and good news to all). My wife and I were amazed by the interim results on all the 4 systems under test - that they work so well in a overly stock tanks.

My interim conclusion is *Trickle system seems to be the direction for bringing down nitrates level whereby during the process of nitrification, somehow ammonia and nitrites are reduced to zero.*

Doc RC, one more point which you pointed out in your earlier post about the diff. flow rate. I found your prediction to be true -there is no influence whatsoever of flow rate on a wet/dry trickle tower filter in all the 4 systems so far.

There were two noticeable setbacks -
1)the *heavy stuff* seems to return to the tanks and clearly visible in crystal clear water.
2)the system cannot kick when its virgin.

--------------------------------------------
Some New dated 20th Aug 2000 - More findings since I last post on this system 3 months ago. I added more info into this particular post so that those who come here will not be mislead by my earlier reports.

About the media - Bioballs has provened itself to be the best as compared to synthetic Japanese matings(SJM), cremaic rings and hair curls. There is absolutely zero maintenance required in bioballs. The worst being SJM which consistently give up a foul smell coupled with lots of insects flying at the opening of the filter system.

About the height/depth - My observation show that if water is made to travel through a distance(height of bioballs) of 18 inches or more, the results are good as compared to those that are less than 18 inches. Anything that is less than a foot is a waste of effort.

About the flow rate - I must apology for the wrong information given in the up post. My 3 months observations showed that a slower water flow rate gives good results as compared to a higher flow.

My recommendation - For long term use only bioballs as trickle media. (For short term, any types of media works.) Although a slower pump works better, use a pump that will circulates 1.5 to 2 times per hours of your total volume of water.

Regards.


(This post was edited by Mark Richman on Aug 8, 2001, 9:00 AM)

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