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Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ?

 




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gr8wall
New User

Dec 12, 2002, 8:01 AM

Post #1 of 19 (59952 views)
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Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? Can't Post

Hi all,

I have been reading some of the post regarding trickle filters used on ponds. Mebers have been saying they have low nitrate readings once established. I have a wet/dry(trickle filter set up on a 55 gal aquarium) yet it produces tons of nitrates!!! NO ammonia or nitrite though. On the aquarium boards wet/drys are considered to be nitrate factories, so how is it possible that the same type of filter on a pond actually reduces nitrates. The only thing I see is that is different is the flow rates as pond are filtered once or twice per hour but aquariums are over done usually like 5x a hour. If slowing the rates removes nitrates will it work at home if i got a smaller pump to reduce flow?

Please somebody explain, cause I am utterly confused now!Crazy


gr8wall
New User

Dec 12, 2002, 8:25 PM

Post #2 of 19 (59875 views)
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Re: [gr8wall] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Bump

No One here has a clue?

Unsure



crazoo
User

Dec 12, 2002, 10:26 PM

Post #3 of 19 (59876 views)
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Re: [gr8wall] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

actually i had an exam today, but considering how i must have felt as u, here goes

there are certain things in a tt that could spell either effective or not..

flow rate, height, and other things..
i better just direct u to the post talking abt tt...


http://www.koi.com.my/...orum_view_collapsed;

hope this help...


(This post was edited by crazoo on Dec 12, 2002, 10:32 PM)


dttk
Veteran

Dec 13, 2002, 4:48 AM

Post #4 of 19 (59862 views)
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Re: [gr8wall] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, pls elaborate on your TT design, the biomedia used, the dimensions and flow-rate. For a TT to work well, there must be good aeration of the biomedia, sufficient contact time between water, air and media. Flowrate can be higher if media is more. I have no experience with the small TT for aquarium use. My huge TT for the putdoor pond really does reduce nitrate level in the water. Overfeeding, unremoved debris and infrequent water changes increases nitrate level in water.Smile
Always friendly :)


johnson lee
Veteran

Dec 13, 2002, 5:56 AM

Post #5 of 19 (59856 views)
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Re: [dttk] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

yes dr tan is rite. i believe that for a TT filter to work well, a certain minimum size is required. too small and its not sufficient to remove the nitrates.

Perhaps as suggested by the good doc, u might want to provide details/specs of your tt filter.

Cheers!


gr8wall
New User

Dec 13, 2002, 6:50 AM

Post #6 of 19 (59850 views)
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Re: [gr8wall] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

It is just a standard aquaclear 75 wet/dry with a cap2200 pump (~500ghp).
If you need to see a pic just goto ebay and do a search cause i don't know how to insert a pic here.
I just wanted to know how a trickle tower would remove nitrates when the bacteria needed to remove nitrates are anerobic (no oxygen) and a trickle tower would have plenty of oxygen. If it was the flow rate I was gonna change the pump to a lower flow rate. Can this be possible?Tongue


cwnchong
Koi Kichi

Dec 13, 2002, 8:55 AM

Post #7 of 19 (59836 views)
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Re: [gr8wall] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Gr8wall,
It doesn't make sense if you say that your TT is a nitrate factory. Nitrate is the end product of nitrite. The TT is either effective or not but definitely not a nitrate producer. Having said that I have seen most Marine aquarium in the shops use Bio-balls' TT conceal under the aquarium console. They must be effective otherwise why they bother to use them.


patrick123
Veteran


Dec 13, 2002, 8:57 AM

Post #8 of 19 (59835 views)
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Re: [gr8wall] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

gr8wall,

If I were to draw from my experience during my marine fish keeping days, these TT were used and are still being used extensively for marine aquarium. The size of the TT has to be proportion to the rate of nitrate being produced by your livestock. In the case of marine fish and invertebrate, the amount of nitrate produced is much less than a koi pond (since you don't feed the marine fish as much as you do with koi) and hence a small box of TT with about 200 bioballs is sufficient.

For my koi pond, I'm using 2600 bioballs for my 10 ton pond and my nitrate is around 40mg/l.

The trick to make it effective is that the water needs to pass though a dip tray and the water is dripping on the bioball and trickle down to the bioballs below it. If you flow rate is too fast, the water pass through the bioball is too quick and you will have zero effect,

In any case, I never heard of a TT can produce "tons of nitrate" like what you mention.

Cheers,
Patrick


mattloui
User

Dec 13, 2002, 9:34 AM

Post #9 of 19 (59832 views)
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Re: [patrick123] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

TT is always a puzzle. As advised it acts as a bio filter as well by removing the ammonia and the subsequent coversion to nitrates is always a confusion. nevetheless my simple TT seems to work fine. i have about 700 bio balls, seashells( as ph buffer )and pebbles/hollowrings all inside the 24 inches bin. Since it works-no need to think further-it is just a hobby.

anyway, i saw in one video where the owwner of the pond used one chamber as the bio filter(heavily aerated) and another chamber (same bio media) but starved of aeration. According to the narrator, the second chamber w/o the oxygen is to remove the nitrates as it encourgaes the growth of anaerobic bacteria. And this owner had kois in the pond which are all grand chmapion of the Japs Koi Show. Now this is something to ponder on.

So i have no answer-sorry
CHEERS


patrick123
Veteran


Dec 13, 2002, 10:24 AM

Post #10 of 19 (59825 views)
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Re: [mattloui] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Mattloui,

This is interesting as I always thought that anaerobic bacteria are bad. There might be one good strand that will remove nitrate but the rest of them may promote disease or parasite.

There are many ways to remove nitrate and i just think that trying to breed anaerobic is too risky and may promote a breeding ground for all the bad bugs.

Cheers,
Patrick


crazoo
User

Dec 14, 2002, 8:16 AM

Post #11 of 19 (59805 views)
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Re: [patrick123] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

i have always been wondering abt these bad bacterias.. are all anerobic bad ?


Louis
New User

Dec 28, 2002, 3:18 AM

Post #12 of 19 (59749 views)
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Re: [crazoo] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

it's called 'burning' the bad bacteria eat o2, and when deprived of it eat the nitrates, but if your flow rate is too hight they end up in the pond, where you guessed it, thrive on the o2, which the fish kind of like.. ;)


Louis
New User

Dec 28, 2002, 10:03 PM

Post #13 of 19 (59731 views)
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Re: [Louis] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I forgot to mention the result is methane, it will smell like a swamp...


Louis
New User

Dec 29, 2002, 10:27 PM

Post #14 of 19 (59722 views)
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Re: [Louis] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Whats this guy talking about, sorry, i got that backwards,
when the o2 drops the bad bacteria grow and eat the nitrates. this is actually part of how nature does it, swamps, bogs etc.


DocRodConrad
User

Jan 1, 2003, 4:47 AM

Post #15 of 19 (59690 views)
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fresh water or marine aquarium? [In reply to] Can't Post

Fresh water aquariums with adequate TT's have low nitrates for me. However, marine salt water aquarium hobbyist report high nitrates. So a simple question, is this a fresh water, low salt aquarium, or a salt water marine aquarium? And can you describe the wet/dry filter more specifically in detail so I can help you figure out what is wrong with it?
Roddy Conrad, Charleston, WV, USA


budgenator
New User

Aug 4, 2003, 11:41 PM

Post #16 of 19 (58392 views)
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Re: [gr8wall] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi all, here's the way I understand it; ammonia is very bad nitrites pretty bad and nitrates bad; wet/dry filters help aerobic bacterial oxidise the ammonia into nitrites and then into nitrates. The nitrates are then used by plants as fertilizer, weather the plants are pretty potted things or ugly algea doesn't matter, some plant is either going to eat the nitrates or they will build until the fish are killed. If your nitrates are dangerous, clean the aquarium/gravel, do the water exhanges and plant some plants to eat the nitrates. Also don't feed the fish for a week so things get under control.

So yes trickle filters are nitrate factories, it's because nitrates aren't as dangerous as ammonia. If nitrates are to high somethings out of balance. I'm not a PhD and don't know the exact situation so your mileage may veryWink


Atomahawk
Novice

Aug 8, 2003, 6:14 PM

Post #17 of 19 (58331 views)
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Re: [budgenator] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

I know this is a touchy subject because many hold to an opinion about trickle towers here, and Iím not one to rock the boat. Since someone else brought it up I might as well share what I have seen and what I know about the subject.



Let me start by saying the intention is not to cause an uproar or put anyone down if your beliefs are contraire to what Iím going to say. It is based on scientific evidence and facts that have been shown time and again as proven from results found in many studies and observed by the scientific community related to the fish keeping hobby.



The term nitrate factory was first used by Martin Moe who has a masters degree in marine biology and has published books on reef keeping. He wrote The Marine Aquarium Handbook in 1982 (were the term nitrate factory was first used) and The Marine Aquarium Reference in 1989.



I have used this term for a better part of 20 years since being part of the fish keeping hobby at the manufacture and distributor levels and again as a hobbyist speaking to hobbyist in seminars and workshops.



As I am fairly new here, I felt it inappropriate to use the term and itís meaning. From your postís many feel strongly about the value of trickle towers and filters and rightly so as they are very useful pieces of equipment that if well used and understood benefit more than inconvenience in our segment of the hobby. But proper understanding is important, that way we and future hobbyist get a clear understanding of any piece of equipment before investing large sums of money, with expectations that just canít be realized.



So let me explain trickle towers and filters work in the following and have to be built with this concept in mind. First off, they are biological filtering towers used scrictly to encourage the growth of Nitrosomanas and Nitrobacters bacteria that convert ammonia or ammonium too nitrite then nitrite too nitrate (the simple explanation). Under normal circumstances (will explain later) the nitrate by product cannot and will never be eliminated in said tower simply because the bacteria or enzymes that are required to do so live and thrive in a completely different environment. The reason why TT are so affective for the conversion process is simple. The bacteria used require 5 main environmental factors to thrive = humidity, oxygen, darkness, media to grow on and a food source. These conditions are very well met in a TT if properly made. The added benefit if water flow is well balanced is increased oxygen levels for the pond. Despite the fact that these bacteria consume and require lots of oxygen they donít use it all so we have that as a plus.



Now to nitrates. Anaerobic bacteria live and thrive in the following environment = wet, oxygen deprived, darkness and a food source nitrite so oxidization can acquire . Warning unless you understand the implications and dangers involved do not try to attempt to reproduce these living conditions as it is very dangerous and almost impossible to balance water flow, food source and other environmental factors. If you create this environment and it becomes disturbed, hydrogen sulfide (the rotten egg smell) will leach into your pond and can cause serious damage to your pets.

Question, is there a possible way for a trickle filter to harbor anaerobic bacteria? The short answer is no. The long answer is possibly if the right conditions can be produced even though highly unlikely. Let me explain in hypothetical terms. If we used a very porous material in our TT (as example crushed coral or volcanic rock) pores of this material may block to a point were oxygen flow is cut off completely but for some reason nitrite is still available for oxidization. The result would be reduction of nitrite. But in all honesty I donít believe that a TT filter can be built with this process in mind, if it happens itís by pure luck, nothing more. It certainly canít happen if one uses none porous media like bio balls etc. as they have surface area but no internal area.



I have reduced the amount of explaining on the whole TT question to the bare minimum, as this subject can be very complex as to all the processís involved. I have used the simplest explanation, and I hope it is well understood that itís not an all encompassing explanation of such.



Is there a way to reduce and eliminate nitrites in a pond ? Yes, but because this post is already long enough, I will answer to the best of my knowledge if requested to do so. Maybe in another thread.



Thanks to those that read the whole thing, LOL


dttk
Veteran

Aug 9, 2003, 7:32 PM

Post #18 of 19 (58302 views)
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Re: [Atomahawk] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Atomahawk, thanks for the info. Perhaps we should consider the possibility that in a TT, the nitrite with strong oxygenation gets converted into nitrous oxide and nitric oxide gasses which escapes into the air. There is less chance of nitrite converting into nitrate in this kind of wet-dry media as opposed to a totally wet media. This topic has been discussed in the following thread,

www.koi.com.my/cgi-bin/koiforum/gforum.cgi?post=28718;search_string=biofilm;#28718

Any comments? Smile
Always friendly :)


Atomahawk
Novice

Aug 10, 2003, 4:29 AM

Post #19 of 19 (58294 views)
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Re: [dttk] Trickle filter / low nitrate in aquarium ? [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the link, I will make some comments about it in a few days. Just short on time right now.

 
 
 



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