Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community Archives > General Interest Forums > Lighting, Filtration & Other Equipment

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02/03/2007, 02:10 PM
Psyire Psyire is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,847
My Sulphur Denitrator Project

Well I've finally recieved my new sulphur denitrator.

I've been having a nitrate problem for the past 6-8 months and have now resorted to trying a sulphur denitrator in order to keep things under control. I do have 4 big fish but I don't over feed, infact I feed a lot less than I want too. If I feed bare minimum I can keep things under control, but not up to my standards. So my goal is to be able to feed generously and not be worried about Nitrate buildup.

I started talking to Brent Barr in November about building a calcium reactor that I could convert into a nitrate reactor and he was all for it. (almost all my tank equipment, including my sump was built by him) The biggest reason I wanted to use one of his reactors is because I can recirculate the sulphur chamber separately from the calcium chamber which will stop any dissolved calcium from precipitating back out in the sulphur chamber.

I decided that the biggest reactor was the one I wanted to test, this ofcourse may be a bit big, but it should allow for a whole lot of nitrate reduction, and this will be needed as my fish and corals grow even larger. My tank is a 180g, with a 60g sump.

More info on Brent's equipment can be found at his Barr Aquatics website, or on the Austin Oceans website. (they now build and sell all of his designs)

Equipment involved:

Barr Aquatic CR2200 (with water flow meter)
Caribsea LSM (sulphur media)
Gen-X CRM (calcium media)
Aqualifter pump
1/4" tubing

Initial pictures:



2 probe ports:
(ORP & pH)


Media:


Reactor full and ready for action:


I currently have the reactor running full bore on some water I removed from my tank in a water change. I plan to flush it with 'new' tank water in a couple days and then put it online.

Should be interesting...
  #2  
Old 02/05/2007, 07:41 PM
RobbyG RobbyG is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Near the Reef
Posts: 2,633
I am really curious as to how well this works. Could a person use a regular Single tube Calc reactor like a 1502 or Geo and put a layer of Sulphur on top of the CRM? I guess the Co2 would not mix well with the Sulphur, have you ever heard of anybody trying that?
  #3  
Old 02/05/2007, 07:45 PM
jimdogg187 jimdogg187 is offline
High Plains Drifter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 3,169
Thats what it appears the Deltec and H&S versions do, but they don't use Co2 AFAIK.

Here are some shots of the H&S









I would like to see if you can run two phosban reactors on a daisy chain and get the same effect?? Maybe put a labcock on the end of the output so you can have percises control of the effulent....

Great looking reactor by the way!!! Barr makes some great gear!!!
__________________
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both.....
- Robert Frost
  #4  
Old 02/05/2007, 08:01 PM
RobbyG RobbyG is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Near the Reef
Posts: 2,633
So if they dont use Co2 how do they release the Calcium??
  #5  
Old 02/05/2007, 08:09 PM
jimdogg187 jimdogg187 is offline
High Plains Drifter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 3,169
They might use co2, I don't know for sure. I would like to know as well. I haven't read that they do.

Any updates on this bad boy?

Jim
__________________
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both.....
- Robert Frost
  #6  
Old 02/05/2007, 08:32 PM
Psyire Psyire is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,847
RobbyG, The nitrate reduction reaction in the sulphur chamber drops the pH and that is what allows for the dissolving of calcium in the second chamber. (without the adding of C02)

jim, thanks for posting those shots of the H&S, they are nice as well.

I went with the design above as I didn't want to recirculate the second chamber. I would like to use that coarser sulphur media... Any idea where it can be bought??

I have decided to cycle the unit on 15g of water in a tub (from my tank) instead of throwing it directly 'online'. So that's where I'm at right now. I'm going to do nitrate tests shortly and I'll update then.
  #7  
Old 02/05/2007, 08:46 PM
jimdogg187 jimdogg187 is offline
High Plains Drifter
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 3,169
I think finsreef might sell that same kind. You'd need to call and check though.

That reactor looks nice. Whats your drip rate? Whats the max CAP on that sucker?

YHPM.

Jim
__________________
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both.....
- Robert Frost
  #8  
Old 02/05/2007, 09:30 PM
Psyire Psyire is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,847
Thanks for the info.

My drip rate is just 1-2 drips/second as I'm trying to establish the anerobic bacteria. I'll be increasing it once I show zero nitrate in the effluent.

As far as capacity goes... well it's rated for 600 gallons when used as a calcium reactor. If I go by how midwest aquatic rates their sulphur reactors then I would have to say it's around the 5-600g mark. (based on amount of sulphur/calcium)
  #9  
Old 02/05/2007, 10:58 PM
RobbyG RobbyG is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Near the Reef
Posts: 2,633
Thanks for the Info Psyire. So what's the downside to this, if I could ditch the Co2 it sounds like a win win situation or is it that the sulphur medium is expensive? BTW how long is it suppose too last?
  #10  
Old 02/06/2007, 01:40 AM
Psyire Psyire is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,847
It's not really meant to be a calcium reactor, it's meant for reducing nitrates so you can keep your water in great shape and still feed enough. IMO, most people do not feed their tanks nearly enough when comparing to the amount of food these fish/animals/inverts/etc get in the wild. With proper trace element dosing, you could go quite a bit longer between water changes as well.

Will it keep up with calcium demand? Probably not if you have a lot of calcifying corals... However it would definately cut down on your dosing regime. If you have a 'full' tank of SPS then you are probably going to need a calcium reactor as well.

Combined with a kalk reactor it should add quite a bit of calcium to the water, but it will depend on the situation whether they would be all you would need.

The sulphur media is cheap and breaks down very slowly. (change every 18-24 months)
  #11  
Old 02/06/2007, 02:10 AM
Psyire Psyire is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,847
So I now have the unit running on around 15g of water I just pulled from my tank during a water change. I have the drip rate set at about 3 per/second and I plan to leave it that way until the effluent tests zero for nitrate. The water is currently reading about 30 ppm of nitrate.

Here is a picture of the setup:


note* Probe ports and flow meter will not be used until unit is cycled.
  #12  
Old 02/10/2007, 08:27 PM
matt & pam matt & pam is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 233
Have you made any progress yet in reducing the nitrates?
  #13  
Old 02/10/2007, 10:28 PM
Psyire Psyire is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,847
I haven't done any testing yet as I've been out of town, but tomorrow night I plan to do the first round of tests to see what's happening. I'll post them as soon as I know...
  #14  
Old 02/10/2007, 11:40 PM
BLockamon BLockamon is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,072
I've been running a single-chamber denitrator (calcium reactor w/o CO2 connection) with the Caribsea NO-NO3 for a while. It has been working well and has lowered the tank nitrates to ~2.5 ppm. I've got the flow turned up higher now, so the nitrates should be falling even more.
  #15  
Old 02/12/2007, 01:23 AM
Psyire Psyire is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,847
Blackamon, good news it's nice to see that these reactors (or similar ones) are working for people.
  #16  
Old 02/12/2007, 01:24 AM
Psyire Psyire is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,847
Update!!

(The following tests were performed by the same nitrate kit that I used above and in the same manner. Salifert)

I have just tested the effluent and it's reading ZERO nitrate! (3 drops per second roughly)

This is after roughly 1 week of operation.

Now for the really amazing part... the source water in the red bucket is reading around 0.2 nitrate. (just barely see a pink tint when viewing from the side.

So this unit reduced the nitrate in 15g of water from 30 to 0.2 in the same time frame. Very cool.

The one thing that I did that I believe made a big difference was after I had it running I fed a dropper full of bacteria straight into the reactor. I used the bacteria that comes in the Polyplab Reef-resh system and it apparently contains 6 different strains of anerobic bacteria. So I believe this helped it establish a culture, quickly. I'm sure you could use bacteria that comes with any of the zeovit type systems as well.
  #17  
Old 02/12/2007, 11:40 AM
BLockamon BLockamon is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,072
Psyire, glad to hear it's working. Just be careful with the bacteria if you ever dose when it's attached to the system. When I first started my denitrator (used Seachem de*nitrate at the time prior to switching to sulfur), I used Seachem Stability to kick-start it. I added the amount recommended over seven days, but I added it directly to the denitrator. Apparently the bacteria loved the conditions in the sump (after passing through the denitrator) because it grew into a huge "snot" mass. I had to clean out the sump and flush all of my line (return, skimmer, chemical reactors, etc.).
  #18  
Old 02/12/2007, 12:57 PM
hawaiianwargod hawaiianwargod is offline
Flips"R"us...U?
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: 11 54' N, 121 55' E
Posts: 2,061
Send a message via Yahoo to hawaiianwargod
Psyire
Thats awesome project!!! How often must the sulphur media be change? Is there any indication when to change it?
__________________
Proud to be American!........I'll die for this country in a heartbeat!
[E] levated
[L] evel
[O] f
[S] weetness
  #19  
Old 02/12/2007, 02:09 PM
Psyire Psyire is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,847
From my understanding the bacteria consume the sulphur at an extremely slow rate. It should be good for a few years however most things I've read state that changing it out every 18-24 months is a good idea.
  #20  
Old 02/12/2007, 02:49 PM
hawaiianwargod hawaiianwargod is offline
Flips"R"us...U?
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: 11 54' N, 121 55' E
Posts: 2,061
Send a message via Yahoo to hawaiianwargod
Thats good to know Psyire. Where can I get this media? I think I want to build this type of reactor from my Jetstream Schuran reactor.
__________________
Proud to be American!........I'll die for this country in a heartbeat!
[E] levated
[L] evel
[O] f
[S] weetness
  #21  
Old 02/12/2007, 04:13 PM
Psyire Psyire is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,847
Most larger fish stores carry it. It's just Caribsea LSM (Live Sulphur Media) Or you can just googled it and order from any place that pops up.
  #22  
Old 02/12/2007, 04:52 PM
hawaiianwargod hawaiianwargod is offline
Flips"R"us...U?
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: 11 54' N, 121 55' E
Posts: 2,061
Send a message via Yahoo to hawaiianwargod
Thanks...let my project begins!
__________________
Proud to be American!........I'll die for this country in a heartbeat!
[E] levated
[L] evel
[O] f
[S] weetness
  #23  
Old 02/13/2007, 02:02 AM
Psyire Psyire is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,847
I hooked the unit up to my system tonight.

Starting Nitrate level: Just under 50 ppm (Salifert)

Starting Drip rate: 3 per second
  #24  
Old 02/13/2007, 03:04 AM
megaspoot megaspoot is offline
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 124
Psyire, good to hear that the denitrator is working, congradulations. Would the denitrator effectively decrease the water change frequency?
  #25  
Old 02/13/2007, 09:58 AM
Psyire Psyire is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 1,847
Thanks.

It would definately reduce the need for water changes, but only with trace element supplementation. These trace elements are essential and need to be replaced by some means, if not water changes.
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef Central Reef Central, LLC. Copyright 1999-2009