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View Full Version : LA Fishguy Bio Pellets video


kien
01-26-2012, 07:49 AM
Found this interesting video on Bio Pellets from LA Fishguy. Has a cool new reactor design, a decent experiment and a good theory on why bioPellets have been problematic for some people.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLhmI8vtnfw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

lastlight
01-26-2012, 08:36 AM
Creative use of a single pump to recirc and also pull from sump and put it back I like.

They mention stripping things out too fast... I wish there was an answer for people like me with algae doing just fine and levels of p04 close to or zero on a meter and nitrates the same. I can't really adjust a reactor properly when according to tests these levels are super low (they mustn't be though).

MarkoD
01-26-2012, 01:16 PM
Creative use of a single pump to recirc and also pull from sump and put it back I like.

They mention stripping things out too fast... I wish there was an answer for people like me with algae doing just fine and levels of p04 close to or zero on a meter and nitrates the same. I can't really adjust a reactor properly when according to tests these levels are super low (they mustn't be though).

They might be low because the algae has absorbed them. And then when it startts dying off, won't it release everything back?

kien
01-26-2012, 02:03 PM
They might be low because the algae has absorbed them. And then when it startts dying off, won't it release everything back?

I would agree. Without a nitrate sink like bioPellets or zeo or some such thing, the nitrates are being efficiently consumed by macro algaes in the tank thus giving you that zero or low reading. What you then have to do is harvest that algae or get something to eat it. I guess it's sort of like having a refugium in your display tank? :-)

Now having said that, it was suggested here and I've heard/read many times that you don't necessarily want your nitrates and phosphates to be zero. Various organisms need some level of these nutrients.

Coleus
01-26-2012, 05:12 PM
*Sigh* now where can i buy this reactor lol. I think i should just unplugged the reactor and let the chaeto does it job and trim it more frequently.

MarkoD
01-26-2012, 05:16 PM
*Sigh* now where can i buy this reactor lol. I think i should just unplugged the reactor and let the chaeto does it job and trim it more frequently.

Honestly. I've been just growing cheato and mangroves. Im maintaining 0 nitrates and very low phosphates no problem.

kien
01-26-2012, 05:25 PM
ya, personally I think that just about all methods for reducing nitrates work. macro algaes, mangroves, bio pellets, zeovit, vodka, suger, etc, etc.. All of those methods will reduce your nutrients just fine. It really just boils down to which method suits the hobbyist. If you are reducing nitrates just fine with whatever method you've employed, yet are still having problems with corals or our tank in general, I would suggest that there is something else going on. What that "something else" could be is the greatest mystery of this hobby.

Delphinus
01-26-2012, 05:51 PM
I like to think of it this way.. Testable levels of anything are sort of like the level in a tank that is being emptied and filled at the same time. If the tank is being drained faster than it is filled, the level will be going down, or possibly even zero if the trend continues long enough. If it fills faster than being drained, the level will be rising, unless it rises to a point where the higher level pushes water out the drain faster and thus reaches a steady state.

A test reading is a snapshot in time of where the level is "at that moment" but to determine if there is a trend you have to take many snapshots over time and compare.

So taking what we know into account (like "fish poop from time to time") we know that ammonia is produced but we never get a reading in a healthy tank because it is consumed as quickly as it is produced. The bacterial strains that consume nitrate however, take longer to establish and are less hardy than those strains which consume ammonia and nitrite. Those that consume phosphate even less hardy.

I guess what I'm getting at after all this is that just because a reading is 0 doesn't mean that it's not the explanation for something. You could have a nitrate or phosphate reading of zero and yet algae is in the tank or coral growth is affected.

Not saying that testing is not worth it (far from it in fact) but it can only show you so much. At some point you have to rely on your instincts and intuition as well.

Reef Pilot
01-26-2012, 06:13 PM
I guess what I'm getting at after all this is that just because a reading is 0 doesn't mean that it's not the explanation for something. You could have a nitrate or phosphate reading of zero and yet algae is in the tank or coral growth is affected.


What's interesting in my tank is that the algae, including hair algae has completely disappeared with my bio pellets treatment. Yet my current N03 (20) and P04 (.30) is still much higher than others that do have hair algae. Rock that used to be covered in red and green carpet type algae (with trapped detritus) is now clean and shiny with just coralline growth. I think my regular MB7 dosing has had something to do with this, too, and created beneficial bacteria that out competed with the bacteria that might have been providing food to the algae or help it to consume the N03 and P04.

I'm not a chemist or biologist, so just my uneducated theory....

Lampshade
01-26-2012, 06:36 PM
What's interesting in my tank is that the algae, including hair algae has completely disappeared with my bio pellets treatment. Yet my current N03 (20) and P04 (.30) is still much higher than others that do have hair algae. Rock that used to be covered in red and green carpet type algae (with trapped detritus) is now clean and shiny with just coralline growth. I think my regular MB7 dosing has had something to do with this, too, and created beneficial bacteria that out competed with the bacteria that might have been providing food to the algae or help it to consume the N03 and P04.

I'm not a chemist or biologist, so just my uneducated theory....

Sounds pretty good to me. Everything was balanced in my system for a good year with biopellets, then got a crazy Hair Algae breakout. Lasted until I started vodka dosing, it went away, then I stopped vodka and it's stayed gone(as in 0 gone, not just controlled). We run our systems, especially ULNS, on the edge of failing at any point, only take a small change to get things back in line. That's why I like biopellets and refugium, they tend to be self compensating.

RyanJ
01-26-2012, 11:51 PM
Thats a A Euro Reef / Reef Dynamics Reactor! thats the coolest reactor that I have seen!
Heres aLink!
http://www.reefdynamics.com/Reef-Dynamics-Bio-Pellet-Reactor-for-500-gallons-p/bpr500.htm

kien
01-27-2012, 12:23 AM
cool! I didn't realize those reactors were available for sale, and I didn't know that Part 2 of that video was out.

In Part 2 he points out a key component to these bio pellets that is typically repeated by successful bioPellet users. It is very important to place the outlet of the bioPellet reactor into or near the inlet of your skimmer so that it can skim off the excess nutrients. It is also important to have a powerful enough skimmer to pull out the Biopellet mulm as well as the typical crap in your water column.

It sounds odd that you are using BioPellets to strip nutrients, while at the same time the BioPellets will slough off nutrients, but that's just how it works I guess. So if your setup isn't quite right you can still in theory have a Biopellet reactor pulling out Nitrates and Phosphates just fine, while at the same time feeding your tank's nuisance bacteria and algaes with the excess and undetectable nutrients from the bioPellets.

Cal_stir
01-27-2012, 12:32 AM
I built this one with some stuff I had kicking around, it's been running for about 2 weekshttp://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n551/Cal_stir/DSC00306.jpg

freezetyle
01-27-2012, 03:41 AM
if anyone has a Kalk reactor around that uses a pump you could accomplish the same thing using that and possibly an aqua lifter of some sort.