Originally Posted by Rolo
Plants and their bacteria coating are already converting/uptaking all the ammonia, nitrite, nitrate in the first place so much so there is actually a shortage of nitrogen. We must dose it. If there is a shortage why do I need to increase the efficiency of the biological filtration even further? That would be counterintuitive. That's why I have no use to add more bacteria.
But that's not the main point of adding a product like Microbe-Lift. If you think ammonia/nitrite/nitrate are the only things you want to remove from your water you're wrong!
It's not marketed as being mainly
for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate, but rather for breaking down the many different types of dissolved organics, diatoms, phosphates in various forms, and other pathogens that build up in the tank over time (mainly from fish poop and uneaten food). It also helps prevent bacterial infections from more harmful bacteria, since dosing helps outnumber and outcompete them.
I have big messy goldfish. But I appreciate them as much as reefers appreciate their reefs. My gravel doesn't have any visible sludge, and my water stays so clear it looks like the fish are floating. My fish have also never had any parasites or sickness. I'm not saying I attribute this 100% to Microbe Lift, but again I think adding it helps the overall health of the tank.
The breakdown of dissolved organics by bacteria is pretty well documented science, unlike "water ionization chambers" like that Eco Aqualizer thing.
Here's my tank this morning:
I like equipment.
Here's underneath the tank on the left:
The canister is the Eheim 2128 Thermofilter. Water goes from the tank to that. An airline taps into the Eheim's output line and feeds small amounts of water to the Aqua-Medic Nitratreductor 400 (which is sitting next to the Eheim) through the yellow Vario dosing pump. This is the anaerobic bacterial Nitrate Filter I mentioned. It works very well... my tank is overstocked (Goldfish, Plecos, Loaches, Otos, Siamese Algae Eaters, Snails) and Nitrates have never been above 5-10 ppm since I hooked it up.
The Eheim's output goes to an 18W UV TurboTwist which is mounted next to the Vario pump.
Now here's the right side underneath:
The output from the TurboTwist feeds an Aqua-Medic CO2 Reactor 1000. Since there is a lot of feeding and tubing involved, the water flow needs boosted. Above the Aqua-Medic CO2 Reactor 1000, I have mounted a Marineland Maxi-Jet 1200 Powerhead. The water finally returns to the tank from below the CO2 Reactor 1000.
Here's my controllers:
On top is an American Marine pH monitor. If pH falls below 6.9, CO2 is shut off. So far this has never happened.
I recalibrate once a month and I hardly ever have to adjust it.
Underneath is the controller hooked up to a redox probe inside the Nitrate filter. In order for the anaerobic bacteria to effectively reduce Nitrate, the redox of the water must be negative, between -50 to -200. If it drops below -300, the bacteria will become septic and start to sulfate, producing hydrogen sulfide. It's not that dangerous though, because as soon as hydrogen sulfide hits oxygen rich water, it turns to sulfate which is relatively harmless. The controller turns the Vario dosing pump on when the redox falls below -200. If the redox rises above -200, the controller turns the Vario dosing pump off. This keeps the redox around -200 all the time. The Nitrate Filter has its own internal pump that keeps all the water inside circulating from top to bottom so no "dead spots" form.
Finally here's the tank thermostat hooked up to the Eheim canister:
The tank is a 42 gallon hex. I change 15 gallons of water once a week, then add Microbe Lift and turn the UV filter off for 2 days afterwards. My dissolved oxygen is around 7.5 ppm, and my phosphates are on the low end of the scale. I feed frozen + pellets every other day.