Bio Pellets for carbon source - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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Bio Pellets for carbon source

Have used glut for years. With grands about wanting to use something a tad safer. Can the carbon from Bio Pellets (PHA) these be used for plants (CO2 for plants). These are usually used for marine aquariums? Though I have read some discussions about there use on freshwater aquariums. However, no details at to any carbon output.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 04:11 PM
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Biopellets are really a carbon source for nitrifying bacteria in systems that are typically low in carbon. The idea being stimulating bacteria growth to increase nitrate and phosphate uptake. Biopellets in a plant tank will likely stimulate BGA and BBA. The current carbon addition methods for plant tanks are the tried-and-true; it's best to stick with them.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Biopellets are really a carbon source for nitrifying bacteria in systems that are typically low in carbon. The idea being stimulating bacteria growth to increase nitrate and phosphate uptake.
So the carbon would have a zero effect for a "nutrient" for the plants? and BTW I was hoping as a side effect to reduce nitrates and phosphates with this thereby killing three birds.

Could you explain more fully? And I understood the first part about nitrifying bacteria ... but was hoping for some kicker to boot.

like I said I am already using Glut with much success, however I want to spare my grandchildren any miscellaneous danger from its proximity. Ergo a safer solution and CO2 is not an option either for the thousands of PSI of CO2 and the potential missile.
regards,
wes

Last edited by ecoaqaurist; 03-09-2018 at 10:46 PM. Reason: Rehearse earlier commentary
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 11:03 PM
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It depends.

I cannot find much information in what form the "carbon" is released from bio pelets and whether plants can actually utilize it.
Let's assume they can. Then the question is will the bacteria use it up before the plants? If not, how much is left for the plants and how does one control the supply? After that, will that extra bacteria deprive the plants from nitrates and phosphate?

Then there's the extra equipment: bio ball reactor and a skimmer.

In the end, sounds like a lot of hassle for quesionable results with little control. Nothing wrong with giving it a try and presenting the results to the community.

Trying to think this through, with 40-year old chemistry:

From https://www.lenntech.com/carbon-dioxide.htm:

The reaction of photosynthesis is as follows:
6 CO2 + 6 H2O --> C6H12O6 + 6 O2

Glut / Excel steps into the middle of the process, supplying photosynthetic intermediates (Seachem - Flourish Excel).

According to https://blog.marinedepot.com/2014/05...ers-guide.html, Bio pellets are used in marine environment to reduce / eliminate NO3 and PO4 (not that desirible in freshwater planted) and do provide carbon source, but no description in what form:

"Vodka dosing, carbon additives (such as Red Sea NO3:PO4-X ), sugar and even vinegar are all ways to add carbon. "
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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It depends.

I cannot find much information in what form the "carbon" is released from bio pelets and whether plants can actually utilize it.
Let's assume they can. Then the question is will the bacteria use it up before the plants? If not, how much is left for the plants and how does one control the supply? After that, will that extra bacteria deprive the plants from nitrates and phosphate?[/I]"

I could not find specific information either, hence the reason for the query.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OVT View Post
Then there's the extra equipment: bio ball reactor and a skimmer.

In the end, sounds like a lot of hassle for quesionable results with little control. Nothing wrong with giving it a try and presenting the results to the community.[/I]"

Yep, too much of a hassle. though I have run marine systems in the past. My current situation is prohibitive.



Trying to think this through, with 40-year old chemistry:

From https://www.lenntech.com/carbon-dioxide.htm:

The reaction of photosynthesis is as follows:
6 CO2 + 6 H2O --> C6H12O6 + 6 O2

Glut / Excel steps into the middle of the process, supplying photosynthetic intermediates (Seachem - Flourish Excel).

According to https://blog.marinedepot.com/2014/05...ers-guide.html, Bio pellets are used in marine environment to reduce / eliminate NO3 and PO4 (not that desirible in freshwater planted) and do provide carbon source, but no description in what form:

"Vodka dosing, carbon additives (such as Red Sea NO3:PO4-X ), sugar and even vinegar are all ways to add carbon. "[/QUOTE]


I have not studied chemistry since Annapolis in 1980.

Thank all you for your input. this one though was icing on the proverbial cake ... loaded the facts and empirical data one could actually form an educated decision upon.

God bless,
wes
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 02:20 PM
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Hi ecoaquarist!

Your question piqued my interest this morning and while I haven't ever run reef tanks, my random trolling for information led me to a reef tank forum anyway. Here's a discussion where some folks were debating between biopellets vs vodka dosing.. Biopellets and Liquid Carbon dosing - Reef Central Online Community. In this thread and a few other hits, I interpreted the grain of thought that the bio pellets are a controlled source of "slow release" carbon. One post even went as far as to suggest that the carbon and bacteria "business" of the reactor shouldn't even escape the reactor to get into the rest of the tank. Whereas, the vodka dosing, they can overload and flush the entire tank full of carbon for bacteria to grow everywhere.
Now, I'm making a pretty big jump to conclusion, but from my non technical standpoint, I feel like this method wasn't meant to supply nearly enough the carbon that we need in our tanks. It was created to raise some bacteria. We need enough to raise plants. What would be the amount of media that you would need to get the necessary amount of carbon into your tank?

Anyway, if you're looking for a safer method of carbon dosing, how about the old diy method with sugar and yeast or even cooler now the vinegar/citric and baking soda method (https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/20...-soda-co2.html). You could get a premade kit nowadays that looks pretty nice.
Who knows, you may even start the grandkids interest early in chemistry!

Having said all that, pressurized co2 is not as dangerous as it sounds as long as proper safety precautions are observed. Mostly, use good products and avoid a situation that allows the tank to tilt or fall. Even with DIY methods you have to worry about ingestion risks, etc. But if you're not comfortable with it, you're not comfortable. Peace of mind is important in a hobby


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 04:44 PM
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The hot water tank in your house is a potential bomb if the right precautions aren't taken :shrug:

I can understand co2 apprehension, but with the right precautions, it's exceedingly safe. Include a strapping system in setup to prevent tipping over, etc.

My tank journal.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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A quick review of my recently updated bio my shed some light on some things as well.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-10-2018, 06:58 PM
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To go back to an earlier question: Biopellets are processed carbohydrates available in a form that bacteria can use as a food source. They colonize the pellets and digest the material over time, which stimulates NO3 and PO4 uptake. It doesn't release carbon into the water in any significant manner as far as planted aquaria are concerned.

Question 2: Why do you want to reduce NO3 and PO4? Those are two essential plant nutrients that nearly everyone who is into keeping plants add (sometimes in copious amounts) to their systems.

Trying new things is a heck of a lot of fun, but when it comes to Carbon enrichment, stick to the tried-and-true methods; it's far too important an aspect of keeping plants alive.

TL/DR: If I were running a fish tank with a couple plants or a fish only tank, then yeah, biopellets would be a major NO3 and PO4 control media consideration. I wouldn't dream of using them in a planted tank.

Cheers,
Phil
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Edwards View Post
To go back to an earlier question: Biopellets are processed carbohydrates available in a form that bacteria can use as a food source. They colonize the pellets and digest the material over time, which stimulates NO3 and PO4 uptake. It doesn't release carbon into the water in any significant manner as far as planted aquaria are concerned.

Question 2: Why do you want to reduce NO3 and PO4? Those are two essential plant nutrients that nearly everyone who is into keeping plants add (sometimes in copious amounts) to their systems.

Trying new things is a heck of a lot of fun, but when it comes to Carbon enrichment, stick to the tried-and-true methods; it's far too important an aspect of keeping plants alive.

TL/DR: If I were running a fish tank with a couple plants or a fish only tank, then yeah, biopellets would be a major NO3 and PO4 control media consideration. I wouldn't dream of using them in a planted tank.

Cheers,
Phil
I guess some how a few have missed my two earlier posts; The one one which I conceded the argument on technical grounds.
The other in which I ask to review my Bio. I have a few physical limitations that make what a feww off you do and are off the cuff asking me to to see like a walk in the park. But for me they are more like dancing with a tiger on a tightrope.

Cheers,
wes
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 08:23 AM
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Sorry Wes,

I'm undergoing some pretty stiff chemo at the moment and skipped the heavy duty middle posts to save my brain. I'll go back and read them later and see if I can come up with a cogent response.

<edit> This is a semi-tricky situation, but like MacGuyver, tricky situations can be solved with enough tape, gum, and a wrench. Excel and pressurized CO2 are out for safety reasons, right?

I may have missed them, but what are the tank's stats; size, lights, filter, etc? That info could help find a workable option, if not a solution. Feel free to add any hardware detail you care to. </edit>

Regards,
Phil
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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There is no tank yet. But is will be ...

A dark water Amazon Biotope
75 Gallon Aquarium
20G sump: Anoxic Ceramic, Lava Rock and Perlite; Aerobic Balls; and K-1

All this flows through a 2100 GPH pump split between recirculating through the sump and returning the the aquarium
The overflow is split between a coast to coast skimmer and a bottom "skimmer" coast t coat. All plumb similar to these
; Plumbed down to permanent non=socks like these
.

You see, I do a lot of planning and never rush into anything. Never assume anything about anyone.

BTW ... Sorry to hear about your troubles mate.

Me. Been in a wheel chair the last fifteen years with little use of my hands CO2 tank are out of the question BC I cannot hold the wrenches and the like. Working aquariums and making things easier for myself in that is the best I can do. Right now, It all I got left.

Cheers,
Wes
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ecoaqaurist View Post

Me. Been in a wheel chair the last fifteen years with little use of my hands CO2 tank are out of the question BC I cannot hold the wrenches and the like. Working aquariums and making things easier for myself in that is the best I can do. Right now, It all I got left.

Cheers,
Wes
I hear ya. I had to have my wife carry the CO2 from the store to the car and up to our apartment then have my dad deal with the regulator since my grip is so bad.

May I be frank? After reading your last post and seeing the videos, the message I'm getting is that you want to set up a fish tank with a filter that'll handle anything; not a planted tank as we would consider them in this community. That filter is almost completely opposite of what a planted aquarium needs. I have a saying; "Planted aquariums are counter-intuitive to a fish tank.". I fondly remember making the old fish guys' eyes cross by telling them I added 15ppm NO3 to my tank three times a week when they were doing massive water changes to get their NO3 down to 40.

If you want to do a majority planted (50% or more coverage) then we'll have to work out some other options together. If you want to do a fish tank with some plants, then that's a whole different game with its own set of options. The good news is we can make your upcoming system work for your wants and your specific needs. I've engineered a few sump filters in my day so that should be no issue once we get the necessaries figured out.

Cheers,
Phil
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Attached is the sump design.

The Plant Stock will be quite space in general.
a few Cryp's, an Amazon Sword, and some Anubias on the Drift wood hides.

The fish Stock:

A large School of neons (20)
a small shoal of cories (8)
a few oto's (4)
and a Dwarf Pleco (1)
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2018, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by ecoaqaurist View Post
Attached is the sump design.

The Plant Stock will be quite space in general.
a few Cryp's, an Amazon Sword, and some Anubias on the Drift wood hides.

The fish Stock:

A large School of neons (20)
a small shoal of cories (8)
a few oto's (4)
and a Dwarf Pleco (1)
Oh CAD, you make my eyes cross.

Ok, we've got a start now. Would you consider using soil and 2-3mm coarse sand as a substrate? That'll help with nutrients and generally work well with the sump you've got designed. It'll be a fairly hands-off tank with the species you've mentioned and will feed the plants well.
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