The Planted Tank Forum banner

21 - 22 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Oh I forgot something. I use plastic canvas cut to size to give support to the filter bag in the chamber. This is so the media doesnt shift in the filter every time you move it. I cut the canvas appropriately slip it between the filter bag and the filter chamber to make the bag more rigid.

Reminder, again with all this you want space for the water to flow around the media bag in the filter chamber.

One final thought:
I have employed this in a high tech planted tank and it seems to work well to keep nitrates and phosphates manageable (ie: less water changes), it may even help pull reds out of plants by limiting the nitrogen, if you are using a soil substrate. The only catch I found with this technique, (and I am meaning to talk to Dr. Novak about this to verify) is that periodically the bacteria that is responsible for the process seems to proliferate in the water column. This I believe is because the bacteria can live in both high oxygen environments and low oxygen environments (in low oxygen environments the bacteria robs oxygen from nitrate and phosphate molecules, thereby removing them). The reason I suspect this has been happening is that when I add Iron to the tank I get a milky cloud that can form very rapidly. I have solved this by UV sterilizing the water for 2 hours/10gal tank just prior to performing a 50% water change once a month. I use this unit:

This has eliminated the clouding effect. You might be able to achieve this with just periodic water changes also. But, this is all just a work in progress. My next goal is to test lengthening the time between water changes to 2 months. Nitrates don't seem to be a problem anymore for me but that does not mean there are not other impurities in the water that can build up and be harmful to fish and plants. Glad you guys found it helpful!

Cheers all!
Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,325 Posts
It is very difficult to remove NO3 with denitrifying techniques, such as the one being mentioned. Only anaerobic bacteria can do it and this requires very slow water movement in whatever ideal media is involved. Even with the best options, the most you will get is a couple ppm per day.

The best option to limit NO3 is a water change and to control the source of the NO3, which are the organics (ammonia). With a 15-gallon tank, it might not be too burdensome to use distilled water as part of your water change. Reducing fish food and increasing cleanliness will also help. Plants will also consume much of the NO3.

The aerobic bacteria (which is far more prevalent than any anaerobic bacteria that may develop) is what converts ammonia to nitrate. It does not remove NO3. Purigen will absorb ammonia, which means less conversion to nitrate and, thus, lower nitrates.

@cpage3:

None of the bacteria that develop in our tanks will remove phosphates. The milky cloud after adding iron is probably precipitation of the iron as it binds with other ions, such as phosphate. In fact, the UV sterilizer will break the chelator from the iron and cause rapid precipitation. This is probably the clearing effect you are seeing and the PO4 reduction, as the bound iron and phosphate drop into the substrate where they mostly become useless to plants. With a UVS, you may want to try an iron gluconate, such as Seachem’s Iron.
 
21 - 22 of 22 Posts
Top