Moving From Vodka To Biopellets

Discussion in 'Equipment / DIY / Reviews' started by macca_75, Jun 1, 2017.

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  1. macca_75

    macca_75 Member

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    OK guys,

    Not sure how many would have experienced it but I'll put it out there and I'm open to all theories.

    As of a few weeks ago I was running Vodka for carbon dosing. I found through trial and error I needed about 35ml/day (5 x 7ml doses).

    I recently bought a Reef Dynamics reactor and put 1L of Vectra Bio Pellets in.

    After a week I reduced my Vodka from 35ml to 28ml and let it run for another week. The theory here was I would ween off Vodka as the Biopellets kicked in.

    The opposite is happening. Nitrates are going up (up about 30% in a week).

    Am I *hurting* myself by weening off Vodka? Should I stop it cold turkey? Will Nitrates shooting up (if I stop the Vodka) cause the Biopellets to kick in faster than if the creep up (weening off Vodka)?

    Most likely by the time I test again (weekly at the moment) it will have started to drop.......
  2. Ben Wright

    Ben Wright Member

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    Biopellets won't have had enough time to mature in a week. When they kick, they *really* kick in so don't use too many!
  3. Sam Parker

    Sam Parker Moderator

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    What are your nitrates at? Im still in shock you were using 35ml of vodka (not vinegar!) a day!!!
  4. Ben Wright

    Ben Wright Member

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    That is a lot :)

    The fish in the tank must be alcoholics by now
  5. macca_75

    macca_75 Member

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    Currently at about 30+ppm.
  6. macca_75

    macca_75 Member

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    Cheers - the number of pellets won't be a problem. The Reef dynamics controls effluent throughout and tumbling flow separately (point being I can *slow* the throughput down which is effectively removing pellets dynamically without removing them - less water is *processed*)
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  7. macca_75

    macca_75 Member

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    Hmmm - Nitrates (and Phos) still on the rise.
  8. Sam Parker

    Sam Parker Moderator

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    Might have to cut back on the feeding, clean your sump and bump up the water changes during this change over period? To be honest, I am a little concerned that the pellet reactor you have will struggle to compete with 35ml a day of vodka. Then again, once seeded, the pellets should be like a run away freight train so shouldn't matter.... I dunno, so confused....
  9. macca_75

    macca_75 Member

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    As am I...... Probably just need more time. I can add another 2L of pellets or so to the reactor so I think i the end capacity won't be an issue - it's just the "getting it running" I am struggling with.

    Anyway today is clean up day.

    Quick vacuum of the sump, change filter socks, clean skimmer cup (and a few doses of Lath over the coming days)
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  10. macca_75

    macca_75 Member

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    So I think the bio pellets are kicking in but there are some serious issues at play due to my stupidity.

    I found the return pump was clogged and not returning a lot of water (may also explain why the pellets were taking a while - little nutrients going through them). Anyway I fixed the return but didn't think how much extra top off wpukd be required (as the DT level went up about another .5cm).

    My salinty dropped to 1.020 over night. Corals looking really sad at the moment.

    So I have turned the ato off, pulled the line for the pump that removes water for the litermeter up (so no waste water being pulled) but clean water still going in. Effectivley topping up with salt water. Seems to be rasing the salinity 0.001 per day.

    Hopefully by early next week back where I want it.

    Glass got a heavy dusting so I think this is the pellets coming alive. Cleaned the glass and the skimmer seems to have removed a lot of it in 20 mins or so. Will check N03 levels tomorrow but in the last week they have gone from their peak to about 1/2. Pretty drastic change so might slow it down a bit by halving vodka tomorrow if its still dropping.
  11. Sam Parker

    Sam Parker Moderator

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    Oh dear, sounds like something I'd do..... Hopefully all be ok sooner rather than later!
  12. macca_75

    macca_75 Member

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    And the stupidity rolls on.....

    My salinity keeps dropping after I fix it so I went back to basics.

    Recalibrated my LiterMeter and there was little difference. Checked the amounts pumped per day, I am removing 33L/day and adding 13L per day (not sure how or when I did it). So, as well as normal evaporation, I have been adding an additional 20L of RO PER DAY!

    Hopefully I've now found the root cause of this issue and can get some stability.
  13. Sam Parker

    Sam Parker Moderator

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  14. Susan Bates

    Susan Bates Member

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  15. Susan Bates

    Susan Bates Member

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    Following, i have been using no pox , and have just purchased a biopellet reactor, i have 400lt tank, how much pellets should i use?
  16. macca_75

    macca_75 Member

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    Don't ask me - I still haven't got them working right yet and still have high Nitrates :banghead

    I am currently adding a bottle of Continuum Bacter Gen.MD trying to kick them off.

    For what it's worth, I used the Vertex brand of pellets. I don't think there is anything wrong with the pellets - issue is somewhere in my tank I suspect. Still trying to figure it out.
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  17. Susan Bates

    Susan Bates Member

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    You sound like me, i have tried everything to bring down my nitrates, but they will not move
  18. macca_75

    macca_75 Member

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    I will get there - somehow I will get there.....
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  19. ReeferRob

    ReeferRob Solidarité

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    I've been doing low dose vinegar for a while now, 10ml/day with good luck. Now that the ATS are online I may stop the vinegar dosing.
  20. macca_75

    macca_75 Member

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    So I started dosing 20ml/day NOPOX and added another 400ml of TLF NPX Biopellets with the hope of kick starting it. The bottle on Continuum Gen.MD is pretty all in.

    Since starting NOPOX on the weekend the skimmer has started working a lot harder so that's a positive sign. Will test on the weekend.
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