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Sulfur Denitrators

sneezebeetle

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I am one of those hobbyists who has always struggled with high nitrate levels (50ppm or higher). I have gone through 7 tank upgrades and/or additions and I have struggled with this in ALL of them. While there are plenty of hobbyists whose tanks thrive at these levels, and plenty of claims that its "just a number", I am forever trying to get my levels down. If there has been a recommendation, I have tried it! My latest quest to lower my nitrate level has brought me to discover a little doo-dad called a Sulfur Denitrator ( Sulfur nitrate reactors. ).

"Sulphur based nitrate reactors implement a process called autotrophic sulfur denitrification. For over 10 years this process has been used to remove excess nitrate from fresh drinking water. Bacteria such as Thiobacillus denitrificans and Thiomicrospira denitrificans inhabit the reactor, under anoxic conditions. Here they oxidize reduced sulfur to sulfate, while reducing nitrate to liberate the oxygen for their own use. These bacteria use residual co2 within the water as their carbon source, so they don’t need constant dosing. This process was applied to seawater on a mass scale in 1994, when French chemist Marc Langouet proposed the idea to the curator of Musée des Arts Africains et Océaniens in Paris (MAAO). Langouet had spent three years testing the method on his own home marine aquariums, and after a broad range of testing at MAAO, the method was put into place as an effective way to rid marine water of nitrate.

Sulfur nitrate reactors use small beads of elemental sulfur in a contact chamber. Water is introduced at the bottom of the chamber very slowly, exiting at the top. As the water slowly rises, oxygen is removed, making the water anaerobic farther up in the contact chamber. At this point, bacteria will use nitrate in the absence of oxygen and by the time the water exits the reactor, most of the nitrate has been removed. The downside to this chemical reaction is that hydrogen ions are released, which makes the seawater more acidic. Most sulfur reactors pass water over crushed coral before returning it to the tank, as the acidic water dissolves the crushed coral and replenishes ph and calcium. Since sulfate is another bi-product of the chemical reaction within the reactor, crushed coral also absorbs this and removes it before water re-enters the aquarium."

After doing some more reading up on this, I think I may give it a shot.

Has anyone else tried this? What was your experience?

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ITreefer

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Interesting. I'll definitely follow along, but I have no experience with these.
 

steveb

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Have you tried carbon dosing or bio pellets?
 

steveb

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You need to be careful with sulfur denitrators. They can produce hydrogen sulfide I believe if the flow is too slow.

Read up on them. Not saying the don't work. They do. Just understand the risks of using one.
 
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sneezebeetle

sneezebeetle

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You need to be careful with sulfur denitrators. They can produce hydrogen sulfide I believe if the flow is too slow.

Read up on them. Not saying the don't work. They do. Just understand the risks of using one.
For sure!

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kris4647

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Saw this a few weeks ago, AE makes really solid stuff.



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sneezebeetle

sneezebeetle

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Found a good video from Parker's Reef on you tube. On figuring out dosing amounts, flow, etc..just need to convert from metric


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sneezebeetle

sneezebeetle

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I noticed on the thread from ReefCentral, Coil denitrators were also discussed. I've never heard of those before, them seem pretty old school. Anyone have any experience with using or building one of those?

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sneezebeetle

sneezebeetle

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Ive been running 1 from day 1. Use to run 2 of them but nitrates were zero and my corals were hungry so i turned one off.
The sulfur or coil denitrator?

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sneezebeetle

sneezebeetle

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I have almost a whole container of the sulfer media. Let me know if you want it

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Hey Corey, long time no see! Hope all is well and thanks!

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sneezebeetle

sneezebeetle

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My tank started leaking, so everything I have is in a Rubbermaid horse trough. I need to reseal my 180 or get another tank. I have not been as active lately because of that.

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Oh wow, sorry to hear that!

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TX_Punisher

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What size was your bio pellet reactor? How many cups of pellets? How long was the media ran? Bio pellets do take some time to start working.

I’ve got one that worked too well in my tank sitting around. 8CC81E4C-82FE-422E-975B-E8C6A3712C00.png
 
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