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Old 11/13/2014, 02:45 PM   #1
gdemos
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Biopellet Reactor: Tuning

Hoping I can get a solution on tuning my biopellet reactor.
Day 0 i had GFO inline at undetectable PO4 (Hanna ULR) and Nitrate ranged from 10-25ppm Salifert.

Reactor has been running for 9 weeks.
Parameters Currently: .29 PO4, 25+ppm NO3

I have increased bioload with new fish and have been feeding heavier; but would have expected biopellets to have 'kicked in' by now.

Day 0 i ran the effluent wide open, so flow was fairly significant.
Currently scaled back to 250 Gallons Per Day and increased turbulence per manufacturers' personal suggestion and i've been running it this way for 10 days, still no sign of denitrification etc.

Willing to go another week or so to see if it kicks i suppose.
here's a video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBNmMIQujhw

Thanks,
-Greg


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Old 11/13/2014, 04:15 PM   #2
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total system volume 275g. currently Fish Only, goal for all Acro.
Fish list is extensive:
(9) Caryberi Anthias
(4) Bimaculatus
(7) Bartlett
(5) Yellow Tang
(1) Powder Blue
(1) Powder Brown
(1) Yellow Belly Hippo
(1) Chevron Tang
(1) Flame Angel
(1) Goldflake
(1) Matted Filefish
(1) Mandarin
(2) Percula

Feeding 18 cubes daily misys/spirulna over 3 feedings.


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Old 11/15/2014, 10:12 PM   #3
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Because you are phosphate limited the bacteria will not increase despite the addition of carbon. Take the Gfo off line and feed extra flake for awhile


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Old 11/15/2014, 11:05 PM   #4
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I'm running a RD BP reactor too. I just set it up a month ago. I was always low nutrient from Zeovit before, but the pellets are keeping me at low levels. .02 phosphates and 1 nitrate. Take the GFO out. You need some phosphate for the bacteria to consume nitrate and vice versa.


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Old 11/16/2014, 01:33 AM   #5
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GFO has been offline since BP was introduced.


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Old 11/16/2014, 04:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdemos View Post
GFO has been offline since BP was introduced.
If your phosphates are non traceable then they pellet reactor will still be limited in reducing any more nitrate.


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Old 11/16/2014, 04:59 PM   #7
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Currently .29 PO4


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Old 11/16/2014, 05:06 PM   #8
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Eventhough I ran GFO up until the day I installed the BP clearly phosphate has increased since then. I feed heavily 15-18 cubes mix of misys and spirulina daily. Phosphate is very much present so I doubt it has anything to do with that

I am going to do an experiment by hooking up an air compressor to my skimmer


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Old 11/19/2014, 11:59 AM   #9
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I am still north of 25ppm Nitrate. I am running as turbulent as possible (so as not to clog recirc strainer too much); and flow through the reactor is 250 gallons per day as recommended by RD. This is week 2 of this approach.

RD had suggested perhaps that the skimmer is not pulling enough skimmate or not running efficiently.
I tend to agree that I'd like to see a greater volume of skimmate, but not so much that salinity becomes unstable.
I will yank the skimmer and clean thoroughly, it has been 2 months since I cleaned the skimmer pump, impeller, cone, etc.
Usually 2 times weekly sometimes more I am removing the collection cup and cleaning/drying thoroughly, at which point I usually wipe the cone clean as well.

I do not have an air flow meter, but CoralVue states that the SRO 6000SSS pump draws 2100 lph of air.
I am going to attach a 70 lpm air pump to push air to the silencer and see what this does for efficiency.
I am pretty sure that the skimmer can handle this given the size of the pump, cone, and all plumbing.

At present the air intake is coming from an air conditioned room outside (low humidity, etc.) of the 'sump room'.

So while I agree that the skimmer could be running better and am taking steps to maximize efficiency, I am concerned that this is not the only issue.
thoughts?

Techinical Specs
Body Size: 12?
Footprint: 15? x 12.5?
Neck Size: 7?
Total Height: 25?
Output Size: 1.5"
Output Height: 6.2?
Note: Recommended Sump Water Depth: 6.5-7""

Pump Information
Bubble Blaster 5000 Pinwheel Pump
Wattage: 45w
Air Draw: 2,100 lph / 74 SCFH*
Water Draw: 1,800 lph / 480 GPH*
*Air and water results will vary depending on aquarium setup


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Old 11/20/2014, 12:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdemos View Post
Eventhough I ran GFO up until the day I installed the BP clearly phosphate has increased since then. I feed heavily 15-18 cubes mix of misys and spirulina daily. Phosphate is very much present so I doubt it has anything to do with that

I am going to do an experiment by hooking up an air compressor to my skimmer
It could be you are skimming out useful bacteria as fast as it is being produced

Btw
Mysis is very low in phosphates. This is why I suggested adding some flake food which is very high in phosphates


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Old 11/21/2014, 09:19 AM   #11
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well my experiment of hooking an air pump to the skimmer was not successful.

first pump was underpowered at 20 lpm, although it ran quietly
second pump was a 70 lpm unit that was way too loud.
plumbed directly, the 70 lpm unit overpowered the bubbleblaster 5000.
plumbed down to 1/4" and back up to 3/8" it was underpowered.

my next course of action will be to raise the skimmer in sump level.
although I prefer to keep the water volume higher on the skimmer this way the pump is not working as hard.

common sense points to the skimmer as the culprit; yet I also feel that the amount or type of pellets (RD NOPO) are not effective.

I don't really follow you in saying in your note - do you mean to say I am overskimming?


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Old 11/21/2014, 09:20 AM   #12
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and I do add dry food every now and then. anthias go nuts for it. I dont' think at all that it is an underfeeding issue.


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Old 11/21/2014, 02:10 PM   #13
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anyone?


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Old 11/21/2014, 04:53 PM   #14
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It can take up to 6 months for the biopellets to kick in iirc.

I use a NextReef reactor so no adjustments for me, I just run enough water to aggressively tumble them and feed heavily.

Nitrates are low but I have a ton of rock and phosphates are a bit high at the moment but I was able to feed an insane amount on my system and keep them at close to zero when it was fully stocked.


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Old 11/21/2014, 04:58 PM   #15
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Ok that's news to me Mark I figured 6-8 weeks tops. And that is indeed my intent: feed like crazy. On that note I think I will just let it ride keeping all settings as they are and see what more time brings. I have time since this is still fish only as acros grow out in my frag tank


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Old 11/22/2014, 01:31 AM   #16
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When I added them to my mature reef it took less than a week but this time around was much slower. Several months. Likely due to the amount of nutrients the tank was able to process.


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Old 11/22/2014, 07:49 AM   #17
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Although this BP reactor is not on a mature reef as yours was when you initiated your BPR first time around (sounds like this is your second go at it) it is on a 2 yr old heavily stocked FOWLR system. My high levels of NO3 (25ppm+) and PO4 (.29) I thought would be sufficient enough to feed the pellets and kick them into consumption. I know that adding other bacteria is possible with MB7 and the like but I don't get the point of it given that I have a 'high nutrient' system from the start.


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Old 11/22/2014, 08:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Although this BP reactor is not on a mature reef as yours was when you initiated your BPR first time around (sounds like this is your second go at it) it is on a 2 yr old heavily stocked FOWLR system. My high levels of NO3 (25ppm+) and PO4 (.29) I thought would be sufficient enough to feed the pellets and kick them into consumption. I know that adding other bacteria is possible with MB7 and the like but I don't get the point of it given that I have a 'high nutrient' system from the start.
Ok.. Lol, first thing.. nice setup with your plumbing! Next, your system is obviously not nutrient deficient, so as you know, that's out the window. The next thing is that I run the 135 reactor(2nd time) on my 65 gallon system(ran it on my 110 previously).

Just looking at your video, I am with you in saying that your skimmer, something's not right if that's as wet as you can get it. I just decided long ago, since I'm running dynamics, I'm going to run "all" dynamics. I haven't had, or let me rephrase: I "have" had phenomenal results ever since.. I am running 18oz of the pellets in my 135 reactor. The system had only been set up for 2 months and I didn't start the pellets until 2 weeks after the system was up. So my system is very immature also. And my nitrate is, and has been at 0 for at least 2 weeks. But.. I have never had a problem kicking the pellets to go in about 6 weeks at the very latest. But then,I always started them with bacteria..

I soak the pellets overnight in salt water and mb7.And your question was why the added bacteria: well, you really want to get them on the surface as fast add you can. Yes, there is natural in the system, but think of the reactor as it's own little bacteria sees pool. You need the concentration up in there.. That's where it's important for the pellets..

But I don't think the problem is completely the pellets. I think it's part of it, from the standpoint that they haven't kicked in, and because your skimmer isn't performing for you, it's throwing doofus from the pellets, into the system, creating nitrate and phosphate.. Yada, yada..

So what do you do at this point? Well, what I would do is first, put the gfo and phosphate reduction back on. Keep your system up and running fully until it's ready to pull the extra off. Yours isn't ready yet imho. Next, because your running a recirc, you have a lot of flexibility. I like your tumble rate. But, you want to reduce your process rate(top blue) until the skimmer issue is resolved. Your gonna be dead in the water with much more than the pellets of you don't get that resolved. And during the break in of those, I only ever run enough water through it, to just get water through it and not be stagnant(you bought a great reactor, so use it to your advantage). Then, just for now, because your skimmer is giving grief, slow down the quantity of feeding or change types. It's only do much you can do, but slow the accumulation of nutrient. Then, bacteria suppliment for a couple weeks. It will jump start our either speed up your pellets. And you will certainly know when things are ready in the reactor. There is a drastic change in the skim.

But one thing you "have" to do is get either that skimmer working to where you can make a semi transparent tea skim, or simply buy another skimmer. If you go the latter, save yourself headache and just get a dynamics. All of the specs in the world honestly fly out the window with practical application.


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Old 11/22/2014, 10:43 AM   #19
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Ok that's news to me Mark I figured 6-8 weeks tops. And that is indeed my intent: feed like crazy. On that note I think I will just let it ride keeping all settings as they are and see what more time brings. I have time since this is still fish only as acros grow out in my frag tank
If that is the case then you are limited in either phosphates or nitrates
The function of the pellets is to add a carbon source to the system not be its own generator of bacteria. You need to keep those pellets tumbling.


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Old 11/22/2014, 01:01 PM   #20
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DamonG, 007, the , thanks for the response. I raised the skimmer in the sump. I had water level at 11" now at 7" as SRO recommends. Also took the opportunity to thoroughly clean the SRO6000sss. Which is no easy feat. Just wanted to eliminate sources of error. Nothing dramatic yet.

The RD Skimmers sound nice I like the true recirculation but don't like the price and multiple pumps to give recirc. Maybe Santa will be good

Meanwhile I have been speaking with Jeff at RD for his thoughts. Saying it should be stripping po4 and no3 by now and his flow rate of 250 gpd as suggested and high turbulence is due largely to the fact that I went oversized. He also suggested bacteria dosing should not be necessary (but I may try it if no luck in a couple more weeks). Along the lines you mention Damon although my system is elevated nutrient, local to the reactor itself could be a different story.


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Old 11/22/2014, 01:42 PM   #21
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Quote:
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DamonG, 007, the , thanks for the response. I raised the skimmer in the sump. I had water level at 11" now at 7" as SRO recommends. Also took the opportunity to thoroughly clean the SRO6000sss. Which is no easy feat. Just wanted to eliminate sources of error. Nothing dramatic yet.

The RD Skimmers sound nice I like the true recirculation but don't like the price and multiple pumps to give recirc. Maybe Santa will be good

Meanwhile I have been speaking with Jeff at RD for his thoughts. Saying it should be stripping po4 and no3 by now and his flow rate of 250 gpd as suggested and high turbulence is due largely to the fact that I went oversized. He also suggested bacteria dosing should not be necessary (but I may try it if no luck in a couple more weeks). Along the lines you mention Damon although my system is elevated nutrient, local to the reactor itself could be a different story.
Oh mine isn't a recirc(skimmer). Lol, neither enough room or just as your saying, the price dude.. But I had a buddy that had one and it was a nice skimmer to say the least..

And yes,I agree with Jeff that it really "should" be pulling by now, but every system is different tbh. So I'm sure they are well on their way. I forgot to mention, I have had good results with zeobak also as a bacterial suppliment.. That stuff, on a side note is utterly amazing!

Question and it could just be my misunderstanding, but raising it, won't that make your skim even drier, as opposed to wet? Maybe I'm thinking about the dynamics skimmers and how they work. But I hope that works for you definitely!





The two pictures are of course of skim. The lighter is what it should be. The darker is way too dry. The lighter is of 1 day of skim, that darker,2 days.. I was just playing around with the skimmer when I took them..


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Old 11/22/2014, 02:12 PM   #22
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Bare in mind that both my BPR and skimmer are 'oversized'. The collection cup on the skimmer is enormous. The sumo water level has an impact on how the skimmer pump works- think head pressure


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Old 11/22/2014, 02:20 PM   #23
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Bare in mind that both my BPR and skimmer are 'oversized'. The collection cup on the skimmer is enormous. The sumo water level has an impact on how the skimmer pump works- think head pressure
Ah... Got ya.. sounds good though. Mine is oversized also, so got ya.. How is it looking so far since you changed it?


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Old 11/23/2014, 06:49 AM   #24
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I also run a SRO3000 in my frag tank, so I am used to their build although the 3000 is not a "sump saver" unit. I have not noticed a tremendous difference in the 6000 having raised it from 11" to 7" in the sump.

Here's another 5min video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYwA4PrdgXk


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Old 11/23/2014, 07:45 AM   #25
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Hmm.. I see what your thinking.. But, when you"seed" with bacteria, your doing a different thing than your nitrate and phosphate level.

Let me kind of explain. The bacteria(naturally occurring in the system) colonies grow on the pellets, consume the pellets as food, and as a result of their processes, they also consume nitrate and phosphate. But the "bacteria", unless it's in significant quantity(they have to grow), they can only do so much. This "bacterial" colony build up, is what takes the time to grow and begin to work efficiently. Then, and only "when" they are in significant quantity, do they begin consuming the food(the pellets, nitrate and phosphate). It's very similar to the nitrogen cycle in our tanks. But this is basically a sub or localized cycle. The addition of bacteria to the pellets, it's to help build up or speed up that population growth.

And the one thing I would not do, is tumble that hard. That's going to cause a ton of shearing of film on the pellets. So,I would slow(the tumble) back down. You had an awesome tumble rate on your previous video. The difference with our reactor is that "we don't have to" tumble hard to get the job done.. And as a result, you don't shear as much, throwing excess nutrient into the system. You want them to move good and smooth. I think I have only adjusted it slower or faster with the red valve once in two months.. That rate is really set it and forget it. The only one you adjust is the blue' Most of the time that is..

Then, only every now and then you turn it up to where you have it now to get rid of some of the bio film. I do mine one a month during water changes.. And yes, the stuff you have at the top is good. It's all biological..

And your skimmer,I get what your saying now with the large collection cup. But, suck some of it out and look at it in a bottle to judge it's consistency. That little trick makes it easier with large skimmers like yours. And this is gonna sounds goofy, but how fast is your turnover through the filtration? I first truly discovered the difference that it makes when I hit a D.C.pump and slowed it down. It was amazing how much more skim it produces. In this system, I just have a valve to slow it down. But I do slow it down for contact time, especially with those pellets in there..

Just thoughts of things that I discovered that may help.


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