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  #1  
Old 02-21-2012, 11:10
Abbeysdad Abbeysdad is offline
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Matrix/De*Nitrate nitrate filter DIY

I have high nitrates (40-60+ppm) in my well water most likely the result of a 95 acre farm field across the road. Obviously this negates partial water changes to reduce nitrates in my 60g tank.
Along with good tank maintenance and some floating plants, I have had one AquaClear 70 filter filled with approx. 1.5 liters of Matrix, but this doesn't seem to help much. I'm in the process of reducing Nitrates by using purchased water for water changes, but this is not a good long term solution unless I can reduce the volume and/or frequency of the weekly PWC.

I'm building a DIY canister filter using a kitchen type lock top canister and a Tom 3.5gph aqua lifter pump. I plan to use the 2 liters of Seachem Matrix I already have and add 2 liters of Seachem De*Nitrate...A total of 4~ liters of product. Even though the tank is established and the Matrix 'seeded', the unit and the tank will be additionally 'seeded' with Seachem Stability.
I'll start with the 3.5gph flow rate but may reduce later on as indicated by test results to further stimulate O2 reduction in the filter as/if necessary.

Does the above seem like a feasible way to reduce/maintain low(er) nitrates in my tank?
(If I can get nitrates low enough, I would be able to do modest water changes with my well water and still be able to maintain low nitrates in the tank.)

Thank-you,
AD
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2012, 12:09
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Re: Matrix/De*Nitrate nitrate filter DIY

Hey AD,

Sorry to hear that your nitrates are so high in the tap, this is always a problem for aquarist. Because you are beginning with such high nitrates to begin with, it seems that the 1.5 liters of Matrix is just not enough to keep up with what is being produced in the tank and what is coming from the tap. I think your DIY canister will help, not only by increasing the amount of bio-media but also by forcing the water through it more directly. Hang-on types of filters do not always force water through the media well and this can reduce the effectiveness of the media. The canister is likely to do a better job. I feel that this is a feasible way to reduce the nitrate levels and agree that some additional Stability will help. Let us know how it goes.
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Old 02-21-2012, 13:14
Abbeysdad Abbeysdad is offline
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Re: Matrix/De*Nitrate nitrate filter DIY

Thank-you for your response. What are your thoughts about the 50/50 mix of Matrix and De*Nitrate and the flow rate of 3.5gph?

Thanks again,
AD
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2012, 13:30
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Re: Matrix/De*Nitrate nitrate filter DIY

This should work very well. As you know, de*nitrate works better to control nitrates at a flow rate of 50gph or less, while Matrix functions well at any flow rate. Sounds like a good plan.
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Old 02-21-2012, 15:36
Abbeysdad Abbeysdad is offline
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Re: Matrix/De*Nitrate nitrate filter DIY

Thanks again. The De*Nitrate and the pump should arrive by the end of the week. The canister is prepped and ready. I come back and post update(s) after setup and time to cycle the filter (and hopefully begin reducing nitrates!).

Regards,
AD
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Old 02-21-2012, 16:20
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Re: Matrix/De*Nitrate nitrate filter DIY

Looking forward to it, AD!
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:41
Abbeysdad Abbeysdad is offline
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Re: Matrix/De*Nitrate nitrate filter DIY

Sorry to be a bother, but I have a follow-up question...

In researching nitrate filtration I reviewed a lot of information. Worthy of note is the Aquaripure filter that uses sponge media (course to fine), very slow flow and alcohol (or sugar water) for feeding the bacteria. I understand that the anaerobic bacteria process nitrates to extract oxygen.

Inasmuch as I'm using Matrix and De*Nitrate in this DIY filter, and in the absence of alcohol, what will the anaerobic bacteria consume as food?
Should I be adding something to promote the proliferation of the anaerobic bacteria?

Thank-you,
AD
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Old 02-22-2012, 13:14
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Re: Matrix/De*Nitrate nitrate filter DIY

Hi AD,

You are not being a bother; that's what we're here for. It is Seachem's stance that alcohol feeding/sugar dosing is not necessary. By providing an appropriate medium for nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria to live on with Matrix and de*nitrate and by jump-starting your bacterial colonies with Stability, the need for any alcohol feeding is eliminated.

In an aquarium setting, there are plenty of food sources on which beneficial bacteria can feed. The bacteria are constantly multiplying and proliferating, therefore we feel that alcohol or sugar dosing poses a risk of adding unnecessary organics to the water.

Just food for thought...
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Old 02-22-2012, 13:29
Abbeysdad Abbeysdad is offline
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Re: Matrix/De*Nitrate nitrate filter DIY

Thank-you. Based partly on your response, unless you think it's unnecessary, I'm thinking that when I setup the new filter and dose with Stability, I might temporarily discontinue the use of Purigen (I have two 100ml packets in my other AC70 filter) to ensure there is some dissolved organics in the water column (feeding bacteria). I'll re-evalutate adding the Purigen back after the new system stabilizes.

Thanks again.
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2012, 14:45
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Re: Matrix/De*Nitrate nitrate filter DIY

I definitely think that is a good idea, as Purigen will actively remove a lot of the organics that the bacteria will feed on. For example, we typically recommend that in new setups people hold off on using Purigen until the tank has fully cycled.
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