suggestions on keeping nitrates down?

Discussion in 'Octopus Care' started by philc21, Jan 11, 2006.

  1. philc21

    philc21 Cuttlefish Registered

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    i have a medium sized bimac mantle is probably about 3 inches long 2 inches wide usually, not sure about tentacle span. but i have him in a 45 i no its a little small but i could not fit n e bigger. running on it i have an eheim 2229 wetdry canister and an eheim 2215. in the 2215 im only using pads for mechanical since i have the wetdry for biological. im thinking of either taking the 2215 off since its holding soo much nitrates or possibly filling it with chemipure and maybe some other type of absorbant filter. do any of you have any suggestions on how to keep the nitrates down or have a problem with nitrates as well.
     
  2. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hi

    what is your actual nitrate reading?

    You will always get a high nitrate reading from a cephalopod tank compared to say a reef or even a fish tank. The very nature of the beast means that it produces a lot of waste in its metabolism and its feeding habits.

    What is your water changing regime? That really is better than any nitrate absorbing sponge and you can probably bet that your phosphates will look horrible too.

    Don't take the filter off, you need as much filtration as you can get

    hope that helps
    Colin
     
  3. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    Chemipure is fine to use for an "once in a while" cleaning...but remember, it holds the pollutant, and doesn't get rid of it.
    More water changes are probably what you need, along the lines of Colin's thoughts.

    greg
     
  4. TidePool Geek

    TidePool Geek O. vulgaris Registered

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    Hi Phil,

    The filtration you have now is all very good at converting ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate but it's generally accepted to be pretty much ineffective at converting nitrate to nitrogen. Reefers mostly use live rock and live sand to do that last step in the conversion process but with a 45 gallon tank there's some question whether you could feasibly keep enough LR & LS to do the job.

    An alternative would be to use a so-called Algal Turf Scrubber (ATS) of the sort developed by Walter Adey and described in his book Dynamic Aquaria. I think that there is at least one company selling these systems but I can't recall the name. In any case an ATS is a simple enough piece of equipment that it should be pretty easy to DIY one for yourself.

    Essentially an ATS uses turf type algae (think Hair algae with a crew-cut) to take up any and all forms of undesirable nitrogen compounds as part of the photosynthesis process. Additionally, an ATS will also take up phosphates and even some toxic metals as well as help maintain a high level of oxygenation and a proper pH.

    Mechanically the system is quite simple but very specific in its requirements. The part of the system that actually does the work is just a piece of fiberglass window screening on which the aforementioned turf algae has been seeded (more on this below). The algal screen is mounted in a dump-bucket so as to maximize the agitation to the plants and illuminated in reverse phase to the display tank. For your situation a screen of 64 square inches (8" x 8") illuminated by 32watts of appropriate light (my guess is that a 6000K PC would work) ought to be more than sufficient. Of course there's no real downside to going a bit larger but try to maintain a light density of about 800W per square meter. Basic maintenance consists of scraping the excess algae off of the screen once per week. This weekly scraping (done with a couple of swipes with an ice scraper) accomplishes two things. First, it removes all of those nitrogen and phosphorus compounds that the plants have taken up. Second, this sort of algae grows most vigorously after being trimmed back so harvesting makes the system work more efficiently.

    Seeding the screen is either the easiest or most difficult part of starting an ATS. The process is simply putting your screen in contact with an existing growth of turf algae for a few days - typically this is just another aquarium or even your own aquarium so the process is really simple. OTOH: If you don't have access to such a tank you may have a problem.

    The most complete reference on this system is, of course, Adey's book. If you have access to a large library you may find it there. If not, the book is sometimes available on Ebay and can always be found on Amazon or ABEbooks.

    You can also find quite a bit of information with Google searches on "Algal Turf Scrubber" or ATS but beware; there are quite a few nay-sayers out there but it has been my observation that they fall into two groups. First, there are those who have never used the system and are distrustful of non-standard ideas. Second, there are those who think they have used the system but actually failed to implement each aspect of it. [The most common omissions have to do with using the wrong lighting schedule or not harvesting the growth regularly.]

    Algally yours,

    Alex
     
  5. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    Or, you could do water changes. :grin:

    I am actually a fan of the algae systems...but I don't think they apply well to ceph tanks, in view of the massive amounts of waste produced. For reef tanks? You bet !
     
  6. philc21

    philc21 Cuttlefish Registered

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    yea ive been doing a good amount of water changes about 10 - 15 gallons every 2 weeks about but im still reading about 100ppm ihave about 50 lbs of live rock in the tank but i no thats not enough to turn it into nitrogen. i guess ill just keep up the water changes and accept it lol
     
  7. Swarvegorilla

    Swarvegorilla O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Something I have found to be of great use is the use of fluidised bed filters. I mean not only do they rock for bio filtration but if you get rid of the sand and instead pack them with 'purigen' chemical media they remove heaps of nitrates. When they purigen starts to lose it's sucking ability you take it out and recharge it in bleach. Sounds nasty I know but it really is a low cost, low effort way to help manage nitrate levels. Will never replace water changes but it definitely helps out those of us who want levels below 40ppm all the time so their wussy live feeders don't die.
    Yes purigen is freekin' expensive straight up but it pays for itself over time and is nowhere near the eco disaster that carbon is.
    You could wack a fbf on the output of one of the cannister filters as well.
    :bonk:
     
  8. squall7733

    squall7733 O. vulgaris Registered

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    I think a fluidised bed filter would be a bad idea for an octo tank since he would probly tear it up and play with it.

    Water changes always your best bet, keep a schedule for 10-20% water changes every week or so.

    Do you have a sump/refugium? That would definitly aid you in a couple of ways - 1) it would add water volume to the tank 2) It would give you a place to house macro algeas, which are great at sucking up nitrates.
     
  9. DocFrye

    DocFrye O. vulgaris Registered

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    How is an octo going to tear up something outside of the tank? F
     
  10. Octopusi

    Octopusi Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    how high is acceptable??
    and does this mean that i should also accept a high nitrite reading too?:hmm:
     

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