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DIY sulphur Denitrator



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#1 Tigger

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 04:39 PM

Hi All,

This is my first DIY product review. Pls take it as my small contribution to this reefing community.

Part 1

Background
My reef tank is abt 2 years old. I am mainly an LPS person and have a few frags/colony of sps coutesy from a some kind reefers. Few months back, I have started measuring my tank NO3 (using salifert) and discovered that my NO3 is unbeivable high, 100ppm! It is strange as my main tank have a DSB of grade 0 sand with 6 inch thick. This DSB is ard for 2 years. Strange as it is, my LPS is as heathly as ever and have been expanding with good colouration. Those reefer that has been to my place can atest to it. Lol

Therefore, I have started to research into the area of denitrator. My 1st piece of equipment is an Aquamedic NR400. it was brought in from oversea by a kind bro. This poor thing is really working overtime. However, it only manage to bring down my NO3 to abt 50ppm. Considering I have a 100g tank and a 100ppm NO3 problem, I thing this piece of equipment really value for money.

At the same time, my bro Melvin Tan also purchase a pcs of european brand S base denitartor. After paying my brudder Melvin Tan a couple of visit and looking at his european brand denitrator, I discover that there was really no sophosicated technology behind a sulphur base denitrator. Wat u need is a CaCO3 media that can help to buffer the pH before the effluent is allowed to be release into the sump tank. Also, the effluent must be release in drops back to the sump. My bro persuaded me to get a S base european denitrator to tackle my problem, however, I am just a poor reefer with shallow pocket, I have to decline his offer.

Last week Hari raya holidays, I bot another pcs of 2nd hand CR from a kind bro. I have decided to convert this CR into a S denitrator. Previously, I am also running S base denitrator using local brand FR but it was not successful. i believed it was not successful becos the FR does not have a recirculating function. My 2nd hand CR have a reciruilating function and thus work perfectly like any european base denitrator.

This is a preview of the S base denitrator in action. The S beads has already break in. The S beads was transfer from the FR that was not successful in the experiment.

To be continued.


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#2 Chris

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 04:42 PM

Well done. Another good and cheap alternative for the ingenus reefer.
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#3 Tigger

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 04:44 PM

Part 2

This is a close up shot of the S beads. If u observed carefully, there seems to be 2 layers of beads. Reason is tat the bottom beads is from the successful FR project. The upper beads are freshly topped up. That explained why the top portion looks new. I think it will take 2 weeks or so for the NO3 bacteria to break in.


The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an egg-and-ham breakfast:the chicken was 'involved'-the pig was 'committed'

#4 Tigger

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 04:50 PM

This is the results obtained after testing it with salifert NO3 test. As can be seen, the NO3 drops from 100ppm to abt 5ppm. I have not fully fine tune this DIY S denitrator, but wat the hack, 5ppm is good enuff liao lah. Therefore, I dont think I will be changing the drip rate as of now. Lol.


The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an egg-and-ham breakfast:the chicken was 'involved'-the pig was 'committed'

#5 monsterz1975

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 04:53 PM

Wow looks good . thumbsup.gif
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#6 Tigger

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 04:54 PM

U may have notice that the top portion of the denitrator remains cloudy. It was due to the very acid water that remains in the chamber. The acid must have burn the CaCo3 media causing it to remian cloudy. When I increase the drip rate, the cloudiness disappear but the time for the NO3 to react in the chamber was shorten and cannot effectively reduce the NO3.

Therefore, it is highly recommended to run the effluent into a pool of CaCO3 substrate before it is allowed to return to the sump.
The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an egg-and-ham breakfast:the chicken was 'involved'-the pig was 'committed'

#7 Tigger

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 04:57 PM

Conclusion

Its has been demonstrated once again that S base denitrator works. The effluent needs to be buffered with CaCO3 media to reduce the acidity. I also place the effluent return at a place of high flow to buffer the effects of acidity.
The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an egg-and-ham breakfast:the chicken was 'involved'-the pig was 'committed'

#8 Tigger

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 04:59 PM

Cost of the setup

1. An old CR - $60
2. S beads ~ $40

Total cost of is abt $100. Effort, priceless:P
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#9 Tigger

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 05:03 PM

Acknowledgement

1. S bead: Thanks to the reefer who help me source and lug the beads back from HK. Thanks you very much. Without his help, I dont think this project will ever start since the price of beads can easily be more than triple the price I paid.

2. CR: Special thanks to the reefer who sell me his CR cheap

3. Melvin Tan: Thanks bro for the advise given on the working and breaking in of S base denitrator

The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an egg-and-ham breakfast:the chicken was 'involved'-the pig was 'committed'

#10 Tigger

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 05:10 PM

I am working w another chemical supplier to provide provide me with Sulphur granules to be used in another reactor. I have specially told the supplier that the granules have to be cheap, preferably less than the price I paid for the beads and he is looking into it. The S concentartion will be 99.9% pure. I believed it will also work but will not be as effecient as S beads due to the smaller surface areas of the S granules. Those who is interested can post in this tread and I can liase w u (meaning, u will be the ginea pig. haha). My motivation is to provide a cheap solution to reefing.
The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an egg-and-ham breakfast:the chicken was 'involved'-the pig was 'committed'

#11 aquabeanz

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 05:33 PM

QUOTE(Tigger @ Jan 17 2006, 05:10 PM) View Post

I am working w another chemical supplier to provide provide me with Sulphur granules to be used in another reactor. I have specially told the supplier that the granules have to be cheap, preferably less than the price I paid for the beads and he is looking into it. The S concentartion will be 99.9% pure. I believed it will also work but will not be as effecient as S beads due to the smaller surface areas of the S granules. Those who is interested can post in this tread and I can liase w u (meaning, u will be the ginea pig. haha). My motivation is to provide a cheap solution to reefing.


bowdown.gif bowdown.gif bowdown.gif bowdown.gif bowdown.gif bowdown.gif bowdown.gif bowdown.gif

no wonders why you're like no sound no business these weeks...

so you have been putting in so much effort in coming up with such a great gadget to solve NO3 problems...

you TOTALLY command respect for this feat!!!

however, i have some queries on this gadget bro: slap.gif slap.gif slap.gif

1. how quick did NO3 levels drop? was the drop too quick for the corals like in the case when you suddenly run Rowas in a FR?

2. can we run this with a CaCO3 packed chamber as the secondary and make it work like a CR? how low was the pH from the effluent from the gadget? ( i guess we could ??)
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#12 Tigger

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 07:51 PM

Hi Bro,

1. It took abt a month for the NO3 to drop

2. Yes, of course u can
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#13 Melvyn Tan

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 01:26 PM

Congrats to the success of your Sulphur-based denitrification module ! Maybe a further experiment can help others to understand on the potentiality of Sulphur based denitrification.

Tigger - if you can stop the aquamedic denitrification and see if the 5ppm maintains utilising only Sulphur based denitrification, since the deniballs could not bring down the remainder 50ppm.

For discussion sake, i managed to pull down the nitrate from over 100ppm to now average 5 ppm in my main tank, effluent drip from my Sulphur based denitrification at around a 4-5 drops per seconds. THis which means the full potential is not realised yet.
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#14 zephyros

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 02:43 PM

wow ... steady bros tongue.gif
1 question, did you consider another skimmer as compare to denitrator?
how do u determine (amt of S bead needed etc) that ur design is
suitable for ur tank size and load?

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#15 Tigger

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 03:00 PM

Bro EK,

The rule of thumb from RC is 1kg of S breads to 1000L of water. I have untilises abt 1.5kg.

Bro MT,

Yes I agree w u that yr denitrator can pull down a 100ppm to abt 5ppm. But bear in mind u are running 2 power plant skimmer capable of 1200L skimming whereas mine is under skimming at 400L. Futhermore, my DSB seems to be a nutirent sink! But of course, both our system cannot be use for comparison as your is a predominately an Angel/Tang tank set up with high bio load.
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