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controlledentropy

How do we know anaerobic bacteria is established?

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controlledentropy

So, when cycling a tank, different bacterial populations convert ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate. In my planted tank, nitrate is then taken by the plants.

 

But, what about in saltwater tank? I read that there are some bacteria that convert nitrate back to nitrogen gas, which will be released to the atmosphere. How do we know that these bacteria had established themselves? And is there a bacteria-in-a-bottle type of thing that contains this type of bacteria? How long would it take to establish this bacterial colony on dry rock?

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NanoReefMinimalist

It is impossible to rely on bacteria to export nitrate unless you dose commercial products that contain large amount of bacteria and use protein skimmer to export the dead ones.

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OPtasia

It takes time. Testing for nitrate is the best way to monitor for changes in your nitrate levels. The heavier your bio load in the tank (fish, corals, inverts, feedings, etc.) the more nitrates and phosphates you'll end up with in the end. If your tank has a lot of nitrates and you don't have enough live rock in your display and/or sump, the anaerobic bacteria won't be able to keep up with it. 

 

To export those nutrients, you'll have to decide what's going to work best for you and your tank setup.

  • You can do it biologically with a ton of dense live rock in the tank or the sump.
  • you can do it biologically by growing macro algae in your sump (chaeto, etc.).
  • you can do it mechanically by doing water changes, siphoning out debris and detritus and cleaning your filters weekly.
  • you can do it mechanically by going +1 on your skimmer to remove wastes before they break down.
  • you can do it chemically by dosing and skimming (bio reactor, vodka/vinegar/sugar dosing, etc.).
  • you can do it chemically by using nitrate and phosphate absorbing media (purigen, chemi-pure, poly pads, GFO, etc.).
  • you can reduce your nitrogenous inputs (reduce feedings, etc.).
  • you can do a combination of the above.
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controlledentropy
13 minutes ago, OPtasia said:

It takes time. Testing for nitrate is the best way to monitor for changes in your nitrate levels. The heavier your bio load in the tank (fish, corals, inverts, feedings, etc.) the more nitrates and phosphates you'll end up with in the end. If your tank has a lot of nitrates and you don't have enough live rock in your display and/or sump, the anaerobic bacteria won't be able to keep up with it. 

 

To export those nutrients, you'll have to decide what's going to work best for you and your tank setup.

  • You can do it biologically with a ton of dense live rock in the tank or the sump.
  • you can do it biologically by growing macro algae in your sump (chaeto, etc.).
  • you can do it mechanically by doing water changes, siphoning out debris and detritus and cleaning your filters weekly.
  • you can do it mechanically by going +1 on your skimmer to remove wastes before they break down.
  • you can do it chemically by dosing and skimming (bio reactor, vodka/vinegar/sugar dosing, etc.).
  • you can do it chemically by using nitrate and phosphate absorbing media (purigen, chemi-pure, poly pads, GFO, etc.).
  • you can reduce your nitrogenous inputs (reduce feedings, etc.).
  • you can do a combination of the above.

That is a very comprehensive answer. Thank you.

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OPtasia

No problem. I've been doing this a looong time. :)

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NanoRox
20 hours ago, OPtasia said:
  • you can do it chemically by using nitrate and phosphate absorbing media (purigen, chemi-pure, poly pads, GFO, etc.).
  •  

Let's talk about this one.  This is what I am doing in my 14g nano.  tank is only about 5 wks old but my nitrates are at 10 ppm with just corals and clean up crew..no shrimp or fish). I have played with the idea of taking it out and converting one of the chambers (chamber 2) to a refugium which you also mention.  My local coral guy who seems to know his stuff told me that it is impossible to set up a refugium in such a small tank to adequately work because you cant grow out enough chaeto.  what are your thoughts on that? 

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patback
15 minutes ago, Duane Clark said:

Let's talk about this one.  This is what I am doing in my 14g nano.  tank is only about 5 wks old but my nitrates are at 10 ppm with just corals and clean up crew..no shrimp or fish). I have played with the idea of taking it out and converting one of the chambers (chamber 2) to a refugium which you also mention.  My local coral guy who seems to know his stuff told me that it is impossible to set up a refugium in such a small tank to adequately work because you cant grow out enough chaeto.  what are your thoughts on that? 

He's sort of right.  While chaeto will absorb nutrients you won't really see a difference in readings from just a small amount.  Most people that successully run a refugium  for exporting nitrate and phosphates have a large section in a sump.  Not to say you can't hone in on your tank and make it work, but generally for most hobbiests it won't cut the cheese.

For a tank your size and age, you are probably still having some die off inside your rocks that is causing the spike.  Good husbandry and water changes will take care of it until it evens out. 10 ppm isn't even that bad if you are staying away from the most difficult of corals. 

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NanoRox
1 minute ago, patback said:

He's sort of right.  While chaeto will absorb nutrients you won't really see a difference in readings from just a small amount.  Most people that successully run a refugium  for exporting nitrate and phosphates have a large section in a sump.  Not to say you can't hone in on your tank and make it work, but generally for most hobbiests it won't cut the cheese.

For a tank your size and age, you are probably still having some die off inside your rocks that is causing the spike.  Good husbandry and water changes will take care of it until it evens out. 10 ppm isn't even that bad if you are staying away from the most difficult of corals. 

thanks!  Good to know he seems to know his stuff after all.  I love maintaining the tank so will just continue what I am doing.  My corals are looking great (Acans, Zoanthids, hammer, GSP, blue Sympodium and a green montipora.  

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OPtasia
1 hour ago, Duane Clark said:

Let's talk about this one.  This is what I am doing in my 14g nano.  tank is only about 5 wks old but my nitrates are at 10 ppm with just corals and clean up crew..no shrimp or fish). I have played with the idea of taking it out and converting one of the chambers (chamber 2) to a refugium which you also mention.  My local coral guy who seems to know his stuff told me that it is impossible to set up a refugium in such a small tank to adequately work because you cant grow out enough chaeto.  what are your thoughts on that? 

It's not impossible. It really depends on your bio load and the space you have for a refugia. I've seen quite a few picos and nanos with refugia, and if you can add a small clump of chaeto with bright lighting, it can really do a number in reducing nitrates and phosphates. Granted, more space for more rapid growth of chaeto is more beneficial than a small compact space for chaeto growth. If you don't have enough space, you might consider adding some of the additional methods of nutrient export to the tank that i'd mentioned. :)

 

Have a look at these tanks over at elite reef Denver. You'll notice they have quite a few hang on type refugia where chaeto growth appears to be the only filtration they're doing on the tanks. You can also see the setup of this tank where he's just using chaeto and a skimmer for filtration. So, it certainly is possible but it may or may not be right for your tank. Sometimes it's like trying on different pairs of jeans to see which one fits.

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