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I have read about some nitate removing filters that use anaerobic bacteria to naturally remove nitrates as well as other types which use other methods..they claim to remove pretty much all the nitrates and keep levels at a constant minimum level which drastically reduces need for water changes..Do they really work?? Does anyone know of a certain one that works well? And if the nitrate level stays below 5ppm is there a reason to still have to do water changes?
 

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You could try Seachem Purigen; they claim it removes ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and can be recharged once it is depleted. As far as I know you can just add it to your existing filter media in a fine mesh bag.
 

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There is a product by Seachem called Denitrate that can be used in a reactor that will create anaerobic conditions (with a flow rate of 50 gallons or less per hour). This allows this bacteria that consumes nitrates to grow and keep the nitrate levels low
I have been experimenting with this in my 125 gallon Malawi Tank but was never ever able to lower the nitrates there
I then purchased a second reactor and hooked it up to my first reactor and placed it in my 45 gallon baby Front grow out tank that at any time could have anywhere from 30 to 60 baby frontosa in
well before I put the reactor with the denitrate in there, the nitrates were always very high
Now they are much lower, closer to 5 or 10 as compared to 40 or 80 previously
I believe my plan did not work in my malawi tank as I would need to have more of the media to make it work better
I continue to experiment with this
I do know that it has definitely reduced my nitrates in my grow out tank
 

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I am currently in the experimental process with Seachem's De*Nitrate. De*Nitrate requires a flow of 50gph or less in order for the anaerobic bacteria to colonize. That presented a problem as all my filters and powerheads push far more than that.

So I took an old Aquaclear 50 I had out of service and filled it with a filter foam on the bottom and stuffed 500ml of De*Nitrate into a media bag on top of the foam. Next I took the impeller from an unused Aquaclear 20 which is rated at 100GPH and trimmed two of the impeller vanes off opposite each other. The motors on these AC20/30/50 are all the same, it's the impellers that are different. My assumption was that if four vanes pump 100GPH then only two vanes should pump significantly less.

Bingo! I did a flow test to check volume vs. time and at full blast it's pumping at 45gph. Perfect for De*Nitrate. I even keep it dialed down a bit so it's probably only passing 25gph.

I'm keeping weekly records on my nitrate and water changes so I have a baseline to compare. It will take some time to establish the anaerobic bacteria colony and I'm only about a week in right now. I'll follow up in a month with my results.

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It seems to be working to a point. I use an API test kit to check my parameters weekly. Previously, my nitrates would spike well over 80 on a weekly basis. I'm about a month in and now they seem to stay around 40. I do weekly 30-50% PWC to help lower them. My target is a steady 20 before my PWC.

Just last week I added an Eheim 2215 loaded with 2.5 liters of Seachem Matrix and I run that with the return valve closed halfway as Matrix will inhabit aerobic as well as anaerobic bacteria. Once this populates with anaerobic bacteria all should be well.

I have 2 heavily populated tanks and have plenty of filtration on both.

On my 75G Malawi tank I actually added 2 liters of Seachem Matrix in an Eheim 2215 and it has been holding nitrates steady at 20-30. There's more water per fish in this tank so I assume that's why I'm having a better result so far.
 

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You will have to pay for refills and change them regularly. To remove nitrates there are some options that don't require that.

1. Plants (can be in a sump or refugium)
2. mattenfilter
3. algae scrubber
 

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I have tanks full of plants and still have high nitrate. There not going to make much of a difference. What does is changing out lots of water I do somewhere around 300% a week. I admit that I over feed but it's something I really enjoy. I have seen people grow plants up on the walls with the roots in the sump but that takes some room and lights for them to grow. For me it's just lot easier to change water. It seems that more people just want to hook up a filter and forget about it but as hobbyist we need to be more hands on. Save yourself a lot of time and money, make changing water as easy as you can and you will need a lot less equipment. I have been told that you don't even need a filter if you change out 80% of the water a day.
 
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