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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have experience with a "nitrate reactor"? Is it feasible to consider as an adjunct to the usual methods, ie. Water changes, plants, etc??
 

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If you stay on top of your water changes, and especially if you have live plants as well, you don't need anything else.
 

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Why the desire for a nitrate reactor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
LOL.....I have no desire for a "nitrate reactor". Since I am new to the hobby I'm actually looking for expert advice on whether I SHOULD have a desire for it. Just cursory research on my part seemed that theoretically it may be worthwhile considering its anaerobic claim, limited water flow etc.
 

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The emphasis is on 'claim'. In my estimation a nitrate reactor can not work in an aquarium environment, because for the tank you need highly oxygenated water, and for the reactor you would need oxygen free water. That just doesn't go together. In nature, aerobic and anaerobic areas are far apart. That just isn't possible in a tank.

I am looking forward to be proven wrong, but so far no luck!

If you find water changes a chore - I do! - they can be automated. It's easier and more effective than nitrate reactors.

http://www.fmueller.com/home/aquaristic ... wc-system/
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the reply! Being a dentist, I can't tell you the number of gadgets, gimmicks, toys, etc. that I have accumulated over the years all claiming revolutionary results. They all fall in the category "if it's too good to be true, it probably is!" The Nitrate Reactor I think falls into this category as well. Water changes for me is quite simple since my sink is just beneath my tank!
 

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I used something I saw on YouTube which has been a win-win for me. I put a planter on top of my large aquarium that I made from a plastic 6" x 24" planter I bought at Lowes. I filled it with lava rock and run tank water through it with a 50 gph power head that I run at about 30 gph. I put cuttings from a pothos plant in it and I now have a lovely plant that covers the top back of the tank that removes nitrate from the water. And, extra bacteria colonies in the lava rock; so maybe it's a win-win-win...
 

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Keep in mind that even if plants are removing nitrate, you would still want to be doing 50% weekly PWC.

What is the goal, Dr. Bob?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Let me give you a summary of my situation:
-55 gal
-Fully cycled
-15 Peacocks
-3 Plecos
-4 Catfish
- White sand substrate
-2 Marineland 400's Aquaclear sponge/charcoal in 2nd canister
- 1 Medium Power head
- 50% water change weekly
- Loads of Texas Holey Rock
-Monthly rock removal/vacuuming sand
- Anubius plants in tank/Pothos rear posterior
- LED Light with programmable intensity
Nitrates are starting to creep up. The API kit is tough to read....slight gradations in coloration between 10 nd 20 are quite difficult to read although I feel very important. Just a little paranoid since everything else is going well. The tank is in operation about 8 weeks and haven't had any fatalities......Plecos are keeping the algae under control... your thoughts
 

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Between 10ppm and 20ppm is perfect. Just change 50% weekly and you will be fine.

Probably no need for 3 plecos adding to the bioload...one/tank is usually right to make sure there is enough algae for them to eat.

With 15 peacocks, I assume you have a mixed-gender, single species tank. If you are doing all-male I would reduce the number of fish in a 55G.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My sink is luckily directly right under the tank. What does a drip system entail just out of curiosity?/???!!
 

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Dr Bob said:
My sink is luckily directly right under the tank. What does a drip system entail just out of curiosity?/???!!
An drilled overflow and a constant source of water ...
 

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Dr Bob said:
Do you recall the YouTube link?? Really like to see that!
Here is the link; it is a King of DIY video for an over head sump filter. I just used the idea for the container, pump and return and filled it with lava rock and plant clippings instead of filter media.


As was mentioned by another member, this will not replace doing water changes, but will reduce nitrates. I also attached hose to the bulkhead drain to reduce noise.
 

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Dr Bob said:
My sink is luckily directly right under the tank. What does a drip system entail just out of curiosity?/???!!
There are many options to achieve the end goal, but the basic concept is simple. You have a continuous trickle of fresh water (for a 55 it would literally be a drip) usually around 20% of the total volume per day and the excess is pumped out or you can use an overflow. I pump mine, but since you have gravity on your side, a HOB overflow would work perfectly.

I started using a drip system two years ago, and honestly I can't see doing it any other way. I only change my water when I am vacuuming sand and cleaning my rocks - which is about every six to eight weeks.

This guy is where I first saw the idea

***Very important to note: it is easy to strip chlorine from your water source with activated carbon (I use a .5 micron carbon filter made by spetraPure ) but monochloramine is a different animal. As far as I know, it has to be removed using a dechlorinatoring agent, so no way to really go straight from the tap to the tank. You need to check with your local water company to know what is in your water supply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanx everyone for the awesome advice!! I think the "Nitrate Reactor" issue is dead. Let me get a few more thoughts on your water drip systems. First of all I'm getting mixed results with the API test. My nitrate kit expires in 2023. Results are definitely pink/red. I took a sample to my local fish supplier whose API expires in 2021...results were still yellowish?? If I believe mine...to what degree??!! How do you quantify the color!!?? The color gradation between 10-20+ is really subjective!! If I believe the supplier, there is absolutely no concern.....I took a water sample to a local water company for analysis and waiting for the results....comparing tap and aquarium water......interesting

Dual question now.... Water Drip systems..should I consider a drip system considering the proximity of my tank directly over a sink....or just rely on weekly 50% water changes??
 

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Drip systems if your water is a well and there is no chlorine saves you changing the water. But chlorine or chloramines like most publically provided water can make it more challenging.
 
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