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DIY denitrator 'd ever worked? for any one?

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Cosmic

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
21
Not sure if you know how to properly operate one or not, but it takes a few weeks before there is enough bacteria present to see a decrease in nitrate. If the water flow is too fast, it will also not work properly. You might also have to supply a food source for the bacteria until they are colonized enough.

How long has yours been setup? How did you go about hooking it up to your system?

-HTH-
Cos
 

tamarindthai

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Jul 1, 2003
Messages
3,354
Location
Sammamish, wa USA
i hooked it up and ran for one week,,as DIY instruction said ,but dripping output as 30s /min is not in the system yet.i put in collection tank,,maybe you can help me through how to really run and tune this thing,thanks
 

Cosmic

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
21
Well, It's been quite a few years since I've bothered tinkering with those, but what it comes down to is controlling the output well enough to just read 0 nitrates coming out of the tube. If you are reading nitrates, you have too fast of a flow going through it, and hence too much oxygen too far into the line. Cut back the drip rate some so the bacteria have more time to consume oxygen. This will result in more anaerobic bacteria, and a better denitrating capability.

I've read where you are supposed to feed them to get them seeded properly, but I always just ran it for awhile and it eventually seeded itself just fine. I think it just takes longer to achieve a substantial culture of anaerobic bacteria doing it my way. The "food" is something simple, like table sugar, or anything sacharide based I believe. I could be wrong on this.

-HTH-
Cos
 

tamarindthai

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Jul 1, 2003
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Location
Sammamish, wa USA
first day reading ,after 3 days of no dripping water , nitrite and nitrate was .45-.50 :oops:
one week later ,0 nitrite ,,,.15 nitrate same level with in tank,,so i wait until is 0 ,,? :rolleyes: and yes i did fed them with a pinch of sugar.
 

Cosmic

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
21
Yes, the goal for a denitrator should be 0 nitrates coming out of it's output.
I should mention that it will take time to naturally bring down the nitrates. But by the amount yours has reduced in the past week, it sounds as if yours is working just fine. Let it run for awhile longer without adjustments, as long as the nitrates continue to drop.

If they stop dropping before they reach 0, THEN you re-tune your effluent (output) to a slower drip rate. If they keep dropping, don't do anything but test for nitrates to monitor the progress.

Cos
 

G~

Super Gobie
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Messages
133
they pretty much look like anyother piece of aquarium gadget. a wide tube of plastic about 2 feet tall. :) instead of acrylic they are usually made out of PVC. they are kept dark so as not to grow algae. http://www.aloha.net/~hqf/indexdondenitrator.htmhere </a> is a DIY page for one. i have toyed with one since starting my tank, but have not had a reason to yet.

G~
 

MtnDewMan

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Jun 27, 2003
Messages
2,290
Location
Mukilteo, WA
So is this device the same as if you had a separate area of your refugium that was filled with bio balls and all you did was have the correct drip into this area and it will break all of the nitrate down? Instead of having bio balls in the main flow of a sump or refugium which doesn't provide enough dwell time to break down the nitrates?
 

G~

Super Gobie
Joined
Jul 25, 2003
Messages
133
MtnDewMan said:
So is this device the same as if you had a separate area of your refugium that was filled with bio balls and all you did was have the correct drip into this area and it will break all of the nitrate down? Instead of having bio balls in the main flow of a sump or refugium which doesn't provide enough dwell time to break down the nitrates?
sorry, i would have to say no. the area in the refugium would have to be anoxic. this is why the flow in the denitrator has to be so low and the device is completely sealed.

G~
 

Cosmic

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
21
Sealing is surely part of the key, but so is the fact that there's 50 Ft of tubing there. The length is critical, as this is where the aerobic bacteria are going to harbor, suffocating the water of any available oxygen, and turning it anaerobic. The aerobic bacteria are located in a well enough spot to supply nitrates to the innards of the denitrator which is simply a dark tube filled with media (surface area is what we strive for), commonly bio-balls. This gives the anaerobes a place to settle and work thier wonders.
So yes, the tube has to be sealed, but without the tubing, you're still introducing oxygen to the denitrator, in which case it won't work.

Anytime mojo ;)

Cos
 

tamarindthai

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2003
Messages
3,354
Location
Sammamish, wa USA
3 weeks went by i smell h-sulfides,,then i am increasing drop (was 30 per mins),now 85 drops per mins,adding airstone to collecting water ,,look like it's working ,how soon nitrate from dripping water will come down and disappear?.
 

LakeEd

Achilles
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
1,333
Location
Bremerton, WA
What was the outcome of your denitrator? Were you able to adjust the drip rate, where you were getting 0 Nitrates out, as well as not smelling like a wroten egg?

I'm asking, because I'm thinking about a DIY project (gotta keep hands busy... don't ya know), and thought this may help my Step-Son's FOWLR, and his lack of regular water changes.

I may even put one on my tank, kinda liking the idea of about a 7-10 gallon per day nitrate free swap of water... almost like doing a 70 gallon per week water change, ontop of my regular 25 gallon weekly changeout.

From the reading and research I've done... I understand they take a few weeks at best, before they really start producing that 0 nitrate level, and thats okay. Its the final output I'm looking at.

Do you still use yours Dang??? What additional troubles did you run across with it, if not... and would you totally sway me from even starting a project like this?

Thank you for your input.
 

-=dieseldave=-

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2004
Messages
250
Location
Snohomish Wa.
I test zero/near zero for Nitrates and Nitrites and do not use a Denitrator. However does anyone think there is a benefit in using one even if they are already close to 0 on the test? Would it be any value to make one I have lots of new bio balls and plenty of tubing.
 
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