Help Nitrate Filter

tony

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I want to build my own nitrate filter, but before I do it I wanted to run it by you guys and see if there are any problems you can see with my idea. I want to take about 16 ft of airline tubing and stick one end in my tank. Now the tube will run down into a coil of airline tubing (which is where the other 13 or so feet of tubing is located). I will syphon the water down the tube and it will end up in the sump. The flow will be at 1 gph, contolled by an ajustable air flow valve. I am doing it this way because I dont want to but a canister filter dor something that might not work. Does anyone see any major problems with this design?
 
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tony

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Yes but that is a different approach lol, he is using algae not the anaerobic bacteria.
 
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tony

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Yeah I read that, that's where I got the idea from
 

Jaysee

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this is something a salty needs to weigh in on, but im pretty sure that the bacteria needs to be fed on a regular basis, above and beyond what is in the water.
 
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tony

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The bacteria will feed on the nitrates and other nutrients in the water, beyond that I have no idea.
 

funkman262

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Well the nitrates would serve as the electron acceptor but the reaction would still require an electron donor and carbon source to occur. You may not realize it, but we're actually duplicating what many wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are doing in our home aquariums. WWTPs use activated sludge processes for nitrification by aerating all of the incoming waste so that the nitrifying have oxygen as their electron acceptor and BOD (biological oxygen demand aka waste) as the electron donor and carbon source in order for the bacteria to grow. This is very similar to what all of us do in order to convert all of the ammonia to nitrate. Many WWTPs also need to denitrify their water before discharge in order for their effluent nitrogen concentrations to be within regulation (they can't discharge large concentrations of nitrate). This is done in anaerobic conditions (without oxygen) because if oxygen is present, the bacteria would consume that instead of the nitrate and denitrification would not occur. It's possible to again use the incoming BOD as the electron donor and carbon source after the nitrification process but this is not common practice because if the denitrifying bacteria don't consume ALL of the BOD, the WWTP would run into major problems. So what they commonly do is allow the nitrifying bacteria to consume ALL of the BOD and then add methanol for the denitrifying bacteria to use as the electron donor and carbon source for growth. Now the reason for the ? at the end of my last post is because I have no clue how much organic carbon would be available to the denitrifying bacteria after it's been used by the nitrifying bacteria. It may be necessary to supplement organic some carbon source for those bacteria as is done by WWTPs. I hope this helps any and feel free to ask any more questions about this
 

funkman262

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So in short it won't work?
Who said that? I don't see any significant flaws in the plan. I don't know if anyone here has actually tried that but try searching for more information online and see how commercially made denitrification filters are made for aquarium use. It'll probably take a lot of trial and error to get it working properly but it should be fun to experiment with ;D
 
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