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Thread: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

  1. #556
    Registered Member Shaun's Discus's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    Hey guys, a quick update. My obs,,, if you have enough BCBs you may find that nitrate readings will buffer. Meaning that in my tank,, I've never seen more than 10ppm even a after not doing a water change for 2 weeks. Its like the BCB's have a nitrate stop limit to them. So my theory is if your tank gets to a point and still produces a small amount of nitrate, simply add another BCB. I am about to experiment with this and see if will pull down the nitrate to a lower limit say around 5ppm and hold it there. We are all learning but one thing for sure, I would never go back. Since using the AFS my Discus have turned into beasts and are almost show quality. I have 3 tanks running BCSs. A 220g system with Oscar and pleco and RT shark,,, my Discus display tank 120g system, and my Jaguar cichlid tank 100g system,,, soon be moved to a 150g system. All run BCB's. The 220g with Oscar produces about 5ppm nitrate a month. without WC

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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Loku View Post
    What are the results that you want?

    I have my 1 foot cuebe BCB for 6 months and I don't have the 0 ppm reading of nitrates... T.T I usually have 10 ppm of nitrates... BUT... I feed with my DIY food... I`m doing 1 wc every 3 weeks.
    i was expecting lower nitrate readings. maybe i'm getting some result now compared to last time i tested ( used strips)

    i started the bcb 1/23/18, so about 5 months. today i tested the nitrates, with sechem and api.
    the api differentiates better, seachem test would lead me to think tap and tank are same.

    the tank nitrate levels are lower than what i used to get, that i am sure. so maybe it is working, but i also lost about 70 inches of fish bioload due to heater malfunction since i added the BCB.

    seachem 6-23.jpgtank6-23.jpgtap6-23.jpg
    Last edited by Jack L; 06-23-2018 at 12:55 PM.

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    Registered Member zhuls1's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    I have been thinking, many do not seem to be noticing much of a difference with DR Kevin Novaks BCB's when running alongside nitrifying filtration systems. the problem is that zeolite, which is what we use inside of the BCB, has an affinity for positively charged ions, such as ammonia. However, nitrite and nitrate are both negatively charged ions, hence why it does not remove nitrate directly. So, what if we were to replace the positive ion scavenging zeolite with a negative ion scavenging resin. This could than be run alongside any other type of filtration and remove nitrate through denitrification. Or, alternatively, use a mix of zeolite and a resin with an affinity for nitrate inside of a BCB. Could end up with, what I could call a supercharged BCB that directly remove ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. And this could still be ran alongside typical filtration systems. Thoughts?

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    Registered Member farebox's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    Hey all, like to throw this out, do you all think by adding carbon media in the pre filter might have an effect on the BCB's? Just wondering because I'm currently using some in my pre filter and have noticed an big difference overall the way my tank looks and reaction of the discus. Proof of the big difference is that this is my second go around using the anoxic filtration system. Also doing 50% water changes every 7-10 days now. Only using the carbon for 4 weeks before replacing with new media. the most recent NO3 test= 2.5ppm....

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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhuls1 View Post
    I have been thinking, many do not seem to be noticing much of a difference with DR Kevin Novaks BCB's when running alongside nitrifying filtration systems. the problem is that zeolite, which is what we use inside of the BCB, has an affinity for positively charged ions, such as ammonia. However, nitrite and nitrate are both negatively charged ions, hence why it does not remove nitrate directly. So, what if we were to replace the positive ion scavenging zeolite with a negative ion scavenging resin. This could than be run alongside any other type of filtration and remove nitrate through denitrification. Or, alternatively, use a mix of zeolite and a resin with an affinity for nitrate inside of a BCB. Could end up with, what I could call a supercharged BCB that directly remove ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. And this could still be ran alongside typical filtration systems. Thoughts?
    Nobel idea Zac but how are you going to recharge the resin ?

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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    Quote Originally Posted by farebox View Post
    Hey all, like to throw this out, do you all think by adding carbon media in the pre filter might have an effect on the BCB's? Just wondering because I'm currently using some in my pre filter and have noticed an big difference overall the way my tank looks and reaction of the discus. Proof of the big difference is that this is my second go around using the anoxic filtration system. Also doing 50% water changes every 7-10 days now. Only using the carbon for 4 weeks before replacing with new media. the most recent NO3 test= 2.5ppm....
    Hi Roland ;
    I don't think there is any thing wrong with using carbon but let us remember that original objection of Dr novac was that we need to keep think simple with minimum water change , i am getting nitrate between 5-10 ppm with 50% w/c once a week with anoxic filtration only and no carbon or any thing else , now you can get better results probably with carbon but it is one extra work .

  7. #562
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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    Hey Roland, I do not believe carbon has any effect on BCB besides maybe reducing redox levels. I have noticed a considerable improvement in the behaviour of my discus too from simply adding carbon even before using DR Kevin Novaks BCB's. I believe it depends on your tap water source, some places have alot of added chemicals that can stress your discus.

    Sayid, the same way you recharge the zeolite in the bcb's, you don't. The point of the BCB's is to cultivate a low oxygen environment that cultivates facultative heterotrophic bacteria that "consume" the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. This frees up the pores enabling them to adsorb a new ammonia ion. I do believe, in theory at least, that the same should happen with ion exchange resin. I am not sure whether it would have a strong enough attraction to pull the nitrates into the system, that would have to be tested. Would be worth at least testing in a bucket or something at somepoint.
    Last edited by zhuls1; 06-24-2018 at 03:43 AM.

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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    Thanks guys for your inputs for using carbon, sayid there's no extra work for me by using the carbon, since I change my Pinky filter media once an week. All I do is remove the pre filter and dump the carbon monthly like Dr. Noval did in his video. Easy...

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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    My nitrates still around 10 ppm with wc every 3 weeks... I have a big problems with diatoms so I been using Purigen, carbon and Phosfiltrum. But I reading about the Redox Balance and I'm thinking on taking out the chemical filtration.

    I been changing my cleaning procedures, because the high organic matter in my aquarium and that can be more food for the diatoms. I will test my gH and kH too control my REDOX.

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    Registered Member Luke in Phoenix's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhuls1 View Post
    I have been thinking, many do not seem to be noticing much of a difference with DR Kevin Novaks BCB's when running alongside nitrifying filtration systems. Thoughts?
    I've noticed a similar theme. When other nitrifiying media is removed, the BCB seems to work better. I'm going to remove my other media and monitor the results.

    Cheers, Luke

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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhuls1 View Post
    I have been thinking, many do not seem to be noticing much of a difference with DR Kevin Novaks BCB's when running alongside nitrifying filtration systems. the problem is that zeolite, which is what we use inside of the BCB, has an affinity for positively charged ions, such as ammonia. However, nitrite and nitrate are both negatively charged ions, hence why it does not remove nitrate directly. So, what if we were to replace the positive ion scavenging zeolite with a negative ion scavenging resin. This could than be run alongside any other type of filtration and remove nitrate through denitrification. Or, alternatively, use a mix of zeolite and a resin with an affinity for nitrate inside of a BCB. Could end up with, what I could call a supercharged BCB that directly remove ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. And this could still be ran alongside typical filtration systems. Thoughts?
    I’ve been reading your posts on water and I can tell you’ve really thought about this and you’ve done your homework. I’m wondering what resin would attract NO2/NO3? You would still need mechanical filtration. If we could get a group here to test, I could set up a 10 gal and if others wanted to, we could test your idea in the experimental section of SD. The best would be if we controlled for variables by using the same type of mechanical filter and other variables. The variables that we couldn’t control like variable pH would be good for fish hobbyist’s in general. You’ve peaked my interest anyway.
    Patty
    If the discus are happy, Iím happy

  12. #567
    Registered Member zhuls1's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pices View Post
    Iíve been reading your posts on water and I can tell youíve really thought about this and youíve done your homework. Iím wondering what resin would attract NO2/NO3? You would still need mechanical filtration. If we could get a group here to test, I could set up a 10 gal and if others wanted to, we could test your idea in the experimental section of SD. The best would be if we controlled for variables by using the same type of mechanical filter and other variables. The variables that we couldnít control like variable pH would be good for fish hobbyistís in general. Youíve peaked my interest anyway.
    Patty
    Anion resins will remove no2 and no3, I believe that mixing zeolite with the resin may create the ideal low oxygen conditions yet should, hopefully still attract no3. Really, I think the main question will be how well the resin will last, and whether it will deteriorate over time. Ammonia has a charge of +1 and nitrate has a charge of -1, so theoretically, the nitrate in the water should have the same "Pull" as ammonia provided you use the same quality of "Magnet", being the resin.
    Last edited by zhuls1; 06-25-2018 at 10:02 PM.

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    Registered Member zhuls1's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhuls1 View Post
    Anion resins will remove no2 and no3, I believe that mixing zeolite with the resin may create the ideal low oxygen conditions yet should, hopefully still attract no3. Really, I think the main question will be how well the resin will last, and whether it will deteriorate over time. Ammonia has a charge of +1 and nitrate has a charge of -1, so theoretically, the nitrate in the water should have the same "Pull" as ammonia provided you use the same quality of "Magnet", being the resin.
    Nevermind, I just realised the stupidity in that idea. Anyone who's good with chemistry can correct me, but the idea of using zeolite is to create a - charge. The idea of using the resins was to create a + charge. Now considering that the resin has a + charge and the zeolite has a - charge, assuming they are both the same strength, the net charge would be neutral meaning it will have no pull and wouldn't work. I still do believe this idea would work though, just using a simple gravel substrate mixed with the resin to create a + charge to attract anions. Than that could be ran alongside either Dr Kevin novaks BCB's or any other type of filtration. Just a stupid oversight that I had. quite annoyed that this didn't occur to me straight away, but still reasonably confident in its potential to work effectively. My main concern would be if it was to fill with "Junk" Ions, that is other anions that bacteria cannot remove. However, in saying that I would imagine the same would be true of the kitty litter/ zeolite BCB. I think I would just have to test it to find out. Could set up an experiment, 1 bucket with standard BCB and 1 bucket with my gravel/ resin mix BCB, then dose each of these with nitrate and monitor the nitrate levels. This experiment would have to span over the period of a few months to allow the bacteria to grow.

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    Registered Member farebox's Avatar
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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    Wow guys this is getting over my head. Chill and keep it simple as Dr. Novak intended it to be. But still love to read all this scientific stuff thou.

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    Default Re: DIY "Anoxic Filtration System" eliminates nitrates? Anyone tried this?

    Quote Originally Posted by zhuls1 View Post
    Nevermind, I just realised the stupidity in that idea. Anyone who's good with chemistry can correct me, but the idea of using zeolite is to create a - charge. The idea of using the resins was to create a + charge. Now considering that the resin has a + charge and the zeolite has a - charge, assuming they are both the same strength, the net charge would be neutral meaning it will have no pull and wouldn't work. I still do believe this idea would work though, just using a simple gravel substrate mixed with the resin to create a + charge to attract anions. Than that could be ran alongside either Dr Kevin novaks BCB's or any other type of filtration. Just a stupid oversight that I had. quite annoyed that this didn't occur to me straight away, but still reasonably confident in its potential to work effectively. My main concern would be if it was to fill with "Junk" Ions, that is other anions that bacteria cannot remove. However, in saying that I would imagine the same would be true of the kitty litter/ zeolite BCB. I think I would just have to test it to find out. Could set up an experiment, 1 bucket with standard BCB and 1 bucket with my gravel/ resin mix BCB, then dose each of these with nitrate and monitor the nitrate levels. This experiment would have to span over the period of a few months to allow the bacteria to grow.

    You are describing what is known as a 'mixed-bed deionizer'. Used for industrial scale preparation of pure water. Because the charges are isolated in the zeolite/resin they don't cancel each other out. My biggest issue is that ammonium has to displace the other ions in the zeolite for this 'draw' effect to happen. At a nominal zero concentration vs a 10 to 100 ppm concentration of other positively charged ions I don't understand the process by which this happens. I don't know the specific ion affinity but I don't love the 'magnet' analogy. Potassium, magnesium and calcium all have a higher affinity for strong acid resins than ammonium and a higher concentration when ammonia is 0ppm.

    This seems to work for the people that are trying it but I'm not convinced by some of the science behind it.

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