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Thread: My Nitrate removal system is working😀

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    Registered Member 14Discus's Avatar
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    Default My Nitrate removal system is working😀

    My 75gallon Discus tank has perfect NH3 and NO2 levels I'm happy to say. The NO3 levels, however, were too high at 40-60ppm. I decided to try floating algae scrubbers by Santa-Monica Filtration in CA. While their site focuses on saltwater systems in their videos, I have these same units doing great with my freshwater 55g community tank, 75g Discus tank, and even in my 400g basement Koi pond used in the winter months. Be it known, I do not work for or represent this company in the least, but have to share the wonderful biological news.

    My Nitrates have now dropped to 20-30ppm in the last three weeks Do also understand that the white cross-like pieces (cut latch-hook backing 1/8" squares roughened up w sandpaper) were added by me to increase the surface area for algal growth to attach to.....in addition to the yarn pieces that are attached to the unit bottoms as purchased. Please also realize that doing these does NOT increase the algae in the tank. In fact, by design, they do the opposite and actually rob the tank of NO3 used to grow algae in the tank. My algae in the tank has also been noticeably reduced. Btw.....my floating "surf" units are in my sumps, but could easily float on the tank water as well.

    Since I'm a retired biology teacher goon, this kind of stuff really gets me going. One other real interesting thing about using these is the behavioral changes in the Discus fish themselves. Instead of being a bit nippy and territorial, they are noticeably more docile. I sincerely feel that lowering my NO3 levels has lowered much of my fish stress.

    I found that finger removal of algae strings and globs was difficult and tedious, so I leave the unit floating in the water with aeration on, lift the light lids, and lift the algae upward w a toothbrush. This removes the globs, but leaves growing algae in the unit to start again until next harvest in 2/3 weeks.

    I realize that these units are pricey, but think about it. We spend large amounts of $ on fish, tanks, regular Filtration, chemicals, food and the like. Spending $ to ensure lower Nitrate levels is indeed logical.......it least it is to me. If you have questions, please post or pm me. I want the same success for you that I'm now enjoying. IMG_3225.jpg
    IMG_3224.jpg

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    Registered Member 14Discus's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Nitrate removal system is working😀

    Right after I posted the post above, I went into the fish room and voila.....they were all just hovering peacefully whereas before, there would be a few here and there scatttered throughout the tank occasionally chasing, nipping, claiming territory, etc.

    IMG_3226.jpg

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    Default Re: My Nitrate removal system is working😀

    so what is your water change schedule like?

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    Registered Member 14Discus's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Nitrate removal system is working😀

    My WC is 50% every seven to ten days. I occasionally do it in five days. I will always do WCs even if the Nitrates get to 5. There are those out there who say that lowering the Nitrates would mean potentially fewer WCs, but I'm not among them. Most of my fish are larger and I closely control feedings.
    Last edited by 14Discus; 12-14-2018 at 11:47 PM.

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    Default Re: My Nitrate removal system is working😀

    Nice to know. I do 80% daily on 75's

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    Default Re: My Nitrate removal system is working😀

    Glad it is working for you. I built an algae scrubber for one of my mbuna tanks and it has been running for about 2 years. I built a 5'x6" long shallow tray resting on top of the bracing, the water from one canister return goes in one short end, runs over the plastic canvas and falls back down the tank from the other. As you say it reduces nitrates but not completely, stickibg with daily wc at least until my discus are at least 2 years old, after that I may build one for the discus tank too and change water a little less often. I have also been wondering if it would be possible to grow some daphnia in the algae scrubbers
    My discus are not fat...just big fish-boned

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    Default Re: My Nitrate removal system is working😀

    Nice addition to the overall maintenance and filtration Bill.
    Your Nitrates were pretty high before you've add the scrubber and I guess that's why you've seen the positive change in your discus behaviour . I always try to stay below 20 ppm Of No3 in my discus tanks .

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    Default Re: My Nitrate removal system is working😀

    It's about nitrates when your caring about WC. your discus loves stability , no fluctuations. So don't do unnecessary WC if your nitrates are low. Don't be a slave to your hobby . Enjoy your discus and know your nitrates trends...only u know ...we tell novices to do alot of WC with discus to be safe , but veterans know when by understanding their own bioload and nitrate level.

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    Default Re: My Nitrate removal system is working😀

    Awesome discus ...btw

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    Default Re: My Nitrate removal system is working😀

    I love new things like these! would the scrubber affect live plants in a negative way?

    ALso, can you show us more pictures of your scrubber? I'm interested in replicating one.

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    Moderator Team Paul Sabucchi's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Nitrate removal system is working😀

    No idea how it would affect plants (mine is on an mbuna tank so just rocks) but some say it helps to prevent algae in the tank taking a hold so keeping the plants "clean".
    Anyway there is a good forum dedicated to algae scrubbers http://algaescrubber.net/forums/
    There it describes the two main types of scrubbers, the uplift ones (like the one above) and the waterfall type, that has to be fitted over a sump. I have actually made a kind of my own, it is an "overhead" scrubber that sits on top of the tank bracing, it is a 5' long 6" wide shallow tray to hold the plastic canvas, the water comes in from the far end from the return of one of the canister filters, flows over the plastic canvas and then falls down in the tank from the other end. The red and blue LEDs are the plant stymulating kind
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    Last edited by Paul Sabucchi; 01-11-2019 at 11:54 AM.
    My discus are not fat...just big fish-boned

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    Default Re: My Nitrate removal system is working😀

    Just an update.......after adding a refugium in my sump, the nitrates have dropped to between 0-5. I use water sprite for the refugium and constantly trim the overgrown greenery leaving the massive root system to grab those nitrates.

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    Default Re: My Nitrate removal system is working😀

    glad you are having success. i tried water lettuce in my sump, didn't help my nitrate levels.

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    Default Re: My Nitrate removal system is working😀

    holy crap...you weren't kidding about them being expensive!!!!

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