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Author Topic: Running TLF Phosban 550 reactor with 400ml NPX Bioplastics  (Read 20149 times)
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reefman66
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tang smasher


« on: 04/22/11 »

Ok I started using NPX Bioplastics pellets today. I had wanted to do this for a long time and now I have the opportunity since my tank is kindda out of whack. The back ground is I have a 120DD that is 8 years old. I have been battling a little bit of cyano and lots of hair algae for the past 6 month or so. My algae growth has been on rocks only and every week I would manually pull out of the rocks in small pile. My nitrates were through the roof which I attribute to using homemade fish food. I have a heavy bioload of corals (right now mix of everything) and 8 fish. I feed once a day with now frozen food did away with the homemade stuff. Once or twice a week have nori on clips. I have done a ton of reading on this. So I wanted to come here and tell of my experience as it happens.

Iíve done my water change this past Wednesday and my parameters are as follows:

Did not test for Ammonia or Nitrite
Salinity is 1.025 refractor meter
Temp 78 - 81
Calcium 440 API test kit
Mag 1470-1500 Salifert test kit
Alk 8 DKH API test kit
Phosphates 0 API test kit
Nitrates 20 or 30 API test kit

I have an ETS Reef Devil downdraft skimmer; I am using 400ml of TLF NPX Bioplastics in a TLF Phosban 550 reactor. I am using a RIO 2100 pump to run this. I started them at 2pm today. I have a nice amount of tumble after dialing in the pump. The collection cup of my skimmer is plumbed to a 1 gallon milk jug, if necessary I can add bigger container.

I will post updates as time goes on and will check levels again next week. Any suggestions to anything I say here please feel free to give them. It is a learning experience and I want to get the most out of the pellets



Nitrate test


Phosphate test






Video


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I must be pretty talented to have a wet thumb and a green thumb. Corals and Hair Algae growing nicely!
BigCase
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« Reply #1 on: 04/22/11 »

Looks great A keep us updated on the progress
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houndsbayman
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« Reply #2 on: 04/23/11 »

very interested in how this works out for your tank. thanks for sharing.
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Ento_Reefer
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« Reply #3 on: 04/23/11 »

This sounds really interesting. Please do keep us posted on how this works out for you.
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reefman66
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tang smasher


« Reply #4 on: 04/24/11 »

Thanks guys for looking and showing interest.  I will update as often as I can, especially any changes to the tank.
 
These are before pics of the problem areas. Pictures are the best that I can take with my Iphone.










« Last Edit: 08/29/11 by reefman66 » Logged

I must be pretty talented to have a wet thumb and a green thumb. Corals and Hair Algae growing nicely!
reefman66
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tang smasher


« Reply #5 on: 04/24/11 »

These are pics of some of the corals.  For some reason some of the acros lost some of its color.  Iím not sure if itís because of the water parameter or my bulbs are going bad.  Guessing itís time to change the bulbs.
   





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I must be pretty talented to have a wet thumb and a green thumb. Corals and Hair Algae growing nicely!
reefman66
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tang smasher


« Reply #6 on: 04/29/11 »

One week update:

Itís been a week and no significant changes to anything in the tank yet.  However, the water got a little hazy (not as clear as normal) on day 2 and 3.  On the 4th day it clear up and back to normal.
 
No new patches of HA nor old ones getting any larger or longer.  Small patches of cyno still there as well.
 
However, with the cheap API Nitrate test kit, it seems the color on the end result has gotten lighter from 30ppm to maybe 20ppm, no telling.  I went ahead and bought a new Hagen/Nutrafin test kit as well and that show 0-.5 as the end result.  These kits are not expired but, Iím not sure if any of the Nitrate test kits are any good.  I donít want to keep buying test these kits.  So, Iím policing everyone who is reading this thread. What is a better test kit for testing Nitrate? Thanks for your help.   

my water parameters are as follows:

Did not test for Ammonia or Nitrite

Salinity is 1.025 refractor meter
Temp 81
Calcium 440 API test kit
Mag 1470-1500 Salifert test kit
Alk 9 DKH API test kit
Phosphates 0 API test kit
Nitrates looking to be 20 on the API test kit but, 5 on the Hagen/Nutrafin

Nitrate


Nitrate Hagen/Nutrafin


Skimmer


TLF 550 as of 29 Apr 11

« Last Edit: 05/07/11 by reefman66 » Logged

I must be pretty talented to have a wet thumb and a green thumb. Corals and Hair Algae growing nicely!
Rosti
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« Reply #7 on: 04/29/11 »

I have being very happy with Red Seaís Nitrate & Phosphate Pro Test Kits, but it's very low range.
http://redseafish.com/index.aspx?id=4225

http://delreefclub.org/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3475.0;attach=2136;image
« Last Edit: 04/29/11 by Rosti » Logged

THE most important component of a coral reef aquarium is a deep sand bed. Dr. Ron Shimek
reefman66
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tang smasher


« Reply #8 on: 04/29/11 »

I have being very happy with Red Sea’s Nitrate & Phosphate Pro Test Kits, but it's very low range.
http://redseafish.com/index.aspx?id=4225

http://delreefclub.org/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3475.0;attach=2136;image

Thank you Rosti. I'll check it out.
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I must be pretty talented to have a wet thumb and a green thumb. Corals and Hair Algae growing nicely!
Hudzon
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« Reply #9 on: 04/29/11 »

I have being very happy with Red Seaís Nitrate & Phosphate Pro Test Kits, but it's very low range.
http://redseafish.com/index.aspx?id=4225

http://delreefclub.org/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=3475.0;attach=2136;image
I 2nd the new red sea max test kits that are part of their new reef program packages are tops and the Nitrate and Phosphate pro kits use a color wheel and two vials one being a control. So you are using your tank water and light source for the control and reagent sample I feel it makes for a much more acurate test.
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reefman66
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tang smasher


« Reply #10 on: 05/02/11 »

Update 2 May 11:

Took a look at the tank this morning and notice it was little hazy.  It was not due to the water, it was due to thin film or mulm coating the inside of the tank.  Scrape the glass off with the algae scraper and the tank is back to normal.

The skimmer is running dry so, there lots of dark mucky muck instead of tea color water.  The drain container has about half an inch more of dark mucky muck in it.  Iím guessing the skimmer is doing its job.

Also had to stop the reactor for a few minute to clean off the excess mulm coating/blocking of the plastic grid that slow down the tumbling of the pellets, it didnít stop, but slow it way down.  After I clean the grid and hook it back up, the reactor tumbling is still pretty slow.  Iím not sure if itís due to bacteria coating the pellets and weight it way down or due to excess mulm in the systems.

The video below show the reactor at first hook up and 10 days later. And the skimmer with excess skimming.

Video: Reactor on 22 Apr 11


Video: Reactor on 2 May 11


Pic: Skimmer on 2 May 11

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I must be pretty talented to have a wet thumb and a green thumb. Corals and Hair Algae growing nicely!
Hudzon
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« Reply #11 on: 05/02/11 »

getting a coating like that may require a full skimmer cleaning more often too, you may be getting a lot of foaming but if it could be impending the rise and fall into the collection cup
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reefman66
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tang smasher


« Reply #12 on: 05/02/11 »

Believe me I don't usually let it gunk up like that for long before I clean the column. Your right I will be thoroughly cleaning it all the time. That's OK as long as my tank is up to par.
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I must be pretty talented to have a wet thumb and a green thumb. Corals and Hair Algae growing nicely!
Gordonious
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« Reply #13 on: 05/03/11 »

I get a lot more skimmate when I clean the neck of the skimmer 12 times a day.(every 2 hours)  Well it isn't me physically doing it I set up one of these:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxrHOSvaWb4

Do you the strainer on the MaxiJet?  If not install it right away and clean it often.  If you have hair algae and it is slowly dieing off lose bits will end up in the pump and reactor.  It's a lot easier to clean the strainer on the maxijet then it is to clean the screen at the bottom of the bio pellets. 

Part of the slowing down could also be from the biopellets clumping together a little bit, but I am not sure there is much you could do about that besides obtaining more flow.  I wonder if anyone has randomly injected air into a bio pellet reactor...

Depending on how much you feed and what your other maintenance/equipment is you may end up having to clean the glass move often.  Cleaning the glass move often and having to keep an eye on your corals more closely to make sure they are not showing ill effects... good time to look into one of these:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na9m90cfaE0  Never been easier to keep a close on your polyps and a lot cheaper then an expensive camera. 
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reefman66
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tang smasher


« Reply #14 on: 05/03/11 »

I was looking at that swabbie too. Just can't do the funds thing right now. Mean while little elbow grease won't hurt any one, well, not really elbow grease just a wipe down. Plus it's a labor of love.

I tried the TLF 550 with the maxijet 1200, but it's not powerfull enough. I swiched to Rio 2100 and it working very well. I read on RC and TFP and it said to use 300-500 gph pump to do pellets on TLF 550.

The pellets are not clumping at all. It tumbling right along, just not as fast as it was when I first installed it. Maybe it's the bottom screen that is cloging the flow like you said. I clean the top screen along with the pump, but didn't want to mess with taking the whole thing off line and deal with dead bacteria or start from the begining again. It's tumbling with out dead spots, just slow. If it does go slow enough to where there a dead spots and clumping, I will take the whole thing out and clean it.

I've slow down on feeding the fish and the corals. I don't know why on day 10 there was a build up on the glass and there's no build up today at all. The water is clear and the corals, I'm guessing they're happy, no noticable changes to them yet or anything else in the tank.   
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I must be pretty talented to have a wet thumb and a green thumb. Corals and Hair Algae growing nicely!
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