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Hi:

I have a well-stocked 90 gallon reef tank that is nearly 8 years old. While all my other water parameters are good, I do have a bit of a problem with nitrates and have been looking into getting a denitrator (used or new). However, like everything else in the hobby, there is a lot of contradictory recommendations. In the end, if I do buy a denitrator, I would like something that is safe and require a minimum amount of monitoring. Any advice or recommendations?

Thanks.

David
 

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Different ones you can do yourself. Sulfer denitrators work great and I can route you to an lfs that runs them. She can shoot you a descrption.
Or the vodka denitrator which I would honestly skip that and just dose the tank. No machine needed.
The most important thing is to find out where this problem is coming from. To many fish now=skimmer upgrade more water changes, or even your sandbed needs to be finally cleaned and refreshed
 

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I do not recommend denitrators because they usually rely on anaerobic bacteria to consume the nitrates. And therefore are difficult to setup, maintain, and keep running.

I do recommend macro algae in a refigium of turf algae in an algae turf scrubber to maintain nitrates. And phosphates. And ammonia. and carbon dioxide. While returning oxygen.

From what I hear some nitrates are actually beneficial especially in preventing cyano bacteria. Even read one thread on another forum where the poster had a seperate tank he fed ammonia to. So the tank would produce nitrates that were very pure. He then dosed those nitrates to his reef tank and sps type corals responded very well. But that was just one thread.

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You may want to look into Turf Scrubbers. I'm leaning that way for the same reason. I'm looking to reduce or eliminate skimming and want something to help keep my nitrates and phosphates down.

I think your other good option is refugium that is well stocked with macroalgae as Bob suggests.
 

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Thanks, I am not that familiar with Turf Scrubbers. Where can I get more info?

David
An algae truf scrubber is basically a screen with very close (therefore bright lights) to grow algae/cyano on. so you balance out the tank with the algae.

A Dr. Addy (or adey, or addey) in the book dynamic aquaria explains the concept and received a patent on the design. Also there are several threads on several boards started by user santa Monica showing turf scrubbers.


my .02
 

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Dr hank

Will have to look at that at home as pictures are blocked at work.


FWIW On my 55g mixed reef I had nitrates from 60-160ppm (api test kit) for the first couple of years or so. the I just crammed in an egg crate 3" in front of the back glass and added 2 4' 2 tube utility fixtures from home depot behind the tank pointing forward. In 3 weeks nitrates dropped to 0 and few months later phosphates also. I used grape and prolifera caulerpas. Which the two tangs would constantly graze on the parts that poked through the egg crate. Not to mention pods took off also.

That's not a true turf scrubber but the in tank use of plant live had the same effect.

Surprising how solutions can be really really easy and inexpensive with a little creative thinking.

my .02
 
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