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Thread: Sulfur Denitrator build.

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    Curious Reefer kgchampagne's Avatar
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    Sulfur Denitrator build.

    After reading several threads on the subject, I have decided to build a sulfur based nitrate reactor. I know there are a couple downsides, including reduced ALK, but I run a Kalk reactor and a Calcium reactor, and my alk tends to run high anyway (so does calcium). I don't have a huge nitrate problem, only running 2.5 ppm because of a small DSB and fuge. This is really an experiment more than anything, and I hope the non believers ("Amphibious") hang with me as I might come full circle and concede. If nothing else, I will try to document the build to the best of my ability. Here is the plan; a two chambered device, the larger one for the sulfur media and aragonite, the smaller for carbon, but here is the twist-rather than running the full 5 pounds of media as is recommended for my system size, I only want to run 1.5 to 2 pounds so that I don't zero out my nitrates and starve the system, thus killing the bacteria. If it works, great, if not, I guess I will have an spare reactor for the next experiment. If you want to talk me out of it, now is your chance.

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    Grand Master Reefer Amphibious's Avatar
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    First, I'm not a non believer in de-nitraters. They work when designed and operated correctly. The problem is, for me, they are too touchy to regulate and therefore unreliable. If you could set it and forget it, like I like my equipment to run (I'm a lazy procrastinator), and have it operate correctly, like a DSB, then I'd be in favor of them. But, they don't and I'm not.

    I would never talk a reefer out of experimenting with equipment because of what all can learn along the way. My question would be, with Nitrate at 2.5 ppm why would you want to reduce it? All systems have a need/use for small amounts of Nitrate and 2.5 ppm is near perfect, in my humble opinion. Even systems testing 0 ppm Nitrate have critters utilizing Nitrate as it is manifested in the system as a whole. Our hobby level test kits are not sensitive enough to register it but it is there as a trace element.

    But, build it, report to us (we'll be grateful) along the way. Maybe you will discover something new as you go. Best of luck to you.

    Dick
    Amphibious

    Good Luck comes to those who research and prepare.


    Our Talking Reef Forum The Cultured Reef Forum
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    Curious Reefer kgchampagne's Avatar
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    Sdn

    Thank you Dick, and I will post results, good or otherwise. As far as the 2.5 ppm question, fair enough. The bottom 1" of my DSB is black, and I know I will have to deal with that soon. Since it is remote, easy enough to take it offline and start over, but then I throw everything off balance for the period of time it takes to restart. Yes I can save the top sand, clean out the sulfur dioxide and re start the dsb, but that is not without risk (and work for that matter). I think I have the degassing automated, and the rest of the nitrate reactor designed as well. I like to tinker, and I would like to know that I have control over nitrates down to a measurable science, rather than it seeming to control me.

    Best regards,
    Ken

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    Crispy Reef Monkey **MOD** Phurst's Avatar
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    My dual coil denitrator is, as Ron Popiel would say, "set it and forget it".

    Definitely interested in seeing how this goes
    **KEEP ME AWAY FROM SUPER GLUE ... i tend to glue my lips shut !!**

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    Curious Reefer kgchampagne's Avatar
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    In the beginning

    Ok, here we go.left work a little early, here is the start. One three foot section of tubular plexiglass, about $8.00, one scrap of blue 1/4 " plate @$1.50/pound about $3.00 and one 3/8" plate of black, also about$3.00. A new glue needle, about 2 bucks.

    DSC02842.JPG
    cut the tube so that I have a 12" section (carbon) and a 24" section (sulfur & aragonite)

    DSC02843.JPG
    Cut the base plate and then rounded the corners

    DSC02847.JPG
    Cut four circles, then cut the center out of two of them.

    DSC02855.JPG

    drilled and taped intake holes and recirc holes

    Here is what I have learned from past projects in acrylic:
    1) Use plastic bits, they have a much steeper angle to the cut so the plastic doesn't ride up the bit at the end and shatter your work. But wear gloves just in case, because if it happens it will cut you, guaranteed.
    2) A hole saw will work if you go slow.
    3) If your edges are perfect, your joint will be stronger than either piece, so take the time to polish the edges, in this case, I used a rotating adhesive back sandpaper at 440 grit on a glass plate on a "work sharp" tool.
    4) The co-pay on my insurance is $150.00 to remove metal shavings from my eye, I would guess I would get the same deal on plastic.....safety glasses, about $10.00 for good ones. Seeing my wife every morning, priceless...sorry, I digress.
    DSC02850.JPG

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    Curious Reefer kgchampagne's Avatar
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    cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Phurst View Post
    My dual coil denitrator is, as Ron Popiel would say, "set it and forget it".

    Definitely interested in seeing how this goes
    Dual coil denitrator, I just like to say that. Makes you want to put your thumbs in your belt an sniff real hard.....Dual coil denitrator, sniff...I like it.

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    Curious Reefer kgchampagne's Avatar
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    Seems like a big reactor for 2 pounds of media, but I want to have room for lots of aragonite and by the time you have sponges and filter plates, seems about right.





    Here is the worksharp. Great tool for this, will give you an absolutely perfect flat edge polished to 3200 grit if you have the patience.


    DSC02853.JPG
    Here is a Kalk reactor I made, same process, just one chamber and different entry/exit points for the recirc.
    DSC02831.JPG

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    Crispy Reef Monkey **MOD** Phurst's Avatar
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    Hey, simple technology, but there's no denying it works

    That's some very nice fab work!
    **KEEP ME AWAY FROM SUPER GLUE ... i tend to glue my lips shut !!**

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    Assistant Moderator rayme07's Avatar
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    It looks nice very cool.
    Ray or Raymond
    There is no elevator to success in marine tanks. You have to take the stairs.


    Raymond's 30 gallon tank
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    Curious Reefer kgchampagne's Avatar
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    Progrss report

    Well it is moving along, here is the progress. I will order the sulfur today, guess I should have done that last week, you know, that J.O.B thing is really cutting into my project time. Anyway, getting close, still need to wet test it, but it should be good to go. I will feed it from a "T" off my refugium pump, and put the effluent back into the originating sump. Here are some pics....

    DSC02858.JPG

    DSC02863.JPG

    DSC02864.JPG

    DSC02851.JPG

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    Crispy Reef Monkey **MOD** Phurst's Avatar
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    Man, i am impressed. That is some fine craftsmanship. can't wait to see it in action.
    **KEEP ME AWAY FROM SUPER GLUE ... i tend to glue my lips shut !!**

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    Curious Reefer kgchampagne's Avatar
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    Still waiting

    Thank you Sir, I can't wait to see in action....it is taking fooorrrrrreeeever to get the sulfur beads. So I built a couple a couple of other little toys in the meantime.

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    Crispy Reef Monkey **MOD** Phurst's Avatar
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    Do share
    **KEEP ME AWAY FROM SUPER GLUE ... i tend to glue my lips shut !!**

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    Grand Master Reefer saltaddict's Avatar
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    Wow, you are pretty handy with the acrylic!

    I would love to have your shop set up - very nice.

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    Grand Master Reefer Amphibious's Avatar
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    kgchampagne,

    You have way too many tools, far too nice a shop and way too much knowledge.

    Wish it were all mine.

    Great work. Wanna go into production?

    Dick
    Amphibious

    Good Luck comes to those who research and prepare.


    Our Talking Reef Forum The Cultured Reef Forum
    My tank journal Amphibious' 135 mixed reef.
    The Cutured Reef toll free number - 888 745-0449




    Amblyeleotris randalli commonly, Randall's Goby.

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    Insightful Reefer tdkarl's Avatar
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    no doubt kgchampagne, i second Dick on that! What dont you have in that garage? What to build the sump I am designing? You look like your building comercial grade stuff.
    Tony K.
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    Building 110 gallon mixed reef tank, yahoo!!!!

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    Cool A purchased version, will it work

    Hello all, first time poster here. I was reading the thread and I do NOT have the skillset (or the tools ) to complete this type of project. I have a 75gal reef with a 40 gal sump/refugium. I keep mainly corals and I am board with water changes.

    I wanted to get into the Sulfur De-nitrinator for the ability to not have to change water so much and also to not be so darn particular when feeding my fish/corals (worry about waste/nitrates)

    I purchased 2 ViaQua Poly Reactors:
    ViaAqua Poly-Reactor (Multi-Media Reactor)

    and:
    CS0525 CaribSea A.R.M. Aragonite Reactor Media 1 $11.99
    CS0528 CaribSea L.S.M. Live Sulfur Media 1 Gallon 1 $19.99

    I wanted to know if this setup will work, I was going to start with a VERY small amount of Sulfur (1/3 filled) in the first chamber and 2/3rds filled ARM in the second chamber. I was going to start with a 1 drip/hr rate and adjust as necessary. (I run a 24hr PH monitor)

    I wanted to also know if anyone has heard any long term effects with running this setup, like Sulfur buildup in the main tank after months/years?

    I also had thought about putting 6 foot of tubing before the 1st chamber to let oxygen dissipate and a 6 foot tubing after the second chamber to make sure sulfur does not reach the main tank, is this over thinking it?

    Thank you for any help/suggestions, I will send pictures after the setup is complete.

    Gary

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    Curious Reefer kgchampagne's Avatar
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    Ta Dahh!

    So here it is, up and running, finally. I had to weld a bracket for it because my calcium reactor was one inch too long and it wouldn't fit. I went with 3.5 lbs of sulfur and have it dripping at one drop per second as of this morning. I built a couple of calcium reactors for some folks who couldn't find what they were looking for so that kept me going while I was waiting for the sulfur. I ordered full bead sulfur, instead of the "chipped" or split pea stuff I could find at the lfs. Glad I did, seems very dense and of the highest quality compared to the other stuff. No change in nitrates over the last couple of weeks, so I have a good baseline to report from.




    DSC02916s.JPG

    DSC02915s.JPG

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    Crispy Reef Monkey **MOD** Phurst's Avatar
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    Excellent work

    Please keep us informed as to how it's going.
    **KEEP ME AWAY FROM SUPER GLUE ... i tend to glue my lips shut !!**

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    Curious Reefer kgchampagne's Avatar
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    Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphibious View Post
    kgchampagne,

    You have way too many tools, far too nice a shop and way too much knowledge.

    Wish it were all mine.

    Great work. Wanna go into production?

    Dick
    Yeah, I seemed to have collected more than the average screw driver set over the years. As far as production... sure, I wouldn't mind doing a couple of these a month. I have insomnia, so this is where I am at 3:00 am. (neighbors love me, really)

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    Crispy Reef Monkey **MOD** Phurst's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity, what would a smaller version of something like that run?
    **KEEP ME AWAY FROM SUPER GLUE ... i tend to glue my lips shut !!**

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    Curious Reefer kgchampagne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongor View Post
    Hello all, first time poster here. I was reading the thread and I do NOT have the skillset (or the tools ) to complete this type of project. I have a 75gal reef with a 40 gal sump/refugium. I keep mainly corals and I am board with water changes.

    I wanted to get into the Sulfur De-nitrinator for the ability to not have to change water so much and also to not be so darn particular when feeding my fish/corals (worry about waste/nitrates)

    I purchased 2 ViaQua Poly Reactors:
    ViaAqua Poly-Reactor (Multi-Media Reactor)

    and:
    CS0525 CaribSea A.R.M. Aragonite Reactor Media 1 $11.99
    CS0528 CaribSea L.S.M. Live Sulfur Media 1 Gallon 1 $19.99

    I wanted to know if this setup will work, I was going to start with a VERY small amount of Sulfur (1/3 filled) in the first chamber and 2/3rds filled ARM in the second chamber. I was going to start with a 1 drip/hr rate and adjust as necessary. (I run a 24hr PH monitor)

    I wanted to also know if anyone has heard any long term effects with running this setup, like Sulfur buildup in the main tank after months/years?

    I also had thought about putting 6 foot of tubing before the 1st chamber to let oxygen dissipate and a 6 foot tubing after the second chamber to make sure sulfur does not reach the main tank, is this over thinking it?

    Thank you for any help/suggestions, I will send pictures after the setup is complete.

    Gary
    Gary, the technology is the same, and I agree with you on the small amount of sulfur. After reading other posts it seemed to me that the "recommended" volume of sulfur was being over colonized and then died off when the nitrate levels bottomed out. I am trying to reduce, but not eliminate nitrates in my system. (which arguably could not be done, because the cycle is recurring, but you know what I mean). I also did the same thing with long tube runs, especially on the feed side to reduce oxygen. Once I increase flow rates I don't think it will really do much. Really, the only difference between your setup and mine was that I added carbon to the second chamber.

    You know what though, if you are keeping mostly coral, and don't like doing water changes, why don't you automate that? Best thing I ever did. Turn one valve, wait 30 seconds, turn another, wait 35 seconds....done. I do my water changes in a suit and tie while I'm waiting for the first cup of coffee to brew. I have set up a couple different versions of this for other folks and it really is easy. I have also tried full automation (no valve turning) but it made me too nervous, and I went back to the valves.

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    Curious Reefer kgchampagne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltaddict View Post
    Wow, you are pretty handy with the acrylic!

    I would love to have your shop set up - very nice.
    Thank you. I went back and looked at the pics I posted trying to figure out what people saw about my shop that was eliciting the comments, I will take a pic of the "rest of the shop" and then I will have to explain what that is all about.....

    Acrylic work is pretty much straight forward, it either cracks or it doesn't, and most really sharp woodworking and metal working tools work well. I usually work with wood, so its kind of fun to do something different.

  24. #24
    Curious Reefer kgchampagne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phurst View Post
    Out of curiosity, what would a smaller version of something like that run?
    Sulfur, just less of it....

    Just kidding, I'll send you a PM.

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    Insightful Reefer tdkarl's Avatar
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    Can you please explain what each thing on that shelf to the left does? JK
    Tony K.
    ------------------
    Building 110 gallon mixed reef tank, yahoo!!!!

    This message was posted using recycled electrons.

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