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Solid carbon dosing (biopellets) has recently become an extremely popular method of removing nitrates from the aquarium. The exact method of denitrification can be different for each tank but it mainly consists of a few things:
- Nitrate laden Bacteria is removed via the protein skimmer
- Bacteria directly converts nitrite into nitrous oxide so nitrate is never produced
- Bacteria consumes nitrates and processes them down into nitrogen gas
- Nitrate laden Bacteria is consumed by tank inhabitants like corals and sponges
Depending on the system it should take 4-8 weeks for the bacteria population to multiply and begin its work on your nitrates. Once you have the reactor going we suggest not making any adjustments for 8 weeks. Give the media and bacteria time to adjust to the parameters found in your tank and begin working. The absolute best advice we can give with this system is to set it up and forget about it for two months. Unless something is obviously not right, resist all temptation to make any changes until the two months are up.
BRS suggests 1 cup or 236 mL per 50 gallons of aquarium water
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Worked good until pump died By John on 1/18/2017John wouldn't recommend this product to a friendThe reactor worked well until the pump died after 16 months of operation. Since this is past the 1 year warranty, a replacement pump is currently selling for $120. Ouch.
Almost the best reactor out there By DanP on 1/11/2016DanP wouldn't recommend this product to a friendFirst off, I'm a big Skimz fan. I use the Leopard 183 skimmer on my 120g heavily stocked reef and it is a workhorse and easy to maintain.
I had high hopes for this reactor. Great build quality with a good controllable DC pump. Install and setup was a breeze and it looks great. It also tumbles the media nicely . . . when it's new. And therein lies the problem. The flow in this reactor first passes through a conical bottom plate with small perforation holes, then tumbles the media and then passes through a fine containment screen befor exiting the reactor. After a few weeks of use, the bottom plate and top screen become increasingly blocked by calcium and detritus build up and the pellets stop tumbling.
Cleaning the bottom plate requires removing the reactor from the sump, emptying all media, and then the plate is not removable so I resort to a vinegar soak and then using a long skewer to poke open the perforations in the cone. Quite a chore.
I've tried putting a pre filter on the pump but the problem persists and requires frequent breakdown to keep it in service.
I hope Skimz addresses the problem. I think slightly larger holes or slots in the bottom plate would go a long way toward extending time between maintenance cycles.