Biopellets

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by pixelpixi, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    I'm wondering what everyone's experience with biopellets is? Have they been effective at nitrate reduction for you?
     
  2. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Supporting Member

    I finally gave up on BioPellets after running them for a couple of years in a few different tanks. I was very reluctant to give them up. For the most part, they were an easy form of carbon dosing and my nitrates and phosphates were very low: 0.0 NO3 and 0.03 PO4. Adding them to an existing tank meant dealing with a cyno bloom. This was not an issue for my tanks, but could be a big problem for sensitive stony corals. This can be mitigated by starting out with a small amount and adding to it over time.

    That aside, the reason I gave up was bacterial blooms (white cloudy water). It only happened a few times, but once I got a bloom, the biopellets seemed to feed it and it would not go away without a lot of aggressive water changes and finally a UV filter. If nitrates again become an issue, I may add one back, but if I get a bloom, I will quickly turn on the UV filter and remove the biopellets.
     
  3. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    I've been running biopellets in my nano for about a year and a half. I started carbon dosing with vodka and vinegar, but moved to the biopellets shortly after. I've never had a problem with bacteria blooms, but I run only enough to keep my nitrates down, not nearly what is recommended for my tank.
     
  4. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Pellets schmellets...more, larger water changes!
     
  5. IMO the risks outweigh the benefits when it comes to biopellets, and as far as I am aware there has been no controlled experiment to show whether they work as promised.

    @pixelpixi have you looked into sulfur denitrators? From what I've seen they require less maintenance and has less potential to result in catastrophe.
     
  6. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    I'm of the believer that less is more. I'm all for minimizing variables in my aquaria adventures. If I can do without it, I'll do without it. :)
     
  7. grizfyrfyter

    grizfyrfyter Guest

    I recently looked into gfo vs biopellet systems. I decided to build an algae scrubber. Cheaper to set up, no maintenance cost if you plumb it into your overflow (i opted for a maxi jet 1200) and it seems to be the most natural way to do it.
     
  8. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Woohoo, another scrubber!
    IMO: If your problem is specifically Nitrates, nothing better.
     
  9. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    I'm definitely a fan of algal based filtration. If space is available, I recommend at least half the system volume be a refugium.
     
  10. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. (and sorry for being MIA). I did end up trying them and my nitrates are lower but I'm dealing with some cyano. I might think about setting up an algae scrubber or using chaeto instead. One issue I've always had with algal based solutions, though, is that once they become sufficiently effective the algae is then too deprived of nutrients and dies. Is there a solution to that?
     
  11. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Algae scrubbers are cleaned weekly, so will grow fast/slow according to nitrates. No issue with die-off.
    However, algae scrubbers are great at Nitrates, not phosphates. They help, but no miracle cure there.
    Big GFO reactor...
     

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