Bio pellet help/Question

tynman

New member
Has anyone using bio pellets have them all float up to the reactor and stay there? They just stopped tumbling. I have been using them since Aug 20, 2011, so about a month now. They were tumbling very nicely and then I checked to see how they are doing and they where all floating together. They are not clumped up together. I opened the reactor and took a stick and sturd them up to make sure they werent stuck together and they all fell to the bottom. I turned the water back on to it and they all floated back up to the top again. Does anyone know why? I am using the tlf reactor and BRS pellets.
 
Perhaps due to Nitrogen gas produced by bacteria which may adhear to the pellets. Reactors used for research have a port tube to allow N2 gas produced from bacterial respiration to vent off.

It could be from CO2 gas produced by bacterial respriation as well. ;)
 

tynman

New member
Perhaps due to Nitrogen gas produced by bacteria which may adhear to the pellets. Reactors used for research have a port tube to allow N2 gas produced from bacterial respiration to vent off.

It could be from CO2 gas produced by bacterial respriation as well. ;)

So is there a way I could fix it? Or make it stop flooting to the top? I have been hitting the reactior to make them drop and then once I turn the water flow back on they just flot back to the top...
 
I suspect that the bacteria producing N2 gas are not directly on the surface of the pellets and are in crevises where anaeriobic respiration takes place. Perhaps these bacteria are deeper within biofilms (anaerobic conditions) as well which can be on the surface. This means the N2 gas will build up before it can leave and make the pellets more boyant. The only easy solution would be to jar the pellets to allow the gas to escape. You could increase flow, but IMHO this may be counter-productive in that it can sluff-off bacteria too quickly and reduce nitrate reduction. ;)
 

tynman

New member
I suspect that the bacteria producing N2 gas are not directly on the surface of the pellets and are in crevises where anaeriobic respiration takes place. Perhaps these bacteria are deeper within biofilms (anaerobic conditions) as well which can be on the surface. This means the N2 gas will build up before it can leave and make the pellets more boyant. The only easy solution would be to jar the pellets to allow the gas to escape. You could increase flow, but IMHO this may be counter-productive in that it can sluff-off bacteria too quickly and reduce nitrate reduction. ;)

I have no more flow to give the pump is open all the way. It normally is open about 80 to 85 % and they were tumbling fine. I was thinking about getting a new reactor the reef octopus hang off the sump
http://coralvue.com/reef-octopus-hang-on-biopellet-reactors/
But it hurts to spend the $135 and not know if it will fix the problem.. So you are saying to put the pellets into a jar or something and just let them sit there? Or should I rinse them in RODI water and see it that will help? I just dont know what to do and I dont want the nitrates and phos to build up again and give me more problems like I had when I first went to the biopellets. I even had red slime algea that I had to treat a few days ago cause it was getting out of hand. I think that came from losing power for 24 hours during the storm and also going to the bio pellets at the same time so my nitrates and my phos went up passed my normal readings. I even lost a lot of sps...
 
No, you don't need to remove the biopellets and rinse them unless they are sticking together.

Perhaps when electricity went off, the biopellets went anaerobic & produced a lot more N2 gas. If this is the case, it should correct itself back to more aerobic conditions now that the flow has been restored. I would not do anything drastic except to tap the reactor when the pellets float and see how things may change given ample time. ;)

FWIW, anaerobic conditions will produce more N2 gas, like when the reactor was not running with the same water in it during the power outage.

Edited bold print
 
I might add that it does take some time for bacteria to change population levels when things change from anaerobic to aerobic conditions or vice versa. Different species of bacteria will need to develop which will occur but it will take time.
 

tynman

New member
No, you don't need to remove the biopellets and rinse them unless they are sticking together.

Perhaps when electricity went off, the biopellets went anaerobic & produced a lot more N2 gas. If this is the case, it should correct itself back to more aerobic conditions now that the flow has been restored. I would not do anything drastic except to tap the reactor when the pellets float and see how things may change given ample time. ;)

FWIW, anaerobic conditions will produce more N2 gas, like when the reactor was not running with the same water in it during the power outage.

Edited bold print

I just opened the reactor and gave the pellets a good ster and made sure that the reactor tubs were all lined up I put the flow on very slowly and they are tumbling for now...
Do you think I should spend the money for that bio pellet reactor?
 
Reactors are pretty much the same except for size and the size of the pump. You don't need much flow, just enough to keep the bacteria from gluing the pellets together. Too much flow is counterproductive and will reduce bacteria growth & reproduction.

I believe hobbyists put too much emphasis on water flow in many cases lending to too much flow. I would start with just enough flow to make the pellets move slightly, not too much. If the pellets get glued together, than rinse the pellets with fresh salt water and increase flow a bit. Do this until you don't get the pellets gluing together. ;)

The goal is to get the bacteria to grow as quickly as possible and reproduce at a maximum rate, which is at lower flow rates.

If your reactor holds enough of the biopellets that you need for your size system, then you should be fine. ;)
 
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