bio-pellet users

NyReefNoob

skimmer freak
OK i see alot of threads in regards to the use of bio-pellets. So i figured i would post my thoughts, opinions and usage of them, This is a imo thread, as i am not a scientist, but going from what i have seen from my usage, I am by no means a expert in chemistry either. OK now that's out of the way.

I have been using the pellets for 8 months or so now, I started with the vertex brand and got 500 ml of the pellets as well as the vertex uf-15 reactor. I never really had phosphate issue's or nitrate issue's. My reason for wanting to use them was i use to vodka dose and would miss a day here and there, plus wanting to cut out the use of phosban and carbon. Since day one when i started i stopped using phosban and carbon. I never got the bacterial bloom. { OK i did once when i started mixing vinegar with my kalkwasser and it caused a bloom from too much of a carbon source being dosed into the tank }. My tank water stays crystal clear and no algae issue's, i only need to clean my glass once a week or so.

In the amount thats recommended for usage is where my opinion comes in. i don't believe x amount for x amount of water volume is needed. i think more so the amount is determined by the amount of phos and trates you have. My reasoning for this is, your only putting so much flow through this reactor so tank size wouldn't matter in the amount of pellets used, but the levels your trying to reduce would matter, with only x amount of pellets the phos and trates will only be consumed at x rate. so for someone with a higher levels you might need more pellets, but do believe in only starting with the 500ml and raise the amount over a few weeks. don't think you would ever need to go beyond the 1000ml's.

OK how are they suppose to tumble and what flow rate ? well i use a mj1200 to feed my reactor, also had it feed off my return pump manifold before as well. so if i had to guess how much flow i am using would be around 200 gph, mj1200 is dialed back as well. Being able to get all the pellets to tumble is from what i have seen the best use of them as it lets the pellets grind and knock off the bacteria which the grind also helps release the carbon source. i have tried a really heavy tumble and a slow complete tumble and cant say that either or worked better. After 8 months i am now about halfway through my initial 500ml, a recent check read 0 trates with salifert, and .003 phosphates with hanna meter. i will add another 250 ml in a month or so.

Where to have the outlet from the pellets go ? I have the outlet right next to my skimmer pump intake, or did till i went with a recirc skimmer, but the feed for my skimmer is off my return manifold, so half the water goes to tank and the other half is feed into my skimmer. I cant say my skimmer produces any better or worse since using them.

I do run a UV on my system and it is plumbed into my return, so this could either be a benefit factor or not, don't know was using it before i started the pellets. I don't run filter socks, { don't have room } and they clogged way to fast for me. I clean my sump every few months anyways. I am running ruble rock in the baffles in my sump as well, which i think serve as more filtration.

I do have allot of fish in my tank and do feed 3 cubes of frozen daily and don't rinse it, I do drain all the liquid though, as well as every other day i feed flake or pellets along with the frozen.

I do and have always ran very efficient skimmers that are work horse's.

I do have a sps dominated tank, as well as some zoa's and a few lps, none of my corals have had issue's since i started using the pellets, and matter of fact my lps have their tentacles out most of the time.

I see alot of people quickly point to the pellets if they are having issue's and have yet had anyone who is properly using them really prove that the pellets was the issue. Can they cause issue's ? Yes they can just like any other products. I have never had a issue with alk from the usage of the pellets, No rtn, no nothing. well except awesome growth and colors on my corals

So my over all opinion on them ? I absolutely love them, Love not having to change out carbon and phosban, nor having to buy it. this has saved me $ since the use, My initial investment has been paid for with not having to buy the other items. Do i suggest for you to use them ? NO ! The one thing i have found over the years is people want to know but don't want to do. meaning i can tell someone exactly how i did what ever and they will do it slightly different then not have same results and get mad. So therefor i never really recommend using any products off my advice lol unless it is a skimmer.

Please if adding to the thread, no bashers, or that it is snake oil ect. But would like to hear your theory or acclomplishments with it, or what you think might caused a problem, BTW this isnt a over night remedy and wont cure all tanks of phos or trates, who knows your rock or sand might be saturated and not allowing the pellets to get you where you want them to get you
 

hogben

New member
I didn't know they could replace running activated carbon. Is it because they are made of carbon?
 

NyReefNoob

skimmer freak
no not made of carbon, but same if you ever dosed with a carbon source { not the media } how your tank goes crytal clear shortly afterwards. the pellets seam to be keeping it as a small constant dose of carbon source.

want to point out what i said in beginning

This is a imo thread, as i am not a scientist, but going from what i have seen from my usage, I am by no means a expert in chemistry either.

lol give me a broken car and i can do magic
 

bertoni

Premium Member
I would keep using activated carbon with the pellets. Carbon can adsorb a wide range of organic compounds, which is a useful feature.
 

jdegrasse

New member
Nice post!

+1 with Jonathan. Activated carbon is not a bacterial food source -- it acts as a sponge for dissolved organic compounds. The carbon source in bio-pellets do not absorb DOCs, but act solely as a food source for bacteria (replacing the GFO/phosban which, like activated carbon, acts as a sponge). In fact, my guess is that the bacteria that feed on bio-pellets probably adds to the total DOC content in the water since bacteria secrete a plethora of DOCs (antibiotics, metabolites, communication peptides... etc).

That said, your set-up seems to work. If you ever have an issue in the future, then the first thing I'd do is add activated carbon to the set-up.
 

NyReefNoob

skimmer freak
yeah i had thought of still using active carbon, but havent seen the need to do so yet and it's been 8 months + since using them and not using carbon or phosban, i do run a monster skimmer. btw i also have 3 6"+ clams that help some with filtration, as well as thinking the clams are being fed from this also. i actually will be using the npx brand when i add to my pellets, from the origanal vertex pellets, had a good deal on these and didnt have to order them only reason going to add this brand
 

gary faulkner

New member
I have been using the WM EcoBak pellets for about 6 weeks now and they are working great. I have lowered both my no3 and po4. Like you I started slow with only 500ml of pellets and added another 500 after 2 weeks and added another 500 after 6 weeks. My system should be running 1750ml per manufactures instructions. I have been able to stop running GFO also.

HTH
 

RegalAngel

New member
Nice post!

+1 with Jonathan. Activated carbon is not a bacterial food source -- it acts as a sponge for dissolved organic compounds. The carbon source in bio-pellets do not absorb DOCs, but act solely as a food source for bacteria (replacing the GFO/phosban which, like activated carbon, acts as a sponge). In fact, my guess is that the bacteria that feed on bio-pellets probably adds to the total DOC content in the water since bacteria secrete a plethora of DOCs (antibiotics, metabolites, communication peptides... etc).

That said, your set-up seems to work. If you ever have an issue in the future, then the first thing I'd do is add activated carbon to the set-up.



Actually, with the Hiatt method, the use of Tri Based Pelletized Carbon and Right Now Bacteria, the RN bacteria do use part of the TBPC as a food source.

This is the same idea as with the Bio Pellets.

http://www.hdltd.com/
 

jdegrasse

New member
Actually, with the Hiatt method, the use of Tri Based Pelletized Carbon and Right Now Bacteria, the RN bacteria do use part of the TBPC as a food source.

This is the same idea as with the Bio Pellets.

http://www.hdltd.com/

Very interesting -- didn't know about this product. I may have to try the TBPC when I exhaust my inventory. If it works, then it simplifies the filtration system dramatically.
 

110galreef

New member
you mention PO4 of .003? did you mean .03 or are you measuring it with the
HI 736, thus getting a reading of 1ppb and converted to .003 PO4?

I have the HI 736 and love the really low reading opposed to the HI 713. Also I wonder if some of your success is due to not running activated carbon with the pellets. Hmmmm
 

NyReefNoob

skimmer freak
maybe with not using the active carbon it is allowing a foor source for my corals, not positive, all i know is i have read alot of post if reguards to positive and negitive use of the pellets and figured if i broke it down into exactly how i am using them and having success thus far with them, it might help other's or give a different view of them, i watched the threads for a long time before i jumped into using them, same as when i vodka dosed. if my water wasnt so clear and not having to hardly clean glass i might have went to using the active carbon but havent needed too
 

110galreef

New member
what are you measuring the PO4 with? What were ur PO4 & nitrates prior to pellets? What is ur alk & cal at now? How is coral growth & colors compared to before? Also what all & how are you feeding fish and or corals?
Thanks
 

110galreef

New member
btw great post & info. I have been studying these too for a while now. Really hope to see great promise in them.
 

RegalAngel

New member
Very interesting -- didn't know about this product. I may have to try the TBPC when I exhaust my inventory. If it works, then it simplifies the filtration system dramatically.


I am a past user of this method. It takes alot of carbon and very high flow closed loop system with surface agitation. You will get an increase in CO2 with this method also.

Unfortunately, the carbon fines from the multiple large containers was difficult to contain, and got into the water column and substrate. This created terrible HLLE for angels and tangs....see this for more on GAC in a reactor:

http://www.coralmagazine-us.com/content/hlle-and-activated-carbon-looking-link

I no longer use this method and I use no carbon.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
I don't think there's any evidence of activated carbon being used by bacteria, even in that particular commercial product. Activated carbon might make a reasonable substrate for bacteria, although I agree that carbon dust can be an issue if there's enough of it.
 

NyReefNoob

skimmer freak
bio-pellets

bio-pellets

was checked with a hanna checker and sorry was .03 phos was around .1 before useage, cal and alk have always been at right around 450 and alk of 9 mag 1300-1350, i do use a BM doser to deliver my 2 part and mag i just dump a little in once a week. Colors i wont say are alot better as i had good color before and good growth as well, best thing for growth for me was the doser as i have it set to dose 24 times a day keep parms more stable. hopefully this picture shows up and larger then a quarter lol
 

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110galreef

New member
You should try to lower ALK a tad, like to 8.0 & see if this helps your colors. Seem that most w/ biopellets systems, the lower ALK really helps. Many are in the 7's, but if your ~9.0 & is doing fine, try just going to 8 & see if it helps your colors.''

Also how much are you dosing/day?

I started bio pellets from just after the cycle on my tank. I inevitably pulled them, and have benn studying them a ton trying to figure if I want to re-add them. However, I have been holding steady params for 2 mos now with Nitrates 0 and PO4 of .0183- to a Highest of .0337 PO4. I am checking on the HI 736 which measures in ppb not ppm of the HI 713 that sounds like you have.

So given my numbers I am going to refrain from adding the BP unless I start to see the numbers go up. But for now i only have a moderate fish load in my 250g tank/40g frag tank of like ~13 fish.

I also am reading that the removal of activated carbon or running very little also helps the ULNS's and benefits corals. Are you feeding anything extra aside from fish food? Are you feeding heavy?
 

110galreef

New member
Oh & what fish is in your avatar? That is the same one in the pic you attached in the middle right side correct?

Awesome fish!
 
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