So i have my biopellets and thought i would do a kind of review on how they work over the coming months.
I have them set up in a phosban 550 reactor driven by an eheim compact 1000.My system is 300 liters give or take,and the recommended dose is 50-200ml of pellets per 100 liters.I have started off with 500ml of pellets due to having a high fish load and heavy feeding.
It is recommended to add extra pellets every 6-12 month as needed to keep the required amount in the reactor due to the pellets slowly being consumed by the bacteria on the pellets surface.
My system has been run for over a year with a dsb bucket in the sump and vodka dosing to help reduce nitrates and i run phosguard or rowaphos for phosphate removal.
The aim for me is to reduce nitrates with the biopellets.Im not too bothered about phosphates as i can run rowaphos etc and i dont think the pellets would be enough on there own to reduce phosphates with my feeding and stocking levels.Idealy i would be able to remove my dsb bucket completely.
One problem with vodka dosing has been that it can cause cyano.The more you add,the more cyano you get.Its a pain in the arse but it does work for reducing nitrates.The thing with the biopellets is that the bacteria are on the pellet and not spread over the whole system as they are with vodka,sugar and vinegar etc.
So here is what i will be using for this set up.
In truth the ehiem 1000 is just enough for 500ml of pellets in the phosban 550 at full flow!The pellets are quite heavy to fluidize and i will be changing the eheim 1000 for the next model up asap.
Here is a pic of the pellets to get an idea of size.....
Yes i need a new phone but i spent my money on something else
So i have the pellets set up in the sump with the outlet from the reactor cable tied to the inlet to my skimmer(tunze 9410).The reason for this is to remove the bacteria as they are rubbed off the pellets.They will be skimmed out with a gut full of nitrate and phosphate and on passing through the skimmer the water will be oxygenated before returning to the display having been depleated of oxygen by the bacteria in the reactor.The skimmate was killed for around 30/40 hours but this could have been caused my the new pipe work,the reactor or anything else new including the pellets.
My nitrate reading before adding the biopellets was around 15ppm on a tropic marin test kit.My phosphates are around 0.03mg/l P on the d-d merck kit.
So far everything is doing what it should.The pellets are starting to get a bio film on them after only a few days and if i give them a shake i can see what looks like a fine skin floating off them.I asume this is the bio-film and is totaly normal.My sps have better polyp extention than before so this may well be down to a feeding response caused by the release of the bio-film.
Today i tested my nitrates and they are between 10 and 15ppm having only run the pellets for less than a week.I have not dosed any vodka or any other carbon source since adding the biopellets but today i have added two cap fulls of brightwell aquatics microbacter7 to help seed them a bit quicker.Weather the drop in nitrates in down to the pellets,well who knows? Time will tell,but so far i still like the idea and its doing everything expected.One other thing that i have noticed is that since adding the biopellets or stopping vodka,the cyano is disapearing! B) As i say this could be down to stopping vodka,but it is one of the things the biopellets are supposed to do.As of today i have no cyano,where before i would of had some in the evening by now.Also micro bubbles in the water are reduced.I believe the bubbles were caused by bacteria reproducing in the display caused by vodka dosing.
I will update this thread as and when i see results and if anybody else is using biopellets then please add your experiences too!