Nitrate reduction

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Post  liquidg on 25th July 2016, 4:28 pm

I read this else where and copied it over here, look at the highlighted section, what a load of crap!! So behind it is not funny!

There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” “There’s more than one way to reach the summit.” “Just because someone isn’t on the same road as you, doesn’t mean they’re lost.” All of these infamous sayings point to the same ideal, that often there are multiple ways of accomplish something. That rings true in the reef aquarium world and if we compare two aquariums, it’s highly unlikely we’ll find they both operate entirely under the same principles. There’s more than one way to accomplish denitrification in the captive reef environment. Often, it’s an aquarist’s greatest challenge. For fish-only tanks nitrate is of little concern, unless it is spiking over 25 ppm. However, in a reef aquarium, even a little nitrate can cause serious problems and for certain coral species, it’s a disaster. There are two primary ways to rid a reef tank of nitrate, using the natural action of microbes (given the right substrate and food source) or the natural action of macro-algae.

Both come with a litany of advantages and disadvantages. For example, growing macro-algae quickly enough to denitrify an aquarium often means dosing micro-nutrients into the water. These micro-nutrients are in many respects the same compounds you’re trying to remove, but are required when starting the cycle of rapid macro-algae growth. Nitrate removal via the properties of microbes often reduces ph and can lead to cyanobacteria outbreaks and unwanted hazing on the aquarium glass.

Over the years I’ve tried a host of methods to remove nitrate from reef aquariums. In the early days, we didn’t even realize what a real issue nitrate was. Wet/dry filters were common and their action produced copious amounts of nitrate as a bi-product. At one time, large refugiums and “miracle-mud” based filters were the only way to pull nitrate from reef water. Both were time consuming, expensive and messy, plus they didn’t always work as expected. Today there are more options than ever for removing nitrate. After years and years in the hobby, I’ve come to believe that utilizing microbes for nitrate removal is the most effective method. Using that as a starting point, let’s explore some options.

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