Jump to content
ctenophore

DIY biopellets

137 posts / 41785 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts

I want to continue the discussion of the polycaprolactone pellets from the group buy thread here.

 

I acid-rinsed most everyone's this past weekend and many have picked theirs up.

 

Today, I put mine in heavily nitrate-laden (25+ ppm) seawater from my quarantine tank. I have them in a large fluid reactor fed from a pump in a bucket. So no livestock in this water. I plan to let the pellets soak in this water for a few days just to be safe, and will also add a few mL of Microbacter-7 (Brightwell product) to help inoculate the pellets with useful bacteria.

 

Next step will be to add some pellets to a small media reactor or filter sock on one of my quarantine tanks and leave the other as-is. Sort of a control I suppose, even though they are slightly different systems. Both get the same food input though, have similar class skimmers, and same water change schedule (i.e., not much of one). They both have nitrate levels at least 25-50 ppm.

 

I saw this post on reefbuilders, the Tetra pellets look identical to the pellets we have. I suspect they are pure polycaprolactone as well.

post-1678-12747157026_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I plan on using mine in a mesh bag in the area of my sump that gets extreme water action.

I believe the N03 is 20ppm or less due to the highly inaccurate color representation of the Salifert kit. I've been soaking mine in water as well.

We'll see how this works in a skimmerless system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was under the impression that the pellets were white. What is causing the pink color in the picture?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was under the impression that the pellets were white. What is causing the pink color in the picture?

 

You're correct. The pellets are supposed to be white. Maybe the white balance is bit off on the camera ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rinsed mine in Distilled Vinegar yesterday and is currently soaking in fresh RO. Planning to take the plunge and hooking it up via GSA Media Reactor directly to my Display/System.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for running this comparison, Justin. I'm looking forward to hearing how things work out. Can you take some regular measurements so that we might get an idea of how the system responds to these pellets over time?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're correct. The pellets are supposed to be white. Maybe the white balance is bit off on the camera ;)

Yes they're white. I think the flash + orange bucket messed it up. I didn't take the time to photoshop it :)

 

Thanks for running this comparison, Justin. I'm looking forward to hearing how things work out. Can you take some regular measurements so that we might get an idea of how the system responds to these pellets over time?

Sure thing. I will try to do weekly reports or more often if I see changes happening quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting observation: I added a splash of Microbacter 7 to the standalone bucket+fluid reactor pictured above on Monday this week to seed the bacteria. Noticed yesterday that the pellets no longer had microbubbles attached to them and do not clump up and float any more. Today, the water was noticeably cloudier. The seawater that I put in on Monday had nitrate >=25ppm. Today the water measured ~10ppm, a noticeable visual difference on the Salifert nitrate kit. The pellets are slightly slimy to the touch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting observation: I added a splash of Microbacter 7 to the standalone bucket+fluid reactor pictured above on Monday this week to seed the bacteria. Noticed yesterday that the pellets no longer had microbubbles attached to them and do not clump up and float any more. Today, the water was noticeably cloudier. The seawater that I put in on Monday had nitrate >=25ppm. Today the water measured ~10ppm, a noticeable visual difference on the Salifert nitrate kit. The pellets are slightly slimy to the touch.

 

You're now the father of (what may soon be) billions of bacteria.... Time to start a college fund.

 

Justin, are you running a control to parallel the tank that you're experimenting with? One that's not using the biopellets?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excuse my ignorance, but is the cloudy water an indicator of a bacterial bloom?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excuse my ignorance, but is the cloudy water an indicator of a bacterial bloom?

 

In this case, yes. Also the slimy pellets and the air bubbles that are no longer adhering to the pellets (presumably because they're covered in bacteria).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't noticed any change in the clarity of my water yet- no bacterial bloom so far. I'll test the water again on Monday and post results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes there is definitely a bloom in the bucket- but keep in mind this is not a functioning aquarium system, just 5 gallons of water from my QT being recirculated through a biopellet filled fluid reactor. No skimmer, animals, etc.

 

I do not expect the water to go cloudy in a normally established tank. But definitely keep an eye on oxygen levels once the pellets get coated- make sure your fish are not having trouble breathing. Those of you with low nutrients in an established tank shouldn't need to worry as the bacteria will be rate limited by the least common denominator nutrient. If you have high nitrates & phosphates, the bacteria will grow rapidly as there is no limiting factor, and could potentially strip the oxygen out of the water as they rapidly multiply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're now the father of (what may soon be) billions of bacteria.... Time to start a college fund.

 

Justin, are you running a control to parallel the tank that you're experimenting with? One that's not using the biopellets?

Yes I am, I will add that tank to the spreadsheet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you noticed an increase in skimmate production? Day 4 with pellets online and noticed last night that my skimmer was going into overdrive. Emptied cup out twice since last night and had to throttle back on the feed line. Btw, my skimmer was set for dry skimmate prior to using the pellets.

Edited by zoozilla

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you noticed an increase in skimmate production? Day 4 with pellets online and noticed last night that my skimmer was going into overdrive. Emptied cup out twice since last night and had to throttle back on the feed line. Btw, my skimmer was set for dry skimmate prior to using the pellets.

I just put my pellets in the 40 breeder. I will keep an eye on skimmer production.

 

Notes:

-I added 200mL of pellets to a small media reactor that fits inside my CPR backpack skimmer. See video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zYg8yo0DJ0

-Added 8mL Microbacter 7 to each tank. This was meant to seed the biopellets. MB7 was poured into the media chamber and allowed to sit for a few minutes before pump was turned on. I just poured it into control tank. 8mL is based on mfg suggestion for high nutrient system. I do not plan to repeat any MB7 additions during the trial.

-Temperature in both tanks has been running high as there is no fan or chiller on either tank. Water temps well above 80 on hot days. I will monitor fish closely to make sure no drop in oxygen level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to start mine tomorrow in a GSA media chamber. I am dosing vodka and MB7 before hand and hope to make the change without too much impact on O2 levels. I will keep my ozone runing as a precation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After about 1.5 weeks, I have also noticed increased skimmer production, less glass cleaning, and a little better coral coloration. I have been using biodigest and continue to do so and have also seeded with MB7 to try and diversify my bacteria population.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just put my pellets in the 40 breeder. I will keep an eye on skimmer production.

 

Notes:

-I added 200mL of pellets to a small media reactor that fits inside my CPR backpack skimmer. See video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zYg8yo0DJ0

-Added 8mL Microbacter 7 to each tank. This was meant to seed the biopellets. MB7 was poured into the media chamber and allowed to sit for a few minutes before pump was turned on. I just poured it into control tank. 8mL is based on mfg suggestion for high nutrient system. I do not plan to repeat any MB7 additions during the trial.

-Temperature in both tanks has been running high as there is no fan or chiller on either tank. Water temps well above 80 on hot days. I will monitor fish closely to make sure no drop in oxygen level.

Update on my trial. Nitrate levels in the "test bucket" have dropped to nearly undetectable, very faint color when viewed sideways on Salifert kit, about .2 to .5ppm NO3.

 

Both 40gal tanks measure the same nitrate levels as previous (see updated sheet). I noticed greatly increased foam production on the trial tank today, only 5 days after adding biopellets. I think this may be due to my seeding them in the test bucket prior to starting on the 40 gal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am one week in with low NO3 and Phosphate levels to start with.

 

I have not seen much evidence of bacterial activity with the pellets even with steady MB7 doses. I started to dose some vodka to see if that kicks some things off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am about 6 days in to supplementing the pellets with vodka to get things going. I think I can see small particles shedding off the pellets (bacteria) in the reactor. No striking changes in the tank, but things are generally looking good.

 

Anybody else see big changes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am using them on a 46 gallon tank that has a bad hair algae problem and this is the third week or so and it appears that this week the pellets are making a dent in the amount of algae present. No alteration has been made in my water change routine or changing out any bulbs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...