All In One Biopellet Observations

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All In One Biopellet Observations

Postby Jake on Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:50 am

Hello Everyone,
I have heard good things about biopellets (Especially the "All In One" type) so I thought I'd give them a try in a BRS reactor because of a prolonged diatom outbreak in my sand. I'm only one week in and here are my observations:

1.) Used a mag drive 7 that I had laying around. It seems to work very well. The unit is circulating in my sump.
2.) I filled up the reactor about 1/3 of the way. Initially the pellets floated to the top screen. I think I was supposed to soak them first. After 24 hours they all were tumbling nicely.
3.) The diatom is GONE... I did my standard 20 gallon water change in my 150 and put a fresh sack of carbon in there just like I always do every two weeks before I started the reactor. I'm not going to attribute it to the biopellets yet but it is worth mentioning. This diatom problem was with me all summer.
4.) I had to dial my skimmer down quite a bit. Pulling a full cup of dark in an EV180 daily. It's pulling tons of skimmate if I crack the air line open just a little bit.
5.) My water stinks.. More than usual..
6.) Coral expansion is good although I previously had no problems with coral health or growth.

I will continue to post updates. I thought it would be nice to post some observations for people in the club. Feel free to chime in with your knowledge. I'm a little concerned about the stinky water so interested to hear what others think about that. Also, do I ever change these pellets out or just add as they wear away?
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
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Re: All In One Biopellet Observations

Postby BraenDead on Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:27 pm

Jake,

Thanks for sharing your observations! I've been running BioPellets (currently BulkReefSupply generic pellets, previously Vertex Pro-Bio) for many years, and keep running them due to the low cost and because "it's not broke, don't fix it". I've found no difference in running the BRS biopellets compared to the Vertex pellets.

As for your skimmate being smellier now, this is from the bacteria being skimmed out that are feeding on the biopellets. I personally use separate reactors for GFO, GAC (granular activated carbon), and BioPellets. This allows me to change the GFO and GAC on a monthly basis, whereas the biopellets do not need to be changed at all, in my experience. I will rinse the biopellets with tank water every month or two, though I don't even know if they need that. The bacteria use the biopellets as a food source and will slowly break them down. When the level gets low just add more biopellets to the reactor.

Keep in mind that if using an all-in-one biopellet and GFO source, once the GFO is exhausted you have to replace the media, which means getting rid of perfectly good biopellets. Additionally, GFO media can be regenerated fairly easily using an acid/base combination, keeping the GFO costs quite low. If you run them separately and only replace the BioPellets as they are consumed and regenerate your GFO media, you can run these systems very inexpensively.

Hope this information helps. By the way, Erin and I will be visiting Mandy for New Years!

Bob
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Re: All In One Biopellet Observations

Postby Jake on Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:19 pm

Hey Bob, thanks for the comment. With crazy things like biopellets it definitely helps to hear others knowledge in the matter. Have fun in Florida, sounds like you are in for a good time. See you at the fragswap

And why I'm hear I suppose I should log some more results about the all in one biopellets..

- Been running a lower DKH alk of around 8-9 as I've heard running higher is dangerous with biopellets for some reason?
- Have only dosed sodium carbonate, calcium chloride, and magnesium chloride this week. No different than before.
- Diatom is still gone. Like gone gone. No sign of it.
- Water is exceptionally clear
- Barely any algae on the glass after a week
- Not very pleased with the BRS reactor for these large pellets. Maybe my pump is just undersized. Sometimes if I watch them tumble up close some at the bottom won't tumble well. So I've been turning the reactor upside down for a second daily to reset the stacking order.
- Skimmer is barely having any production. No matter how I tune it.
- The smell in the sump area I previously reported is gone.
- Coral expansion is tremendous. I have a few acros that are really popping with great color.
- Haven't done a water change for about 2 weeks? Something like that... I might do one this weekend..

Hopefully someone has some info about skimmer production and where to run alk.
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
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Re: All In One Biopellet Observations

Postby Jake on Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:47 pm

It's been awhile. Here's an update:

Today I took the unit out and cleaned the mag 5 out completely and had to add the rest of the bag of biopellets as they seems to be only about half left. I had been noticing the pellets weren't tumbling quite as nice as they had in the past which I believe was caused by the dirty pump impeller. The diatom is still gone. I am noticing a bit more bi-weekly algae on the glass. From what I understand you're supposed to let the pellets soak for a day before using but I just threw them in. I started up the reactor and almost all the new ones went up to the top screen and slowed the reactor. The pellets on the bottom are no longer tumbling because of the back pressure. Anyway, I'll just keep restarting the pump every 12 hours until I see them drop and start tumbling with the rest. I'm growing some really nice big corals in the 150. The tank is doing awesome overall. I don't see myself shutting down this reactor or switching pellets anytime soon. I would like to get a bigger and better reactor though. I think if I had a bigger reactor I could feed my fish and corals like nuts and get away with it. This thing is kind of a pain in the butt to get in and out of to change the media.
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
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