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New Hampshire Reef Club  |  General Discussion Forums  |  Reefkeeping Discussion  |  Topic: zeolite media vs bio pellets « previous next »
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Author Topic: zeolite media vs bio pellets  (Read 2082 times)
brennickfish
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« on: March 11, 2012, 06:49:52 PM »

I just purchased a vertex zf-15 zeolith media reactor for my 180. Since eliminating the deep sand bed I have had terrieble hair algae. The corals are very happy but the tank looks like a swamp. I can run zeolith media and it seems very cheap but with a little modification I can run the BRS Bio pellets. I was wondering if anyone had an opinion either way.  Hopefully this will eliminate the problem over time.
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how thick is your substrate?
180 gal tank 55 gal sump iwaki 486gal per hour pump
berlin skimmer 3x250 Mh lights 2 koralia 1 and 2 koralia 3
steve
JarrodSanborn
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 02:24:38 PM »

i have no exp.....but in my readings i have heard these statements alot.
-zeo is a complete system.  you cant just do 1 part of the system.  it allows you much finer control though.
-bio pellets are easier, but you have to have the output aimed/running into your skimmer.
-bio pellets take a while to get running, and you might have some algae/bacteria blooms
-with either, sps can have a hard time adapting to the new water quality, and even long term can change color/growth if you dont feed enough.

zeo=testing  biopellets = less testing.

ive wanted to try both, but i dont like testing....and my skimmer isnt large enough for bio pellets.....bummer.
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Dont try to replicate my tank.  It took me years of learning and killing things to get to this point....Find your own way, and learn from the journey!
brennickfish
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2012, 07:14:48 AM »

Thank you Jarrod I will be going with the bio pellets.
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how thick is your substrate?
180 gal tank 55 gal sump iwaki 486gal per hour pump
berlin skimmer 3x250 Mh lights 2 koralia 1 and 2 koralia 3
steve
Amazon
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2012, 10:16:35 AM »

FYI, if you go the with zeolite, you'll be replenishing potassium....that adds up (dosing & testing).  With biopellets you aren't sucking up the potassium.  A big plus IMO.

Just remember to start slow.  You can always add more.
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Lisa
NHRC President 2011, 2012

Current tanks:
65g Fresh Water
180g w/150g sump & 30g frag
Dragon2115
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2012, 12:22:53 PM »

It's all carbon dosing in one form or another. With the Zeolite system you use clinoptilolite stones (these are normally used to remove ammonia in fresh water ponds) as a media for the bacteria to colonize and then you feed them a carbon source. In this case they call it ZeoFood. The downside to this method is the way the clinoptilolite sucks up potassium like a sponge as Lisa said. Interestingly in fresh water they suck up ammonia but in salt water that stops and they start taking up potassium instead.

With the biopellet method the pellets are biodegradable plastic and they serve as both the substrate and the carbon source for the bacteria. That's why they're consumed over time. As with any system it's very easy to over do it in the beginning. Once established its surprising how few pellets are needed to maintain the system. I like the simplicity of this system. The downside is the minor inconvenience of having to keep an eye on the reactor to make sure the pellets don't clump together and stop tumbling.
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Jim

180 Mixed Reef_150 Sump_30 Frag
65 Fresh Water
brennickfish
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 01:40:15 PM »

very good information thank you. I have ordered the reactor it should be in this week but I think I have build a new sump Sad so it might be a while.
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how thick is your substrate?
180 gal tank 55 gal sump iwaki 486gal per hour pump
berlin skimmer 3x250 Mh lights 2 koralia 1 and 2 koralia 3
steve
brennickfish
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 06:33:47 PM »

I got the reactor and of course it did not work. Very irritated with BRS as soon as I opened the box I knew the pump was too small. When I called them they assured me the pump was up to the task. I went through the trouble to put the pellets in and of coarse they all spilled everywhere because the screen is too big. Put in filter mesh and turn it on not a single pellet moved. Now I am pissed. I took it apart and went to bed. In the morning I decided to get finer screen and figure out how to plumb a Mag 3 to it. Got everything today and it works perfect! NOW STEVE HAPPPY
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how thick is your substrate?
180 gal tank 55 gal sump iwaki 486gal per hour pump
berlin skimmer 3x250 Mh lights 2 koralia 1 and 2 koralia 3
steve
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2012, 07:06:13 PM »

Glad "Steve Happy"  !

Sorry it wasn't a smooth ride.

I know they're only supposed to gently tumble.  But not moving?  ugh.
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Lisa
NHRC President 2011, 2012

Current tanks:
65g Fresh Water
180g w/150g sump & 30g frag
brennickfish
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2012, 07:41:08 PM »

Yeh I hope they are not tumbling too fast because to get the flow to move them I needed to remove the gate valve, it was to small diameter. I think I will get some video and post it see what people who know think. It will not be too hard to plumb in a bigger gate valve.
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how thick is your substrate?
180 gal tank 55 gal sump iwaki 486gal per hour pump
berlin skimmer 3x250 Mh lights 2 koralia 1 and 2 koralia 3
steve
ScottL
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2012, 08:21:06 PM »

I tried Vodka dosing once, but it tended to make me silly and forgetful, and I tumbled too fast.    Then when I upped the dosage I would often get sick and start throwing up.   Just wasn't for me.




(leave it to Scott to not contribute anything meaningful to the conversation) Wink
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Softies & Seahorses
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JarrodSanborn
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2012, 01:48:59 AM »

hey, it worked for me scott.  when i dose i forget all about my nitrates!  ive built up quite a tolerance for it so i dont get sick, but my reef only likes expensive scotch......

brennickfish, thank you for being a test subject for this.  ive read many threads about pellets, but im still unsure.  I still think my skimmer is under sized for my bioload.
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• 2012 BoD • Club Relations • 2013 Moderator

Dont try to replicate my tank.  It took me years of learning and killing things to get to this point....Find your own way, and learn from the journey!
brennickfish
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2012, 06:37:00 AM »

I gave up on the vodka long ago, but it is same principle. It will be very easy to tell in a couple of months if this works, my tank wont look like a swamp!
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how thick is your substrate?
180 gal tank 55 gal sump iwaki 486gal per hour pump
berlin skimmer 3x250 Mh lights 2 koralia 1 and 2 koralia 3
steve
Sherri
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2012, 07:04:02 AM »

I had hair algae and eliminated with the Kent Mag -- it has a special ingredient that kills the hair algae. Worked like a charm for me.  I also have biopellets (btw - I like the original ones better than the BRS ones) a RDSB, and GFO. I still grow algae but not huge amounts of hair algae. 
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brennickfish
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2012, 01:37:22 PM »

I will try the mag currently not adding anything but salt. Who sells the original pellets?
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how thick is your substrate?
180 gal tank 55 gal sump iwaki 486gal per hour pump
berlin skimmer 3x250 Mh lights 2 koralia 1 and 2 koralia 3
steve
Sherri
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« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2012, 02:53:20 PM »

It's the NP Biopellets -- here's the MD link but you may be able to find them cheaper elsewhere...

http://www.marinedepot.com/NP_Biopellets_Filter_Media_Biofiltration_Nutrient_Control-NP_Biopellets-XB1113-FIFMBOBC-vi.html

I bought the BRS pellets but will go back to the NP when I need more.
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