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[APD] Re:NO3 Management

* From: Phil Bunch <pbunch at cox_net>

I took note of the suggestion to use an out-of-tank hydroponic filter as one means of removing NO3 from aquarium water. Has anyone one designed an out-of-tank anaerobic system for nitrogen removal? I can see some problems that would have to be overcome but it sounds possible. Possibly a deoxengenator on the input and return through an air reactor?

I have had an idea for a nitrate remover, and I have put one or two of them in an aquarium, but I have not tested NO3 levels to see if the thing removes it. Actually, I was thinking of it as a possible CO2 producer, and it does produce a steady supply of bubbles, but I do not think that very much of the gas produced was CO2. If it wasn't producing CO2, perhaps it was producing nitrogen (which would have had to have come from nitrate reduction). The only other gas that it could produce would be methane. I suppose that one could capture some and see if it burns.

WARNING! this is another one of my weird ideas that do not exactly set off a stampede of others to try them out, such as CO2 additions from my own exhaled air, and using capillary tubing to control flow of CO2 from a pressurized tank rather than a needle valve.

Take a shallow tray and put about 1/4 inch of uncooked oatmeal flakes on the bottom. Cover with 1/2 inch to 1 inch of gravel. Place in aquarium. The oatmeal will become intensely anaerobic, but the gravel covering will limit exchange with the water. If the water, itself, becomes cloudy then you need a deeper gravel layer or a smaller tray. Nitrate that diffuses into the gravel should be converted to atmospheric nitrogen by denitrifying bacteria. The question is, how efficiently would such a set-up remove nitrate? Only testing will tell.

Paul Krombholz in soggy central Mississippi, cooling down to below freezing.
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