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seachem matrix or de nitrate


zodiac
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would this be effective?

i have a canister filter that is rated 80gph.

a week later i timed gph and is less then 10 (intake sponge  ;))

have ~200 ml matrix on a ten gallon.

 

i heard de nitrate does a much better job,but needs a low gph.

 

my question is should i switch to de nitrate or keep it as it is.

i have no plans on changing the intake sponge often. ;)

 

i understand it takes a few months for a lot of bacteria,so i'm early in the game that i can change.

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would this be effective?

i have a canister filter that is rated 80gph.

a week later i timed gph and is less then 10 (intake sponge  ;))

have ~200 ml matrix on a ten gallon.

 

i heard de nitrate does a much better job,but needs a low gph.

 

my question is should i switch to de nitrate or keep it as it is.

i have no plans on changing the intake sponge often. ;)

 

i understand it takes a few months for a lot of bacteria,so i'm early in the game that i can change.

I'm not familiar with the product but I know de-nitrating device's and the de-nitrating process requires a anaerobic environment. The bacteria that removes nitrates are anaerobic and takes 2-3 months to establish.

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De nitrate and matrix are made of the same material. The only difference is matrix works at any flow rate and de nitrate works best in a reactor that you can slow down and control the flow rate.  Both are equally effective. One is not better than the other.  It does take time for the anaerobic bacteria to develop on the inside of both matrix and de nitrate. The stuff works.  Since you have matrix you are good to go. If you don't use purigen that would be good to add to your filter.  While it does not remove nitrate it helps lower it by removing organic compounds,  and also makes your water super clear.   There are a variety of plants that use nitrate faster than others which would be beneficial as well.

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If purigen removes organic cmpds then won't it also remove ammonia and nitrite which will prevent/lower the bacteria you're trying to establish in the matrix? Not trying to start an argument, just wondering.

 

Yes, you are correct.  I believe it has been documented that while a tank CAN be cycled with Purigen, it does delay the process.  Some more detailed cycling instructions include direction to delay Purigen until after your tank has cycled.

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Purigen will not absorb nitrite.  It does not remove ammonia.  It does have an effect on nitrate due to the fact it absorbs organic matter which creates conditions for nitrates to be high. As far as slowing a cycle, it should not.  It does not have an effect on the 2 strains of bacteria responsible for converting ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate.  More ammonia will cause the populations of bacteria to rise because they have a food source.  Less food, less bacteria.  The level of bacteria present is due directly to the available ammonia.

 

To expand this further, I'm going to make some numbers up.  Lets say to cycle a tank it takes 10 days.  On day one you have 5 ppm ammonia available. Your plants use 3 ppm ammonia by day 2.  So you have 2ppm left over for the bacteria to grow.  By day 10 your bacteria has enough food to support a population that consumes 2ppm ammonia a day.  More ammonia will not make the bacteria grow faster.  It will just make the populations rise after the bacteria are established.  So that it is why purigen does not directly affect the time it takes for a tank to cycle and balance due to the available ammonia.

 

Think of it this way.  Your shrimp fish snails directly produce ammonia.  So does the break down of organic matter.  If the purigen removes organic matter then you have one less factor producing ammonia. So to get nitrate it first comes from ammonia.  The bacteria that make nitrate from nitrite are working less and their populations are lower because there is less ammonia being generated to begin with.

 

So that is how purigen works. It traps organic compounds which break down to ammonia, thus lowering nitrates by less ammonia being converted.

 

Plants use ammonia directly.  They remove nitrates directly, but first but first convert both ammonia and nitrates to ammonium. Try and do that purigen!  Nature has you whooped.

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Thanks Gill, love the explanation........this topic has always been somewhat of a mystery (to me, at least).  

 

I think my misunderstanding revolves around what "organic compounds" are being removed.  Do you know exactly what organics are removed? If it traps compounds that break down to ammonia, doesn't that effectively lower nitrite?  Could it lower nitrite to zero, and if so, wouldn't that delay the development of bacteria that convert nitrite > nitrate? 

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Purigen will potentially remove all organic compounds, much the same way activated carbon can.  However unlike activated carbon, it has a much larger capacity and it is always consistent. Seachem makes a really good fairly consistent activated carbon with some special tools.  Got to have the special tools.

 

Think of it like this, if it was alive at one time, and dies, it is definitely an organic compound.  Things like meds fall in to that category as well which can be really confusing, since meds were not alive.  Well at least most.  So it is easier to think of anything inert in your tank is not an organic compound.  Things like calcium and magnesium are inert even though aquatic life uses those minerals.  If purigen took those out the salty shrimp bill would really suck.

 

Nitrite, is not to be confused with Nitrate.  It often is, because they are close.

 

So here is how it works.  Ammonia is converted to Nitrite by a bacteria called Nitrosomonas.  Then Nitrite is converted to Nitrate by Nitrobacter.  So there are two different bacteria responsible for the completion of the nitrogen cycle.  So Nitrosomonas will not start to live and reproduce without the presence of ammonia.  Nitrobacter will not live or reproduce without the presence of Nitrite, so Nitrobacter is completely dependent on the presence of Nitrosomonas.  Nitrobacter grows and reproduces at a much slower rate than Nitrosomonas.  So the cycle usually stalls on waiting for Nitrobacter to catch up.  They ride the short bus.

 

In your question, you say Nitrite, which is the first thing ammonia is converted too. The only thing that can make Nitrite 0 is enough Nitrosomonas. So if there is less ammonia there will be less Nitrite, but not without Nitrosomonas.  However here is the thing to remember.  The total amount of ammonia will not make the bacteria which has a life cycle, grow any faster.  It will just allow them to make more little baby bacteria.  The more food, the more critters will survive.  When the food goes away, well, lets just say it ain't pretty for the Nitro's.  Since it takes a fixed time for the bacteria to mature enough to do their job, putting more ammonia in will not help the situation.  In fact, too much ammonia will have a reverse effect and wipe the Nitro's out. So in your question will it delay the development of Nirobacter?  In essence no, because Nitrobacter need nitrites.  And if there is ammonia there will eventually be Nitrites usually long before the nitrobacter start to thrive.  This is why most cycles stall, due to the excess Nitrite.  It is not really stalling however it just appears that way.  As long as there is some Nitrate, your nitrobacter are alive, and they will eventually catch up.  Then they will die off when the Nitrite is not available.  Do a large water change to lower nitrite, and all the sudden you have enough nitrobacter to handle the initial ammonia production.  So in essence the nitrobacter are now in balance with the amount of ammonia being produced.

 

To sum this up purigen can not increase the time a cycle completes, but it can affect the number of living bacteria.  The number of living bacteria are proportionate to the balanced amount of ammonia in the tank.  More critters and dead stuff, more ammonia, more bacteria.  So this is really why purigen will not reduce the cycle time of a tank, it will just reduce the number of living bacteria because there is less food.

 

I hope this make sense.

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It does make sense, and thank you again.  I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertise.

 

If a tank has been cycled to handle a capacity of ammonia greater than what your initial stocking produces, what happens to the "excess bacteria" as it moves towards an equilibrium?  Do they all compete for the same amount of ammonia/nitrite or do some die off?  If the latter, does the die-off process cause any unwanted effects?

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The weaker or older bacteria die off first and then others will follow suit until it balances with the food source.  I don't know if a die off like that can produce adverse effects.  But if you look at Kaldness K1 bio media or equivalents the purpose of the moving bed is to knock off old and weak bacteria so new ones may grow in their place.  Also, in a fishless cycle, it is important to do a large water change before introducing aquatics.  My guess would be some dead bacteria end up in the water column and then are removed by filtration or water changes.  Also dead bacteria fit into the organic matter category which purigen is golden at.  Good activated carbon will do it as well.  I use Seachem matrix carbon to remove meds, and purigen for daily use.  The fact that purigen can be regenerated is great.

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