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Thread: experience with bakki showers

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    jeff reiter is offline
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    experience with bakki showers

    If you have built one and are running it, could you share your experience and what you consider to be the benefit based on your results?

    i'm building one now and have read several articles about them; however the benefits seem to not be the same among articles. i get the idea that ammonia and nitrite will gas off from the fall and shock of impact on stone. another article that just came out says that we can reduce our nitrate levels. it suggests that the shock will reduce a nitrate to NO2 and carbon dioxide. that doesn't make sense from a chemistry perspective. the article also suggests building a moving bed filter with k-1 in the bottom tray. that doesn't sound like the original design.

    the idea of fall and shock begs another question. how far must the water fall to provide enough energy in the shock of impact on stone to gas off waste chemicals?

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    Simply go back to the original designs and look at them..they had a drop on about 6'' to 8'' and large diameter media...baseball size with lots of void areas... and they poured as much water as possible over them...hence water shear.........

    If they gas off NH3 as expected; then NO3 won't happen...duh,,, in fact there's no true nitrogen cycle.............


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    I found the claim that ammonia and nitrite gas off during fall and "shock" of water completely ridiculous. I can understand a 30% ammonia solution dropping its concentration (or gas off) when poured out on the concrete, for example. But at 1-3 ppm level, it gases off....bull!

    I also don't understand the word "shock". What shock? How can water be shocked from a 5 inch fall????

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    ''Shock'' is a dumb word...it works on water shear...think of a water fall and the break up of the water flow....the more break up and smashing effect, the better. BUT this takes massive amounts of water flow not the usualy DA trickle tower flows...it needs volume

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    For those that think ammonia off gases in a shower: Please stand next to your shower and take a big whiff. Can you smell the ammonia? If you can smell it then it is off gassing.

    If you think the ammonia is off gassing because of the smashing, drop, or shock, then why do you need volcanic rock with high surface area?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham View Post
    ... and they poured as much water as possible over them...hence water shear.
    How much is "possible" over one? 15k/gph??
    --Steve
    Find more about Weather in Poulsbo, WA

    "It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company." --George Washington

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    I have a fairly minimal flow (as showers go), and have no nitrates. Another benefit: increased oxygen saturation.
    Mary

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtsklar View Post
    For those that think ammonia off gases in a shower: Please stand next to your shower and take a big whiff. Can you smell the ammonia? If you can smell it then it is off gassing.

    If you think the ammonia is off gassing because of the smashing, drop, or shock, then why do you need volcanic rock with high surface area?
    The last time I tried that ( 20min ago) I could only smell Irsih Spring & Head & Shoulders.

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    the early paper i read from the japanese talked about a 150 percent turnover rate. so for my pond i need a pump that produces 6000 gph after a 13 foot lift and 21 foot head which seems like overkill and a lot of noise. their photographs look like they drop somewhere around 6 to 12 inches five times from tray to tray.

    thanks for all the feedback. i'll talk to my biochemist son and might have insight into this thinking, and get back to you all.

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    shower lately?

    WAC,
    Did it look like this?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYz-gGZ8eNc&NR=1

    Quote Originally Posted by WAC View Post
    The last time I tried that ( 20min ago) I could only smell Irsih Spring & Head & Shoulders.

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    Yes you are right.
    The question is if showers really do off gas ammonia then what is the proper way to verify this hypothesis.
    Can anyone find any research papers on the subject that would explain this hypothesis.
    I have yet to purchase M.B. Timmons book so if anyone has it perhaps they could share some information:

    Recirculating Aquaculture - MB Timmons,JM Ebeling - 975 pages
    Hardcover: 975 pages
    Publisher: Cayuga Aqua Ventures, LLC; (February 18, 2007 Edition)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0971264627
    ISBN-13: 978-0971264625
    Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.6 x 2.1 inches
    Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
    NRAC Publication No. 01-007
    Street Price: Amazon $140.00, AquaticEco.com $124, Direct from Dr. Rakocy $124.00

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    jeff reiter is offline
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    Gosh, I didn't realize someone was watching the last time i showered!

    Anyway, here's a response from Chris:

    "Dad,
    Making a high surface to volume ratio will help get gases out. Nitrite is pretty easy to convert to other things, so I dont doubt that you can get rid of nitrite that way (without actually trying it.) Nitrate is another story. Reducing nitrate takes alot of energy and water dropping on a surface is not going to cut it. I suppose that there might be some catalytic activity inherent to the porcelain, but you would also need some reductive power from something. Morelikely, there are bugs that grow on the surfaces that help out. Certainly, the description of the system 'feels' good. Cant hurt. I would lean in the direction of trying it."

    So our original hypothesis is that we can gas off ammonia and nitrites, and that makes good chemical sense. the aeration feature is also a benefit, and going with a highly pitted surface area to provide a colonization space for bacteria is also a player.

    i'm going to shoot for a 3100 gph water volume through the unit which doesn't approach the original designer's rate, but should be adequate as a testing platform. i'm cutting up the feather stone into well convoluted shapes and am drilling holes into them to approximate the bacteria house tubes. that will insure that the cascade doesn't dislodge bacterial colonies significantly. if the setup works i can compare the effectiveness of this unit against a k-1 moving bed/matala/bioball unit with the same weight of fish. i'll let you know the results -- assuming the bakki build goes well and my wife doesn't see the video. you know how jealous she gets.

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    Nitrite is not a gas, whereas ammonia is...but again ammonia will not gas off at 1-3ppm level unless the water is boiling(100 degree C).

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    Quote Originally Posted by whodatkoi View Post
    Nitrite is not a gas, whereas ammonia is...but again ammonia will not gas off at 1-3ppm level unless the water is boiling(100 degree C).
    What about at lower levels, say .25ppm?

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    If I may add something here to the thread.

    'Shower Filters' were not invented by Micheo Maeda but the Bacteria House media he uses WAS his own invention.
    It is a remarkably good surface to hold and allow a biomass to reproduce but has little to offer in the way of debris removal.

    Maeda started out with upward-flow chambers (Japanese filter mat cartridges & aeration) and was, not surprisingly, dissatisfied with them because of their inherent uselessness in allowing ALL incoming water to contact ALL surfaces within the boxes.

    Upward-flow boxes 'track' water from inlet to outlet - irrespective of them being gravity or pump fed and irrespective of whether there is one box or one hundred linked together. They are about 20% efficient if the truth is known but probably four times as efficient as the pressurised units that are simply a disaster.

    Shower systems can be much more efficient (30% - 40%) depending on design.

    The problems with shower systems is that of the fact that it is impossible to control falling water with any degree of science.

    It is purely hit and miss and will remain to be so.

    A human drills the holes in the spray bar assembly - whether his drill hits one hole perfectly square or not depends on the angle of drill.
    Then there is the fact that there are large spaces between each hole drilled.
    One only has to look at the spaces between the holes to see that it is impossible for ALL falling water to come in contact with ALL media surfaces in the trays below.

    Maeda partially addressed this situation by simply increasing turnover rate of the pond to twice every hour, thus reducing the hit and miss aspect in a little way.

    However it is still impossible to harness falling water in any degree of accuracy!

    If one easy passage of water through 'blocks solid' then another much easier route will be taken and thus continues the ever-changing falls through the trays.

    Add to this the much more important fact that it's only the top 50% of surface of the Bacteria House tubes that can possibly be randomly fed with falling water because the undersides, whilst always remaining permanently wet, are not really being serviced with water flow if the truth is known.

    As to the 'gassing-off' properties of shower systems, the same can be produced in other boxes simply by using water turbulence.

    Waddy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff reiter View Post
    So our original hypothesis is that we can gas off ammonia and nitrites, and that makes good chemical sense.
    Hi Jeff,

    No, the above statement really doesn't make good chemical sense, but I applaud your effort in trying to unravel the issue.

    You may off-gas some ammonia, but most of the ammonia in a pond system (due to the pH) is going to be in the "ammonium" [NH4+] form, and you cannot appreciably off-gas the ionized form. The shower is also not going to off-gas nitrite, nor will it off-gas nitrate.

    Showers seem to be consistently wonderful at aeration and bio-filtration, but whether they actually off-gas -- as well as what they off-gas -- is variable among the designs. I have tried two small showers -- both of which were great at basic bio-filtration (by which I mean nitrification) -- but neither off-gassed to any level I could detect. Others, however, have had very good results getting showers to off-gas nitrogen forms.

    To whatever extent nitrogen is off-gassed from a shower, it is probably a combination of (a) ammonia, (b) nitric oxide, and (c) nitrous oxide. Note that nitrous/nitric oxide are nitrogen intermediates which may be produced microbially under certain conditions. To whatever extent the showers are getting rid of nitrogen compounds however, the typical result is little or no nitrate, so people often interpret the result as if the shower was off-gassing nitrate directly, when such is not the case.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeff reiter View Post
    the aeration feature is also a benefit, and going with a highly pitted surface area to provide a colonization space for bacteria is also a player.
    Yep, absolutely.

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    One typical high school chemistry experiment is to reduce the O2 in water from ~10ppm to <1ppm by boiling the water. The solubility of ammonia in water is very very high, up to 30% (or 300,000 ppm) at room temperature. In contrast, the solubility of O2 in water is only ~10 ppm at room temperature. So off gassing ammonia at ppm level is not going to happen at room temperature no matter how you shock/bomb the water. Even at boiling temperatures of water, I would guess the ammonia level will still remain considerable, let alone at room temperature.

    Give bacteria the credit of removing the ammonia. There is no such thing as off gassing ammonia in a shower setup or any setup for that matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whodatkoi View Post

    Give bacteria the credit of removing the ammonia. There is no such thing as off gassing ammonia in a shower setup or any setup for that matter.
    Excellent response, ten out of ten!

    Waddy.

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    Might read this thread in the library...

    http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showth...I&daysprune=-1
    Watch your thoughts; they become words.
    Watch your words; they become actions.
    Watch your actions; they become habits.
    Watch your habits; they become character.
    Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

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