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jeff reiter
07-15-2010, 10:00 PM
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?

Graham
07-15-2010, 10:21 PM
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.............

:cool3:

whodatkoi
07-15-2010, 10:36 PM
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????

Graham
07-15-2010, 10:50 PM
''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

mtsklar
07-15-2010, 11:07 PM
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?

icu2
07-16-2010, 02:24 AM
... and they poured as much water as possible over them...hence water shear.

How much is "possible" over one? 15k/gph?? :chin:

graybird
07-16-2010, 02:36 AM
I have a fairly minimal flow (as showers go), and have no nitrates.:scratch: Another benefit: increased oxygen saturation.

WAC
07-16-2010, 02:45 AM
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 (:rain: 20min ago) I could only smell Irsih Spring & Head & Shoulders. :shrug:

jeff reiter
07-16-2010, 07:54 AM
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.

mtsklar
07-16-2010, 10:27 AM
WAC,
Did it look like this?

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


The last time I tried that (:rain: 20min ago) I could only smell Irsih Spring & Head & Shoulders. :shrug:

Norm Walsh
07-16-2010, 10:39 AM
:focus::ok::D:

mtsklar
07-16-2010, 11:52 AM
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

jeff reiter
07-16-2010, 12:06 PM
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.

whodatkoi
07-16-2010, 05:28 PM
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).

Norm Walsh
07-16-2010, 05:32 PM
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?

waddy
07-16-2010, 06:51 PM
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.

Paultergeist
07-16-2010, 07:21 PM
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.



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.

whodatkoi
07-17-2010, 12:48 PM
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 <3ppm 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.

waddy
07-17-2010, 12:56 PM
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.

Luck
07-17-2010, 01:30 PM
Might read this thread in the library...

http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showthread.php?109024-opinion-on-bakki-showers-posted-on-NI&daysprune=-1

Paultergeist
07-17-2010, 03:22 PM
Peter,

I think you are a tad too generous in your grading criteria! I would have awarded a "9," but not the perfect "10." :D:



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.

Whodat,

I would say that you are "basically correct," -- with respect to Koi ponds. The bacteria -- performing nitrification -- do deserve the credit for converting ammonia into less toxic forms. From everything I can determine, there is not appreciable off-gassing of ammonia at the pH conditions habitable to Koi.

For the sake of scientific accuracy, however, your above statement about ammonia off-gassing is not entirely true. A major issue is pH: In water, ammonia exists in a state of equilibrium between two forms: actual ammonia [NH3] and ammonium [NH4+]. In a nutshell, one can off-gas the ammonia form, but not the ammonium form. The relationship is pH dependent: at higher pH, there is more "ammonia" form, at lower pH, there is more of the "ammonium" form. At the pH appropriate for fish ponds, however, most the ammonia/ammonium present is in the non-off-gassing "ammonium" form. This is why showers -- when used in Koi ponds -- really do not appreciably off-gas ammonia.

A different situation, however, may be observed within the waste-water treatment industry, where "ammonia stripping" is practiced. Bearing in mind the issue regarding pH, in ammonia stripping, the pH of the effluent water is raised significantly. This high pH (like 11-12) drives the ammonia/ammonium to the "ammonia" [NH3] side of the equilibrium. The NH3 then can be significantly off-gassed. Tall towers are often implemented to keep the ammonia gas above the breathing zone of adjacent buildings (lest the area reek of ammonia odors). I have a technical paper in PDF form at work -- if your are really interested, send me a PM and I'll email you the document.

Cheers!

jeff reiter
07-17-2010, 04:01 PM
great responses from everyone, and i really appreciate your expertise and feedback. at the end of the day, the original bakki shower articles and the recent one in Koi USA all profess the ability of this system to add additional support for nitrogen cycle removal through off gassing. it is clear that the chemical science does not support off gassing of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate through this technique. some marginal removal of ammonia and nitrite is possible but it should be insignificant when compared to bacterial removal. nitrate removal through this drop and shock technique is simply impossible under any condition that supports koi life, and that article has no merit.

i'm still planning an installation with the above information in mind intending to benefit from a larger biofilter and enhanced aeration. the only item in the original article that has not been addressed in this thread is the concept of running a water volume of 150 percent of the pond's total volume through the bakki. it would seem that this technique would impede bacterial growth by washing out the colonies. is there any possible reason that this volume concept would help in nitrogen cycle removal that we might have overlooked?

thanks again for all the help.

whodatkoi
07-17-2010, 05:06 PM
Paul,

I was enjoying a 5 minutes of glory and you ruined it. Seriously, it's not difficult to dismiss the off-gassing claim from the solubility/concentration standpoint. Again, no setup in the world can off gassing ammonia in water from 3ppm to 1ppm at room temperature, neither a Bakki shower nor your tall ammonia stripping tower. From 3% (30,000ppm) to 1%, yes, but not from 3ppm to 1ppm.

But hey, I take a 9 any day. I have not gotten that kind of rating from my bosses in at least the last ten years.

mtsklar
07-17-2010, 05:25 PM
Jeff,
Biofilters work based on contact with the bio-film. Nitrification requires very little contact time. Bakki showers and trickle filters tend to get separated in this forum based on the idea that bakki filters have a lot more flow and somehow that is better. Bakki showers and trickle filters both do nitrification. I think we have yet to hear that someone has done any harm by pumping a lot of water or a little water over a Bakki/trickle filter. Hence the frequency you turn the pond above 1 time per hour has little to do with the nitrogen cycle.

If you are going above typical koi pond, fish to gallons ratios, then there may be benefit to more turns per hour. Some ponders turn their pond over 4 times per hour because it makes the waterfalls and fountains look better.

Bear in mind that the more water you move the more the electric meter spins. So If you can afford it, and you like it, go for it. We will cheer you on.

It doesn't really matter how the ammonia is removed, ultimately you just want your ammonia and nitrite tests to read Zero PPM. Nitrates may be consumed by carpet algae, or reduced by foam separation, or water changes. The best medicine for your pond is a water change.

Matt

Paultergeist
07-17-2010, 05:29 PM
Whodat,

90% is still an "A" in my book!

steveandlou
07-17-2010, 05:35 PM
this is why i also trickle water in and out as well as use my shower

birdman
07-17-2010, 05:39 PM
As a great fan of showers I have been watching this thread with interest. I can't begin to explain everything scientifically that is happening, nor do I really care. The bottom line for me is they work better than any other form of bio filters I have ever used. Plus in the right configuration, can also provide foam fractionation, enriched oxygen levels, and strong currents for Koi exercise.

waddy
07-17-2010, 05:43 PM
great responses from everyone, and i really appreciate your expertise and feedback. at the end of the day, the original bakki shower articles and the recent one in Koi USA all profess the ability of this system to add additional support for nitrogen cycle removal through off gassing. it is clear that the chemical science does not support off gassing of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate through this technique. some marginal removal of ammonia and nitrite is possible but it should be insignificant when compared to bacterial removal. nitrate removal through this drop and shock technique is simply impossible under any condition that supports koi life, and that article has no merit.

i'm still planning an installation with the above information in mind intending to benefit from a larger biofilter and enhanced aeration. the only item in the original article that has not been addressed in this thread is the concept of running a water volume of 150 percent of the pond's total volume through the bakki. it would seem that this technique would impede bacterial growth by washing out the colonies. is there any possible reason that this volume concept would help in nitrogen cycle removal that we might have overlooked?

thanks again for all the help.

Thanks Paultergeist, your comments are noted.

I will try to explain further for Jeff.

IF the spray bar was a 'long and narrow slot' instead of randomly-drilled holes and IF falling water could be coerced to fall downwards EVENLY from this slot along the entire slot at exactly the same flow rate then, and only then, would the top 50% of the media be given a good, but not quite perfect coverage.

Of course this cannot happen as the start of the slot would produce a much greater dispersal of water than the end of the slot which would be very little.

Leaving drilled holes along the bar is a cop-out.

It's merely gravity that takes place when water is introduced from left or right along a long-ish distance in this case.

Once again, it is almost impossible to control falling water without incredible expense.

There are many who opine that open falling water 'attracts air' and draws it into the media whilst passing through thus giving water with a far greater D.O content for the bacteria colonising the static media.

The term of 'de-gassing' is then bandied around and many take this term in when, in fact, it is pure conjecture!

Falling water onto random surfaces below does not 'de-gas' water - even mildly.

Submerged aeration prior to media surfaces DOES add greater turbulence and thus gives more D.O. to the bacteria that form the biomass on these surfaces.

In a Bakki Shower it is the Bacteria House media that takes it to another level of efficiency and not the principle itself. However many choose to cut corners and expense by using other forms of media that are not nearly so efficient but far cheaper.

In the end it all goes to prove the financial savings are far more expensive than first thought.

Yet again, shower systems are 30 - 35% efficient whilst upward-flow boxes are around 20% efficient.


Waddy.

Kent Wallace
07-19-2010, 12:10 PM
I would have to agree with the idea that there is no appreciable off gassing of ammonia in shower filters. I was once a proponent of this concept largely because that was what I'd read and had been told by others mentoring me along in my earlier days.
After building many shower filters and aerated bio-filters of my own design I've noticed that initially the pond still goes through the traditional ammonia and nitrite spikes and then goes into a high nitrate reading situation just as all other filtration types do. If off gassing were really present then the ammonia and nitrite spikes would be minimal and the production of nitrates would be lower immediately. This does not happen!!!!
What I have noticed is that in my clients ponds with shower filters and aerated bio-filters, the nitrate reading goes down over time and in many instances gets close to zero just as the ammonia and nitrites do. I don't seem to find this in standard plug flow or non aerated bio-filter systems though. What I believe is happening is that the environment (media type and high oxygen content) is allowing other complicated layers of bacteria to colonize that consume or convert nitrate. This takes a while but does seem to happen. I don't know the process as I am not a biologist or a chemist but I do see these types of results.

jeff reiter
07-19-2010, 12:17 PM
Kent Wallace, thanks for that excellent experiential information. it fits nicely into some other information i've collected. maybe we could talk sometime about the measurement numbers you have seen over time.

Paultergeist
07-19-2010, 01:25 PM
Kent,

I really appreciate you sharing of your knowledge and considerable experience -- thanks!

Paul

Kent Wallace
07-19-2010, 01:39 PM
Actually part of me feels guilty for carrying the water for the "gassing off" theory earlier on:scratch:.

graybird
07-19-2010, 05:02 PM
Here's what my experience has been. Norm (Scrmnkg) installed a shower filter on my 5000 gallon pond in December 2008. Initially, we used the Stak-Pak containers from US Plastics, and (for water and sound containment) we used a half-tray upside down on top as a lid. For additional air, Norm drilled a total of four holes in the upper part of the long sides and glued on ells facing down. Media is Bacteria House (I think I scored the last batch of it in the U.S.:yahoo:) The spray bar has three rows of holes drilled. Flow at the outset was roughly 6000 gallons/hour from my two no-niche skimmers, going first through two barrels of Bacti-Twist. I had consistent nitrate readings of about 10 ppm with this setup. (The other circuit of my filtration is two aerated Koitoilets to two Cetuses, which then combine to go through one Sac 10, then UV, then TPRs.)

In mid-April of this year, Norm switched out the Stak-pak trays for Birdman's open-top fiberglass ones, using the same media; the flow rate was cut to 3000 gallons/hour because my second skimmer was diverted to the sand/gravel filter he set up in the barrels at the same time. The bottom tray is stuffed with the Bacti-Twist media that we had left over from the original barrel setup (this was done for sound absorption). Three weeks later, my nitrate was 0. In the three months since the change, the media has developed a thick patina of biofilm, where it was a really light coating before. I can't say whether it was the extra air or the slower flow that made the difference; I know the s/g filters also have bio properties, but three weeks seems kinda fast for that particular conversion.

I'm no chemist, and I'm not sure I'm a believer in the Far Infrared Radiation properties :scratch: of the Bacteria House media. What I do like is my -0- readings, and the fact that I have extra oxygen going to my pond. The Bacti-Twist in the bottom tray has actually made the open trays quieter than the Stak-Paks were, and it's perfectly pleasant to sit out on the deck right in front of the shower filter. :humble2:

mtsklar
07-19-2010, 06:09 PM
Here's what my experience has been. Norm (Scrmnkg) installed a shower filter on my 5000 gallon pond in December 2008. Initially, we used the Stak-Pak containers from US Plastics, and (for water and sound containment) we used a half-tray upside down on top as a lid. For additional air, Norm drilled a total of four holes in the upper part of the long sides and glued on ells facing down. Media is Bacteria House (I think I scored the last batch of it in the U.S.:yahoo:) The spray bar has three rows of holes drilled. Flow at the outset was roughly 6000 gallons/hour from my two no-niche skimmers, going first through two barrels of Bacti-Twist. I had consistent nitrate readings of about 10 ppm with this setup. (The other circuit of my filtration is two aerated Koitoilets to two Cetuses, which then combine to go through one Sac 10, then UV, then TPRs.)

In mid-April of this year, Norm switched out the Stak-pak trays for Birdman's open-top fiberglass ones, using the same media; the flow rate was cut to 3000 gallons/hour because my second skimmer was diverted to the sand/gravel filter he set up in the barrels at the same time. The bottom tray is stuffed with the Bacti-Twist media that we had left over from the original barrel setup (this was done for sound absorption). Three weeks later, my nitrate was 0. In the three months since the change, the media has developed a thick patina of biofilm, where it was a really light coating before. I can't say whether it was the extra air or the slower flow that made the difference; I know the s/g filters also have bio properties, but three weeks seems kinda fast for that particular conversion.

I'm no chemist, and I'm not sure I'm a believer in the Far Infrared Radiation properties :scratch: of the Bacteria House media. What I do like is my -0- readings, and the fact that I have extra oxygen going to my pond. The Bacti-Twist in the bottom tray has actually made the open trays quieter than the Stak-Paks were, and it's perfectly pleasant to sit out on the deck right in front of the shower filter. :humble2:

Graybird,

I suspect that the new thick bio film you mention is actually algae. The open trays will expose your media to light and thus algae will grow. The algae will consume nitrates and phosphates and it will grow. This is a good way to get the nitrates and phosphates out of the water. You will eventually need to get the excess algae out of the filter. Consider posting a photo for us?

Matt

mtsklar
07-19-2010, 06:45 PM
Kent Wallace, thanks for that excellent experiential information. it fits nicely into some other information i've collected. maybe we could talk sometime about the measurement numbers you have seen over time.

There are a couple shower filters with MP2C ceramic that have been running for 2 years now at the Niagara Aquarium. The media is clean and has no algae growth on it. Nitrates do bounce around a little from 10ppm on the low end to 50ppm on the high end. (Nitrates testing results can vary. Try calling the Hach technical support line and ask some questions if you want to verify.)

Water test Date 7/16/2010
Shark tank
pH 8.13

Ammonia 0.0

Nitrate 23.0

Nitrite 0.002



Octopus tank

pH 8.06

Ammonia 0.0

Nitrate 2.8

Nitrite 0.002

Regards,
Matt Sklar

graybird
07-19-2010, 09:29 PM
Graybird,

I suspect that the new thick bio film you mention is actually algae. The open trays will expose your media to light and thus algae will grow. The algae will consume nitrates and phosphates and it will grow. This is a good way to get the nitrates and phosphates out of the water. You will eventually need to get the excess algae out of the filter. Consider posting a photo for us?

Matt

Matt, I'm sure you didn't mean for your post to sound as condescending as it does. I will freely admit to and embrace the fact that I'm on the learning road with everybody else, but before we built my shower filter, I sat for days and read Every. Last. Post. on Koiphen and the other parishes about shower filters, trickle filters, and every permutation thereof.

I am aware that algae may grow with the increased exposure to light, but have seen very little so far (and I do know the difference). :tongue:

Now come on, people, I know lots of you out there have shower filters! Let's see some deets! :pullup:

mtsklar
07-19-2010, 11:41 PM
Graybird,

I mean no disrespect.
This is a very interesting area of aquatics that can sometime give us some surprises. What color is the biofilm ?

Nitrosomonas are photophobic, light avoiding.
There are more than 30,000 algae types known.

If you exposed your media to air with the open trays did you completely block out the light?

Regards,
Matt

jeff reiter
07-20-2010, 10:31 AM
Matt, Mary, thank you. its the kind of information that a web search or the opinions on other sites can't produce.

Matt, where did you get that data? i'm particularly impressed by the tank data with no ammonia and residual nitrites.

thanks again all.

mtsklar
07-20-2010, 01:22 PM
Hello Jeff,

The Exhibit Supervisor from the Niagara Aquarium sends the data to Cermedia each week.
Since changing to the ceramic media water changes have been reduced by 50%, they were on plastic media.
The sharks are feed 2 to 3 pounds of herring, squid and caplen every other day.

The octopus tank did test very low on nitrates this week. Nitrate test numbers do vary, but are respectfully low.

Thank you,
Matt

mtsklar
07-20-2010, 03:29 PM
Jeff,
Here is a follow up photo to my last post. The MP2C media is random packed in a single container installed in a filter room.

Regards,
Matt

graybird
07-20-2010, 05:07 PM
Matt, the film on the media is brown. Areas that get more light have some green algal growth but not much. The shower is in the shade of a pair of redwood trees, though the southern end of it does get some sun. I have a sheet of matting on top of the top tray media to help keep out the big pieces that get through the skimmer baskets, as well as leaf drop from the trees. So, no, light is not completely blocked out, but it's mostly shaded. I will say I've been surprised that I haven't seen more algae.

When I had the Stak-Paks, light was almost completely blocked, other than the cutouts for the spraybar in the lid. But that blocked air as well, so I don't have the answer to that conundrum. Is it even possible to block light but not air? If nitrosomonas are light-avoiding, why do shower filters all seem to eliminate nitrate? Most ponders don't have their showers in the dark.:scratch: wait, lemme rephrase :D:

Zac Penn
07-20-2010, 06:31 PM
When I had the Stak-Paks, light was almost completely blocked, other than the cutouts for the spraybar in the lid. But that blocked air as well, so I don't have the answer to that conundrum. Is it even possible to block light but not air? If nitrosomonas are light-avoiding, why do shower filters all seem to eliminate nitrate? Most ponders don't have their showers in the dark.:scratch: wait, lemme rephrase :D:

The light doesn't penetrate into the centers of the shower trays, when they are packed with media. This means that the light avoiding bacterial will only colonize in the inner section of the media pack, which means you have a lot of wasted media in a feather rock/lava rock filter. If you had a ceramic media where the water flows through it, the inner section of the media itself will be dark so more bacteria will colonize on each piece of media, which means less media is needed. That is my hypothosis!

Zac

mtsklar
07-20-2010, 06:37 PM
Hi Mary,
Algae can be brown as well as many other colors. Biofilm slim can also be brown too. Most plastic medias seem to produce quite a bit of brown floc. We know that bio-films grow thicker on media that has relatively less surface area. These thicker films tend to slough a lot.

Honestly Mary there are things about biofilms and algae that we don't understand. Take for example the photo attached.


This photo was taken at a food mill. Experiments are being done with ingredients to test digestibility. All of the tanks have been fed the same food for the last 4 weeks. Notice that one tank is more clear than the others.

It is hypothesized that either :

one of the koi has the right enzyme to digest all of the food (unlikely)
or
there is a bacteria in the clear tank that is acting to consume the ingredient the koi can't (more likely)


Regards,
Matt

Paultergeist
07-21-2010, 10:16 AM
....but in all seriousness, Matt,

Mary's observation strikes at a core issue regarding showers: nitrate levels. Some time ago, I rummaged around through old threads regarding this very issue, and there were three different outcomes regarding showers and nitrate: (a) some folks experienced an increase in nitrate levels after using a shower, (b) some saw no difference, and (c) some reported a reduction in nitrate, as does Mary. I have never understood the reason behind this, and it is one of the major reasons that I was very interested at one time in performing a small-scale comparison study using showers.

It may also be worthy to bear in mind some of the differences in a couple of these media types: With respect to your MP2C ceramic media, the objective seems to be to mainly provide optimal substrate for nitrifying bacteria, with tremendous surface area within a comparitvely small volumetric space. The Bacterial House (BH) media, on the other hand -- is supposedly designed to harbor a variety of bacterial-friendly micro-climates (or at least so I have heard), but I don't think that the emphasis on BH media is for as high a surface area/volume as the MP2C stuff. I also know that the BH media does not have the flow-through feature that the MP2C media does.

I have heard claims of the BH media having some denitrifying capabilities, but I cannot currently locate technical literature from the manufacturer. I am now hearing that the stuff is not being made very available in the U.S., so it may all be a moot point.

Were someone, someday, to perform a focused shower comparison study, I really think that the BH media should be evaluated, as it would provide some real data as to the putative "denitrifying" ability of this media. I don't know if such a study has been done, even by the manufacturer?

mtsklar
07-21-2010, 02:45 PM
Dear Mary, Paul and Zac,

The combination of vast surface area, interconnected pores, and flow through is the power of the media. Take one of these characteristics away and MP2C can't do what it does.

MP2C supports aerobic bacteria over a vast area of interconnected pores. The thin biofilm consumes oxygen in the water during nitrification. If the oxygen saturation level in the water gets below 2 ppm and the right carbon sources are available, then conditions are exist for denitrification. *

In a shower filter it is possible that facultative anaerobes are present, if so then some nitrate destruction may be possible. Facultative anaerobes can live in an oxygen environment and without oxygen.

Many various micro climates can and do exists in the MP2C bio-media. The folks that make K1 came out with the biochip because worms would come in and consume the biofilm on the open K1. The selling message they delivered was that biochip was to provide a home for rotifers. Rotifers can consume 1000 times their body weight in a day and eat particles up to 10 microns in size. A filter that supports rotifers and protects them from predatory swimming daphinia is a good thing. ie: a shower/trickle

Well rotifers love MP2C and worms will have trouble getting into the pores.

Strata International cultivates facultative bacteria by feeding them nitrates and phosphates.

Matt

* footnote: Denitrification is a process that is under study by many research facilities world wide. Cermedia does not claim at this time to have a solution for the denitrification process. Individual results may vary.

mtsklar
08-14-2010, 09:59 AM
Latest test numbers from the exhibit supervisor.

pH / NH4 / NO2 / NO3

8.13 / 0.00 / 0.008 / 12 shark tank

8.04 / 0.00 / 0.005 / 2.2 octopus tank (at 49 degrees F!)


The shark tank at 17,000 GPH is on 12 cubic feet of media.
Not sure how much in in the octopus tank.



Jeff,
Here is a follow up photo to my last post. The MP2C media is random packed in a single container installed in a filter room.

Regards,
Matt