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scrumpto
10-17-2014, 05:47 PM
Okay, I've never used biopellets and am going to test them out but I'm really confused on something.

Biopellets add carbon to your system to allow bacteria to grow similar to vodka dosing. Understood. Here's what confuses me.

In my research I've constantly come across people saying you should put your biopellet outlet near your skimmer inlet. If you the goal is to give the bacteria in your system a food source why would you then immediately feed the output of your reactor into your skimmer inlet? This makes zero sense to me. This would be like saying I'm going to feed my fish and then put the food into the skimmer inlet which would starve the fish.

It seems to me that you'd want to put the biopellet reactor outlet right near your return pump to distribute the carbon bacteria food throughout your system.

What am I missing here?

NightStar
10-17-2014, 06:02 PM
The bacteria actually grow and colonize within the reactor itself. What's coming out of the reactor is a byproduct of the bacteria eating the phosphates and nitrates, hence you want to skim it and remove it. Some of the bacteria will escape into your main tank, one of the big reasons they say to start at a half dose so the bloom doesn't take over your tank. But given where the food source is, once it settled the colony is in the reactor.

Levi
10-18-2014, 12:30 AM
The bacteria actually grow and colonize within the reactor itself. What's coming out of the reactor is a byproduct of the bacteria eating the phosphates and nitrates, hence you want to skim it and remove it. Some of the bacteria will escape into your main tank, one of the big reasons they say to start at a half dose so the bloom doesn't take over your tank. But given where the food source is, once it settled the colony is in the reactor.
+1 thank you for taking the time to explain this. As to keep this on track and not offend anyone I have edited my post to include a link to how biopellets work.

http://bit.ly/1wfHWQR

Romebaby
10-18-2014, 12:41 AM
+1 thank you for taking the time to explain this. I feel that 90% of the people that try bio pellets have done little to no research as to how they actually work before trying, have algae blooms and cannot understand why. Good tank husbandry requires research into how items work.

I've done so much research on pellets that I'm afraid to try them because of the horror stories of the 90% you mention.

Levi
10-18-2014, 12:42 AM
I've done so much research on pellets that I'm afraid to try them because of the horror stories of the 90% you mention.
+1 I agree 100% and why I haven't tried them.

NightStar
10-18-2014, 12:52 AM
I agree there are lots of those stories, but it seemed like the majority of the risk could be mitigated by starting out with a fraction of the dose recommended and not ramping until fully established. Least that was my thought.

codeman01
10-18-2014, 02:54 AM
+1 thank you for taking the time to explain this. I feel that 90% of the people that try bio pellets have done little to no research as to how they actually work before trying, have algae blooms and cannot understand why. Good tank husbandry requires research into how items work.

I for one did a bunch of reading and watched a bunch of videos, but don't recall anything about algae blooms. I know that the bacteria colonizes in the reactor, hence the "reactor", and I also have the outlet of the reactor before the protien skimmer, just not directly into it. There is no exact science as to how each individual tank will respond to certain things, so it's more of a trial and error, and what works for YOUR tank. I have done vodka dosing in the past with no ill effects, I just got tired of buying vodka and dosing all the time. So instead of saying that most people do it wrong/don't do enough research, maybe try to offer actual advice, and if you don't have anything positive to add to the discusion then don't bother posting to the thread. Or if you can tell me an EXACT science in this hobby, then feel free because I would love to know.

Levi
10-18-2014, 07:55 AM
I for one did a bunch of reading and watched a bunch of videos, but don't recall anything about algae blooms. I know that the bacteria colonizes in the reactor, hence the "reactor", and I also have the outlet of the reactor before the protien skimmer, just not directly into it. There is no exact science as to how each individual tank will respond to certain things, so it's more of a trial and error, and what works for YOUR tank. I have done vodka dosing in the past with no ill effects, I just got tired of buying vodka and dosing all the time. So instead of saying that most people do it wrong/don't do enough research, maybe try to offer actual advice, and if you don't have anything positive to add to the discusion then don't bother posting to the thread. Or if you can tell me an EXACT science in this hobby, then feel free because I would love to know.

And.... apparently I offended you. It was not my intention to offend YOU specifically Cody and I am sorry that you obviously took it that way. JLawrence had the exact same issue and tried biopellets, had an algae bloom and took them out of his system because they "apparently didnt work". I have heard this exact story over and over again.

Bio pellets degrade over time, thought process to me first of all is "why do they dissolve away?"
-Possible options for logical thought process would include the fact that maybe when they dissolve it is because something is consuming them or they are adding something to the water.

My first thought when I looked into biopellets was they worked like bioballs right? I think everyone had the same thought about them, tiny little porous spheres that have a huge amount of surface area and allow bacteria to grow on them. This all made sense to me logically until I read that the pellets need replaced and that they dissolve. Bio balls do not dissolve so why do these pellets dissolve? Further research into it I realized the entire point of the bio pellets is to "culture" a huge bacteria "station" inside the reactor. Ammonia - Nitrites - Nitrates - Phosphates etc so the end result is a super rich bacteria coming out the other end of the reactor. Obviously this is great that it made the water safe for my fish but now I have super concentrated bacteria coming out and going back into my water, thats not a good option right? So having it go directly into a skimmer allows for that super concentrated bacteria to be taken up in the skimmer. On JJ's system this is exactly how we run it, have it feed into the first skimmer and then anything that the first skimmer misses, the second skimmer hopefully catches. I have seen setups where the inlet to the skimmer actually has an attached "feed" line so that 100% of the reactors output feeds into the skimmer.

http://bit.ly/1wfHWQR - great youtube video that very quickly does a down and dirty explanation of how bio pellets work as well as other results. I believe that the 2nd result is the youtube video. Another good article is the one from the "Reef Tank" about Biopellets Myth Busters, lastly the 5th search result down is Biopellet how it works and has a great explanation of the process.

codeman01
10-18-2014, 08:13 AM
Not offended, just would like to keep the threads "on track" so people trying to learn can do so. You provided some great info ^^^^ thank you. It's something that in theory should work, and for those of us that want to try it, we need to learn the best ways to use it, which is why all of these threads have been started it seems.

codeman01
10-18-2014, 08:30 AM
I have decided to use a homemade filter sock to go over the reactor outlet and place that right in front of my skimmer intake. I will update in a few days or if and when I notice any changes.

Levi
10-18-2014, 08:46 AM
I have decided to use a homemade filter sock to go over the reactor outlet and flace that right in front of my skimmer intake. I will update in a few days or if and when I notice any changes.

what micron filter sock did you decide to go with? Also is this to try and catch the bacteria as they "fall off" the bio media?

codeman01
10-18-2014, 09:00 AM
I'm not sure what the micron size is. It was white felt that we had and the wife sewed into a sock to cover the outlet. The goal is not to catch the bacteria, but the byproduct that it produces.

Back to the initial thread question, it seems to me that biopellets are similar to GFO in that everything that happens should occur in the reactor itself, and produce "good water". But....the byproduct of what happens in a biopellet reactor still needs to be filtered out to work properly.

DISCLAIMER: This is only my interpretation on how this all works :)

Levi
10-18-2014, 09:14 AM
I'm not sure what the micron size is. It was white felt that we had and the wife sewed into a sock to cover the outlet. The goal is not to catch the bacteria, but the byproduct that it produces.

Back to the initial thread question, it seems to me that biopellets are similar to GFO in that everything that happens should occur in the reactor itself, and produce "good water". But....the byproduct of what happens in a biopellet reactor still needs to be filtered out to work properly.

DISCLAIMER: This is only my interpretation on how this all works :)

OFF TOPIC: She should make a few of them and bring it to the next meeting! It is hard to find good quality filter socks. The ones I purchased from a LFS here in town fall apart after a few washings and the ones I got from ebay are cheap chinese ones.

codeman01
10-18-2014, 09:21 AM
LOL......I'll see how they work first. These may end up being the same story.

scrumpto
10-18-2014, 10:06 PM
A suggestion Cody.

Your protein skimmer removes things from your system when it encounters them.
A filter sock stores things for removal from your system until you decide to replace the filter sock.

With that in mind, if your goal is to remove a byproduct (something I know nothing about currently) then logically you would want to link as closely together your reactor outlet and your skimmer inlet and then place the filter sock on the outlet of your skimmer. This would quickly remove things from your system rather than store them for later removal. Also, your filter sock will not clog as quickly.

I have a very large skimmer which outputs into a filter sock and I'm shocked by how much it catches that the skimmer didn't. That said, it would catch a heck of a lot more if it was before the skimmer.

Still researching biopellets -- I figure they can't hurt much if I start really slowly.

Campbell
10-18-2014, 10:19 PM
My first biopellet reactor should be here Monday so thanks for the thread and all the info. I like the idea of a filter sock after the skimmer. Not sure if I can make that work on my skimmer but good info anyways

codeman01
10-18-2014, 10:46 PM
A suggestion Cody.

Your protein skimmer removes things from your system when it encounters them.
A filter sock stores things for removal from your system until you decide to replace the filter sock.

With that in mind, if your goal is to remove a byproduct (something I know nothing about currently) then logically you would want to link as closely together your reactor outlet and your skimmer inlet and then place the filter sock on the outlet of your skimmer. This would quickly remove things from your system rather than store them for later removal. Also, your filter sock will not clog as quickly.

I have a very large skimmer which outputs into a filter sock and I'm shocked by how much it catches that the skimmer didn't. That said, it would catch a heck of a lot more if it was before the skimmer.

Still researching biopellets -- I figure they can't hurt much if I start really slowly.

That sounds like a great idea! How did you attach the filter sock to your skimmer outlet? Pictures? I don't know if it would be a dumb idea to use a filter sock at each point? This is all a learning curve for me so far.

scrumpto
10-19-2014, 02:08 AM
That sounds like a great idea! How did you attach the filter sock to your skimmer outlet? Pictures? I don't know if it would be a dumb idea to use a filter sock at each point? This is all a learning curve for me so far.

My skimmer is external so it dumps into a filter sock that's hanging in the sump via a CPR holder like the following:
http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/cpr-sockit-7-sock-it-filter-sock-holder-2-inlets-1.html

Depending on the height of your skimmer outlet this may or may not work. They're nice in that they adjust for height but without knowing your setup I have no idea if it would work or not.

Also I've heard that using biopellets can quickly clog a filter sock. Yet another reason to put it after the skimmer.

2thmaker
10-19-2014, 06:12 PM
I just changed my outlets from my biopellet reactors to flow into the inlet of my protein skimmer. When I first switched to the pellets my tubing wasn't long enough to place in front of the inlet. So I went and grabbed some more tubing today and made the changes. I'll post any noticeable observations.

scrumpto
10-23-2014, 03:04 AM
Good primer on biopellets which explains why you want to feed the output into your skimmer. Also explains why they can cause a cyno bloom.

http://blog.marinedepot.com/2014/05/biopellets-beginners-guide.html

Manchestercity
12-22-2014, 09:00 PM
So I recently moved around some equipment and I'd like to move my bio pellet reactor to my sump ( I no longer have a skimmer in my sump) so instead of having my reactor hang off the side of my hob skimmer I'm wondering if I can just put the reactor output into my refugium...any thoughts?

static reef
12-23-2014, 01:32 AM
Doesnt matter where you put the bpr. You want the output line of the bpr to feed into the skimmer. Elongate your tube/plumbing to where the water will flow into the feed pump of the skimmer.

Manchestercity
12-23-2014, 02:20 AM
Doesnt matter where you put the bpr. You want the output line of the bpr to feed into the skimmer. Elongate your tube/plumbing to where the water will flow into the feed pump of the skimmer.

Jj I'm asking if it's possible that macro algae will absorb whatever byproduct the bpr is spitting out...

static reef
12-23-2014, 02:39 AM
Jj I'm asking if it's possible that macro algae will absorb whatever byproduct the bpr is spitting out...
Yes. That is why you want the "gases" to be phlled our if the water column as soon as possible.