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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '16, 05:10 
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Yea Ive been dancing around this one a little. Basically, using zeolite or some other form of ion exchanging material act as a magnet and swap ammonium molecules in the water for another ion, usually/mostly sodium. They eventually saturate and need to be re-charged, usually by overnight immersion in a strong salt solution although Zeolites cannot be used with salted water systems for obvious reasons so there lays its limitations within Aquaculture and AP.

Bui, you've reduced amm therefore reduced nitrate production.

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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '16, 07:54 
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Essentially its like removing fish.

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PostPosted: Apr 7th, '16, 21:17 
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Charlie wrote:
..... They eventually saturate and need to be re-charged, usually by overnight immersion in a strong salt solution although Zeolites cannot be used with salted water systems for obvious reasons so there lays its limitations within Aquaculture and AP.

Bui, you've reduced amm therefore reduced nitrate production.


I can't.acccept those suggestions ...
it is SIX months that the system has WORKED with salt', will you make the same.claim at 12mts and 2 years..?
so WHEN does the whole show collapse..

Sorry - there is an alternatve belief that it will absorb and release depending on relative concentrations..
That is why cirrus experts use.zeolite in their citrus beds..
So a partially saturated crystal will encourage anoxic bacteria and will gladly release as the consumption.continues..
..


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PostPosted: Apr 8th, '16, 06:53 
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I don't disagree that the absorbed/stored ammonium in the zeolite is either oxidised by autotrophic bacteria to nitrate, and then immediately reduced to nitrogen gas by heterotrophic bacteria, or to some degree the ammonium may be reduced to nitrogen directly. These findings are documented. All that is required is ammonia, 02 and a carbon source for that to play out in the zeolite pores. As long as a carbon source is provided, if not, it will only exchange ions and as the zeolite loads with amm, chemoautotrophic bacteria will take action. This then will turn your zeolite into a nitrate producer.

But there lays the bigger picture. Because zeolite is tremendous at removing ammonium and it will remove all traces, you are now removing that critical component in biofiltration which is the platform in which the whole system rests. In time when the zeolite is saturated (and it will happen) there may be a situation that the biological stability of the system is depleated or non existent. Possibly a ticking time bomb as I have read so many times on other forums.

There are many types of zeolite too. Even those that work in marine situations so I shouldn't have categorised it as not working in saline environments. Maybe in AP where salinity levels are low there is a certain exchange going on and amm is released to some degree. I don't know.

When zeolite is saturated/clogged, it actually requires more than just high salinity to clean and I should have been more specific, but more so some very harsh chemicals, so for the backyarder it is more cost efficient and or easier to replace. This may not be everyones cup of tea either.

I think zeolite has a place in aquaria and possibly the pond world but AP? Im not completely convinced yet but am open to the idea of it so your trials are interesting and Im watching with interest. Just don't claim its fame too early.

Are you able to post up daily or weekly test results? Or have any over the last 6 months?

Either way keep us posted.

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PostPosted: Apr 8th, '16, 08:30 
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Appologies, I was thinking about zeolites used in both AP and RAS so some parts of that rant may be confusing. The end story is my concern in the removal and stored amm in both situations.

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PostPosted: Apr 8th, '16, 15:42 
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Charlie wrote:
.... The end story is my concern in the removal and stored amm in both situations.


CHARLIE... Thanks for your interest.. I get the feeling that some refuse to accept what I have been saying is in fact happening.. I have admitted from the outset that I don't know exactly what is going on , chemically, but after six months, with over 100 fish, half of which are table ready, I think it is time to accept that the CRASH just ain't gona happen..
Otherwise, someone.tell me what that crash time will be .. 1year, 2years.. if you say it will happen then you must know when..

I have been posting readings pretty much from the outset, and so i have not been fabricating anything..... :headbang:

I have two discrete filter paths..
The first is pretty conventional, being swirl}bird-netting}bio-balls, and the second is a fraction flow to the Biocenosis bed, so I BELIEVE that there should be more than enough Amm' in the main circuit to keep those bacteria active.., producing nitrates..
As for the readings, I thought that I did post within this thread, but if I'm wrong, I will do so....
..


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PostPosted: Apr 8th, '16, 17:04 
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Oh.. and a point.. I believe you are ALL wrong that Zeolite saturates and must be cleared..
Reason... Australia's top citrus gardener uses Zeolite in ALL. his gardens, because it dramatically reduces fertiliser use because it both absorbs nutrients AND releases,, and one presumes that is determined by the relative densities ..
Otherwise, WHY would you add the stuff, so that it removes and locks up fertiliser..
The other point is that marine aquarium owners don't. Recharge their Zeolite beds, but those beds continue to provide protection to the system.. for extended periods
..


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PostPosted: Apr 9th, '16, 23:29 
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BuiDoi wrote:
reduces fertiliser use because it both absorbs nutrients AND releases

I wondered about that... If the BioCenosis bags, or bog-filters, absorbed this Nitrogen, couldn't they then be used like a nutrient battery? Stock some up, like flavored ice cubes in the freezer, and then when you need a nutrient dose or boost, you pop out a tray and instant joy! :love10:

I've been following the thread, and while I am not anywhere close to being able do experiments with this, it has been interesting enough to burn some valuable research time learning more about it. It is clear why from a RAS perspective almost any and all filtration possible is a good thing. But I haven't quite grasped the complete separation of Aqua and Ponics thing, unless you really ARE talking about complete separation of the two where nothing done in, or coming from, one affects the other. However that would then seem to lose the garden filter for the fish and the low-cost nutrient generator for the garden. Instead I have visions of those doing this, in some sort of way, not wasting the filtered fish effluent, and hand carrying bucket loads of the stuff over to the garden area to feed the starving plants. In computer network terms, sort of a "sneaker-net" deal where you need to pass something from one side to the other but don't really have them directly connected, so it is hand-carried from one side to the other.

I suppose one aspect would be that the gardener has much more complete precision control of what he feeds the plants. No need to worry about wild nutrient swings when a fish farts or you adjust their feed. Very much the hydroponics experience, right?

It would seem this is a fairly easy thing to scientifically study, even for the moderately invested hobbyist. Two side-by-side, identical-ish systems, one with and one without. The scientific method is the process by which science is carried out. The scientific method is iterative. At any stage it is possible to refine its accuracy and precision, and repeat. Perhaps we have enough bored and interested AP'ers out there with a thing for the scientific truth? Just like BYAP invested time, space, and effort into the F&D v CF debate, their efforts will be forever touted by future generations of AP'ers who wonder about the benefits of one way versus another.

Cheap research is performed by academics trying to get a title or make a name for themselves. Have there not been enough doing peer reproducible studies that have potentially profitable results? If the money motive is there I'd expect that this would be settled science, right? Or is it that new? Or is it that hush-hush because nobody wants to let their competitors in on their edge? I'm still digging for data, so perhaps I'll soon find it. Here is one of the first things that popped into my viewport. I assume those interested already know about this book?

Anoxic Filtration System
Syd Mitchell and Others
Image

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. I'm not some Apple fanboy who thinks this is the only way to read a book, but it appears to be that this title is ONLY available in this format. Perhaps someone has converted it to PDF to be a bit more portable for the unwashed masses? :wave:

Description
Anoxic Filtration System

By; Dr. Kevin Novak

An amazing biological filtration system for ponds and aquariums alike. A biological system using Biocenosis Clarification Baskets that attract positive ions out of the water using electrical charge and a specialized bacteria like Facultative bacteria. Worlds only none clogging filtration system for the hobbyist.

Free
Available on iPad, iPhone and Mac.
Category: Pets
Published: Feb 17, 2013
Publisher: Dr.Kevin Novak
Seller: kevin novak
Print Length: 178 Pages
Language: English
Version: 1.0
Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iPad with iBooks 2 or later and iOS 5 or later, or an iPhone with iOS 8.4 or later, or a Mac with OS X 10.9 or later.

There appears to be reasonable amount of discussion about this topic on this blog, but I have just a glanced at it so far. As far as I know this could be the personal blog of the author or his minions. :)

Anoxic Filtration System Blog

Actually it IS Kevin Novak's blog it seems. Anyway, I mention it just as an additional resource.

Thanks for the documented experimentation, BuiDoi, and for the continued discussion by all...

--
Sam

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PostPosted: Apr 22nd, '16, 13:36 
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Quote:
I wondered about that... If the BioCenosis bags, or bog-filters, absorbed this Nitrogen, couldn't they then be used like a nutrient battery? Stock some up, like flavored ice cubes in the freezer, and then when you need a nutrient dose or boost, you pop out a tray and instant joy!


I have come to accept that all this theory on how the Zeolite works is all rather idealistic..

I have come to assume that whilst it absorbs nutrients, I suspect that the only way it would be capable of acting as a nutrient store, would be to remove and dry the stuff..

I believe that it does absorb nutrients, and immediately the bacteria within the dense mass, acts to deplete it completely..
Thus, in a bacteria-less system, it may, according to theory, absorb and saturate, but no AP system is without bacteria and thus it is clearly only a matter of time before the same results as I see, should be seen.
This was perhaps evidenced by general reading instabilities in the first weeks, but these have now totally stabilised ..

I did readings last night, after going away for a week, leaving the system on auto...

The readings were. O.5, 0, 0, 0

Zeolite does absorb Ammonia, and I believe that it absorbs Nitrites , and flushed bags do by default, consume nitrates, but more likely by bacteria action..

Thus, sufficient bags can completely remove the need for normal AP media and Plants to keep the fish happy..

Again the AP purist will likely consider the loss of fish ammonia, a total waste, but processing the solids is more than satisfactory compensation , and the ZERO readings are very pleasing to me for a system, now with 150 SP (50 near fully grown plus 100 advanced fingerlings) in it and soon another 30 trout.. :cheers:
..


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '16, 12:29 
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another three months odd has flown past..

The knockers keep saying that it can't work as I expected, :dontknow: and I say it is working better than I suspected..

I have stopped doing readings other than an occasional one.

I have found that the system talks to me and I know when something is different, just by appearance.
This typically happens when I see an unusual froth quantity, and I instantly know something needs cleaning as the ammonia has risen.
Invariably, it is the canister filter filled with bird netting - it will be clogged with muck..
I just pull it out when the Bride is out shopping and throw it in the front-loader...

The 2000L round (BioCenosis) system has not been altered:
I still run at about 3ppt salt and the pH at around 6(plus). the mid winter temperature is 14>15C and all fish are eating well..
I have over 50 ready-to-eat Silvers in one tank and the equivalent of another 50 in the second..
That again, is the full on BioCenosis system..

My other system (again) is a standard AP system, with over 100 by 120mm SP fingerlings in one tank and over 50 LARGE SP in the second. ( if anything I do can be considered - standard.. :naughty:
Salt is running at about 1ppt and the pH again at low 6...
I did get nervous at just SOOOoooo many fish in an AP system and installed a couple of BioCenosis bags in the clay media beds.. near the AutoSiphon Inlet, so that there is the most pronounced rise and fall, pumping nutrients into the bags..
I do very occasional readings, but they are always zero anyway..

So, decide for yourself if BioCenosis is working for me.. and breaking ALL the rules and standing "Advice" :support:

The offer is still there, for anyone to inspect for themselves..

over 100 fish in 2000L of water and next to no plants.. or
over 150 fish in 2000L of water and thriving plants

My suspicion is that I could push the full BioCenosis system to at least 150 fish also.. and I have had over 200 for a good time, but smaller fish..
..
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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '16, 16:18 
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I very much doubt that there is any biological activity within the zeolite. It may absorb molecules ie get wet but that does not mean that bacteria has a hold within it (as opposed to say live corals). Unless it has been severely modified it is microporus.
It does however adsorb things and biological activity may (make that will) occur on its surface. If you have zeolite confined in bags, depending on size of bags and zeolite it is likely you are being colonised by bacteria that require 02 those that are indifferent and those that don't want it at all. :)


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PostPosted: Oct 15th, '16, 07:50 
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Well it's been a long time since we set up the Zeolite (BioCenosis) system, and against all the advice that said it would not work..

The reality is the it most certainly HAS worked and continues to do so..
NOTHING has been changed, and I stopped taking readings, because they barely moved off ZERO..

We had our first trout, some days back and it weighed in at 535gms if my memory is correct..

The 60ish plate size SP are just waiting to be harvested, but the more I wait the bigger they get..

I keep the SALT at about 3ppt, and the one Hoan Ngoc that I poked a cutting in the clay media, has gone ballistic..

So, I think that I have PROVED that ZEOLITE does not saturate and does not dump it's load when salt is added..
..
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PostPosted: Oct 15th, '16, 09:49 
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Glad it worked for you BuiDoi :thumbright: .


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PostPosted: Oct 15th, '16, 13:07 
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Oh - and I sunk some more bags of Zeolite in the back of my AP beds and trebled the fish in that system.. so the results are pretty consistent..
..
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PostPosted: Oct 16th, '16, 01:27 
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I appreciate your efforts and the information you've provided.

I've built a slightly different filter system that works the same way, but have only done miniature-scale testing so far... your results are encouraging to me.

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