Jump to content
Kokos Goldfish Forum
Sign in to follow this  
DarkFish

Trickle filter filler to reduce nitrate

Recommended Posts

Hi. I’m relatively new to ‘proper’ goldfish. Bought all in one type aquarium (Juwel 240l) with the built in trickle tray type filter. Allowed 6 weeks to cycle before adding 2 x 4 inch orandas 3 months ago. Since stocking I’ve had zero readings for ammonia & nitrite, however nitrate reads around 40ppm (possibly more I find chart hard to read as colours very similar above 40).. Sadly lost one fish to ‘hole in the head’ so concerned about those nitrate levels. I am changing 50% water weekly, being careful not to over feed etc. Only using standard filter wool, changing weekly.

My question is, would you recommend adding additional filter media to tray (noodles, rocks, sponge, carbon etc) & if so in what order, should I separate horizontally or vertically or just layer? Or should I consider different type of filtration altogether or in addition? Ideally would like to continue with tray alone.

Your assistance is massively appreciated! Becoming mildly obsessed by orandas & really committed to giving best care possible. Thought I’d read up properly beforehand but there’s so much to learn & so much conflicting advice online.

Cheers.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the nitrate level coming straight out of the tap?  Sometimes the issue isn’t just the tank, but the water source :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is just based on my personal experience on "de-nitrification" or filtration to reduce or eliminate nitrates, so your mileage may vary.

I experimented with different forms of filters for nitrate reduction.  I got the best results from overhead trickle filters and air driven corner/bottom filters.  Canister filters and most hang on the back power filters were not as good.  The key here is flow.  I get the best results if the filter filters less than 50 gallons/190 litres per hour.  The bacteria that consumes nitrates lives in anaerobic or very low oxygen conditions.  Deep sand bed filters are an old school example of this.  Lower water flow encourages anaerobic conditions.  So the filters that worked for me were the ones that I could control the filtration flow.

The choice of media is important too.  Standard filter wool will likely not work for you - water flows too easily creating an oxygen rich environment.  Media designed for this ie. Biohome, Seachem deNitrate, Marinepure Cermedia has a ton of deep channels that encourage anaerobic conditions so it gives you a better chance of cultivating nitrate consuming bacteria.  Also the volume of filter media required for denitrification is likely a factor too, more than the regular volume of media needed to eliminate ammonia and nitrite.  I don't have a standard answer as to how much, I tinker around until it works.  Complete denitrification in all my tanks took about 6 months.

I'm not familiar with Juwel equipment, I think it's only sold in the UK?  "Pondguru" has interesting videos on Youtube, he sells Biohome filter media in the UK.  I would start there for more info and research.

Other than that, other people have had success with Pothos clippings or hydroponic systems - that might be something that you may want to explore too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a start.  Long video, maybe your patience level is better than mine.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, thank you so much for the swift, useful & thorough replies. There’s a serious amount & diversity of opinion out there for a beginner as I’m sure you know! I’m hooked anyway so time to experiment is kind of on my side. Just want to do the absolute right thing in the meantime..

Hopefully someday I can pass on whatever I’ve managed to pick up. This site seems great by the way, keep up the good work Koko!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Arctic Mama, so often it’s the obvious things I miss! Will check tap levels later.. Doesn’t the aqua safe type conditioner neutralise or decrease nitrate? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a nice forum.  Lots of people willing to help.

There's many ways of raising fish/goldfish, so choose what works for you and your finny friends.

I've had internet friends where they had higher levels of nitrate levels out of the tap, that is a tough situation to be in.  They attempted to do the same thing too in order to control the level of nitrates.

Our salt water friends have been doing denitrification for years, either through deep sand beds, live rock, media reactors or through their sumps.  It's not new science, but not very common with fresh water fish.  Maybe it's just easier to do a water change to reduce nitrates, but the salties have to dose marine salt and other additives to bring water back up to ideal conditions. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thankyou Dahling (can I say that?!) for the incredibly helpful advice so far. Same from Aki & Noddy 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The water dechlorinators have no effect on nitrate, so that’s why the endogenous amount in the tap water matters, as well as regular maintenance of filtration equipment to manage the mulm and debris that contributed to an increase in that number :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would love to see your set up. Sometimes it's easier to understand if we see it. Is the filter internal or hob?

By the way :welcome

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi & thanks for the welcome 🙂

Will post some pictures tomorrow as I’m working overnight.. Might start a thread on how other shift workers ensure their fish are OK while away! I’m using veg & increasingly small pieces of fruit as they last (a little) longer than pellets. 

Your site is the best! I’ve prioritised it for advice over last few months. Nothing like it in the UK. You also seem to have better supply of fish over there. Was in Chicago a fortnight ago & so tempted to pop over the lake to a place called Dandy Orandas. Don’t think customs would have appreciated that in my luggage though 😉

Cheers

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, DarkFish said:

Hi & thanks for the welcome 🙂

Will post some pictures tomorrow as I’m working overnight.. Might start a thread on how other shift workers ensure their fish are OK while away! I’m using veg & increasingly small pieces of fruit as they last (a little) longer than pellets. 

Your site is the best! I’ve prioritised it for advice over last few months. Nothing like it in the UK. You also seem to have better supply of fish over there. Was in Chicago a fortnight ago & so tempted to pop over the lake to a place called Dandy Orandas. Don’t think customs would have appreciated that in my luggage though 😉

Cheers

 

 

I'm so glad you like it. The site is about 20 years old lol

Dandy Orandas is closing for now😒 we have lost a lot of fish places lately here. 

With that kind of food your fish will be spoiled lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi & apologies for going quiet, it’s been a craaazy week! 

Please find attached pictures of my filter set up. If anyone can suggest how I could adapt / add filtration in order to reduce nitrate & improve water quality generally that would be great.. I’ve tested my tap water & it’s off the scale - 160ppm plus I reckon. Now adding a reducing product.

Many thanks

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m unable to attach pics due to maximum kB size but will have a play around later, bear with..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, please see pics below & more to follow..

F1875B05-2D41-4066-A80C-92ADCCB0E7F2.jpeg

88ECA8F2-A972-44E5-9CCA-C133AA7B439C.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry won’t let me add more but hope you get the idea.. It’s basically a 27 x 5 inch tray about 3 inches deep fed by a power head attached to a stick type inflow pipe which pumps into the tray and a spray bar which I’m trying to get proper connector in order to sit above water level. Spray bar recent addition as I’ve decided very little current suits my fish better than the surfers paradise they previously endured! Poor things had to take regular breaks in calmest corner. Guess I’m learning! 😗

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That would be an interesting experiment.  I dont know what is the capacity of your trickle filter, but It may do the trick.  Your tank capacity is 240 litres?  What is the output of your powerhead?  I have a similar setup and it took some tweaking to get it working the way I like it.  I think the Pondguru guy did a youtube video on modifying a trickle filter similar to yours for denitrification.  You may want to search through his videos.

With denitrification, you need much more media volume than regular filters, the proper type of filter media and I mentioned that flow rate seems to be the key.  One of the better box filters I found to help supplement your main filters are from a distributor of Poret filter foam in North America, you may be able to make or buy something similar.  I am using it in a couple of my tanks to help with denitrification.  

http://www.swisstropicals.com/filtration-shop/betterboxfilter/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That would be an interesting experiment.  I dont know what is the capacity of your trickle filter, but It may do the trick.  Your tank capacity is 240 litres?  What is the output of your powerhead?  I have a similar setup and it took some tweaking to get it working the way I like it.  I think the Pondguru guy did a youtube video on modifying a trickle filter similar to yours for denitrification.  You may want to search through his videos.
With denitrification, you need much more media volume than regular filters, the proper type of filter media and I mentioned that flow rate seems to be the key.  One of the better box filters I found to help supplement your main filters are from a distributor of Poret filter foam in North America, you may be able to make or buy something similar.  I am using it in a couple of my tanks to help with denitrification.  
http://www.swisstropicals.com/filtration-shop/betterboxfilter/
Great post. The closest filter I had like that was a eclipse filter system.

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve taken your advice on board, watched a lot of Pondguru’s videos & started to wish I’d paid more attention in science classes at school! It’s actually quite fascinating & I’m surprised at the very recent development of products to complete that nitrogen cycle efficiently given how long people have been keeping goldfish.. 

I’m unsure of the output of my power head as not marked on product etc, seems pretty fast & is not adjustable. I plan to order some media from Pondguru & try that in tray alongside wool. 

One thing puzzles me - conditions to encourage anaerobic bacteria & reduce nitrate are low oxygen, yet fancy goldfish need plenty of this? Guess it’s all a balance..

Many thanks again 🙂

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anaerobic bacteria thrives deep in the filter media - pores, cavities and channels.  The aerobic (oxygen loving) bacteria thrives on the outside - that processes your ammonia and nitrites.  If the flow is low and slow enough, the aerobic loving bacteria will still get their oxygen, the anaerobic bacteria will get less flow and oxygen as mulm blocks the path of the flow and the media structure naturally impedes water flow.  Just from personal experience.  I had high flow canister filters, pumps, hobs and nitrates stayed the same.  By finding a way of slowing down flow and or different, adjustable filters, it got what I was looking for.

Let us know how you do with the Biohome.  I had to take a hard swallow when I priced it out.  I immediately thought, oh I will just do more water changes, but our water supply is great.  I dont have to deal with nitrates out of the tap.

I have learned from this forum that goldfish can get the oxygen they need from the surface area of the tank.  Wider, lower heigh tanks are ideal, it just seems like a natural fit with goldfish.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent advice. It’s now all making sense in my head without me having to continually reference the YouTube videos, your posts etc..

My plan as it stands is to get the Bio-kit, a new adjustable powerhead, balance the flow so it’s slow enough to follow theory in above post yet still provides decent air flow (could add pump but I’ve read these mostly just blow air out via surface?) and definitely stick with 2 fish until they grow, when I will buy that 500l dream tank! 

In the meantime thank you so much again for all the sound advice. Will let you know when the nitrate hits zero! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
  • Create New...