Dilution - Filtration

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spanko

Active Member
#1
We hear the saying "Dilution is the solution to pollution", or used to anyway, quite often in the hobby referring to water changes. When running a saltwater aquarium is the solution to pollution water changes or filtration? Can it be either or a combination of the two.
Discuss.
 

flower

Well-Known Member
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by spanko http:///t/391419/dilution-filtration#post_3471053
We hear the saying "Dilution is the solution to pollution", or used to anyway, quite often in the hobby referring to water changes. When running a saltwater aquarium is the solution to pollution water changes or filtration? Can it be either or a combination of the two.
Discuss.
Water changes nor filtraion will help with fish disease.
LOL...when it comes to a fish tank..everything we can do to keep our critters alive and healthy is something for us to try. Everyone has their way of keeping a tank going. When a question is asked, we give them our solutions on what we would do..That's human nature. So as many people will give as many ideas.
I know folks with beautiful tanks who do weekly WCs, and I also know a guy who has a beautiful reef tank and hasn't done a WC in it for over 29 years.
I say water changes, good filtration, a good skimmer, and using the best test equipment so you know whats going on with the water are all important. A saltwater tank is a tiny cube packed with life...everything we do, not do, or add...affects it good or bad.
Water changes may not be the cure all, but in an emergency it can't hurt. It's the one thing you can always do.
 

snakeblitz33

Well-Known Member
#3
I think most people don't do "proper" water changes. By that I mean that an aquarist should blow off the rocks with a powerhead to stir up detritus and then should also siphon out all of the detritus accumulated in the sump. Water changes with a purpose.
Salt mixes have way more minerals and trace elements in it than we can supplement for. While a tank without water changes is absolutely possible, it might not do as well as one with frequent water changes just because of balancing the chemicals and adding trace elements back into the system, instead of having the corals and algaes keep recycling it. If all it does is constantly recycle in the tank, then the corals etc. will not grow as fast.
I know I was notorious for a water change only once or twice a year but I am rethinking my position on the matter.
As far as filtration goes, I feel like there should be some kind of me handicap filter at the beginning of the sump to keep detritus from building up too much, unless you have a deep sand bed fuge and the flora and fauna/Infauna to help process it.
Macroalgae will, for me, always be the number one form of filtration to rid the tank of nitrates and phosphates.
 

flower

Well-Known Member
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakeBlitz33 http:///t/391419/dilution-filtration#post_3471064
I think most people don't do "proper" water changes. By that I mean that an aquarist should blow off the rocks with a powerhead to stir up detritus and then should also siphon out all of the detritus accumulated in the sump. Water changes with a purpose.
Salt mixes have way more minerals and trace elements in it than we can supplement for. While a tank without water changes is absolutely possible, it might not do as well as one with frequent water changes just because of balancing the chemicals and adding trace elements back into the system, instead of having the corals and algaes keep recycling it. If all it does is constantly recycle in the tank, then the corals etc. will not grow as fast.
I know I was notorious for a water change only once or twice a year but I am rethinking my position on the matter.
As far as filtration goes, I feel like there should be some kind of me handicap filter at the beginning of the sump to keep detritus from building up too much, unless you have a deep sand bed fuge and the flora and fauna/Infauna to help process it.
Macroalgae will, for me, always be the number one form of filtration to rid the tank of nitrates and phosphates.
Hi,
I use a filter in the sump, and I use macroalgae...I agree you can't beat macro for keeping a tank clear of PO4 and NO3 but it isn't fast. Macros and a filter in the sump is a preventive measure that I agree works.
Remember Spanko is talking about pollution...when corals are closed up and dying from high nitrates our method would certainly work over time, but...time can be deadly.
A water change is the easiest, safest and quickest fix when the water parameters are off. A good water change will put everything back in balance and it might take a few times to start seeing the results, but it does work.
For mystery die off (coral or fish)...I always run carbon as well just in case it's a toxin problem. Which puts me in the catagory of a mix of the two.
 
#5
A combination of both is probably what is going to work best for most people. I do small daily water changes through an automatic system and that has worked wonders for the tank.
I will say that upgrading to a larger sump and larger refugium made a HUGE difference, so the extra water volume is another thing to consider.
 

geoj

Active Member
#6
I honestly the last time I did a water change was when I treated Flatworm exit two month ago. I have only just started to add SPS to this tank and expect my lazy ways to continue. :laughing:
 

slice

Active Member
#7
Terminology often gets cross-pollinated and misused in this hobby. I got confused easily when starting out; I read new comers being confused as well. So...what is the definition, for the sake of this

discussion, of "Pollution" and "Filtration"?
Wikipedia says:
Pollution
is the introduction of contaminants into a natural environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms.[sup][1][/sup] Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants
Contamination
is the presence of a minor and unwanted constituent (contaminant) in material, physical body, natural environment, at a workplace, etc.
Filtration
is commonly the mechanical or physical operation which is used for the separation of solids from fluids (liquids or gases) by interposing a medium through which only the fluid can pass. Oversize solids in the fluid are retained, but the separation is not complete; solids will be contaminated with some fluid and filtrate will contain fine particles (depending on the pore size and filter thickness). Filtration is also used to describe some biological processes, especially in water treatment and sewage treatment in which undesirable constituents are removed by adsorption into a biological film grown on or in the filter medium.
When I think about "Filtration", I think about the removal of substances that can break down into forms that "causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms". Like removing detritus and other organic matter before it breaks down into ammonia, then nitrites, then nitrates. I don't think about detritus being harmful in itself, therefore I don't think of it as being a "pollutant", but as a potential source of pollution.
When I think about "Pollutants" I think about Nitrates and P04 mostly.
So, I think "Filtration" is useful in ridding the system of organics that can cause "Pollution".
Once "Filtration" has failed, the resultant "Pollution" can be diluted via water changes and through bioaccumulation by macroalgaes*.
"The solution to pollution is dilution". Better yet, rid the system of excess organics before it turns into pollution.
JMO
*is bioaccumulation really filtration?
 
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice http:///t/391419/dilution-filtration#post_3471291
When I think about "Filtration", I think about the removal of substances that can break down into forms that "causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms". Like removing detritus and other organic matter before it breaks down into ammonia, then nitrites, then nitrates. I don't think about detritus being harmful in itself, therefore I don't think of it as being a "pollutant", but as a potential source of pollution.
When I think about "Pollutants" I think about Nitrates and P04 mostly.
So, I think "Filtration" is useful in ridding the system of organics that can cause "Pollution".
Once "Filtration" has failed, the resultant "Pollution" can be diluted via water changes and through bioaccumulation by macroalgaes*.
"The solution to pollution is dilution". Better yet, rid the system of excess organics before it turns into pollution.
JMO
*is bioaccumulation really filtration?
I think so, since it then filters it into O2.
 

slice

Active Member
#9

Quote:
Originally Posted by BTLDreef http:///t/391419/dilution-filtration#post_3471301
I think so, since it then filters it into O2.
The 02 given off by algae is a by product of photosynthesis.
From Wikipedia:
Bioaccumulation
refers to the accumulation of substances, such as pesticides, or other organic chemicals in an organism. Bioaccumulation occurs when an organism absorbs a toxic substance at a rate greater than that at which the substance is lost
Here is that terminology thing again.....
 

beaslbob

Well-Known Member
#11
According to environmental engineers dilution is never the solution to polution. Eventually the toxins must be rendered safe.
FWIW bioaccumulation is the filtering by live organisms. Like macro algae in our tanks.
Biosorption is the filtering by dead organisms.
For instance, dried macro algaes are actually used to clean up industrial waste water through biosorption. And they actually are very effective and they can be recharged, the toxins recovered, and the macros reused.
In our tanks live macro algae bioaccumulate many toxins which can then be exported by harvesting. The macros actually will (for instance) accumulate rather large amounts of copper from our tap water.
Finally, a 10% water change every 10 days will result on 100 times the daily increases in our tank just before the water change. (plus whatever is in the replacement water). So a 1ppm nitrate increase will result on 100ppm just before the water changes.
So water changes at levels convienent to hobbists will limit but not prevent increases and decreases in the tank.
Sure you could do a 100% daily water change and as long as you have perfect water and never made a mistake, the tank would do fine.
What I do is balance out the tank with plant life (macro in marine tanks, true plants in fw), buffer/dose thing like cal,alk,mag, and just let the tank take care of itselt by just replacing the evaporative water.
Tanks have ran for up to 9 years with no water changes.
my .02
 

snakeblitz33

Well-Known Member
#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice http:///t/391419/dilution-filtration#post_3471312
The 02 given off by algae is a by product of photosynthesis.
From Wikipedia:
Bioaccumulation
refers to the accumulation of substances, such as pesticides, or other organic chemicals in an organism. Bioaccumulation occurs when an organism absorbs a toxic substance at a rate greater than that at which the substance is lost
Here is that terminology thing again.....
To get really technical, O2 is not a product of photosynthesis, but rather the result of water molecules splitting into positive hydrogen ions and oxygen at the end of photosystem II to fuel the electron transport chain. It's quite a common misconception. The main goal of photosynthesis is not to produce oxygen but rather G3P, which is a common "base" of sugars used for energy to grow and carry out other life functions.
 

kiefers

Active Member
#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakeBlitz33 http:///t/391419/dilution-filtration#post_3504782
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice
http:///t/391419/dilution-filtration#post_3471312
The 02 given off by algae is a by product of photosynthesis.
From Wikipedia:
Bioaccumulation
refers to the accumulation of substances, such as pesticides, or other organic chemicals in an organism. Bioaccumulation occurs when an organism absorbs a toxic substance at a rate greater than that at which the substance is lost
Here is that terminology thing again.....
To get really technical, O2 is not a product of photosynthesis, but rather the result of water molecules splitting into positive hydrogen ions and oxygen at the end of photosystem II to fuel the electron transport chain. It's quite a common misconception. The main goal of photosynthesis is not to produce oxygen but rather G3P, which is a common "base" of sugars used for energy to grow and carry out other life functions.
okay.... quickly..... what is that transport chain called. and what does it take and give off? Quick
 

spanko

Active Member
#17
During photosynthesis a plant absorbs water, carbon dioxide, and light energy, and produces glucose and releases the oxygen left over from the water. .
Were you looking for photo-respiration here?
 

kiefers

Active Member
#18
Quote:
Originally Posted by spanko http:///t/391419/dilution-filtration#post_3510306
During photosynthesis a plant absorbs water, carbon dioxide, and light energy, and produces glucose and releases the oxygen left over from the water. .
Were you looking for photo-respiration here?
Lol no..... I know what it is and what the process is.... Lol
Quizing the boy here.
I better know this shtuff...... it was my major at USC.
 

kiefers

Active Member
#20
You were on it. As usual.

Plants takes in the sunlight and CO2 and makes sugar + O2, the sugar is for energy for the plant an the O2 is primarily a waist the plant gets rid of.
So I believe you ere right on henry.
I took a BUNCH of my cyano from my tank to the college last week for thir Micro classes. The instructor e-mailed me telling how beauiful the color is. They are growing it and will check it out under their microscopes this week. I was invited to come in and play. I beleieve I will take in some skimmer juice in and have them look at that next. Lol
 
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