Borehole Nitrates

Discussion in 'Advanced Topics' started by Stephan Coetzer, May 20, 2020.

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  1. Stephan Coetzer

    Stephan Coetzer

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    Hello Guys,
    whats the best way to remove nitrates from borehole water? mine is about 50ppm.
     
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  3. A new day

    A new day

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    Hi Stefan, how much clean water would you need per week?
    And do you have yard space?
     
  4. OP
    Stephan Coetzer

    Stephan Coetzer

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    Hi, about a 1000L a week, and yes i have yard space.
     
  5. A new day

    A new day

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    Sho it’s a tricky one, hope others chime in too.
    It’s quite a lot of water you need, and the nitrates are high at 50.

    I’d probably throw lots of plants at the problem- a 5000L pond or filtration bed with at least 50% planted with fast growers. It is through the growth process that plants absorb nitrates so if your goal is to lower nitrates you’ll waste your time and space with slow growing plants. Shout if you need suggestions.

    Plus no livestock or perhaps just a few mosquito fish / white clouds to eat mosquito larvae, keep the fish population very low (give away offspring cause they’ll probably breed like crazy) and don’t do supplemental feeding. No goldfish or koi (they produce a lot of waste and eat plants).

    In addition a deep gravel bed of around 15cm. There is some evidence that the anoxic conditions at the bottom of a deep sand / gravel bed promotes denitrification.

    The larger the footprint of such a system the better - more plants and biological surface area. And most rooted plants need water on the shallow side / planted in raised pots.

    It might take a couple of weeks for the system to kick in, and not sure if nitrates will come all the way down to 0 (in my pond it is 0 but didn’t start at 50), but from then you should be able to pull about 20% of the water weekly and top up.

    There will also be water loss through evaporation and because aquatic plants use water much like terrestrial plants do, so perhaps go for a 6000L system? So we’re probably talking at least 6m2 area probably more to pull 1000L/week from.

    What do you need the water for?
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
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    Stephan Coetzer

    Stephan Coetzer

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    i have a Discus tank that gets a water change every other day and a 750l tank that gets a water change once a week, both have live plants, i currently use tap water but would like to switch over.
     
  7. TheGrissom

    TheGrissom

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    Hook up an RO system to your borehole water and use it to produce RO water. Or mix with clean rainwater.
     
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  8. GaryG

    GaryG Fishohollic

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    I have had the same problem, If you have space, build a sump / filter for your new water. I would suggest a holding tank (I had a flowbin) with either an internal or external filter filled with seachem Matrix media, have it circulating during the week and do waterchanges on the weekend. You could build a simple air driven internal air driven filter maybe.
     
  9. A new day

    A new day

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    @GaryG interesting, did it get rid of nitrates?

    @TheGrissom great idea!
     
  10. OP
    Stephan Coetzer

    Stephan Coetzer

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    @TheGrissom would a RO system for 1000l/w + maintenance(Filter replacement) and remineralizer be more economical vs Tap water + Prime?
     
  11. TheGrissom

    TheGrissom

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    No it wouldnt. Tapwater and prime is probably the cheapest you will get. However you can switch to safe which is more efficient than prime so you use less, however I dont think it removes metal ions from the water like prime does. The only way you will get cheaper than tap water is rain water
     
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    Stephan Coetzer

    Stephan Coetzer

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    Thanks, appreciate all the help, going to try a large pond filled with plants and a deep substrate, if that doesn't work ill give the RO a try.
     
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  13. A new day

    A new day

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    The pond / filtration bed is also not going to be cheap... but in the medium to long run (assuming it does the job) will probably be worth the investment.
    And will take up a lot of yard space, but can actually be made into a beautiful feature especially if you’re into gardening.
    I don’t know the cost of RO.
     
  14. GaryG

    GaryG Fishohollic

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    @Stephan Coetzer ,Assuming this water is going to be used to do waterchanges on your tank/s

    I think that would work nicely, the pond guys call it a vegetable filter, it will most likely take very long to mature? the only problem I see is that you may get contaminents like leaves, dust, sand, parasites etc from the water that is open to the elements...and then you will also have to resist the urge to add fish to the system;)

    RO would be a good option, just quite costly

    My 2c..... I like to have control of what I add to my systems, it would be more cost effective and safer to have a closed system to pre-filter your waterchange water, I would consider Purigen along with Matrix, purely for the fact that you wont need a huge amount (as it works so efficiently) to filter out such relatively low nitrates, it is costly but it helped reduce nitrates in my borehole water... and then you can heat your water before adding it to the tank also.

    Once again just my 2c, hope I've given you something to think about...on the other hand if you only have one aquarium just add purigen to your filter, should take care of the nitrates anyway

    Purigen®
    • Highest organic removal capacity
    • Possesses enhanced capacity owing to its vast surface area; both spherical and macroreticular
    • Helps control ammonia/nitrite/nitrate
    • Color changes as it exhausts; easily regenerated


    Overview
    Purigen® is a premium synthetic adsorbent that is unlike any other filtration product. It is not a mixture of ion exchangers or adsorbents, but a unique macro-porous synthetic polymer that removes soluble and insoluble impurities from water at a rate and capacity that exceeds all other competing products by over 500%. Purigen® controls ammonia, nitrites and nitrates by removing nitrogenous organic waste that would otherwise release these harmful compounds. Purigen’s impact on trace elements is minimal. It significantly raises redox. It polishes water to unparalleled clarity. Purigen® darkens progressively as it exhausts, and is easily renewed by treating with bleach. Purigen® is designed for both marine and freshwater use.

    Purigen® removes soluble and insoluble impurities from water at a rate and capacity that exceeds all other competing products by over 500%.
     
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  15. f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    How was this measured ...

    What is coming out of the tap water currently? Nitrates I mean .. could doing a mix still give you an OK level for the fish or are you really wanting to hit zero nitrates as a source?

    If you have the space and the time to play .. I would probably skip the planted tub thing (you have no control what will ultimately enter your tank) but how about a continues solar water distillery.

    https://www.safewater.org/fact-sheets-1/2016/12/8/solar-water-distillation for some out the box thinking ;-)

    Later Ferdie
     
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  16. MariaS

    MariaS Moderator

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    Loads of good ideas given so far
    I only use borehole water, luckily it's ok
    50ppm is a bit high but not through the roof
    My tanks always measure between 15 and 20
    Growing plants like pothos helps remove the extra
    Go have a look on seachem website
    I am sure they have something to put in you filter to help reduce the nitrates
     
  17. OP
    Stephan Coetzer

    Stephan Coetzer

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    Hey, thanks for the input, i've started with a small project to try and reduce the nitrates, ive purchased a bunch of pothos to use in my jojo and also built a nitrate reactor with 2l seachem denitrated with a 200l/h flow rate. ive tested my water with sera nitrate drops, my tap water is at about 5-10ppm and borehole around 50.
     
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  18. Hendre

    Hendre Polypterus freak

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    Best way to remove nitrates from incoming water is through a cation exchange bed.
     
  19. f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    Hmm no pictures how do we know you have a jojo ;-)

    Sounds like you have a plan @Stephan Coetzer please keep us in the loop as it progresses.

    Later Ferdie
     
  20. Reedfish

    Reedfish Moderator

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    @Stephan Coetzer

    If you are using the water for Discus. I would not use the open / natural pond method to remove nitrates. Too much risk of introducing some sort of pathogen into your tank.
    I would go for @TheGrissom suggestion of putting an RO filter on the borehole.
    It may be the most expensive method. But Discus are high end fish that cost you a lot to start with. Would you want to go cheap with water quality and risk their health?

    Just my 2c
     
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