NP Biopellets Test

My new tank experiment is with NP biopellets. The objective of using these was to get my Nitrates and Phosphates down to close to zero. I had some problems with cyano and I needed to clean the glass daily. I use the Generic API and Red Sea tests kits, so I can only tell you that my levels were on the high side. I know I need to get Salifert kits for more accurate testing! 

Most of my research came from this thread and the referrals that were on it.

I decided to purchase the Phosban 500, because I thought the smaller one wouldn't be big enough for my tank. Immediately the pellets started producing a ton of goo/mulm. I put a screen at the bottom and at the top of the reactor. The screen at the bottom was pointless and only slowed down the flow so I just kept the one at the top. I also had a problem with some of the pellets escaping and clogging up my skimmer, so I added a second screen at the top. It took a few weeks for the mulm to get to a normal level and start working the way I had hoped. 

I can say that there are some positives and negatives to using NP Biopellets.

Positives - My Nitrates and Phosphates are down to almost zero last time I checked. I am also skimming some pretty nasty stuff that smells worse than ever.

Negatives - The learning curve was kind of high and it was and still is a pain to open up the reactor and stir it around. It's also a big pain if any escape and get into the skimmer and clog it.

Like most things in this hobby my biggest regret was not being more patient and adding the pellets slowly to the reactor. Even slower than the manufacturer recommends although they do warn you about this. This would've solved a lot of my problems. I wouldn't recommend buying a phosban reactor for this project. Early on that's what people were using, but since I started using biopellets I see that bulkreefsupply is making an affordable reactor for the pellets. The phosban 500 is meant for low flow, so I think this is a poor choice for a reactor. I think a homemade reactor would work well as long as there is ample flow and the pellets don't escape. I was running mine with a Maxi jet 1200 and then I upgraded to much larger rio pump, but it was too powerful for the reactor and the fittings couldn't handle the pressure.


Two months ago I decided to remove the biopellets, because I wasn't having much luck with the reactor. I have read that Two Little Fish's pellets are more bouyant, so maybe those would work better. 

After removing the reactor I slowly had a brown hair algae outbreak that was effecting the corals. I set the biopellets back up and within days the algae went away. This time I made some modifications to the reactor. I completely removed the screens at the bottom, so just the tube was shooting out water. The pellets really tumble with this modification and it works great. My concern is that they tumble too muchl and will dissovle quickly.