I have been asked if i agree with recommended K1 ratio to water levels, and if im happy with K1 as a whole.
Yes, i am very pleased with K1. Why? i'll never have to clean it. Lots of surface area, and the way K1 is suppose to work in relation to bacteria is not available on other media.
I did get another 50L of K1. I added all of it, and ran into issues. none would fluidize anymore. So i took about 25L out, and am now running 75L.
what about the ratio?
That depends on the design of the chamber the K1 is in. I have learned that the in/out flow from the overflow of the tank water has a huge impact on the K1. Also to be considered is how much air it takes to fluidize it, to what ratio you can have, to how it will suspend/fluidize in the water. The shape of the chamber also has an impact, as well as the method you choose to fluidize it. Whether by air, or current.
I would also say that there are optimal levels of K1 Ratio to water, but again, depends on setup. I think a good starting point is 40% K1 to 60% water. Then gradually add to it every other day until you have reached maximum amount of K1. Then you'll know the ratio based on your setup.
Currently, i'm running at a ratio of 40/60. 20 gallons of media to 30 gallons of water in the k1 chamber. But i had to change my air flow around to get it like that. Running the air around the perimeter of the tank didnt work so well. But running it in the shape of a capital "T" did. Now if i change my setup around, to fix some of my issues, i will be able to increase that ratio. To run at a ration of 40/60, i needed around 1 LPM of air per liter of media. (almost all my flow from my 90 LPM pump)
I am currently working on completely changing my setup i have now. What i am currently working with, is a failed effort to combine a wet/dry and fluidized filter, with the wet/dry being the second chamber. So i changed things based on what i could do at the time.
My next design will be much better i think. I just have to wait for more parts to arrive. I will have this done within 2 weeks.
Here is a look at what i have now:
Very simple layout. Water flows under the first baffle, and then under the next.
My issue with this design is that the water flow coming out from under the first baffle is effecting the K1. The flow is lifting the k1 off of the bottom of the tank. It almost appears as if the water is just flowing right under the k1. Then most of the k1 seems to bunch up on the left side of the chamber. No matter how i run the air, i get this issue. Also, i get clogging on under the second baffle.
I need something better.
so here is my new design idea:
there will still be two baffles. Both will be touching the bottom of the tank unlike the previous design. This means water cannot flow under the baffle. Instead, i will be adding two 1.5" bulkheads to the bottom of the baffle. water will have to flow threw these to get to the other side. Once the water flows threw the bulkheads, the water will travel up two standpipes and exit at the top threw 90 degree elbows. The standpipes will not be as high as they are in the pic though. This will solve my issue with the water flow lifting the k1 off of the bottom of the tank. It will also help disperse the water flow out a lot more, so that the flow has very little impact on the K1. This will give me more control over how the K1 fluidizes. It will also disperse the water threw the k1 to insure maximum contact with the k1.
The next baffle will run on the same concept. Instead of the water flowing under the baffle, it will also have to flow threw the standpipes. To insure there is no clogging, and the the is not taken from just one area, i will drill holes in the standpipes for the water to flow threw.
The end result should be a chamber that is not affected by the flow of the water form the aquarium above. Giving me more control over how the K1 fluidizes. I should also be able to add more k1 to the chamber. I will also be able to clean the pre filter without turing the filter off as well, which i cannot do now.