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K1 media rector stopped moving

devakalpa

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Hello all,
I DIYd a K1 media reactor the standard way (university of YouTube) , using a 2 litre bottle, ballast, airstone, holes at 2 zones, air escape holes in cap... they kept turning beautifully for 6 months. then over a few days, they just stopped.

I took out media, rinsed in tank water, refilled... tweaked air bubble rates, cleaned inside of bottle..no effect. Now it is a static K1 media filter, air pump still on.
The media was positive buoyance, all collected in the upper half. I tried moving the air stone postion also to create kind of 'shear' lift... no change.

Any idea what might be happening?

Thanks in advance
 

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devakalpa

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Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm afraid I tried it already.. that's what I neant in my question when I said "shear".. so the bubbles rise off centre and kind of aids the tumbling.
 

zozo

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Yes, :) when new or cleaned it's too buoyant and it will collect and squeeze into the bottleneck. Then you need to wait for it to colonize with bacteria/slime that makes it heavier till it becomes semi buoyant and then it starts to sink and be pushed up again by the air bubbles and will be moving. Bumping into each other knocking off old dead slime and thus self-cleaning.

It's a typical K1 property it needs time to colonize and become semi buoyant before it functions to its full potential.
 

devakalpa

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Thanks for your valuable comments.

This is a mature system, something that worked perfectly for months.

As for the "pointy end" being right way up, I followed this link almost to the 't'.. and it worked like a charm. At first it took a couple of days to start tumbling and from then on swirled perfectly for more than 6 months.

It is stopping and the reluctance to resume the tumbling that is my concern. As per my understanding, I did not change anything. It just braked over a few days and stopped.
The 'cleaning' mentioned in my original post ... I took the media out.. rinsed them in tank water and put them back. This was done after the movement stopped for some weeks.
 

Maf 2500

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Your bottle is more pointy than the one in the video. As mentioned above I am sure it would tumble more easily with a wider more rounded shape, such as upside down bottle. A bottleneck is called a bottleneck for a reason.
 

devakalpa

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Thanks, I shall try a more rounded bottle and that too upside down.

But I am still wondering how could it tumble so well for 6 months in exactly this set up? Nothing changed, at least visibly. It is not that I am not getting them to tumble, I was wondering what caused it to stop after running so well for months and more so.. stay that way ever since.
But of course resuming it is the priority.
 

Maf 2500

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But I am still wondering how could it tumble so well for 6 months in exactly this set up? Nothing changed, at least visibly. It is not that I am not getting them to tumble, I was wondering what caused it to stop after running so well for months and more so.. stay that way ever since.
Maybe the constant tumbling over 6 months has caused micro-abrasions on the surfaces of the media and bottle and this creates enough friction to halt the movement in a finely balanced system?
 

devakalpa

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That sounds like a rational possibility.. I shall try changing the bottle.

Initially the media took a few hours to start tumbling, I guess the bacterial slime build up optimized the buoyancy. The air bubbles had been on throughout, the aerobic bacteria should be alive mostly.. the off white colour is still there. So I think the media abrasion should be minimal, if any. The bottle's is to be evaluated.
 

devakalpa

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Update: It's been almost 3 months, the tumbling media filter started working again!

The reactor is still exactly the same set up, I did not stop the bubbling as I guessed the microorganism build on the media would mostly survive that way and aid biofiltration, albeit at a lesser extent than if it were tumbling, after all my other filters' media are static anyway, with oxygenated water washing over them.
A week back I noticed a Neon Tetra that got inside the reactor, must be through one of the holes. I pulled out the reactor partially and the water squirted out through the holes. Put it back. In a couple of hours, it was tumbling again and stayed the way since.
Would like to add that I tried doing exactly this several times to dislodge arrested debris if any and shake up the distribution. Did not work then.
The fish got free btw.
Thanks all.
 
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