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This article is a translation of the original page written in Dutch. This translation may not be up to date!

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All information regarding a BADESS.

BADESS: Bioilogical Autotrophic Denitrification using Elemental Sulfur System, a Sulphur Based Nitrogen Management System (SBNMS)

A BADESS is a ZMAS in which the nitrogen cycle can be closed by daily removal of the daily ammonia nitrogen overproduction.

Nitrate problems never again by the application of BADES.

A BADESS is a ZMAS, an aquarium system in which BADES is used by means of a BADES biofilm reactor, BADES biofilter, BADES-columns, sulfur packed columns, the SPC method. In a BADESS, elemental sulfur is used as a base for a mixotrophic biofilm and as a substrate for sulfur bacteria, a biofilm in which simultaneous nitrification and denitrification can take place. A BADES-reactor is usually expanded with a calcium reactor or the sulphur used is mixed with calcium carbonate media.

When BADES is applied with the main purpose the definitive removal of ammonia-nitrogen from the aquarium system then this system is a BADESSystem. In a BADESS no so called “denitrators” are used. Denitrators only remove nitrate-nitrogen and do not improve the carrying capacity of a ZMAS


An introduction to BADES and the BADES System.

BADES is a biochemical process in which sulfur granulate serves as substrate and substratum for culturing bacteria that can oxidise and / or reduce nitrogen compounds. (Nitrification and denitrification)

Finds application in many aquaculture systems, for both marine and freshwater aquariums, for: Reducing nitrate.
controling the nitrate level.
Closure of the nitrogen cycle. Control of the biological equilibrium.

By using BADES you get a very effective and easy to use nitrate management system, an SBNMS.


Over the years, different methods have been developed to remove nitrogen from an aquaculture system by using sulfur granulate.

The sulfur denitrator: a reactor filled with sulfur granules with the aim of reducing nitrate by the occurrence of anaerobic autotrophic bacteria. The flow of the sulfur reactor is usually limited to keep the reactor anoxic (<0.5ppm O). The operation is limited due to the limited flow. Used for water purification, usually by using batch reactors. Very sensitive to mismanagement when using small reactors. For this reason a sulfur denitrator is not recommended for use in live support systems such as aquariums. As the name indicates, it is a denitrator and the aim is to remove nitrate nitrogen. Applying a denitrator does not increase the live support capacity of the bio-system

The MAAO method: extensively described, tested and applied by among others, Marc Longouet. MLongouet2000) After the start up, the flow is maximized with the aim of zero nitrate and nitrite in the reactor's effluent. In order to achieve this result, the volume of the reactor is determined in relation to the amount of nitrogen to be removed, determined by the nitrate level and the flow rate. The tubular reactor is not kept anoxic after startup, allowing a flow adapted to the nitrate level. Less sensitive to mismanagement. Has been used successfully in public and home aquariums since last century.
Is used as a denitrator and applying increases the live support capacity of the aquarium system hardly or not.

The SLAD (Sulfur Limestone Anaerobic Denitrification) System or Zhang's Method TCZhang2004) : Limestone is added to increase the yield of water treatment plants based on BADES. Used on an industrial scale for the purification of groundwater using batch and fluidized bed reactors. Addition of calcium carbonate calcium is currently widely used in applications of BADES. The lime neutralizes the influence of autotrophic activity on alkalinity and pH. The principle was already applied in the nineties of the last century, including in the MAAO for the purification of seawater aquaria.

The BADES reactor published in the Makazi Baharini wiki. An improved application of a sulfur reactor. Derived from the MAAO method. The volume of the moving bed reactor, the BADES reactor, is determined in this application taking into account the amount of nitrogen to be removed daily and the amount of oxygen to be used therein. The flow rate is regulated in relation to the amount of nitrate to be removed daily and the nitrate content of the water. This method makes it possible to completely close the nitrogen cycle by effectively eliminating daily nitrate nitrogen overproduction with a flow of one to two times the total volume of the aquarium system per day.
A large amount of nitrate nitrogen can be removed from the system at a low to very low nitrate level. If the reactor is large enough, the system becomes self-regulating. A BADES system requires normal supervision and maintenance. As with the MAAO method the aim is to remove all nitrate from the influent but this may be adapted to the needs. The BADES method gives the user full control over the nitrate level in the aquarium system.
A BADES reactor is used as a denitrator, for the definitive removal of nitrate nitrogen, and contributes little or no to the increase of bio-capacity of the aquarium system.

The Sulfur Packed Columns (SPC): tested and described by Korean researchers Yong-Woo Hwang, Chang-Guyn Kim, In-Jun Choo HwangEnCo2005). Based on natural oxygen consumption, which causes simultaneous nitrification and de-nitrification. Rolls formed with sulfur granules are hung in the water to be filtered. Because of the bacterial activities on the outside, oxygen is used in such a way that there is a deficiency in the inner layers which can not be supplemented in time, ideal for anaerobic activity. A very effective method and easy to apply. The operation can be controlled a little by adjusting the thickness of the rolls, the amount and the number. The application for aquariums and the use of conditioned sulfur was published by me in Makazi Baharini.
The SPC removes ammonia nitrogen from the system and contributes to an increase in the bio-capacity of the ZMAS.

The BADES Biofilm system or BBS: An evolution of the BADES reactor, part of a BADESS, figured out by CMF De Haes and published in the Makazi Baharini wiki. Particularly based on the action within a biofilm on a sulfur grain. Simultaneous nitrification and mixotrophic denitrification in one and the same reactor, the BADES biofilm reactor or BBR. Denitrification takes place in every biofilm. Outer activity causes oxygen deficiency in the lower layers of the biofilm, which allows anaerobic mixotrophic denitrification, both autotrophic and heterotrophic, to occur. Due to the presence of the sulfur substrate on which the biofilm is growing, the denitrification is not affected by a shortage of organic carbon or usable sulphur. The aim is to remove the daily ammonia nitrogen over-production daily, every day, this way closing the nitrogen cycle, a little more if nitrate level has to be reduced. Due to the possible very high transfer rate up to the total system volume several times a day, a very low nitrate level can be maintained with high ammonia nitrogen reduction. Very safe because oxygen deficiency in the water column is prevented. Not suitable for low-nutrient aquarium systems as minimum feed is required to maintain the appropriate biofilm.
As the BADES biofilm reactor can remove all ammonia nitrogen produced the live support capacity of the system may be increased considerably.

The BADES biofilter: In a common bio, the sand is replaced completely or partially by sulfur granulate. It can be used in a BSD or the Jaubert system. Just a layer on the bottom may do the job. In a filterbag or free. Can be used anywhere where a biofilm may grow. The application of a BADESS removes ammonia-nitrogen this way increasing the live support capacity

The MAP BADES bio-filter or reactor: By adding magnesium hydroxide to the sulfur-calcium carbonate substrate, the performance is considerably improved, especially with regard to the removal of phosphate. Such as when used as a substrate of coated perlite granules according to TANAKA, TanakaEnCo2007-03) thereby forming struvite that precipitates. In this way ammonium, phosphate and magnesium are bound in equal amounts. The method developed by Tanaka and Co in 2006 has as far as I know no name. The process that forms struvite is called the MAP (magnesium, ammonium, phosphorus) process. That is why all BADES applications follow Tanaka and Co with the prefix MAP. The MAP BADES bio-reactor!

CMF De Haes 2017
Anthias 2019
All rights reserved

MLongouet2000) Longouet, M., La Biodenitratation Autotrophe sur Soufre and Aquarium Marine | Récifal.
TCZhang2004) Development Of Sulfur-Limestone Autotrophic Denitrification Processes or Treatment Of Nitrate- Contaminated Groundwater In Small Communities - Final Report - Denitrificationmtacfinalreport.pdf , URL
HwangEnCo2005) Hwang, Y.-W., Kim, C.-G ., Choo, I.-J., 2005. Simultaneous nitrification / denitrification in a single reactor using ciliated columns packed with granular sulfur. Water quality research journal of Canada 40, 91-96.
TanakaEnCo2007-03) Tanaka, Yasuo, Atsushi Yatagai, Hiroshi Masujima, Miyoko Waki, and Hiroshi Yokoyama. “Autotrophic denitrification and chemical phosphate removal or agro-industrial wastewater by filtration granular medium. ”Bioresource Technology 98, No. 4 (March 1, 2007): 787–91. biortech.2006.03.015.
en/badess/start.txt · Last modified: 2022/07/02 20:14 by matricaria
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