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Old 01/11/2008, 01:04 PM   #1
Mike7
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Smile Blue Bio Balls

What do you guys think of switching the bio balls in my sump for some live rock instead? I hear nitrite levels spike with bio balls


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Current Tank Info: 48" wide 27" tall 75 gal. Live sand, Live rock, good lighting, 25 gal sump and refugium filter
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Old 01/11/2008, 01:12 PM   #2
warrenm107
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You are correct, use live rock instead.


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Old 01/11/2008, 01:16 PM   #3
Beanfish
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I agree. I did this in my Bio Cube and noticed a huge difference.


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Old 01/11/2008, 01:17 PM   #4
Otogi
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I was curious about this as well.. I have a 90g FOWLR currently cycling should I replace the bio-balls in my wet/dry with sump and let the water Trickle down over the LR instead?

I just figured the LR would die off if it was not submerged. Will trickling water over them be enough for the LR to stay live?


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Old 01/11/2008, 01:18 PM   #5
Mike7
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Cool, thanks guys


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Current Tank Info: 48" wide 27" tall 75 gal. Live sand, Live rock, good lighting, 25 gal sump and refugium filter
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Old 01/11/2008, 01:20 PM   #6
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It's actually the nitrate levels that spike. I haven't heard anything about the nitrite levels.

I'm in the process of doing this now on my BC as well.

Beanfish - were you able to do this all at once? Or did you remeove the bio balls a little at a time?

As for the LR to be covered, it does need to be submerged, or it will probably have the same effect as the bio balls. I may have to go with live rock rubble to keep it submerged.


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Current Tank Info: 90g w/30g sump; skimmer; 2x175w MH & 2x super white actinic...3g w/.5g fuge 1x150w MH Viper
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Old 01/11/2008, 01:40 PM   #7
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You'll be glad that you did it. The Bio balls are nitrate factories. Go with live rock rubble instead.


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Old 01/11/2008, 02:38 PM   #8
Mike7
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What's rubble? Just smashed live rock?


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Current Tank Info: 48" wide 27" tall 75 gal. Live sand, Live rock, good lighting, 25 gal sump and refugium filter
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Old 01/11/2008, 02:47 PM   #9
m2434
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Quote:
Originally posted by Otogi
I was curious about this as well.. I have a 90g FOWLR currently cycling should I replace the bio-balls in my wet/dry with sump and let the water Trickle down over the LR instead?

I just figured the LR would die off if it was not submerged. Will trickling water over them be enough for the LR to stay live?

Don't do this! You can replace the bio-balls with LR, but THE LR NEEDS TO BE FULLY SUBMERSED!


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Old 01/11/2008, 02:51 PM   #10
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Why is the live rock better?
I am trying to gather information as I would like to start a tank. Thanks!


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Old 01/11/2008, 03:05 PM   #11
m2434
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brenda74
Why is the live rock better?
I am trying to gather information as I would like to start a tank. Thanks!
The bacteria on bio-balls, due to the efficiency gained by increased O2, outcompete the live-rock for ammonia and nitrite.
This starves the nitrifying bacteria on the LR and all of the nitrification occurs on the bio-balls.

Additionally, for effecient de-nitrification, the nitrification, must occur in close proximity to the denitrifying bacteria. The de-nitrifying bacteria is deep in the pores of the LR, but not anywhere near the bio-balls. So the nitrification is now occuring far from the denitrification. The denitrifying bacteria, then dies off some and it's effectivness is limited. The end result, is that more nitrification is occuring than denitrification and the nitrate levels rise.


The second issue, is that the bio-balls collect detritus and other junk, and because they are not accessibsle to fish, snails etc, the junk is not consumed. The result is that this stuff decays and realeases further nitrate and other nutrients directly into the water column.

IMO howver, replacing bio-balls with LR is not very effective. This is because the small peices of LR are unlikly deep enought to host a lot on denitrifying bacteria. I would perfer to replace them with cheato, or just get rid of them altogether.


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Old 01/11/2008, 04:05 PM   #12
Mike7
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So your saying i should replace my bio balls with cheato? Not live rock?


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Current Tank Info: 48" wide 27" tall 75 gal. Live sand, Live rock, good lighting, 25 gal sump and refugium filter
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Old 01/11/2008, 04:23 PM   #13
m2434
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Unless you can fit large pieces of LR in there, it is unlikely that any denitification would occur (i.e. LR rubble will not help with denitrification). Cheato will certainly help remove nutrients - but if you have a separate sump for cheato already then this would be redundant and I'd just remove it altogether.

However, the one benefit LR rubble is that it might provide is a protected breeding ground for pods. This could be useful if you have pod predators, such as a Wrasse in your display tank or a Mandarin etc... Otherwise, this is also of little benefit.


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Old 01/12/2008, 02:01 PM   #14
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Maybe a dumb question. Is a wet/dry filter still a wet dry filter once all of the bio-balls or live rock is fully submerged or removed from the trickle area on the sump?


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