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Old 01/09/2008, 07:50 PM   #1
Joshsreef
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Live rock rubble

I have a couple questions as I plan to make a few modifications to my current 75 gallon set up.

First I am geting ready to order 30 pounds of lr rubble from liveaquaria. My goal is to slowly eliminate the need for chemical media other than phosban for the most part. I have a fluval cannister and plan on using lr rubble in the place of biomax and prefilter in the 1rst and 3rd filter chambers. I will leave the second chamber open for phosban and carbon when needed. I also was considering taking all the foam out of the cannister. should I do this ? It gets prett dirty so I think it serves a good purpose and am not sure whether to take it out or not. I also want to use my hob emperor 400 as a fuge. I have already recently removed one biowheel and plan on removing the other in a week (didnt want to disrupt to much bio media at once) I am also going to put some lr rubble in this filter along with possible some sand. should I add the sand ? I also am going to put some chaeoto in the HOB as well to help control nitrates. is there enough room in there you think to sucesfully keep chaeoto? will it need alot or will the room light be enough ? any suggestions on which type of light to look into purchasing for my HOB?

I currently have 90 pounds of LR and 50 pounds of Base rock
a yellow tang, a hippo tang, 2 nemos, and 4 chromis, 2 mexican turbo snails


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Old 01/09/2008, 08:15 PM   #2
Neptune420
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I wouldnt put sand in the HOB. Chaeto doesnt need alot of light,but i would use a 10w 5500k CF from walmart.


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Old 01/09/2008, 08:40 PM   #3
seapug
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Putting live rock rubble in the canister = very expensive bioballs. It won't do anything different than the biomax media when used that way. The filtration benefits of live rock come from having it in a refugium-style setup-- submerged in a volume of water so it can denitrify and become a pod breeding zone. If you are going to use a canister, you should take all the media out of it and use it as a water polisher with high quality carbon and GFO that is replaced often.

The HOB idea is a good one. With a little ingenuity and creativity you can create cool little refugiums out of HOB filters. I've done it myself on my 10 gallon and had good results after a couple months of settling in.


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Old 01/09/2008, 09:22 PM   #4
Joshsreef
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The whole idea of using the cannister with LR Rubble was to have the biological media ( the same as the bioballs and biomax) but with out the nitrate factor. Biomax becomes a nitrate factory. I assumed if I use LR it wouldnt become a nitrate factory. Am i on the right path ?


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Old 01/10/2008, 12:19 PM   #5
seapug
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Again, if live rock is used as a replacement for bioballs, ceramic rings or biomax media it will basically do the same thing-- nitrify ammonia. The microfauna, sponges and bacteria on the live rock will assimilate some of the nutrients better than bioballs, but it will still create a net gain of nitrate due to the mechanics of the filter, not the media it contains.

Any filter with a bioball or wet/dry filtration compartment is designed to create a high air/water ratio on the surface of the media it contains, whether it is live rock, bioballs or hair curlers. The oxygen rich environment in these compartments is what promotes the growth of aerobic bacteria that rapidly convert ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate. You end up with enormous amounts of aerobic bacteria that turn ammonia to nitrate, but due to the oxygen rich environment of "bio chambers" you have little or no anaerobic bacteria that convert the nitrate into Nitrogen gas, which is the end result you want in a reef tank.

To sum it up, trickle filters with any medium create unbalanced natural filtration system in which nitrate is generated faster and in greater amounts than is can be "denitrified" by the anaerobic zones of the tank. The whole idea behind bypassing or removing a trickle filter from a reef tank is to let the processes occur in a slower, more balanced manner with sumberged live rock in the tank, deep sand beds, or macroalgae/live rock in a refugium.


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Old 01/10/2008, 12:59 PM   #6
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I don't know if I agree with Seapug.

I run 2 canisters on my reef. I took out the media in both (except that I run carbon in one). I replaced all the media with LR and LR rubble. My tank has been up over a year now, and I never have nitrate issues. I have tons and tons of pods that live in my canisters.

I do also have a HOB ref, that I use for cheato and also for a little more LR rubble, but if putting LR in you canisters is a nitrate factory, then I haven't seen it yet in over a years time.


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:19 PM   #7
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At the risk of hijacking... would Would running a canister with LR ruble instead of media be more like a cryptic refugium, or would the turnover be way too high?


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:20 PM   #8
seapug
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There are many people who use trickle filters with bioballs that never have problems either. I was simply explaining the science & chemistry behind bio filters, what they are designed to do, and why their use is discouraged. 30 lbs of live rock rubble probably isn't cheap so I was just raising a caution flag before Josh dumped a bunch of money into something that may not improve his tank or solve the problem he is trying to fix.

I ran my tank with bioballs for over a year and never had measurable nitrate or phosphate, but constantly battled hair algae. I removed the bio balls, installed a phosban reactor and my troubles ended.

Regardless, the bottom line is do what works for you.


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:24 PM   #9
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sorry, double post


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by seapug
There are many people who use trickle filters with bioballs that never have problems either. I was simply explaining the science & chemistry behind bio filters, what they are designed to do, and why their use is discouraged. 30 lbs of live rock rubble probably isn't cheap so I was just raising a caution flag before Josh dumped a bunch of money into something that may not improve his tank or solve the problem he is trying to fix.

I ran my tank with bioballs for over a year and never had measurable nitrate or phosphate, but constantly battled hair algae. I removed the bio balls, installed a phosban reactor and my troubles ended.

Regardless, the bottom line is do what works for you.
That's cool I hear what your saying. I hope you understand, I wasn't trying to come down on you. I just wanted to share my experiences with him. I agree, 30 lbs of rubble aint cheap. It's good to hear all perspectives before making a decision.

And if it helps at all, I would MUCH MUCH rather have a sump and refugium below my tank, but my stand's dimensions do not allow for it (space wise). I am sure that would be better for my tank, but I made due with what I could and so far it has worked.

If anyone had the choice of using a canister with LR in it, or using a sump, I would recommend the sump 10 out of 10 times. The only reason I point out what has worked for me, is to show that it can be done other ways, but there are ways better then what I have done.


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Old 01/10/2008, 01:36 PM   #11
seapug
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No prob, I didn't take offense to your disagreement. The whole idea of this site is to learn what others do and exchange info & experiences!


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