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Old 05-14-2005, 02:30 AM   #1
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Bio-Ball --> LR: My Next Step & Questions

Ok - so I've been going for a week and a half with a combination of 45 pounds of new live rock and about 75% of my original bio-balls.

As it stands now my ammonia is 0, nitrites are 0, pH is ~8.2 and my nitrates are still insane but a tad lower than before.

My last water change was Sunday night, so the levels have been decent like this all week (after the approximately three day tiny ammonia/nitrite spike from the live rock being added). Prior to Sunday I did about four 20 gallon water changes in five days.

Here's my plan for Saturday after I mix and heat (to tank temp) about 20 new gallons of water - any input would be appreciated:

1 - Stop pumps
2 - Pump off part of the sump water into a 5 gallon bucket
3 - Move the bio-balls to the 5 gallon bucket
4 - Pump off remainder of sump water to a clean trashcan
5 - Place LR from sump in the trashcan water
6 - Pull out wet/dry and hose it out... it's got TONS of light brown, sandy crap in the bottom that I think is fueling the particulate in my water of late
7 - Put newly cleaned sump back and fill about halfway to previous level with new water
8 - Put LR back into the sump after swishing each piece around lightly in the old sump water to get off loose detritus
9 - Pump more clean water into the sump
10 - Return bio-balls minus 20%
11 - Finish filling sump to level of step 2
12 - Finish normal water change from the tank using the remaining new water

Anyway, the goal here is to combine the routine water change with a much needed sump cleaning as well as the first partial removal of bio-balls in the transition to all LR.

I also might move a little more of the less attractive LR from the main tank down into the sump to take the space freed by the 20% bio-ball removal. I want to reserve tank space for premium rock that I order when things are calmed down on the nitrate front.

Any additional suggestions here?

- Aaron

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Old 05-14-2005, 10:35 AM   #2
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Looks like a good plan. Just remember to remove the bioballs slowly. maybe 1/4 every week or two. Take the less attractive LR that you are putting i your sump and use a hammer (and safety glasses) to smash it up. This will give you more surface are for bacteria growth. Smash it into rubble sized peices.
Some people are like slinkies...they serve no real purpose yet can still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs!:p
Have a great day! Brian
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