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Old 08-13-2013, 12:35 AM   #1
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is aerobic bacteria essential for reef tank?

hey fellaz

is it a must to have aerobic bacteria in your filtration for a reef tank? reason im asking is, i just got over a problem with my wet/dry biological media causing huge nitrate problems. ive been researching and asking questions recently and it seems like no matter what type of biological media you use in a wet/dry filter can cause nitrate problems. so in that case do i need to worry about having biological filter media in my wet/dry in order to grow aerobic bacteria.

don't know if this matters but my tank is 30gal with a wet/dry filter/sump that hold approx. 20gal. total 50gal. and i have 50+pounds of live rock and 40pounds live sand with tons of water flow. so im assuming i have more then ample amounts of anaerobic bacteria for a reef tank. i wont have more then 3inchs of fish. mainly invertebrates and coral.

the reason im asking is because like i said i had a problem with filter media which caused huge amounts of nitrates. so i took the media out. so now all i have im my filter is a filter pad in top of it where the water comes in to catch debris. so my plan is to use LR in my wet/dry. im going to take it out of my tank which is newly cycled so the LR is not pretty any more since the 4weeks of cycleing time. and put it in my wet/dry in the aerobic biological section. but i dont wont to do this if its going to cause nitrates like my old filter media did.

im sorry if im over explaining this but i want to make sure im clear. ive asked these questions at another forum and got "round about answers".

thx guys.

ps. how would u have aerobic bacteria growth with any type of filter besides a wet/dry?

thanks for your patients

30gal w/ wet/dry total 50gal, 720gph return pump, 50pd liverock, 40pd livesand, hydor korollia 800
Experience in Saltwater & Reef Aquarium Hobby: 2nd tank
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:38 AM   #2
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All of the bacteria that grows in a tank to consume Ammonia and Nitrite is aerobic for both fresh water and salt. While the wet / dry trickle filter is by far the most efficient type of filter for growing aerobic bacteria due to the massive amount of air exposure, the nitrifying bacteria can also pull oxygen from the water column. This allows them to grow over every available surface in the tank with access to oxygenated water.

This action of the aerobic bacteria pulling oxygen from the water leaves areas deep inside the live rock without any oxygen at all. The anaerobic bacteria that lives there instead acquires its oxygen from nitrate (no3) and converts it into pure nitrogen gas to be removed from the tank.

It's presumable that using a wet dry trickle filter could potentially reduce the amount of space for anaerobic bacteria to live due to most bacteria living in the filter but whether that would have any effect at all on the anaerobic bacteria I have no idea.

Sorry it's kind of wordy but *shrug*
"The simplest explanation for some phenomenon is more likely to be accurate than more complicated explanations." -Occam's razor
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bacteria, reef, reef tank, tan, tank

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