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Old 05-16-2012, 11:59 PM   #1
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Live Rock vs Bio-Balls

I am a beginner to Saltwater tanks and have only recently cycled my tank(6 weeks). I have a all-in-one SeaClear tank which has a chamber in the back that houses trickle Bio-Balls. I have a FOWLR in main tank and was wondering if I should replace all the Bio-Balls with LR from the Ocean since I heard BB retain nitrates and LR convert them into Nitrogen gas.

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Old 05-17-2012, 12:04 AM   #2
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I think the main exportation of nitrates is through water changes and/or suspended carbs and skimming. From what I read, the anaerobic bacteria needed to convert nitrate to nitrogen gas takes a long time to harbor and doesn't clear a bunch of nitrates.

Bio-balls will be a nitrate factory, live rock is better.

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Old 05-17-2012, 02:53 AM   #3
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Live rock is better bioballs become nitrate factories. However in a reef aquarium the nitrogen cycle usually stops at nitrate. Anaerobic bacteria need low oxygen environment to convert nitrate to nitrogen gas which does not happen on a large enough scale in a reef tank to keep nitrates in check. Nitrates are controlled through water changes and proper maintenance in a reef aquarium.

Protein skimmer help by removing organics from the water before they have a change to break down into nutrients such as nitrate and phosphate. So protein skimmers dont remove nitrate but they do remove many organics before they can become nitrate.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:04 AM   #4
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Schism is correct, live rock over bioballs
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balls, bio, live, live rock, rock

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