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Old 10-10-2004, 11:54 PM   #1
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Nitrate Reducers and Bioballs

Just wanted to understand some things. Basically i thought biballs, in a wet dry filter where there to create a large surface area where areobic bacteria could grow and in turn breakdown No3 into nitrogen gas. Some people have told me that using bioballs in such a system can raise No3 levels, and this is why they dont use them in a reef tank. is this true, if so how and why?

Quick second question, what's the dif. between nitrate reducers and the bioball section of a wet dry.


TIA Josh
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Old 10-11-2004, 12:28 AM   #2
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Bioballs don't do anything to aid in the breakdown of NO3 (your friend is right). The bacteria responsible for denitrification (the breakdown of NO3 back to N) need to be located in an anaerobic environment (i.e. no oxygen). Since the bioballs are constantly being washed over with fresh water carrying oxygen, these kinds of bacteria cannot live. However, bioballs are extremely efficient and letting the bacteria that convert NH3 to NO2 and then NO2 to NO3 thrive. This is because these bacteria need an aerobic environment (i.e. high oxygen).

I have no idea what the "nitrate reducers" are. I tend to not keep up with most of that "mumbo jumbo stuff" as I think it is the trade taking advantage of us fellow hobbyist. There are are only two ways to get rid of NO3: nutrient export (i.e water changes or macro algae nutrient uptake) and denitrification which I outlined above. Perhaps those "nitrate reducers" are balls just like bio-balls but they are made to be put in an anaerobic environment.
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Old 10-11-2004, 12:41 AM   #3
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here is a nitrate reducer

http://www.aquatic-store.com/en-us/dept_226.html
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Old 10-11-2004, 01:34 AM   #4
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I removed my bioballs from my sump and my nitrates have gone down slightly FWIW.
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Old 10-11-2004, 02:04 AM   #5
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Hey I ahve tried all the Nitrate products and filters and only one works which is the following. I have not clean my tank in 6 month's and have corals and inverts that are doing very well. The model I have is the CDEX-3 with the Phosphate removal option. It keeps my tank parameters on check.

http://natureef.com/

If you are interested in the product, Let me know since I got a hook up.
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Old 10-11-2004, 02:06 AM   #6
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Also, that Aqua medic filter sucks when you have fish that get feed often and carry a huge bioload. I had one and was a piece of crap.
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Old 10-11-2004, 02:25 AM   #7
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i dont see how these things work mind explaining?
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Old 10-11-2004, 08:52 AM   #8
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i dont see how these things work mind explaining?
They are simply slowing the flow rate down (~1GPH) so much that they are creating an area of very low to no oxygen like I described. The balls are simply there to give them (the bacteria) something to live on.

Some of these devices are hit and miss. For two hundred dollars, I could have one heck of a refugium that would do a much better job that this thing.
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Old 10-11-2004, 09:15 AM   #9
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OK, basically put Biggen is on to it. There are several types of bacteria that live in your aquarium. The higher oxygen areas (Bio-trickle filters and bio-wheels) harbor the bacteria that will increase the bi-product of nitrates. The nitrate reducers in this thread, neither of which I would recommend use different methods. The one you listed uses, as Biggen said, a low oxygen area that reduces the nitates. The other uses an additive. I would NEVER use an additive to correct a problem. Granted I am no scientist but the concept of adding something to take something away is beyond me. If you want a cheap low oxygen denitrifyer, buy 100-200 ft. of RO/DI or similar waterline. Coil it up and pump water through it very slowly (<1/2 GPH). Simple and effective.

HTH,
R-
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Old 10-11-2004, 03:05 PM   #10
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I replaced my bio-balls in my sump with LR rubble. I keep my sump almost full of water so none of the LR rubble is above the water line. I have seen a noticable decrease in my nitrates. Lando
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