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Old 07-06-2006, 03:11 PM   #1
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Replacing Bio Wheel with Live Rock

I have read a couple of threads where people mention replacing their bio wheel with lir rubble from the aquarium. Is this a good idea. I heard that bio wheels tend to produce a lot of nitrate, and I am currently having some nitrate problems. My nitrates are currently sitting at about 20 ppm, is this reasonable or what is the max nitrates can sit with fish, inverts, and corals? I did a 20% water change yesterday with R/o water and the nitrate levels did not move at all. I aerated the water for about 8 hours and placed in the aquarium over the course of about an hour. Anyway, would replacing the bio wheel with lr rubble help keep nitrate levels down. I am about to do another water change right now (20%) and was wondering if I should swap them out as well. TIA.....
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Old 07-06-2006, 03:40 PM   #2
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20ppm is about the max you'd want so I understand. I don't know anything about biowheel filtration, but I'm thinkning you'll be better off with an HOB skimmer and the LR you currently have in your main.
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Old 07-06-2006, 04:09 PM   #3
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I think you might be close to where you want to be on the LR, maybe about 5 more LBS, and you could probably replace that bio wheel with some LR rubble. I would have some water on hand, in case you need a PWC. I was advised, check you water about 5 hours after you remove the bio wheel to see if you get any spikes. Some one might be able to give you a little better numbers....
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:35 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I just replaced the bio wheel with lr rubble and did a 20% water change. Ill check the numbers in five hours like you said and see if any levels go up. Thanks once again and ill post some numbers a little later.
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Old 07-06-2006, 05:44 PM   #5
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Definitely let me know. I am going to remove two of my 4 sponges on my 304 this weekend.
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Old 07-06-2006, 09:42 PM   #6
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OK, its been four hours and I just tested my water. There were no ammonia or nitrite spikes, but my nitrates are still sitting at 20 ppm. Is there something that I am doing wrong? I can not get my nitrates to lower. I did a total of a 35% water change in the past two days, 5 gallons yesterday and 5 gallons today (29 gallon tank). I even added Amquel plus (which is supposed to remove ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates) last night and my nitrates will not lower (prior to removing the bio wheel. I also cleaned up a bunch of brown matter along the bio wheel placement and the powerheads which run off the bio wheel and no change. Is there anything else I can do to get rid if my nitrate problem? TIA
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Old 07-07-2006, 12:37 AM   #7
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Did you test the water before you added it?

See if that is the source of your NO3 problems.

Also, I have found NO3 the hardest of all to tests to read. The easiest for me to read and use the is the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals kit.

Do you have anything dead in there, like a snail or a crab?
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Old 07-07-2006, 08:05 AM   #8
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I tested the water before I added it to the tank and it did not contain any nitrates. I went back last night and did a thorough cleanig of all the mechanical equiptment, skimmer, filter, filter bed, etc. There seemed to be a lot of brown matter all over everything. I just checked my water parameters this morning (day after) and found that even with replacing the bio wheel with lr rubble my ammonia stayed at 0, nitrite 0, and nitrate did not move. The only thing that may be causing it it terms of death are that I havent seem my cleaner shrimp for a couple of weeks (water was fine the whole time) and I havent seem my mythrax since I last moved my rock work around (two days ago). Ill just have to keep on checking and posting some numbers without the bio wheel
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Old 07-07-2006, 08:37 AM   #9
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BTW, how often and what are you feeding? Could easily be that. Sorry I didn't think of that earlier.
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Old 07-07-2006, 01:40 PM   #10
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I currently have been feeding the fish a frozen prepared marine cuisine for carnivores and flake food. I feed them probably every two to three days (couple times a day in small quantities) and have sea weed always present in the water on a clip. Do you think it could be the sea weed, my nitrate problems really didnt start until I added it. I thought that sea weed did not foul up water quality, but I cant think of anything else. I also have noticed that Red slime algae or cyanobacteria is currently starting to grow on the rocks and substrate. Is this related to the nitrate issues and why is it growing. My lighting cycle is about 8.5 hours a day.
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