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Old 06-23-2006, 11:18 PM   #21
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It's true. LR does nothing to nitrate. An efficient way to remove nitrate is to grow macro-algae. They absorb nitrate as they grow. It's not recommended that u grow them in ur main tank with corals tho. b/c they will overtake the whole tank and harm ur corals. So, thats what a fuge for.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:28 PM   #22
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FishFrik has a good point.. a refugium is an excellent way to provide nutrient export.
You CAN do macros in your main tank, but as he said if you are not vigilent in pruning and keeping a careful eye, they can do more harm then good. It's not an overnight thing, but most macros do root in the rock, and the slightest piece to survive can grow back.
Also, they can go sexual, fouling the water.
Also, if they die off, whatever bad stuff they consumed can get right back into the water.
In a refugium they are pretty much contained, but still require regular maintenance.

Transfering filter media in fw is the same as cultivating bacteria via LR die off or shrimp cycling in sw. In years gone by, the preferred method in sw was to use damsels or the like to seed the tank with bacteria because they are/were considered expendable.
This site promotes humane cycling methods, altho many LFS still say to use the fish cycling method.
I say it's your tank, do as you wish (not like I can stop you heh).
You'll get alot more compassion around here if you have some however, so pick wisely I suppose
I don't know the specifics behind the bacteria, but I do know they are not the same critters. SW is SW, FW is FW..same principle however.

(You could take previously established live rock or sand or filter media from a sw tank and use it in a new tank to have an 'instant cycle' if you moved things properly)
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:42 PM   #23
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Well, if it is not true, it seems to be a common misconception. This is a discussion on www.wetwebmedia.com discussing why bio-balls are considered nitrate factories and live rock is not:

The process is essentially the same for converting ammonia to nitrite to nitrate whether it's done by the bioballs or the live rock, as you have already surmised. The difference comes after the conversion of nitrite to nitrate... The pore structure of the live rock (or the grain-size/depth of a sand bed) creates anoxic zones; not commonly associated with bioballs, that foster bacteria which can/will process nitrates converting them to nitrogen, which is then liberated from the tank as the bubbles you see rising from the rock/sand bed. The bioball/wet-dry filters are referred to as nitrate factories because their end product is just that...nitrate...and they are so efficient at it even when used in conjunction with live rock they can overwhelm the live rock's ability to convert same to nitrogen. Thus, most prefer to exclude bioballs from reef systems...though they can be quite handy for dealing with large/fluctuating bioloads in FO/FOWLR systems that can handle a higher nitrate load.


Although, in questioning this idea, I came across an interesting article:
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/20...ture/index.php

From my own experience though, I can say that I have a 29 gallon tank with no refugium or protein skimmer and my nitrates have pretty much always read zero. I do see bubbling from the live rock and the sand bed--I always assumed that this was nitrogen formed. Maybe I am wrong about that; maybe the rock is doing nothing, but the sand bed is; maybe the 10% water changes weekly have been sufficient to keep nitrate at zero; don't know.... In any case, if it is incorrect, I apologize for spreading that misconception.

As for your previous questions--yes, it is the same process as in FW, although at least with live rock, it does seem to go faster than in FW. While I agree with Feron that ideally you would have a protein skimmer to assist in the removal of dissolved waste, especially with smaller tanks, you can be successful relying on regular water changes for that purpose.

EDIT: I should add though that I am in the planning stages of adding a skimmer and refugium. While things have gone smoothly thus far, I just feel that it would provide a greater margin of error.

Chris
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:51 PM   #24
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No worries there Feron.I cycled my first tank with fish because I had no idea what the heck I was doing lol.I see no fish as expendable and a fishy cycle is a lot more work...this much I know for sure....would not try it again.

Quote:
I don't know the specifics behind the bacteria, but I do know they are not the same critters. SW is SW, FW is FW..same principle however.
That pretty much what I have gathered too....If I could get to the bottom of how and why then I'd feel better about my understanding of SW in general.

It is curious that the same method is used,but different results are acheived....well...different nitrite consuming bacteria is achieved it seems.
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:52 PM   #25
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Ok, I phrased it wrong.. LR alone won't take care of nitrates unless -
1. you have a serious amount of well populated LR (typically written from what I have read, in excess of the 1.5# standard)
2. you have suplimental equipment to take care of the balance if 1 isn't met
3. husbandry and stocking are kept in check.

It's hard to balance properly using just LR.. not impossible, and plenty of people can get it right. Due to the cost, most don't.
(Sry Chris, didn't mean to stomp on toes or anything)
A DSB in excess of 4" (I think that's the min feel free to correct) does help in eliminating nitrates as well. Care of sorts should be taken with it as to not disturb pockets of gases.

Biggest nitrate killer, regardless of the debate , is always going to be a pwc.

He's absolutely spot on about bio-balls, they do produce nitrates as that's what's intended, altho some setups can balance that bio ball wise with the appropriate fillers for the balls (but not eliminate the situation).
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:57 PM   #26
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Sounds like I might be wrong about the bacteria being different.. altho this is first hit on google
Nitrogen Cycle Stages
Stage 1
Ammonia is introduced into the aquarium via tropical fish waste and uneaten food. The tropical fish waste and excess food will break down into either ionized ammonium (NH4) or un-ionized ammonia (NH3). Ammonium is not harmful to tropical fish but ammonia is. Whether the material turns into ammonium or ammonia depends on the ph level of the water. If the ph is under 7, you will have ammonium. If the ph is 7 or higher you will have ammonia.

Stage 2
Soon, bacteria called nitrosomonas will develop and they will oxidize the ammonia in the tank, essentially eliminating it. The byproduct of ammonia oxidation is Nitrites. So we no longer have ammonia in the tank, but we now have another toxin to deal with - Nitrites. Nitrites are just as toxic to tropical fish as ammonia. If you have a test kit, you should be able to see the nitrite levels rise around the end of the first or second week.

Stage 3
Bacteria called nitrobacter will develop and they will convert the nitrites into nitrates. Nitrates are not as harmful to tropical fish as ammonia or nitrites, but nitrate is still harmful in large amounts. The only way to rid your aquarium of nitrates is to perform partial water changes. Once your tank is established you will need to monitor your tank water for high nitrate levels and perform partial water changes as necessary.

source -
http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm
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Old 06-24-2006, 12:12 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Feron
(Sry Chris, didn't mean to stomp on toes or anything)
Don't worry--I certainly did not take it that way. Being relatively new at this, I took it as said--a misconception on my part.
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Old 06-24-2006, 11:47 AM   #28
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I cycled my 29 gallon tank with livesand and 15 lbs of uncured live rock. It took not much time...maybe 2 weeks to cycle. Without the livesand I think it'd have taken a bit longer.

Remember, just as in a freshwater tank you will see massive, massive amounts of diatoms during cycle. Just ignore them, they will go away.
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Old 06-25-2006, 09:06 AM   #29
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Devilish...did you also add an ammonia source or did the sand and ucured rock provide the die off as well as the bacteria to jump the cycle?

I'm going to start a new thread about fw/sw bacteria transfer just for exposure to the question...the answer seems to be probably not...but the why will go a long way to my understanding...or at least I think it will.
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Old 06-25-2006, 09:17 AM   #30
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Quote:
I'm going to start a new thread about fw/sw bacteria transfer just for exposure to the question...the answer seems to be probably not...but the why will go a long way to my understanding...or at least I think it will.
IMO, they should be different. Fish, being the higher class (?) organism can't even tolerate a change of .030+ (?) in salinity, so as for bacteria, being the way lower class organism, shouldnt be able to handle that much of a change in salinity between FW and SW
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