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Old 08-22-2008, 09:32 PM   #1
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BIO Balls and high nitrate

I have a 34gallon tank... only a few months old. I have a cleaner crew and just a couple of zoo's. However, I have NEVER been able to get my nitrates below 20. Even after 50% water changes... and it's not from feeding too much.

After reading some articles and forums, i'm thinking it's my bags of BIO balls. I have 5 small bags of BIO balls that came with the tank (Solana aquarium). However, a lot of what i'm reading says that these BIO balls can cause high nitrate and I should change out with LR rubble.

Do you all agree with this? and if I do, can I make a quick swap or do I need to maybe take one bag out and add some rubble... wait a couple of weeks and then take another bag out and add rubble?

Local LHF sold me a "cell-pore Biocartridge" which they suggested I used instead of LR rubble... said I should put it in the tank WITH THE BIO balls and just leave it like that.

Thoughts???
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:45 PM   #2
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If it was me I would go with the rubble. With the bio balls being that new I would not think they would be dirty enough to create that much nitrates. What kind of water are you using for top off water and PWC water. I would maybe do a water test on your PWC water to make sure you are not adding it. JMO
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:55 PM   #3
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My parameters have been very consistant. Here they are:

Temp - 77 to 80
PH - 8.3
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 20
KH - 179ppm
SG 1.024
Phosphate 0
Calcium - 360 to 400ppm

I have always used "Red Sea" water (ready made) from my local LHF for water changes.... conduct AT LEAST one every 2 weeks. However, I just went with a new Salt water (ready made) from my LHF -- but haven't used it yet.

My top off from evaporation water is always RO/DI from my local LHF.

Thanks for your input and help!
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:56 PM   #4
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Oh, and I have tested my Red Sea before performing the PWC, and everything is fine.
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:00 PM   #5
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Also you know 20 is not that all fired high. Yes 0 is the goal but sometimes it can not be reached. As long as it is 20 or less I would not worry too much. There`s alot of folks out there that wish they were around 20. The rest of the parameters look fine.
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:11 PM   #6
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Yeah I know... just weird how I have almost nothing in the tank but still can't get below 20... makes me nervous that when I do start loading it up - my Nitrates will sky rocket!

So if I do replace BIO balls... thing I can do it all at one time or do I need to do a little at a time? you ever heard of that "cell-pore bio cartridge" instead of rubble?

Thanks again!
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:19 PM   #7
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I`ve never heard of it. Maybe someone else has. Yes I would just replace them all. Make sure the LR rubble is submerged.
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Old 08-23-2008, 11:49 AM   #8
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I haven't heard of that product either...but I'm guessing the LR rubble will be cheaper.
How much LR do you have in there now and what fish?
If you have a heavy bioload, I would replace the bioballs slowly.
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:03 PM   #9
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i have about 45lb's of LR in there now.. (tank is 34gal).. I have had for a couple months a cleaning crew which consists of 10 nassarius snails, 4 Turbo snails, 5 Hermit crabs and 2 emerald crabs... and had 2 peppermint shrimp - but emeralds ate them!

Within the last week I also added:

1 small green zoo
1 small leather finger zoo
1 frogspawn (med)
1 lettuce slug
1 feather duster.
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:16 PM   #10
Thanx but no.....


 
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Nitrates greater than 20 .. I'm a member of that club
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