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Old 01-11-2005, 06:36 PM   #1
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Bio balls in wet/dry. Remove or not?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of keeping the bio balls in my wet/dry? I've had some say remove them, others say keep them. Eeeeeeesh!

Thanks all.
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Old 01-11-2005, 07:34 PM   #2
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It depends

Do you want a FO. FOwLR or a reef (corals) tank. The bio balls cause nitrates which fish can tolerate, inverts to a lesser degree and corals hardly at all (<10ppm).

What would you use for filtration without the bio balls? Live Rock? You need 1½ - 2 pounds of LR per gallon of tank capacity. A DSB could help with that. Crushed coral as a substrate needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent nitrate buildup.

If you remove them from an established aquarium you need to do it slowly, a little at a time so you don't remove too much of the beneficial bacteria at one time.

What's your current tank setup, what livestock do you have and what would like your to be in a year?
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Old 01-11-2005, 08:19 PM   #3
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Speaking from someone that does have a wet/dry, remove the balls before you even start using them if you haven't already. They are great for maintaining the system, but over time it will be many headaches. I took Lando's idea and removed the bioballs and replaced them with about 30lbs. of reef rubble. This is a better method of filtration, and keeps the nitrates down. I have been running it this way for about 3 months now, and I have had no issues at all with Nitrates. In fact, my nitrates have been 0 since then.
Thanks Lando!

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Old 01-11-2005, 08:54 PM   #4
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You are welcome! IMHO LR rubble is the way to go. I was having nitrates problems and I replaced my bioballs and they went away. I got my LR rubble from the LFS for free. I collected about 40lbs total from them. When they got LR shipments in they just cured the rubble in the box along with the rock so it was ready to go for me. If you decide to do this, remove the bioballs slowly. Maybe a quarter of them every one or two weeks. Also, make sure rubble is cured or you will have to do it before you add it to your tank.
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:47 AM   #5
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To answer CMOR's question: What's your current tank setup, what livestock do you have and what would like your to be in a year?

First part is I'm converting my 55 gal fw to sw. Nothing is ready yet. My wet/dry is coming from the same tank and running the fw setup now. Secondly, I'd like to eventually have some corals but I'm starting with a FOwLR setup. 50# of LR and about 50# sand to cycle the tank. Given this scenario, you're saying it would be best to add more LR and remove the balls. Is this what I'm hearing?

Thanks again all. This is an extremely helpful forum!
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Old 01-12-2005, 11:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Given this scenario, you're saying it would be best to add more LR and remove the balls. Is this what I'm hearing?
Absolutely. If you have enough lr, the bioballs can be tossed out. If nitrates wouldn't be such a problem with the bioballs, then it would be ideal. Just remember, if you start out with the bioballs during a cycle, you will want to slowly remove them so you don't upset the bacterial colonies. If you can start the tank without using the bioballs, that would be even better.

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Old 01-12-2005, 05:32 PM   #7
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Dumb question but reading this makes me curious as to what you mean by LR Rubble....does it go in the same place where the bioballs go? I havent started mine up yet so I want to start it out right.
If someone can take a pic of their sump/wetdry, id appreciate
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Old 01-12-2005, 05:41 PM   #8
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Not a dumb question at all. I asked the same question to Lando at the time. In a wet/dry system, the bioballs are housed at the top enclosure. Beneath that enclosure is where you put the reef rubble, which is basically lr that has been detroyed by storms and broken into pieces small enough to add it below that area. In mine, I was able to get about 30lbs. of small reef rubble underneath the enclosure. The key to this is to have the reef rubble completely submerged under water for proper filtration. This is what converts a wet/dry into a berlin type method (without the dry part). Lando has a picture of his sump that houses the reef rubble. You can check out his pictures to get an idea of what it looks like. I haven't updated my profile is quite sometime. I need to do that. HTH

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Old 01-12-2005, 11:55 PM   #9
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Double or triple the amount of rock for good filtration. You can use 50# of LR and another 50 or 100 of base. That Fish Place has nice white base rock. I used 50 pounds of it and it's hard to tell from the LR now.

As you haven't started your tank yet, no reason to keep the bioballs in there. Do as Lando and salttanker said and get LR rubble in the chamber. The key is to make sure the rubble is submerged so it can do it's job.
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:44 AM   #10
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If I use LR rubble down there, won't it need lights as well? Being under my tank, there certainly isn't much light getting there. That seem like an awful lot of trouble. Of course, if lights aren't needed, sounds very easy.
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