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Old 03-30-2011, 06:00 AM   #1
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bio balls or Matrix

Hey guys,

bout to start putting fish into my tank again after going through some major problems... The new LFS that ive been going to is saying that bio balls are bad for the tank and i should replace them with 7-10KG of MATRIX (crushed corrals) is this true?

Also they said its very important that i have a skimmer running even though im not planning on putting any corrals or anemones is this also true?

sorry for all the questions but im new to saltwater setups and ive been getting everyones advice here which has been very help

thanks heaps
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:03 AM   #2
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A skimmer is always a good idea. It will keep a lot of the nasty crap out of your water and make cleaning much easier for you
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:14 AM   #3
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First, what size tank do you have, anything under 30g would be fine with just weekly PWC's.
Bio balls are bad, coral rubble is a better solution.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:44 AM   #4
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My tank is about 80gallons or 310 liters.

Coral is so expensive @ $350 for 10 kg so i was hoping there would be a cheaper option for now.

So the bio balls are bad in what way? The person at the LFS said that if i keep the bio balls i need to keep adding chemicals and that it becomes more expensive in the long run. Im thinking that might be better for now since i wont need to out lay the $350 now plus the $185 for 20kg of live rock (which i need to still order aswell) that would bring my tank to about the 30kg of live rock.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:09 AM   #5
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Bioballs trap a lot of debris and just turn into a nitrate factory.

Live rock will do the same thing that Matrix will. You don't have to buy all live rock though, most of your rock can be dry rock and it will become live rock eventually. About 80% of the rock in my tank is Feller Stone's Antique Coral, which runs about $2/lb. You still need some good live rock though. Live rock is about 80% of your filtration. For a reef it is recommended to have at least 1.5-2 pounds of rock per gallon. More rock means more hiding places for fish, which means less aggression problems and also means they are more comfortable and will come out more.

A skimmer is definitely a good idea in that size tank. Anything is better than nothing. If you have a sump that is the place to put one. You get what you pay for.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:49 PM   #6
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ok so then its really not important for me to buy the corals or matrix (what ever its called) and just to buy 40kg of live rock? is 30kg total enough for the tank and get some crush live rocks for the sump instead of the bio balls?

its just to confusing... i have read that live rocks work like filters but im just wondering then why is the matrix so important? i understand they keep calcium up and so on but do the fish really need that? im not planing of putting anything in my tank apart from live rocks and fish.

thanks for your help
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:02 PM   #7
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What matrix are they talking about?

Seachem Matrix is a biomedia to replace things like Fluval's Biomax and Eheims Effensumthin to be used in HOBs and canisters, mainly for freshwater.

Seachem Matrix Carbon is a high quality pelletized carbon.

Neither of these would be considered an important part of a saltwater tank by most people. I don't know if a Seachem rep recently came by and got all the employees hyped up about the possible benefit of denitrification with the Matrix (which is what your live rock does), but something sounds off. Your live rock will do what Matrix would, but there is a heck of a lot more live rock than Matrix.
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Old 04-01-2011, 07:19 AM   #8
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The matrix they where talking about is dead / crushed corals the size of golf balls.

What do you's think about MARINE PURE?? it's a 'high performance biofilter media' apparently it helps reduce ammonia and nitrates.

My LFS said to take out my bio balls and out and out this in my sump then put the balls back on top.

Has anyone used this before!?

Last question is that I've had live rock in my tank for about the last month without any fish and yesterday the LFS done test and said I had some ammonia present, he also said that it's the becuase the rocks are dying since I've kept them in the dark without any light for a month. Is this true.? He said I should turn the lights on for atleast 4-5hrs a day.

Sorry for all the questions but I'm a newey when it comes to saltwater and I wan get things right this time around.

Thanks heaps in advance

Danny
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Old 04-01-2011, 10:15 AM   #9
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The rocks are dead, they don't die. Photosynthetic life on the live rock may die from lack of light, but adding light before you are done cycling/curing will just create an algae farm.

Do you have test kits? If so what is the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate? You should be pretty well along in cycling (which in a tank with live rock will coincide with curing the rock). You should also have your own test kits so you can monitor your own water quality, don't just go by the LFS.

I wouldn't have bioballs anywhere in the system. They aren't needed and in general the only end result is extra nitrate. Your live rock is about 80% of your filtration. The rest comes from a skimmer, fuge, and water changes depending on the exact system.

I don't know what Marine Pure is, but is sounds like either another gimmick or something that will work but only in a tank that is very close to ideal and just needs a subtle boost. I wouldn't recommend using it, at least not without some more information.
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:45 PM   #10
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Im not sure what the test results where but I did take water to 3 different LFS and they all said everything is ok apart from the 'slightly' higher then normal ammonia which apparently is due to not having the light on in the tank for over a month.

Is there any recommended time frame the light should be on? I now turn them on around 6-6:30pm and switch them of around 11-11:30pm. Is that fine or should they be on more/less?

What should I replace the bio balls with? Should I just out live rock in the sump? But doesn't that mean I need to put light down there as well?

Are there any types of live rocks that I should be using or are they all the same?

That Marine Pure thing apparently is also being used in a few in the LFS tanks. They even showed it to me. The link to the manufacture is www.cermediaDOTcom
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