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Old 05-21-2004, 08:15 PM   #1
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Bio wheels or no wheels?

I have a 46 gal with about 50 lbs live rock. The tank has been running for a year and a half. I havent added anything in a couple of months, nor has anything died. My tests have always been fine, but recently I'm having problems with nitrates. They keep testing in the 40 - 80 range. I do 25% water changes every other week. When I do this, water tests down to 10 - 20 range. Following week tests 20 - 40. Then right before water change 40 - 80. I have a penguin 330 filter with bio wheels. It seems I've read here before that someone said that bio wheels attract nitrate or something, and that they shoud not be used. Is this true and do you think this could be my problem?

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?!
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Old 05-21-2004, 11:51 PM   #2
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Bio wheel = Nitrate farm. Toss the wheel, and im sure you will have lower nitrates.
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Old 05-22-2004, 12:30 AM   #3
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I agree to toss them, you should have enough natural filtration available. Biowheels don't attract nitrates, they produce them. Being a wet/dry type filter, they house bacteria that quickly take waste in the water and convert it to nitrate instead of allowing other infauna in the tank to consume and bind up the conversion a bit.

Depending on your bioload though, you still may have a nitrate issue.
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Old 05-22-2004, 12:56 PM   #4
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OK then. Thanks for answering. I'm going to go ahead and remove them, and see what happens.
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Old 05-22-2004, 01:03 PM   #5
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Good call...
Ever think about a protein Skimmer?
I just got a Aqua C Remora for my 55 and it's AWESOME !
all the levels seem more stable...
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Old 05-24-2004, 05:44 AM   #6
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Are you using RO water? My tap water measures 5-10 nitrates! Makes it hard to ever get to 0! Check the level of your source water for some clues...

I have practically the same setup, but with an emporer 400 biowheel. Anyway, take out the biowheels maybe a week apart to give the tank time to adjust to the bioload. Then just run it for carbon / mechanical purposes as needed. Be sure to wash the filter packs in fw every week or so, this way they won't become biofilters! I actually run mine on a timer while the lights are on, it does a nice job of surface agitation / oxygenating the tank, not to mention keeping water crystal clear or cleaning up after a water change. I do run a skimmer, but I definately think the filter benefits the tank.

Several water changes after I removed the biowheels and moved to RO my nitrates have been in the 5 range. This should work for you.

hey half the fun is dreaming it up!
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bio, eel, eels

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