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Old 01-16-2012, 04:37 PM   #11
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Great info guys...that's what I was thinking...although my LFS has yet to need to clean theirs...maybe I need to ask them more questions!
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:20 PM   #12
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Not doubting anyone. Bioballs have been used successful to many folks. I just want that added anaerobic bacteria factor. I should have stated that I do have 200 lbs of LR in my tank and do have a section in my fuge dedicated to bioballs soon to be LR rubble.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:09 PM   #13
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maybe as far as bacteria goes bio balls work as well be live rock houses all sorts of little creatures that help act like a CUC eating organic matter where bioballs do not. LR also doesn't have to be cleaned from all the detritus that can build up on them, the little critters that live in the rock do that as well as your actual CUC.

bioballs work no doubt and for a fish only system i would probably go with them over live rock. they are cheaper and just as effective but in a mixed reef the nitrate levels are just to high for most corals to be happy
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:42 PM   #14
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Since that's what I'm starting with...I'll go by what works for me, since that's the general advice that is given to me! I'm curious to see if that is the case...that bioballs are "nitrate factories"
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:59 PM   #15
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if you don't keep them clean they are a good pre filter will help keep them clean but stuff still gets through
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:00 PM   #16
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I thought nitrates built up in bio balls because detritus clogs them up over time. Unlike live rock which also has critters which will eat the decaying matter.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:44 AM   #17
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I went with bio balls on a wet/ dry filter. What I did is install a 50 micron pad before the bioballs and this keeps them clean for a long time. You still have to clean them just not as often. I did this because I did not want the pest that can come with live rock. So I used base rock mostly in my tank. I only added a little cured live rock to seed my tank. I figure once all of my base rock turns to live rock I will gradually remove the bioballs because they will not be needed.

My base rock is starting to turn nicely so it won't be long before I can start removing the bioballs and turn the wet/dry into a refugium.
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:59 AM   #18
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@Crazycajun

I have filter socks plus the pad before the bioballs... I will also be doing the same thing you are doing with your rock. Eventually there will be no need for the bioballs unless I overstock my DT. I do like the idea of having the beneficial algae to take care of any extra nitrates as well (I see that as maybe a year from now once the tank is established).

Currently still yet to complete my cycle! I have loads of Nitrites/Nitrates with .5 Ammonia...I'm thinking it's my 7.8 PH that needs to get up with the help of some power heads so it will speed up. So anxious! I won’t be able to get those until the weekend unfortunately.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:13 AM   #19
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If you have your bio balls fully submerged, they are nothing more than surface area for bacteria to grow. If they are in a wet/dry, which is a high oxygen environment, they are more efficient.
Bio balls will not remove nitrates. The bacteria on the surface will stop at nitrate production.
You need anaerobic bacteria (found deep inside live rock or in deep sand beds) to convert nitrate to nitrogen gas and remove it from the aquarium.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:17 AM   #20
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Thank you Doug.

I was thinking about establishing a DSB in my DT, but I wanted to get some power heads first. I do also need to lower my water level in my sump for the bioballs to work effectively!
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