Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 01-16-2012, 01:42 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 90
Differences between Bio-Balls and Live rock

Please someone tell me exactly what the differences are between using Bioballs vs. live rock in a sump? This seems to be an elephant in the room with me because my LFS uses bioballs in their main system with absolutely no problems, but I really want to get the information that says why they are not good to use (if they are not).

Thank you!
__________________

__________________
tetrajoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2012, 01:48 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
redsea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 8,066
Quote:
Originally Posted by C.a.r.i.s.s.a View Post
Please someone tell me exactly what the differences are between using Bioballs vs. live rock in a sump? This seems to be an elephant in the room with me because my LFS uses bioballs in their main system with absolutely no problems, but I really want to get the information that says why they are not good to use (if they are not).

Thank you!
Well, I do not know a lot about Bio-balls, but I do know that after a while it is possible for nitrates to build up and cause problems in the aquarium.

I, personally would go with live rock.

I hope this is somewhat helpful!
__________________

__________________
Please don't forget about the toxins in some corals (like zoas and palythoas)
180 gallon reef announcement!:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMgmb124jrs&t=35s
redsea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2012, 01:50 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by redsea View Post
Well, I do not know a lot about Bio-balls, but I do know that after a while it is possible for nitrates to build up and cause problems in the aquarium.

Where did you get this information? I'd really like some details on causes/fixes as well.

Thanks again!
__________________
tetrajoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2012, 01:52 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
redsea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 8,066
Quote:
Originally Posted by C.a.r.i.s.s.a View Post
Where did you get this information? I'd really like some details on causes/fixes as well.

Thanks again!
I just heard it from some people here on the forum. Sorry I can't provide any more info, I hope somebody will chime in.
__________________
Please don't forget about the toxins in some corals (like zoas and palythoas)
180 gallon reef announcement!:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMgmb124jrs&t=35s
redsea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2012, 02:17 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 189
I was wondering this to. All the Local fish stores here use bio-balls. they all have the same system too. Big ol tank in the bottem with water and bio balls.
__________________
Greenpillow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2012, 02:18 PM   #6
SW REEF 18+ YEARS
Community Admin
 
melosu58's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38,249
Both of them are biological filtration. LA says on the subject

"Biological media is any inert material used to cultivate beneficial bacteria involved in the nitrogen cycle. The large surface area of biological media houses an enormous amount of beneficial bacteria to efficiently process harmful compounds. As aquarium water passes through the media, it brings organic waste materials to the bacteria so they can break it down into less harmful components. Efficient biological filtration relies heavily on good water movement."

The difference is that the water will flow through the bio balls. They work but LR has more space for the nitrifying bacteria to colonize. Also because the water cant go through the LR it usually causes low flow areas and low oxygen areas behind the LR where anerobic bacteria will gather that helps to get rid of nitrates. IMO LR is what you need but bio balls will work also but because the water rapidly flows through them you cant get much anerobic bacteria to colonize thus having higher nitrates.
__________________

SITE ADMINISTRATOR

You can view many of my fish and corals in my photo albums in my profile.

View my tank


AA Community Rules|AA TOS

Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics
melosu58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2012, 03:49 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
wvanderborg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Chicago Illinois
Posts: 137
^very informative^ and all 100% accurate.
__________________
wvanderborg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2012, 03:55 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by melosu58 View Post
Both of them are biological filtration. LA says on the subject

"Biological media is any inert material used to cultivate beneficial bacteria involved in the nitrogen cycle. The large surface area of biological media houses an enormous amount of beneficial bacteria to efficiently process harmful compounds. As aquarium water passes through the media, it brings organic waste materials to the bacteria so they can break it down into less harmful components. Efficient biological filtration relies heavily on good water movement."

The difference is that the water will flow through the bio balls. They work but LR has more space for the nitrifying bacteria to colonize. Also because the water cant go through the LR it usually causes low flow areas and low oxygen areas behind the LR where anerobic bacteria will gather that helps to get rid of nitrates. IMO LR is what you need but bio balls will work also but because the water rapidly flows through them you cant get much anerobic bacteria to colonize thus having higher nitrates.

Thank you!!! This is what I needed...
__________________
tetrajoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2012, 04:03 PM   #9
AA Team Emeritus
 
Wy Renegade's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 4,714
Not to cause disagreement, but maybe just as a side note? I saw a similar thread a number of years ago on another forum, and one of the engineering members did the calculations to prove that in fact bioballs have just as much if not more surface area than LR does. Since I'm not a math whiz, I can't even begin to tell you if the math was correct or not, but he certainly made it sound convincing and nobody argued with him . At any rate, the surface area for anaerobic bacteria is certainly less.

I do know several individuals who have used bioballs quite successfully for many years, and one of the most important aspects of using them successfully is keeping them clean. Most I've seen recommend cleaning about 50% of them every month.

Like the others, I'm a fan of the LR rather than the bioballs, just had to throw it out there.
__________________
the Bog

"Listen to some of these guys talk, and it's like they were born from their momma's belly with a fishkeeping encyclopedia in one hand and an API kit in the other" (unrevealed).
Wy Renegade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2012, 04:07 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
AquaRick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Northern CA
Posts: 2,638
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wy Renegade View Post
Not to cause disagreement, but maybe just as a side note? I saw a similar thread a number of years ago on another forum, and one of the engineering members did the calculations to prove that in fact bioballs have just as much if not more surface area than LR does. Since I'm not a math whiz, I can't even begin to tell you if the math was correct or not, but he certainly made it sound convincing and nobody argued with him . At any rate, the surface area for anaerobic bacteria is certainly less.

I do know several individuals who have used bioballs quite successfully for many years, and one of the most important aspects of using them successfully is keeping them clean. Most I've seen recommend cleaning about 50% of them every month.

Like the others, I'm a fan of the LR rather than the bioballs, just had to throw it out there.
+1 here. Bioballs can be just as successful as LR...it's just the cleaning factor and the nitrate build up issue that puts me off.
__________________

__________________
225G Reef Upgrade
AquaRick is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
balls, bio, live, live rock, rock, sump

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Moss balls? Aces11 Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 22 07-13-2013 10:04 PM
Bio balls during cycling ReefChief Nano Reefs 9 01-11-2012 09:16 AM
Live rock Kevinalewis Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 4 11-16-2011 10:27 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.