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Old 11-13-2012, 04:04 PM   #21
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Ya I would deffinetly not run the bio wheel. Your LR, sand and filter pads should house enough BB to support your system.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:49 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by willbratz View Post
I removed my bio wheel, that thing is a nitrate factory!!! I recommend pulling it out. It's great for FW not good for SW.
I have to disagree with you here. Here's why:

Nitrate production is a function of the amount of nitrite introduced. Biowheels are simply an aerobic platform upon which aerobic bacteria may grow to convert ammonia to nitrite and ammonia to nitrate. Nitrate is exported via water changes, plant growth (refugium or algae scrubber), or through an anoxic zone (deep sand bed or the interior portions of live rock).

Removing the aerobic area does not somehow casue the nitrate to suddenly convert to free nitrogen, nor does it create an additional anoxic zone. It could conceivably slow down the porduction of nitrate, but at the expense of slowing down the conversion of nitrite and ammonia (In other words, nitrite and ammonia accumulate because there is less bacteria to turn them into the progressively less toxic forms as you would find in a new sterile uncycled tank.) In this sense, any wet and oxygen rich surface is a "nitrate factory."

The problem comes when detritus accumulates in an aerobic area. Biowheels should not accumulate detritus as they are in constant motion sloughing off any material and should be installed after mechanical filtration.

I've also heard many individuals claim bioballs are nitrate factories. This is a little more on the mark, as they can trap detritus in the water column if they aren't swished around and rinsed every so often.

Even so, if you have an anaerobic zone or a fuge, it will still consume the nitrates, regardless if they originated at bioballs or biowheels.

All that having been said, there are many who believe that a protein skimmer actually removes pollutants before they get a chance to break down. We know that skimmers pullout some nasty stuff, but we're not entirely sure what the stuff actually is. Here's a good article on what we do know through analysis of skimmate:
Feature Article: Elemental Analysis of Skimmate: What Does a Protein Skimmer Actually Remove from Aquarium Water? — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog

All this is to say, the only way in my opinion anything can truly be a nitrate factory is if the material in question decomposes chemically into nitrates. I argue that nitrates in an aquarium result from nitrites, which result from ammonia, which resulted from animal excrement - not from plastics and textiles.

(We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming. . .)
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:37 PM   #23
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Love that explanation. I was going to try to argue the same basic idea, but it would not have sounded nearly as good. seems like the wheels are good, carbon filter pads will collect detritus, thus being bad unless cleaned regularly.

I've had two FOWLR acrylic tanks with the built-in filtration in the back. Both had three chambers, with the second having bio balls. I've always had a thick sponge (probably 2" thick) that catches anything solid coming from the first chamber (that replaces the little plastic tray with holes that it comes with). Water goes through that, into the bio balls and the into the third chamber. I usually keep a bit of sponge at the very bottom, under the balls, to use for QT. I wash the thick one out every week or so. I have never had nitrate problems, thus have never understood the nitrate factory thing.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:24 PM   #24
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I disagree and here is why:

Biowheels only handle ammonia and nitrite, leaving nitrate to be diluted in the water column. Once the nitrate is diluted in the water, the live rock cannot effectively reduce it and you will have chronic nitrate problems (fine if you don't mind extra water changes to keep nitrates low).

Once I removed the bio wheel, nitrates dropped considerably.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:27 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willbratz
I disagree and here is why:

Biowheels only handle ammonia and nitrite, leaving nitrate to be diluted in the water column. Once the nitrate is diluted in the water, the live rock cannot effectively reduce it and you will have chronic nitrate problems (fine if you don't mind extra water changes to keep nitrates low).

Once I removed the bio wheel, nitrates dropped considerably.
Also, If using live rock, you are countering half its benefit with a less effective biological filter, thus losing effectiveness of the live rock
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:59 AM   #26
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My hob is packed with cheato no filter floss or carbon
runs with bio wheel and my nitrates are never higher than 1 PPm
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:53 AM   #27
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Tap water has additives to kill bacteria to make it safe to drink, sooooooo it will kill your BB too, use tank water or conditioned water. To keep the maximum benefit of the filter pad surface.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:42 PM   #28
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OK I did away with my filter and Bio wheel on my eclipse. I cut into the hood and installed my
AQUARIUM PROTEIN SKIMMER WITH 300G PH PUmp. model no. 23 PUM003-1802

I am not sure if its correct. Should the water make it into the collection cup? So far its not. My tank seems to be not as clear as it was. I want to scream. It was going so well and now I'm worried I screwed up. Help
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:32 AM   #29
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Iv been learning about saltys lately an from what iv read your doing well so far dont stress its a new learning curve
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:14 AM   #30
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But can I run my tank on a skimmer and not a filter system? And my skimmer if I turn it up it foams but thousands of bubbles come into my water. I turn it all the way down and no bubbles but it does not make it up to collection cup. Grrrrrrr
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