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Old 12-14-2004, 10:18 AM   #1
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Live rock Vs. Bio Filtration

I was reading another thread on the CPR Bak Pak 2 and some said they have removed the bio bale and let the live rock do all the bio filtration.

I have a CPR Bak Pak 2 and a 350 Mag canister filter that I use now with carbon along with two 660 powerheads with sponges. I rinse the sponges and change the canister regularly, but have never done anything to the biobale.

I classify my 75 gal tank as FOWLR, but I am not sure that is correct. I started with base rock (lace, Coral and tufa) and coral skeletons along with some of the marineland fake corals(removed the plants) and then seeded it with about 20# of live rock(given to me) about a year ago. No Idea on total amount of base rock guess 70-90# (The tank is full).

According to what I have read all rock eventually become live rock to some degree over time as it hosts bacteria and other life. The question I have is when do I know this has happened and should I no longer use the biobale. All the rock has visible coloration on it from the original bleached appearance to the multi colored patterns of algea and other stuff (not much coraline as I do not have the lighting less 1.5 WPG)

I do get trace amounts of nitrates occassionally, but all is well in my tank(use RO and regular filter maintenance with exception of biobale). Should I rinse/remove boibale?

I am very happy with the setup and inhabitants (see profile) and have no desire to go reef (add live corals) as I cannot justify the lighting expense or have time for maintenance of corals.

I was considering dumping the 350 canister and adding a 2nd CPR bak pak 2 (good deal at LFS). Should I use bio bale? Admittedly, my tank is heavily stocked (PC for overstocked ), or is this a case of leave well enough alone. It has been months since I have experienced any mysterious death or dissaperance.

Sorry for the long post and TIA for any suggestions.


Tank: 90 Gal SW Reef in the making

See my info for setup and inhabitant details:
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Old 12-14-2004, 05:18 PM   #2
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I am kinda in the same boat. as you!

I have a plan for my tank that I will share with you.

I plan on adding another 20 lbs of LR to my existing 40 LBS of Live Rock, this should give me enough Live Rock to handle all of the filtration requirements. I will then remove the carbon from my Canister and leave the collection sleeve. this should grab large particulate and keep it from settling in my sand and on my rocks. Instead of carbon I will fill my canister with LR rubble. That shouldn't hurt. (correct me if I am wrong.)

After all that, my Canister will now be a sorta modified sump. and I will still be able to maintain good circulation in my tank and Increased water Volume.

I do not have a Bio-Bale in my Skimmer because I have a Bak Pak 2R. So thats no problem.

I am also curious as to how I am going to know whether my tank is ready to go "Berlin" or not.

IF you are doing OK with your current setup, you may not even need to switch, If it ain't broke, dont fix it!!!

I would be hesitant to remove the carbon if I were you because You are rather overstocked as it is. Removing the carbon could crash the system. :|

Hardware: 37 gallon SW tank and stand by Oceanic Systems, Magnum 350 Pro Canister Filter (half carbon), CPR Bak Pak 2R skimmer, Maxijet 1200 Powerhead, RenaCal 150 W heater, Compact fluorescent lights with moonlights. 40 lbs of liverock, 3" sand bed.

Software:2 Tank-Raised Ocellaris Clowns, 1 Purple Firefish, 1 Electric Orange hermit crab, 18 Blue Legged hermit crabs, 8 or so Nassarius snails, Xenia, Blue, green, and Green Striped Mushrooms.

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Old 12-14-2004, 05:32 PM   #3
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Yeah, I do not plan to pull the canister at this point. I think I will probably get a 2nd CPR though as it cannot hurt to have extra filtration. I would want to lighten my fishload first anyway and verify the staus of my live rock or not live rock situation.

With a 2nd Bak Pak I am that much closer to a larger tank or another tank.

Tank: 90 Gal SW Reef in the making

See my info for setup and inhabitant details:
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Old 12-14-2004, 08:03 PM   #4
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If the tanks been setup for more than a few months then I would say all your rock is live rock at this point. If your not having nitrate issues then I see no reason to remove the canister filter or the biobale. At this point you need neither for their filtration ability and could easily use the canister as only a means of water movement.
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bio, filtration, live, live rock, rock

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