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Old 08-06-2004, 09:00 PM   #1
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Tank cycling again?

Two weeks ago I started removing the bioballs from my wet/dry. I have removed half in ae two week period.I am using a marine lab test kit buy red sea. PH-8.2,ammonia-.025,alkalinity-high,nitrite-.1,nitrate-2.5.My ? is, are these numbers normal while removing the balls,and should i wate and let these numbers stablize before removing any more? Also,anyone who has used this test kit ,I would love to hear how u fill about it?I dont like the alkalinity test because there r no numbers just low-normal,and high.Your thoughts would be great!
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since i started a reef tank the shrimp in restruants just dont tast the same any more!
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:17 PM   #2
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What where your numbers before you started removing the bioballs and how old is the tank?

How much LR is in the tank to take the place of the bioball surface area? Insufficient surface area for bacteria to populate will cause alot of problems. If you do have LR and it was recently added, it could be the cause of your increased numbers.

Some test kits are definately better than others but before you ax the ones you have, be sure you get them double checked on a friends tank or LFS. No sense in wasting them if they're accurate. As far as replacements, I would definately suggest Salifert or possibley Seachem.

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Old 08-06-2004, 10:52 PM   #3
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I started the tank abought 2 years ago.got abought 100 lbs of lr.rock is covered with sponges,feather dusters,and shrooms.I have a 3 inch sand bed.livestock is as follows-2 blue devals,2-sargent majors,1-clown,1-lawnmower bleeny,2-sally crabs,1-banded coral shrimp,1-brittle star,and 5-hermits.the live rock and sand have been in the tank since i started it.shrooms abought 6 months after setup.blenny been in for abought 6 months.clown 3 months.majors and blues bought 1 and ahalf years.star-1 year, sallys-4 months.hermits 2 months.2 large turbos which are abought 1 and a half years also.normal readings for the tank are,PH-8.2,ammonia-bearly even a trace-if any,nitrate-1.0,alk-high,and nitrite-0. Things been to good,when # change I get worried! 8O
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since i started a reef tank the shrimp in restruants just dont tast the same any more!
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:53 PM   #4
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forgot to tell you it is a 90g!
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since i started a reef tank the shrimp in restruants just dont tast the same any more!
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Old 08-07-2004, 01:34 PM   #5
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Even though your bioload is not that high, you could still do with some additional LR. I don't think that's the cause of the elevated numbers at this point but could cause you some future probles as the bioload changes. It could simpley be that a majority of your bacteria was populated in the bioballs and the tank may need more time to "catch up". I would suggest slowing down on how many/how often bioballs you remove and allow the bacteria in the tank to multiply.

A few small frequent water changes should help with nitrogens. Do you have a skimmer?

One thing I am rather curious about. If all your numbers where good, why remove the bioballs?

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Old 08-07-2004, 08:37 PM   #6
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yep, IMO, if you remove stuff that bacteria lived on then you need to wait til it "populates" on something else. The bioballs would be in a source of high oxygen water flow and would have been the main source of good bacteria for the tank. The "critters" will grow somewhere else but may take a bit of time.... I think bioballs are a good thing as long as you keep them from building up lots of crud. Like the sponge or biowheel in a freshwater tank.
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Old 08-07-2004, 11:45 PM   #7
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I have a kent nautilus Te skimmer. After all the bad things i have heard I thought I would remove them.I am very slow to make changes to my tank.I am thinking of adding a few softies to the tank in the next year.I just try to take things slow.Got a lot of $ invested and dont wont to loose it over a stupid mistake!
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Old 08-09-2004, 06:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jody63
After all the bad things i have heard I thought I would remove them.
Very glad to hear you're not in a hurry to change things. As far as what you may have read concerning bioballs, I ask you this:
If after 2 years you have not had a problem, what makes you believe it's going to start now?

FWIW, I would suggest being very careful about listening to "popular thought" and consider facts instead. I know many people are always on about bioballs and nitrate issues. The simple fact is that they cannot create nitrates without the first two, NH3 and NO2. So unless those are in higher relative numbers, there is no way there can be excessive NO3 being created. In short, it is typically something amiss with what the hobbiest is doing and not the equipment. At least in these cases

If it ain't broke, don't fix it 8)

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Old 08-11-2004, 01:16 AM   #9
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Thanks for the insight.I never tested right before starting to remove the balls.so infact I feel the #'s that I got were caused by me and a lack of information.I just did a 20g water change and will test tomorrow.I am going to leave the balls i have in the filter.I think that i will just look at this as a test to see how long it takes the tank to stablize.I would hate to lose a 2 year old tank over something like this!
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Old 08-11-2004, 01:17 AM   #10
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Thanks for the insight.I never tested right before starting to remove the balls.so infact I feel the #'s that I got were caused by me and a lack of information.I just did a 20g water change and will test tomorrow.I am going to leave the balls i have in the filter.I think that i will just look at this as a test to see how long it takes the tank to stablize.I would hate to lose a 2 year old tank over something like this!
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