its not so much that UGF
's "produce" nitrates but is more that the denitrification process stops at the Nitrate stage because the bacteria to remove the nitrates needs an anoxic region to exist. This is the same reason why many SW
tanks now also steer clear of wet-dry trickle filters. They're great for FO
systems, but the denitrification stops at the Nitrate stage which inverts cannot tolerate. Sand beds and LR
allow for anoxic regions where that last stage of denitrification can occur.
Back to your original post, you mentioned the non-UGF
approach to be much more expensive and complicated. That's not true. Sumps, refugiums, skimmers etc are not a necessity. Many folks use them and they DO benefit a SW
aquarium but they don't have to be part of the system for a SW
tank to survive. I don't have any of that stuff in my 55. My complete system consists of CC
substrate, about 50-60 LBS or LR
(I need more), a Heater and PHs and Pumps for water movement. Thats it, literaly. I have perfect Ph, Sg
, 0 ammonia, nitrites, nitrates (this sometimes creeps up to about 5 at the most). I only do water changes maybe once a month at the most. My tank takes care of itself. It's been up for almost 2 years now I think... This is why I give a lot of weight to the berlin method.