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

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
Old 11-30-2010, 05:33 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Regular
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: detroit MI
Posts: 57
What is the benefits of bioballs or LR rubble?

ok i have a drip sump about 15g and have bioballs in it atm but have read about people using rubble instead.
I can and will change if you can tell me the benefits of doin this, i dont want to go through the work for no benefit or minimal benefit.
And i can do this at one time if proven/better way to go
Basic tank spec's
90g reef w/ fish (fairly heavy bioload)
120lb LR
CC base (plan on changeing to sandover time-1 bag /1/5 of tank)
15g drip sump
protien skimmer

scottkraft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2010, 05:39 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
Floyd R Turbo's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: West Des Moines, Iowa
Posts: 1,682
IMO there's no difference, LR rubble traps waste just as easily if not easier and it's harder to clean. I would stick with the bio-balls, many have negative opinions about them, but if you take them out every once in a while and put them in a bucket of tank water from your PWC, grab a handful at a time and shake them in the water, you'll loosen any debris.

If you want expanded bio-filtration in the sump, just put some bigger pieces of LR in there. The larger the piece, the more low-oxygen area, the better chance for denitrification. At least, that's the way I see it.

My tanks: 120 Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber, 60 Reef Pond w/floating Algae Scrubber, 40 Breeder Reef w/L2 UAS Tester Algae Scrubber
I maintain: 144 SW Reef w/L2 Algae Scrubber | 200 SW Reef w/L4 Algae Scrubber
Special knowledge: Algae Scrubbers, Acrylic Fabrication
Floyd R Turbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2010, 06:21 PM   #3
Community Admin
melosu58's Avatar

Tank of the Month Award
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38,340
This is the reason I think LR is better. This is from Reefkeeping `s filtration basics

Live rock consists of calcium based coral skeletons that are populated with microscopic bacteria and marine organisms.Because live rock has a porous texture, there is a large, aerobic surface area for the microscopic nitrifying bacteria to colonize.Another property of live rock is its ability to provide areas where denitrification may occur.Below the aerobic surfaces of live rock are areas of very low oxygen that are suitable for beneficial denitrifying bacteria to colonize."

Not only will it help with the ammonia and nitrites but with nitrates also. The LR has to be submerged.


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 11-30-2010, 10:27 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,667
When the trend shifted from bioballs to no bioballs many of the people who had bioballs for a long time and then removed them simply saw a reduction in nitrate. More rock is better, even emersed it has more surface area than bioballs and is a much more natural option.
Fishguy2727 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 03:58 AM   #5
AA Team Emeritus
Jimbo7's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,996
Its a personal choice, If you don't think you will be diligent about rinsing the bio-balls, go with the rock.
Links to old builds:
12DX LED Build
Frag Tank (Fixed Link)
Dorm Pico Tank
Jimbo7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 11:00 AM   #6
AA Team Emeritus
cmor1701d's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Belle Mead, NJ
Posts: 7,812
Bioballs used in a wet/dry system will be colonized by bacteria that convert ammonia to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate. Because they lack the deep cavities found in LR rubble there are no anoxic areas for the bacteria that convert nitrate to nitrogen to live.

That's where the reputation of bioballs as nitrate factories comes from. By using LR rubble that is fully submerged you add some denitrification to the tank which helps to keep the nitrates down too.

cmor1701d is offline   Reply With Quote


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
Benefits of a QT! Frogspawn Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 25 11-04-2011 08:38 PM
Really a need for bioballs?? xxnonamexx Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 26 01-18-2006 10:26 PM
Bioballs vs ceramic xray Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion 8 01-12-2005 10:35 PM
bioballs lilismom1 Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR 1 10-12-2003 06:37 AM
Should I replace bioballs with LR CP_ThunderGod Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 5 08-20-2003 04:26 PM

» Photo Contest Winners

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:42 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.