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Old 02-12-2009, 06:58 PM   #1
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Bio-balls?

I have five gallons of bio-balls from my overflow to my sump. I have heard that these hold nitrates and are not good for sw tanks. I have a 29 gallon tank with 40 lbs of live rock and 20 lbs of live sand several hermits and snails, two skunk clowns, a domino damsel, feather dusters and several mushrooms. LFS said that my nitrates were a little high. Two of my mushrooms are also in the process of dying. I also just got new PC lighting. These are all the variables I have for the past week. Why would my mushrooms be dying? All other parameters were fine said my LFS.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:46 PM   #2
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I have five gallons of bio-balls from my overflow to my sump. I have heard that these hold nitrates and are not good for sw tanks. I have a 29 gallon tank with 40 lbs of live rock and 20 lbs of live sand several hermits and snails, two skunk clowns, a domino damsel, feather dusters and several mushrooms. LFS said that my nitrates were a little high. Two of my mushrooms are also in the process of dying. I also just got new PC lighting. These are all the variables I have for the past week. Why would my mushrooms be dying? All other parameters were fine said my LFS.
Really not much info here . . . What lights were you running before? Did you phase in your new lights by using a shorter time period? Whats a little high on nitrates? Do you own your own test kits? Have you checked salinity and pH? Temperature? Is the new lighting affecting your tank temperature. Do you clean out your bioballs on a regular basis? half should be removed and rinsed off in saltwater on a regular basis.
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:38 PM   #3
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Sorry. I was running 65 watts before and am running 130 now and have decreased the time by 4 hours. I have not cleaned my bio-balls ever (didn't know I had to) I do have a test kit. Nitrates are at .25, salinity at 1.22(stable), PH 8.1 (also stable), and temp is at 78 with no effect from the lights. Heater just doesn't come on as often.
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:50 PM   #4
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When you say they're in the process of dying... what exactly are they doing? And are you dosing/adding anything to the tank?

Hmmm... nitrates at 0.25ppm and your LFS says they're high? I bet most folks would kill to have "high" nitrates like you. Especially since most salts mix up with at least 0.25ppm in them to start with!
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:04 PM   #5
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fellow aquarist suggested this procedure for washing bioballs:

Only do this if your tank is at least 6 months old
1. Place some new saltwater in a five gallon plastic bucket, or any other type of good-sized deep plastic container. This is where you will rinse and clean the bio-balls off. If you are planning for a water change, water removed from the aquarium may be used for this as well.
2. Turn off the filter.
3. Remove about 1/4 of the bio-balls from the filter chamber and place them into the container with the saltwater.
4. Stir and swish the bio-balls around in the saltwater to break all the gunk or organic matter loose that is stuck on them. If they are extremely dirty, you may have to repeat this step. DO NOT scrub the bio-balls! Just allow the saltwater to do the job, nothing more than that.
5. Scoop the rinsed bio-balls out and place them back into the filter bio-chamber. A plastic kitchen colander works great for this, but any type of cup or small container with drain holes in it will do. The bio-balls come out, the yucky water stays behind.
6. Restart the filter.
7. Test for the appearance of ammonia every few days for a week, then every several days over another week after that. If the tests read near zero after this time, it is ok to repeat the process. If ammonia does appear, wait until readings drop back to zero, then wait another couple of weeks after that before repeating the process with the next batch of bio balls

Please tell me your salinity is really 1.022 and not 1.22
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:21 PM   #6
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shriveling up! One is totally gone, these two are the same kind(or were) and the others are a different kind that seem to be thriving. Yes 1.022 sorry. I also have a serious cyano bloom, carpeting 1/3 of the aquarium. My LFS also said to dose with vodka to control the cyano which I read on the net isn't such a bad idea but maybe I am doing to much at one time or maybe not enough. Recent 1/3 water change, two days ago. I have a 700gph fuge pump and a 295 gph powerhead (which I only run for a couple hours a day) because of it blows everything everywhere. I would take pictures but the lights are off! Thank you for all your help and if any test need to be done right now I will let you know if I have that particular test and give the results!
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:47 PM   #7
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shriveling up! One is totally gone, these two are the same kind(or were) and the others are a different kind that seem to be thriving. Yes 1.022 sorry. I also have a serious cyano bloom, carpeting 1/3 of the aquarium. My LFS also said to dose with vodka to control the cyano which I read on the net isn't such a bad idea but maybe I am doing to much at one time or maybe not enough. Recent 1/3 water change, two days ago. I have a 700gph fuge pump and a 295 gph powerhead (which I only run for a couple hours a day) because of it blows everything everywhere. I would take pictures but the lights are off! Thank you for all your help and if any test need to be done right now I will let you know if I have that particular test and give the results!
Well if you also have a cyano bloom going (which may be being helped or have started as a result of the new lights), its possible the mushrooms are coated with cyano and can't get light. Have you blown them off with a turkey baster? I would also say you need some more flow (why does the powerhead blow everything everywhere?), in a 30 gallon tank you should be able to run two Hydor Korila #2 if you place them properly without blowing anything anywhere. I agree that your nitrates aren't the issue (although I would still clean some of your bioballs - and start doing regular maintanence on them). I would have guessed they were shrinking from the light, but not if they have disappeared completely. Besides the cyano which you neglected to mention, is there anything else going on in your tank? Have you tested for ammonia?
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:43 AM   #8
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Yes ammonia is at 0! It is one 295 gph powerhead. I might not have it aimed right. It is not a Korila# anything just a plain old power head. I intend on doing some plumbing to make the 295 into two on either side of the tank. The mushroom that is gone was not covered but had some cyano under it. I kinda poked and prodded it trying to loosten it up to move it and alot of srtingy stuff came from it so I stopped messin with it. I think the new lights have a lot to do with things,my star polyps are bigger than ever and I have noticed other small polyps on once bare rock since I have installed them. I will rinse half of my bio-balls now and the other ina couple fo days! Thanks again
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