Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > General Aquarium Forums > General Hardware/Equipment Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 01-27-2010, 10:30 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
ares's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 48
Send a message via AIM to ares
Bio Balls?

I keep reading people say that bio balls are nitrate factories. Can someone explain why? I understand that they help convert amonia and nitrite into nitrate, so I'm wondering why they are frowned upon? I currently use them in my filter and am considering taking them out. All advice is greatly appreciated.
__________________

__________________
ares is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2010, 10:54 AM   #2
AA Team Emeritus
 
cmor1701d's Avatar


 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Belle Mead, NJ
Posts: 7,814
It's the Wet/Dry process that converts DOC (dissolved organic compounds = uneaten food and fish waste) to ammonia and then to nitrate and then to nitrate. It does not allow for the last stage of the Nitrogen cycle which is turning the nitrate to nitrogen.
That last step requires bacteria that live in an anoxic (oxygen free) environment. LR offers those areas in the deep recesses of the rock where there is little water flow. A DSB (deep sand bed) does the same in the layer below 4" (aprox).

That's why people are using LR rubble in place of bioballs. The LR rubble has some anoxic areas to help reduce nitrates while the bioballs do not.

A good skimmer and a refugium with macro algae can help quite a bit too.

If you decide to remove the bioballs, DO NOT remove all of them at once. The bacteria that break down waste to ammonia and nitrite live on surface of the bioballs, and you do not want to remove too much at once. Do about a 1/4 or a 1/3 per week as you replace the bioballs with LR rubble, or additional LR to the tank (slowly and only fully cured).

Hope that helps.
__________________

cmor1701d is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2010, 11:02 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
ares's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 48
Send a message via AIM to ares
Thanks. That is exactly what I was wondering. I got confused because it sounded like people were saying that the bio balls actually created nitrates. What you're saying is that they help the nitrogen cycle but leave out the last step. That makes a lot more sense. I have a lot of LR in my tank currently and a DBS. I don't think there is any additional room to add more LR. I like the idea of replacing the bio balls with LR rubble though. Is it going to be overkill to have a lot of LR, a DBS, and LR rubble in the filter. I don't see how doing everthing possible to aid the nitrogen cycle could be a bad thing, but just want to be sure. Thanks for the help!
__________________
ares is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2010, 11:12 AM   #4
AA Team Emeritus
 
austinsdad's Avatar


 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Accokeek, Maryland
Posts: 7,694
Great post CMOR!

I just love knowing smart people!
__________________
-Ray-

"Life may not be the party we hoped for but while we are here we might as well dance!"

austinsdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2010, 12:09 PM   #5
SW REEF 18+ YEARS
Community Admin
 
melosu58's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38,249
Quote:
Originally Posted by austinsdad View Post
Great post CMOR!

I just love knowing smart people!
I agree great post. If you could only get rid of that avatar you`d be really smart. LOL
__________________

SITE ADMINISTRATOR

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 01-27-2010, 12:22 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Austin,tx
Posts: 1,699
I agree. Avatar takes away from credibility. Thats why I wait for melosu to respond. Cowboys avatar shows good decision making. Go Cowboys (next year, superbowl!!)
__________________
Bige is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2010, 12:30 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
ares's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Indiana
Posts: 48
Send a message via AIM to ares
OK, just a few more questions. Does it matter which container I put the LR rubble in? The bio balls are currently in the middle one that does not sit in the water. Should I switch it to the bottom one so that the LR rubble will sit in the water? How often should I rinse it off? Do I need any type of netting around it or is it ok to just let it sit in the plastic container? I'm just full of questions.
__________________
ares is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2010, 12:35 PM   #8
SW REEF 18+ YEARS
Community Admin
 
melosu58's Avatar



Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38,249
Quote:
Originally Posted by ares View Post
I'm just full of questions.
Nothing wrong with that.
Yes, if you use LR rubble they need to be submerged in the water. The SW cant just trickle over them like the bio balls. You might have to change places. They dont need any netting or anything just be in the water.
__________________

SITE ADMINISTRATOR

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 01-27-2010, 01:53 PM   #9
AA Team Emeritus
 
austinsdad's Avatar


 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Accokeek, Maryland
Posts: 7,694
I like them both, but they each have terrible avatars!!

Go 'Skins!!!
__________________
-Ray-

"Life may not be the party we hoped for but while we are here we might as well dance!"

austinsdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-2010, 02:02 PM   #10
Thanx but no.....


 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,333
IMO for biological filtration submerged bioballs are no different than live rock. Generally speaking, what's the difference when it comes to filtration?
__________________

__________________
CaptainAhab is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
balls, bio, bio balls

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
bio balls Betsy Saltwater Reef Aquaria 3 05-22-2008 06:57 PM
What's Better? Bio Wheel or Trickle Filter with Bio-Balls? Chiselchst General Hardware/Equipment Discussion 8 04-27-2004 01:05 AM
What's Better, a Bio-Wheel or Trickle Filter with Bio Balls? Chiselchst Saltwater Reef Aquaria 1 04-23-2004 05:51 PM
bio balls, yes or no? quarryshark Saltwater Reef Aquaria 3 03-11-2004 03:57 PM
how many bio balls? force of habit Saltwater Reef Aquaria 10 11-04-2003 12:06 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.