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Old 05-12-2011, 02:27 PM   #1
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Bio Balls Good or Bad?

I recently had a conversation with a very knowledgeable marine aquarist and he told me to pull the bio balls out of my wet/dry filter. I believe he said that any food that gets through my mechanical filter will cause phosphates in my water. I asked him what I should replace them with and he said nothing is necessary in the dry chamber of a wet dry.

I am new to this, so can someone help me understand? If this is a problem, why are bio-balls sold with wet/drys?

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Old 05-12-2011, 02:38 PM   #2
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i have read that the worry with bio balls is that they trap food etc like you said and in turn the food rots and cause your nitr(i/a)te levels to spike.

I tend to wonder though is there a difference with bio balls doing this from freshwater to salt?

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Old 05-12-2011, 02:43 PM   #3
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There seems to be a lot of debate about bioballs. I think the main issue is that food particles get trapped and decay, where the CUC can't get to them. However, even is the CUC did eat it, they would release nitrates anyway. So perhaps it makes no difference. If you have a floss pad beforehand, debris shouldn't get to the bioballs anyway, then you can clean the filter.

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Old 05-12-2011, 04:04 PM   #4
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IMO bio balls are bad.When you have the proper amount of live rock,one and a half to two lbs per gallon,filter floss and bag of carbon that your overflow drains through you will be in good shape.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:15 PM   #5
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Bio balls are only bad if you do not keep up with the maintenance on them. They would need to be cleaned every other day in order for them to not become nitrate factories. It's better to not use them IMO. If this is for a saltwater setup, then I would suggest doing a simple DIY sump with a skimmer.
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Old 05-12-2011, 04:29 PM   #6
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For my freshwater BioCUBE I was advised to remove the bioballs and replace them with the porcelain tubes
I don't see where it makes much difference whether there are bioballs or noodles in there
Either way there is going to be a place where detritus will be trapped
My tink is doing fine with the bioballs

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Old 05-12-2011, 04:37 PM   #7
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The purpose of a bio ball is to be a nitrate factory. Ceramic noodles are better in a closed system as they have much more surface area for their size than bio balls. Ideally, the filter should remove any particles prior to them getting to the bio media, whether it be bio ball or noodle. Neither one should require any regular cleaning if set up properly.

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balls, bio, bio balls, wet dry

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