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Old 03-14-2005, 07:23 PM   #1
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Bio-Wheel -- What's the big deal?

Maybe a dumb question. On my newly re-started 55 gal tank, do I REALLY need to use my bio-wheels? I have an emperor 400 filter, with 2 bio-wheels. I've heard conflicting opinions on whether or not I need them. At this present time, I have no live rock.
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Old 03-14-2005, 07:33 PM   #2
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If you are doing a FO tank and are not planning to use LR, I would leave the biowheels in and just monitor your nitrates. I would definitely remove the biowheels if you are using LR, planning on having inverts, or planning on coral.
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:30 AM   #3
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i agree with born2chill
A biowheel is a biological filtration system that converts ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate.
For a FO tank it will be fine because fish can tolerate higher nitrate levels then inverts and coral. Just make water changes to keep your nitrate down
If you add live rock then the rock will be your biological filter, and the rock will also help with nitrate.
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:18 AM   #4
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do u just take out the biowheel or do u take out the whole filter if you intend to get live rocks?
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Old 03-15-2005, 07:41 AM   #5
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only the biowheel so you'll still have chemical and mechanical fitration
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelovablebum
i agree with born2chill
A biowheel is a biological filtration system that converts ammonia to nitrite and then to nitrate.
For a FO tank it will be fine because fish can tolerate higher nitrate levels then inverts and coral. Just make water changes to keep your nitrate down
If you add live rock then the rock will be your biological filter, and the rock will also help with nitrate.
IMHO the biowheel isn't the culprit for the Nitrate. The nitrate is the byproduct of Ammonia converting to nitrite and nitrite to nitrate (a natural process). Any filtration will cause this to occur. The issue that we find with cannister and HOB filters is the amount of garbage that we allow to collect on the sponges (if you don't rinse them weekly). You will find that nitrates are reduced by water changes or DSB. DSB - Deep Sand Bed
DSB is probably the more popular of the two substrate methods commonly used today. The deep sand bed creates an anaerobic zone to break down the nitrates.
DSB also utilizes sand from 3-6 inches in depth and Dr. Shimek suggests a grain size of .05 to .2 mm (average .125mm).

http://www.3reef.com/sand.shtml

Live rock does not reduce nitrates...
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