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Brenden 06-08-2005 05:01 PM

Bio balls....are they bad?
I have read several post where people replaced their bio balls with live rock rubble do to high nitrate levels. Is this something I should be concerned about? The filter and tank are new so there are not any issues (yet) but I trying to plan ahead. Plus will that little bit of rubble do me any good since I already have 750 lbs of live rock and a sand bed?

Brodie 06-08-2005 06:42 PM

As I understand it, you don't really need bioballs after your tank has become established. Would using LR rubble instead of bio balls be better in an established tank? I'd love to hear what people think.

lando 06-08-2005 06:46 PM

Bioballs have a reputation for producing high NO3. However, people have been using them for years with very little problems. They do require maintainance, but if you have enough biological filtration in the form of LR you should not notice an increase in NO3. With that being said, LR rubble is a superior biofiltration media. Use it if you can.

Brodie 06-08-2005 07:11 PM

If I use base rock rubble, will that eventually be live rock rubble? (Yes, I know it's a dumb question)

schoeplein 06-08-2005 07:34 PM

I use bioballs... my nitrate has never gone about 20ppm.


With 750lbs of liverock you should be pretty pristine, tho it is suitable for your humongous tank. ;)

ccCapt 06-08-2005 11:25 PM

My tank has been set up for about 15 years (50 gal w/aprox 70lbs lr) and I've had bio-balls in it from day 1. Never had a problem. Bottom line is proper maintenance and water changes with r/o water and nitrates shouldn't be an issue.

Brenden 06-08-2005 11:31 PM

I started typing this question but erased it but I can not think of a better way to ask it so here you go....Do you wash your balls? If so with what and how often.
There I said it.

Salttanker 06-09-2005 01:44 AM

LOL! I didn't see that one coming! 8O

I use reef rubble as well rather than bio balls. My system has been established for well over a year, and my nitrates are 0. I have read that the bio balls have to be cleaned, or they will accumulate detrius creating problems with nitrate stability. However, if cleaning the bio balls is necessary, doesn't that disturb the baterial colonies that are currenty there?
I actually got the idea of using reef rubble from Lando. It seems to be the best natural alternative I have tried thus far, and I wouldn't change it.
Brenden - you can just take some of your lr and break it up into little pieces and put it in your sump. I have about 30lbs in mine right now. reef rubble is the same thing, just the leftover broken pieces from the lr.


krap101 06-09-2005 01:48 AM

ive heard you put them in a bucket of tankwater and swish them around. and thats it

RLG2182 06-09-2005 01:55 AM


Originally Posted by Brenden
Do you wash your balls? If so with what and how often.



Priceless. :D :D Kudos for making me laugh.

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