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Becks 11-11-2006 08:36 AM

bio balls vs live rock
A friend suggested replacing the bio-balls in my Aqua-pod with live rock. I don't think there is enough space in the filtration chamber to carry enough live rock there to do the job.

Current tank info:
pH 8.2, Alk normal, Ammonia 0, Nitrite .05, Nitrate 2.5.... I have a 24 gal Aquapod with standard lighting and filtration. Livestock: a chalk bass, a royal gramma, pj cardinal, a yellow goby, hermt crabs, and snails.

Any opinions?

lando 11-11-2006 11:28 AM

I agree with your friend, LR is a much better biological media then are bioballs. You can fill up the filtration chambers in your aquapod with LR rubble. See if any of the Lfs in your area sell rubble rock, it is just the broken pieces of LR in the bottom of the curing bins or shipping boxes. Make sure it is fully cured before you add it to the tank. If you are also using sponge blocks and ceramic rings (pretty standard in these kits) I suggest you ditch those as well.

The first concern is to address the detectable NO2. The only acceptable reading is zero. How old is the tank? How long have the fish been in it? How did you cycle?

lando 11-11-2006 11:31 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is a pic of my 12gal nanocube. The first intake chamber is filled half way with LR rubble, then a bag of Chemi-Pure and a PURA filtration pad on top of that. The middle chamber is filled completely with LR rubble and the last one has more rubble, a heater and return pump.

melosu58 11-11-2006 03:21 PM

LR is much more preferable than bio balls.

Becks 11-11-2006 06:43 PM

The tank is about 5 weeks old now. I've had fish about 2 weeks. I didn't cycle because I received mature substrate and very good live rock. Water QUality has not been a problem to date. The NO2 reading I got today is the first showing any elevation. But part of my problem is reading the stupid test results. Sometimes the colors I get don't seem to be on the cards.

This reading was pale, pale pale! It was almost clear and barely blue. That's why I took it to be .05 instead of zero. But last week I thought my ammonia was up - due to a similar situation. I had a sample tested at the local store and they read a zero.

I will test again toniite and report any change.
Thanks, B

melosu58 11-11-2006 08:00 PM

The only way you would not see a cycle is not because of the quality of rock but weather it is cured or not. If it set for a while in a tank until cured then you might not have seen a spike but it looks like you did see one with ammonia going up and then nitrite going up.

alaher2 12-08-2006 07:31 PM

I'm gonna have to side with LR rubble, it truly does a much better job as filtration and doesn't need to be constantly replaced.

roka64 12-08-2006 07:44 PM

I agree with the LR rubble. You can always break it up so that it is small and you can get more in there.

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