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Old 05-04-2005, 07:23 PM   #1
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Started the Bio-Balls to LR Transition Today

The backstory on this is located in my previous post here.

My base rock from liverocks.com arrived this afternoon. I had about 20 gallons of RO/DI water already prepared and heated to the tank temperature with matching salinity for a water change after the transition.

I stopped the pumps, pumped tank water into a five gallon bucket and then proceeded to scoop all of the bio-balls out and into the bucket. I packed them in pretty well and even had to start a second bucket for the remainder.

I then put the smaller pieces of LR that I received into the wet/dry in place of the bio-balls and built it up to about the level where the water usually sits to make sure they would always be submerged.

In the end, I chickened out a little on just making the total transition and went ahead and put a few layers of bio-balls back into the sump on top. This also helps lower the splashing noise a little from the trickle plate. I figure this might help seed things a little (not that the LR really needs seeding - the stuff is thriving with life from the looks of it) and also will keep some of the overactive bio-ball bacteria in the picture for the immediate future to assist (I hope).

The remaining LR (quite a few nice chunks and decent sized pieces covered in all kinds of life) went into the tank.

I did the water change, too, which was about a quarter or a bit more by my estimates.

The rock came fresh overnight and liverocks.com says there is virtually no need to cure. The intention here, of course, is to shift away from my super active bio-balls that are pumping out ungodly levels of nitrates (I'm reading beyond the end of the color chart which is 160).

The few fish in here are poking about eating stuff off the new rock (the butteryfly more than anything along with some from my scopas tang).

I'm fully prepared for some spikes here and am not going to be too shocked if things go pretty wild. I hope, though, that since my levels have been rock solid (pH 8.2, ammonia 0, nitrite 0) that the system is bio-active enough to cope with the inevitable die-off I'll see on some of this rock.

Again, if I can get the nitrates under control with the bio-ball to LR transition, I'll be thrilled.

I plan to be on standby to start doing constant water changes until things settle.

So... have I just laid the groundwork for a tank crash? I didn't really get any responses from my last post on my plans, but I'm still all ears. The link is at the top of this post and it provides a lot more detail on how I arrived at this point.

Thanks and wish me luck!
- Aaron

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Old 05-04-2005, 07:29 PM   #2
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good luck.
Some people are like slinkies...they serve no real purpose yet can still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs!:p
Have a great day! Brian
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Old 05-04-2005, 11:40 PM   #3
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I am thinking about doing the same exact thing you are doing, transition the balls to lr while leaving some bio balls on top for a while. Please keep us updated on progress.
120 Oceanic reef w/40-gallon sump/refugium EuroReef skimmmer, 400wx2 MH, Iwaki pump and 200 lbs LR.

Green & Red Musrooms, Pumping Xenia, Green Star Polyps, Green/Purple Ricordia, Orange Ricordia, Green Acro, Bubble Coral, Hammer Coral, Maxima Clam, Crocea Clam, peppermint shrimp, various snails and crabs.

Yellow Tang, Mated Perculas, Bicolor Blenny, Elaegant Wrasse, Possum Wrasse, Clown Goby, Purple Pseudochromis, Coral Beauty, Golden Angel
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Old 05-05-2005, 12:18 AM   #4
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Best to go slower, like 20% of the bioballs every week. But relacing with the LR may work.
Good luck.
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Old 05-05-2005, 11:34 AM   #5
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The bio-balls I removed yesterday went straight into a bucket of their own water and have been completely submerged in there since late yesterday afternoon. That's less then 24 hours. I figured it was safest to keep them totally wet and on-hand for the coming days as I watched things.

I am seeing some increase in ammonia and nitrites from the previous 0 levels this morning, but not a lot and I was expecting to definitely see some. I plan a decent water change today, too, as part of the process.

If you think this is too fast of a transition, do you think I should move most of the rock up into the tank and return those balls to the wet/dry for right now as things stabilize? In other words, slow down the transition a bit since the bio-balls are still available and likely plenty healthy?

The protein skimmer is doing a decent little froth, too, by the way.

- aaron
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balls, bio, started

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