Mind if I play too...
Originally Posted by JimBarr
The bioballs IMO dont produce the nitrates, they act more like a sponge for them not allowing them to dissipate into the water
If this was the case, then the nitrate would not be present in the water to be tested. I would like to see evidence that bio-balls are bad. I still believe that at the start of the cycle with your bio-load you will still end up with nitrate whether the bacteria are growing on rock, substrate or bio-balls. The refuge is the answer to elimnating the nitrate. Let the plant life use it up.
I have posted to these kinds of question many times in the past and some agree while others cannot see the value of it but I will endevor to hopefully do this without a war.
There are two main problems with the incorrect
use of a wet/dry system:
Bio Balls in a properly set up wet/dry system do not
cause nitrates. Many that have sumps, place bio-balls in the sump free floating allowing them to collect detritus and rotting waste. If placed properly above the water line where the water can flow through the bio mass, it does not have enough contact time with the water to allow the collection of waste material which will permit the proper animals the chance to reduce it.
The reefkeeper themselves. More often than not, the failure of many filtration devices are not the fault of the equipment used but rather the amount of foods and types of foods fed to the tank. There is only one way for nitrates to be created and that is through elevated ammonia and nitrites. The bacterial chain is such>> nitrosomonas
convert the NO2
to the less harmful form of NO3
. Therefore by reducing the amount of ammonia created in the first place you by default reduce the amount of nitrate created. One cannot survive without the other.
Originally Posted by BillyZ
This last step can only happen in anerobic zones. Refugiums do help reduce the level of nitrates, but it's not so much the macro algaes as it is the additional DSB
is not the only way to complete the nitrogen cycle nor is an anaerobic set up the only way to do it. There is one type of bacteria that lives in both anaerobic as well as anoxic
regions of the tank called facultative anaerobes. These facultative anaerobes can go back and forth between oxygen void (anaerobic) conditions as well as reduced O2
(anoxic) conditions. The anoxic areas are primarily the live rock and sand areas beneath the rock where water flow is not as easily accessed thereby feeding of O2
is much less available.
The bacteria in each case has a different feeding process. In an anoxic state, the bacteria feed primarily on available O2
and nitrates which are in turn converted to CO2
and nitrogen. In an anaerobic state these bacteria must consume other elements that that contain oxygen such as nitrates and sugars to survive. The conversion from nitrate is however not the same. The anaerobic bacteria instead produce the same CO2
and nitrogen but as well give off hydrogen sulphides and methane gas.
Providing there is sufficient amounts of live rock and animals specifically introduced to reduce waste matter, as little as 1" of sand can and will be enough to allow nitrogen to form.
If the tank is set up properly, not overcrowded and maintained regularly you can have a successful tank. It really comes down to how you plan the tank as a functioning ecosystem and how mindful you are of what goes into it.