Bio Balls. Stay or Go

Discussion in 'Reef Fishes' started by blazk, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. blazk

    blazk

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    Ive had the bio balls in ever since i started setting up and cycling the tank. My first major 20% water change is tomorrow (Saturday the 9th of January) as my other post. I got told by the fish shop to slowly take a handful at a time of bio balls out every 1-2 days. I'm not quite sure what i should do with the sump setup I have. Any help or suggestions of what i could do would be great.

    Here is a picture of my sump at the present time. The Styrofoam is for the splash back, it was rolling down the sides of my sump to the bottom o f the cabinet so that solved that little problem.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for reading.
     
    blazk, Jan 9, 2009
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  2. blazk

    dustin_P74

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    a DSB (deep sand bed) and some live rock would make a nice little refugium
     
    dustin_P74, Jan 9, 2009
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  3. blazk

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    I had bio balls that came with my tank that I inherited from my brother. I ditched the bioballs (gradually). I've heard that if you really keep up with rinsing off half the bioballs everyweek or so, it should keep nitrates under control. I just didn't want to bother when there were other more useful media. But I've seen people still use some bioballs in addition to other filtration methods.
     
    wontonflip, Jan 9, 2009
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  4. blazk

    ccCapt Reef Hacker Moderator

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    Being that you do not have the bioballs set up properly, you should put live rock rubble in there. Bioballs are part of a wet/dry trickle filter. They shoud not be underwater. They should be exposed to the air with water flowing down thru them.

    This is an old shot of my wet/dry trickle filter I used for over 15 years when I had the 50g running and how bioballs should be placed.
    [​IMG]
     
    ccCapt, Jan 9, 2009
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  5. blazk

    d2mini VIP Member

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    Ya, something is wrong with the way you have that setup.
    Like capt said, the water should trickle down over all the balls but they should not be submerged and there should be a lot more of them like in capt's pic.

    But I would ditch them. Too much maintenance required and not the greatest way to go about it.
     
    d2mini, Jan 9, 2009
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  6. blazk

    dustin_P74

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    yeah like capt pointed out it is set up wrong, the purpose of the wet/dry is to have the water trickle over it to oxygenate the water, so if you keep the water at that level then a DSB and LR would be great
     
    dustin_P74, Jan 9, 2009
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  7. blazk

    sen5241b

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    put chaeto in there with some light
     
    sen5241b, Jan 9, 2009
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  8. blazk

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    +1 to Capt. I didn't see the picture earlier. It wasn't loading. But I see it now, and it is pretty much no use if it's underwater like that. I had my intake trickling over it, then the water dripped into the sump from the bioball tray.
     
    wontonflip, Jan 9, 2009
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  9. blazk

    Gooseman Reefing Is An Obsession

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    i hear people say that CC is a nitrate factory and that BB are a nitrate factory ... i have had BB & CC in my tank for over a year with no nitrate problems at all ... i have never rinsed off the BB and havent had any build up either ... with that said i am going to upgrade to a larger sump with a fuge and LR and will most likely be done with the BB's ... i guess some have more problems than others with it ... but even if i were to keep the BB i probably still wouldnt rinse them
     
    Gooseman, Jan 9, 2009
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  10. blazk

    daugherty part time reefer

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    when i had them i never cleaned them in 9 years and never had any problems with them either but that does not mean that they dont cause problems in some systems
     
    daugherty, Jan 9, 2009
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  11. blazk

    Gooseman Reefing Is An Obsession

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    i agree thats why i said that some have more problems than others


     
    Gooseman, Jan 9, 2009
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  12. blazk

    blazk

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    Not quite understanding what i have to do, sorry.
    Here is a pic of how my sump is at the moment.
    [​IMG]
    If i take the filter media and bio balls out (gradually), do i put in sand and live rock in its place? wont that block the water from going through to the sponges?
    Do i need a light on the sump ?
    Can someone show me how this would be setup properly without bio balls?
    Sorry for all the questions dont want to stuff anything, expecially with livestock in the tank :)
    Thanks for all the comments and help so far.
     
    blazk, Jan 9, 2009
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  13. blazk

    daugherty part time reefer

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    ok is your sump made out of acrylic or glass? if it is acrylic you can drill holes in the side to allow the water to flow out or you will have to only use rock as the sand will block the water flow.
     
    daugherty, Jan 10, 2009
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  14. blazk

    blazk

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    its glass
     
    blazk, Jan 10, 2009
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  15. blazk

    daugherty part time reefer

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    well you can only use rock and no sand. the water will pass through the rock as long as it is not packed in there
     
    daugherty, Jan 10, 2009
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  16. blazk

    blazk

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    do i need lights on it ?
     
    blazk, Jan 10, 2009
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  17. blazk

    daugherty part time reefer

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    you dont have to but if you want the rock to grow coraline or if you want to have some macro alage in there than yes you need a light.
     
    daugherty, Jan 10, 2009
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  18. blazk

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I think, when it comes to bioballs, crushed coral, etc, if you've already set it up and it works for you, and you don't have problems, great. You are doing something right. But for most people, it seems that they have problems with those things. So I don't recommend using them from the beginning, if you're setting up a tank new, because it does increase the chances of poor water quality. But if you've already got those things and don't have issues, then why change it?
     
    Bifferwine, Jan 10, 2009
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  19. blazk

    blazk

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    I was wondering if i take out some of the sponges in the middle section and move the bio balls so they are getting water on them and not submerged would this be a better option? Would you recommend getting rid of the filter media (inlet) ?
     
    blazk, Jan 11, 2009
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  20. blazk

    JAG107

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    I think if the bioballs are submerged then they are probably useless. I used LR rubble in my wet/dry trickle filter instead of the included BB's. Yeah you could take out some of the sponges, would there be any way you could have the sponges first at the inlet, above the current location of the bioballs?
     
    JAG107, Jan 11, 2009
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