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Nitrates ARRRRG!


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  1. #11
    jimsflies - Reefkeeper
    Admin/Founder

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    11,448
    First Name
    Jim

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    I would recommend removing the bioballs. Bioballs trap particulate matter and aren't accessible to your cleanup crew. So the trapped detritus, breaks down into ammonia. which is converted into nitrite and nitrate.

    From a filtration standpoint, bioballs only provide surface area for aerobic bacteria because they float near the surface and oxygen saturated water is flowing past them. (Anaerobic bacteria require areas with no dissolved oxygen to live).

    The live rock in your display has more than enough aerobic bacteria to convert toxic ammonia to (less toxic) nitrite and nitrate. Thus, bio-balls are redundant and unnecessary...and are mostly likely contributing to the bioload in your reef.

    A skimmer is a good suggestion...BUT in my experience, most small skimmers don't work that well. So do a lot of research before making a purchase.
    Thanks Briol thanked for this post

  2. #12
    MizTanks - Reefkeeper
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    U.P. of Michigan.
    Posts
    8,444
    First Name
    Jamie
    Awards Photo of the Month - October 2012 Photo of the Month Post and Reply Award - Winner of the first PAR Contest. Monthly Giveaway Winner

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    Agree with what Jim says about skimmers. I've tried 2 nano skimmers on my 26g, wasted a total of $150 Turned around and bought the BH-1000 rated for tanks up to 100g. Definitely worth the investment
    There's nothing like being a Reefer! www.upmmas.com
    Thanks Briol thanked for this post

  3. #13
    dlhirst - Reefkeeper
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Detroit MI
    Posts
    705
    First Name
    Don

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    I am a bit of a heretic. But, like MizTanks says - small skimmers are of dubious benefit. I run mine only after a good water change. I like to siphon up a bit of the sand bed. Not too deep, but definitely below the surface. It stirs up some gook, and the skimmer will capture that. But, most days, my bioload is not significant for the tank size. And one puffer isn't either, unless you are over-feeding it.

    I don't think the puffer is the entire answer. Cut down on feeding, and definitely leave the bioballs alone. Or, like jimsflies says - remove them. And if you do - remove them quickly and completely, and don't shake their trapped water back into the tank.
    Thanks Briol thanked for this post

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