• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

BIO-BALLS

Dan

your understanding of the Nitrite/nitrate system is fine....the main problem I have with bio balls is that the beggers, if not set up correctly, get incredibly dirty and start producing nitrates themselves (and hydrogen sulphide :yuck:) Colin in an earlier post in this thread discussed how he sets them up......which is terrific if you have the knowledge, time and money to devote to this kind of set up! I reckon if you got a simple system that works....use it!

Even our system at the lab and aquarium is pretty simple (of course it is helped by the fact it is a flow through system that only uses fresh sea water!) We use sand filters only!!!! It works a treat, so long as the tanks are kept as clean as possible.......which is why we don't open to the public until 12 noon.....we're tank cleaning in the morning (as a small aquarium we don't have a separate husbandry team....so the 1 or 2 staff on duty do husbandry, guiding and front of house!!!!)

Cheer

Jean
 
Im trying to sort out my tank and have come to the bioball = nitrate problem, at least on the NZ reefkeeping site, so I have questions about this also.
I cant afford the live rock method of bio filtration, or seeding base rock either,
so that leaves me with wet/dry. So is this an acceptable method for bio filtration?(i will have a deep sand bed aswell) Also I found out that nylon pot scrubbers have more surface area, and will probably use these.
I have a cannister filter already, and was thinking of using this for prefiltration before the W/D containing the pot scrubbers.
Jean would this prevent nitrates from being produced rather than removed?
With a wet/dry system can nitrates be totally removed?
 
The plastic kitchen scrubbies that you're talking about are great for filtration. I don't know if they will stack up to a tank with a ceph in it, but I use them at home in my pond filters (on recommendation from a koi enthusiast) and they do the job well. Also they are cheap, you can go to a dollar store and usually get atleast 6 for a buck. Of course this is all in Canada and I don't know where you are. Also, I've been told to actually cut the one end of the scrubbies where it is held together, and then you can simply unroll it like a sock. Increases surface area or prevents clogging better, something like that. Good luck!

Cheers!
 
Feelers said:
Im trying to sort out my tank and have come to the bioball = nitrate problem, at least on the NZ reefkeeping site, so I have questions about this also.
I cant afford the live rock method of bio filtration, or seeding base rock either,
so that leaves me with wet/dry. So is this an acceptable method for bio filtration?(i will have a deep sand bed aswell) Also I found out that nylon pot scrubbers have more surface area, and will probably use these.
I have a cannister filter already, and was thinking of using this for prefiltration before the W/D containing the pot scrubbers.
Jean would this prevent nitrates from being produced rather than removed?
With a wet/dry system can nitrates be totally removed?

Should be OK, but will need to occasionally clean the pot scrubs. 1 point tho' make sure you don't buy the sort which contain detergent :lol:

Also you probably don't want the sand bed too deep, most of these midget species will burrow! and that will disturb the nitrifying bacteria so they won't be as efficient. I'd go for no more than 2-3cm deep and not too fine, we use a rather gritty sand which isn't fine sand but isn't gravel either!

You'll need to mesh over the inflow and outflows of your canister too. These wee guys can get thro' the smallest space and against the flow....we had one that vanished from our teaching Lab, we spent AGES looking for it but couldn't find it, eventually we assumed another staff member had released it and forgotton to log the release. Two weeks later it turned up in an experimental set up in the wet lab (same one, it had a peculiar pattern of scarring on the 1st right arm!) it had crawled through the inflow along many metres of piping and was caught by a Masters student emerging from the inflow of his tank!!!

As far as live rock is concerned you could go to the shore and collect some of your own! Just make sure that you're not near sewerage/stormwater run off (there's some good spots around Akaroa on Banks Peninsula!) and don't take HUGE quanities even two or three smallish ones will help with your canister and provide some hidey holes for your octi, You can either bring them back ina 20L bucket with some seawater or wrap them in new muttoncloth which has been soaked in seawater and put them in a poly bin (should be able to buy these at a plastics shop or sports/fishing shop) or a chilly bin.

Cheers

jean
 
Thanks for the info :). I have to figure out if I still want a sump, it would make a great place for a refugium for live food ect, but incorporating the cannister into the sump design is a bit confusing, made more confusing because my cannister filter is huge (eheim 2028 equivilant) and I'm not sure if a sump is necessary.
 
I keep a small supply of bio balls in the sump of my reef tank that I use to help jumpstart the cycle when I set up a new tank.
The octo tank I'm building has a solid structure of live rock that I glued together with Dow Great Stuff spray foam. This structure has been sitting dry for few months now(hence, dead rock). The plan is, once the tank is up and running, I add the established bio balls to the sump to recharge the live rock. Once the tank cycles, the balls come out and the carbon and octo go in.
opinions?
 

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