Bio-Balls are they needed or not

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by Tyslin, Feb 14, 2007.

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  1. Tyslin

    Tyslin Feather Duster

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    Hi fellow Aquarists,

    I bought a megaflow sump with bio-balls. It will be setup with my 90 gal tank. I wanted to get some opinions on the bio-balls,... should I keep them in my sump or remove them. I don't know to much about them and what they do but I hear that they will help my Tank. What do bio-balls do and why are they helpful? if they are not helpful tell me why they aren't. Thanks your opinion it is always appreciated.
     
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  3. coral reefer

    coral reefer Giant Squid

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    Bio-balls are beneficial in a reef tank to a point or any other filter material for that matter. Over time without the proper cleaning of this media, your bio-media will become dirty and your nitrates will become higher and higher as they act as nitrate magnets IMO.
    To retard this problem, you will have to do some extra cleaning of the balls, by rinsing them in saltwater preferabbly the water in your tank. Take a bucket of the water out and put it in a bowl to clean the bio-balls so that the bacteria adhered to them doend't die as well. Once this is accomplished, you may place them back in to your tank filter. Now, no they arent need to have success with your tank, and if you choose to remove them, you need to be careful and remove then i/4 at a time to let nature take is course to build up the bacteria and lower the nitrate and bacteria slowly during this transformation. If you don't remove the bio media over a period of time, it could wipe out your whole tank!
     
  4. Tyslin

    Tyslin Feather Duster

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    So It's ok if I have them as long as I clean them, weekly or daily?. Also if they aren't need for me to have a successful tank why have them? what are their benefits? what do you think I should do Coral?
     
  5. coral reefer

    coral reefer Giant Squid

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    Ditch the balls and use just the live rock and sand as your biological filtration.
     
  6. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If you're willing to keep them clean, the bio-balls will do nothing but good for your tank. You can read about the benefits of their use here:

    http://www.3reef.com/forums/filters-etc/bio-balls-heaven-sent-dealing-w-devil-39553.html
     
  7. Tony H

    Tony H Plankton

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    Wow, I got nothing but abuse on an Aussie forum because I was an advocate of bio balls!
    If their kept clean (and my water is mech filtered twice before it hits the balls) I can't see a problem. I've been reefing for 20 odd years and never had a prob with them, so long as they are used as intended :)
     
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  9. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Tony and welcome to 3reef.

    More than one way to skin a cat.
     
  10. Mr. Bill

    Mr. Bill Native Floridian

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    +1

    FTR, I still use the UGF and HOB filters. With proper maintenance, they still work just as good as they did 40 years ago, and IMO, they're a lot cheaper and more easily maintained than some of the newer high-tech filters. :)
     
  11. Av8Bluewater

    Av8Bluewater Giant Squid

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    Detritus can hide anywhere in your tank. In the bioballs, in holes in live rock ect.
    I'm not going to say bioballs are obsolete but not many people use them these days. Like said above they need to be taken out and cleaned---usually. Extra work.. but possible.
    For the most part this hobby has steered away from bioballs it seems.

    My suggestion is to go read up on the nitrogen cycle of aquariums. You will basically be growing bacteria that eats ammonia and nitrite. These bacteria grow on the bioballs. Most people these days just use live rock to serve the same purpose.
     
  12. DSC reef

    DSC reef Giant Squid

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    I actually removed all the bio balls and broke up a lot of my cycled live rock and put the pieces where the bio balls went. Now the water runs through the filter pads then trickle over the live rock and has been working great since.