confused on bio balls

Discussion in 'Protein Skimmers' started by Afterdark230, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. Afterdark230

    Afterdark230 Flamingo Tongue

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    ok I am looking at the e.t.s.s. skimmers, but they use bio balls in the chambers. but I thought I read all over the forum that bio balls were bad, but then I reed that a few of you use these bio balls in the skimmer. :confused:

    I think I read that tangster uses the e.t.s.s. skimmers and has no problems.:confused:

    so please help out a very confused guy here.
    :help::dunce2:
    thanks
    Matt
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  3. bmshehan

    bmshehan Fu Manchu Lion Fish

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    Pm Tangster if you want an answer from him, much quicker and trust me, after all that I have bugged him I know that he doesn't mind!!
  4. Afterdark230

    Afterdark230 Flamingo Tongue

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    yes I could do that but I am sure there are other people that would like to know the answer to this
  5. lunatik_69

    lunatik_69 Giant Squid

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    I have always used BB's but in my W/D, not in my skimmer. Which skimmer uses BB's in it? Theres only two pieces of equipment that I've seen that has BB's, A W/D and a Denitrator(sp). Luna
  6. Jakerupe

    Jakerupe Skunk Shrimp

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    OK this is an old post and I guess I'm hijacking it. I have an ETSS skimmer to and this whole anti-bio ball thing is throwing me for a loop.

    I've only had a fish only tank so maybe I'm in left field with me hockey skates on but why would we not what something in our tank that is creating nitrates... that's the result of getting rid of the really bad stuff! :confused:
  7. PharmrJohn

    PharmrJohn Giant Squid

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    OK.....this confused me at first......but thinking on it, I would venture to guess that the bioballs and filter socks collect a lot of junk that just begins to rot. That sends out NH4, which the LR bacteria turns into nitrite then nitrate. That garbage never gets skimmed out. It just sits in the media and turns it into a nitrate factory.

    Now.......that's purely a guess. I really don't know. Someone who is a pro needs to verify my statement. I am just a newbie.

    Rock on.......John.
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  9. Jakerupe

    Jakerupe Skunk Shrimp

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    That makes sense but I guess what I can't follow is how is that bad. The NH4 are not just released from demposition they are a product of the nitrogen cycle. If "stuff" is collecting on them then I would say that the problem is too much "stuff" not the bio balls. It will collect somewhere eventually so it will still end up as NH4 when it decompese.
  10. lunatik_69

    lunatik_69 Giant Squid

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    I agree with you, it doesnt matter what the "object" is, where it be BB's, LR, LS or filter pads, it will collect where ever enough flow isnt present. Luna
  11. PharmrJohn

    PharmrJohn Giant Squid

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    I was thinking that the garbage was getting trapped before it could get to the skimmer, then rot. If the bioballs or sock were not there, the PS would get it out of the tank, into to collection cup and out of the system. Then it could rot alllllll it wants.
  12. lunatik_69

    lunatik_69 Giant Squid

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    Sounds good on paper, but in real life that doesnt work. Unless you have a real strong flow/current without any interference and thats almost impossible. Luna
  13. PharmrJohn

    PharmrJohn Giant Squid

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    Cool, thanks Luna......Should I keep my filter sock?
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  15. lunatik_69

    lunatik_69 Giant Squid

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    I would, as long as you have at least two of them. Why two? While one of them is in the sump, the other is being washed/cleaned. I dont use filter socks, I use felt pads, which is the same thing. These things are great(IMO), they really clean out the water from floating debris. This eliminates the need to clean out the sumps floor, at least not as often. Luna
  16. PharmrJohn

    PharmrJohn Giant Squid

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    OK, that brings up another question. How do you clean a filter sock. I run mine under regular tap water while it's inside out. Get out all the 'big stuff'. Then I have two buckets of treated water (because I do not want a chlorine soaked sock going back into the system). I vigerously dip and swish it around in the first bucket. Then let it soak in the second bucket for about half hour. Then dip and swish vigerously. After that it goes back into the sump. I do have two other socks in storage. Do you have a better method? I am just doing this by the seat of my pants. Thanks. John.
  17. lunatik_69

    lunatik_69 Giant Squid

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    Assuming that cleaning a FS is the same as a felt pad, I get the garden hose and clean it as much as I can. Then I put it in the washing machine with bleach( the long cycle ). When thats finished, I run it again but without the bleach, just water and then hang to dry. When you buy the FS, it should tell you how to clean it, my felt pad did. Luna
  18. PharmrJohn

    PharmrJohn Giant Squid

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    Yeah......it was an eBay purchase. I will email the dude and see what's up. Thanks Luna. John.
  19. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

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    The ETSS skimmers use the Bio Balls more for breaking the jet of water up and premixing them with air to make for better air to water exchange , Bio balls go not create NO3's The only reason Bio Balls are associated with no3 is they are very efficient and keep the oxygen levels up for the entire system and the nitrates that finish the breaking down of the ammonias to nitrites then to nitrates just shows how efficient they really are. Now you can limit the dissolved oxygen of the entire system and keep less animals and deal with that or keep the bio balls and have higher 02 levels and healthier systems and deal with the nitrates as one would PO4's .. NO# are the very end process of the de nitrification process and thats good.


    The DSB was revisited again 10 yrs ago or so the control NO3 naturally did not work as advertised , As for BIO balls ever causing NO3 I have never had it to happen and I keep plenty of fish . I feed properly and I've never had them I do run a nitrate coil as well as a PO4 reactor But as for the skimmers Media its not a problem as the water blasting through will keep the bio Balls clean and clear.. Remove those and the ETSS may as well be shut off and put away.

    As for a filter sock ? I never found a need for them My corals eat the food the socks remove I like to keep some micro particles in the water currents all the time and have my sumps set up with large power heads a Mag 12 and a Rio 3100 to come on and flush the sump every night about 4 times from 12 to 5 AM. Why filter the corals food ? besides its just one more thing to deal with and clean.. They are not a Bad thing But to me I find them totally self defeating I want the food in the system.