best bio media?

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Keith, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    whats everyones opinion? ive heard some good things about "bio balls" but what do you guys think?

    -Keith
     
  2. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    ive never used these kinds of filters, im used to the whole carbon refill deal. any recommendations?
     
  3. Paradox

    Paradox Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    The best bio media is live rock.

    Other medias such as bio balls/bale work good to keep ammonia and nitrites down, but you have to be diligent in keeping the media clean or your nitrates will sky rocket. There are other medias like seachem matrix that supposedly work even better then bio balls/bale. You can use it passively like a substrate in a sump or through a fluidized chamber. However, the problem with fluidized chambers is that if power goes out on them too long such as with a power outage, you can kill the entire bacteria colony in it.
     
  4. dreadhead

    dreadhead Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Paradox, by keeping the media clean you mean the bio balls? how often should you rinse them?
     
  5. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    good question deadhead. so paradox are you saying that i should use live rock instead of a filter? im guessing im readin that wrong, but i wanna make sure i put the right gear in the sump im building. if i need a filter too, should i put the live rock before or after the filter in the sump? and should i put the skimmer first or after the filter/live rock? sorry. lots of questions. this is gonna be my first octo, and i wanna make sure its done right.

    -Keith
     
  6. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Live rock can go in the main aquarium so that your friend has some hiding places. You don't need an additional filter if you have enough live rock - usually 1-1/2 pounds per gallon. The skimmer should go in the sump along with the heater.
     
  7. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    cool. can i just put my stick submersable heater in the sump?
     
  8. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Yes.
     
  9. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    cool. hmm. thats gonna be one heavy tank. do you think a 75 gallon can hold 100 pounds in rock and all the water? the rock is definately gonna displace a lot, but still. lotta weight. think i should brace it or somethin?
     
  10. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Yup. That's what they are built to do. :)
     
  11. Paradox

    Paradox Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Yes, all you really need is live rock. I have some bio bale in my system that Im slowly getting rid of. From my experience, once a tank is cycled and has a decent amount of live rock, Ive never seen the bio load really go beyond the limit where you start seeing ammonia and nitrites. Nitrates on the other hand is often what people have trouble with.

    If you dont want too much live rock in the main tank, since it gives more hiding places for the octo, you can keep it in the sump.


    If you use bio balls/bio bale, it can clog and build up detritus like sponges do. Although the the bacteria on it converts all ammonia to nitrite and then nitrate, you will have high nitrates. Bio balls will not get rid of nitrates, because you require anaerobic bacteria to that. So to prevent this, you will need to rinse your bio balls every now and then. Just shaking them in salt water will work. Do not use fresh water. Also, since this will kill of some of the bacteria, do not do this to all of your bio balls at once. Do a portion at a time like 25%. When you do water changes, you can use the old water to rinse them.
     
  12. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    sweet. so if i have a crapload of live rock and the media filter in my sump i should be good? and one other question, how big of a pump should i get for the return line? and will the skimmer just flow water through it or do i have to adjust everything to get a perfect flow so things dont fill up?
     
  13. cuttlechris

    cuttlechris Wonderpus Registered

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  14. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    thanks chris, i appreciate it
     
  15. cuttlechris

    cuttlechris Wonderpus Registered

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    no problem
     
  16. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    im still not clear on one thing. i heard you wanna cycle the water in your tank 6+ times an hour. will a SeaClone 150 put out "skimmed" water fast enough for an 800 gph pump to return? im assuming the type of filter im getting with the bio balls cleans water at about the rate it goes in. ive been lookin at a lot of skimmers, and i dont really seee what the difference is between a $87 skimmer and one of those crazy $1,200 skimmers.
     
  17. cuttlechris

    cuttlechris Wonderpus Registered

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    the 6 + an hour thing is for the return pump. the return pump's purpose is to push the water you siphoned out of the tank, back in. I don't recommend a seaclone. The seaclone is generally reffered to as the inferior product. The skimmer it's self is not as important as the skimmer's pump. The pump mixes air with water making bubbles. You want smaller bubbles and more of them. This gives you the most air:water ratio to throw out proteins before the decompose into other molecules that crap your water(nitrite/nitrate). I have a nautilus te which is rated for a 150 gallon. IMO your skimmer doesn't have to be rated for anything higher than the tank you have as long as you have sufficient live rock and a good refugium.
     
  18. Paradox

    Paradox Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Are you planning to have your overflow from the main tank go directly into the skimmer? This is the most efficient way to skim. If so, you will need to T of the overflow and put a gate valve on it. This way, if you are using a skimmer that cannot handle the entire output of the overflow, you can adjust how much goes into it via the gate valve.

    There is a big difference between the cheap skimmers and the expensive ones. However, the differences get smaller when comparing mid range skimmers to high range skimmers. Much of the differences are in the pumps used and their ability to chop up the bubbles.

    The octopus brand skimmers have been known to be good skimmers without the crazy price. I would also advise looking for used equipment for there are typically a lot available on Reef boards or even craigslist.
     
  19. Keith

    Keith Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    good thing i checked in, i almost went and bought a seaclone 150 today! good to know. ive never used a refugium before, what is there purpose? and is that one of those things i'd be better of doin myself or purchasing one?

    -Keith
     
  20. cuttlechris

    cuttlechris Wonderpus Registered

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