Bio Wheel with Canister Filter - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 13 Old 04-08-2011, 03:43 PM
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Finally, you can have too much bio-filtration. Your bacteria can out-compete the plants for nutrients in the water. If it's going to be a planted tank, I'd say lose the bio-wheels.
Not sure that I agree with this. Your bacteria colony size will only grow to what's needed to handle the waste produced by the fish load you have. There won't be an excess of bacteria. So, whether you have the bio-wheels or not, there will be bacteria colonizing on other surfaces.

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post #12 of 13 Old 04-08-2011, 03:52 PM
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Not sure that I agree with this. Your bacteria colony size will only grow to what's needed to handle the waste produced by the fish load you have. There won't be an excess of bacteria. So, whether you have the bio-wheels or not, there will be bacteria colonizing on other surfaces.
I don't agree either - plants or no plants, it seems to me that bio-mass population will self regulate naturally.
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post #13 of 13 Old 04-08-2011, 06:37 PM
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I agree totally that the bacteria mass will self-regulate. That wasn't what I meant. My point is the bio-wheels, which work by providing a more aerobic/oxygen-rich environment for the bacteria (allowing greater bacterial activity), are very effective.

Here is the issue with a planted tank as I understand it: if you have an excess of very effective biological media substrate of any type (providing lots of oxygen to the bacteria, allowing to work at their most optimum) the bacteria can metabolize fish waste faster than the plants can take it up. Fish's "poop" and urine (nitrogenous waste products/ammonia) are plant food . This can lead to less than optimal plant growth. In addition, the more water agitation you have, the more CO2 is driven off from the system. That's another reason to not use the bio-wheels.

Please feel free to check other threads in this forum or on the planted tank forum for corroboration. Planted tanks are handled a little differently. You want minimal surface disruption and modest, not maximum, bio-filtration. Plants do help the water quality issue by uptake and conversion of waste products, but the bacteria have the potential to out-compete the plants for certain nutrients.

Last edited by DKRST; 04-08-2011 at 06:46 PM.
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