Originally Posted by CamryDS
thanks, that's exactly what I needed to read -- (dumping all the balls out of the tank before I begin)
LOL! I pictured you near your computer, reading this thread, and shaking all the bioballs out of the tank into the garbage.
I personally never used Bioballs on any system I have kept. My F/W systems have always been the same: Hang On Top Filter, Heater, Substrate, Deco, Water Changes.
I used that knowledge when I first got into this hobby, and just supplemented the HOT filter for a canister (this was the advice of the S/W "expert" at Pet Supplies +). Within months of adding fish I had Nitrates climbing through the roof.
After I joined this forum, I started reading about filtration and the tried and true methods to keeping saltwater creatures. I ditched the canister, and ran Live Rock, Live Sand and a Protein Skimmer. That is it. And my Nitrates are always less than 5 ppm, usually undetectable. It's a greater startup cost, but the results are undeniable! This is the only way I would suggest filtering my tank.