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Bio ... balls?

This is a discussion on Bio ... balls? within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> If you never have a problem with ammonia then you have enough filtration. A few bioballs never hurt or any other media that has ...

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Old 03-14-2007, 06:03 PM   #11
 
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If you never have a problem with ammonia then you have enough filtration. A few bioballs never hurt or any other media that has a large amount of surface area. I have been looking at getting Bio Chem Stars for my AC 20 HOB filters just because I want something that will hold the bacteria so I can replace the sponges when I want to.

As for your LFS, overcrowding is overcrowding wether it is because of the bioload or the simple fact that the fish can't swim freely because there is 50 swords in a 10 gallon tank. For instance, even if the filtration system is for 500 gallons, there is no way that is is keeping up with 500 gallon of water stocked to a 1,000 gallon capacity. The stress of the fish being croiwded is enough to cause deaths. Now I have seen LFS that take better care of their fish than some of the best fish keepers I have ever seen so they may be one of them but overcrowding can be as stressful to fish as ammonia in tiny amounts. The only good thing is overcrowding is remedied when we bring them home and provide them with a proper home. It would be like me saying "Well I have a filter that will hanlde 50 gallons on my 10 gallon tanks so I can put 50 inches of in there", it just doesn't work that way.

It never hurts to have a permenant surface other than the substrate to hold you biological bacteria. Like I said, if I could find the BioChem Stars locally I would already have them but I haven't gotten the fund to make a large enough order to make it worth the cost so I don't have them yet. Your tank wound not be hurt by putting a few bioballs in the filter. Just make sure that if you are overfiltering that not one source is responsible for all of the biological filtration and your tanks should always be as safe As we can make them short of having battery backups and all the other things that can be added that may never be needed.
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:14 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish_4_all
As for your LFS, overcrowding is overcrowding wether it is because of the bioload or the simple fact that the fish can't swim freely because there is 50 swords in a 10 gallon tank. For instance, even if the filtration system is for 500 gallons, there is no way that is is keeping up with 500 gallon of water stocked to a 1,000 gallon capacity. The stress of the fish being croiwded is enough to cause deaths. Now I have seen LFS that take better care of their fish than some of the best fish keepers I have ever seen so they may be one of them but overcrowding can be as stressful to fish as ammonia in tiny amounts. The only good thing is overcrowding is remedied when we bring them home and provide them with a proper home. It would be like me saying "Well I have a filter that will hanlde 50 gallons on my 10 gallon tanks so I can put 50 inches of in there", it just doesn't work that way.
Maybe, but I wouldn't call 30 danios in a 20 gallon severe overcrowding, not when filtration is adequate and they have a high turn-around, you figure if they sell a few a day, after a just a few days the tank is "understocked".

I brought this up because I, just in conversation with my LFS, mentioned the number of fish in their tanks and how do they make it work- not realizing how their filtration was set up. They do not use bio-balls by the way. I've gotten all my fish there-not one disease, not one death, so even though I've never counted the number of fish in the tank... You get what I'm saying.
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:28 PM   #13
 
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Souds like the LFS knows their business, good for them.

I do have one comment about the biowheel. I don't know much more than I have heard they will fail sometimes. If this happens and you have no other biological media then you can have a serious problem. In most filters this isn't a problem because the mechanical media acts as a backup to the biowheel.
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:32 PM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by fish_4_all
Souds like the LFS knows their business, good for them.

I do have one comment about the biowheel. I don't know much more than I have heard they will fail sometimes. If this happens and you have no other biological media then you can have a serious problem. In most filters this isn't a problem because the mechanical media acts as a backup to the biowheel.
marineland bio-wheels come with a filter pad insert that has a lot of surface area (filter floss) so if the wheel does fail then this sort of backs it up. but yes there are chances the wheel will stop turning, that is why the emperor model is better than the penguins since the emperors use a different way to spin the wheel which is more effective and has a smaller chance of stopping than the penguins. But the emperors are more expensive.....
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Old 03-14-2007, 07:16 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish_4_all
Souds like the LFS knows their business, good for them.

I do have one comment about the biowheel. I don't know much more than I have heard they will fail sometimes. If this happens and you have no other biological media then you can have a serious problem. In most filters this isn't a problem because the mechanical media acts as a backup to the biowheel.
I have a Marineland and it does fail, and quite often. Luckily I can tell when it starts getting sluggish by the sounds it makes. I have to completely clean the filter housing and especially the biowheel holder (for lack of a better term, and yes, I know not to clean the biowheel itself) two and sometimes three times a week for it to keep rolling properly. Before I knew what was up with it, it had almost completely stopped moving and I got a ton of algae.

My other tank, which is a much smaller bio-wheel never gives me an issue at all.

Musho is right though. It passes through floss (with charcoal in the pre-packaged filter packs, but I don't use their replacements anymore) and then into the biowheel, so it will technically be filtered but the good bacteria will not be as prevalent.
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Old 03-18-2007, 04:21 AM   #16
 
Just wanted to clear some things up about proper use of different types of filters and media. First, to properly use bioballs, you need a sump of some sort and a chamber for the bioballs which is NOT UNDERWATER, some tanks have these built into the back, but if you just have a plain rectangular 10 to 30 gallon tank, you don't really want to use bioballs, just get a biowheel or simple sponge filter, or make your own air-driven sponge filter out of some foam, pvc, airline tubing, and air pump. Bioballs are meant for wet/dry trickle filters where bacteria can grow aerobically which allows a greater rate of biological filtration than bacteria that are always submerged in the water, so if your bioballs are under water, or floating in the water, they're really not any more effective at growing bacteria than your gravel. Many lfs do use bioballs, but you won't see them because they'll have a huge sump and bioball chamber hidden from view. If you have a biowheel, don't worry about the bioballs, the wheel that comes out of the water and into the air has pretty much the same concept as a trickle filter, exposing the bacteria to an aerobic environment. Also, when you buy bioballs, they do not come with bacteria already on them unless you get them from someones actively running bioball chamber. The same goes for biowheels, filter sponges, and any other filtering media.
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