View Full Version : BioBalls or No BioBalls

12/29/2010, 05:51 AM
Hahahaha thought about putting the title as bioballs or no balls..... Anyway just thought it was funny after I looked at it. Guess I'm a 42 yr old kid.... So really my question is this. I just put in a new sump and my old sump had about 20/30 bioballs in it. I'm taking them out a couple at a time about every 3rd day. I've heard they can raise your nitrates. My nitrates are 10/20 and I"d like to see them at 0/10. My new sump has a fuge and I'm hoping this will help also... What are your thought on the bioballs,, Good or Bad, can they raise my nitrates or not...Thanks for looking.. Also I"ve been told a few large water changes Will help. I've done two 30% changes over the past week and set up do do another today but I"ve really not seen much with this lowering my nitrates or phosphates. Also I've not seen a spike in the ammonia which would tell me I"m taking out to much good bacteria with the removal of the bioballs... My ammonia level is zero.:bounce2:

12/29/2010, 06:17 AM
If your tank is cycled with an adequate amount of live rock and/or sand then bioballs aren't necessary for denitrification. They are difficult to keep clean and inevitably become nutrient traps. They are still used in some systems where a lot of waste is being produced, such as a predator tank.

12/29/2010, 08:15 AM
They are superb at dealing with ammonia once colonised and in a wet/dry would be my method if I had a Large fish only species tank, in a reef though id not consider them as they cant convert nitrate and will become a pain and hinderence, I do believe many aquarists think along a similar line as well.

12/29/2010, 08:35 AM
Bio-balls are far superior to live rock when it comes to breaking down ammonia.....but they won't break down nitrate. Short answer is keep them if you are light on rock, but if you have a good deal of rock and sand, the bio-balls really aren't necessary. Don't toss them in the trash though, they come in handy for FW tanks/ponds and quarantine tanks.

12/29/2010, 09:46 AM
I have seen people that feel strongly both ways, but the vast majority seem to say no bio-balls

12/29/2010, 11:11 AM
Great cat toys!

Predator FO tanks use them. When you have messy fish that eat half of whatever it is you toss in there bio balls and other similar medias do a great job converting the ammonia spike.

12/29/2010, 11:21 AM
All good answers.

Go with live rock, if you can.


12/29/2010, 11:23 AM
Read this recent thread on the subject which will help you understand the issue.


12/29/2010, 12:15 PM
I've got 150 pounds of established live rock. Do I need to take out the balls slow or all at once

12/29/2010, 12:21 PM
I'd slowly remove the bio-balls out so that you don't shock the system.

12/29/2010, 12:35 PM
just continue to take them out slow then you have no worrys