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Old 12/23/2017, 07:25 PM   #1
Xxero
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Question Nitrifying Bacteria

Say you have one Clownfish in a 20g tank with one 20 pound piece of live rock for filtration. If you move that Clownfish and piece of live rock over to a 75g tank and never add anything else, will that one 20lb piece of live rock still be enough filtration for the one Clownfish? Or will the increased water volume require more rock?


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Old 12/23/2017, 07:35 PM   #2
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Yes the same bio load and responsible live rock filtration will work with additional water volume.


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Old 12/23/2017, 07:36 PM   #3
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The same amount of live rock will be fine.


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Old 12/23/2017, 07:41 PM   #4
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So if that is the case, then the amount of live rock that we place in our tanks should be based off of bio-load, and not necessarily pounds per gallon?


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Old 12/23/2017, 08:21 PM   #5
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Live rock/surface area determination is kind of tricky because I know that it all depends on the porosity of live rock or something like Marinepure blocks, and not necessarily weight. I have a lot of live rock in my display, and I'm just wondering if some of it could be removed. At the same time, I don't want to find out the hard way that too much was removed.

I wonder exactly how much rock/surface area is actually needed for nitrifying bacteria to be able to support one moderately fed fish. Like in the example above, I wonder if that 20lb piece of live rock could be broken up, and a 5 pound chunk of it would be more than enough to support that one Clownfish?

Sorry, just thinking...


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Old 12/24/2017, 06:44 AM   #6
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So just to keep you thinking. I like marine pure alot, it lets me understand the exact surface area I am adding into the tank for example one sphere is 250 sq ft iirc. I run 3 of them in my 40 gal, it never has ammonia issues and water changes keep the nitrates down from the heavy feedings.

So I bring this up because its changed the way I think about using live rock for filtering, or for that matter I don't anymore. Live rock in the display for me is just homes for pods and for ascetics (aqua scape). If I wanted to add massive surface area for filtering i'll use the marine pure so I know how many sq-ft I get.


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Old 12/24/2017, 10:27 AM   #7
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Yup, exactly what dawned on me as well. I have a total water volume of around 96 gallons, with about 75lbs of live rock in a 65 gallon display. But I also have an 8x8x4 Marinepure block in my sump.

I would think that if I wanted to remove some of the rock in the DT that I would be fine, but it makes me a little nervous. I know that I could put some of the rock in my sump, but I really don't want to. I guess I could start removing little by little and see if I find any adverse reactions.


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Old 12/24/2017, 12:28 PM   #8
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You should also take into consideration the amount of sand that is live in the old tank.


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Old 12/24/2017, 06:44 PM   #9
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I'm glad that you mentioned that. I have about 60lbs of live sand that I had not even considered.


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Old 12/25/2017, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
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So if that is the case, then the amount of live rock that we place in our tanks should be based off of bio-load, and not necessarily pounds per gallon?
Yes, but very few people can resist stocking tanks with a fair number of fish.


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Old 12/25/2017, 10:56 AM   #11
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I wonder exactly how much rock/surface area is actually needed for nitrifying bacteria to be able to support one moderately fed fish. Like in the example above, I wonder if that 20lb piece of live rock could be broken up, and a 5 pound chunk of it would be more than enough to support that one Clownfish?
You bring up some good points. We don't have any good data on that. I suspect that a 5 lb chunk of live rock could keep the ammonia from an A. percula clownfish under control. Nitrate reduction seems to require more substrate, though.


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Old 12/27/2017, 12:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xxero View Post
Say you have one Clownfish in a 20g tank with one 20 pound piece of live rock for filtration. If you move that Clownfish and piece of live rock over to a 75g tank and never add anything else, will that one 20lb piece of live rock still be enough filtration for the one Clownfish? Or will the increased water volume require more rock?
The rock would be fine with the same bioload regardless of water volume. But increased Fish could start a cycle


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Old 12/28/2017, 04:57 AM   #13
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Jonathan, do Nitrates have anything to do with algae blooms/growth or are those attributed to Phosphates?


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Old 12/28/2017, 11:48 AM   #14
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Algae require fixed nitrogen and phosphorus from the water column to grow, along with carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is available in large amounts, so algal growth generally is limited by nitrate (fixed nitrogen) or phosphate. There might be cases where trace nutrients are lacking, like iron, but that seems fairly rare. So either nitrate or phosphate could be limiting in a tank.


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Old 12/28/2017, 06:25 PM   #15
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Gotcha. Thanks!


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Old 12/28/2017, 07:03 PM   #16
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You're welcome! Good luck!


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