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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

Well, now that I've converted my tank to a straight sump/ refugium set-up (removed skimmer), I have been left to sit and ponder about my bio balls, or my lack of them. Er, what I mean is that I removed my bio-balls and replaced them with live rock.
Anyway, basically, now that this live rock rubble is in a trickle environment, the rock receives a lot more oxygen: hence I believe it should be an efficient nitrite conversion machine.
In order to deal with nitrates, I have a bed of caulerpa with a 24 light period, plus an isolated six inch deep sand bed. But always on the look out to improve the natural processes, I have loaded the return areas of my sump and refugium with nice dense chunks of live rock, which got me to thinking... Seeing as some of my live rock is very porous, I do believe this would harbor a different type of bateria then would be harbored by a dense rock, as there would be much less oxygen reaching them. My question is is this true? Does the denser rock serve as a deep sand bed of sorts? And if so, do most experienced reefers stock their tanks with rock density diversity in mind? And if so, would it also make sense that I keep the dense rock fully sumerged while the more porous pieces should find a home in the wet dry box?
Sorry for the length. All responses are appreciated!!
By the way, the system seems awesome so far. Thanks for the suggestions from those who offered them!
 

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Scotty, not sure I can help with all of your questions but I want to try to tackle the "dense rock sand bed" question. If the rock is really really dense then you won't reall have bacteria inside the rock (not enough to make a difference anyway), unlike a DSB where the bacteria cover the grains of sand. The upper layers of the sand keep the oxygen out of the lower levels, but the bacteria are already there colonized. Unlike your rock which even bacteria can't really penetrate....and like I said above, even if some could, we aren't talking about alot of surface area if the rock is truely dense.

Dunno if any of this helps....but its the best I can do.
 

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I don't know that this will answer your question, but Ill try.

For many years, Fiji LR was what most people used in their tanks. Most Fiji rock is very dense. I mean, heavy in weight compaired to it's size.

The the introduction of different lr was introduced, ie..Marshall Island, Tonga Branch, etc. The idea was that the more surface area for the water to pass over the rock, the more beneficial bacteria could be found. More area for the water to pass over, in and out.

I believe that is why now when you see pictures of tanks set up in the last few years the rock formation is not so, shall we say, stuffed with rock, rather a work of art. I also believe that is why we are able to keep our own little pieces of the ocean without as much "trouble" as in the past. We are able to keep healthier tanks, add less additives, and way far fewer chemicals, if any at all.

not sure if this even came close to answering the question, I just liked writing it...LOL
 

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ok, this is how i see it. i think the lr that is being trickled on is not doing you any good. this is just converting to nitrates and not beyond this. you are then relying on other means to remove the nitrates. a fully submerged piece of LR will do all of this for you.

as for densities it really does not matter. according to some we use way to much LR in our tanks anyway. the filtration properties of LR are way beyond what we think. more porous rocks will give more total surface area for all the different colonizing bacteria. as far as i have read the bacteria are so small that the porosity(sp?) makes little difference to them. they are only interested in the environment. whether or not it is anoxic.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey all,

Thanks for the responses. Geoff, I do have to disagree with you about the trickled on LR not doing anything. My belief, since I am not using a skimmer, is to have as much biological material as possible in the system. The LR in the wet dry will only help with the nitrite conversion at a quicker speed. Add to this that the rock at the bottom is 99% submerged. Also, in the main tank, in my sump and in my return areas, I have submerged live rock. Also, in my refugium, as I mentioned, I have a bed of caulerpa that I trim often, as well as a 6" deep sand bed in the refugium. In the main tank I have extremely large pieces of live rock with purple lace macroalgae sprouting all over the place. I guess my belief is that the more, the better, since biological processes are a bit slower than skimmers. Therefore, if a creature dies, I believe I have enough of a biological cushion to handle it, especially with the highly oxygenated LR in the wet-dry, which is helping handle the first stage of the nitrogen cycle. JMO. :)
 

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i guess the point that i was trying to make is why have an area that only breaks wastes down to nitrates, when keeping that same area completely submerged would break the same wastes all the way down to nitrogen. i would want to remove nitrates before they can be entered into the system. to me it seems like nitrates are being produced just to feed the macro's. if the point of this is to grow macro's or clams then this could be usefull.

i like the idea of the entire nitrogen cycle happening within the same square inch of rock. instead of outsourcing to another source for final breakdown.:D

if you want some serious reading on a lot of this then check out the Think Tank. look up the DSB thread. a lot of discussion about densities and cycle breakdown.

G~
 
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