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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an overflow that pours into a filter box that has 3 equal compartments. The top one is taken up by a sponge, the 2nd by carbon. Does anyone have a good suggestion for the 3rd. I wa thinking about noodles or bioballs but figure I have enough biological filtering with live rock. Is wet-dry, ie: noodles-bioballs no longer the way to go? Advice would be more than welcome.
 

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A large piece of rock can turn ammmonia into nitrate and then into nitrogen gas that leaves the system. Biomedias lack the internal low oxygen area to convert nitrate into nitrogen gas. By proccessing nitrogen in a place where denitrification cannot exist it increases the nitrate in the system versus not having that media. Did I explain that in a semi understandable manner? Its easier to draw a diagram really.
 

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Tony, why no more wet-dry trickle filters?
Well from what i went through if you check out my posts....I like the sump with the display water comming in......with just filter socks....which I made for just a couple bucks with stuff purchased at Wally World....I am not big into carbon,,,,bio balls...ceramic media...etc....etc....because in my case I could not see any difference.....In my opionion filter socks...and a really good protien Skimmer......equals clean water.....also I did many...many...many...water changes with distilled water....because I do not have a RO/DI unit yet....its comming....also another thing not brought up....hows the water quality of the water U are using in your tank.....just my 2 cents....I wish U the best....
 

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to put it into more simple terms than Jeremy (excellent post dood!)

Wet.dry's are very efficient at converting ammonia into Nitrate... not a big deal if you have a fish only system, but for a Reef biotope tank, not exactly desirable.

Rock is very efficient as a complete biological filter (in addition to a sandbed, but lets not start that debate here :)) and the trickle system really isn't necessary. As Jeremy explained, the end product with a live rock system is Nitrogen gas. The biggest issue with Bioballs and trickle systems is that the trap waste and allow it to decompose in the system greatly increasing the amount of Nitrate as they process the waste. The problem is, they create an excess that is difficult for the anaerobic areas of the tank to keep up with because they trap alot of waste. A much better approach is to not use a trickle system and to use a standard sump with a filter sock at the most to catch large particulate waste that is changed out every day at the minimum. Then use a good quality skimmer to remove whatever remaining organics are in the system. This makes for a tank with less maintenance and a healthier system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like the idea of a filter sock but won't the sponge accomplish the same thing? If I have the trickle below the machanical filter into the ceramic media and I have plenty of rock, won't all that nitrate still be converted within the rock. It seems to me that if you have efficient mechanical filter,that is #1. All the nitrite that the system makes needs to quickly become nitrate and then be efficiently converted by the rock to gas. There cannot be nitrate made if there is no nitrite. Having a skimmer is a no-brainer. I still do not see the argument for no trickle as long as there also is plenty of rock.
 

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It's really about location. THe biofilter is processing the ammonia to nitrates (nitrification)far away from where bacteria can convert it to nitrogen gas. Yes some of the nitrates processed there will make it to the rock and be turned to nitrogen gas (denitrification). But if the rock provides plenty of space for both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, what does the biomedia add to the system? It is adding something that actually makes the system less efficient in most cases.

As far as mechanical filter I only run one once a week if that. There are some arguments about a filter sock doing as much harm as good but that is far from a settled debate :D
 
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