Are bioballs being used as some form of scapegoat?.

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by mandarinman, 20 Sep 2013.

  1. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    We love having bacteria. We carbon dose etc so why dont we use bioballs. What is the difference? Why cant we put bioballs in the first chamber of our sump where there is good agitation of the bioballs to prevent detrititis collecting and have an increase in bacteria?
     
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  3. Istio

    Istio

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    Bioballs offer huge surface area for aerobic chemo-autotrophic bacteria but no anaerobic bacteria. There was a key point 10-15 yrs ago when people started realizing that if you encourage huge aerobic autro-trophic bacterial activity in the absence of a anaerobic activity then you encourage Nitrate formation. Bioballs and trickle-filters went from all the rage to being branded "Nitrate factories". When I started a trickle filter and bioballs was "the thing" but now I have to admit and follow the nitrate factory hypothesis.
     
  4. mandarinman

    mandarinman Thread Starter

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    What is the ratio of heterotrophic to autotrophic bacteria in a tank?
     
  5. mandarinman

    mandarinman Thread Starter

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    If bioballs are a problem due to bacteria on the surface only. Surely this would apply to biocubes also? As it is surface area with a carbon source?no space for anaerobic bacteria?
     
    Last edited: 20 Sep 2013
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    In my QT I use bioballs.
    They can react the quickest to varying levels of bioload. That is the reason petshop holding tanks rely heavily on bioballs

    but I must admit, I do get a lot of settlement in the same chamber. Once in about 6 months I do switch off the return pump. Remove all the bioballs. And siphon that chamber clean. Do it as part of a big water change.
     
  7. Istio

    Istio

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    Dunno about ratio's...Surely it must change depending on conditions..The carbohydrates on Bio-cubes encourage hetero-trophic orginisms (bacteria or fungi?) not auto-trophes as in bioballs.
     
  8. mandarinman

    mandarinman Thread Starter

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    Heterotrophic are anaerobic so how would they work on a surface?
     
  9. Istio

    Istio

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    nope not all heterotrophic bacteria are anearobic. The organisms on the biocubes consume plenty of oxygen that why aeration rapid flow is recommended for biocube application.

    "The overwhelming number of known species of bacteria, both aerobic and anaerobic, are heterotrophic"
     
  10. mandarinman

    mandarinman Thread Starter

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    I thought all anaerobic were heterotrophic
     
  11. NO3

    NO3

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    @ mandarinman i to do not see the difference between Bio cubes and Bio balls?

    @ riaan surely that settlement at the bottom of your bio balls chamber is not made from the bio balls? weather or not you had them your dirt would still settle somewhere?
     
  12. jclaas

    jclaas

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    Biological Cycling

    When a marine aquarium is cycling focus on two primary objectives; discouraging harmful bacteria (heterotrophs), and encouraging beneficial bacteria (Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter) - these are the starts.

    Hetrotrophic bacteria decompose stray organic matter - this may seem good, but this matter is turned into toxic amonia NH3.

    To prevent this do not overfeed, have a protein skimmer and a mechanical filtration method like a filter sock which must be cleaned every day.

    Nitrosomonas found on well oxygenated substrate, rock and filters turn NH3 is turned into Nitrite. Bioballs will come in here, but why add them if we have rocks in the tank???

    Next Nitrobacter use oxygen and nitrite to convert it to Nitrate.

    Now we need anaerobic bacteria (Nitrobacillus) to transport nitrogen out of the aquarium. They live in deep sand beds and porous rock where oxygen is low.

    If your system does not display much sand or rock then bio balls will take that place inside your sump.

    Take note that bacteria living on bioballs will die in the event of a power outage and not supplied with some sort of oxygen.
     
    Last edited: 20 Sep 2013
  13. Istio

    Istio

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    The Biocubes themselves are an energy source for heterothropic bacteria/fungi. The bacteria "eat" the biocubes like you eat a potato. You cannot live of off potato becuase it is all carbohydrate and no protein the bacteria cannot either. However, bacteria can assimilate ammonia and nitrate into the cell and use that to build amino acids (the precursors for cell proteins), nucleic acids tand all that the bacterial cell needs to function.

    Bioballs are mostly inert. The auto-trophic bacteria use ammonia as a source of energy to power cell reactions. Apart from the difference in energy source (ammonia vs light) they are like plants (also autothropes). Just like plants they use carbonate and bi-carbonates as as pre-cursors to make carbohydrates, lipids ect. The cell is powered by ammonia though.
     
    Last edited: 20 Sep 2013
  14. jclaas

    jclaas

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    I assume bio cubes reduce heterothrophs bacteria or supply them with enough food so that they wil not decompose organic matter which leads to nitrite and nitrate.

    Therefore biocubes are consumed and need to be replaced every once in a while.

    Lets keep it natural, its an ecosystem :).
     
    Last edited: 20 Sep 2013
  15. jclaas

    jclaas

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    hetero-trophic orginisms exist wether we like it or not.
    I believe that the only way to discourage them are remove fish wastes and food before they decompose them which later turns to nitrite and nitrates due tho other bacteria as i have mentioned.
     
  16. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Settlement is not made from the bio-balls. It is not Deni-balls that will dissolve.

    But at least all that settlement is contained in one place and easy enough to clean. But it illustrate perfectly why its recommended not to use bioballs and or ceramic rings as they become a detritus trap over time.
     
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  17. Istio

    Istio

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    Definately, you and I and our fishes depend on heterotrophic bacteria in our digestive system to make life possible. As you say one can discourage heterotrophes, and therefore alter the auto/hetero ratio which is to say the ratio is not constant.
     
    Last edited: 20 Sep 2013
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  18. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    @RiaanP is going to have a bone to pick with you about this statement as the principle of his beloved DSB's run on Hetrotrophic bacteria
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  19. jclaas

    jclaas

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    Its something we have to live with and the only natural way to get around it is to encourage the anaerobic bacteria living in DSB and LR so that they can in turn reduce the nitrates in our tanks.
     
  20. jclaas

    jclaas

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    Please tell me more about the fact that DSB and hetrotrophs bacteria coincide?

    I might be overlooking something. (i doubt)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  21. Reefhead

    Reefhead

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    The long and short of it is that a DSB is the perfect environment for a Hetrotroph and a hetrotroph will almost always out compete and take over the number of Autotrophs given the chance. That is the exact reason why I don't use DSB's, I don't belive they are the best filtration method to achieve a balance between Hetro and Autotrophs but rather causing an imbalance towards Hetrotrophs.
     
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