Live rock or Live sponge

Discussion in 'Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds' started by Trev, 7 Jul 2010.

  1. Trev

    Trev

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    I am looking for a convincing explanation as to why Live Rock is better than Live Filter sponge?

    So here is the scenario you purchase LR lets use Fiji rock for example it has been well cured and is now seeded with plenty of bacteria and pods and is ready to go

    Now another option is having some porous pvc filter sponge which has also been seeded very well and also contains all the bacteria and pods you could need for filtration.

    So besides the following factors why is the rock better, Price, External growth, aesthetics.

    Let it roll!
     
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  3. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    Aneorobic bacteria i rekn :), and funny critters deep deep deep inside the rock that always survive transport and are jus berlin'y
     
  4. Dane

    Dane

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    This is a tough one for me too trev... WHY doesnt the same system that works so bloody well in my fwater tanks work in a reef...

    The only thing I can think of offhand is that a sponge clogs up with detritus. Live rock seems to be porous enough that water can permeate and be denitrified but not porous enough to allow detritus to build up...
     
  5. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Exactly Dane - and the sponge then needs to be cleaned out. Live rock gets inhabited by micro fauna, which works out the detritus (mostly) out of the live rock, where the micro fauna does not always, and not in such numbers, populate sponges.....
     
  6. Trev

    Trev Thread Starter

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    Is that it can no one contribute any other explinations???????????
     
  7. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Huh Trev? Please explain your post?

    Are you talking about the sponge? Or the fact that there is only 3 response posts? ;)
     
  8. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    As i said, live rock has anaerobic areas within the rock which help with the nitrate to nitrogen gas process. Also the critters hitch hiking on live rock are a massive bonus to tank diversity, somtimes random corals just appear on good live rock :).
    A filter sponge will definitely help with cycling but it will only do as much as it does in f/water tanks, Ammonia to nitrate.

    Also :lol: hiding places for fishies and inverts

    Also sponges become 'nitrate farms', once full of gunk and nitrates, its just a storage system for waste u dont want in your tank - Gurus, please correct me if im wrong, i have a habit of typing out more than i actually know!

    You just can't beat the natural way ;)
     
  9. Perky Pets

    Perky Pets Sponsor

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    I think Deadmeat hit the nail on the head,
    live rock acts at a nenitrating filter , itremoves ammonia on the outer layer of rock , nitrite on the next layer where there is less oxigenater water passing through and the last layer wher the oxygen has been depleted the anerobic bacteria convert the nitrate.
    this process has been perfected by nature and at the same time if its quality calcium rich LR it will bebreaking down and buffering the water @ the same time @ extremes.

    Besides: if you dont use LR will you have sand at the bottom and corrals only on one level ?

    the rock alows you to place light loving corals at the correct levle, and it creates more surface area to put in more corals.
    :whistling:

    P.s
    typing with baby in hand, excuse the spelling and lack of concentration.
     
  10. Dane

    Dane

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    So, can we use sponge filters if we have a nice big DSB then? Stands to reason...
     
  11. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    Thanks O.PE.boy! :) i feel so clever lol

    Dane - you can use sponge filters but you will need to clean them regularly i believe
     
  12. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Dane - sponge filters have their place. BUT, they should be in a place where you can easily take them out, and clean them. Otherwise - if one just use sponges, then it can EASILY become a "problem" if you do not "maintain" them well.......

    Sponges can really easily be used to "polish" the water.......

    BUT, I would never use sponges instead of live rock.....
     
  13. Dane

    Dane

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    Thats my current plan of action. They're great on a little nano. I have built a fuge, and gonna have filter floss on the inflow, in a way that I can just pull it out, rinse it and switch it.

    ps: jacques I would never think of sponge as a live rock replacement! Horrors!! :-O
     
  14. Trev

    Trev Thread Starter

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    Ok this is kinda the caliber of answer I was looking for but dude can you please explain why this cannot take place in a piece of sponge.

    Ok let me give you some more info as to what my thoughs of this are. I am definately not talking about putting any sponge inside a display it would be in the sump only and in the sump it would be in the last chamber and the water having gone through the skimmer , filterfloss and over a dsb before getting to this sponge so the only reason for the sponge would be a safe house for bacteria and pods so it will not see any or need to deal with any particals
     
  15. Trev

    Trev Thread Starter

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    Hey boet Im was just expecting a knockout reply that would convince me that it is a possibility or a waste of time

    BTW I am not thinking of doing this but it is a concept which has bothered me for a while now
     
  16. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    I can see your point trev, but the ideal place for pods an 'things' is the DSB substrate and macro algae like caulerpa or or chaeto, if im not mistaken of course(gurus!!), the sponge would get colonised aswell and it would be some extra surface area for gogos to breed but i guess the choice is yours, IMO it would cause more fuss than its worth, but im still a noob :)
     
  17. Perky Pets

    Perky Pets Sponsor

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    Hi, now you make me feel feel so clever :biggrin:.

    im going to explane in a slightly bacwards way here.

    Spunge allows to much water to flow through it, and at the rate it travles the oxygen level doesnt drop enough to allow bacteria to grow which will eat nitrate ( anairobic bacteria ).
    but the sponge does hold a huge amount of airobic bacteria so its exelent for converting amonia and nitrite.
    The drawback to spunge is the same as using a undergravle filter in a freshwater tank, it keeps or hold the detritis ( dirt ) in the tank its self and therefore build up nitrate.
    But by using spunge or filter floss before you chemicle filtration you can have your tank build up nitrate allot slower than a tank without sponge by rincing the spunge every 2 days.
    explination:
    Its amonia that turns into nitrite and nitrite into nitrate , so if you take out the detritis by rinsing the spunge or floss before it breaks down , you wont have amonia to break down.
    This is the idea, but it doesnt work quite as well as that, because the fish themselves breath out amonia during respiration and there urine is ammonia rich which the sponge or floss cannot trap to be rinced out.

    But im old school, i believe in live rock ( kenyas fine , cause its what i can afford )
    and i believe in sponge and floss. because im physiacly taking dirt out, not relying on the tank to take care of its self.

    Ive seen a filter with a "ceramic catilitic converter" cilinder in it, a tube +- 25 cm in diamiter and 30 cm long with thousands of honey comb holes in it, this was put into a costimers tank for the same reason you want to use your sponge, but will have very much more surface area.
    only problem is you got to know someone who knows someone to get them as they arnt for sale.

    Im setting up a nano now, pics by monday.
    Good luck.
     
  18. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Good posts by Old PE Boy and Deadmeat, and I agree with both :thumbup:

    Contrary to common belief (myself included...) I do think that one CAN get anaerobic filtration from a sponge as well - if used "correctly". IF the sponge is large enough, and placed on the bottom of (say) the DSB chamber of the sump, with the water flowing over it and NOT through it, then I see no reason why the bottom region of the sponge would not also become anaerobic... because of the large pore size of the sponge, the water would be able to enter much deeper much quicker than with live rock or a DSB, though, so the sponge would probably need to be pretty huge, though.

    Burying the sponge under some sand might be an option...

    Hennie
     
  19. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    a very interesting topic

    one thing that MAY count against the sponge is its chemical composition, it is well documented that frags grow better on certain substrates (live rock rubble and marble) vs plastic plugs for example. having never seen corraline on a sponge you may find that the chemical composition of the sponge is too alein for some critters to colonize.... but that is just a theory !
     
  20. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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  21. Trev

    Trev Thread Starter

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    Good point Neil thinking outa the box is what is required here well done chap

    Trev
     
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