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Converting Wet/Dry System

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Beeba

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
300
Location
Portsmouth, OH
I've been doing some research about converting my wet/dry system. I'm not sure exactly how all this works and my LFS keeps insisting that the wet/dry is the way he does it and that should work fine. I've read that I can replace my bioballs with live rock but to remove the balls 1/4 or 1/3 at a time over a few weeks. If I do this then do I just add the live rock to the empty area where the bio balls were? Do I still let the water trickle down over the rock? I'm a little confused over the whole subject. I'm not currently having a problem with my wet/dry but since I don't have many fish and I want to get more corals added I assume I will need to change it eventually. Any suggestions? Good or bad idea?
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Beeba - absolutely you can replace your bio balls with live rock, and as you stated, you want to do a little bit at a time. You want to keep the live rock submerged in the water in the wet/dry. Bioballs have a reputation of being nitrate factories, so eventually you may find yourself dealing with that. How are your nitrates now?
 

LakeEd

Achilles
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
1,333
Location
Bremerton, WA
Beeba,

I purchased my 75gal SeaClear tank used. It was setup as as "Fish Only" system. The SeaClear tanks, are the ones with the built in Trickle Filter in the back portion of the tank.

Knowing that I wanted to convert this to a Reef tank, I started purchasing Live Rock. Being somewhat on a budget (especially after upgrading the lights right away), I would purchase about 20lbs of Live Rock every 2 weeks. After installing this in my Main Tank, and monitoring my Ammonia/Nitrites/Nitrates for about 3 days, I would remove about 1/4 of the bio-balls from the back Trickle filter area.

It took me about 2 months to get about 80lbs of Live Rock into my tank, but it looks wonderful now! And, now that I've been able to totally remove those Bio-Balls from the back, my Nitrate levels dropped from averaging about 30, Down to 5.

Its not a LOT of space, but I've also converted that "Trickle Filter" section behind my tank now, and am using it for a small (7 gallon... but better than nuttin) Fuge, when I'm growing Chato. Since adding this, my Nitrates have once again dropped, to undetectable levels, which has made me VERY happy! *Big Smile*

My advice to you would be to slowly add Live Rock to your display, and then remove those Bio-Balls... letting the Live Rock be your biological filter. You'll really appreciate the lower Nitrate levels, as will your tank!!!

Ed
 

Beeba

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
300
Location
Portsmouth, OH
Currently my nitrates are running very low. The indicator is as yellow as it can be. My tank has been set up since January. My corals and fish are very happy and active. I currently have about 70 lbs of live rock in a 72 gallon tank. I know that is a low amount but my husband keeps telling me it looks good and is running great so leave it alone. I can't help but mess with it a bit.

Can I remove the bio balls slowly without adding anything? Would it be enough to use my live rock in the tank as my filtration?
 

LakeEd

Achilles
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
1,333
Location
Bremerton, WA
In my oppinion, YES.

They (who are "they... and why do they keep talking???) say that you want about 1lb of Live Rock for every gallon of your tank. Well, your 70lbs fits that. *smile*

Since you know what your Nitrate levels normally are... just start removing those Bio-Balls. I would plan on only removing up to about 1/4 of them at any one time... then give your system a few days at least, before removing more. As always, check your chemicals, to make sure you're not shocking your tank.
 
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