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You have probably heard it said many times that bio balls which are used in Wet/Dry Trickle filters are "nitrate factories" or that someone's bio balls have "gone bad". Bio balls are a great nitrifying bacteria platform but, like any other filter media, they can produce nitrates, if not maintained. Curing the problem is simple, costs nothing and takes only a few minutes.

More: Wet/Dry Trickle Filters have been around for a while. Providing a large surface area for great nitrifying bacteria platform, they also do a great job of oxygenating your aquarium water.. Read more

More: DIY Wet/Dry (Trickle) Filters come in many shapes and sizes and can be easily constructed of a wide variety of materials.


January 10, 2009 at 9:45 pm
(1) glassbox design says:

The point you make regarding bio-balls is valid, but the nature of wet dry filtration makes them a very poor choice to begin with. With today’s substrate as well as live and artificial rocks adequate surface area and nitrifying bacteria are easy to come by. The oxygenation benefit is also largely unnecessary with adequate water motion and protein skimmer.

Point being, the “maintenance” of wet dry filters is best avoided by not using wet dry filters at all. Other options, namely live rock offer both nitrifying and denitrifying abilities with the added benefit of natural food sources and diversity.

With today’s affordable equipment choices there are very few systems in which a wet dry filter would be optimal.


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