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  #1  
Old 06/26/2006, 06:42 PM
Angel*Fish Angel*Fish is offline
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Higher bioload is better than low bioload. Does this make sense?

Pardon - this is long and hard to read....

I hear so many people almost bragging about how little they feed their tanks. I'm not sure such a sparsely fed tank doesn't lead to a "touchy" tank.

Let's say you have 4 fish and you are only utilzing 20% of the available LR surface area - that's 5% per fish and a finite number of bacteria/infauna I'll set/define as 20 BI.

Then you add 2 more fish (or overfeed for a week) The 20 BI have to increase themselves by 33% to reach the 30BI needed for that load.


OK Same size tank same size available LR surface area. But this time you have 8 fish (now utilizing 40% of the surface area). And the corresponding amount of bacteria/infauna -40BI. >>>>Then you add 2 fish. Since now 50 BI is now needed your 40 BI will only have to expand by 20% to reach the 50BI needed.

Thus assuming available surface area, the higher bioload, the easier it is to add more bioload and in that sense the more stable your tank is in terms of dealing with, for example, the death of a giant turbo snail behind the rocks

Any opinions?
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  #2  
Old 06/26/2006, 07:53 PM
SeaMac2 SeaMac2 is offline
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Well...since bacterial growth is exponential, I really don't think its much of a problem for them to "catch up" after the addition of a new fish (within reason...adding a grouper to a tank with 2 neon gobies is obviously not a fair example).

Also, we have no way of knowing what percentage of LR surface area is being utilized by bacterial populations, so assuming 20% may be way off. I honestly don't know...

Chris
  #3  
Old 06/26/2006, 08:20 PM
AIMFish AIMFish is offline
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I see the logic in your thinking. Adding 2 fish to a tank that houses 10 already should be less stressful to the system than adding 2 to a tank that only has 2. That's assuming that there is a measurable amount of stress to the system tho!
  #4  
Old 06/26/2006, 08:53 PM
Angel*Fish Angel*Fish is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by AIMFish
I see the logic in your thinking. Adding 2 fish to a tank that houses 10 already should be less stressful to the system than adding 2 to a tank that only has 2. That's assuming that there is a measurable amount of stress to the system tho!
Thanks! That's a much simpler way to put it

I'm just wondering if our traditional thinking that we should strive for as low bioload as possible may be a little backwards. And how it would be if we did the opposite & pushed our systems to handle more. Actually I already know one result >> elevated phosphates

Quote:
Also, we have no way of knowing what percentage of LR surface area is being utilized by bacterial populations, so assuming 20% may be way off. I honestly don't know...
I just picked 20% as an example.

How much do you guys feed? I feed the equivalent of 10 cubes mysis, 1 cube size of live artemia nauplii & 1/2 silverside fish per day (100g tank) from what I'm hearing that's on the heavy side
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  #5  
Old 06/27/2006, 04:48 PM
Travis L. Stevens Travis L. Stevens is offline
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Truthfully, I think a bioload is overdone. There are more important issues. Such as room for growth, territory, and grazing just to name a few. Really, live rock has more than enough surface area to hold a ton of bioload. Along with proper tank maintenance, it should be very little of an issue. Stocking 20 chromis in a tank is completely different than stocking 20 tangs of the same size as the chromis in a tank. There is more stress through territory disputes than there ever would be of a bioload problem, within reason. And by that I mean not adding 20 fish to a 10g tank the day you set it up.
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  #6  
Old 06/28/2006, 01:36 AM
MCsaxmaster MCsaxmaster is offline
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There's a lot of merit to your line of reasoning. The way I would suggest as helpful to interpret this phenomenon is that greater resource availability/flux (to a point) tends to increase the length of food chains and the potential for biodiversity. Increasing biodiversity tends to reduce waste and improve efficiency of a food web. Hence, even though one may be feeding more and there may be a lot more creatures in the tank a well-fed, biodiverse tank may actually produce less waste (which needs to be removed) than one with sparse feeding and low biodiversity.

cj
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  #7  
Old 06/28/2006, 08:52 AM
Angel*Fish Angel*Fish is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by MCsaxmaster
There's a lot of merit to your line of reasoning. The way I would suggest as helpful to interpret this phenomenon is that greater resource availability/flux (to a point) tends to increase the length of food chains and the potential for biodiversity. Increasing biodiversity tends to reduce waste and improve efficiency of a food web. Hence, even though one may be feeding more and there may be a lot more creatures in the tank a well-fed, biodiverse tank may actually produce less waste (which needs to be removed) than one with sparse feeding and low biodiversity.

cj
Thanks, that's what I was thinking - it's what I see in my tank -
that the higher bioload the tank is "trained" to handle, the more stable, almost bulletproof, it seems.

I have to solve my phophate export issue --- I guess I'll add a reactor. But if I can export phosphate successfully and subsequently have some success with acropora type corals - I will personally consider the concept of keeping the bioload to a minimum a dark ages concept. Or at least "old hat"
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  #8  
Old 06/29/2006, 02:56 AM
skylar skylar is offline
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I also agree with your reasoning. It is widely known a big tank is easier to maintain than a little tank for similar reasons. 1 fish poop in 300 gallons is % wise less than the same poop in 50 gallons.

I would like to think of it as our closed systems having optimum ranges. We all strive for balace in our little eco systems. I have a huge bioload - 28 fish (6 tangs3 are XXXL 2 angels and others) and lots of SPS. That phosphate is a problem though.....
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