Removing Marine Pure Spheres

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Need some help. My tanks about 1.3-1.5 years old. Sps dominated. My acros are randomly dying and the only outlier on my icp tests are aluminum and iodine. I used a decent amount of MP spheres in my refugium. I’ve read that they leech aluminum. I think I’m going to remove them from the refugium. There’s only cheato and those soheres in the fuge. What’s the safest way to remove them from my fuge? Do I need to take any special precautions?
 
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Azedenkae

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Need some help. My tanks about 1.3-1.5 years old. Sps dominated. My acros are randomly dying and the only outlier on my icp tests are aluminum and iodine. I used a decent amount of MP spheres in my refugium. I’ve read that they leech aluminum. I think I’m going to remove them from the refugium. There’s only cheato and those soheres in the fuge. What’s the safest way to remove them from my fuge? Do I need to take any special precautions?
I doubt it is an issue with the MarinePure spheres - I am aware of the potential issue supposedly associated with them, but a lot of people have MarinePure in their systems (even from way back during the peak of the stories about them leaching alu and fears from that), including myself.

But that's not your question. So to answer your question, if you have other biomedia (live rock included), it could be safe to just straight up remove them, provided you already have plenty of nitrification capacity in the other biomedia. Otherwise it is a matter of slowly removing them to ensure you don't take away any amount of nitrification capacity that may be necessary. One quick way is to remove all the spheres at once and add them to a container of saltwater, and measure ammonia and nitrite over the course of a few days. If ammonia and nitrite remains 0, it would then imply you do indeed have plenty of other biomedia anyways and so that's great. If ammonia and nitrite starts increasing, you could then just add the MarinePure back in and then do the slow removal instead.
 

srobertb

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Need some help. My tanks about 1.3-1.5 years old. Sps dominated. My acros are randomly dying and the only outlier on my icp tests are aluminum and iodine. I used a decent amount of MP spheres in my refugium. I’ve read that they leech aluminum. I think I’m going to remove them from the refugium. There’s only cheato and those soheres in the fuge. What’s the safest way to remove them from my fuge? Do I need to take any special precautions?
I just removed a fair amount (all of them) 2 weeks ago. I replaced them with a different media. I saw no change in anything.
I don’t test as thoroughly as you so I can’t speak to the metals; only the bio load issues. I have a 3-4 inch sand bed, a moderate amount of LR, and my tank is 2-ish years old. I do AWC (10% week) and run an appropriately sized skimmer. My bio load is medium-to-light.
 

jassermd

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I did the same as well. I had a couple of the bio bricks in my sump and my ICP came back with sky high silicate and low amount of aluminum. Everything else was within range…
I removed them completely and no change with NO3 levels and no signs of any issues in the tank. I too have a significant amount of LR, skimmer and refuge with chaeto.
You should be able to remove them without any issues if your bio filter is otherwise mature.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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It is true as stated above these extra surface area zones can be removed from any reef, along with the sandbed if wanted, and it still won’t leave too little surface area in anyone’s reef (we do these jobs routinely online, handy for inspection). The myth of too little surface area has persisted even though we can’t find any examples of one, yank them all at once, these were optional to everyone. We pack in surface area because our peers do, that’s why. Nobody has ever seen a true lack of surface area to directly indicate the need for the extras.


they have in a quarantine, but not in a display reef. People grasped onto this slowly and now negative space aquascapes work fine— carry as many fish, due to this exact rule about surface area mechanics in reefing.
 

srobertb

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It is true as stated above these extra surface area zones can be removed from any reef, along with the sandbed if wanted, and it still won’t leave too little surface area in anyone’s reef (we do these jobs routinely online, handy for inspection). The myth of too little surface area has persisted even though we can’t find any examples of one, yank them all at once, these were optional to everyone. We pack in surface area because our peers do, that’s why. Nobody has ever seen a true lack of surface area to directly indicate the need for the extras.


they have in a quarantine, but not in a display reef. People grasped onto this slowly and now negative space aquascapes work fine— carry as many fish, due to this exact rule about surface area mechanics in reefing.
I dunno. I’ve seen (and benefited) from adding live rock to the DT, cryptic zone, or refugium in the past. Is it new bacteria strains? Surface area? The reef fairy? I don’t know but there’s anecdotal evidence that more LR is/can be beneficial.

then again, I wanted a minimal look and went with ceramic “ultra porous” media and it was useless so grains of salt.
 
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Thanks for the replies! Saw this thread recently - https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/removed-marinepure-spheres-brown-slime-outbreak.820879/

I should have added more detail. I have about 127g plus another 25 Ish in the sump, with a 11g frag tank. Rock in the display is probably close to 80lbs. No sand. I have a potters, white tail bristle tooth, 2 bengaiis, a 6 line, and a pair of clowns. Bio load isn’t that high. Getting a bit nervous on taking out the spheres but I don’t know how else aluminum is getting into the tank.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Don’t be nervous, because no reef tank has ever needed them it was just things we made up as a requirement or insulation against too low surface area. Remove them without hesitation

brown slime outbreaks happen in many tanks unrelated to surface area


See how any reef here can remove its sand, and extra surface area, and the result is perfect
 
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Okay thank you! Here’s how I’m going to remove them.

1. shut off water going into the display.
2. let tank drain into sump
3. Drain sump at lease 3/4 down
4. Remove the bio spheres
5. Refill sump with new water

Should I vacuum out the sump / fuge area where the spheres are?
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Agreed. We find the sole risk in removing surface area to be the waste that wells up swirling all around. We had those aquarists in that thread take apart reefs ranging one gallon to 350 gallons solely to isolate sensitive animals from that doom cloud


however

that’s us dealing in funky sandbeds. This thread here is surface area found in high flow high oxygenated areas, sumps or rear compartments, the associated mulm is neutral and safe here comparatively because it’s oxygenated and already highly reduced by bacteria. Just yank em and agreed clean first if you see obvious deposits but I expect zero risk from casting that type of waste around vs that from up under rocks and inside dsb
 
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I appreciate everyone’s help!

I yanked them last night and vacuumed out my refugium area where they sit. It was really messy in there and didn’t feel safe letting all that detritus and what not float back into my tank. Will update the thread in a few weeks/months.
 
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