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Bio balls vs algae balls?

>> So what am I missing? Why use bioballs (or their equivalent) in planted
>> tanks? 
> They don't have much purpose in a planted tank except under two conditions
> that I can think of.
> They're great for the person that wants to keep more fish in the tank then
> the tank and plants are otherwise capable of handling.  Personally I've never
> found an overpopulated tank to be very attractive.  I also doubt that
> overpopulation is good for the fish in the long run.  But then, attractive
> and good in the long run are only two considerations.  I suppose there are
> more.

Over fed fish e.g. Discus.
I've used lava rock with no issue and other clay fire media/sponge etc.
The best use for bio balls is helping dissolve gas so CO2 comes to mind.
> They're also great for gadgeteers.  A hobby is a way to occupy time with
> interesting tasks.  To some people that means playing with gadgets.  Fancy
> filters are great gadgets.

Till you get tired of messing with it and long for a simpler setup:-)
> Roger Miller

I agree 100%.
On that note, I have good news to report with my no filter plant tank.
It's a 25gallon with a 8 watt Aquanetics UV on the same timer as the light,
110 watts PC 6700K, 30lbs of flourite, CO2 reactor(on light timer) and a
small powerhead pushing the water through the UV.
It does work great and there's been nothing but good results with a number
of plants.
The UV prevents any GW occurrences if the NH4 level gets a little frisky. It
lowers the bacteria and rotifers present in the water column.
The water and the dirt level is very low, the water is extremely clear.
All in all, a better deal than a filter. Trade the filter for a UV? Perhaps.
I'm happy with the idea so far. I want to up the fish load till I hit a
break point.

I'm going to take some photo's soon on the tank.

Tom Barr