Bio Balls. Stay or Go


Reefing newb
Ive had the bio balls in ever since i started setting up and cycling the tank. My first major 20% water change is tomorrow (Saturday the 9th of January) as my other post. I got told by the fish shop to slowly take a handful at a time of bio balls out every 1-2 days. I'm not quite sure what i should do with the sump setup I have. Any help or suggestions of what i could do would be great.

Here is a picture of my sump at the present time. The Styrofoam is for the splash back, it was rolling down the sides of my sump to the bottom o f the cabinet so that solved that little problem.


Thanks for reading.
I had bio balls that came with my tank that I inherited from my brother. I ditched the bioballs (gradually). I've heard that if you really keep up with rinsing off half the bioballs everyweek or so, it should keep nitrates under control. I just didn't want to bother when there were other more useful media. But I've seen people still use some bioballs in addition to other filtration methods.
Being that you do not have the bioballs set up properly, you should put live rock rubble in there. Bioballs are part of a wet/dry trickle filter. They shoud not be underwater. They should be exposed to the air with water flowing down thru them.

This is an old shot of my wet/dry trickle filter I used for over 15 years when I had the 50g running and how bioballs should be placed.
Ya, something is wrong with the way you have that setup.
Like capt said, the water should trickle down over all the balls but they should not be submerged and there should be a lot more of them like in capt's pic.

But I would ditch them. Too much maintenance required and not the greatest way to go about it.
yeah like capt pointed out it is set up wrong, the purpose of the wet/dry is to have the water trickle over it to oxygenate the water, so if you keep the water at that level then a DSB and LR would be great
+1 to Capt. I didn't see the picture earlier. It wasn't loading. But I see it now, and it is pretty much no use if it's underwater like that. I had my intake trickling over it, then the water dripped into the sump from the bioball tray.
i hear people say that CC is a nitrate factory and that BB are a nitrate factory ... i have had BB & CC in my tank for over a year with no nitrate problems at all ... i have never rinsed off the BB and havent had any build up either ... with that said i am going to upgrade to a larger sump with a fuge and LR and will most likely be done with the BB's ... i guess some have more problems than others with it ... but even if i were to keep the BB i probably still wouldnt rinse them
when i had them i never cleaned them in 9 years and never had any problems with them either but that does not mean that they dont cause problems in some systems
Not quite understanding what i have to do, sorry.
Here is a pic of how my sump is at the moment.

If i take the filter media and bio balls out (gradually), do i put in sand and live rock in its place? wont that block the water from going through to the sponges?
Do i need a light on the sump ?
Can someone show me how this would be setup properly without bio balls?
Sorry for all the questions dont want to stuff anything, expecially with livestock in the tank :)
Thanks for all the comments and help so far.
ok is your sump made out of acrylic or glass? if it is acrylic you can drill holes in the side to allow the water to flow out or you will have to only use rock as the sand will block the water flow.
you dont have to but if you want the rock to grow coraline or if you want to have some macro alage in there than yes you need a light.
I think, when it comes to bioballs, crushed coral, etc, if you've already set it up and it works for you, and you don't have problems, great. You are doing something right. But for most people, it seems that they have problems with those things. So I don't recommend using them from the beginning, if you're setting up a tank new, because it does increase the chances of poor water quality. But if you've already got those things and don't have issues, then why change it?
I was wondering if i take out some of the sponges in the middle section and move the bio balls so they are getting water on them and not submerged would this be a better option? Would you recommend getting rid of the filter media (inlet) ?
I think if the bioballs are submerged then they are probably useless. I used LR rubble in my wet/dry trickle filter instead of the included BB's. Yeah you could take out some of the sponges, would there be any way you could have the sponges first at the inlet, above the current location of the bioballs?