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FAQs on Chemical Filtrants Use In Marine Filtration 2

Related FAQs: Chemical Filtrants 1, Zeolites, Marine Maintenance, Nitrates 2, Nitrates 3, Nitrates 4, Nitrates 5, Nitrates 6, NitritesAmmonia, Phosphate, Silicates, Biological Filtration, Fluidized Beds, Denitrification/Denitrifiers, Wet-Dry Filters, R.O./Distilled/Treated Water
FAQs on:Chemical Filtrants By Product Names/Manufacturer's: Chemi-Pure (Boyd Enterprises), PolyFilter (Poly-Bio-Marine), Purigen (SeaChem)

Related Articles: Marine Chemical Filtrants, Zeolite Filters: A Discussion of What Zeolites Are and How They Function by Jens Kallmeyer
The ZEOvit System: A New Concept in Reefkeeping by Alexander Girz

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Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Icp test questions      2/13/19
Have a few questions for you guys. Sent some tests to icp analysis.
What would be a source for sulfur in a tank.
<Foods mostly... the amino acids methionine, cysteine, homocysteine, and taurine in proteinaceous foods>
What’s a great way to remove it as we’re 1210 and it looks like 850 should be our goal.
<Mmm; well, how much sulfur is in your tap/source water? I'd test for this and remove that via commercial filtration. IF in the system itself, the best way is frequent partial water changes; done by gravel vacuuming... and avoiding adding (too) much food-containing sulfur in the first place. Having a high, steady RedOx is very helpful in oxidizing sulfur... Ozone (see WWM re) is the best method of production here... A good deal of activated carbon will remove sulfur; but this can be an expensive method.... There are other means, but I'm hesitant to suggest them on an open forum like WWM; for fear that folks may inadvertently kill their livestock. Bob Fenner>
Re: Icp test questions      2/13/19

> Have a few questions for you guys. Sent some tests to icp analysis.
> What would be a source for sulfur in a tank.
> <Foods mostly... the amino acids methionine, cysteine, homocysteine, and taurine in proteinaceous foods>
Ok the weird part is it is only a few tanks that we maintain but this one stood out as their ORP is 380 and all clients feed the same foods from limpits frozen food
<? Limpets; am unfamiliar>
will work on nutritional facts for you if you like. We did the tests as this client is losing corals like crazy even with normal tests coming out with standard readings . Alk 8-8.5 Mag 1350-1400 cal 450-475 no3 2-5. Only other thing weird on the tests were iodine 0ppm and bromine was .35 and goal 55
<... am hoping you don't use Ozone/O3 on this system with this bromine>
> What’s a great way to remove it as we’re 1210 and it looks like 850 should be our goal.
> <Mmm; well, how much sulfur is in your tap/source water? I'd test for this and remove that via commercial filtration. IF in the system itself, the best way is frequent partial water changes;
Current removal is an ro/di with mixed bed resin and silica buster. Could a deep sandbed lead to sulfur?
<Yes; anaerobic settings do>
We do run a 3-4” mud refugium.
done by gravel vacuuming... and avoiding adding (too) much food-containing sulfur in the first place. Having a high, steady RedOx is very helpful in oxidizing sulfur... Ozone (see WWM re) is the best method of production here
Ok we do run a 250 mg/per hour unit right now
<... the bromine with this can be VERY toxic. Is this "bromine" or another valence state?>
.. A good deal of activated carbon will remove sulfur; but this can be an expensive method.... There are other means, but I'm hesitant to suggest them on an open forum like WWM; for fear that folks may inadvertently kill their livestock. Bob Fenner>
Thanks again for everything Bob
Tom Smith
Aquascape Chicago
<Glad to share Tom. BobF>

Chemical Filtrants: Too clean the cause of problems?
Hi Crew!
<Hey Dani>
My 28g is about 3 years old but I rebooted it in May—so it’s trying to mature out still. Stats to start: -LED 89w par intensity up to 700, lights on for 7 hours
<Aim for a longer period,10 hrs. will be far better>
-2 returns @ 266 gal each -1k icecap gyre at 700 gph peak -SG 1.025 -Am 0 -Nitrite 0 -Nitrate <10 -Alk 10 -Calcium 475 -Mag 1400 -Test bi weekly with Salifert & dose Seachem reef builder, calcium, & magnesium. -10% weekly water change with Red Sea -I only feed frozen twice a week (half cube typically) with a small broadcast of zooplankton (1-2ml), pellets 4 days, and no food on water change day. -skim aggressively with a Aquamaxx HOB 1.5
<Sounds good so far>
I am wondering about your thoughts on if I actually remove my chemical filtrants...carbon media and/or Polyfilter?
<Better to use more natural means>
My theory is that perhaps these chemical filtrants are removing essential elements for my livestock and possibly inhibiting my beneficial bacteria from settling in.
<Couldn´t agree more here, I would use carbon just a few days per month just to “polish” the water.>
I’ve read in forums where “too clean” water is actually suspect causes of Cyano or corals struggling. I remember years ago when I ran tanks on just liverock rubble in the chamber and skimming alone with much success. I seem to have difficulty getting my tank to stabilize completely. The tank will look great but as I approach water change day, it’ll start to get nuisance algae like Cyano, my corals have growth stunts, or my shrimp have bad molts.
<Phosphates may be above safety levels, keep them at 0.13 ppm tops>
I posit the chemical filtrants are possibly interfering with the beneficial bacteria somehow, moreover stripping trace elements out of the water. My fear is removing the chemical filtrants and sticking new LR rubble in the media basket could also go another route and allow the nuisance algae to take off.
I do keep a variety of macro algae in the tank to help compete against the nuisance algae.
<This is a good idea but will work much better in an inverted light cycle>
Also, once every other month I am sand rinsing some part of my substrate, as vacuuming it doesn’t seem to get the detritus really out, but it seems excessive that I would need to do this.
<You don’t need to; I would use a DSB. Add more sand, about 3” and just vacuum the layer on top every time you do maintenance chores, this way you would let anaerobic bacteria to grow naturally and keep nitrate levels at safe levels.>
In summary, I have a very intense cleaning regimen—sand rinses, weekly vacuuming, turkey basting rocks, scrubbing little rocks of green hair algae, chemical filtrants—to try to rid the tank of any latent nitrate sources but not sure if that in itself is impacting my livestock negatively.
<You are certainly stressing over your livestock (beneficial bacteria included).>
I appreciate any words of wisdom!
Dani Conner

Re: Chemical Filtrants: Too clean the cause of problems?
Sorry one more thing. Would it be ok to add liverock rubble to my soon to be empty media baskets? I’ll have regular filter floss on top that I’ll rinse out daily.
<That´s a pretty good idea, just remember that nitrifying bacteria will grow better if the live rock rubble is fully submerged.>
Re: Chemical Filtrants: Too clean the cause of problems?

Hi Wilberth!
<Hi Dani>
Thank you for the feedback.
<You´re welcome>
I’d love to run my lights longer, but I do not have a chiller so my tank can’t handle anything longer than the 7 hours. It peaks at 82-84 F by hour 7. I’m from Florida, so I switched my lights to turn on at night and run the AC significantly cooler to help me run the lights especially during our summer.
<Ok, I get it, If possible give Led´s a try, these produce zero heat.>
My old photoperiod was 5.5 hours before the reboot so this is at least an improvement although slight. Follow up questions if you’d be so kind:
If I do have phosphates, would removing the chemical filtrants possibly exacerbate the issue?
<No, just increase a bit the amount of water changed every week and you´ll be fine here. You may also export them by other means. Try growing macro algae in a remote unit like a reactor, there are units lighted by Led strips, a HOB filter will also work for this purpose.>
Also, if I do see Cyano or nuisance algae start to return, do I grit my teeth, contain my OCD, and just let my system attempt to balance it out then and wait till water change day to try to siphon out?
<If you reduce the phosphates to the recommended levels you won´t have to worry>
I only do a 10% change under the advisement here to try to “age” as much water as possible, but doesn’t give me much time to siphon before I have to cut it off.
<Try a bit more, maybe 15% and restrict the water flow by squeezing the hose with your fingers while siphoning out.>
I did slope my substrate towards the back during my last water change, allowing my Caulerpa prolifera to take hold over it there, whereas the front half is merely a thin aesthetic layer now. I have burrowing livestock and don’t want them possibly stirring up noxious chemicals into my nano, as I don’t think it could handle it.
<Don´t worry about this, your burrowing livestock will not disturb the sand that much, actually it is beneficial to the substrate the mild stirring that they do.>
Do you think the sloping should be sufficient and I’ll just vacuum the front? I don’t plan to really mess with the area the prolifera is in which is the entire back.
<Try the DSB in the whole bottom and you´ll be very pleased with the results, just give it time to establish (about a month or so.)
I’m very excited to try this more natural approach, already removed the Polyfilter,<Good> and plan to remove carbon on next week’s change, trying to go slow. Thank you for your support!
<Anytime Dani>

Re: Chemical Filtrants: Too clean the cause of problems?      9/17/18
Hi there!
<Hey Dani>
I still have undetectable phosphates or nitrates in my 28g. I now have 7 fish, feed pellets 4x a week during day, fresh 2x a week, and broadcast 6x week 1 ml of zoo and oyster feast combo. I don’t feed on water change day. I removed the chem filtrants over a month ago and added more sand to my sand bed. My water changes were reduced to 10% a month ago too.
Do you think I should just broadcast more at night maybe? Or should I possibly try a bi weekly water change schedule?
<I advise you to change no more than 10% weekly>
My SPS are surviving but they are definitely not in any hurry to grow. Any advice would be appreciated.
<My guess here is that lighting may be a limiting growing factor too.>
Right now tank param.s are:
9 dkh
450 cal
1350 Mag
0 phos
0 nitrates
1.025 spg
<Have you try another test kit? readings are probably inaccurate with the ones you are currently using. I have not seen yet phosphate and nitrate levels that low with the stock and feeding regime you describe.>

Re: Chemical Filtrants: Too clean the cause of problems?     9/18/18
Hi Wilberth!
<Hi there, Dani!>
Yeah I have been trying the reduced water changed at 10% weekly for over a month. To my surprise, the tank seems to be more balanced that way with nuisance algae almost completely gone. That’s why I was thinking perhaps reducing the frequency to 10% bi-weekly
<Sounds good>
especially since I am having challenges attaining a nutrient build up anyway. The lighting on my system is equivalent to a 150 watt HQI 14K canopy system with PAR ranging from 120 at the bottom to 960 at the very top inch.
<Ok, a lack of illumination, discarded>
I was so doubtful, I actually double checked the tests with my local fish stores as well.
In the nano tank discussion group I am in, one theory is maybe because I house macro algae. I have a fast growing frag of blue Ochtodes, flame tipped dragon’s breath (softball sized), Caulerpa prolifera (runs along entire back of tank), a small rose petal macro, golf ball sized Padina, baseball sized Halimeda, a small bottle brush, baseball sized Codium, and the unconfirmed Rhodophyte which is maybe tennis ball sized gathered all together.
<Well, no doubt, that bunch of algae is using the available nutrients(phosphates-nitrates, in this case) for growing. Why don´t you trim algae to 50% and see if this way nutrients raise to required levels?

Re: Chemical Filtrants: Too clean the cause of problems?     9/18/18
Hi Wilberth!
<Hi there, Dani!>
Yeah I have been trying the reduced water changed at 10% weekly for over a month. To my surprise, the tank seems to be more balanced that way with nuisance algae almost completely gone. That’s why I was thinking perhaps reducing the frequency to 10% bi-weekly
<Sounds good>
especially since I am having challenges attaining a nutrient build up anyway. The lighting on my system is equivalent to a 150 watt HQI 14K canopy system with PAR ranging from 120 at the bottom to 960 at the very top inch.
<Ok, a lack of illumination, discarded>
I was so doubtful, I actually double checked the tests with my local fish stores as well.
In the nano tank discussion group I am in, one theory is maybe because I house macro algae. I have a fast growing frag of blue Ochtodes, flame tipped dragon’s breath (softball sized), Caulerpa prolifera (runs along entire back of tank), a small rose petal macro, golf ball sized Padina, baseball sized Halimeda, a small bottle brush, baseball sized Codium, and the unconfirmed Rhodophyte which is maybe tennis ball sized gathered all together.
<Well, no doubt, that bunch of algae is using the available nutrients(phosphates-nitrates, in this case) for growing. Why don´t you trim algae to 50% and see if this way nutrients raise to required levels?

Reactor question       4/12/18
Hey Bob. Hope you’re doing well.
<Thanks John; still hobbling about>
I wanted your opinion on something. I have a reef Octopus 2 chamber CA reactor that I’m going to convert into a bio pellet and carbon reactor.
<Can be done>
My plan is to use chamber one which is a recirculating chamber to tumble the pellets. Chamber one will drain into chamber 2 which is NOT a recirculating chamber and fill it with carbon.
Is there any down side into pushing effluent from bio pellets over carbon? Would it decrease the desired effect of the pellet effluent?
<No real downside here in the short or long haul. I myself prefer to use the carbon in Dacron bags (better for changing and keeping in place; trust me here), or just buy it in bags, like Chemi-pure. If you're using more than one bag, you can switch out the older one next interval.>
Thanks for the great advice.
<Always glad to toss in my dos centavos. Bob Fenner>
Re: Reactor question       4/12/18

Great. Thanks Bob. The only real reservation I had was that I know most people like to run the pellet effluent near the skimmer intake and that would really be <not?> possible with this application. Also I didn’t know if the slime that the pellets sometimes sloth off would gum the carbon up.
<All good questions, concerns. The only "proof" here will be putting all the gear in place and running it John. There is still some credible percentage of art vs. technology in ornamental aquaristics>
Thanks again! Take care of that knee.
<Out to the Sports Med. doc. in the AM; thank you. B>
Re: Reactor question       4/12/18

I don’t know the nature of the injury with your knee, but if you haven’t already done so, try some Tiger Balm. The stuff is amazing.
<Am a fan of this product, line>
It really took away the pain in my shoulders far better than any pill. It’s anti-inflammatory properties are incredible.
Good luck,
<Thank you for your input, concern John. Means much. BobF>

Hello wet web crew!
Is there any reason why I can't use charcoal and GFO's in my HOB filter?    11/8/12

<Mmm, no; as good a place as any. However, both media do have their potential downsides. I'd have you search, read on WWM re>
I'm running a 75 gallon reef tank with skimmer, fuge and HOB filter.
No sump (yet!)
<Ah; I would add>
Thanks guys.
<Welcome. BobF>

NPX Bio Pellets    6/16/11
Hi Bob,
Could you post this in the dailies so others will learn from my experience.
<Will definitely do so. Thank you for the input. BobF>
If you are considering using the Two Little Fishies Phosban Reactor 150 for dry vodka dosing, choose a pump of at least 350gph. A MaxiJet 1200 or other similar gph pumps will not be strong enough to tumble more than 150ml of pellets. If your system only requires 150ml or less, the MaxiJet will be fine. This reactor can handle a maximum of 300ml of pellets and a stronger pump will be required. I recommend the Mag Drive 3 for this purpose.
Never start with the full dose of pellets (100ml per 25 gallons recommended) or within three days you will have a bacterial bloom like you have never seen before. This is more prone to happen in systems with
nitrate levels exceeding 20ppm. Always start with no more than half of the recommended dose. After four weeks you can gradually add a little more every week until you reach your maximum dose. Do not add more pellets if the water is slightly cloudy from a bacterial bloom, it will likely get worse, wait until the water clears.

Re Upgraded Tank, starting to get an interest in Corals, am scared of making the wrong decisions! Also a quick question on water storage. 4/15/2011- 4/24/2011
<Hello Martyn>
My apologies on the spelling/capitalisation on the previous email, I suffer from dyslexia, and although my spell checker and some extra diligence on my part manages to grab most things, sometimes things slip through especially capitalised proper nouns for me. I just find it hard to see them in a big block of text!
<No problem.>
Anyway, thank you for your help, I have two more question I would like to pose to you.
I mentioned I run ROWAPhos, in your opinion would I be better buying a cheap fluidized reactor and running it in that rather than the external filter?
Does it tend to go further that way?
<I do not believe it goes further in a reactor unless your external filter is not a canister filter. The use of a reactor frees up your external filter so you can use carbon or other chemical media.>
The second is about Purigen, I have read conflicting reports, but am considering using it until such time as I can appropriate a skimmer. What are your opinions on this product?
<Purigen is not a mixture of ion exchangers or adsorbents such as carbon, but more so a macro-porous synthetic polymer that removes soluble and insoluble impurities from water.
I guess I'd call it artificial carbon. The plus side of Purigen is that it is renewable by soaking in a bleach/water mixture. I have used/tried Purigen but I like the results of using Chemipure which is a combination of activated carbon and ion exchange resins and is rather inexpensive when purchased through etailers.>
Kind regards
<And Happy Easter to you, Martyn. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Upgraded Tank, starting to get an interest in Corals, am scared of making the wrong decisions! Also a quick question on water storage. 4/15/2011- 4/24/2011
Hi James, thanks for your reply
<Hello Martyn, and you're welcome.>
Im not worried about freeing up baskets (I've got six! more worried trying to fill them!)
So ill forgo the fluidized reactor for now and save the cash towards a skimmer, from everything I'm reading on my budget the compact Deltec's seem to be the way to go.
<Yes, Deltec has a good reputation, a good product that will further increase your water quality.>
Chemi-pure seems to be difficult to get in the UK ... but if I see any I'll give it a go.
<A good grade of carbon is a good second option.>
I have read about soaking the Purigen in bleach to regenerate it, but the thought of bleach ++ aquarium equipment scares the hell out of me!
Even so, I guess its got to be worth the cost savings.
<The charged Purigen must be rinsed well in freshwater after charging. I just smell the bag after rinsing and if I detect any odor of bleach I just rinse again until no odor exists. I found it to be a hassle and not worth the effort.>
Is the Chemi-pure rechargeable?
<No, but it generally will last for three months before replacement is needed. I'll link you to their web site and you can contact them and see if the product is available in the UK.
http://www.chemi-pure.com/index.html >
Kind regards
<Ditto. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Upgraded Tank, starting to get an interest in Corals, am scared of making > the wrong decisions! Also a quick question on water storage. 4/15/2011- 4/24/2011
Many thanks!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Bio Enzyme  3/29/11
I got a recommendation from a very trustworthy source (a contributor to this site) (XXXX.org, delete this reference <done>) to add AquaBella bio-enzyme to my system. I trust your advice to only add what I test for. Do you have any experience with this product?
<I do not>
What is your opinion of it?
<I see quite a few references to this product's aquarium use through searching in Google, including notable, in-the-know etailers. I do think it's use is fine. Bob Fenner>
Is there any way to test for the effects of it?
<Measures of nutrient... NO3, HPO4... baseline tests w/ and w/o...>
Re: Bio Enzyme  3/29/11
Thank you.
<Welcome Astrid. BobF>

Extra water movement required ?  11/4/10
Hello :
<Hello Dave>
I am looking for some comments and advice regarding a reef tank, I have a 150 gallon reef tank with a sump filtration system, where there is a ASM G@ Protein Skimmer and a RIO 26 HF return pump. My sump measures 32 x18 x 18 .
I am also hanging a bag of charcoal and a bag with a phosphate remover, my question is do you recommend the charcoal and phosphate chemical to be housed in a submersible filter assembly and to pump water thru the media,
or hanging a back filter assembly on the sump and running water thru the media in this unit
<This can work fine, but is not as efficient>
or installing a power head to created a larger current mix or just to leave the bags hanging in the water will suffice . Any assistance or comments would be appreciated Thank you
<If in the sump, then hanging the bag will be fine>

Purigen Seachem  4/24/10
Hi crew,
<Hi Pat>
I've been reading good things about Purigen Seachem. Have any of you had any experience with this product?
<Yes. This is a popular product and many, including on here, endorse it's use. However, I found it awkward to re-charge (using the bleach) and it did seem to turn permanently brown quite quickly. I don't bother now, and just stick with carbon which seems to work just fine. If you want something fancy then I do think the Poly-Filters are better products, although they are just one use>.
<No worries. Have a read through here for some more, mostly different, views: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/filtrant.htm>

R7: Green Hair Algae Problem (Ready to quit!), & Polyfilter/Chem Filt. media f'  -- 09/07/09
Hi Eric:
<<Hey Cindy>>
I really do not want to take up to much more of your site time and space. You are just so darn helpful and I need to be organized before the show, here goes another couple of thousand dollars.
I recently bought a book called the Conscientious Marine Aquarist (seems more current then most my other books) which I was reading last night.
<<Ah yes'¦authored by Bob Fenner here at WWM>>
They mention those Poly-Bio Marine Filter Pads there, a favorite of advanced hobbyists such as yourself apparently.
<<An excellent product'¦very useful'¦all should have a few on hand for contingencies, if not just daily use'¦>>
When I told Jim exactly what I was after, he too knew right away and highly recommended the pads as well.
<<Ah good'¦must admit I was a bit perplexed when you stated earlier that he didn't know what they were>>
I ordered 6 packages since they only seem to come in 3x 10 sheets.
<<Ah no'¦ Can be obtained in 12'x12' sheets, and though harder to find these days, also in 3' discs (12pk)'¦with both of these being stronger concentrations/formulations than the 3'x10' pads. But not to worry'¦the 3'x10' pads will work very well for you. Do take a little time to research the site/product and learn a bit more re their use/function>>
At least I know I can get them through him.
<<Very good>>
I haven't seen them in my catalogs under ion exchange or filter medias.
<<Hmm, should be'¦ Perhaps under 'chemical media'>>
Why he didn't tell me about them sooner is part of my frustration sometimes with him but he is by far the best game in town and only 1 1/2 hours away.
<<Yikes'¦still a long haul>>
He isn't always as helpful as he could be.
<<Can't always 'think of everything''¦ask me, I know [grin]>>
Part of my frustration is "lack of availability" in this area.
<<This is where learning/using the Internet is of great value>>
I have traveled hours in the past in search of a good supplier only to find their tanks look even worse than mine.
<<Indeed'¦nothing more perplexing than to walk in to a store to see tanks in disarray'¦dying/dead fish on display>>
The stores we do have cater more towards the average hobbyist (not that there is anything wrong with that but product lines are often limited for example I like much of Brightwell Aquatic's product line) but anything specialized I might need I ALWAYS have to special order.
<<Okay'¦I'll say it again'¦ Internet'¦>>
I am trying to take advantage of the show next weekend and the discounts they offer. The more info I can gather.......... Bob is right, I have only been online for three weeks now so I need to do much exploring.
<<Ah! Yes'¦ Much to explore/learn>>
I do not blame Bob at all; I know he is only trying to encourage me to continue in my research. I know I have things I need to work on. It is not that I am not trying heart and soul on my own. Jim told me I just need to determine who seems to be in most agreement on topics and go with the overall consensus because it can become so confusing.
<<But not to follow blindly'¦ The onus is on you to at least understand the arguments>>
I had always wondered about light duration. I was told to only leave my lights on about 8 hours.
<<And some reef enthusiasts do this'¦bit I think it should be longer, as explained>>
I run my lights on my planted tanks 12 hours, even the one with metal halide lighting.
I always wondered why less for a reef!
I'll up the timers.
Can I run my frag tank on the same light interval as my reef itself or should it be on alternating.
<<Up to you'¦but an alternating schedule (since these systems are interconnected) may provide some pH support>>
I have read the refugium has to be on alternating time intervals
<<Doesn't have to be, but can be beneficial for the same reason just stated>>
but then again some stuff I have read recommends 24 hour lighting on the refugium.
<<This is dependent on the type macroalgae utilized (if/when utilized). Most Caulerpa species are best kept under such lighting to preclude any 'sexual' events that can poison a system. But if using Chaetomorpha (my choice/recommendation) in a refugium, a 'rest period' is beneficial>>
See things like this confuse me
<<Merely requires further reading/researching>>
and I do not no where to find a good reliable source until I found you. I'm willing to spend the money, invest my time and do the research but sometimes I just don't know where to look.
<<I do understand'¦and it 'will' become easier in time>>
Re- Generators'¦ Please fellow hobbyists: I hope no one ever has to go through the total loss of a reef. Eric is absolutely right. The investment in a generator (small in comparison) by far outweighs the cost of losing a reef system to say nothing of your time and work investment.
<<Well said>>
Calculate that into the total cost of your basic set-ups, you'll likely be glad you did. All it can take is 1/2 hour before you are into serious biological breakdown, especially within your canister filters. If in the event of a long term power outage disconnect all your canister filters and remove the hoses because you know they are gone anyway and will need to recycle, clean and be totally refreshed. Stale water in hoses pumped into your system once power is restored can easily kill a delicate tank. If push comes to shove and you can't afford much by way of a generator, get enough of a generator that you can keep your heaters running and install airstones to keep oxygen going to your live rock, and stock.
<<Really'¦all that is 'needed' is enough power to pump water from the sump to the display, and/or to run a powerhead or two (if you don't have a sump) along with your heater(s)>>
Small generators can usually power a compact florescent set-up but not always a halide lighting system.
<<The lighting can wait anyway>>
They really suck "generator juice". Re- the refugium/sump: I think I may be putting the cart before the horse here Eric so I need you to tell me if I am wrong. I planned on using the overflow water from the reef itself (hence the use of a multi directional spray bar to defuse the water pressure coming down from the reef) to feed water into the refugium (remind you I have the FX5 working on the reef itself).
<<Ah, okay'¦this is fine'¦though the use of the spray bar should not be necessary and may even cause unwanted restriction/trapping of particulates>>
The refugium itself would be lighted and the waterfall would go into the sump.
I have well established substrate in the sump complete with sand sifter star fish, sea cucs etc. which I planned on putting into the refugium along with some live rock. The sump would basically only contain the protein skimmer (which is a foot in diameter) pumps and anything else you recommend.
<<Ah good'¦best to keep the sump and refugium separate when possible'¦in my opinion>>
I did not plan on lighting the sump too because of its close proximity to the frag tank.
<<And not necessary or even desirable (re algae accumulation in the skimmer body/other ancillary filtration devices) in most instances>>
Oh yea, planted is definitely the freshwater equivalent of a reef, especially if you use metal halide lighting and keep delicate fish!!! The Netherlands!!!! You know planted aquariums don't you Eric?
<<Mmm, not really'¦ That was three decades ago (Yowza!), and I've been totally committed to marine/reef systems for the last two now>>
They wrote the book!
<<They were plentiful there/then'¦and beautiful too>>
I am sorry this is so long-winded. I didn't expect to hear from you again.
<<We do respond to 'all'>>
"Thanks Eric"
<My pleasure Cindy'¦ Eric Russell>>

Large Green Hairy Mushroom Problem, Tropical Sciences, et al. HPO4 filtrant products  12/02/08 Greetings, <Salutations> I've had a large green hairy mushroom for about a year now and it has been doing great. However, I recently used a phosphate pad <... all life needs some phosphate...> from a company called Tropical Science and had very poor results that I think have affected the mushroom. The pad came sealed in bag, but saturated with a ferric hydroxide solution and who knows what else. I should have known better, but I placed the pad in the filter stream of the tank. The water began to immediately cloud up and the mushroom and other corals began closing. I ignorantly left the pad in and after a few hours the water cleared somewhat and corals began opening partially. I left the pad in for a day and then removed it, followed by activated carbon and a 25% water change. Ever since then the large hairy mushroom will not open fully like it did previously. It will open about halfway, but that's it. Today I saw filaments coming from its mouth which I know is not a good sign. I lost one other coral after using the phosphate pad, but all others have recovered fully (open brain, some polyps, some other mushrooms, and a plate coral). Is the large mushroom doomed? <No... that it is opening at all... is still alive, is a good sign> Don't know what else to do here, but I don't want the mushroom to begin melting and polluting the tank. <Mmm, do you have another system to move it to?> I used to feed this guy every week and it seemed like a very hardy species. I'm not sure now after the phosphate pad incident. By the way, the Tropical Science phosphate pads are a complete joke. <Mmm, don't know much re this particular product. Was at a hobbyist pitch years back where someone... (Steve?) gave a talk re their (he worked for the company), and he seemed quite knowledgeable. But, if you take a read through WWM, my public writings, you'll find I am not a fan of these sorts of chemical filtrants period> They are sold on many websites. It's basically a kitchen sponge soaked in ferric chloride and some type of hydroxide to supposedly yield ferric hydroxide. It's a messy product and damages corals. I confirmed it raises pH dramatically by soaking a pad in a bucket of tank water and seeing the pH go from 8.2 to 9.0. <Yikes!> A truly useless and dangerous product. I have switched to Rowaphos pads with no problems. <This product/line/manufacturer is highly regarded internationally> It really irks me to see a vendor package and market a dysfunctional product. <Have you written them (Tropical Science)? I would> Ah, enough ranting, any advice on the hairy mushroom? Thanks, Greg <Just to provide stable, optimized circumstances... keep offering it food... and stay away from chemical filtrants... i.e, re the last, look to other means to limit nutrient. Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/nutrientcontrol.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

HELPP!! Poisoned system... Chem. trtmt. of BGA... no reading     9/20/08 How are y'all doing? So I have a HUGE problem, all seeming to have to do with that "red slime killer" stuff. so I had a BIT of an inherited slime problem. I got 200 lb of live rock FREE that had a red slime problem. I didn't complain seeing as how I just got 1000+ dollars of free stuff. <Free is as free does...> ANYWAYS so the red slime was acting red slimy, I would suck it off, 2 hours later it would be back. So I got tired of this and gave in to the easiness of that yellow powder. <... live and burn> It has worked WONDERFULLY, but its working too well, and has killed ALL of my coral and my anemone AND IS STARTING TO KILL MY MUSHROOMS TOO!!!! It has also killed my flame angel ( that came with the rock) and a grey trigger with a yellow tail ( that also came with the rock). and ALL of this death has been in just about a week. And now all my fish are acting strangely. my clownfish ( who had been hosting in the coral) are looking sad and mopey, and my other tangs just disappear for the longest time. WTF IS GOING ON??? <... poisoned> i had my parameters checked by my LFS ( i cant afford the test) but the only thing that was bad was that my nitrates were a little high. do you think the red slime killer effed up the water chemistry OR removed some of the O2 content in the water? It said on the box that it MIGHT do that. And also, do you think i would have a case if I went after the company for killing my fish? <Worth investigating> OH also, that trigger died JUST like my other trigger did, except WAY quicker. he had a red throat and no teeth and had the wormie thingies coming out of his mouth, just like my old niger trigger did. now what gets my goat is that i have a Picasso trigger that hasn't died yet. weird? i think so. what do you guys think? thanks alot <No such word> Mat <Read? Here?: http://wetwebmedia.com/maralgcidefaqs.htm Oh, why not... and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Use of Purigen/Carbon/Polyfilter and Algae 8/6/08 Good Evening, <Hello Sean.> I have been battling some green hair algae problems and it was recommended to me by one of your crew (M. Maddox) to use Purigen, activated carbon, phosphate sponge and Polyfilter. <I would pick one of these, not the phosphate sponge. Running all of this will do too much and start a whole new set of issues. The best course of action would be to find the fuel source for the algae and control it.> I do regular 7 gallon weekly (at least) water changes with only RO water. I also picked up a protein skimmer (CPR SR3) which has been up and running about 2 weeks now. My question is does Purigen require water to be forced through it like carbon and phos sponge? The directions don't say anything specific like the phos sponge and carbon directions do. <You will need to flow water through it, yes.> Also I have an 29gallon Oceanic BioCube and I'm trying to find places to stuff the media bags. Would it be in my best interest to use a canister filter or would stuffing media bags into high flow areas accomplish the same thing? <This is one point of consideration re which media. If you do not have a suitable space for bagged media, the Polyfilter is a good choice. Really, there is no need to run both.> Also can/should I mix different medias together into a single bag and put it in high flow (I know this won't apply to phos sponge because it needs to be removed in 2 days)? <You could mix, but doing so takes away your opportunity to remove one or the other if need be.> Also how much of these medias can/should I use (not much indication on directions)? <A few tablespoons of carbon is all for a system this size. The Polyfilter can be cut to fit your filtration on the tank, this will force the water to flow through the filter.> I have heard that carbon can potentially bleach corals. Is this true? <It some systems the sudden use of too much of these filtrants can cause shock, both chemically and physically; lighting intensity increase due to increased water clarity.> Thanks for any and all help! Best regards, Sean <Welcome, I have included a link below for you. This will give you the general idea behind what to look for battling the algae. Good luck, Scott V.> http://www.wetwebmedia.com/algaeconMar.htm

Carbon, Phos, Nitrate reactor. 5/12/08 Hello, hope all is well. <Is on my end for the most part.> I have an off the wall question for you guys. Is there and such thing as over cleaning and Saltwater tank. <Hee, can be.> I have recently put a Phosban, Nitrate, and carbon reactor on my 140 and was wondering if there was a issue with doing such. <Again, can be!> In addition there is a Aqua C 180 and a Cal reactor as well. The reactors are all Two Little Fishes and all are set to a low flow. I've seen many tanks with Phos and carbon, but very few with Nitrate. I figured it couldn't hurt, but now have wondered if it is a little much. Any help would be great. <Do be aware that life forms do require some soluble phosphate and many of the phosphate removing media are too effective! Do test your levels and use only when they are getting too high. For the nitrate reactor, you will honestly be better served with a DSB and/or macroalgae refugium. These units can work, I just like to let the system naturally work for you!> Thanks Matthew. <Welcome.> Life Is A Reef ><((((¸><((((º> <Love the signature, Scott V.>

Chemi-Pure Overuse... lack of reading re chemical filtrants, Crypt...   3/6/08 Hello All, <Jackie> I am wondering if my tank may have suffered from carbon shock. About 3 weeks ago I added Chemi-pure to my sump. <Mmm, even this high-quality product gets "used up" fairly quickly... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/chemFiltrMar.htm and the linked files above> I have a 90 gallon reef tank that has been up and running for a little over a year. About a week after adding the Chemi-pure I noticed that my Kole Eye Tang was looking a little pale. A few days later he looked as though he may have developed ich (I think I noticed about 5 or so white dots). I decided to keep an eye on him for a couple of days (in the mean time I setup my QT tank). Roughly two days later my Yellow Tang had a few white dots (which I'll assume was ich). I was able to catch the Kole Eye Tang and move him to my QT tank treated with Cupramine (spelling)<Corrected>. The QT tank salinity, temp, and PH matched the main tank. I was not able to catch the Yellow Tang. <... if there is a protozoan infestation, all fishes need to be captured, moved... Draining the tank/system if necessary, most practical> The next day Kole was upside down pressed against the filter. At this point I'm very leery of adding other fish to the QT tank (I'm sure you think I'm crazy). <... is not a QT, but a treatment tank...> It's been a few days and Yellow no longer has the white dots. <Cycling... will be back... see WWM re Cryptocaryon life-cycle... treatment possibilities> However, she is very pale about the face. Back to the Chemi-pure. The product I purchased supports a 200 gal tank. I was not aware when I purchased it that you can't split it up. So, I called Boyd Chemi-pure and explained my dilemma. He said that I could still use the 200 units in my 90 gal without adversely effecting the tank inhabitants. <I concur> I'm now wondering if he gave me sound advise. <Advice> Is it a coincidence that my fish started to stress out shortly after adding the Chemi-pure? <Likely so, yes> If not, should I remove the Chemi-pure? Not sure if removing it will also cause additional stress. Can too much carbon adversely affect my corals and inverts? <Mmm, can... read where you were referred to... but not likely in otherwise well-set-up and maintained systems> They seem to be doing fine at this point. Thanks, Jackie <Read... then act, but soon. Bob Fenner>

Re: Water chemistry question 2/23/08 Sorry for bugging you again, forgot to ask the greenish brown color the PolyFilter does that suggest its a regular organic compound like ammonia, nitrates and others? <Green is often metallic... brown... most anything. BobF>

Re: Water chemistry question, PolyFilter f'  - 3/5/08 Ok, last update/last question. I've been moved into my house for a few days, my tank is still in my apartment. I was in my apartment last night at about 3am because I got a call from the property manager that water was leaking to the apartment below; my float valves failed and the pump sent 5 gallons of fresh water into my sump that overflowed 4 gallons of water to the apartment below. Anyway while I was there disconnecting the sump from the main tank I noticed that the poly-filter is now half green and half red. Is the red color stand for iron in the water? <Typically ferrous material... iron rust> If so could the tufa base rock have leached the toxic chemical into my good Fiji rock or should i not worry about that? <Tufas are indeed often problematical. Do a search on WWM to see...> I appreciate the help you've given me and I can understand now that if the chemical is iron how bad that could affect my tank. <Ah yes. Cheers, BobF>

Please Advise, Chemipure SW use or not    12/9/07 Just checking the following set up is ok. I have a fish only 1000L tank with sump filtration. The skimmer being used is a Deltec AP-701. The outlet of this skimmer is directed into the last compartment of the sump, along with the main return pump. Along with the skimmer I am using a Sander C200 and a Pin Point ORP controller. I also have an Eheim canister that contains 10 units of Chemi-Pure, the inlet and outlet hoses are also placed in the last compartment of the sump. <Mmm, I'd move the intake to a more anterior compartment> I change the carbon out at around 6 months as I have a low bio load. <And likely label some how the Chemi-pure bags... and switch out two oldest for new every month...> Do you think that the carbon will expire fast due to the use of the ozone. <Mmm, no> Was thinking of removing the Eheim and only using the ozone, or would you recommend to continue using the Chemi-Pure?. <Well... depends... on what you are hoping to "get" by its use... and if you sense you're "getting it"... Likely the Carbon plus resin product is improving water clarity, removing some undesirable materials... but "enough" to satisfy you? The Eheim is likely "no fun" to service... You could leave off with its use and see if there is a difference... Bob Fenner> Regards Alan

Poly-Filter Over Carbon...Too Aggressive? -- 09/17/07 Dear Crew, <<Alan>> Been thinking of using only Poly-Filter instead of activated carbon because of cost concern. <<Is a great product...use it myself>> Can Poly-Filter do the "duty" of activated carbon? <<Yep>> Read that Poly-Filter will also absorb ammonia and nitrate but by doing so, won't it affect the biological filtration by means of starving the beneficial bacteria? <<Mmm, you pose an interesting question...but one of little concern I think. It is true the bacteria populations will adjust to the available nutrient load, but most hobbyists' systems can use a little help re. The benefits of using the Poly-Filter product will outweigh your fears here...in my opinion>> Thanks in advance. Regards, Alan <<Happy to assist. EricR>>

Algone, free Jellies   8/6/07 Hi. I have 2 questions pls. 1) Does Algone work in all ways it says it does? <According to the companies posted info., the folks who re-sell it, and many users, yes> 2) I started my refugium just less than a month ago...Is there such a thing as some sort of jellyfish to hatch in my refugium? <Oh, yes> they look & swim like them. They look like aliens, are about 1mm or a bit smaller & are invisible with 1 white dot on its head & few white dots??? Ghulam <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/jellyidfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>
Re: Algone 8/7/07
Thanks for the info Bob. You guys are much great help & an amazing site. I just found it a month ago & cant get enough of it! Thanx again. <Thank you my friend. Please do relate your personal experiences with this product should you use it. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Chem. filtr., SW, Carbon  7/13/07 Hi there! <Hello Nicolas> I just want to say thank you very much for the wonderful site you guys have! You have always answered my questions very quickly, and for that I am in your debt! :) <thank you!> My shrimp just molted and I'm extremely excited. Ha. <Congrats!> Anyways, I have a question about Chemical filtration.  I have a 30g with two clowns, the cleaner shrimp, 6 hermits, and a couple of polyp colonies. Would it be overkill to use to containers of Chemi pure in my canister filter? <I believe that one container of Dick Boyd's Chemi-Pure will be more than enough. It is rated for use for 3 months, however I recommend that it be changed out every 30 days. This prevents the media from becoming saturated with any one substance that it is removing. In heavily stocked systems I rinse the product once a week in freshwater, but that won't be necessary for you. What I would recommend is that you add a phosphate removing resin in the form of an iron oxide product. (Phosban, Phos-Pure, Rowaphos, PhosAr) to aid in the removal of phosphates and other dissolved organic compounds. With any reef tank, please make sure that your fresh water source is filtered via RO/DI to remove any nutrients before being used in the aquarium. With the use of these 2 products in a canister filter and regular water changes you will be treated to a beautiful, healthy aquarium!> Thank you very much! <No problem, Rich aka Mr. Firemouth>

Heavy Nutrient Issues and Refugium Questions.  -- 05/07/07 Greetings, <Jason.>      I have a few questions about my refugium.   <Okay.> I have a 60 gallon FOWLR with a sand bed ~4 inches deep. I've added on a CPR Refugium to help reduce our nitrate levels which have come down from 80 to 40 over the past 6 months or so since I added the refugium.   <Still very high though, I would be supplementing with frequent and large water changes my friend. As well as trying to find out what the source is; to much livestock? Overfeeding? Not enough water changes? Poor source water? A Build up of nutrients or detritus somewhere in the system? Are you using a protein-skimmer?> The refugium itself has about a 3 inch sand bed with some live rock and some Chaetomorpha.  So here are my questions: 1.  I can't seem to keep the Chaetomorpha anchored.  It always seems to float to the top of water and the lights end up baking it.  Any ideas? <Well Chaeto does not use hold-fasts it is a tumbling weed. I would not try to anchor it but I would increase the water flow in the fuge to keep the mass tumbling.> Currently i <I> have a couple of live rocks on top of it. <That's not how this 'beast' operates my friend'¦it is meant to be free floating.> 2.  I have some brown hair algae that has been pretty persistent in the refugium.   <High nutrient levels and poor water flow are a bad combination.> I put some turbo snails in the refugium a while ago and they did a good job on it but one day they all ended up in the outflow tube and the refugium ended up overflowing overnight and shorting out  most of the electrical to the entire tank, so i've <I've> been hesitant to put anything back in there (any suggestions?). <I think you need to increase your water-flow, and star on a 'hardcore' water change regime. I wouldn't add any animals to the refugium'¦if there's something in there you don't like remove it manually.>   I've added some PhosX pads to the refugium and they may have helped but not tremendously.   <Yes this well help the symptoms but not the main issue'¦you need to find the source of your nutrient issues.> 3.  My local fish store has  told me that once the refugium gets the nitrate levels down to 0-20 we won't need to change the water anymore.  Any truth to that? <Not at all my friend, it may decrease the frequency and amount you have to change, but eliminate them'¦hardly.> Lastly and unrelated to refugiums.  What are some good choices for a cleanup crew for removing fish waste from the superficial sand layers?   Currently we have a bunch of turbo snails and a few (3 or 4) super Tongan Nassarius snails and an emerald crab.  We had an electric blue hermit crab that recently kicked the bucket. <Well invertebrate life isn't going to last long in tank with such heavy nutrients, though I am a fan of the Nassarius snails. That is the first and foremost issue here. I also am under the impression that the tank needs more water flow on the whole, if wastes/detritus is settling into the sand; you don't have enough water flow to keep it suspended'¦and maybe your sand is to coarse.> Thank you guys for all of your help, never does a week go by where I don't utilize your website to some extent!! <Thank you and keep reading.> Jason <Adam J.>

Searching instead of asking, pt.1 2/18/07 I am looking for a product called  Cleanwater  A 50   made by c. r. products. its a bag of filter material. any ideas where to find it.      <Google. I found many links to info, and vendors as well. [Hint: is marketed by a prominent U.S. Aquatics company here, not C.R. Products, the Netherlands originate. Hint#2 Pe-- - Pl--] If this doesn't get you closer, I might be inclined to help a bit with a link, but think doing one's own research to be more useful in the long run. -GrahamT> Dave Dedlow

Chemical Filtration  1/5/07 Hello, I am planning on implementing Purigen in my filtration, <PO4 reduction is good...> however, I currently use Stresscoat and have heard of negative product interactions resulting in possible fish death.   <If you are referring to Aquarium Pharm. Stresscoat, then the "reports" partly true. SC is anime-based and thusly will bond with the resin. If you don't plan to regenerate the Purigen, then this is not a problem. However, if/when you do try regeneration, chlorine will combine with the amines and make a bigger, toxic word: chloramine.> Do you have any recommendations on a substitute for it that would not cause negative effects, and how long should I wait from the last time I used stresscoat until implementing the Purigen?   <If you go to Purigen's site: http://seachem.com/support/FAQs/Purigen_faq.html You'll see more on this topic and their idea of an alternative for you. Stresscoat isn't very long-lasting, but if you want to be sure of complete removal, use some fresh carbon and wait a week or more.> Also in my filtration system I plan on running Super Activated Carbon and ROWAphos.  Any comments would be greatly appreciated. <I have no experience with ROWAphos, BUT everything I read/hear is very good. The "older" methods of PO4 removal always leech back into your system eventually, but ROWAphos is a "never-leech" product. Use it!> Also, It is a 30gal reef tank with a few LPSs and sps corals, currently running all PCs soon to be 175w 14k MH with  PC dual actinic. <That is a lot of light! Do your corals seem to need that? I just think you might find a smaller solution without the waste heat.> Thanks, Jason <You're welcome, Jason. Remember, actinic is for looks, not growth. You can try a swap with a 10k and save up front and long term over the HID. -Graham T.>

Adding Chemical Filtration - 10/21/06 Bob, <<EricR here>> I am graduating my current fish only live rock tank to reef tank...I have a 29 gallon, 4.5 watt per gallon, established fish only w/live rock tank that has been up for a year with amazing success. <<Cool!>>>> I will be employing an AquaC Remora skimmer. <<Excellent>> However, I will be removing my Penguin 280 power filter with BioWheel because my 45 pounds (1.5lb per gallon) of live rock will be my biological filtration. <<Okay>> My question is...how do I incorporate chemical filtration in the form of carbon now that I only run a skimmer? <<Does pose a problem with out a sump.  You could simply drop a bag in to a corner of the tank for passive filtration but that won't look good.  I suggest you add a small canister filter (sans any mechanical media) to the system to use for carbon/chemical filtration...will definitely be worth the added expense>> Please advise.... <<Regards, EricR>>

Re: New Marine Setup/Cloudy Water - 09/07/06 Eric and Crew, <<Hey Rick!>> You've done it again.  I followed your advice and the water has steadily cleared up. <<Ahh...always gratifying to hear/read>> I placed the powerheads back in the aquarium as directed and simply waited this thing out.  Within 3 days the bloom was practically gone. <<As is usually the case.  I'm glad you were able to muster the patience to wait it out>> Now, after a week the water is crystal clear and I'm getting some really interesting growth in the Live Rock (By the way, I ordered my live rock from LiveAquaria.com, select Lalo rock, it's gorgeous and I'd highly recommend it ). <<I have been hearing much praise for this rock of late>> I do, however, have a few quick questions, if you have the time. <<Certainly>> The temperature is hovering around 84 degrees since placing the powerheads back in the aquarium. <<As does mine this time of year...not a big concern, though you don't want it creeping up much higher>> I've ordered small fans to install in the hood in hopes of reducing it down to around 76-78 degrees.  Can I hope to expect this much of a change? <<Not likely...a 2-4 degree drop is probably more realistic>> I realize this may be a guessing game, but if I need to take further measures I'd like to start ASAP. <<Lets see what the fans accomplish and go from there.  You're near the upper limit on temperature, but the addition of the fans should give you a few more "degrees" of breathing space.  If the fans you are adding are simply to "exhaust" the hood then do consider adding a small "clip-on" or similar fan to "blow directly across the surface of the water" to speed evaporative cooling>> Secondly, I had a bag of Chemipure break in my sump. <<Hate it when that happens>> I've cleaned out the sump, but not before the carbon fragments got into the tank. <<Mmm, yes...teeny bits they are>> They're appearing in patches on my substrate. <Not a concern.  The carbon will simply act/perform as any other porous material in the long term by colonizing with bacteria...very much like your live rock/sand does>> I'm cleaning this out as best as I can, but with 120 lbs of live rock it's difficult to get it all. <<No doubt>> Should I remove the rock and meticulously clean the substrate? <<I wouldn't>> Can this be harmful to the aquatic life? <<Nothing to be concerned with here>> Last question, as far as stocking is concerned, I'd like to gradually add the following life to the aquarium and was hoping you could provide your opinion. <<Well Rick, when it comes to "stocking" I definitely have opinions...and am always glad to share>> Two ocellaris clowns (could you recommend the proper anemone?) <<Mmm, trouble here right off the bat my friend.  I strongly recommend you DON'T acquire an anemone until you get a bit more experience under your belt.  It's not that these creatures are "delicate doilies" so much (some few species are quite hardy), but they do present their own special challenges...and risks...that are very easily/often overlooked.  For certain you don't want to introduce an anemone to this very new system...and certainly you don't want to mix this animal with other cnidarians.  The clowns will do fine without a host anemone...but if you really want to attempt this animal I recommend you spend time reading/researching and decide if you're capable and committed to providing the correct environment for the long-term health of these virtually immortal creatures>> 1-Long Nose Butterfly, 1-coral banded or fire shrimp, <<The fire (blood) shrimp gets my vote...less destructive of the two and "may" facilitate as a biological parasitic control (cleaner).  The coral-banded shrimp will likely devour/destroy most all the emergent life on your live rock>> 1-Orchid Dottyback, 1-Coral Beauty, 1-Blue Girdled Angel, <<As a fish mix, these are fine.  If you did acquire an anemone, the butterfly and the angels would likely prove incompatible>> and 1-small puffer/Toby (something in the Canthigaster genus). <<Also would not be compatible with the anemone>> I'm leery about the Toby as some sources state that they can be "fin nippers". <<Not can..."are"...and more than just fins!  Tobies are generally hardy/interesting aquarium specimens, but they need to be housed with "agile" fishes to avoid getting nipped...would also pose a threat to many/most crustaceans/inverts>> Can you recommend a species that tends to be less aggressive? <<Mmm, the "nipping" behavior is indicative of the genus (most all "puffer" genera) as far as I'm aware>> In lieu of the puffer I was also considering a Hawkfish (Flame or Long Nose).  Any advice you can provide would be appreciated and not taken lightly. << Ah yes, well Grasshopper...Wait/study-up for now on all the commonly kept/available anemones, and go with the hawkfish if you're uncertain about the Toby (either species of hawk is fine, though I really like Oxycirrhites typus...this species would also be less risk to the shrimp)>> Thanks again. Rick in DE    <<Always welcome my friend.  Eric Russell in SC>>

Eheim For Rowaphos   9/4/06 Dear James Hope you are well. <Not bad, thank you.> A further question or two. At the moment I run 2 Eheim filters on my 37g reef tank : 1 mechanical and  1 wet and dry. There would seem to be enough space in the bottom basket of the mechanical filter to add an inch or so of Rowaphos which I would like to use to eliminate phosphate.  Maybe I could mix Rowaphos with the Eheim media, or replace the whole bottom basketful with the Rowaphos. <I'd do the whole basket.> Does this sound like a fair idea and/or would it ruin the efficiency of the filter? <Should be fine.> If you think I should keep the filters as they are (I know you guys are not great fans of Eheim always, <I've never had problems with the Eheim line.> but I am 'afraid' to take them out of action)  are you acquainted with the Deltec MCE600 skimmer which has a space for adding Rowaphos.  Is that a good option perhaps? <If you are not presently using a skimmer, this would be a very good option. Not familiar with Deltec, but understand they are a efficient skimmer.> Many thanks for your time. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> All the best. Peter Hosier

Reef Lighting Upgrade (Probably Not Necessary), and Zeolite Filtr. tech. SW - 07/30/06 Hey everyone, <<Howdy Marc!>> Thanks as always for the time you put into helping others with what can be a daunting hobby at times.  More so when you are only starting out. <<We're happy to assist>> My email is to ask about two areas that I have to finalize with my reef tank (4x2x2). <<OK>> I am in the process of upgrading from an LPS and softy dominated tank to SPS, corals and clams. <<I see>> 1. Lighting - I currently run two 150w DE MH with 14K globes and four NO fluorescent actinics.  As I plan to change over to an SPS tank I am keen to increase my lighting to improve my chances of color and growth with the corals. <<Mmm, likely no "upgrade needed re the lighting...but if you wish to increase PAR, a simple change to 10K bulbs will do it>> I have read a great number of the posts on the web site.  I take it from the various authors' comments that I should not go with 400w MH for this depth tank but rather go with 250w MH at around 6 inches above the water. <<Well Marc, you likely also realize that the opinions on lighting vary about as much as the number of questions re.  Were this me, I would give the 150w DE 10K bulbs a go before spending the money to "upgrade" to higher wattage ballasts/fixtures>> I have looked at many tanks and I am confused then why there are still so many tanks running 400w MH halides and what benefit they may see from this over 250w MH (although many of these lights are 10+ inches off the water - which may make some difference). <<Indeed my friend...you have to realize there are variables that determine your "power" requirements (water clarity, supplemental nutrition, species, placement, bulb type/color, etc.)...but some folks are convinced or just want to believe if they throw enough wattage at their tank then "all will be beautiful", while ignoring or overlooking other husbandry aspects>> If I do not need the extra wattage then here's to saving the dollars and spending them on something more useful for the tank such as more circulation (currently around 20x - advice hopefully well taken). <<Agreed>> 2. Zeolite - I have seen a number of tanks running Zeolite as a nutrient control method for SPS tanks.  I currently run a Berlin style system with a DSB and Jaubert plenum chamber and a 15g refugium.  I run an Aquamedic skimmer rated for 250g odd tank size and do semi-regular water changes (about 10% each 2 weeks - a little bit slack on this). <<Mmm...the water changes are about the single best improvement you can make...best not to be "slack" here>> I also run carbon which is changed every 4 - 6 weeks.  What is your opinion on the Zeolite system and do you recommend it as an extra means to control nutrient levels. <<I have not had much interest/kept current on this Zeolite  (Zeovit) fad.  Try visiting this site for some info:  http://www.zeovit.com/forums/showthread.php?p=35065#post35065>> I understand that circulation, lighting and nutrient levels are the three major keys to SPS coral keeping (correct me if I am wrong) and therefore these are areas I am keen to get spot on to ensure a colorful and healthy tank. <<Would like to add that among the "many" aspects of this hobby, these three are "key" to "any type" marine system>> Any help you can give is greatly appreciated and thanks again for the effort you put into the hobby. <<Quite welcome...I hope the information is of use to you>> Cheers, Marc <<Regards, EricR>>

Using Seachem's de*nitrate - 06/27/06 Hi Crew, <<Hello Tim>> I decided to try Seachem's de*nitrate.  In order to maintain a low water flow as recommended to grow the anaerobic bacteria, I opted to use a cheap corner filter dedicated for this purpose, with an air pump of 150 liters per hour to draw water through the filter. <<Okay>> This filter is filled with mostly de*nitrate, with some filter wool at the top (which is where I understand water is drawn in). <<Yes>> However, now I am not sure whether this type of set up will be any good for anaerobic bacteria.  Could you please advise? <<Should work fine...as long as the filter holds the recommended amount of media for your system.  As you indicated, this media works best with a low flow rate (less than 50gph) which should be achievable with the filter you describe.  As an alternative, you could place the material in a mesh bag and drop in to your sump (if you have one)>> Thanks, Tim <<Regards, EricR>>

Chemical Media Placement - 05/29/06 Last one I promise!!! <<No problem <G> >> Could I put my Phosguard carbon, and Purigen under my drip tray where the bio balls used to be or does this media need to be fully submerged under water to work properly. <<Best results would come from using this media in a canister filter, but what you propose will also work.  Place the media in a suitable mesh bag and position it where the water falls/flows over it>> Thanks Chris <<Welcome, EricR>> Reef Bio Filtration...Keep the Bio-Balls? II - 05/15/06 As mentioned before, thanks a lot for all the info. <<Anytime>> I took the bio balls out.  How do I convert the Sea Storm to a carbon reactor. <<Easy enough...replace the sand with carbon...or replace with one of the ferric oxide medias and use it as a phosphate filter>> Or is there something else I can do in the great big sump area now. <<Mmm...add a skimmer...maybe another media reactor/internal filter with some Poly-Filter...or even a lighted macro algae filter>> Thanks Again! Chris <<Always welcome, EricR>>

Fluidizing ChemiPure?   4/28/06 Love the site!   <Glad you enjoy it! We're thrilled to bring it to you! Scott F. here today.> I was interested to know your thoughts on removing Chemi-Pure from the bag and using it in my Phosban Reactor?  The manufacturers do not recommend removing it from the bag, but I cannot see the harm in this situation (if run properly through the reactor, low flow, etc.) Do you foresee any problems in doing this? Regards, Andrew. <Good question, Andrew, and the answer is kind of unclear. While I'm sure that this media would fluidize nicely, I really don't know if there is any advantage to be gained from using the media in this manner. On the other hand, by making sure that the media is thoroughly exposed to the water column, you may be using it more efficiently. My best recommendation is to contact the manufacturer, Boyd Enterprises, and get the answer from them. This is a great product, and if it can be used in this manner, it would that much better! Please let us know what you find! Regards, Scott F.> Fluidizing Chemipure? (Pt.2)    5/2/06 Scott, <Hello again!> Thanks for the fast reply.  I talked to Mr. Boyd and was told that you can run Chemi-pure through a fluidized bed filter or Phosban reactor with results that equal or exceed traditional methods.  However, you must be sure to use the full contents of the bag, as the different media types tend to stratify, and you would not get the right mix if you just used a portion of the contents.  Furthermore, the resin particles are very small and can potentially escape the reactor. The recommendation was to add some filter floss above the media, eliminating the chance of losing these resins to the tank or sump.  The floss would also allow increased flow through the reactor. As such, I look forward to setting this up and think it will work great.  Thanks for your help.   PS - I just picked up Anthony's book and must say how much I have enjoyed it.  It is refreshing to find something so rich with experience and information for those of us who would rather think critically and contemplate ideas than look at pictures, point to them, and say "that's cool, I want that." Andrew.   <It's a real gem, and I know that Anthony would be stoked to hear that you enjoyed it so much! Thanks for sharing the ChemiPure information! Regards, Scott F.>

Re: RowaPhos    4/6/06 Att Bob Fenner     Bob you asked that I send the original message.       Bob... Loved your talk to the Seabay Aquarium club in the Bay Area last year!        Here is the original  question.............                                                                                         Greetings from California!  A quick question for you.  If RowaPhos is an iron based media.  What would you think of running the outgoing effluent through activated carbon before it returns to the sump?   Thanks   Richard James (salty dog) replied with.... For what reason? <Ahh! Thank you for this. There are variable qualities in such ferrous based Phosphate filtrants, but the ROWA line are consistently high quality... Leach little to no iron of consequence. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

PolyFilters  12/8/05 Hey crew,  <Sam> Just wanted to know whether you thought it was a good idea to keep PolyFilters in my Fluval 304 at all times as opposed to sponge filters.  I have a 90 gallon with p and tusk, so they produce quite a lot of waste. I also have a wet/dry, aqua wheel filter, and two powerheads. I usually keep two sponge filters in two spaces and two poly's in the other two spaces in my Fluval. I wasn't sure if this was a good idea to keep the PolyFilters in 24/7. I thought that it would filter out any medication, or additive that I would put into my tank, such as purple up, a coralline algae growth enhancer. Thanks for everything.  <Don't see a problem using it 24/7. Shouldn't affect your enhancer enough to matter. Sam, in future queries, please do a spelling/grammar check and cap all your "i's". It just takes extra time for us to answer these queries when we also have to edit them for posting. Thanks, James (Salty Dog)> 

Chemical Filtration for Post-spawn Clean-up  12/1/05 Hello, <Good Morning> I looked over water-polishing entries on WWM and I didn't see the answer to my specific question, so that's why I'm asking the crew. I have a rose bulb tip anemone (male) that spawns every month or two. When he spawns, the water becomes milky and the spawn is obviously toxic--he once killed an otherwise perfectly healthy damsel. Anyway, what I do now is use activated carbon in a power filter and also a canister filter, along with floss to help clear and detoxify the water. However, this takes 12 hours or maybe more.  I was wondering, would a water-polishing filter (which I know nothing about) clean the water up quickly. If yes, what would be an inexpensive, quality product you might recommend.  <Gary, a water polishing filter such as a diatom filter will only trap the substance and once this is completed you need to remove the filter from the tank and clean. A Marineland Magnum HOB, using the 5 micron filter should do the trick. The filter cartridge can easily be cleaned in a bleach/water solution for reuse. Another product you can put in your canister filter is Chemi-Pure. It has scavenging and ion exchange resins along with a excellent grade of carbon. I use this product myself and love it. James (Salty Dog)> Thank you in advance, Gary  <You're welcome>

Purigen and Chem- clean, Better Cleaning Through Chemistry?  12/1/05 Hi, Bob, or whoever is there tonight!  <James here bright and early in the am.>  I'm inquiring about 2 products.. although they appear in the search engine, I couldn't find much: My LFS (a marine biologist in the making who has several successful marine tanks) recommended two products to me this evening. He said he no longer uses carbon and recommends Purigen instead....what do you think of this product and using it on a regular basis? My nitrates run 20 in all my tanks....0 nitrites, 0 ammonia, ph 8.2 to 8.4 all tanks FOWLR. By the way, no nitrates in the water source...it's from my well, goes through a water softener and tests fine. Also, I've been battling a little Cyano in my 46 gallon tank for a few months now, tank is 2 years old. Light tank load (pygmy angel, 2 percula clowns, black line & bicolor blenny, clown goby, 2 cleaner shrimp) He recommends Chem- clean...says it clears up Cyano in a few days...any thoughts?  <It may very well clear it up but it is just a band aid. You have to remove the source of the problem.>  I've scrubbed the LR that was affected and have been vacuuming portions of the substrate every couple of days, changing 10% of the water in the tank. The LR has been okay, but it reappears in the substrate every day, very frustrating. I'm running a powerhead, AquaClear 300, and Knop skimmer.  <Lisa, yes it is very frustrating. I would start by making sure you have at least 450/500 gallons per hour water movement in your tank. I believe you are probably not at that mark. Are your 10% water changes done weekly? Watch your feeding habits, only feed what the fish will consume. Most women are very soft- hearted and feel sorry for the fish thinking they are not getting enough food. Excess nutrients in this regard just adds to the problem.  The Purigen is a good product and improves water clarity and increases redox potential but we still need to eliminate the food source for the Cyano. As for the Chem Clean product, I haven't heard enough about it to comment. Read here for more information. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm.  Good luck, James (Salty Dog)> Thanks!  Lisa  <You're welcome>

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