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FAQs on Marine Filtration 12

Related Articles: Marine FiltrationMarine Aquarium Filtration, by Adam Cesnales, Central Filtration Systems,

Related FAQs: Marine Filtration 1, Marine Filtration 2Marine Filtration 3Marine Filtration 4, Marine Filtration 5, Marine Filtration 6Marine Filtration 7, Marine Filtration 8, Marine Filtration 9, Marine Filtration 10, Marine Filtration 11, & FAQs on Marine Filtration: Designs, Installation, Maintenance, Troubleshooting/Repair, Brands/Manufacturers, DIY, & By Type of  System: FO System Filtration, FOWLR Set-Ups, Reef Tank Setups, Reef Filtration, Small Tank Setups, Large System Filtration/Circulation/Aeration, & By Aspect and Gear: Biol.: Biological Filtration, Denitrification/Denitrifiers, Fluidized Beds, DSBs, Plenums, Algal Filtration, Mech.: Marine Mechanical Filtration, Power Filters, Outside Power Filters, Canister, Cartridge Filters, Undergravel FiltersWet-Dry Filters, Phys.: Ultraviolet Sterilizers,   Ozone, To Skim or Not to SkimBest Skimmer FAQs, Chem.: Nutrient Control and Export Chemical Filtrants (e.g. Polyfilter, Chemipure, Purigen), Carbon, Mud/Algal Filtration Phony: Magnetic Field Filtration, & Troubles: Bubbles, Noise,

Filtration needs vary by livestock kept, stocking density, your desired goals...

Panulirus argus, the Caribbean Spiny Lobster. Common in the tropical West Atlantic. To two feet maximum length. Here in Jamaica.

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>

ATS guide part 1. Santa Monica Algal Turf Scrubbers  - 02/04/19
Bob and Crew,
Attached is a Part 1 of my new series on turf scrubbers. See if it will work for you, and have a great Monday coming up.
Santa Monica Filtration
<Looks good. Do you want this posted next to your olde article? Bob Fenner>
Re: ATS guide part 1 - 02/04/19

Either that, or under the Nutrient Control section of the Marine Maint page.
<Oh! Will definitely link in all applicable subject areas. BobF>
Re: ATS guide part 1       2/5/19

Thanks much
<Posted today! Cheers Bryan. BobF>
Re: ATS guide part 1       2/5/19

Can you send link? I can't find it.

Considering new tank, filter system unfamiliar... For what type of sys?
Filtration Question, All-In-One Aquarium Systems - 10/20/2012

Hi folks
<Hiya, Gord.  Sabrina with you this fine afternoon!>
Sorry to take up your time.
<I wouldn't give it if I didn't want to; don't apologize.>
I'm not totally clued up on filtration since I've no experience with anything other than internal cartridge and sponge filters. I've tried to look through the FAQs on filtration but I'm still clueless.
<No better time to learn.>
I'm thinking of buying this:
<I want to give some words of caution about "all in one" tanks, systems....  and shall, I think, after browsing the rest of this query.>
The description of the filter system/options is thus, to save you having to read through the rest:
"The supplied Hood of each Aquarium Tank comes complete with built-in T5 Lighting and a Top Tray Filtration System, and is designed to sit flush on the Tank rim. Each removable hood is designed with a front flap for access to the water (feeding, maintenance etc) and a rear flap for access to the filter trays. Being removable, each hood is easily upgradeable with pipe work access built-in. This enables you to purchase an additional External Filter if required (See External Filter Range in Store) 
The Filtration System comes complete with Four (4) Trays that can be individually filled with the Filter Media of your choice (Filter Media Supplied - see below) 
The Filtration System is powered by ONE (1) Powerhead capable of pumping 900 litres of water per hour to a Spray Bar located above the Filter Trays.
Each tank is supplied with a spare Spray Bar, enabling you to purchase another Powerhead if required."
There is a photo of the in-hood filtration system in the link I supplied.
Is this a wet-dry system? That's the best fit I could think of but, as I say, I don't really know.
I realise 900lph is inadequate
<Depending upon your intentions for this system, quite possibly.>
and a second powerhead would need to be bought, either that or an external filter. Do you have any recommendations here? I don't want to waste my cash on an extra powerhead only to have to get an external when the in-hood system goes awry, nor do I want to go to the expense of an external if the hood filtration system is any good. So you can see my dilemma.
<Well, without knowing what you intend for this aquarium, it's all very hard to say.  Would this serve for a reef system?  No, in my opinion. 
Inadequate lighting, flow....  Much modification would have to happen, to what I'd call unreasonable expense, for this to be converted into something suitable for the needs of any light-demanding, flow-loving critters.  The wet/dry filtration would be (in some opinions) detrimental to a heavily planted freshwater system, and the lighting inadequate for very light hungry plants.  On the other hand, this would be a neat system for low- to moderate-light plants with not huge CO2 demands, and could be a very attractive display as such.  The lighting might be adequate for attractive soft corals and Corallimorphs; there might even be some LPS that would appreciate it.  But the real "problem" (if you consider it one - I do, some don't) is the lack of ability to customize, change, upgrade most anything in this sort of system, without great difficulty.  I'm quite a DIY sort of person, and love modifying and changing things to suit myself, and while there are some pretty drastic things you can do to these all-in-one type systems, I would much prefer a system that I can change at will....  Not enough filtration?  Fine, add more, or upgrade.  Not enough flow?  No problem.  Want better lighting?  Switch it out.  Want terrestrial plants? 
Turn it into a paludarium.  You can't do this easily with these all-in-one rigs.  They do make for attractive displays, but their use is, in my opinion, cripplingly limited.  So, ultimately, if the lighting, filtration, etc., is quite ideal for your specific intent, and you are confident that you won't want to change things, then this might be the tank for you.  But if you expect you might want something to be a bit different down the road, well, better to plan your own system rather than be limited by a pre-made one.  Also worth considering is the possibility that one component in the all-in-one hood might fail.  What then?  Attempt repair yourself?  Gut the thing and build something in?  New hood?  To what expense?  Just food for thought.>
Once again, thanks for your help.
<Glad to give it.>
<Best wishes,  -Sabrina>

Adding a New Tank to my System   12/27/11
Hello crew! Happy holidays!
<And you Jake>
So here is my problem: i currently have a 20 gallon system consisting of 2 ten gallon tanks.  in one tank i have about 9 lbs of live rock, a small Perc. Clown, a Blue Damsel, and a Cleaner shrimp.  Yes i know its a bit crowded, but when i set it up about 10 months ago, i didn't know any better and rushed into the hobby ( slaps wrists ), and in my other tank is my new baby 6 inch Snowflake Eel.  i received him 1 month ago by favor of a friend who had to get rid of him because of some financial problems but i digress.
Yes, i also know this tank is far to <too> small for the long run for the eel, and cramped for now, but I'm treating this as my QT period for the eel, and the 55 gallon ( maybe a 75 ) is coming within the week  i run a penguin 350 and a Aqua C Remora skimmer on the tanks, and keep pristine water quality (0 amm. 0 nitrite. 0-5 nitrate )  My question is, can i simply attach my new 55 gallon tank, when it arrives, to the system, using the eels tank as my sump ( witch it was before i got him )?
 the reason i would like to do this is to go around the whole cycle of the 55 gallon, and just use the bio filtration from the other tank.  when i get the 55, I'm putting in 50lbs of base rock + a PVC pipe cave system.  What I'm thinking ( from what i know ) is i will take a piece or two of rock from my small tank, and put it in with the dry base rock, and let it seed that way.  i will also move a cup or sand to the big tank to seed the new sand in there. ( i was planing <planning> on using plain Aragonite 'dead' sand. )  Since I'm not adding any new critters, and the bio load is not changing, i shouldn't see a cycle, correct?
<Not likely, no>
  I'm just curious if there is anything i have missed or haven't thought of.
Thanks for the help,
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: Off-Grid 70/90 Gal?
Aloha! Consulting the oracle: Internal filtration or external sump?
What would YOU choose between these 2 options?:
<In most all cases the latter>
Here's the 75 with internal Filtration- he wants $200 (shipping will be $200 to SF)
Here's the 90 with a sump. He says its just a little dusty but solid. He wants $100 (shipping will be $150 to SF)
If I got the internal 75 would it be reasonable to add a sump later for easier water changes @ sump and growing algae out in the sun (I'll have it plumbed outside in full sun which would help bring the water temp up, etc...? Both are great deals. I still need to pay hundreds to get either one to Hawaii. Mainly I'm thinking the internal filtration will require less power than the sump. Thanks Again!
<For all the above reasons, the sump/refugium... Please read here:

First Salt Tank: Filtration options 11/15/2009
<Hi John>
I am in the conscientious planning and researching stage for my first ever marine aquarium. The current plan is for a 50-ish gallon setup--36x18x18.
<Welcome to the hobby!>
From all of my reading, it is clear that an ideal system would include a sump and a refugium, and I am sure that I will incorporate them into future, larger systems. But for this first tank, I keep having the inclination to go as simple as possible, to have it all as much as possible in one glass box.
<Fair enough.>
My plan is to establish a working sand bed and live rock filter and then "plant" mostly macroalgae and some easy corals, so that ultimately the "sessile" population will be about 75% macros and 25% corals--gorgonians, xenias, Zoanthids. A docile CUC (mainly small snails) and a few pairs of easy fish--the smallest clown and goby species--will complete the system.
<Sounds like a workable plan.>
I'm thinking ballpark of 200 watts in T5 lighting and ballpark of 1500 gph of circulation with powerheads.
<Depending on the Algaes and corals, this may be adequate. Work out what you want to put in the tank before deciding on your lighting.>
Assuming you have approved so far, it's the filtration I'm concerned about.
I want to keep it as natural as possible, with the goal being that I match the bioload from the fishes' and inverts' feeding/wastes to the filtering capabilities of my rock and sand, plus the nitrate/ phosphate uptake abilities of my macros. Is this possible without additional filtration?
<Some sort of mechanical filtration, even a simple hang on back would be beneficial. Adding a protein skimmer should be considered an absolute necessity. Do read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/proskimrart2.htm >
<There are several smaller, hang on back skimmers that are excellent. Look to Aqua-C for some excellent skimmers. Sealife Systems and Octopus make some good HOB skimmers too.>
Or am I looking at something like one pair of the smallest fish before I've got too much waste to process?
<My pleasure.>

Re: Bioactive sand turning brown, New Tank 9/3/09
Gosh - every time you turn around its a question from me!
<Hello again.>
A friend of my husbands needed some work done on his truck and could not pay for it - so the guy knew I liked and had salt water fish tanks, so he gave my hubby a 100 gal tank set up in return for the work.
It's in Houston and on the way here to me and I was wondering what it was - my husband said that it had a weird filtration system it comes up thru the bottom and it has balls in it - of course I can't wait to see what it is - but wanted to know if you knew what type this was so I could look it up on line. No patience at all - that's me!
<Sounds like a wet dry sump to me, this can be problematic for salt water aquariums due to nitrate build-up.>
Also - if I set this tank up - and wanted to do a live reef - what do I buy to start this and can I have fish with a reef?
<Yes you can have fish, although you need to be careful in what you pick to avoid coral eaters. As for what you need, it starts out like any other tank, live rock, filters/skimmers, water movement, lights to name a few things.>
We only have a Petco in our small town so I am limited on what I can do and if I order online I want to make sure I get the right stuff. As always thanks you guys are great and I have shared this site with many people.
Cecilia Lester
Paris Texas

Conscientious Aquarist book, chem. & mech. filtration    7/2/09
<Hi there>
I am in the process of reading The Conscientious Aquarist book, by Robert Fenner. It's really great. In his book he mentions that the newer methodology of filtration is to use Live Rock for bio filtration, however,
I could not figure if you also need mechanical filtration and chemical filtration in this setup and if yes, what should be use to do mechanical and/or chemical filtration.
<Ahh! Many choices>
Currently, I have a 55 gallon saltwater tank with Marineland PF 300 filter(bought the setup from someone else) and I am trying to figure what is the upgrade path.
Thank you.
<Thank you for your kind words, interest, writing in... A bit more/update on these issues can be found here:
Bob Fenner>

Salty Dog Question if possible
Filtration Questions, (Skimmers And Refugiums) 3/11/09

<Hello Tammy>
A quick question about refugiums, sumps and skimmers.
I have a 55 gallon aquarium with a sump. I will have fish only. Right now I have a Lionfish (4 inches) but plan on adding 1 other soon. <<This system is too small... eventually, even for just one Volitans Lion. RMF>>
(Still trying to decide who would be a good tankmate for him.)
<Yes, we already covered that in another query you sent.>
The opinions seem to differ on whether or not I need, or would greatly benefit from, a skimmer.
<Yes, you would benefit from the use of one, is recommended.>
Also, is Aqua C or EuroReef the better skimmer?
<They are both good skimmers. Will depend on your budget here.
The Aqua C's are generally hassle free, set and forget.>
While I was reading about skimmers, there was a lot of info on refugiums but I still don't really understand exactly what they are. I don't think I have room for one but would like to know if I need one.
<Refugiums are a definite plus. They aid in removing organics and if stocked with pods, will become a breeding ground for a source of nutritional live foods. If space is limited, there are HOB refugiums available, and some that incorporate protein skimmers. Read here for a description of how they work.
I don't want to buy something that isn't really necessary, but want the quality of life for my fish to be the best.
Thank you for your help,
<You're welcome, Tammy. James (Salty Dog)>

220 salt water fish... filtration f'    2/4/09 Hello please respond if you have time. I have a 220 with dual over flows going down to two Tupperware sumps. One is 20 gallons just holds a Coralife 220 skimmer, the other one approx 30 gallon has large mat pre filter sitting on top of about 20 gallons of submerged bio balls and one little giant md4 return. my question is that i would like to build three towers out of 5 gallon pails with proper dip plates and keep the bio balls above the water line, can I do this all at once so i can scrub the bottom of the sumps.? <Could... but I want to state that I'm not a fan of using plastic biomedia, nor mechanical filter pads in most saltwater systems> The tank has been set up for a couple of years all levels normal 3 small lion fish, <... Why are these still small?> 3 small snowflake morays, <And these?> one large green wolf eel, one huge soldier fish and one marine beta 6 inch and one 6 inch porcupine puffer, the tank has 100 lbs of dead live rock and one 175 metal halide. <One? Must be kind of dark outside this cone of light> thank you <Welcome... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm Peruse these articles and FAQs files... re other input re marine filtration possibilities. Bob Fenner>

Filter idea's and UV questions. Filters/Selection 2/209 Good Morning to you. <Good afternoon Paul> I was at my local pet shop and seen a huge corner tank that looked beautiful and had 10 fish in it and was a reef set up with about 4 inches of gravel in the tank. The only filter on the tank was a protein skimmer, single canister filter and a very large UV sterilizer. Can you tell me the benefits of the UV on a reef tank.... I was told UV's were not a great add on and the question is still out there if they benefit or hurt a system. <They are beneficial but I would only use on a fish only system as they do kill the good with the bad i.e. pods etc. Do read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marphysf.htm> I have just a fish and live rock tank on 125 larger bioload.15 fish with 10 of them being the size of a clown or 6 line wrasse, so the bio-load is not that bad with the smaller fish. I run a wet dry filter with a Aqua C protein skimmer, two media filters with carbon and phosphate remover, and two power heads with sponges on them in the tank. Want <What> would you suggest I add for filtration... should I add a lifeguard system to filter the water better and get more carbon into the system...... with so many theories out in the fish market. I really would love to hear someone list the equipment they would suggest I use on my fish/live rock tank. Would I benefit more from having a UV on my tank or would you say that on a fish only tank I should use a refugium sump... Also, this tank is beautiful with a deep gravel bed. I was told deep gravel beds were a negative in a tank and more beneficial in a sump? Please let me know if you think I should be adding a UV to my tank? <Reading the above link will help you decide on using an UV. As to DSB's, I'd much rather use a refugium type sump. Read again here and related articles/FAQ's. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/refugium.htm As for filtration choice on your size tank, I'd go with an Ocean Clear in-line filter. Much more filtering area than the Lifeguard, and a model is available with a built-in UV if you desire to go that route. Incorporating double quick disconnect valves make servicing easy. Look here. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3579+3662&pcatid=3662> Thank you so much for your help and suggestions. Great web site lots of information on your page.... <Thank you, and you're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Paul

Re: Filters Ideas And UV Selection 2/2/09 Filters/Selection Hello Again James. <Hi Paul> I know ultimately this is my decision to make. I will research your site on the provided links. If I understand you correctly, Your suggestion to me for my fish/live rock tank would be to turn my wet dry into a small refugium tank and add an Ocean Clear pleated filter as my mechanical filter on the main system... <Is just my suggestion. There are others on the market, choose which fits well with your operation and budget.> Is it my understanding that the refugium will help my system out against nitrate while the skimmer would help take out the dissolved organics <Both of these methods will help lower nitrate levels immensely.> and the Ocean Clear would take out the un-dissolved organics. <Along with a place to put chemical media if needed. The pleated filters can also be cleaned/reused.> I like what you are saying here. Do you suggest carbon in the system? <If needed, it is a double edged sword, will also filter out some trace elements.> One last thing James or whom it might be answering this. <Once a thread is started, the original crewmember answering it takes it to the end.> The gravel bed in the main tank should be shallow or just enough for my wrasses to dig themselves under. <Yes, three inches should be fine.> Is this best to vacuum this gravel out weekly/monthly, while leaving the refugium gravel bed alone and not vacuuming that out... <I vacuum my substrate every time a water change is performed and I do recommend it.> help me out on the UV, your real thoughts on a UV???? <UV systems are great for commercial/LFS use where tanks share a common sump. Any parasitical/bacterial spores are killed on contact thereby aiding in disease control/prevention in the entire system. If you are using a sterilizer, and a parasitical disease manifests itself in your tank, the UV is not going to cure the fish, will just kill unattached spores looking for a host, again lowering the chances of infecting other fish. Excellent water quality/parameters and nutrition go a long way in preventing disease. For a home aquarium, my choice would be ozone over UV as it does raise the Redox potential and aids to more efficient operation of the skimmer. I use neither of the two, but I tend to under stock and provide good water quality and nutrition. The last fish I lost was about three years ago...think he was older than me.> Thank you very much!!! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Paul

Natural filtration Vs mechanical 1/3/09 Hey Crew! <Hello> I am an active member on a reef forum and was asked to get some information about which overall is better, natural filtration such as Caulerpa, Chaeto, seagrass, mangroves, DSB, ATS or mechanical filtration such as skimmers or canister filters. <A combination of both is best in my opinion.> I have looked and looked and can not find any research data on this subject. I understand that if one was to use a skimmer rated for twice the water volume of the tank, it would be better than a handful of mangroves, however, what if there was a combination of natural filtrators that are being used, would they be better than a skimmer? <Personally I think a skimmer is the single most important piece of equipment there is for a tank, and would not go without one. However I put very little faith in their size rating, going more with overall quality.> For example, in my system, I have a 55g reef with 80lbs of Caribbean LR and a 1.5" sand bed. The 55 is looped into a 40g plant tank where I have 20 mangroves, a 5.5" DSB, and Caulerpa and some Halodule wrightii. Then, the 40g plant tank runs into a 20g sump where there is another 30lbs of LR rubble. I personally did not run a skimmer for 8 months and did not see any negative affects because of this, however I also do not have a heavy bioload. <Most likely the low bioload is mostly responsible, and not to belittle your accomplishments, but 8 months is really too short of a time to determine if your methods will be successful in the long run. I don't mean to say you will not continue in your success, it's just tough to draw conclusions at this point.> I understand each system is different and each person finds the way that works for them. <Very true, but I will add I think most all tanks will benefit from a skimmer.> If one had the space, would it be better to have mechanical or a more natural means of filtration? <Well, if a baseline of a skimmer is there, I think many tanks can benefit greatly from macroalgaes, turf scrubbers and the like, often more so than some other mechanical means such as canisters and HOB filters which can be maintenance nightmares. My only concern is with some macroalgaes which can be quite aggressive chemically and effect corals and other invertebrates, and even fish life if proper water changes are not done.> This is assuming the mechanical filtration is rated for twice the water volume of the tank it is filtering. <Again I don't put much stock in these ratings, but a quality skimmer is worth much more to your tank than one of poor design, to the point where perhaps the skimmer is not doing much for you at all.> There is someone on the forum who runs an ATS and swears by it. If an ATS and DSB are utilized together can they together be as good as a skimmer rated for twice the tank volume? <Not in my opinion, I would rather remove the organics completely from the water column than sequester it in algae.> I am looking for data that states something like "in a 5 hour period a skimmer can collect ______ amount of _______ and in a 5 hour period a 3 lb patch of Chaeto can absorb ____ amounts of _______. <I have never come across data such as this, very little scientific studies are done directly for the hobby, although you may have some luck locating such data as it applies to food stock aquaculture.> Sorry if it seems I am being picky, but any and all info will be much appreciated! Thanks for your time! -Elliott <Sorry I don't know of any quantifiable data such as what you are looking for, and can only go by the collective experience of myself and friends in the hobby. Unfortunately there is little to no scientific research done of ornamental fish keeping, which is sad for the livestock in our care, but great for the many forums on the internet, where even the most ridiculous theories are often touted as truths. In a world where money decides what research is done, there just is not enough of it to justify good science for the hobby.> <Chris>

Eheim & Wet-Dry Media for Marine 11/12/08 Hi Folks, <Justin.> I have a newly established 90 gallon aquarium with 130lb Live Rock (already cured, from an established aquarium), and 80lb of aragonite sand. My aquarium was converted from a Freshwater, as such I still have my Eheim 2317 canister filter in operation, it did a fabulous job on my Freshwater aquarium. (It was employed for over 10 years, and never had a problem.) <Sounds like typical Eheim!> I would like to continue using this filter, though cleaning it is difficult (due to the set up of my aquarium stand, and positioning of the canister.  I'm currently disabled, and it's difficult to disconnect everything and carry to the sink to clean.) I do understand that a lot of waste products can get caught in the canister filter eventually raising nitrates. <It can, does.> I was curious if using ONLY Live Rock bits (rubble?) in the canister filter will be more beneficial than using the supplied media pads and floss? <An idea, would require less maintenance.> And, will the maintenance schedule remain the same with Live Rubble as with the media pads? (weekly cleaning) <It would be less, to the point of just making sure nothing is settling inside the filter.> I also have a Tom Pro Wet/Dry filter with media baskets, medium sized protein skimmer, and automatic top-off (to top off evaporated water). This is much easier to clean than the canister filter, since I can open it while it's in operation, pull out the media baskets, rinse/replace, and drop it back in.) I was thinking of putting the carbon pads, chemi-pure, floss, etc. in here, where it can be easily cleaned weekly. <It is an easier place to put it, one of the big advantages of a sump.> Currently there is no lateral room for a sump setup under the stand unfortunately, and the aquarium was set up only a few inches from the back wall, too close to add anything HOB style (as mentioned, this was previously a freshwater setup, the aquarium was positioned and planned for this setup initially.) Any advice is appreciated, thanks... <I really see no benefit to using the canister with your LR and sump. I would just take it out altogether.> Justin <Welcome, Scott V.>

Filtration Options, System in General 10/15/08 Hello, <Paul.> I am switching my tank over from a wet dry system and would like a few options... I was going to set up a old 75 gallon tank as a refuge tank or just a live rock tank. What is your opinion on the two.. <Both are worth while, you can do a refugium with a purposefully grown macroalgae and live rock; really the way to go.> I have a 150 gallon fish/live rock tank with 150 pounds of rock in it... The wet dry filters I keep hearing are not an option and add to the problem of building up algae. <Indirectly, through the accumulation of primarily nitrate.> Should I put a light over the 75 gallon refuge tank? <I would, with the macroalgae, on a lighting cycle reverse that of the main display.> Is the 75 gallon overkill for a refuge tank or live rock tank should I still put light over it if it is just a live rock tank? <75 is a nice large refugium, by no means too large. You will have little to no benefit to lighting just rock, a huge benefit with the addition of the macro.> ... How much extra live rock do I need in the refuge tank? <Depends on how you end up setting this up, anywhere from 50-100 lbs, the more the merrier.> Should I still use carbon in a chamber filter? <You can.> How much water movement should I add to the 75 gallon tank so it does not become stagnant? <Generally the same that applies to your display, a minimum of 10X turnover within the refugium itself will do the trick.> Many questions, I know. I am just looking for the best option and heath of my fish.... <This is a good one.> Thank you for the time and all the help... love the site and read a lot, but sometimes it is nice to ask directly to my own situation. <Glad you have found the site of use.> Thank you again, Paul <Welcome, Scott V.>  

Filtration Questions & Lighting Question. 06/05/2008 125 gallon aquarium AGA, at least 200-300 lbs of rock, Fiji, holey lime and bowl. Substrate is mostly crushed coral and sand. <<Make sure the crushed coral is kept very clean to save elevated nitrates>> Life forms - soft corals. Fish - too many, but working on getting them down to a low roar. Lighting - T5HO 4 6' long, CF 96 watt bulbs, 6' length. 2 heaters, I think high wattage, but not sure off the top of my head. Timers set for lighting to fluctuate. 3 hours T5HO, 3 hours of T5HO + CF, 3 hours of CF. Is this a good schedule? <<Sounds fine, as long as about 8 hours of white marine light is apparent, i don't see any issues>> Refugium - Aquafuge Pro Large, built-in skimmer, 17 gallon holding area, return 2100 Rio, maxi-jet 1200 on skimmer, kelp and Chaeto and something else, 8lbs of live Fiji, substrate is crushed coral and sand. <<Ok>> I have a wet/dry from Tru Flo I used to use. I had converted this to a fuge, but have removed it and inserted a real fuge. I am wondering if I should be running that alongside the fuge or not. <<The Wet/Dry?? No, not really>> I do dose with Purple Up, Iodine, Trace Elements, Calcium and Alkalinity steps 1 and 2. <<You don't mention hard corals, do you "need" to be dosing calc and Alk? Stop doing iodine and purple up. Purple up is a complete waste of money as all you need for good coralline algae growth is light, calc and mag. With these apparent, additives will not be required. Trace elements / iodine should not really be needed as these are replenished via your water changes. Does an iodine test show that your suffering from a deficiency?>> I have built a Kalk drip and may use that, but am a bit afraid it would drop the alkalinity without my ability to re-establish that...how would I go about doing that? <<As above, do your tests stipulate that you need to use this? if they do not, then don't use, no need. Incorrect setup of the drip can lead to problems, please do read more here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm >> I feed every 3 days, except eel, who I feed every day or every 2 days so he won't eat my shrimps. <<Sounds fine>> The biggest question is do I run dual overflows and run the wet/dry on one side with a skimmer in that alongside the Aquafuge Pro Large, or do I just run the refugium? <<I would just run the fuge, as i really don't feel that wet/dry filters have any place on a marine aquarium as i feel the maintenance aspect is very high. If anything, convert it in a sump or add as another refugium>> What do you guys suggest? <<Thanks for the questions, i hope this helps. A Nixon>> Saltwater 55g FOWLR low maintenance, 5/16/08 Good day gentleman, <and ladies> first I would like to say great site just stumbled across it. I'm ready to set up my1st glass s.w 55ga FOWLR. Before reading your site I have bought a  magnum 350 canister filter, ac 70 powerhead, Hagen Glo t5 ho 36in dual light with 2x39w marine bulbs, a Marineland stealth 200 heater, a Prizm hang on skimmer, <Has a less than optimal reputation.> and two 20pd of bags bio-activ live aragonite reef sand also a 10g tank that I was going to try and make a wet dry system and a 375gph Pondmaster pump for return. Now my question is I only have a small room under the tank, can I avoid a wet dry sump system if I use appropriate amount of live rock in tank or can I use a Eheim 2239 wet dry canister and avoid having to buy a overflow box bioballs etc. <Yes to both.> I'm worried that the space will not hold a wet dry tank system without overflowing being that only 10 gallon just fits under their I still have time to return anything does this sound like a good setup or should I change any thing <Sounds fine, many/most tanks are run without a sump system, where everything is either in-tank or of the hang-on-back variety. In future queries please use proper grammar and spelling, we need to correct this so that the information is easily accessible to readers and search engines. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm >  

Filtration 02/25/2008 Hello again. <<Hello, Andrew here>> Sorry for all the questions <<Its fine, no need to be sorry>>, but you guys are a huge help. I am a bit confused about what I need for filtration. I have a leather coral, some mushrooms, and some polyps as well in there now with two tank raised clowns. I currently have two AquaClear 30 powerheads located on opposite ends of my 55 gallon tank and a Proclear aquatics protein skimmer (AquaC Remora is in the mail on its way to my house as we speak). I also have an AquaClear 110 external Hang on Tank power filter with a sponge, carbon insert, and biomedia insert. The power filter creates sort of a waterfall effect that I cannot stand. First question, should I leave all of the media in the power filter or take out the biomedia. (I do have appx 50 lbs of live rock and am adding more slowly)? <<I would remove the filter completely when you reach a minimum of 55lbs of live rock in the tank>> Also, should I consider dumping the power filter and getting a canister filter? <<Depends on what direction you want to go with the tank. If the advice given by me here is used, then your best using the money that you would be spending on a new filter to buy more live rock>> What I really want is a sump, but my tank is not drilled and have read too many bad things about siphon sumps. Also, should I upgrade my powerheads also? Thanks for all your help. I could not do it without you. <<The syphon type of overflow is not that bad if a good one is purchased. On your powerheads, you ideally need about 25 x tank volume in water circulation. So, in your system, you need around (55 * 25 = 1375 GPH) 1375 gallons per hour water turnover. Your currently on 850 gph.. I would suggest you look into wither upgrading the two existing powerheads or add another to bring you up to par with flow. A good range of powerheads to look at are the Hydor Koralia range>> Thanks again....Matthew Diethorn <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>> Re: Filtration 02/25/2008 Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. <<Hello again Matthew>> I was actually looking at the Koralia's and like them pretty well. I think I will get 2 or the Koralia 2's rated at 600gph each. That will take me up to 1200gph just from powerheads. I will aim them to blow at each other from opposite ends of the tank. Also, with the new AquaC protein skimmer and two powerheads with more live rock, will that be enough filtration and circulation in your opinion? <<yes, that will all certainly bring you up to par with flow>> I hope so, because that would clear up some equipment and make things quite a bit quieter. Also, as far as placing two of the new powerheads, where should they go? I have about a 1 inch aragonite sand bed. Should I keep them near the surface or put one of them lower than the other. <<I would place them mid tank height at opposite ends of the tank, and aim them both slightly towards the front pane of glass, this should cause a nice bit of chaotic flow and due to the wide dissipation of the Koralia, this should also provide a nice overall circulation>> Thanks again, this is my last question, I promise. Matthew Diethorn <<Ask as many questions as you like Matt, its fine. Hope the above helps. A Nixon>>

100 Gallon Filtration  2/10/08 I have had a 55 g marine tank for two years now and am ready for an upgrade. I will make this question simple, as I have most of the basics down. <OK> Would a live rock, deep aragonite sand bed, protein skimmer, and canister filter be sufficient filtration? <Yes it would be sufficient.> I plan on no overflow or sump. This will be fish only with the live rock. Probably clown trigger and other aggressive fish. <100 gallons is pushing the lower limits on system size for this fish. They get very large and territorial.> Aqua c hang on, with canister filter under tank. <Do be sure to clean the canister frequently.> How many pounds of rock would I need and can I get away without the sump? <You can certainly have a tank without a sump. Keep in mind you will need to stock this tank, and any other, at a reasonable (not overcrowded) bioload. As for live rock I would start with 65-75 lbs or so and see how you like the look. You can always add more.> Thanks, your site is great for info. <Welcome, please read through the links and related FAQ's below for more information, Scott V.> http://wetwebmedia.com/clntrigsys.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/lrselfaqs.htm

Filter/Setup Questions 02/05/2008 Hello Bob & Crew, <<Hello, Andrew today>> I sent a couple of e-mails a couple of days ago but fear they may have gotten lost in the great beyond. If this is a duplicate of a message that is already in your queue to be answered I apologize. <<No apology needed>> I have a filtration question about a 125 gallon aquarium I am purchasing. I am going to add 100 lbs of live sand (brand new, I am not using the crushed coral in my current 56 gal tank), my existing 20-25 lbs of live rock from my current 56gal, along with another 25 lbs (for starters) of live rock I am purchasing when I buy the tank. I also have a Coralife 125gal skimmer that works fantastically in my 56 (knock on wood). <<Sounds good>> My LFS suggested (strongly) going with a wet/dry filter with the standard blue bio-balls. <<Strongly eh???>> I am not so sure. So I wanted your opinion on if I were to run two Aquaclear 110's and my current Aquaclear 70, along with the protein skimmer, the 100lbs of LS, and 50 or so lbs (for now) of LR, would that be sufficient to have a healthy setup? I really don't want to go with the wet/dry and especially the bio balls (after reading here on WWM) unless its an outright necessity for the health of the tank. Would this setup give me adequate mechanical filtration, bio filtration, and water movement for this tank? <<The amount of filtration mentioned should be fine, as you are already half way there with the live rock. I would stick to just the 2 Aquaclear 110's, leave off the Aquaclear 70..The 110's are rated at 110g's each, so, that's ok. Flow wise, I would not rely on these to provide the right amount of flow. I would be adding some powerheads to create the flow for you>> Also a quick question, if I may, on cycling the new tank. My LFS also said I "Have" to add bio-Spira to the new tank when I set it up in order to have the tank cycle in a short time frame. I can't support the two tanks (from a space perspective) for more than 2 weeks or so. With adding all of the LS, along with the LR and I also plan to add Hagen cycle which I already have a supply of, do I really "need" the bio-Spira to cycle in such a short time? <<A common question really. How to get a fast cycle. Unfortunately, a cycle should not be rushed, its natures way of laying the building blocks of the aquarium. My advise if you want a "quicker" route to cycling, if it cant be left alone, is to use fully cured live rock, and use pure ammonia as the ammonia source to kick start the cycle. Hopefully, the levels of bacteria already present on the Fully cured live rock will give the cycle a quicker turn around>> Thank you again for such a great site and such helpful information. It is very much appreciated. Mike P. <<Thanks for the questions, hope it helps. A Nixon>>

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