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FAQs on Marine Filtration Maintenance

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, Marine Filtration 12, & FAQs on Marine Filtration: Designs, Installation, 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,

SW Filter Cleaning: Need more information. 8/3/2009
I'm sure there's an article about this but I just can't find it how do I clean my salt water aquariums filter????
<Need a lot more information - starting with what kind of filter are we talking about?>
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device from U.S. Cellular
<Sent from my Dell XPS Laptop, sitting on my desk.>

Re: SW Filter Cleaning: (Still) Need more information. 8/4/2009
I'm new to this hobby so I don't know names and stuff but I'm pretty sure its called a casket filter
<hmm.... no.>
or something it hangs on the side of the tank and filters the stuff in a little box
<So it is a hang on the back powerfilter. There should be a lid, take the lid off and you will see the filter cartridges. Remove the cartridges and replace them - you can but them at most pet stores - you will need to know what brand of filter you have.>

Re: re: SW Filter Cleaning: (Still) Need more information. 8/5/2009
What if there is a white crusty build up on the black thing that sticks down that sucks up the water can I clean that off with tap water or what?
<Yes, you can. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hangonfltsmar.htm >

Filter Cleaning Schedule - 04/28/07 Hello crew, <<Howdy Jared>> I have a 75 FOWLR. 65 lbs live rock, live sand, Magnum 350, Prizm skimmer.....yea yea I know I need to upgrade, <<Indeed>> maybe you can give me a hint as to what kind of skimmer I should get for under $200? <<That's an easy one...the 'AquaC Remora'...though for just a 'few' bucks over $200 you can get the 'AquaC Remora Pro' and get a bit more "fudge factor">> I also run a Emperor 280 bio-wheel filter. <<Mmm, this is "ok"...but I think a fluidized-bed filter would serve better>> I have 2 black tail damsels, 2 cleaner shrimp, 6 turbo snails, and a yellow tang. <<Wow, certainly not overstocked...goodonya mate>> The tank has been running for 3 months and my question is how should I clean the two filters to ensure I don't end up with nitrate build up? <<Do you mean due to the loss of beneficial bacteria from the cleaning?  Honestly, with the live rock/sand and your current stocking level...this isn't an issue>> How often should I do this cleaning? <<The canister filter should be cleaned weekly...the bio-wheel is a bit more complicated to predict.  I do think these "wheels' lose efficiency over time through clogging of the material, but how often this needs attention will vary from tank to tank.  Were this me, I would purchase a "spare" wheel and swap these out (twice a year), cleaning the "used" wheel in anticipation of the next swap.  By placing the new/cleaned wheel in the sump/overflow/etc a few days before needed, the bacteria will get a head start and be able to ramp-up quickly once placed in the filter>> How often should I change out the carbon in the Magnum?   <<At least monthly>> Thanks for all your help, Jared <<Happy to assist.  Regards, EricR>>

Re: Filter Cleaning Schedule - 04/29/07 I have a couple questions regarding your reply. <<Ok>> What is a fluidized-bed filter? <<Here's a good explanation copied from the Net:  "Fluidized bed filter is a device that accomplishes biological filtration through growth of nitrifying bacteria on a mass of sand or tiny spheres of synthetic materials suspended in a current of water passing through it. Although similar in principle to other types of biological filtration systems, this method allows for maximum carrying capacity while minimizing the size of the filter itself."   As explained, the media is in a "fluidized" state which prevents channeling/clogging...I also feel this type biological filter is capable of rapids "adjustments" allowing it to keep pace with shifting bio-loads>> When I clean the filter pads do I just move them around in some water from a water change? <<You can, though I feel this is not a very effective cleaning method...I prefer to do a better job at the sink under the tap>> I'm afraid I will re-cycle my tank? <<By cleaning your canister filter once a week?...no...not with the other biological filtration you stated you have on/in your system (live rock, live sand, Bio-Wheel)>> Thanks, Jared <<Regards, EricR>> R2: Filter Cleaning Schedule - 04/30/07 You said to clean my filter pad under the tap? <<Is what I do, yes>> Won't that get chlorine in my filter media? <<Not in any quantity to be concerned with.  EricR>> R3: Filter Cleaning Schedule - 04/30/07 Sorry I am wearing you guys out but what is the best fluidized-bed filter I can get for a decent price? <<Mmm yes, well, they all seem rather pricey to me considering the simplicity of function...check out the Rainbow Lifeguard units.  Eric Russell>> -Emperor Filter, Regular Maintenance- Hi Crew, <Hello there, Kevin here tonight.> I have an Emperor 280 filter for a 30G tank <As do I on my quarantine; my favorite HOTB filter.>.  I have had my tank for 2 months and have not cleaned my filter via disassembling it. The only thing  I have done was change the carbon a few times and clean the filter cartridge (by rinsing it in some tank water). <Keeping in mind that the filter cartridge is filled with carbon, which will re-release goodies that it absorbed or that were present from the manufacturing process. Change the cartridge at least monthly as the manufacturer suggests, but keeping in mind that carbon's usable lifespan in an aquarium is only 3-4 days.>  As you may already know, the instructions  to the filter say that I should replace the filter cartridge if the "water level indicator window" is half full or higher-which mine is. <Water level indicator window? Sounds complicated, let common sense rule here. If the water level on the back side of the cartridge is reasonably higher than the water level on the aquarium side, then its all gummed up with bio-yums. No rocket science here, if you notice that it has a lot of gross on it, clean it off, more than likely it's been a month anyway and you simply toss it.> Should I replace  the filter cartridge? <Yep, every month if only to keep this old carbon rotating out.> At this point, I believe that the cartridge is an  established part of my bio filter (even though I have a bio wheel-which I  have never touched). <The bio-wheel is your bio-filter, toss the cartridge with a clean conscience since the bio-wheel is taking care of most of your nitrification.> Should I also disassemble my filter and give the  filter box, water intakes and spray bar a good cleaning? <As the theoretical ideal aquarist does, disassemble all pumps every month, cleaning out the impeller and the impeller chamber. Keeping the only moving part clean will add to the lifespan of your unit, keep it running cooler, and quieter.> Will this effect  my bio filtration?  How should I go about cleaning it? <No worries, simply keep the bio-wheel wet in tank water for the duration of the cleaning.> Thanks for you  badly needed advice. <Enjoy -Kevin>   Chris

Dilemmas... mainly marine filtration Thanks for the help with the wrasse identification question. Unfortunately, with further web research I'm 99% sure the wrasses I inherited from my buddy is a cleaner wrasse of some sort. <Yikes! Unfortunately, these fishes are still imported all too often...> I don't want a fish that's gonna die literally any day. I'll do my best to keep it though. <Well, yours might be the one in a million that can adapt to prepared foods; now that you have this guy, do your best to try as many different food items as you can...don't quit on him- you owe him the effort, okay?> My question today is concerning my filtration set up. I have a Emperor carbon-based filter, 2 powerheads (301s, one on each side) 40 lbs or so of live rock,  and a 60 lbs crushed coral bed. The lady at the LFS store told me the other day that my carbon-based system can actually kill my fish by creating too many bubbles and eliminating many valuable aquarium minerals and such. Is this true or she trying to get me to spend even more money at her store?  <This is one of those strange types of answers that you'll get from time to time. The real "downfall" to carbon-based filtration is that you need to change it often to maintain its efficiency. Mechanical filtration in general is maintenance-intensive; don't get lazy! Problems arise in these types of systems when maintenance is neglected- then they function as nutrient "traps"...a problem that can degrade water quality tremendously. As far as the "bubble" issue- that's likely to be caused by cavitation or other issues with the filter itself- not the carbon media.> I do bi-weekly 10-15% water changes and change carbon every other month. <Good- but in a mechanical-based system, or any system, for that matter- I'd use 2 small (5%) changes per week...they'll help prevent organics from ever having a chance to accumulate.> Should I eliminate the carbon-based filter and just depend on my bio-filtration and powerheads? (tank 75 gallon saltwater, running about 3 months, snails, hermits, pep shrimp, 1 clown that has taken a home in or near the bubbles). <Well, I'm a big fan of just utilizing simple biological means, such as a well-designed sump, and aggressive protein skimming...Easy and efficient!> Would adding another powerhead help? she also mentioned maybe running the carbon once a month for about a week and repeat monthly. I'll eventually add a sump system, but it could be a while before I do so or maybe never. <Well- something to consider for the future!> Your opinion would help out a great deal. Thanks much <Hope that this helps! Regards, Scott F>

Reducing Algae, improving UV and skimmer Anthony, I, like Jim, have a similar setup with the same Blue-Green Algae problems. I have been following your Emails trying to solve my problems but the last post threw me for a curve. So, I have drawn my setup to try and help out with my confusion (I hope it's not too big): <actually an excellent drawing and very helpful/illustrating! Thank you> I also have the Oceanic with an overflow: <wow... Steve and I were just chatting about this today. It amazes us how and why manufacturer's continue to make such POORLY designed overflows when people are complaining and easy solutions are commonly known. Common problems include too small drains, too noisy, clogs to easily and prefilters rob skimmers of particulates that lead to nuisance algae blooms from the now dissolving organics forcibly held in the prefilter with water carrying them through dissolved. Sheesh! And new/uninformed aquarists get such a bad start without knowing it... a pity> 1. If I understand you correctly I should remove the foam prefilter from the area I have drawn as #1?  <heck, ya!> There is still a sand pipe (I don't know what to call it)  <a fine and fair name> that would catch any BIG debris should something that big make it down there;  <and even a little bit of very course mesh (plastic gutter guard like for rain gutters) at the top to prevent fish or snails from overflowing and clogging the pipe> but what about all the smaller, common, debris (uneaten food, etc) that happens to make it over the overflow?  <that is exactly what we want to overflow and make it raw to the skimmer so that it can be skimmed out of the system before it has a chance to dissolve and degrade... before it can be nitrified by the likes of your trickle filter and turn into nitrate and nutrients which feed nuisance algae!> Will it not settle in the bio balls and down where I have my heater?  <if it makes it past the skimmer as I will detail below, it still should not make it to the bioballs if your trickle filter has a proper prefilter that you service monthly or weekly. And if you have enough live rock and a reef or small enough fish only population, you don't need the trickle/bio balls at all... they produce way to much nitrate anyway> I imagine this will accumulate QUICKLY? <your right... it does in the prefilters and that's part of what seriously feeds your algae if left trapped and dissolving there instead of being exported from the system into the skimmer cup> I also have a problem with the fluctuation of my water level in my sump: 2. How I can I possible keep the same water level during water changes (weekly)? I have to siphon water out and refill the tank. Even when I turn off the return I still get a rise in my sump (1-3in) from the water that drains over the overflow. <I'm hoping that you have your active running water level on the sump marked with a hash so that between water changes, DAILY by automatic or manual top-off, you can add fresh water for evaporation to keep the salinity adjusted and steady almost exactly (a steady sump level for your skimmer as well). So that only for the brief time when you do the water change will your sump level fluctuate. Now the best way all things considered is to have a separate or integrated standing vessel drilled with an overflow (or having a dam) that all raw water from the display overflow falls into first before traveling on to the sump (which you can now allow to fluctuate just a little... although not too much because salinity also affects skimmer performance). See an excerpted illustration from my book here to clarify this part (skimmer compartment receiving raw water... trickle can follow if it must: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/SystemPIX/AnthonysPlumbingDiagram.pdf> 3. You said to make a separate compartment for the skimmer pump, I imagine if I put a partition in my sump between my skimmer and my return AND keep the water on the right side (where the return draws from) lower then the partition then the level will remain the same. BUT, I will have to raise the overall water level (on the left side) in my sump to do this so that evaporation does not leave my return dry.  <well... you've got the gist of it, but making it harder than it needs to be> Is it ok to have the bio balls (or a good amount of them) submerged in water?  <very bad for nitrification with them... limits them to O2 in the water (instead of unlimited via moist air in trickle) and forces them to compete with fish and inverts for O2> Don't I want to maximize the "tickle" in the tickle filter? <yes if used> 4. I also read that it is better to have the Skimmer before the bio media.  <a resounding yes!!!> Given that this sump takes up all available room in my stand, is there anyway that you see this would be possible for me?  <again... if it is possible to abort the trickle with enough live rock in the main display and a small to medium fish load, do so> That was probably a vague presumptuous question. <no worries... advising you only the likely possibilities. There are always exceptions. If you are fish only or prefer large fishes... some of the above may not serve you as well. But if you are like most with tang sized fishes and the like...perhaps have some live rock... perhaps have or are interested in inverts, then the above applies> I hope this all makes sense, I'm kinda scatter brained right now (no comment necessary). <that was too easy anyway <smile>. The sum of your problem with the skimmer as you have diagramed is that water is prefiltered in the overflow, then prefiltered before the bioballs, then prefiltered with the foam block after the bio-balls!!! I doubt that you skimmer is performing worth the cost of electricity to keep it running!?! On the other hand, your UV is also useless without very efficient chemical and mechanical filtration... the mere prefilter of the overflow before raw water drops through it is an improperly designed installation. UV filters need crystal clear sediment free water flowing through SLOWLY to have any chance of working (and that is assuming that you dismantle, flush and bleach it several times yearly as residue built up on the inside can virtually stop UV light for doing anything useful. The UV should be placed after the return pump to get the best possible water (again...see diagram listed above and place UV on the bleeder line detailed teed off of the return pump looping back into the sump or also sent up to the display as a second/lesser return> Thank you (you guys rock), Mark <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Reducing Algae, improving UV and skimmer Anthony, I appreciate the quick reply as always. I have decided to make some major changes to my sump per your recommendations. Please bare with me though... <no worries... our pleasure> In the diagram you directed me to the following diagram (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/SystemPIX/AnthonysPlumbingDiagram.pdf). How exactly does that pre-filtration work? <any and all ideal pre-filtration should capture (1) and hopefully neutralize or export (2) particulate waste in a perfect world. Your mechanical prefilters do capture particulates well most likely... but short of once or twice daily cleanings of these filters (?!?!?) they unfortunately will become biological in short time and trap matter that degrades in nitrification to produce nitrate and also dissolves into soluble nutrients that can no longer be trapped by a prefilter but does accumulate and become food for algae in part. So... the best solution to me for most tanks with a mid to high bio-load is 2 skimmers cleaned alternately so that skimmate production is rarely interrupted. I describe the merits of alternate prefilters below:> What is an Aiptasia scrubber (I did a search of the site and came up with anemones)? <a means of harnessing a typically UNDESIRABLE pest organism (that grows and reproduces too readily in reef aquaria with nutrient export flaws)... the Aiptasia anemone... in a dedicated tray or raceway for the purpose of behaving like a living filter. This is really best suited for tanks with very large and high fish loads or any system that is necessarily overfed. A means of handling high volumes of particulates... not suited for most aquarists but a fascinating and inexpensive solution for those that need it> Algal scrubber? <vegetable filtration... screens of turf algae ideally (corrupted by aquarists into meaning Caulerpa plants... simply awful and complicated choices for reef scrubbers!) for the purpose of drawing nutrients from the water for convenient export by regularly and systematically harvesting algae mass. A tedious and unreliable form of filtration for aquarists on a small scale (at least to be effective). Really best suited for aquarists that like to tinker, have reliable free time to supervise the system, etc. Very successfully employed in larger and commercial aquaria> Sediment chamber? <short and sweet... a large deep vessel, perhaps with baffles (or a low long run of a vessel like water treatment plants) where the water enters on one end and sediment drops out by the time the water exits the vessel. Sediment is to be siphoned away regularly. Simple, but a little labor intensive> And raceway culture? <really a bit extensive to describe here... if you are an active reef keeper looking to propagate and farm coral do follow up on this concept with me (also described in my book... but asking here is free <wink>... Please do! Also, this is not a direct solution to algae problems... rather an interesting aquarium concept and indirectly helpful. More of a culturing methodology> How do I employ each of these? Am I adding a substrate/filter of some sort? <Aiyeee! Substrate filters (passing water through like your pre-filter) are generally not recommended if you are trying to control algae (nitrification-nitrates)> Assuming I have a 30gal sump and 72gal display, what size should the Pre-filtration be (outside dimensions)? Is it in proportion to the sump in your diagram? <honestly, my friend... you can simply ignore the prefilter in the illustration. The drawing describes many of the possible aspects of a reef display but all are not necessary or even recommended. Pick and choose each to suit your needs> I'm sure this is just the beginning to my questions and I appreciate your patients. Thank you, Mark <no worries... fire away! And keep reading/learning/sharing. Anthony Calfo>

Filtration problems? Hi Bob, I've been reading through this website for some time now and have learned a lot. Keep up the good work! <Am trying to... thanks> I have a couple of questions regarding filtration. My display tank is a 55 gal. with 50 lbs. live rock and crushed coral substrate. My livestock includes 2 anemones and 2 false Percula clownfish, some scarlet reef and left-handed hermits, 15 turbo snails and a peppermint shrimp. All water parameters are good. My setup includes an AquaC Remora Pro skimmer, an AquaClear300 filter, a QuickSand fluidized bed filter powered by a Hagen 301  powerhead and Quickfilter. I also have two Hagen 402 powerheads with Quickfilters for added circulation/aeration/filtration. Actually I am thinking about replacing the AquaClear with an Eheim 2028 canister filter so that I do not have so much hanging off of the back of the tank making it hard to clean (it's an in the wall tank and I can only get to it from the back).  <A good choice, change.> My first question is do I have adequate filtration, as I see a lot of detritus come up from the gravel when I vacuum it? <Sounds fine... some detritus is to be expected.> I just decided to set up a 10 gal. quarantine tank, so I took off the QuickSand fluidized bed filter to use the it for the q-tank (which is filled with 1/2 water from my main tank). But do you think that my 55 gal. will be alright without the QuickSand filter? <Yes... of a certainty... once it's fully cycled, up and going, plenty of nitrification elsewhere.> My other concern is when I briefly unplugged the QuickSand fluidized filter on the 55 gal. this morning and plugged it back in, a considerable amount of the silica from inside was released into the tank. I am now worried that this will cause problems in my tank, as I already have some brown algae (most of it is in inside of the QuickSand fluidized filter itself). <No real worries here either... a short while, as in minutes? No problem> I would appreciate any advice you could give regarding my filtration setup and whether the silica will be a problem (and if so, what do I do?). <I would do nothing> Thanks so much for your help and this wonderful forum!! Laura <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Marine filtration Hi Bob, Anthony or Steven, <I guess that would make me tweedle-dee...or maybe tweedle-dum, hmmmm. At any rate, Anthony Calfo here> How are you guys, I have to tell you I'm trying to decide whether to go for a plenum system of DSB, but for some reason DSB is always a HOT topic in the past two months! <doesn't have to be...really a quite simple decision that some popular literature has muddied> I already bought a new 180g replacing my older 180g due to my problem of a scratches and a small corner over flow my new one has a bigger one which is now at the center with a return concept inside the over flow that. The over flow has two 1.5 inches for bulkhead going in the tank and 2 1.5 going out to sump. Now my question is that my situation with a bad BGA problem <nothing that good nutrient export processes cannot control. like a skimmer producing serious daily skimmate (4-8oz of very dark product) for two weeks or more> 1. clean and brush all the LR that contains BGA Total of 250LBS) <I'd add a SECOND skimmer on staggered/alternate cleaning schedule from the first before I'd engage in that kind of labor. Just curiously...is your only/primary skimmer a Berlin/Red Sea?> 2. Should I keep the sugar size Live sand which is only 1.5inches that I have now or throw them out and start from new 6" deep, < good grade if deep enough and your target is denitrification. Only keep it if it is relatively clean and free of excess detritus> or keep them and place a new one on top, <Aieeeee! positively horrifying...unless you really like nuisance algae> or is it more advantageous to have no sand in the main system and place the DSB in the 55G sump with some macroalgae on a reverse photo period. <really to difficult to answer without more info... what is the goal? Denitrification (DSB), ph stabilization (RDP refugia) or vegetable filtration (Caulerpa)? For the record... I feel that the Caulerpa is an easily neglected and potentially harmful idea for MOST reef systems... I prefer less noxious and more stable "plants" like seagrasses and calcareous alga> is it bad not to have a sand at all in the main system,  <it's not bad...but I like the advantage of reflected light off of a white substrate... it is a significant advantage among others> the reason I ask is that for some reason I had the same problem in my previous 100g the BGA started in the live sand the sand I'm using is from Carib sea sugar size aragonite, maybe it's the sand type or should I go with a different brand.  <nope.. essentially all aragonite entering the aquarium trade is from ONE source...just re-bagged by different suppliers. Your problem was poor advice from go... The rule is 1/2" or less, or three inches or more for fine sand. Anything in between is a potential problem (which is where most critics of DSB have failed)> To further understand with my current BGA problem I have about 4000 gal of circulation, but I feel not enough turn over rate due to the small corner over flow that is why I'm buying a new one, my current return pump is Cap 5000 rated (not sure), but thinking of using an Iwaki RLT75 I think it's 1500g at 3ft (not sure). Now I'm just using EV150, but thinking of conjunction of Euroreef since they are much better according to other hobbyist.  <Agreed! on the Euroreef but all brands of skimmer do need fine tuning first> If old bulb is a suspect <not at all... really just a nutrient problem that has accumulated... even slowly over time> no problem I do keep track of my bulbs and replace my MH every 12 months <probably a waste of money to change them so often... take the money you would spend on frequent MH bulb changes and invest in a Luxmeter that will indicate relative bulb intensity and imply useful life (color sway is uncommon with the "better" MH bulbs like Radium and Iwasaki. Let me know if you are using another brand.> I know other hobbyist replace them 14-16 months, and I do replace my actinic power compact every 6 months I guess that's pretty standard with actinic light right?  <correct and necessary for invertebrates> I'm running Ca reactor and only add Iodine for supplements because I'm afraid additives can make things worst with BGA. <the iodine is not the root of your problem by any means, but agreed until your nutrient problem is corrected> Feeding schedule is once a day 1 and half cubes frozen and mostly formula 2 and half of formula 1 and other days half of angel formula, brine and Mysis shrimp. <are you thawing and draining the pack juice from these frozen foods? If not, it is accumulating as a nutrient daily...hello algae!> Now there was a topic that frozen containing gel binder might promote BGA,  <a weak excuse> but others claim it is the only best food source esp. for tangs and angels, which contains sponges and vegetables. Light schedule is from 11:00am till 9:p.m. with actinics on before and after of 30 min.  <sounds reasonable> My macro algae are now all dead since BGA had taken over.  <wow!> If parameters is an issue with according to the recently bought Salifert test kits ph-8.2, <too low if it is a daytime reading... high Redox and High (natural) pH have been shown to inhibit many nuisance alga. pH for day night should range about 8.6 by day and can drop to about 8.3 at night. If you have a pH dropping near or under 8.0 in the dead of night because you could only get it up to 8.2 during daylight... you have a pH problem> alk-10dkh, ca-450, phos-0,nitrate-5.  <excellent> On top of this battle I do use both UV sterilizer and Ozone, <do you have a Redox meter or controller for your ozone or is it a free for all (insert Ted Nugget music here)> which I don't think really work unless it is a floating pathogen. Water changes practices- 15 gal every 2 weeks using a R/O with silicate filter system and filters are changes every 6 months.  <a little light on the water changes especially if skimmer(s) aren't working insanely well> R/O is also used for water make up for evaporation. 1/3 HP chiller is used to make the temp stable. My last question is that do you guys use filter floss or any material as a mechanical filtering device,  <excellent if serviced near daily... but a disadvantage if extended service between cleanings> the reason I ask is that some set up that I've seen they don't use mechanical filter at all, <works with serious water movement and skimmers to export organic particulates before they degrade> but I do I just want to make sure that it's practical and I do change them every week! and Carbon at one month and PolyFilter the following month.  <smaller portions changed more frequently would do you better on the carbon... two months allows it to behave biologically and degrade organics> I hope I did not give you guys too many things to read I just want to make sure I gave you enough Info to understand my situation and maybe have a possible solution and I do want to give a many many thanks for great work to help hobbyist like me in order to be successful and provide other newbies the same information so that they will not waste their money for mistakes I had made, and I do want to express that Patience is  A VIRTUE! <wise and agreed... thanks kindly, Anthony>

Thanks for the info. <<Hello, JasonC here...>> Thanks for the info, I think I found what I'm looking for. <<ahh good.>> Now I just have to raise the cash. <<know that story.>> I'm also trying to grow some Fiji live rock, which is already changing colors and growing some good plant life. (I just hope it stays that way) Anyway, I'm now buying a good Skilter and powerhead. My new question is if I should buy those items or just buy something like an Emperor filter instead of running my Whisper filter, a Skilter and a power head all for my tank. <<I would think this is up to your budget. I think the skimmer-route would be the best path, as most all tanks need some type of protein skimmer. The additional powerhead would be nice too.>> Any info would be most welcome. Thanks. <<You are quite welcome. Cheers, J -- >>

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