For a real reef tank, I understand its important to have the extra benefit of having these anaerobic bacteria, but in any other system its not needed. Some good media with a sump, canister, or HOB
filter works just as good as LR
since the aerobic bacterias are only needed.
there really aren't that much benefit to having a FOWLR
over a FO
. NitrAtes are the only way we can measure the total pollution (there are usually hundreds of unmeasureable other polluntants) in water. Its the most important reading in this hobby. Skimmers and macroalgae/plants do help with the total pollution, but they also make it harder to have a real judgement for nitrAte level in tanks. This is why determining the required amount and frequency of water changes in SW
system is difficult. This being said, one person having a FO
system will have to do the same amount/frequency of water change as someone with a FOWLR
system (assuming both persons have exact same tank and livestock with no skimmer or macroalgae). The person with a FO
has the advantage since he/she knows when and how much water to change at any given time just by testing the nitrAte levels.