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Old 01-07-2005, 04:10 PM   #1
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filtering recommendations?

Hi- I've been keeping fw fish for about 10 years now and have recently decided to go sw. I have been doing a little research before I make the leap into the hobby, but some info seems contradictory. Maybe someone out there can help. I intend to have a 30 gal reef tank. My main questions concern filtration. I have read books that recommend an underwater filter with a deep sand bed(3-4") and others that say anything deeper that 1.5" promotes anaerobic bacteria, which is bad, even thought the Berlin system depends on small areas of low oxygen. I would like to know if anybody uses the Berlin method in combination with an exterior cannister filter with AC, or is this unnecessary?.The only equipment I have now is basically my old fw tank and stand so I will be buying new stuff, I'm just kind of confused about which way to go.

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Old 01-07-2005, 04:13 PM   #2
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With the Berlin method of using LR and skimming for filtration, many people run an external canister filter with AC or orther chemical filtration. Just do not stick any filter pads or anything in the canister.

You can do Berlin style filtration with or without a DSB. DSBs are not "good" or "bad", they are just another way of doing things.


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Old 01-07-2005, 04:23 PM   #3
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I am currently using the Berlin method for natural filtration. I have a FOWLR/invert tank, but will most likely lean over to a reef down the road. Here is the information I got before considering the Berlin:
No undergravel filter. This will create problems down the road with nitrates.
You will want between 1 - 1 1/2lbs of lr. The more the better.
You will want an excellent skimmer. You can't skimp on this one.
Since you have a 30G, you could setup a 10G sump to put the skimmer, heater, bio rock, etc. in.
You will also want at least 2 powerheads for water movement.
According to what I have read, there are two ways you can setup a sand bed. Either shallow, or thick. No in between. I went with the 1 1/2 inch sandbed on mine. Some people prefer the thicker ones between 4-5" sandbed for reefs.
With the Berlin method, you don't need a canister filer, which is what I used before setting it up. The lr will be the intended filtration.
I do, however, use my canister to run AC every now and then to polish the water though. It's good for that. HTH

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Old 01-07-2005, 05:29 PM   #4
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I am adding more rock in about 2 months, right now I have between 1 - 1.5 lb/gal, I have a DSB a good protein skimmer,(I could probally leave it at that but...) I also have a wet dry, however I am replaceing mine and I will tell you why in case you consider one for yourself. It is a good peice equipment, but after awhile the bioballs get buildup and your nitrates begin to creep (though it is a very slow process), my bioballs are pretty old...so I am going to put in a sump/refuguim instead. I would suggest this even if you do decide on the berlin method. It has so many benifits, and had I known, I would have started out with one. you can grow macroalgea and mangrooves which are good nutrient exports for phosphates and nitrates. Though chaeto and the mangrooves are from my understanding the best choice because they will not go sexual (another topic) and a sump is great for water movement too. In a refuguim, you have a safe place for your pods to grow and for other animals/organisms that you might want to keep seperate from your main tank. Also this adds to your water volume, the more water volume you have the more stable your tank will be. I know there are other benifits, but I will let the more expeirenced tell you because I just bought mine this week : ). You can also go with the berlin method and then decide on the sump/refuguim later down the road. But anyways to put this long story to an end, that is why I wish I had purchased a refuguim/sump instead.
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Old 01-07-2005, 05:39 PM   #5
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but after awhile the bioballs get buildup and your nitrates begin to creep
That is why I ripped mine out and replaced with reef rubble instead for a more natural filtration.

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