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Old 11-13-2004, 03:57 AM   #1
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Should I ditch my canister filter ?

Hi All,
Back when I first got into this hobby/obsession I took some advice from an uninformed LFS employee and got a canister filter (Fluval 404) and hooked it up to my shiny new 55g tank. I've since learned that most people do not use canisters and instead rely on LS/LR + lots of water movement to take care of bio filtration. I've got about 100lbs LR and a couple of inches LS in the tank with a low bioload - just a Maroon Clown and a Lawnmower Blenny right now, now counting the inverts. The tank has been running since January '04 without any problems except the algae outbreak in the past couple of months.
The canister is running one tray of Fluval Bio-Media and the usual mechanical filtration foam. I've recently been fighting a macro-algae outbreak and although the water tests fine I'm concerned that perhaps the canister is adding nutrients due to detritus build-up in the bio-media. The water tests would come out clear if the algae was sucking up the nutrients as they were created.

So - do you think I should just get rid of the canister entirely ?
If so - do you think that will have much impact on mechanical filtration ?
Alternatively, should I be rinsing out the bio-media with SW periodically to avoid detritus build-up ? (I have not been doing that as I somehow convinced myself some time ago that the bio-media was zero maintenance )

Thanks as always for your insight ...

Brendan.
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Old 11-13-2004, 04:33 AM   #2
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When you do your next water change use some of the waste water and rince off all your biomedia real well and clean out the sponge or whatever other media is in the system. A majority of the nitrate will come from the top layer that catches most of the physical matter.

What does "fine" mean when you test your water?
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Old 11-13-2004, 10:13 AM   #3
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There is no reason to get rid of the canister completely. You spent good money on it and might as well use it. Once your LR is up to quota and LS is working you can use the canister to run carbon or PO4 remover and to add flow to your tank. The main prob with canisters is the amount of maintainance they require in order to keep nitrates in check.
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Old 11-13-2004, 01:37 PM   #4
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I use a canister filter on my tank and I like it alot. If you are having no problems, keep it!

I would however, get rid of the biomedia and just go straight carbon.

I like how well my canister filter works on my tank, My only issue is that it seems to draw some of the nuitrents out of the water as well as the bad stuff.

just be sure you do regular changes to your carbon!
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Old 11-13-2004, 02:35 PM   #5
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You don't need to get rid of the canister. You can cure the algea problem by using the UV sterilizer, and turn off some lights when you are not at home.
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Old 11-13-2004, 03:39 PM   #6
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I have a fluval 404 and really like it.

great for filtering particles and running carbon.
just clean it monthly and you should have no problems
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Old 11-13-2004, 03:58 PM   #7
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Thanks All ! I'll try more regular maintenance to see if that makes a difference.

indy , My levels are 0 for Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite, PH is 8.2/8.3 and there is no detectable phosphate according to my kits. The Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite levels are dependable as I use the same kit for testing my QT and get reliable readings. Not sure about the phosphate test kit though ...
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Old 11-13-2004, 04:32 PM   #8
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What kind of algae??
Do you need the filter No, If you like it keep it. I would ditch the bio media and run carbon in there like the others have said.
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Old 11-13-2004, 09:17 PM   #9
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It's some kind of macro algae. My new Lawnmower Blenny is starting to help.

Why run Carbon ? The water chems are good and I'm running an AquaC Remora Pro skimmer.

thanks....
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Old 11-13-2004, 09:27 PM   #10
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You don't need to run carbon it just helps with water clarity and it also will remove some stuff your skimmer might miss. It's not absolutely neccessary though JMO
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