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Old 09-04-2005, 06:45 PM   #1
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Switching over my filters for reef keeping - oops Help pleas

Gees, I feel like a newbie all over again!

Ok, well for those of you that have not seen my other posts I am in the process of switching on of my 55 gal tanks from FOWLR to full reef tank. So far I have changed my lighting so that I now how 260 watts PC, I have added live rock to total about 60-70 lbs, and raised my salinity to 1.22/23. Now I need to switch over my filters. What I have now on this tank is an eheim canister filter with ceramic noodles and filters in it, and a Penguin biowheel 350 on there. More then enough for FOWLR. Now, the guy at my LFS says that I need to take the biological elements out of there (i.e biowheel, and noodles) in order to keep rates down for a successful reef tank. He suggested taking the biowheels off one at a time (there are 2) then wait a few days and take the other off. Then after a week or so take the noodles out of the canister filter, leaving the pads to trap big stuff. Does this sound right? If I take all those out will things be ok? Also what do I do with the pads in the Penguin as I know they have carbon in them, and he said carbon is bad for a reef tank.

Also if everyone agrees this is the right course of action can I reverse the order. I need to do maintenance on my canister anyway so what if when I do I just don't put the noodles back in there? Also should I put the Ehfistrate (basically little rocks) back in? I guess once all this is out of the filter the only reason to keep it running is to trap big stuff in the pads and for circulation right? Same with the Penguin as I was told to remove all the biowheels and the pads anyway.

Sorry for all the questions but all of this is a little backwards of my other tanks.

Oh yeah also how important do most think a skimmer is a reef tank. I have one on each of my other tanks, but this tank did not have one and I am debating if I need one.

Basically I am just concerned that if I remove all biological filtration, and all carbon, and just leave an empty penguin and canister will the rock filter enough for things to be healthy.....It seems so backwards to me versus my other tanks with wetdrys, bioballs, skimmers, and everything else to just have nothing.

Man sorry to go on and on, just alot to sort out with this setup
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Old 09-04-2005, 06:53 PM   #2
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I would add another 30lbs of LR, get a nice skimmer an call it good. With nough biological filtration and aggressive skimming your filtering needs should be met. You can run the canister if you want for some extra movement and a place to run chemical filtration and for water polishing but it is really not needed.
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Old 09-04-2005, 06:56 PM   #3
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Ok, but in the mean time, as I have already pushed the budget quite a bit with the new lighting and 30 lbs of rock I bought in the last 2 weeks what would you suggest. Should I start takig the bio filtration out of there...remove the wheels and noodles? SHould I just remove the Penguin all together? I have a Aqua C that I can move to this tank which should take care of skimming. If I remove all the bio stuff at once won't there be a huge rise in my levels?
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Old 09-04-2005, 06:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Should I start takig the bio filtration out of there
If used in your FW set up, yes. If it is new media you can leave it for now to help out until your LR is built up.
Quote:
SHould I just remove the Penguin all together?
I would
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Old 09-04-2005, 07:07 PM   #5
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Don't remove everything at once if you have any fish or coral in the tank. I believe you stated that your LFS said to take one piece of bio-filtration out at a time, and this is what I have read and been told as well. The more LR the better, but I believe it's a matter of style past about 1 1/2 lbs per gallon. By only taking out one piece of bio at a time, you allow the bio in the LR to build up to replace it so that you don't have huge spikes in your parameters. If you've just turned the tank over, and are going through a cycle, than I don't think it matters if you pull it all at one time.
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Old 09-05-2005, 10:30 AM   #6
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to clarify it was never FW it has always been SW, just not a reef tank. It used to be a SW FOWLR, but much less live rock. There is currently a Maroon Clown, a large BT Anemone, and a Leather Coral in there. I just added about 30 pounds of LR to what was already in there. The live rock was already cycled when I added it.

Sorry if there was confusion, I am just converting it to a full blown reef tank, rather then a FOWLR...See what I mean?
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Old 09-05-2005, 10:33 AM   #7
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That is a bit clearer. What are your current NO3 levels? What were they when you had you FOWLR set up?
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Old 09-05-2005, 01:48 PM   #8
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I would go slowly on taking the media out, and would do that last effort to buy a nice skimmer...
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Old 09-05-2005, 04:17 PM   #9
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Ok so I had to do a partial water change today, and decided to take out about 3/4 of the ceramic noodles and leave both the bio wheels running. Now about 3 hours later I check and my amonia has gone up from 0 to about .25 and my anemone seems to be stressing out. What should I do? I am doing another 5 gal change now and hope that helps, and the noodles have been out of water all morning so putting them back in will not do any good now. I really do not want to kill the coral and anemone that is in the tank now. Any suggestions

Natrate levels were a little high which is why I decided to do a change this morning. There were about 10 ppm this morning and are now up to about 20 ppm. I dont get it, this tank has been stable for over a year, just taking out some of the bio filtration could cause all this??? Well I hope that things work out cause I have no more water to do changes with.

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Old 09-05-2005, 04:57 PM   #10
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I would hold off on any more changes in the tank right now. You just took out about 1/3 of your established biological filtration. Let the live rock and and live sand play catch up now, so they can replace the noodles.

Not sure how long you should wait before taking out other parts, but I imagine you don't want to do it to soon, in order to give your tanks inhabitants time to recover.

Hopefully the anemone will hang on!
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