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Old 01-19-2005, 06:49 AM   #1
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which filtration system is best?

I have just purchased a second hand system cosisting of he following items.

130 gal main tank

30 gal sump

external filter

quality skimmer

2x T5 luminaires

deep coral sand bed

tuffa rock

pumps, power heads etc.

I intend on getting rid of the tuffa rock and replace with 30kg of live rock + 30kg of ocean rock.

my main concern is which type of filtration system should i use. i intend to keep a lot of fish and in time the tank may be run slightly overstocked. however i would also like to be able to keep some easy soft corals and plenty of inverts.

from what i have read a lot of people on here like the Berlin method with a DSB, however i'm not sure this is right for a system with a high fish count? is this system used were it is mainly a reef tank.

my LFS has suggested that i use magic mud and calerpa within the sump as my main filtration system, does this seam right?

i have a large sump which i can alter as i please, what would be the effect of having a compartment filled with LR rubble, for mechanical and biological nitrification and a large refugium for de-nitrification. i could also have a DSB but i'm not very keen on this idea, i don't particulary like the look and it will take up a lot of water volume.

what are your views, would i be heading for disaster? is it possible to over filter a tank?

i have alos posted this in the fish only section so as to get a some different views and opinions.


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Old 01-19-2005, 02:39 PM   #2
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filtration system choices

130 gal tank, 39 gal sump mainly fish (maybe slightly overstocked in time)with some easy corals

here are my choices of filtration system:





at the moment i am tending to lead towards option 3 as i don't really like the look of a DSB.

can anyone see any problems with this? should i use a different system?


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Old 01-19-2005, 02:53 PM   #3
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Berlin method would be fine if you have enough LR in the tank. You would want to go for about 90 to 100kg+ total LR if you plan to overstock. The more the better, 60kg would not be enough for what you want to do. Also, you can keep some LR in the sump and still set that up as a refugium with macroalgaes to reduce nitrates further.

Not sure whate you mean by ocean rock???

What type of skimmer do you have? That will make a big difference on what works and what does not. If you are not sure, take a pic of it.

One more thing, CC substrates can turn into waste traps. Having more of a sandy/gravel substrate can be a lot easier.
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Old 01-19-2005, 05:03 PM   #4
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not sure what make the skimmer is , i'm picking it up tommorrow (second hand) so i'll take a pic and post it!

if its not good enough i'll sell it on and buy a better one.

i can understand how the berlin method reduces nitrates because of the anerobic bacteria deep inside but what supports the aerobic bacteria for the nitrification process in the first place? is the berlin method the best?

surely its better to have lots of live rock and a mechanical/biological filtration system as well.

in everyones opinion, what is the best filtration system to have in a 160gal tank?

i havn't started to put it together yet so my options are wide open.

please help me resolve this filtration headache!!!!!!!!!!1

its the only part which is holding me back!!!

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Old 01-19-2005, 07:01 PM   #5
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The problem with some mechanical filters is the same problems as having CC for substrate. Both will lead to high nitrates. The CC will trap detrirus and unless vacuumed regularly will be a problem. The filters also trap the same waste and once traped and not removed it too will turn into high nitrate readings.
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Old 01-20-2005, 06:02 PM   #6
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well, i got my tank today and i'm V Happy!!!

unfortunetly i can only look at it for now becasue i'm off to iraq for 6 weeks as of the 7th of Feb. so i'll have to set it up when i return.

anyway back to the subject.........filtration...

i understand the trapped waste theory........but would you still recommend a LR / DSB only filtration system for a heavily fish stocked system?



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