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Old 06-21-2015, 09:59 PM   #1
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Confused on Filtration... Newbie

thanks for reading...still very confused newbie.. currently Cycling a 29 gallon fowlr. I have 30 lbs of LR and dryrock in tank with sand. I have two small powerheads. I am using my aquaclear 70 filter but was advised to purchase a skimmer. so i am looking online now for a HOB skimmer for my small tank. If i go with a skimmer does that mean i can get rid of the AC filter or is that also still needed? and if i do keep the AC filter what media do i use in it? Do i still use the foam? I understand that some say it could be a nitrate factory. I dont mind junking it if its easier.. Or do i just use my AC70 alone with no skimmer?
I am also looking for a skimmer... LFS trying to sell me the red sea prizm deluxe... another LFS says thats junk and to get a Eshopps psk75 instead... I look online and there are 60000 choices.. I dont want to spend a bunch on one but also dont want to skimp out and regret it...are these both good choices? i want a hob because im not gonna do a sump setup for now... Maybe in the future if i upgrade to a bigger tank...thanks again for helping..

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Old 06-21-2015, 11:01 PM   #2
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Your tank is less than 30 gallons, you don't need either of those devices on your tank.
Weekly water changes can and will keep your numbers inline.
Using a skimmer will lessen your % of water changes, but you'll still need to do them. But because your tank is so small, the cost of that salt is minimal.
Live Rock is your tanks filtration, it grows bacteria on it that filters the water for you, this allows you to go with just a certain % of water changes.

But, a skimmer is a bonus to run, always is. Always better to run than a filter.

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Old 06-21-2015, 11:04 PM   #3
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The AC will be good for chemical filtration. The term "nitrate factory" comes from the idea that if we remove filtration somehow all those nitrates will go away. You do have to keep any filter clean.. Most of your biological filtration will be achieved through water passing through the pores in the rock in the display. You said small powerheads. You probably need more. For a 29g tank I'd have at least something like a 1150 GPH going to get things actually turning over and through the rock. And even then much more...

AC is good for carbon or like purigen.

A skimmer is nice but the HOB one are just never ideal. I do like the Aquamax and Aquaeuro and Aqua excel have ones that perform. 29g is about the tank size where you can still not skim but would get benefits from it. If you keep your bio-load down and do water changes you can pass on skimming. I'd probably expense something like more water flow before the $200+ skimmer or get some test kits.
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:24 PM   #4
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I am using a maxi jet 1200.. I have it in circulating mode which according to box is around 1300 gph... on the other side of the tank i have another powerhead pushing 170 gph... i hope this is enough...
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Old 06-21-2015, 11:36 PM   #5
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I actually think the small pump on other size would make the water flow less fluid. I'd keep them on same size. Thats a lot better turn over than what most people offer their reefs... Theres room for more there though. Depends on aquascape and coral.
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Old 06-22-2015, 12:26 AM   #6
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As long as you keep a canister or hob filter cleaned out, they can easily be used in saltwater applications. Not ideal for reefs, but are still doable. Just give them a good rinse during your weekly water change. They are also helpful for running media, like mentioned above.
You can get away with not having a skimmer on any tank under 30 gallons, as it is easier to do large water changes if necessary to get parameters under control. HOB skimmers really aren't the best, IMO, and are best kept in a sump setup.

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