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Old 10-03-2012, 12:33 PM   #1
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Filtration questions

Hello all!

I currently have a 125 gallon reef tank with a 30 gallon refugium. The tank has been running for close to a year, and I haven't had very many problems. The refugium, however is new, and I've been reading various things about filtration. I don't have a skimmer yet (a salesman at my LFS told me I didn't need one... I have sense switched stores).

I am currently running my tank with a canister filter, in addition to my refugium; and I would like to know if I really need my canister filter... Or if anyone has an idea that is better than a canister filter.

This is what I was thinking about (based on what I have been reading) :

No canister filter.
Protein Skimmer and put a bag of carbon in my overflow box to the fuge.

I heard the live rock and coral would act as my bio filter, the carbon/fuge will help with waste... And the skimmer would help with lowering my nitrates and nitrites.

I'm pretty nervous about doing this... But I really hate cleaning out the canister filter. Cleaning that thing out is borderline torture.

If anyone has any other suggestions I would appreciate it!

Thanks in advance!

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Old 10-03-2012, 01:41 PM   #2
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Sounds like your right on the money. Remove the canister you can hang on to it if you ever need to run some gfo or clearing the water after new sand or such.get a skimmer and purigen in the sump helps with nutrients and clear I mean clear water.

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Old 10-03-2012, 01:57 PM   #3
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Well the guy at the LFS is right...you don't NEED one. Some corals even like dirtier water. If you don't have a skimmer, you should do more frequent water changes to get as much organic waste as possible. I think the guy at the LFS wasn't giving you bad advice, and usually the bad advice comes from LFS who are selling you unneeded equipment or not appropriate equipment for SW. You don't need the canister filter, you can just have the sump and transfer the media into the sump. There are more efficient methods than having bags of carbon and such just in your sump where water can pass around it. Carbon reactors and GFO reactors (/ phosban reactor) are great at keeping your water clear and keeping down on phosphates. With a protein skimmer it's advisable to go bigger than your tank. I have a 70 gallon with a skimmer rated up to 200 gallons. With that being said, I don't know if you'd be able to fit a skimmer and a refugium in a 30 gallon sump. The skimmer helps with lowering nitrates because it is taking out organic waste that would otherwise decompose and cause higher nitrates. NitrItes should not be present in your aquarium as it is toxic to fish, inverts, and most definitely coral so I don't know why you would need to lower them if you have zero (assuming you do). Cleaning is just part of the maintenance . I have a filter sock that traps SO much debri...it turns brown in about 2 days, and after a week it's clogged! Well, just yesterday, I put it in the washing machine (pre-rinse w/ no detergent, then rinse still w/ no detergent) and when I took it out I found a decomposing snail ! It had made my water smell like a sewer, so it's very advisable to clean even if you don't want to because leaving something dirty and decomposing is just hurting your system. Good luck
ďSuccess is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.Ē

- Winston Churchill
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:15 PM   #4
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Thanks for all of the advice. I do weekly water changes (10-15%) and regular cleanings. Cleaning the canister filter itself is a nightmare. I actually like cleaning the tank and refugium (although there usually isn't much need to clean the main tank).

The biggest issue I'm having is cloudy water (I have tested the water and I took a sample into my LFS... And nothing abnormal)... But I think it's due to hair algae spores.
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