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Old 07-22-2010, 09:11 PM   #11
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jimbo, you are forgetting that we've only been utilizing live rock for the last 15 years or so. what do you think people were doing before that?
There is a LFS near me "that fish place/that pet place" that you may have heard of. they keep their entire system, which is thousands of gallons, stable without a piece of live rock, for years and years.

there isn't a ton of tlc, and there's just as much risk with any system.
what problems do you see using surfaces besides live rock to hold bacteria?

btw, the OP wasn't asking about a reef tank. just a salt water tank.

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Old 07-23-2010, 09:07 AM   #12
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I'm not forgetting and I know the OP was just talking about general SW, but I like to give out advice catered towards the more reef side because most people end up going that way before too long. I would rather tell people about the slightly more complicated issues with reef to prepare them.
I'm sure SeaWorld runs all mechanical filtration as well, but for a LFS and larger setups, its a little easier. They can justify spending big money on a 4' skimmer and other things because it is their livelihood at stake. For the home hobbyist, especially one just starting off, I believe having LR is a safer and more effective system. I think there is less risk with a natural filtration that will keep on filtering no matter what, as compared to your canister crapping out one weekend and you are out of town. Not trying to be argumentative, just sharing my personal philosophy, which is why I tag these as, just in my opinion.

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filter, skimmer

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