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Old 09-16-2006, 09:26 AM   #1
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New 90 Gallon Tank

I'm just getting started with a 90 gallon reef tank with fish. I'm in the process of deciding between a canister filter and a sump. I would prefer a canister along with my live rock and protein skimmer. From what I've read I have not heard that canister filters are bad, but I have heard that since it's out of sight it doesn't get maintained properly and thus can harbor some bad chemistry that gets circulated through your system.

I know that the nitrogen cycle starts with Ammonia and needs aerobic bacteria to break it down so my primary question is do canister filters maintain aerobic bacteria or are they anaerobic and can thus cause some problems? Maybe I'm missing something here, advice??



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Old 09-16-2006, 10:56 AM   #2
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Hey kreker. Welcome to Aquarium Advice.

I would go with a sump, for more than one reason. It adds more water flow to your tank. Gives you a place to put any unwanted live rock hitchhikers, if you do get any. It gives you a place to put your heater and skimmer, so it doesn't clutter up your tank. And it adds extra water volume, which means more control over salinity. Canisters are good too, if you like, but alot of people either fill them with just rubble or carbon, and use it for extra water flow. Of course, everyone's opinion varies, and this is just mine. I wish I had the room for a sump, but don't.

The canister will maintain aerobic bacteria. The main problem is, like you said, lack of maintenence in all parts, leading to usually excessively high nitrates.

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Old 09-17-2006, 11:51 PM   #3
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If you have the room go with a sump, you will be glad in the long run!
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:10 AM   #4
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I agree with the rest. I do have a canister filter, and use it mainly for extra water movement and to run carbon. I had a huge nitrAte problem and ended up just removing the sponges, no problems now.
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Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
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