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Old 07-29-2013, 11:08 AM   #1
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noob filteration crash couse headache

so i'm really confused now when it comes to filtration in SW. Let me start by reminding people who know or don't know me first. I have successfully kept several freshwater tank and recently i have ventured into the SW side, just to get my hands dirty.

When it comes to FW filtration, the most important factors are some sort of filter (whether HOB or canister) and periodic water changes to remove nitrate. But this SW business has me confused all over the place. I currently have 30gal SW tank, already cycled with some live rocks and hermit crabs/snails. It has a HOB and i know that protein skimmer is not required as long as i keep up with the water changes. So far everything makes sense.

Here's the headache: for those with Wet/Dry filtration using the sump (i hope this doesn't sound awkward because it's awkward typing what i barely know), there's not a "filter" per se? it's only bioballs, protein skimmer, maybe some live rocks, and a powerhead for returning the water. where does the "wet/dry" come from?

Now i understand (barely tho) that the skimmer will remove the waste. so in this case, is the skimmer the same as a "filter" that I'm acquainted with? with my current setup, would it be beneficial for me to have both a HOB filter and and HOB skimmer?

thanks for reading, i really appreciate the advices so far. i just feel like there's a huge jump from FW to SW and i haven't even ventured into the reef/coral part of SW yet. My head has doubled its capacity since i started this SW adventure

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Old 07-29-2013, 11:37 AM   #2
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I watched a video of understand a wetdry when I first started sw. If I can find it then I link the video. But the skimmer you dont have to have but in my opinion I think every one should. Its an easy way for you and you system to get rid of alot of junk that can cause your nitrates and phosphates to spike causing algae growth or possibly casualties in your livestock. I know a couple things about the wetdry but this is type of filtration can be a nitrate factory if not properly maintained. What you should make sure when water comes into the wetdry is that is passes through filter floss or some material of what filter socks are made from. This alone is going to catch alot of junk. Then the water should trickle over the bio balls. This is part of your biological filtration bc the bacteria will eat up the nitrates. Then the water goes to the return pump and into the tank. The thing with wetdry: you need a pump that is extremely high in its gph bc the more the water goes over the bio balls the better. The problem with nitrates skyrocketing is bc a lot of people dont have a pre filter before the water goes into the bio balls causing uneaten food and other stuff getting trapped in the bio balls which cause the nitrates to spike. You do have to rinse them. But only small portions at a time and best if rinsed in water when you have done a water change. This is bc if you rinse it under the sick or something you will lose bacteria which is a bad thing. There are other options that I would say has better benefit and is easier to maintain. Looks into sumps or refgiums. You can build these yourself and it can hide your heaters and skimmer. Check out youtube foe diy videos. As for a hob filter its not necessary unless you want water movent on top of the water. The carbon filters can be replaces if a carbon reactor and put into your sump. Then powerheads in the display tank will aid you with water movememt. I have diy videos on youtube if you want to check my sump out, type edwardclaxton89 and you should see my videos. Hope this helps

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Old 07-29-2013, 02:10 PM   #3
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Most people don't use a wet dry type setup in a saltwater tank.

With filtering in a fresh water tank it is all about the aerobic nitrifying bacteria to convert as much ammonia as possible as quickly as possible into nitrates.

On the other hand saltwater tank filtering is all about the anaerobic bacteria to remove the nitrates from the water. The live rock that people have in their tanks have HUGE amounts of surface area to support both kinds of bacteria. This allows you to go without a dedicated filter as long as you have good water flow in your tank.

A trickle filter is more of a fresh water commodity. People use sumps / refugiums in their tanks in order to add more live rock which will allow more surface area for the growth of the BB.
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filter, noob

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