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Old 06-23-2012, 10:41 AM   #1
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Power Head Filter

Hey everyone. I am new to owning a saltwater tank. I have had several fish tanks before but this is my first go at a SW. My current tank set up is a 55 gallon tank with two Emporer 280 Biowheel filters and a CoralLife 10000K 54W T5 HO light running on a 10-hour cycle. In the tank I have 105 pounds of live rock, A purple Zoa Button Polyp, and two damsels to help get the water stable. I am headed today to purchase a Power Head filter to create some currents in the water and I was wondering how much power I need to get from the filter in my tank. Also, what kind of on/off cycle will I need to run it on? Thanks you for all the help.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:56 AM   #2
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I also have a 55 gallon. I just recently purchased a maxi-jet pro 1200 which gives off 1300 gph. To save a lot of money, I'd buy it off like amazon it eBay cuz stores overcharge twit powerheads. Got mine for $20 and at petco it cost $80.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:03 PM   #3
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IMO, those bio wheels are going to be grossly insufficient for 55 gal. I have a 55 and have a flyval fx5, which is a beastly filter. You're going to have serious issues w water quality with those. You won't be able to put much in there (maybe just a damsel) until you step up your filter game. Water quality is EVERYTHING.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:06 PM   #4
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Honestly skip the Maxijets they tend to be very noisy especially when starting up plus the suction cups don't hold very well. Look at koralia pumps, a little more money but nicer looking, quiet, and they have a magnet suction cup so they stay put. Depending on what you want for coral will dictate the flow you want to aim for but if funds are tight you can add more later. Personally I would suggest starting with something in the 1000-1400 gph range then if you add more coral you can add another powerhead. I run 2 1050 and a 1400 on a wave maker in my 55g but I have softies LPS and SPS. A rule of thumb for flow is as follows- 10x tank volume for fish only, 20x tank volume for LPS and softies, 30x tank volume for SPS. More flow is never a bad thing as it circulates water through your rock which is the biological filtration (hence the term "live" rock) just avoid aiming the powerheads directly at coral.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bearjew
IMO, those bio wheels are going to be grossly insufficient for 55 gal. I have a 55 and have a flyval fx5, which is a beastly filter. You're going to have serious issues w water quality with those. You won't be able to put much in there (maybe just a damsel) until you step up your filter game. Water quality is EVERYTHING.
On the topic of external filters you only use them for mechanical filtration (remove particles suspended in the water) you can have a very happy and healthy reef tank without even having one though any filter is better than no filter provided it is cleaned very regularly with every water change. I would personally only run the filter floss/sponge cartridge and some carbon. The various ceramic rings and bio balls should be removed. A much more important investment is a skimmer, that is what will really increase water quality. A HOB is fine, that's what I use. A good thing to do that I found helped me alot when setting up my tank is to go on YouTube and look up BRStv and watch their videos. Very informative and helpful and they explain everything in a way that someone new to saltwater can understand. You will notice on there they start their 40g build with only live rock powerheads and basic lighting, really that's all you need provided you are diligent with tank maintenance and water changes.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:45 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I appreciate the help.
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:34 PM   #7
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Really if your gonna go reef with corals , a lot of reef experts will tell you to get rid of the filter , and run a good skimmer with plenty LR. Most power filters just turn into nitrate factories unless you clean them out A LOT. I now run a canister with some phosphate media , and chemi pure , all sponges taken out , my nitrates went from 20-40.... To 0
Also a filter and skimmer are counter productive to each other. Since filter will make slimmer less efficient.
Think of it this way
Skimmer takes waster out of the water completely
Filter takes waster out of your DT but collects it in the sponge ( nitrates )
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