I have a 55 gallon tank that has been fully cycled for about 2 months, give or take. The tank currently has a Rena XP3 canister filter, two Koralia circulation pumps with 2,150 GPH
flow, along with about 45 pounds of live rock, and 40 pounds of live sand. When I set the tank up, the LFS
recommended the Rena to me, that is why I purchased it. Now I find that most SW
aquarist do not use or recommend canister filters. I've read that they are nitrate factories, due to trapping detritus and converting it to nitrate through the nitrogen cycle.
At first I was unsure what direction I wanted to go with this tank, FOWLR
or reef. Now I have decided to go the reef route, and have ordered two True Percula Clowfish. I also want to do corals, and for that you need low nitrates, and mine always seem to be 20ppm or so.
1. Is there anything I can do to reduce the nitrate producing capability of the Rena?
2. I have read that I don't even need to run the Rena, that my live rock and sand will do my filtration, is this true? If so, is 45 pounds of live rock enough?
3. Would a protein skimmer help with nitrates? Are there any good HOB
skimmers out there?
One local fish shop recommended taking out the Bio Stars and ceramic rings in the second tray, and replacing that with filter floss, he said that it would help with nitrates. I would like to do a sump, but just don't have the $$ at this time.