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Old 04-08-2011, 10:43 PM   #1
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Your opinion on my current filtration setup

So I upgraded from a 40g to a 75g three weeks ago, nearly a month now and I wanted to know your guy's opinion on my filtration, wondering if I have room to make changes for improvement/adjustments.

Right now I have an overflow box rated for 400gph that flows down to a wet/dry trickle filter/sump. It currently has bio balls but I will likely make the switch over to live rock pieces later on, or just clean the bio balls often In there is also a protein skimmer in there that skims the water after it trickles down.


Then I also have a RENA XP3 setup as well, the ones rated for a 175g. Now I know you can technically never have enough filtration, but I'm wondering if having the extra XP3 is worth it. The tank is always crystal clear, no issues, but I've read about some issues when using a canister filter. I guess the only benefit it has right now is additional filtration, it didn't come with a lot of the bio stars or whatever they are so it's probably not doing a whole lot as far as a bio filter.

I'm wondering if I should just remove it and put a water pump/powerhead in place out the xp3 outlet. Is this a good idea? Or should I just leave it?
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:09 PM   #2
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Are you wanting a naturally filtered reef tank or do you want to stick with FOWLR?
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:13 PM   #3
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I know a lot of people eventually move up to a reef, but for now, and for some time, I know for sure it will be a FOWLR. Coral down the road I'm sure, but not anytime soon.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:16 PM   #4
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Okay, let us know when that changes. For now I think you are fine. The bioballs and the canister will both promote extra nitrate production. The difference is not too bad for FOWLR assuming our lighting is pretty low. That difference can be huge though when under the lighting used for a reef, enough to turn the tank into an algae farm.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:02 AM   #5
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Okay, let us know when that changes. For now I think you are fine. The bioballs and the canister will both promote extra nitrate production. The difference is not too bad for FOWLR assuming our lighting is pretty low. That difference can be huge though when under the lighting used for a reef, enough to turn the tank into an algae farm.

Why exactly does it promote extra nitrate product? Is it because it processes ammonia and nitrite faster, isn't this good? I currently use a 48" coralife t5ho double bulb lighting fixture with an atinic and 10,000k daylight bulb. Will this be a problem? Seems ever since I started using it the coralline algage seems to be growing faster. Also, the tank itself looks a lot better then normal fluorescent lighting
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:40 AM   #6
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neither one of those components process nitrAte, they just make it.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:52 AM   #7
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No, the extra nitrate production occurs because bioballs and canister tend to trap debris. As the debris breaks down it releases ammonia and phosphate. Obviously the ammonia eventually gets converted to nitrate. With just live rock as your filtration the nitrate is produced adjacent to denitrifying bacteria that convert nitrate into nitrogen gas. In addition, if you have filter feeders in your tank they can consume particulate matter that would otherwise be trapped in bioballs, canister filters, and other mechanical prefilters.

This is why any filter, freshwater or saltwater, should be cleaned monthly. This doesn't allow a significant amount of debris to collect and create excessive nitrate. Many people tend to neglect this, especially in freshwater. I have talked to people who have had the nitrate go from 40 down to 10 just by cleaning their filters.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:33 PM   #8
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Okay, just wanted to make sure, that's what I was leaning towards. Thanks guys
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishguy2727 View Post
No, the extra nitrate production occurs because bioballs and canister tend to trap debris. As the debris breaks down it releases ammonia and phosphate. Obviously the ammonia eventually gets converted to nitrate. With just live rock as your filtration the nitrate is produced adjacent to denitrifying bacteria that convert nitrate into nitrogen gas. In addition, if you have filter feeders in your tank they can consume particulate matter that would otherwise be trapped in bioballs, canister filters, and other mechanical prefilters.
that's nonsense. put a bunch of live rock rubble in a cannister and wait a month or so and it will be full of detritus as well. it will have to be maintained the same way.
the same creatures live on bio balls that live on live rock. there are no filter feeders that live on live rock and won't colonize bio balls, and there are no filter feeders that will prevent live rock from collecting detritus. bio balls or ceramic rings or whatever media that you have in your cannister filter are simply surface area for bacteria, while live rock has anaerobic zones, where the low oxygen bacteria reside that convert the nitrate.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:18 PM   #10
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I mean if you don't trap the debris in a mechanical media (whether it is intended to be a mechanical media like foam, floss, etc. or something meant for a biomedia that will also trap debris like bioballs in a wet/dry filter or almost anything in a canister) you can keep the particulates moving until filter feeders eat them (like feather dusters, sponges, scallops, etc.). That is how I run my tank, no mechanical media anywhere. I don't have prefilter on pumps or anything. All the debris stays part of the ecology of the tank, not trapped and rotting in a canister or in bioballs.

In general I don't suggest using a canister, full of regular canister media or live rock. But in a FOWLR I don't think the difference is significant.
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