Good news on the leather, didn't have much doubt of that.
Originally Posted by ogden10
I do have a question about running carbon however. My LFS
told me that I should not be running any carbon in my freef tank at all. He suggested I take the carbon out of my canister and also out of my filters in my penguin. What do you think of this.
Hogwash. Running carbon is one of the best things you can do for your tank especially in a reef setting. Unfounded paranoia and hobbyist myth is all that is.
Also I am sure you saw my other post about removing the biological filters from my tank. He also suggested that I remove all the bio stuff from the canister and only leave sponges in there and use it for water flow. Also remove the bio wheels from my penguin.
What do you think about all of this?
Sponges do more to trap detritus and can elevate problems but that said, it really comes down to maintenance and what you are willing to do. If the filters are rinsed regularly to remove trapped debris, there's absolutely nothing wrong with using it as it is. The thing to remember with these types of items is they are removing nutrients from the system where a majority of the organisms cannot get to them and reduce/convert them to something else. Then the sponge becomes a waste producer. If your lazy like me, I'd simpley use it for resin media/water flow. Still make sure the media is changed/rinsed somewhat on a regular basis.
As for the biowheel, again somewhat of a hobbyist myth. They do exactly what they are supposed to, convert ammonia and nitrates in a strictly aerobic manner. They are very efficient at it but they lack denitrification properties for the same reason. Denitrating bacteria will grow on these surfaces as well but to such a minor degree they have no possitive effect. Bacteria work best when the varying species are in close proximity to each other. This is best accomplished when aerobic, facultative and anaerobic (to a lesser degree) are grouped. The sandbed (shallow or deep), porous live rock and other area's condusive to providing for all these types in one place.
All that said, if you are having a nitrate issue, this can be a suspect but you also need to be sure you have the necessary surface area's elsewhere before removing anything. If you have sufficient LR
and such, the other mediums are not really needed and compete to a certain degree for resources. A highly aerobic area such as your biowheel would win the "fight for food" hands down (aerobically speaking). Basically what it comes down to is efficiencey and need. Do you "need" the biowheel?