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Old 08-11-2003, 12:46 PM   #1
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Filter Turnover Rate or Water Turnover Rate

I've been having my reef tank for approximately 3 months. The tank is fully cycled. Recently I was told that my filter turnover rate is too low.
I've read that the optimum water turnover rate should be around 8-10 times the tank volume. Should this be the water flow rate in the tank or the flow rate through the filter? I've the following in my tank, is this sufficient for a 42 gallon reef tank?

1) 220 gph Rena power head to provide water circulation
2) Eheim 2028 Professional II filter with filter circulation 198 gph
3) 2 air pumps connected to 4 air stones
4) 220 gph Eheim power head connected to protein skimmer (currently turned off due to medication for ich)

I was also told that my long lasting ich problem is related to this turnover rate. Is this true?

If the turnover rate is insufficient, will adding another similar Eheim filter do the trick? Or any suggestions? I have restrictions to installation a sump filter.
Thanks for any suggestions and advice.[/b]
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Old 08-11-2003, 01:56 PM   #2
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I'm no expert, so don't assume any of this is correct...

I doubt that turnover rate would affect your ich problem. Ich is a parasite, and none of the treatments for it I have ever heard included increasing your circulation. Your filter will do nothing to rid you of ich, so the flow through the filterr specifically is certainly not going to help you.

If you have ich in your tank most of the people on this forum will tell you that you need to remove all your fish from your tank and put them into a quarentine tank. You should keep your fish in that tank for 4-6 weeks during which time the ich will go through an entire life cycle without hosts, and thus die off. If you want to medicate your fish in the QT tank there are two ways to do this...

1) Hyposalinity - You lower the salinity of the QT tank drastically, but slowly and keep it low for two weeks. This will kill ich without allowing it to burst from it's reproductive sacks, and aid in keeping as much stress off the fish as possible. This is a pretty delicate procedure according to what I read, though. If the salinity gets too high at any point (due to evaporation, most likely) you have to start all over. I'm sure you'll get some other, more educated comments and suggestions on this.

2) Copper treatment - Copper is a sure way to get rid of ich, it seems. It's lethal to just about anything that isn't a fish, though, so it only belongs in a QT tank. It also sticks in your rock and sand and slowly releases back into the water, so you definitely don't want to use it in your main tank.

The school of thought that most people follow in this forum is that ich is not always in your tank, and any ich is a very bad thing. I don't personally buy into this theory, but the people here are more experienced that me, so some day I might. I would believe them before me.

The other school of thought not followed here is that ich is always in your tank. When you have ich attacking your fish it is due to poor water quality or just general poor health in your aquarium. Fish have a natural resistance to parasites, and stress or poor health will cause them to eventually succumb to this threat. If this is the school of thought you follow, then you should remove the infected fish into a QT tank, administer a treatment listed above, and then reintroduce them when they have recovered. During this time you should also get your water tested and address any possible issues of tank health.

Again, I've only been doing this for about six months. This is mostly hearsay, but I'm sure that most people would say I regurgitated the information fairly accurately... I can recite it in my sleep at this point.
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Old 08-11-2003, 05:24 PM   #3
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I agree with guage on most points. i don't think circulation is going to "Cause" ich, but you probalby could use another PH in the 200gph range.

I have no opinion on wether ich is always in your tank or not. I will strongly agree with guage's points on QT and treating for ich. There is an article on this site that discusses Quarentine Tanks and how to set one up cheaply. I will also comment that no matter if you think ich is always in your tank or not, sick fish, no matter what the disease etc., can often be a symptom of poor water qaulity. QT your fish and treat them there. While they are there do a sizeable water change and see if the rest of your water parameters are in check.
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Old 08-11-2003, 10:03 PM   #4
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Thanks for your reply with regard to the ich. But, I think there's another part of my question regarding turnover rate. Can someone advice me what is the actual definition of turnover rate, i.e. filter turnover or water turnover? Whether my current setup is sufficient for my tank size?
Appreciate your advice.
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Old 08-11-2003, 10:25 PM   #5
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Turnover rate is usually considered to be the total sum of water motion (i.e. return from the sump, powerheads, filter return etc.). For a fish only 8-10 is ok , for a mixed reef I would recommend 10-15, and for a SPS tank I would go 20+. I wouldn't really count the eheim pump on the skimmer if its a venturi skimmer, since the flow on this pump will be greatly reduced. I agree with BillyZ that you could probably use another powerhead in the 200-300 gph range.
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Old 08-11-2003, 10:33 PM   #6
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Re: Filter Turnover Rate or Water Turnover Rate

Quote:
Originally Posted by birman
I've the following in my tank, is this sufficient for a 42 gallon reef tank?

1) 220 gph Rena power head to provide water circulation
2) Eheim 2028 Professional II filter with filter circulation 198 gph
3) 2 air pumps connected to 4 air stones
4) 220 gph Eheim power head connected to protein skimmer
The 220 GPH PH and the Eheim are your main water movers. The filter itself will actually not be the full 200 GPH claimed by the manufacterer. These ratings are often attributed to filters when empty and containing no media. Once filled they are about 75% or less as time passes and the media becomes clogged. It is however a decent amount of filtration movement for your size tank.

The skimmer really doesn't add that much to total water movement but does rather help aerate the water when PH's in the tank move that water about.

The airstones will do little for adding aeration to the tank in a SW environment. You will have much better O2/CO2 exchange if the suface water in the tank is being constantly aggitated (rippling effect).

You are basically in the "zone" as far as water movement is concerned at about 8x tank volume per hr. If you where to add more it would really depend on the types of corals to be kept as some prefer stronger currents and others prefer closer to what you have now if not a wee bit more. One additional 220 PH wouldn't hurt IMO.

Cheers
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Old 08-11-2003, 10:48 PM   #7
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Thanks Steve for your reply. So what you mean here is that the turnover rate that is mentioned is actually water turnover and not filter turnover. I was advised to purchase an additional similar filter or convert to sump filter to improve my water quality and turnover rate. Is this necessary?
Currently I've the UV sterilizer installed with my filter, I'm considering to install the sterilizer with a new PH instead so that I'll not degrade the filter performance further.
I do not have sand in my tank. Do you think it'll help to put some sand? Currently I've no problem with water quality except ich. All water parameters are within optimal zone.
What do you advise?
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Old 08-11-2003, 11:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birman
So what you mean here is that the turnover rate that is mentioned is actually water turnover and not filter turnover. I was advised to purchase an additional similar filter or convert to sump filter to improve my water quality and turnover rate. Is this necessary?
Turnover rate is actually a combination of everything that moves water through the system and can often be a little "unlcear" to say the least. With certain pieces of equip you need to take into account "head pressure" for pumps pushing water up against gravity as well as any media that water must flow through. These things can greatly reduce the flow rates and additional PH's will help make up for the loss. In your particular case, I would opt for a stand alone PH in the tank instead of another HOB filter.


Quote:
Currently I've the UV sterilizer installed with my filter, I'm considering to install the sterilizer with a new PH instead so that I'll not degrade the filter performance further.
The UV will actually slow down the flow rate a bit as well. For the UV to be affective though, the flow through it cannot be all that fast either. It will only work if the problematic "items" move through it slowly enough to kill them. Putting it on a seperate PH would most likely reduce it's affectiveness as things would move through it too fast. I would leave it as is...


Quote:
I do not have sand in my tank. Do you think it'll help to put some sand? Currently I've no problem with water quality except ich. All water parameters are within optimal zone.
What do you advise?
Sand won't make that much difference but it would greatly depend on the amount of LR. My tank runs much the same as yours (without the UV) and only 1" of sand (or less) but about 2+lbs/gal LR. Which I think makes a big difference in the filtration itself. You have in effect a type of >>"berlin"<< system. How much LR is in your tank?

The only way you will ever get rid of the ich problem is to remove any fish from the main display tank and treat the fish seperately in a QT environment using either copper (I recommend Seachem's cupramine) or hyposalinity.

Once the display tank has been left fallow for the proper 4 week minimum recommended time period, C irritans will die off naturally without a fish host. I will also go as far as to guarantee that if done properly and a future new aquisitions are also properly QT'd prior to placing in the main display, you will never have a problem with ich again.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 08-12-2003, 01:20 AM   #9
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Thank you to all of you for your valuable replies. So, the turnover rate is actually the water turnover rate and not filter turnover rate. Installing an additional PH will help with my current situation.
Another query. How do I check whether my current filtration is capable to handle my current bioload? Will sand helps to improve my current filtration? If so, is it fine to add in sand now with my established tank with no disturbance to the filtration?
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Old 08-12-2003, 02:16 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by birman
Another query. How do I check whether my current filtration is capable to handle my current bioload? Will sand helps to improve my current filtration? If so, is it fine to add in sand now with my established tank with no disturbance to the filtration?
I have checked your profile and the info you have provided above and there really is not enough information about the tank to give you an accurate answer. If you could post some details about the tank (excluding the above) concerning LR if any, the current inhabitants as well as the water parameters.

It would also help having some idea of future inhabitants and the eventual goal of the tank. If that be FO, FOWLR or reef; it will make a difference if you may or may not need additional filtration or bacterial surface area. To generally answer the question though, at 3 months it would not really be harmful to add the sand at this point. LS would probabley be the easiest and have the least chances of algae blooms.

Cheers
Steve
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