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Old 03-02-2008, 01:34 AM   #1
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Exclamation Eqipment For My Sw Tank

What type of power head should I use for my 29gal FOWLR tank? Also should i use two 50watt heaters one one each side of the tank or just one 100watt on one side. I have a Marineland penguin 350 BIO-wheel filter any suggestions on how to make it work better for my SW tank?

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Old 03-02-2008, 01:57 AM   #2
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Can't really suggest a power head, the two heaters is the way to go though. Redundancy is always the way to go when you can.

The best way to improve the bio-wheel would be to replace it with a protein skimmer.
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:23 AM   #3
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I'd suggest two heaters over one. Less chance of frying the tank if one of them sticks on.

For powerheads, maybe a couple Koralia #1 on opposite ends of the tank. Or a couple Maxijet 900s? All depends on your rockwork and where you can stick powerheads.

How much live rock do you have? If you don't have much, or any, I wouldn't toss the biowheel as it's probably housing most of your bacterial population. Biowheels and skimmers do totally different things and depending on how you're using the biowheel, getting rid of it may help you or really really hurt you.
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:02 AM   #4
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I would loose the bio wheel ... since it can be a cause of high nitrAtes and phosphates . The 2 heaters are good and depending on length you can place them in your filter , you may need to dremel a hole into the lid to fit it but it is simple enough ...
Power heads I would go with 2 or so korilias keeping one aimed at the surface for good agitation of the surface and help with gas exchange and one or so hitting each other for a more chaotic flow , it also helps to keep one behind the rock work if y ou can , ours is kinda a wall/island so we get decient flow all around ... As kurt said skimmers and biowheels are 2 diffrent beasts but if you have the room and the money and want a skimmer go for it you should be ok with out one tho if you keep up with weekly 20%-25% h20 changes
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Old 03-02-2008, 01:37 PM   #5
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OK... I've bit my tongue long enough, but everyone repeating the mantra "ditch the biowheel" doesn't do any good if we don't know what the person's system consists of.

If a person has a ton of live rock and live sand, then yes... the biowheel isn't doing them anything beneficial when it comes to biological filtration. Is it a guaranteed "nitrate factory"? Maybe... maybe not. More on that later.

But if a person has no live rock, or very little, that biowheel might be the only thing in their tank that's providing biological filtration. And removing it would crash the tank. In that situation, yes... it does lead to high nitrates because that's what it's supposed to do - convert ammonia/nitrite to nitrates. The high phosphate thing is a new twist - can't see how it would increase those. Phosphates aren't generated in your tank - they're just there through water, food, or poor quality carbon.

If I've missed somewhere what Social_d87 has in their tank for biological filtration, then I apologize. But it's times like these that it'd sure be nice to have that "My Info" feature back. (Hint hint to the admins.)

Biowheels get a bad reputation, I believe, because they're like a wet/dry filter in that they're just too efficient in converting ammonia and nitrites to nitrates! That, and if you don't maintain the filter pad before the biowheel by rinsing it out AT LEAST weekly in salt water, will cause your tank to create nitrates pretty fast. Any foam filter anywhere that collects uneaten food, fish waste, etc, and lets it rot away is going to create nitrates.

If you have adequate live rock, then you really don't need a biowheel. It's pointless. Unless you're using it to give yourself the ability to take it off the main tank and set it up on a quarantine tank to make a tank instantly ready for fish. I use one on my 46g for that reason. And if you use one in that way, you need to maintain it or it will generate nitrates - but it's not the biowheel itself that's doing it!
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:17 PM   #6
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I had this argument some time ago as well. I was told the biowheel was a nitrate factory and I suggested that if you remove the pads there would not be a problem, I didn't understand how just the biowheel itself could be a nitrate factory. I was told that I was wrong. And still do not understand how the biowheel itself could cause a problem at all. No pads there isnt a place for build-up to occur. Just my 2cents. And even with the pads proper maintenance is the key. As to be a successfull in this you must have a deligent maintenance program. You can't just set up a tank and forget about it, I think this is where problems occur simply because people get lazy and the nitrates build to an unsafe level.
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Old 03-02-2008, 04:29 PM   #7
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Im going to use about 29 to 30 pounds of live rock in my tank with a 1inch bed of CaribSea Aragonite Seaflor Special Grade Reef Sand. Sound good? Will my tank benefit from the bio wheel with these specs? So what im getting out of this is to take the filter pads out and use some other media in there and toss the wheels?
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Social_d87 View Post
Will my tank benefit from the bio wheel with these specs?
Not really.

Quote:
So what im getting out of this is to take the filter pads out and use some other media in there and toss the wheels?
My only issue with taking the pads out is that you've now removed the "easy" way to mechanically trap debris and keep it from getting into whatever media you put in the little "tub" behind the biowheel. The pad is something that's really easy to take out and rinse the heck out of. Without it, you'll need to take out the baggie of whatever and rinse it, hoping your mesh bag is fine enough that junk doesn't get trapped inside.

Now that you've mentioned it, that's another reason I think the biowheels get a bad rep. People take out the filter pads thinking "well... that's just going to trap debris and cause nitrates" and just run with their biowheel. Well... yeah, it traps debris and without it now your biowheel is going to get all that debris trapped in it. The problem gets shifted from one place to another
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Old 03-02-2008, 11:53 PM   #9
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With the water constantly flowing over the biowheel and not threw the biowheel I would think that debri would flow over it and get rinsed off the biowheel as it turns. With the pad in place it flows threw it and gets stuck on the pad with no place to go. The biowheel itself holds the beneficial bacteria without all of the sludge. The pad accumulates the sludge and holds it in place. I am sure there are 10 sides to the story and arguable for sure this is just how I percieve the whole thought of a biowheel. Perhaps I am wrong If so maybe someone could explain how my thoughts are wrong so that I understand.
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:17 AM   #10
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OK cool do you guys recommend and media to out in the bio wheel? As far as lighting what kind of light should i run its just a FOWLR setup 29gal.
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