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Old 01-09-2008, 04:50 PM   #21
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I have surface scum on all of my FW tanks. Some people say it does no harm, but I believe it affects the oxygen exchange at the surface. I know it is caused by something in my public water, because when I set up my 150G, it was there when I first filled up the tank. The only way I control it is by hooking up an AC surface skimmer on the input hose of one XP canister in each tank.

I like your idea of a HOB pre-filter that then hooks up to a bio-media only canister. I hate cleaning my canisters. For each canister cleaning I fill three 5G buckets with tank water to clean and keep submerged the bio-media baskets (avoids killing off too much BB) and filter sponges; what a mess! Because it is such a pain, I let the waste sit far too long in the canister before I clean it out.

I also have one HOB on each tank as a backup (especially during a power outage). I love the ease of cleaning those.

It would be great if a canister manufacturer read this thread and released a HOB/canister combo; where you have easy filter cleaning, water bypass back into the tank if you let the filter media get too dirty, and no need to clean the bio-media sealed in the canister.
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:40 PM   #22
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Exactly. If I had a manufacturing capability, I would design and build it myself, but, alas...
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Old 01-09-2008, 06:14 PM   #23
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Old 01-14-2008, 01:59 PM   #24
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Efficient water changes, a difficult unicorn to catch. At the end of a garden hose construct a U shaped piece out of pvc pipe(so that it threads on your garden hose.) Use that to hang on your tanks as a refill(I know people that have an in-line wtaer heater and set it at 78-82 degrees for water changes) Now to remove the water, use a submersible/in-line pump(I like the Mag-Drives) and attach a hose to the inlet and outlet(Python hose works great.) Use this to pump water out of your tanks. If you want to siphon gravel you have to be very careful not to suck up any gravel or sand, or you'll destroy your impeller. Also to make sure the pump stays primed use the section of the Python that has the valves to keep water in the lines.
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