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Old 06-23-2010, 05:26 PM   #1
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Air Pump Sizing

Im gathering everything i nedd for my FOWLR aquarium, and recently bought a Tetra Whisper 20 Air pump. I have a 29 gallon tank with a Marine Land Emperor 280 filter; rated up to 50 gal. I'm thinking with the filter and my powerheads that it will be enough circulation with the 20gal air pump.

I dont want to sufficate my fish. Thank you for any and all advice.


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Old 06-23-2010, 06:26 PM   #2
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IME a simple powerhead pointed at the surface to create agitation creates enough O2 exchange. The filter will be fine, but remember your main source of filtration should come from your live rock. Make sure you take the Bio-Wheel out of the filter, as it does more harm then good. The HOB filters like that are good places to keep macro algae, carbon, phosban, or anything you want to run in stints. They don't do much for actual filtration.

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Old 06-23-2010, 06:38 PM   #3
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I agree with Jimbo. Aeration in a SW tank is done by surface aggitation. It can be done a whole lot more effectively with a PH pointing slightly up toward the surface. Bubbles popping up at the surface will not nearly enough as a PH and will also cause salt creep all over your top of the tank and around your lights.


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Old 06-23-2010, 07:26 PM   #4
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thank you both for the advice. i had a sw tank when i was younger(15 yrs ago). It was with an undergravel filter and no live rock. FOWLR is new to me, but i have been reasarching for a couple months.

i have two powerheads allready but thanks for the aiming tip.

so i should TAKE OUT the bio wheel completely from the HOB filter? in my reading I havent seen that anywhere. Logically that makes sense to me that it would impeed the filtration of the live rock, but i havent heard that anywhere.

thank you once again.
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Old 06-24-2010, 12:01 AM   #5
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The biowheel will not impede the action of the live rock. It is just another place for bacteria to live, in addition to your rock and sand.

Biowheels get a bad rap, in my opinion. I've had one on my tank for about 4 years now. It serves as an easy thing to transfer to a hospital tank if I have to set one up quickly and have it cycled. If you have adequate live rock, that's really the only reason to have the biowheel. And my nitrates have never gone over 2.0ppm - right now they're right about 0.5-1.0ppm. It just gets down to maintenance. If you rinse out the filter pads every week, and change them every couple weeks, it shouldn't become a source of problems.

Anyway... regardless of the biowheel issue, I would not use the air pump. It will cause more problems than its worth and will not give you the aeration that you're after.
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