I ran a huge fluval HOB
filter, that allowed me to stack my media and choose what type of media to use. I used a sponge, charcoal, Purigen, and bio clay rings. I personally had great luck with it, my nitrates were normally in the 10-20 range, and I was lazy about water changes. I had this set up on my 65 g. Also I never had more than 6 fish at time, but a whole crew of inverts.
I also had great luck with my original 10g, live rock, power head, and heater tank. That I just had inverts in. No filter at all.
I did just build a sump for my 65g, for a couple reasons, the hob
skimmer I had was awful, the microbubbles from my filter were annoying, and I wanted a refugium/storage tank for isolation if I needed it (I also have a 10g QT simple set up-similar to what I mentioned above, rock, sponge filter and heater....) and added water volume.
I think there are a lot of people in the hobby that think there is just one way to do something... But in reality, if you're determined to make it work, research and always keep the livestock a best interest in mind, then things normally work out ok... Most of of learned from trial and error, or just our own success.
I will add that I had a friend that also had a 60g, and chose to use the marineland with bio well, and had issues with nitrates, and still does even after switching to a sump. I think the advantage to the fluval is that you can add whatever media you want, and the water flows from bottom to top, and doesn't collect junk in the bottom. So it's not a nitrate factory, unlike some filters that just run the flow of water across a cartridge of floss with carbon.
Also when I took my filter apart I found tons of pods
, so I think it was a pretty healthy little filter.
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