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-   -   Frusterated with live rock, think of going canister instead. (

excited_newby 04-08-2004 08:39 PM

Frusterated with live rock, think of going canister instead.
I am frusterated finding live rock, and am getting down to a time that I need to get things going so I am thinking that I may just go ahead and buy a canister filter to go purely FO.

Some of you will allready know my specifics, but I am running a 30 gallon, prizm skimmer, aquaclear 200 just for the mech. filt. with carbon, and well as a maxijet 900 powerhead. I was wondering what my best/lowest cost canister that would keep that stuff alive for a little while would be. (Haha no I want success, just joking with the alive bit). I am thinking a fluval 202 303 or 404, but was wondering what the minimum would be for say a few yellow tail blue damsels and two clarkii clowns would be. And no I am not cycling with them, I will use the raw shrimp method.

So, any advice is great but keep cost in mind please.

SquishyFish 04-08-2004 08:49 PM

Well...the thing is that most of your filtration will come from your sand bed if its at least 4inches deep. Not only does it have aerobic bacteria, but it also has the anerobic. Aerobic break down ammonia and trites...ANerobic breaks down trates. If you have a 4inch sand bed, plenty of infauna, power heads, a heater, and a skimmer, you should be good to go. There is far more bacteria on the sand than there ever could be on LR. There is simply more surface area.


excited_newby 04-08-2004 08:57 PM

Awesome well I have about an inch and a half of crushed coral but it is not a huge tank so I do not want to make it that deep and take away from the overall amount of water but I do have some sand at home here that I will test (vinegar) to see if it is aragonite (sp?) and maybe add some of it. So should I still strap on a small fluval or just add more sand and hope for the best?

SquishyFish 04-08-2004 09:01 PM

Well...the problem that your going to run into initially is that the sand is dead...not live. personally...I would cure the sand in a rubber maid tub for a week or so, remove all of the CC and replace it with the cured sand. It shouldnt be a "hope for the best" situation. A DSB is a viable filtration system that is proven to work.

excited_newby 04-08-2004 09:12 PM

Ok, why can't I leave the CC?

And I am not going to put any fish in for a little while, so could I just put the sand in and cycle right in the tank? Killing two birds with one stone so to speak.

Also would it be easier if I added a biowheel, even though they have a bad reputation?

excited_newby 04-08-2004 09:14 PM

Or a cheap eheim (lol not sure if there is such a thing). A deep sand bed sounds like a good idea but I want to get the show on the road. And sorry for the minor decrease in patience but I have been patient for the past 6 months.

excited_newby 04-08-2004 09:28 PM

Or how does 3 inches sound with more built up in the back corners?
Sry bout the three seperate posts, ideas are coming slow today.

excited_newby 04-08-2004 09:33 PM

I think that i will just go canister, any ideas on the cheapest best canister for my situation?

SquishyFish 04-08-2004 09:39 PM

LOL...that was fun to watch your thought processes. Fluvals are good. DSb is better. 4 inches minimum. I understand your impatience after 6 months....

excited_newby 04-08-2004 09:54 PM

Well today has been a long day, and that is all I will say on the matter. And you bet I am getting a bit antsy after so long. I will tell you this: If this was a personal tank I would save up my money and go DSB and lots a LR, the whole deal, but this is a school thing and there are only a few months left of school...

I think that I will chat with the petland guy and see if he would give me a fluval at cost if I got my teacher to do up a little letter for him or whatever. Stupid big als offered me 10% and I can get most of the stuff elsewhere for more than 10% less. lol.

Anyways hiho, hiho, off to spend more school money I go. I am thinking a fluval 204 or maybe 304...

Whatever at this point. I must admit that it took restraint not to throw in a few damsels and just replace the bast***s when they die. lol. No I am too much an animal lover.

michealprater 04-09-2004 01:53 PM

I have said this a million times but I will always say it again because it is some of the best advice I ever recieved.

Canister filters with media trap waste then filter you tank with waste thus making it a nitate factory. (if you like nuisance algea this is not a problem)
2 lbs. of live rock per gallon will be worth its wieght in gold. It is the best filtration you can have at any price.

excited_newby 04-09-2004 03:44 PM

Yeah I would but a public school is not willing to spend 600 bucks on some rock. In fact I can hear them starting to laugh already so that they are warmed up. I still think that I will go with a canister filter so that we can get this thing on the road. Would cleaning out the filter (media etc.) weekly or bi-weekly make a difference when that is coupled with water changes on a staggered schedule. I.e. Clean out filter on monday, and then change water on thursday.

Like I have said before if this was my tank I would go all LR and LS but unfortunately that is not an option...

Anyone else have a suggestion on this as far as the minimum level of filter that I would need (fluval 204? 304?)


excited_newby 04-09-2004 04:07 PM

I think that I will go with the Fluval 204. It is rated to 40 US gal, and I really don't think that I need anything fancy.

got bait? 04-09-2004 04:51 PM

what about a wet/dry?

excited_newby 04-09-2004 05:07 PM


I haven't though too much about them because I have heard that they are even worse collectors of nitrates than the canisters. I will see. I am about to head down to petland to see what they have and what kind of deal they could offer us a a school project. If they could give us wholesale prices (somewhat doubtful) what do you guys think of the magnum 350?

snapcrackler 04-09-2004 05:16 PM

I like mag350 filters, simple design, swappable media with the micron cartridge or catrbon/floss sleeve, I use them for various tanks and my lfs has them on most of their large salt tanks (FO - FOWLR)

michealprater 04-09-2004 05:51 PM


I have heard that they are even worse collectors of nitrates than the canisters.
You heard right.


Would cleaning out the filter (media etc.) weekly or bi-weekly make a difference when that is coupled with water changes on a staggered schedule. I.e. Clean out filter on monday, and then change water on thursday.
If you were to stick to this routine it could be effective.

excited_newby 04-09-2004 08:00 PM

Allright. Well now the even harder part. Finding one that is affordable. At pet land the magnum 350 was 300CAN and the fluval 204 was 130CAN. And they wouldn't give our school a penny discount. What a bummer. Anyways I will hit ebay, and talk to some other shops.

steve-s 04-10-2004 12:36 PM

What's your budget?


excited_newby 04-10-2004 04:24 PM

I dont want to spend more that 80-90 bucks CAN. I know that is very small but I have been looking on e-bay and it seems possible. The only thing is my teacher is old and hates computers and technology so I am not sure she would go for bidding over the net, though she did say I could order from a reputable internet dealer. I have also been looking locally a bit to see if there are any 'gently used' from someone tearing down their tank but to no avail yet. Any suggestions?

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