View Full Version : Media Help PLEASE!!!!!!!!

03/06/2007, 06:19 PM
OK I am posting this everywhere to find a answer. I was reading through threads on reefcentral.com "new to the hobby" section and have found something I thought to be crazy. I posted my system set up. 65 gallon tall, I have CC substrate, 50lbs of fiji live rock and a Aqua Clear 110 and 70. I was asking about what media to use. I told them I currently put sponges in both filters and have the 110 packed with biomax and the 70 with some carbon. 3 or 4 people replied saying remove the biomax because it will cause nitrates and you can use sponge for mechanical filtration but take it out and rinse it every second day. :confused: I was very confused by this because the law of fresh water is never super clean your filters and kill off your bio filter, and to always pack it with as much biomax and sponge as possible. They were telling me to basicly have no bio filter in my actual filters and truly just use them for mechanical and for current to push water through the live rock. Is there any truth in this??? is this a good idea??? :confused: Should I just run two Aqua Clears completly empty for current and maybe even add another power head and place it right in front of the bottom rocks to it blows water right at it and through the rocks???? would this make even more bio filter???? Will the rock and substrate alone be enough bio filter to clean a 65 gallon tank?????

03/06/2007, 06:27 PM
Sponges can be nitrate factories, I have one sponge in my 24g that I swap out weekly, as it is strictly for mechanical filtration.

Your bio filter with the SW tank will be handled by your live rock. If you are going to start removing filter media I would say to do so slowly. Most likely your tank is relying on the bacteria in the sponges right now, so removing it gradually will sway things back over to the LR.

03/06/2007, 07:05 PM
my tank is brand new and is still cycling..... is 50 lbs of rock enough???

03/06/2007, 07:15 PM
Ultimately 50lbs is not quite enough for the bio filtering you will need once a bio-load is introduced. Most recomment 1-1 1/2lbs of rock per gallon for effective filtration.

I would run carbon in the filter. It will "polish" the water and help to make it crystal clear. I agree with the statement about the sponges harboring most of the bio. I would take it out, also. If you want to run it as a mechanical filter, change it out weekly so that nitrates don't accumulate and leach back into the tank. We don't use those type of filters as our bio filters with a saltwater system. True, live rock is our filter system. The better flow thru the tank, the better your filtration will be. Kind of hard to grasp when moving from a freshwater system, huh?

You need to get the fresh water thought out of your head when you are dealing with your saltwater tank. There is really not too much in common between the two.

I also did not see you mention here, or in your other thread, about having a protein skimmer. This is a must for a saltwater tank. After the cycle, it should be one of the first or second items you add. The other being an RO/DI unit.

03/06/2007, 08:42 PM
thanks for your reply zoom and yes the protein skimmer is not present now but I will be adding it for sure within 3 months. I figured I don't need it now since it will be cycling for a month and a half and for the first month I won't stock much so it won't be mandatory just yet. Let me ask you something though..... if I remove the aqua clear 70 and replace it with a powerhead with powerful flow and place it let say bottom right back of the tank. This way it forces water through the bottom and back of the tank. The Aqua Clear 110 will be on the top left of the tank. 2 questions

1.) will this cause a weird current for the fish ????? because near the top it will be pushing water from right to left and at the bottom it will push left to right. Or does none of this matter and I am making a idiot of myself asking lol????

2.) Is any current too strong or too close to the rock??? like if I have a 300gph powerhead about 3 inches away from the first piece of rock, is that dangerous for the rock?????

03/06/2007, 09:26 PM
I agree with the above - ditch the sponge. (Also ditch the crushed coral or just put enough to barely cover the tank bottom - do a search, most people who have tried sand or CC eventually take it out including me). Regarding flow rate - most beginners under estimate the amount of current that is healthy for a tank. Place the powerheads on oppositeside of the tank so they blow roughly toward each other. On the powerhead blowing against the rock - you won't hurt the rock but why blow the powerhead against the rock? Regarding the amount of rock 50 pounds is probably light the suggestion on 1 to 1.5 pounds is right. A skimmer is a must for long term success - there are a few lucky exceptions but you don't want to find out the hard way.

03/06/2007, 10:51 PM
I had the smaller high tank, 20g, with two oversized power filters - this was not enough to make the water move at the bottom - upper half of the tank only.
Powerheads (or closed loop, whatever) should be located to mix the water, supply oxygen, move detritus to the front glass for an easy pick-up and not to have the hidden corners for a waste to collect, rot and spoil the water...
Our LFS has 55g display reef tank with the biggest Emperor power filter on the back wall, and the powerhead with Quick-filter attachment at the bottom, directed along the back wall. This is one of the variants. The same, you described.

Seems, you have Maxi-Jet 1200 - it's pretty forceful, I would rather make the flow reflect from the glass, and then this diffused flow go, where you need it. It can be modified (Maxi-Jet mods search) for changing it's flow. The total water turnover I like for the usual community reef (LPS, softies, no sps) is 20-25x of the tank volume per hr.

Media - mechanical for removing the big particles (filter floss roll is my preference, changed every day or two - as it changes color), and, unless you have low bioload - something for removing the smallest particles (came eventually to the micron pad, changed daily) and dissolved organics (skimmer; buying the big one doesn't mean that it will skim efficiently as is, but - it helps anyway and can be made work properly link (http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=554786&perpage=25&pagenumber=1) ). You can make search on skimmerless tank and reef tank going natural - for setting tanks without skimmer, but, IMHE it's not for high bioload. Carbon will clarify water, but for 65g tank this is expensive way to keep water clean.

The biofilter is your LR. LR - it's expensive, but if you can - keep at least 1 lb per gal, 1.5 lb - even better. MatrixPond ceramic biomedia can be the cheap replacement, but it will not help with some denitrification, that LR could do. Biomedia should be in the high flow after mechanical filtration, just a reminder.

Take it easy, many things are not working the way they were expecting to work, still doable...
Best of the luck!