View Full Version : Help me upgrade my filtration

02/15/2016, 07:25 PM
Alright I've posted this here because I heavily feed my tank and want to up my feeding further as I get into the realm of adding nps coral. I have a 90 Gallon soft/Lps reef with 30g refugium 30g sump automated feeding system and automated water changes. I'm currently running GFO and a 16" x 12" ats (only using half lit from one side at the moment). Also minimal carbon dosing to feed the bacteriovores (sponges tunicates scallops). I started this tank with the full intention of going skimmerless as I didn't want to remove all the food I was adding, but from all the reading I've done lately I've come to the conclusion that there are many dissolved organics that are toxic or non edible that need to be removed and even my daily water changes may not be enough. What would you guys recommend I add to the work horse? I've read gac is more effective than skimming but some people have issues with it? I currently feed the max dose of phyto feast rotifeast and oyster feast but I want to start adding some more nps and feed fauna marin foods as well. My current nps are a gorgonian, chili coral, and various sponges tunicates etc. I have my eyes on a really nice scleronephthya but I know they are demanding feeders so figured I need to up my filtration game first.

02/15/2016, 07:31 PM
Also what about ozone?

02/15/2016, 09:34 PM
You have a lot of question rolled up in your post.

Regular water changes is your best strategy. Nothing wrong with having a skimmer.
You can time your skimmer on/off cycles with your feed cycles (much easier with a controller). Unless you are feeding fresh foods (bbs/rotifers) - you want to start skimming out food residue after an hours anyways. The FM stuff starts to decompose very quickly as with all other foods. Some people are of the view you can maintain a live rotifer population in your display and skimming will decimate this. I have great doubts whether you can sustain a rotifer population in a display.

There is no proven study (that i know of) that actually says the anaerobic bacteria from carbon dosing has any nutrient benefit to any NPS corals or that NPS coral can uptake the carbon source directly. In fact carbon dosing can cause bacteria strings that collect around gorgonians and may cause damage to the skin if not removed. Carbon dosing can also cause cyano which tend to collect on gorgonians and sun corals - definitely not a good thing.

If you are worried about toxic organics run some carbon(gac) with purigen. The problems with Carbon is that it causes HLLE in tangs. If you are concerned about that use purigen instead. Gorgonians are suspected to emit toxins (again i have yet to see a study for that). Gorg's are definitely toxic to eat and some gorgs if the skin is scarred will emit release an iodine based secretion (this fairly obviously for anyone who has handled these). I don't know if they actually emit toxins in the water column when healthy and I have never encountered this problem in relation to other NPS corals.

Don't bother with Ozone. Not worth the trouble - very little benefit.

02/15/2016, 10:21 PM
Thanks for the advice. Do you think nps reefs can be done skimmerless? If so what strategy would you go about it? I agree there are no concrete studies regarding carbon dosing but many people including myself have noticed an increase in sponges from it. I know it's not advised to dose it skimmerless but I dose a very small amount as I am not using it for nitrate reduction. I would like to add gac as I have an empty reactor chamber anyways I just don't know a whole lot about it

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02/16/2016, 07:07 AM
You are already automating water changes. Depending on how much space you have, you could look into doing continuous water changes of a few gallons a day which would replace the display volume every month.

02/16/2016, 07:52 AM
Already do that

02/16/2016, 07:55 AM
Well maybe 2g a day right now not so total system volume gets replaced every 2 months. I didn't include my refugium because it's turnover rate is really slow i just use it for pods etc to feed display

username in use
02/16/2016, 08:39 AM
oh ok, I thought your were just doing automated weekly or monthly changes.

GAC is great. The issue that most people run into is not changing it out on a regular schedule. Put some in a reactor and change it monthly.

The other thing you could try is every other month doing a 50-75% water change in one shot. Blow all the rock work off and vacuum, everything during that change to really storm the tank and clean things out.

02/16/2016, 12:14 PM
Yea I do something similar to that once a month I run the powerheads on max for a bit to stir up detritus then I vacuum all detritus out of the sump. Only ends up being a 15g water change but it gets a lot of detritus out which is the main thing. I'm going to buy some gac for my reactor but I'm not sure what to get. Brs is outa the question with the Canadian American exchange rate right now

username in use
02/16/2016, 12:16 PM
If you have a reactor you're putting it in, try to get pellet GAC. The small granular has a tendency to create channels in reactors and isn't fully utilized. The pellets maintain open flow through the whole reactor.

02/16/2016, 05:59 PM
Know of any brands for that? I don't know why there is so little information on gac online considering it's been around for decades. What about esv gac?

username in use
02/16/2016, 06:25 PM
Brand doesn't really matter. Any name brand pellet gac should be fine.

02/19/2016, 01:08 AM
Brs has some really good stuff. Not as dusty compared to other kinds.

02/19/2016, 01:08 AM
Thy also have a good video series about gac and gfo

02/19/2016, 04:26 PM
Lol I can't stand their videos..regardless as I said in the original post they're outa the question. Ended up buyin some matrix gac we'll see how it goes