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Old 12/20/2007, 10:25 PM   #1
Crush Coral
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value of algae filter compared to skimming.

I need help! My 75 gal. reef tank has a Rena XP3 canister with it's output plumbed into a reverse flow undergravel in the tank with crushed coral as my substrate. One benefit of the crushed coral is that it makes a great breading ground for bugs which my Mandarin dines on. Now with my tank set up and not drilled and do desire to break it down I am looking for ideas on set-up design working with what I have. I do wish I had a skimmer and have been considering a HOT like the Prizm model. My other thought is to take a HOT fuge like the Aqua fuge, and inside it adding a couple of plexiglass sheets tilted from the two corners up to the center at the top of the fuge and adding a grow light above it for algae. This would give me 4 light exposed surfaces to grow algae on with two of them removable to put in my tank for a good source of food. My question, which I am finially getting to, is this. Will an algae filter provide better, equal, lesser or different filtering qualities than a skimmer. Anyone with any experience or knowledge on this subject? If not I may just have to try the algae filter as a fun experiment. Thanks for any info I can get.

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Old 12/20/2007, 10:30 PM   #2
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Skimmer dont help with algea. More for disolved solids from fish and coral waste. You can get a better idea from your water readings. Do you know your ammonia readings? Also without a fuge the mandrine will starve. Also with almost no flow then your CC will only cause high nitrates.

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Old 12/20/2007, 10:31 PM   #3
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I use both on my tank. It really helps out a lot. Figure this in to play. A skimmer removes organics before they break down. A fuge waits till organics break down and then consumes the nutrients. If you have room run them both.

Couple SPS/Zoanthid tanks and a couple of FW planted tanks.

Current Tank Info: 5 pieces of glass with some silicone and plastic frames holding them together
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Old 12/20/2007, 10:48 PM   #4
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A fuge will help. You may end up needing a diatom filter to control detritus [run it for an hour if you need a quick cleanup, but only clean 1/4 of that sandbed in any given week: that's state of the art from the 1980's, and it's chancy; keep carbon and Amquel at hand in case of a spike.

A skimmer will definitely help and so will a fuge. I suspect you are right about cc as a breeding ground for pods---I reefed in the 1980's, and I recall very good pod population. Your tank will always balance on the edge of OMG, but can thrive with careful attention. A skimmer would be the most help, imho.


Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, RBTA, signal goby, yellow watchman, red firefish, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 12/21/2007, 08:12 AM   #5
Crush Coral
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Thanks for the input guys. Think I will add both the HOT fuge and skimmer. Now since I have to use a HOT skimmer, any feedback as to which to use? Guess I can call the retailers and see if they have gotten input from their customers. I wish reverse flow undergravels did not have the aparent bad rap that they do. If you wish to talk surface area for nitrite removal there is not contest when competing against 75lbs of crushed coral. Everyone has to do H2O changes anyway, and most try to suck debri from the bottom of their tank anyway so why not use a gravel vac? Araganite in the crushed coral help keep PH up. And bugs flourish. Have had my Mandarin for 7 months and he is fat and happy. Any system not kept up will crash. Benefits of a sump over a large canister IMO are easy frequent changes of filter material and a place to put a skimmer. Still hoping for recommendations on the Prizm skimmer and Aqua Fuge HOT refugium. Thanks again.

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Old 12/21/2007, 08:31 AM   #6
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You have a set up like a lot of people did back in the 70's including myself. I had major disasters with that type of set up as did many others. With that type of filtration you trap too many bad things in your substrate which can lead to tank crashes. Personally I would get a good skimmer and use a fuge and get rid of the undergravel filter. How much live rock do you have in your 75?

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Old 12/21/2007, 10:52 AM   #7
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Prizm skimmers have a horrible reputation; A better option would be an Aqua C Remora, and there are many other hob skimmer designs(NOT seaclones!).

As for the fuge, an alternative to the Aqua Fuge would be modded Aqua Clear hob filters if you have any lying around. DIY AC70 fuge thread

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Old 01/15/2008, 11:47 PM   #8
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Even the Aqua C Remora's are poor. Look into the Octopus HOB.

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Old 01/16/2008, 12:07 AM   #9
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you also have an option of using an external overflow... that way, you're not restricting yourself to small hang on skimmers and refugium... you can setup one, complete with the overflow, sump/fuge, return pump, skimmer, and pipes for not much more than you would pay for a hang on refugium and skimmer...

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