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Old 06-01-2012, 07:07 PM   #1
samharper
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mechanical filtration?


hi guys im rather new to marine fish keeping and have actually not had any fish yet! but ive been researching them alot for the past 6 months or so building up untill this moment where ive got my tank and its set up! its been setup for about 5 weeks now but i havnt added fish just the CUC, i have an external filter which atm has filter pads, activated carbon and those white ball things (always forget the name i think its bio balls .) i was thinking about taking out all the filter pads and putting in live rock and bristleworms, the live rock obviously for the water to filter through and the bristleworms to clean up any left over food that gets into my filter, i will remove the activated carbon soon and not use it anymore so my filter will contain live rock + white ball things (bio balls?) + bristleworms, would like to hear your opinions on this setup as im new and havnt been able to try any yet, i hear that bio balls and filter pads can cause problems with water like high nitrates and you would need to constantly rinse filter pads under tap water to kill any bacteria, any suggestions guys? Thank you!
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:28 PM   #2
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Well I would say to discontinue the use of the filter all together. But if you are going to keep it, I would only put in LR but even that is not needed. Do you have a protien skimmer?

Also the Bio Balls should go for sure, they just trap detritus and fill your tank with Nitrates.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:28 PM   #3
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BTW Welcome to TRT!!
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:40 PM   #4
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thanks yeah ive got a protein skimmer, ive done a fair bit of research to try get my tank as best as i possibly can but i didnt come across anything on mechanical filtration untill just recently, i will definitely get rid of the bio balls! if thats what they are, white sort of round with holes in the middle? gna empty the filter of everything and just place a piece of LR in it, does live rock not add much nitrate then? or does it convert it to nitrogen?
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:50 PM   #5
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those sound like ceramic beads.. but I agree with TOTS the only filters your reef really needs are a decent protien skimmer and the LR itself.. Mechanical filtration can be avery effective tool when doing maintenance on your tank however.. For instance, I have a HOB filter that whenever I blow the dietrus and bacterial flock from my LR each week before WC's, I hang it on and use it to catch alot of the debris floating around the tank before it can get into the sump and give.. I let it run for about 45minutes till the water clears then empty the contents into my WC bucket to start it out.. works very effective and keeps the sump area just a little bit cleaner .. just an idea for you tyo TRY..

Welcome to TRT Hope you find plenty of help here..
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:58 PM   #6
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thanks, there is so much help here! think im getting abit addicted to marine keeping lol im researching like hours everyday! thanks for the advice guys! so it would be a good idea to remove everything from my filter e.g. pads, ceramic beads and either not run it at all or just run it with LR in it for a boost to my water flow? also would putting bristleworms in there be a good idea to get rid of uneaten food thats sucked into the filter?
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samharper View Post
thanks yeah ive got a protein skimmer, ive done a fair bit of research to try get my tank as best as i possibly can but i didnt come across anything on mechanical filtration untill just recently, i will definitely get rid of the bio balls! if thats what they are, white sort of round with holes in the middle? gna empty the filter of everything and just place a piece of LR in it, does live rock not add much nitrate then? or does it convert it to nitrogen?
LR is made from the Calcium carbonate skeleton of dead corals.. it is filled with literally miles of little tunnels and pores that nitrifying bacterai at different stages work to convert the ammonia and fish waste to nitrogen gas.. the LR works better that any filter because it is oneof the few places that true anaerobic(non-oxegen needing) bacteria exist.. because the O2 cannot penetratas far into the LR.. if that makes sense..
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:11 PM   #8
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the bristle worm in ther may not be a good idea the LRL will likely have a few anyway.. remember if it eats it poops.. and that filter will act like a toilet.. the same as you sand beds.. with out regular cleaning the of the toilet.. foul things can happen.. same as in our homes..
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:11 PM   #9
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so it would work much better than ceramic beads and filter pads? as they make nitrate but LR converts nitrates to nitrogen?
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Old 06-01-2012, 08:16 PM   #10
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http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f6...ed-160389.html

not sure if anyone has recommended that you read through this thread but it truly is a read everyone in this hobby should take the time to browse through.. it explains what is going on boilogically in your tank and is packed with a lot of valuable info.. it is a bit of a long read but very much worth the time
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Old 06-01-2012, 10:28 PM   #11
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No Matter what media you put in the filter it will not make the conversion to Nitrogen Gas. For this to happen you need two seperate enviornments, low flow and high oxygen. A filter is neither. Further more if you cram a bunch of LR in to the filter you would just have more room for detritus to build and decay further.
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