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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a silly thought of using AquaClear 50 for my 5g tank as both Filtration unit & ATO unit.

One of the main reason is because I wanted to add more filtration, even though the tank itself already has 1 level of bio wheels and 3 levels of ceramic rings. I don't think there is any harm in over filtration :D

But the other reason is to use this as a buffer for topping off the display tank. So, in a way, making use of this AC50 as ATO unit for my display tank.

I admit that this is a noob question as I am not too sure myself how HOB filter works. :arg:

My simple understanding is that because AC50 will have additional water, which I see it as a water container hence I maybe able to use that to top off the water in the display tank.

So, I guess the question is:
Will AC50 works as both filtration unit and ATO unit?
 

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No.

One, more filtering is not better. The biowheel and ceramic rings are already more harmful than helpful. Mechanical filtration, save skimming, is not very helpful as it often traps more detritus than it deals with other issues.

You can't automate a filter to put water in when needed… And your ATO reservoir shouldn't be over your tank. It should always be below.
 

· Salt Viking
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No.

One, more filtering is not better. The biowheel and ceramic rings are already more harmful than helpful. Mechanical filtration, save skimming, is not very helpful as it often traps more detritus than it deals with other issues.

You can't automate a filter to put water in when needed… And your ATO reservoir shouldn't be over your tank. It should always be below.
As long as you clean your filter as often as you clean your tank there is no issue at all. I'm not sure why it persists that mechanical filtration is terrible. Lest we forget that if the detritus is not in the filter it's still in the tank. As long as they are cleaned on the same schedule there is no problem, it actually makes cleaning easier. I have an Aquaclear 70 on my tank and my nitrates are 5-7ppm in a Fowlr.. I clean the aquaclear every time I clean my tank.

Anyway as to the original post. I'm not sure how you would integrate an ATO into the filter?
 

· Salt Viking
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bad idea, wasn't thinking.

what is your recommendation for filter media?

if it matters, the filter is intended for a pico 5g tank will be housing zoas, mushrooms.
The only things you need in a HOB filter is a sponge and carbon. No need for ceramic media as that is exactly what Live rock is for. And no need for a biowheel. It's just marketing junk and doesn't do squat. It helps you tank about as much as waving your hand over the tank..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nitrosomonas bacteria lives on the surface of LR, tank wall & filter media.

Does cleaning the filter media means that we'll be removing these beneficial bacteria too?

Would the tank be going into another mini cycle?
 

· Salt Viking
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Nitrosomonas bacteria lives on the surface of LR, tank wall & filter media.

Does cleaning the filter media means that we'll be removing these beneficial bacteria too?

Would the tank be going into another mini cycle?
If you rinse it with regular salinity water then no. I just squeeze my sponges out in bit of clean salt water, then in clean water again, and again till it's relatively clean. It takes about 3 gallons of water for two large sponges.
 

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I actually find mechanical filtration to be very helpful ONLY if you can keep up with cleaning and replacing media, which quickly becomes old, expensive, time consuming, and tedious for many. Though, if one has the tenacity to go through with it, then be my guest.
 

· Salt Viking
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I actually find mechanical filtration to be very helpful ONLY if you can keep up with cleaning and replacing media, which quickly becomes old, expensive, time consuming, and tedious for many. Though, if one has the tenacity to go through with it, then be my guest.
I think the biggest problem with mechanical HOB filtration is that 95% of the units sold are complete junk.. Replaceable cartridges, super mega ultimate bio ceramic stuffs, triple bypass recirculatin flow designs.. Etc etc.. So much marketing BS....

All in all with the right unit it's not all that expensive. I just replace the carbon in the unit, which I would have anyway with or without a filter.. So the only cost is running 6 watts, that total's about 60 cents a month. And cleaning it takes me 5 minutes. It would take me alot longer to vaccum all the stuff that the filter catches out of the sandbed if I didn't have it.. No joke, last night I got two puffs of debris while cleaning the sandbed. And I moved the rocks and vacuumed all the sand down to the glass. But the water I used to clean the filter out looked like I just dumped a cup of detritus in it..

Protein skimmers are useless unless you clean the neck even day or two. Reactors are useless without the right flow. And HOB filters are useless without weekly cleanings..

What's the difference between a non working skimmer and a dirty filter? Nothing.. The stuff you need to get out of the tank is still in there. A skimmer is better because it actually removes that stuff completely. But a skimmer also does not catch everything it only has one inlet..

I think the mentality that they are bad is one of those things that persists because the people that buy them are the ones that are new to the hobby, and most likely make mistakes. Then the filters are easy to blame. But it's like anything else, you gotta know what you're working with. I personally think my tank would be worse off without it..
 

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I'm not sure why it persists that mechanical filtration is terrible. Lest we forget that if the detritus is not in the filter it's still in the tank.
I don't know if I classify mechanical filters as "terrible". just unnecessary, maybe. why have an extra thing on a tank that needs attention frequently when you really don't need it at all?

anyways, I don't want the detritus in the filter in high flow, right? id rather it settle somewhere in low flow where it wont break down as quickly. this is where I think the "change the media often" comes into play. if you want to spend time doing this daily/every few day, then they can be fine, but to me, that just adds unnecessary work.:D

imo, if I WERE to run any sort of mechanical filtration in a hob, say, it wouldn't be anything more than a very easy to swap out/clean piece of foam like brass is suggesting, but ceramic rings, etc....make it much harder to clean.
 

· Salt Viking
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I don't know if I classify mechanical filters as "terrible". just unnecessary, maybe. why have an extra thing on a tank that needs attention frequently when you really don't need it at all?

anyways, I don't want the detritus in the filter in high flow, right? id rather it settle somewhere in low flow where it wont break down as quickly. this is where I think the "change the media often" comes into play. if you want to spend time doing this daily/every few day, then they can be fine, but to me, that just adds unnecessary work.:D

imo, if I WERE to run any sort of mechanical filtration in a hob, say, it wouldn't be anything more than a very easy to swap out/clean piece of foam like brass is suggesting, but ceramic rings, etc....make it much harder to clean.
It works two fold for me. It's a place to put my Carbon since I have no sump and it gets all the stuff that the protein skimmer doesn't pick up on the other side of the tank.

Also this is a topic worth debate. In my mind, yes it is a high flow environment. But it is also much easier to remove all the stuff in one go. If all that massive amount of stuff in the filter were just let back into the tank where it would be anyway, it's gonna go into every nook and cranny, under rocks, in the sand... So it's a trade off. You have a filter that gets probably a good portion of all the large particles in the tank but it's high flow. Then you are left with a few particles to clean up in the low flow areas in the tank. Or you have no filter and all the stuff goes into the tank... What's actually better? To be able to remove all the stuff in the filter and leave only a small amount to get out of the tank. Or to have it all in the tank where you have to make sure you vacuum it out from in and around everything. I guess think of it like this GWB, this is how it is in my head.. Take out that sponge in the filter and squeeze it directly into the tank. Then see how long it takes to vacuum it all out after it settles there for a day. It will take a long time cause it will go everywhere. And you are bound to miss some. It was much easier to just get it out of a sponge.

So the trade in my mind is this...
Have a filter where you catch a lot of debris. Yes it breaks down quickly but it reduces the amount left in the tank. Where even with vacuuming you are bound to miss some.

Or have no filter and have to vacuum it all out of the tank but the percentage that will inevitably get left behind is greater.

I'm not advocating filters at all. I'm merely trying to show people why I don't think they are these horrible nitrate factory monsters they are put out to be. It's all in their use and maintenance.

Am I making sense or is it gibberish..

Gibble homvy reggly fatur bonacle..
 

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I'm not advocating filters at all. I'm merely trying to show people why I don't think they are these horrible nitrate factory monsters they are put out to be. It's all in their use and maintenance.
yup, I can see your point. I try to stay away from the "nitrate factory" reference usually.

I can see your point about catching all the stuff in an easily accessible area as well. thats sort of the same thing that bare bottomed/settling tank advocates say, too. really high flow in the display, very low flow in the settling tank.....kinda the same idea, but executed in a different way.

my skimmer probably gets cleaned maybe every 2 weeks or so, give or take. it probably does lose some efficiency as gunk builds up in the neck, but it still "works" with that buildup, just not like if it were clean.

thewloc issie rablew strimp
 

· Salt Viking
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yup, I can see your point. I try to stay away from the "nitrate factory" reference usually.

I can see your point about catching all the stuff in an easily accessible area as well. thats sort of the same thing that bare bottomed/settling tank advocates say, too. really high flow in the display, very low flow in the settling tank.....kinda the same idea, but executed in a different way.

my skimmer probably gets cleaned maybe every 2 weeks or so, give or take. it probably does lose some efficiency as gunk builds up in the neck, but it still "works" with that buildup, just not like if it were clean.

thewloc issie rablew strimp
My Dream is to have a well designed settling tank and just get rid of the filter entirely.. Just a skimmer and a settling tank.. But with no Sump it has to be carefully designed...

I think I clean my simmer every two or three days. With the blackworms it's like skimming clean water with barely any gunk. So at low nutrient levels my skimmer is always trying really hard just to do it's job. Some days it gets stuff some days there isn't enough. If I were to adjust it any lower I would just be getting cloudy water in the skim cup.. So my skimmer is a rebel, riding on the edge.....

Yeah, don't remind me about settling tanks... Very sad I don't have one still.. :rolleyes:

Tuknuk frab jok-toon reddlo xanderfluf.
 
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