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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
So I have been using this site for about year and like it a lot. Currently I have a 20 g long with at least 15 lbs of LR, 1 in deep sand bed, with a penguin 100 bio wheel power filter, and a penguin power head that has 145 gph. Though as I have read that the wheel is a nitrate factory and so is the filter. My nitrates have always read around 20 ppm, but I would love to see it under 10 ppm. So I guess my question is should I also take out the filter in the HOB filter as well or should I leave it in? I have taken the wheel out this week since I read that it is bad to have in. Or should I invest in a HOB skimmer?
Thanks!

Oh I have 3 snails and 2 clown fish.
 

· Premium Member
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Welcome to TRT!!! Took ya long enough:D

Good move on the Bio Wheel, and as far as the rest of the media goes.
If you leave it in it needs to be cleaned daily.
Whats happening is all the detritus is just getting trapped and the high oxygen level and high flow will not convert your nitrates.

Also I would not run a tank without a skimmer, but some.
 

· Aquatic Philosopher
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15,750 Posts
Welcome :D

HOB filters are great at converting urea/ammonia/nitrite into the end product.... nitrate. They are not "bad" but what they do best might not be what we want. "TOTS" is correct about the HOB filter as removing the "bio" parts and keeping the rest of it clean is great for preventing detritus from breaking down in the water. From there, you just siphon and change the water with nitrate-free water and you are good to go.

I am one of those folks who tends to recommend against skimmers for small systems. Tanks below 40g really do not need them, 20g and less do not see any meaningful benefit in most cases (super-small skimmers are either ineffective or larger skimmers are not effective at small volumes). Skimmers are all about an economy of scale and smaller tanks (sub-40g) and nano-like tanks (less than 20g) just can not get the advantage that bigger tanks can get. The real trick comes down to exporting detritus before it breaks down so regular water changes and siphoning really are the golden ticket for small systems. Often just 10% water changes per week can do the tick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Any who, for those future people who are deciding what to do with a bio wheel. After almost 2 weeks my nitrates have been the lowest it has ever been. I have left in the filter as of right now and I clean it about once a week rather than daily.
 

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I did the same thing. Big differance without the wheels, they filers clean much easier on a daily basis than weekly as the poo rinses off better if it does'nt break down any, giving you a little longer filter life.Welcome to the Reef!
 
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