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What About Filtration for the 29 gallon ?
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pherfect
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Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Location: University Place, Wa

PostPosted: 2006.08.05(Sat)10:06    Post subject: What About Filtration for the 29 gallon ? Reply with quote

Hi everyone Smile OK, the question of filtration just occurred to me. Is it part of the combo/HOB protein skimmer pumps? If not, do I need filtration? Or is that what the skimmer is for?-Please forgive me of my ignorance.
Another thought was water flow. Do I need something for that? I currently use an Eheim cannister filter, but I don't know if it creates enough surface flow for a fowlr setup. Frankly, I don't want to use the Eheim, but would consider using it if encouraged.
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Pete Harcoff
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Joined: 18 Jun 2005
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2006.08.05(Sat)11:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

A protein skimmer removes organic waste (dissolved organic carbon) directly from the water column. It does this by creating a bunch of foam inside a cylinder, which rises pushing the organic waste to the top. Then the waste collects inside some sort of chamber or cup.

You can run filtration on top of that if you want. You probably won't need chemical or biological filtration from the filter, but mechanical filtration (I.e. removing debris) can help keep your water crystal clear. There are various ways to do that. For example, I ran my output from my Coralife Super Skimmer 125 into an Aquaclear 70 hang-on filter. Pic:



On top of that that, live rock and live sand act as biological filteration in your tank. The bacteria and other critters that live in the rock will help break down any waste that accumulates in the tank.

You do need a decent amount of water flow in the tank, especially with the live rock (you don't want too much stuff to accumulate inside). Ideally you should shoot for about 10x water turnover per hour. So for a 29 gallon, you'd want at about 290 gph. It really depends on how much live rock you have. If you don't have much live rock, you can get away with less.
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pherfect
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Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Location: University Place, Wa

PostPosted: 2006.08.05(Sat)11:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I do need to buy a powerhead. I'll go with that. I understand that my canister filter will help with the debris. But do I understand you correctly that if I don't use one, all the mircroscopic critters with help with that process? If critters are enough I'll start w/out the can.
One other thing. OK, I'll be using live rock. But regarding substrate, what would you recommend? When I mentioned live sand to the LFS owner, he said to use crushed coral for the pH factor. But then I read-can't remember the site- that crush coral isn't good. If live sand, how do you maintain pH?
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Pete Harcoff
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Joined: 18 Jun 2005
Location: Canada

PostPosted: 2006.08.05(Sat)14:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's been enough written about sandbeds to fill a book. Suffice to say, ask a different person and you'll get a different recommendation.

From what I've read about pH and subtrates is that substrates have a minimal effect on buffering regardless of the material chosen. The buffer in your salt mix or added with another supplement will go much further to maintain your pH than your choice of substrate.

Personally, if it was me I'd go with a shallow sand bed (about 1-1.5 inches) of mixed oolitic sand (I.e. CaribSea's Aragamax Sugar Sized Sand) and something a little coarser (I.e. CaribSea's Aragamax Select or Seaflor Special). Finer grained sand is more conducive to populations of small organisms like worms and 'pods (if you want larger populations of those). And a shallow sandbed will be easier to turnover with critters or simply periodic stirring.

Then again, I opted to try a deep sand bed in my 56 gallon. Supposedly that will allow for total de-nitrification, but there are potential negative long-term side-effects.

Another option is to simply go bare-bottom. Some people swear by this since you avoid any chance of waste accumulation. OTOH, you don't gain the benefit of critters populating the sandbed.
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