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Emperor 400 vs penguin 350b
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Atlantis
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Joined: 27 Dec 2006

PostPosted: 2007.02.14(Wed)10:36    Post subject: Emperor 400 vs penguin 350b Reply with quote

I was thinkin about getting an emperor or a penguin for my reef tank, wich u guys recommend?

I have read some review and most of them says that the emperor is a reallly good one, but, I wonder if the new redesigned model of penguin would be good, especially wit hthe bio wheel problem(stop spinning).

Is the emperor still owning on penguin??
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dale
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Abbotsford Canada

PostPosted: 2007.02.15(Thu)21:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using a bio wheel or any other power filter bio media on a reef is not advisable IMO.
In a reef tank:

The liverock and sand should act as the bio media
The protein skimmer should act to export dissolved organics
The power filter should act to export detritus

When choosing a power filter for saltwater look for a model that can be cleaned easily. You should run the sponge (or cartridge) only and clean it regularly. You can also put your carbon or other absorbing media in there as well.
Here is a link to an article I wrote describing how to use a power filter on a small reef. If you read it you will be able to decide which brand will work for you. http://www.aquahobby.com/articles/e_small_aquarium_filter.php
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Atlantis
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Joined: 27 Dec 2006

PostPosted: 2007.02.15(Thu)23:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK tx Dale, it just because now I run my canister filter , fluval, but I don't really love it, the pump to get it start is useless, sometime it unload a tone of crap in the tank when I start it..stuff like that..

Some1 at my local petshop tell me taht penguin was a nice choice for saltwater tank but I guess hes wrong. Well I'm getting a 65g for freshwater species, in that case, do u think it would be nice an emperor or a penguin?
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dale
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PostPosted: 2007.02.16(Fri)0:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not used either so I can't give any first hand opinions (I am an Aquaclear user) but for FW I've heard good reviews about the bio wheel filters. For filters I always look for something easy to clean and that doesn't have disposable cartridges (waste of money).

I service many SW tanks and almost all have Megaflow type sump filters or Fluvals of some sort (usually 405's or FX-5's). The discharge of "crud" is quite common but it doesn't seem to hurt anything. It is just material that coats the inside of the tubing that gets knocked loose when the filter pump kicks in.
I agree that getting the smaller Fluvals started after cleaning can be a PITA. I always try to top them up as full as possible to minimize the air bubble that causes the impeller to cavitate.
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Atlantis
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Joined: 27 Dec 2006

PostPosted: 2007.02.16(Fri)11:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

IYO dale, my 20 gallon reef tank, is filtrated by a coralife super skimmer(60gversion) and a fluval 104. Is it an adequate filtration for a reef tank? or it need to be upgrade?
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dale
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PostPosted: 2007.02.16(Fri)20:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think so, along with live rock.
Remember, the best guide to filtration success is to not overstock and to feed carefully; enough so the fish eat it all in 1 - 2 minutes with little to no left overs. Overstocking and careless feeding will eventually overpower even the best filtration system otherwise.
Consider growing some decorative macro algae as well. This will add either browns, reds or greens to the colour scheme and convert some nitrates too.
Good luck.
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SLACkra
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia

PostPosted: 2007.02.17(Sat)0:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

thought I'd throw in my 2 cents,

imo mechanical filtration is somethign to stay away from when it comes to marines especially where you have live rock and substrate. leave the detritus in the tank for the detrivores to eat. instead of it rotting away inside the filter sponge where it just becomes nitrates! something will eat it and reduce the amount of waste formed as it uses some of it to grow/breed etc. then that something could be eaten by a fish. basically make a nice little ecosystem type thing.

I haven't had any mechanical filtration on my nano in ages and alls well. would probably be better if I had a more diverse amounts of detrivores but I am seeing an increaseingly higher number of various worms etc.

imo all a tank with liverock needs in the way of filtration is 10 times the tanks volume in water movement. then you can have a skimmer to remove disolved organics, a refugium to grow macro algaes to export nutrients or a deep sand bed to keep the nitrates down.

andrew
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dale
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PostPosted: 2007.02.17(Sat)23:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew, no offense but that doesn't make any sense Confused

If we agree that the goal in a marine system is to remove excess nutrients, the question is at what point to do so.

You can either remove them quickly while they are in a solid form by using mechanical filtration (you will note that regular cleaning has been advocated throughout this thread) or wait until the waste is completely broken down by decomposer's and bacteria (dissolved organics).
If you wait until the nutrients are completely dissolved they will be far along in the process of denitrification - with the end result being toxic nitrates. Now you have to figure out how to convert them (DSB, macro algae, binding media). Once converted you then have to figure out how to export them (remove DSB, harvest macro algae, replace binding media).
Wouldn't it be much easier on you and the livestock to remove these excess nutrients before all that happens (mechanical filtration)?
Of course some denitrification will occur even with the use of mechanical filtration, and all systems will benefit from the conversion strategies noted above, but the goal should not be to set up such situations intentionally.

The idea of a natural eco system sounds good in theory, and there are examples of successful applications, but they are far more complicated than you make them out to be. Someone keeping a successful natural "type" tank will probably have a high degree of marine experience, the discipline to maintain very light bio loads and the patience to put up with a dirty, algae plagued set up that won't support the more delicate flora and fauna species.
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SLACkra
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PostPosted: 2007.02.18(Sun)0:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK to clarify according to this guy I know(has a degree in marine biology and a very experienced hobbiest) the efficiency of carnivores is around 10%, he didn't know the efficiency of herbavores. but basically its kinda like this, an alga grows and takes up 100mg of nitrate, a herbavore eats it, its waste eventually becomes nitrate but the level of nitrates would be about -80-90% that of what the algae had taken up, as some nitrogen is taken up by the herbavore. This also would happen if say a bunch of detrivores ate some detritus that would eventually break down to being 10mg of nitrate, you'd end up with 8-9mg of nitrate. So by having a healthy little system with a good set of detrivores and herbavores nitrates will be controlled that way. instead of having to clean a filter sponge quite regularly you just sit back and watch some good old algae mowing from snails, sea urchins, herbavorious fish and crustaceans.

also using this method won't leave your tank overgrown wtih algae you just have to have a good effective clean up crew. eg with my tank all the algae are under control except a certain species of hair algae which my sea urchin is eating slowly.

Also its important to point out that algae will grow in water that is practicaly the same as sea water found around the reef. the reason reefs arent' covered in algae is because the diverse amount of herbavores

however I would like to say that your method would probably be a lot easier for those starting out in the hobby as long as they clean the filter sponge regularly.

andrew
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dale
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PostPosted: 2007.02.18(Sun)1:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

An interesting discussion Andrew.

First, natural reefs aren't cover with algae a.) because of herbivores but also because b.) excess nutrients are diluted by billions of gallons of water.

To continue though. Let's use your model of 10% conversion of waste to biomass. This still leaves 90% of waste breaking down into nitrates. What about those?
The other part of that equation not often discussed but very pertinent is that now you have 10% more biomass to feed. If your dentrivore population (or your herbivore) increases in biomass by 10% then you have to feed it 10% more to keep it healthy.

For example:
If you have a piglet that eats your table scraps (let's say one ounce of food) it will grow. Hooray, it's eating the scraps! As it grows however, it will require more food (1oz, 2oz, 8oz, 1lb etc...). If you try to feed the larger pig one ounce of food it will starve, die and rot. So now, instead of throwing 1 oz. of food into the pen each day you have to add 1 lb. If this is being converted to biomass at a rate of 10% (as per your model) then, instead of 90% of 1oz., 90% of 1lb. is being converted to waste each day.

But you might say NO! the dentrivores (herbivore) are eating the nutrients in the tank, you don't have to keep adding more food but, unfortunately, this is not so. They don't eat pure nitrates. This would be like expecting the pig to eat the same 1oz. of food and the grass that would grow from the addition of the poop. Nitrates need time to convert into a form edible by dentrivores (herbivore) but as the population increases, it will out eat any converting food source and, unless you supplement the diet, all you will be left with is a nitrate rich but food poor system (ever notice that nothing grows in a nutrient rich pig sty).

To see this just observe a tang in an algae filled tank. Soon it will eat all the algae and need seaweed supplements. If your theory held true the tank should grow more algae as the tang ate it - in a closed loop.

This is one reason closed systems are difficult to maintain. Your decomposer population is either increasing (requiring more nutrient input) or decreasing (dying, decaying and releasing nitrates back into the water column). It can be done but it requires quite a working knowledge to be sustained long term.
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