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Adding Trace Elements in community tank...necessary?
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Type-R
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Joined: 31 Jul 2003
Location: East Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: 2003.08.14(Thu)15:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scrapper,

I would whole heartedly agree with Williams excellent post, think of your AC as a handy tool to have but not one you want to use all the time. Think of it like nitro injection on a car, works great for a short time but is not too good for long term health if used constantly!
I would recommend using your AC only when you can see that you need it. For example yellowing of your water, not floating particles but tannins leached from driftwood for example (unless you're going for amazonian water!). Good biological filtration coupled with fine particle filtration and regular water changes is really all you need. What I would say is be very careful taking out your AC if you have been using it constantly. There is a danger that if this has been keeping ammonia and nitrite in check, it's sudden removal will result in big spikes until your tank cycles. I would say get some bio media in your filter along with half as much AC and keep a very close eye on ammonia and nitrite levels. If this goes OK and no spikes appear take out more AC and add more bio media and keep doing this every few days until it is pure bio.
A layer of fine filter floss on top of this should take care of any suspended particles.
This is of course only my opinion but I can say that I have never needed to use AC and my water is crystal clear from end to end, no yellowing at all and no diseases ever! Touch wood! Wink
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Scrapper_511
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Joined: 09 Jul 2003

PostPosted: 2003.08.14(Thu)19:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice Type-R! I will order new filter media and replace the AC in the Magnum.

My only concern now is how to position the new media into the carbon container. As William kindly recommended, to fill the container about half and half ceramics and floss. But unlike other canister filters designed to use multiple media I think the Magnum takes in water from all sides of the container as opposed to from the bottom up and forcing the water to pass uniformly through the multiple media. Either case, I suppose I can line the inside of the container with floss and stuff the ceramics within.
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Type-R
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Joined: 31 Jul 2003
Location: East Yorkshire, UK

PostPosted: 2003.08.15(Fri)5:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scrapper,
What you are aiming for is that the bio-media traps the larger particles of dirt before they reach your fine filter floss, otherwise you will end up with clogging very quickly and have to clean the filter regularly. I can't say I am familiar with the magnums but I presume that even if the water is drawn from a number of sides it must still be pumped through a narrow opening into the return tube back into the tank? Ideally you want the water to go through the bio-media first and then have your filter floss in front of the return tube opening so that it flows through the floss last of all.
I think that if you do line the basket with floss first then fill it with media you will end up having to clean it every week or so which is not ideal!
May be somebody else who uses a magnum can help you more.

Cheers
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Steve Hampton
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2003.08.15(Fri)10:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scrapper_511 wrote:
Thanks for the advice Type-R! I will order new filter media and replace the AC in the Magnum.

My only concern now is how to position the new media into the carbon container. As William kindly recommended, to fill the container about half and half ceramics and floss. But unlike other canister filters designed to use multiple media I think the Magnum takes in water from all sides of the container as opposed to from the bottom up and forcing the water to pass uniformly through the multiple media. Either case, I suppose I can line the inside of the container with floss and stuff the ceramics within.


The way I run my continuous online Magnums 350's is as follows:

The media basket is filled from the bottom about halfway up with ceramic bio-rings. Poly-fil (filter floss) is packet on top of the rings and I've recently began adding a small packet of Purigen placed inside the poly fil. The media basket is covered with a bonded blue filter sleeve. The filter sleeve removes the large particles and with this setup in this tank I get about 3-4 weeks before needing to remove the filter for rinsing the blue bonded sleeve and replacing the poly fil. The Purigen is several months old and is still viable (though it previously wasn't used on this tank). Replacing the blue bonded filter sleeve would speed the process quite a bit but I'm too cheap to do that so I simply take the extra time to rinse out the sleeve. BTW, my Magnum 350 also serves as my CO2 reactor for the pressurized CO2 gas feed for the plant.



The clarity of this tank is superb, though that wasn't the case just last month.

This is the same tank one month ago when I had a massive (self caused) green water problem. The Magnum was used with a diatom powder coated Micron cartridge. The GW was so severe and the root cause so extreme that the Magnum couldn't remove the GW at a pace faster than the reproduction of the GW. Since I have the really nice Glosso, the blackout method was not a happy option. Enter the Purigen. The Purigen eliminated the "root" cause and has led to crystal clear water like I've never experienced in a planted tank prior. I have had to switch to adding KNO3 daily as the Purigen will remove NO3 completely without the constant additions.


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Scrapper_511
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Joined: 09 Jul 2003

PostPosted: 2003.08.16(Sat)6:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Mr.Hampton! I will be doing away with the activated carbon soon and setting up my filter per your folks' recommendations. Truly, I am still dumbfounded at learning that full-time AC usage was actually unnecessary and possibly detrimental.

Your planted aquarium looks beautiful! Actually I'm partial to the pic with the cloudy water. Not because of the water condition but because the tank looks uniformly green since the red plants have not grown as much (from what I can tell). I love a tank with just green plants. Someday I will experiment with live plants. BTW, I have heard of the Magnum being an excellent CO2 reactor, but what exactly does that mean? And are you using two Magnum 350s for that tank or just using one with both recommended filtration and CO2?
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