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yellowboxfish

External Filters

106 posts in this topic

well i have noticed there is are a few people asking about external filters on the reef tank and people have been having bad times whilst using an external, what you must remember is that primarily externals were designed for freshwater tanks and as such have freshwater media,how ever if you follow a few basic rules you can use an external successfully on your reef tank along with live rock

 

first of all remove all the media from the the trays and just have phosphate remover and or carbon and filter floss, the reason for this is if you have the media left in the filter it will start to go through the nitrogen cycle and will starve the live rock of vital food thus making it ineffectual,the biggest culprit for this is sponges they turn into nitrate factories if not washed regularly under tap water to kill the bacteria that has built up in it, this needs to be done ideally every week

 

however an external will not cycle nitrate it will just dump nitrates into your tank and the live rock will have too much anaerobic bacteria building up and not enough aerobic bacteria, this works in a freshwater tank as they don't rely on live rock but have a vegetable filter of sorts in the form of live plants which absorb nitrates as food ( much the same as calurpa and chaeto absorb phosphates) as there aren't any plants as such in the reef tank there isn't anything to absorb the nitrate, where as if all the media is removed except for phos remover and or carbon and filter floss as quoted above the live rock gets to start to do it's work to great effect with the correct amount of both bacterias, this in conjunction with a good skimmer should keep your tank running sweet.

 

the good things about an external is they are sealed so if you get a power cut there won't be a flood, you get good flow of water and they don't take up much space if you don't have room for a sump.

 

i hope this gives you some insight into using an external successfully

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Very good info carl people who are just starting with a external filter will be able to understand this very easy. Written well for easy understanding. Should be pinned.

 

 

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there you go pinned, thanx for the compliment jonny

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I apologise if I've missed the point here (I often do lol), but how would you use a canister filter in a system with little or no live rock? (ie fish only setup)

 

I assume the only way would be to use biological media to remove ammonia, nitrite and deal with nitrate another way (frequent water changes/refugium)

 

 

 

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the above is assuming you have sufficient live rock, if you don't then you would have to use filter media, carbon and a phos remover, however i wouldn't use any foam based products unless you want to rinse it out under the tap every week

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no not really, lr rubble is a good thing to have in an external, the above is a guide and as such can be adapted to suite your environment

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I disagree about the LR rubble, anaerobic bacteria lies deep within the rock in a low oxygen environment, for this reason the live rock needs to be in decent size chunks for it to work properly and house the anearobic bacteria. LR rubble is too small to do this and is pointless im my opinion if you hoping it will complete the nitrogen cycle.

 

Good article about the externals Carl. :good:

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ye see what you mean mark, when you think about it lr rubble would work just like the media that comes with the external so would be poitntless, wasn't thinking in saying it was ok

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The media (siporax/efisubstrate) would be much more effective I agree.

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i have just got rowa,carbon and floss in mine and the lr and dsb do the work, the rowa and carbon finish things off, and the pump gives you the circulation

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Here's a question o'great and wise Carl

 

Basically I'm going to be upgrading my tank soon and I want to ditch my biological media in favour of using live rock and the refugium in the sump for the tanks filtration

 

Is the way to make the change, buy the LR I will need for the new tank and put it into my existing tank so that the necessary bacteria colonises it? or will I just have to cycle the new tank like I did when I first started the old?

 

Cheers

 

Stewart

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personally i would start again and recycle the new tank with all your new rock in it and add the other stuff later with some of the old water from your other tank you could seed it with a handfull of sand from the old tank

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ok im confused by this....

 

im my external cannister, i have 3 trays...the bottom 2 having lr rubble in, the top with filter floss - thats all

i have some left-over lr that i cant get rid of - so was going to break it up & put it in cannsiter too - peices are about 2" big

 

are you saying its pointless?

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sorry if you are getting confused, in a nut shell, it is pointless putting in any media other than floss, carbon and phos remover, if you have got sufficient lr and a dsb this will do the job, in freshwater aquaria you don't have lr so therefore need the media to do the job of lr, but in a mrine tank the lr does the job, basically you DO NOT WANT THE FILTER TO BECOME ACTIVE WITH BACTERIA, the reason behind this is so the lr can do it's job properly and the filter media will starve the lr of the food it needs to work and deposit nitrate into the tank which the lr cant convert, when lr does this work your carbon in the filter will take the nitrate out when it passes through, hop ethis is a bit more clearer and sorry if you were confused

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