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TOPIC: filtration still eludes me

filtration still eludes me 8 months 2 weeks ago #69842

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I've seen so many vids and reading up on filtrations that I think my head will explode. It's so much more complicated then setting up a HOB filter. I find myself cleaning my AC 110 once a week on the South African cichlid tank. I take out the sponge to squeeze out the excess waste and empty out the water.

I am seriously considering a 20 gallon minimum with a pair of clowns and a cleaner shrimp and snails or hermit crabs. Mainly due to limited space options in my apartment, or I could just get rid of the TV. I find watching fish do their thing far more entertaining. There is way too much garbage on the tube these days. (Just gave away my age opps)

As I am beginning to understand, the live rock does a natural filtration with a power head or a wave maker and with a protein skimmer or a hob filter.

Aqua Clears and Marine land emperors are what I've been hearing are the best ones to use. I really do prefer the Aqua Clears. It's a good filter.

It's so confusing on what you actually need towards filtration on a SW tank. I'm going to aim towards building from the ground up. Figure I have better control over what to get versus a set up. Or I could go with a nano cube. They have a nice 29 gallon set up with two clowns, a watchman goby and a shrimp in the tank at Big Al's as a demonstration. With the nano cube it looks like it has a wave maker, the filtration on the back going over live rock and that's it.

I was thinking either that or a 13.5 gallon fluvial tank and a single yellow tail damsel. I know they're aggressive so that would be it and maybe snails as a clean up crew. Sounds like keeping a peppermint shrimp with a damsel is hit and miss depending on the personality of the fish.

The filtration was confusing at first but. I'm still a little unsure on what you need for filtration at this point.
65 gallon
2 yellow tail aceis
1 Blue neon peacock
6 cobue peacock fry
3 female cobue peacocks
2 Synodontis lucipinnis

5.5 Gallon
red finned, blue and white marbled Delta tail betta
1 mystery snail

30 gallon
20 cobue peacock fry

The psych meter has gone from sane to insane.
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filtration still eludes me 8 months 2 weeks ago #69854

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Not a salt water guy myself, but, if you are cleaning an AC 110 weekly you have either an overstock, are over feeding, or need more filter help.Maybe some of each. If your signature is still current, and the 110 is the only filter on the 65, it def needs help. I run a pair of 110's on 120g tanks. Single fish stock mind you, but I get 8-10 weeks between sponge rinses, and they are still not overly dirty.
1600gals of South and Central American cichlids. Some with just a "wee" bit of attitude!
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filtration still eludes me 8 months 2 weeks ago #69855

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blackcougar wrote:
I've seen so many vids and reading up on filtrations that I think my head will explode. It's so much more complicated then setting up a HOB filter. I find myself cleaning my AC 110 once a week on the South African cichlid tank. I take out the sponge to squeeze out the excess waste and empty out the water.

I am seriously considering a 20 gallon minimum with a pair of clowns and a cleaner shrimp and snails or hermit crabs. Mainly due to limited space options in my apartment, or I could just get rid of the TV. I find watching fish do their thing far more entertaining. There is way too much garbage on the tube these days. (Just gave away my age opps)

As I am beginning to understand, the live rock does a natural filtration with a power head or a wave maker and with a protein skimmer or a hob filter.

Aqua Clears and Marine land emperors are what I've been hearing are the best ones to use. I really do prefer the Aqua Clears. It's a good filter.

It's so confusing on what you actually need towards filtration on a SW tank. I'm going to aim towards building from the ground up. Figure I have better control over what to get versus a set up. Or I could go with a nano cube. They have a nice 29 gallon set up with two clowns, a watchman goby and a shrimp in the tank at Big Al's as a demonstration. With the nano cube it looks like it has a wave maker, the filtration on the back going over live rock and that's it.

I was thinking either that or a 13.5 gallon fluvial tank and a single yellow tail damsel. I know they're aggressive so that would be it and maybe snails as a clean up crew. Sounds like keeping a peppermint shrimp with a damsel is hit and miss depending on the personality of the fish.

The filtration was confusing at first but. I'm still a little unsure on what you need for filtration at this point.


It can be quite confusing because there are many ways to go about doing the same thing. Let me try to simplify.

Option A: If you want, you can use a simple HOB filter as filtration for your 20 gallon tank. Something like an aquaclear 30 and a power head (for circulation) would be enough filtration for a pair of clowns and a shrimp. You don't need anything else for filtration at that point. You will do weekly water changes just like you do in fresh water tanks to keep the nitrate creep down.

Option B: Or on the same tank, you could go with 25-30lbs of live rock. This will serve as your biomedia and you will want to have at least two powerheads for proper circulation. The principle here is that the live rock will house your bacteria, and the powerheads keep pushing water flow into and over them to keep the bacteria supplied with the ammonia/nitrite in the water column. Without proper flow, you will get a lot of dead spots, and algae out breaks and in the worst case scenario, ammonia/nitrite spikes. You'll notice here that you have no mechanical filter (something removing debris, like a filter pad in the HOB filter). This is where your clean up crew (CUC) comes in. Nassarius snails, hermit crabs, bristle worms and other fauna will help to break down detritus and debris in the water column that are left behind by the messy clownfish.

Now if you are going to try saltwater for the first time, then option A would be the easiest. But option B is not difficult. It just takes some getting used to.
"My Country is the World, and my Religion is to do good." -Thomas Paine
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filtration still eludes me 8 months 2 weeks ago #69860

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Rush: I was getting confused because some setup videos include both circulation pumps and HOB filters with the live rock. Some didn't but failed to explained how it worked. One video did explain how the live rock acts as a natural filter.

That really clears it up for me. I think the HOB filter over the live rock is just helping with circulation and nothing more.



Northstar5 wrote:
Not a salt water guy myself, but, if you are cleaning an AC 110 weekly you have either an overstock, are over feeding, or need more filter help.Maybe some of each. If your signature is still current, and the 110 is the only filter on the 65, it def needs help. I run a pair of 110's on 120g tanks. Single fish stock mind you, but I get 8-10 weeks between sponge rinses, and they are still not overly dirty.

I have a sponge filter in there but its not currently hooked up due to the air pump being connected to the sponge filter in the bucket cycling it for the betta tank. I noticed I didn't need to clean out the AC as much with it hooked up. Once the sponge filter is done cycling in the bucket the air pump is going back on the sponge filter. I only have two air pumps at the moment.

Wouldn't the nitrates double with a second HOB filter or no?

maybe I am over feeding them and should cut it back to once a day. That was the plan when they stopped growing and one to two days a week with fasting.
65 gallon
2 yellow tail aceis
1 Blue neon peacock
6 cobue peacock fry
3 female cobue peacocks
2 Synodontis lucipinnis

5.5 Gallon
red finned, blue and white marbled Delta tail betta
1 mystery snail

30 gallon
20 cobue peacock fry

The psych meter has gone from sane to insane.
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filtration still eludes me 8 months 2 weeks ago #69861

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blackcougar wrote:
Rush: I was getting confused because some setup videos include both circulation pumps and HOB filters with the live rock. Some didn't but failed to explained how it worked. One video did explain how the live rock acts as a natural filter.

That really clears it up for me. I think the HOB filter over the live rock is just helping with circulation and nothing more.


I have seen this done as well. You can do this, but for explanation purposes, I chose not to include this as it muddies the methods and their benefits. It can work this way too though.
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filtration still eludes me 8 months 2 weeks ago #69864

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So that's the reason why people do target feeding with clown fish? Because they're messy?

I've been doing target feeding with the betta to keep everything from spiking out of control and so far it appears to be working.

I find it helps develop a trust between us.

Heres a question about water changes. I know it will be either crushed coral or sand in the tank. Do I just hover the hose above the sand picking up any debris or do I just take the water out or gently run my hands through the sand?
65 gallon
2 yellow tail aceis
1 Blue neon peacock
6 cobue peacock fry
3 female cobue peacocks
2 Synodontis lucipinnis

5.5 Gallon
red finned, blue and white marbled Delta tail betta
1 mystery snail

30 gallon
20 cobue peacock fry

The psych meter has gone from sane to insane.
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filtration still eludes me 8 months 1 week ago #69873

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I never had to target feed my clowns. And no they are not particularly messy, at least not like Oscars. But feeding frozen foods can get messy quick, which is what I did a lot.


That would depend on your setup.

If you have only live rock and and powerheads with a clean up crew to eliminate debris/detritus then you don't want to disturb the sand bed, at all. If you have a HOB filter with no other fauna then you can gravel vac like you do a freshwater tank.
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filtration still eludes me 8 months 1 week ago #69885

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I'm really leaning towards live rock and a clean up crew. Replacing water sounds like less work then vacuuming the sand bed .

What I am thinking is around 20 pounds of dry rock and five pounds of live rock to jump start the nitrogen cycle.

say about 20 pounds of sand sound about right?
65 gallon
2 yellow tail aceis
1 Blue neon peacock
6 cobue peacock fry
3 female cobue peacocks
2 Synodontis lucipinnis

5.5 Gallon
red finned, blue and white marbled Delta tail betta
1 mystery snail

30 gallon
20 cobue peacock fry

The psych meter has gone from sane to insane.
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filtration still eludes me 8 months 1 week ago #69901

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Yup. That's a good start.
"My Country is the World, and my Religion is to do good." -Thomas Paine
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filtration still eludes me 8 months 1 week ago #69967

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can you use tap water and just prepare the water the night before the water change?

I noticed some references where they used prime and tap water and that's it and quite a few strong arguments about using a rodi filter.

it turns out a fish store two hours away from me uses tap water and prime. I guess I could go into Big Als and make a few enquires about it.

I talked with someone at Big Als and he said anyone with an RO/DI unit in our area has had nothing but issues with salt water tanks. The tap water in our area is fine to use and he uses tap water in his tanks at home.
65 gallon
2 yellow tail aceis
1 Blue neon peacock
6 cobue peacock fry
3 female cobue peacocks
2 Synodontis lucipinnis

5.5 Gallon
red finned, blue and white marbled Delta tail betta
1 mystery snail

30 gallon
20 cobue peacock fry

The psych meter has gone from sane to insane.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
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