is my canister filter good enogh - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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post #1 of 12 Old 11-28-2009, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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is my canister filter good enogh

i have an odyssea cannister filter system on my 55 gallon saltwater tank FOWLR SETUP and was just wandering if it was efficient enough]eBay Guides - Jebo Odyssea cs4 aquarium canister filter
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post #2 of 12 Old 11-29-2009, 07:44 AM
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The real problem lies in the type of filtration you are using. Canister filters will trap particulate matter, resulting in the breakdown of organic waste into Nitrates. Given that the goal of a marine aquarium should be to keep Nitrates at or near zero, using a filter that is designed for the input of Nitrates into an aquarium is not exactly the best option. The ideal filter to compliment your live rock and sand bed would be a protein skimmer, which removes organic waste directly from the system, without breaking down the waste into Nitrates.

That being said, in the absence of a protein skimmer, on smaller sized FOWLR aquariums, a canister filter would be my 2nd choice. The reason for this is that you can pack large quantities of activated carbon into a canister filter. Activated carbon absorbs organics from the water, and if changed frequently, can be an effective method of filtration. The problem lies in maintenance, as the activated carbon needs to be completely changed every 7 to 10 days, and the filter pads inside the canister filter need to be rinsed almost DAILY to avoid organic waste decay and Nitrate input into the water. This may be a short term solution, but long term the purchase of a protein skimmer will be much cheaper and far more efficient.

Here are a couple of suggestions for hang on protein skimmers for a 55 gallon tank:
Super Skimmer with Needle Wheel - Up to 125 Gallon | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
Seaclone Protein Skimmer 150 - 25 in. high | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
Berlin X2 Venturi Skimmer | Venturi Models | Protein Skimmers | Aquarium - ThatPetPlace.com
Aqua C Remora Pro Hang-On Protein Skimmer

Keep in mind, you get what you pay for with protein skimmers, so the more money you have in your budget for the purchase of a skimmer, the better your long term results will be.
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post #3 of 12 Old 11-29-2009, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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i also have a bak-pak 2 skimmer hang on type that i am using is this good?
and should i stop using my cannister filter or should i use both or maybe just leave the activated carbon
only in the cannister and keep using it.
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post #4 of 12 Old 11-29-2009, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonesman View Post
i also have a bak-pak 2 skimmer hang on type that i am using is this good?
and should i stop using my cannister filter or should i use both or maybe just leave the activated carbon
only in the cannister and keep using it.
This question depends on the specifics of your situation. The BakPak is undersized for a 55 gallon tank in some applications, and is adequate in others. What livestock are you keeping?

I would personally ditch the canister filter, keeping it handy for quick polishing of the water. For example, after scrapping algae from the glass, you may find it handy to run the canister for a quick polish, and then remove the filter pad after a few hours, leaving it to run empty. You could also use the canister for periodic activated carbon use when you felt the tank needed it. But overall, assuming you have enough live rock and proper stocking levels, I would not use the canister.
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post #5 of 12 Old 11-29-2009, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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i have 2 damselfish 2 clowns oceleris 1 yellow tang which i know is probably gonna outgrow tank
i have about 100 lbs of cured live rock and 40 lbs live sand but i do eventually want more fish and some plants and anenomes
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post #6 of 12 Old 11-29-2009, 02:47 PM
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I think the BakPak is very adequate. You have a nice amount of live rock and a proper sand bed. I think removing the canister filter will help to reduce your nitrate levels. You certainly should remove the biomedia and sponge filter material from your sump. However, you should do this slowly, removing 25% of the biomedia per week for 4 weeks.

How high are the nitrates today?
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post #7 of 12 Old 11-29-2009, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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my nitrates are around 6ppm
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post #8 of 12 Old 12-01-2009, 07:18 PM
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6ppm is a very low nitrate reading for an established aquarium with normal stocking levels and a canister filter. I am guessing that you have a rather new system, or only a couple small fish?
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post #9 of 12 Old 12-04-2009, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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it is a pretty new tank what should my nitrates be at
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post #10 of 12 Old 12-05-2009, 07:00 AM
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Reading this entire thread again, things seem to be moving rather normal for you. You have a pretty good setup, with 100 pounds of live rock and an ok protein skimmer. What has helped at this point is your stocking levels, which are small enough for the protein skimmer to do an effective job.

I am very concerned about the future of your tank, because a Yellow Tang is a rather poor choice of fish for a 55 gallon tank. This species is extremely territorial and makes life difficult on almost all new fish additions. This behavior is greatly magnified in aquariums under 6 feet in length. You will need to be extremely cautious with your future fish additions, and stick with fish that are not in any way perceived as a threat by the Tang.
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