06-24-2010, 10:41 AM
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no canister filter will be good on a saltwater tank unless its empty or used for just carbon but i prefer a reactor for that.
the reason canister filters, bio balls, anything that will trap debris and detritus are bad, is just that... it traps debris and detritus and gives them a chance to break down and spike your nitrates. the way a skimmer works, it basically blends the water until it foams and the foam rises up and into a collection cup. no sponges, fibers, or nooks and crannies for poop or food to get stuck. when my tank was still mine ( i moved and left it ) it had a constant 0 ppm nitrate reading. granted i had a sump with macro algaes, carefully fed, had a quality skimmer, plenty of live rock, deep sand bed and thats about all the filtration you'd need. this was also a reef so ideal water quality is just that.
as for skimmers i liked my MR2 besides the fact it was so noisy i had to get rid of it and use i believe it was an MTC skimmer that was in-sump only but way quieter and preformed just as good. i also liked my ASM when i had it. theres alot of good skimmers out there, but be warned alot are just overpriced pieces of plastic. read online reviews and ask questions. look for a local reefing club in your area and ask around there.