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mayamaya 12-30-2007 03:44 PM

Bio Balls/Protien Skimmer filtering question
I have a 55 gallon tank with about 25-30lbs of live rock. I'm currently running bio balls as my only filtration system. I've had a couple of different suggestions on what I should change to lower my nitrates and keep the water clearer.

Suggestions I've Gotten
- remove the bio balls completely and replace with a protien skimmer
- Add a protien skimmer but keep the bio balls
- Keep the Bio balls as is unless I add more live rock

I like the idea of the protien skimmer but I'm concern that removing the bio balls will cause more harm than good.
I'm currently looking at the Euro-Reef RS-80 Protein Skimmer. Adding this to my current bio ball system whould be a bit tricky and would require a new sump, either purchased or custome made.

Came accross this system: CPR CMB 192 Filter Package
Does anyone have any experience or opions on this filter package other than it's way too pricy.

MattD 12-30-2007 04:44 PM

I'm surprised you don't have a protein skimmer on a 55 gallon already.

I would suggest ditching the bio-balls, they are nitrate factories. They store a lot of gunk, I've seen many nasty pics of conversion projects.

Good luck.

caferacermike 12-30-2007 05:48 PM

As was said I would also plan on getting rid of the bioballs. You say it's currently your only filtration. Well that's seriously lacking. You have zero mechanical filtration (sponges or anything to trap particulate wastes) unless you count all the gunk the balls have been collecting all these years. Bioballs are only meant to be a source for completing the nitrification process, without any sort of mechanical filtration your bioballs will just fill with nasty detritus leading to a nitrate, or worse yet nitrite, factory.

You'll be much happier with the RS80 in a nice sump over that CPR thing. You could get a decent ESumps for around $150 and a nice used RS80 for $120. The CPR skimmer is just some tubing and a pump. It's not a real proven skimmer like any of the true needle/pinwheel skimmers that have taken over the market.

mayamaya 12-30-2007 10:27 PM

Thanks for the posts...
I should mention I do have a pad on top of the bio balls so there's no gunk building up. I just checked the Nitrate level and it's at 20 and I've already done a couple water changes. This was an already established tank I just got earlier this month.
It looks like going with the Protien Skimmer and removing the bio balls is the way to go. I don't think I would have room underneath this corner tank for both bioballs and a skimmer anyways.

Do I need to run the water through any kind of filter pad before going in to the sump with the protien skimmer.

caferacermike 12-31-2007 11:31 AM

A system with removable filter sock, remove them about once a week for cleaning. Wash them in light bleach in the washing machine. Best to have several around. The filter socks will remove or prefilter tiny particles from the water. The skimmer will remove the rest. The thing about a skimmer is that once it has been removed, it's gone forever.

This would be ideal with a nice skimmer.

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