Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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lisurfer523 12-27-2006 03:20 PM

protien skimmer and other maintenence questions
i just bought a bakbak 2 protien skimmer ans i need to know a few things about first your opinion was it a good purchase. and what other filtration do i need to supplement this.right now i have the protien skimmer, an aqua clear 300 hob with a pre filter and a cascade 500. can i eliminate any of these things? what media should i put into what filter? if i can eliminate the AC HOB can i put the plants in the bakpak? i have a regular spiral flourecent bulb ontop of the hob is that enough? it is starting to grow alot of brown hair algea. is that good or bad? its not making its way into the tank. also my ph is at almost 0 how do i raise that

i have a 55gal community tank
2 green cromis
1 neon damsel
1 coral beauty
i snow flake
bunch of snails and hermits

crazie.eddie 12-27-2006 03:46 PM

Is the equipment for a freshwater tank or a saltwater tank? If it's for a salt water tank, what size is the tank?

HOB filters are not recommended for SW tanks. Canister or sumps with overflows should be used.

lisurfer523 12-27-2006 03:50 PM

its a 55 sw and its not e real hob filter its really just a aquaclear 300 with no filter media and filled with macros

caferacermike 12-27-2006 07:40 PM

I'm not sure if the "fuge" is large enough to make a real difference but it will provide micro organisms that your fish will like.

I'm a huge fan of Euroreef and DEltec skimmers myself. I've heard good things about the bacpaks bust since I've no experience with them I won't comment.

Your tank sounds well stocked and you seem to have the desire to take care of it. Keep an eye on that eel as it will grow quite large.

usmc121581 12-27-2006 07:44 PM

What we will need to know is what kind of substrate, lighting(tank), lbs of live rock, do you plan on using a sump in the future? What are the water parameters. I dont use no filters on mine 120gal, my filters are the skimmer, sand(somewhat), live rock, many different inverts, algeas growing in the sump. As for the bakbak 2 protien skimmer I hear they are bad but what do I know I never had on. Its better to have a sump because you can hide all your equipment from view. Actually canister shouldnt be used , they havest nitrates. You can use a canister to polish(clean) the water and thats about. I would just invest in a sump and better skimmer. I have a 30gallon sump in the stand. I am currently shopping for a better skimmer as I am useing a seaclone100. But by the end of next month it will be replaced.

caferacermike 12-27-2006 07:46 PM

I left the canister filter part alone and the lighting alone as it appears to be a fish tank, not one our full on reefs.

bettababy 12-28-2006 02:01 AM

The BakPaks are an ok skimmer, not top of the line, but not bottom, either. They can be difficult to adjust, but once adjusted, are usually pretty reliable, and work pretty well. It's one of the better skimmers for the price.
I agree with needing to know more info about this tank... especially amount of live rock.

I run HOB filters on many of my saltwater tanks, and they do just fine, some more sturdy than others. AquaClear is one of the better ones, and Whisper the worst for saltwater. AquaClear filters provide a good amount of circulation, plenty of space for bio media, and are easy access for maintenance (in most cases). The drawback of running HOB is that salt creep can be more of a problem, so watch walls and furniture around the tank and keep them well cleaned from any salt residue. You will tend to run into issues of salt creep with any filter, and sump can be just as bad as HOB. I have seen entire walls where the drywall just crumbled right away because of salt creep that wasn't take care of, and carpeting that was eaten away by it. Canister is best for salt creep, but make sure your spray bar is always clean and be sure to add power heads to make up for lack of circulation.
If it were mine, being all fish, and dirty fish at that, I'd work with hang on and/or sump, forget the cansiter idea.

I would not try to grow macro algae in the hang on filters. This is bad for the filter, will force the parts to work harder to achieve the same water flow, and may grow down into the impeller chamber, causing more mechanical issues. It would be difficult to have proper lighting over a HOB filter to accomidate the macro.
The sump, however, would be an ideal place to grow it. Macro algaes can be great for keeping water quality in check, but make sure to allow for the proper lighting over it. Without the proper lighting, it will die and pollute your tank instead of help it.

If you need help with your BakPak, feel free to PM me, where it would be easier to work out the details I'd need to cover to help you get it adjusted properly. My husband is a whiz with them.

caferacermike 12-28-2006 07:13 AM

I hadn't noticed the typing error before, wha is PH is at 0 supposed to say?

USMC and I both ran canister filters with no ill effects as far as the way the work. I always prefer a can to a HOB. They are more precise. I've had HOBs clog up the filter and much of the water spill over the edges and onto the floor.

Dawn the HOB fuge is very common. Many reefers use this for smaller tanks. It is a very common practice. It's nothing more than a mini fuge hanging on the tank.

crazie.eddie 12-28-2006 09:07 PM

Any issues with nitrate using biological media? As we know with the cycle process, nitrosomas bacter consume ammonia and produce nitrites, nitrobacter consume nitrites and produce nitrates. Therefore, the biological media is working as it should, producing nitrates in a tank. This is why LR is commonly used in, becuaes nitrates are also being taken in.

caferacermike 12-28-2006 10:11 PM

Indeed CE, I to believe that a healthy tank should have a trace amount of nitrAtes. A tank without nitrAtes is a ticking bomb in my opinion. If something where to die the filtration would immediately be overwhelmed. I've not had a problem with my bio filters being so good that I don't see any trates. The bio filters are meant to absorb (eat) excess nutrients, not so much from the cycle. They will just eat wastes before they break down enough to become nitrItes and ammonia.

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