12-28-2006, 02:01 AM
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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.