Originally Posted by biglar
...I currently have a 55g reef tank. Well really a start to a reef tank I have only purchased a chili coral so far. But back to my question, I unfortunatley do not have room for a sump and need to know what other options I have for biological filtration. I am now running a Bremuda Aquatics Rogue Wave Hang-On protein skimmer w/ Rio+ 1100 pump and I was running a Magnum 350 Canister filiter. I recently shut down the canister and through on an Emperor 330 without the bio wheels. I have approximately 50-60 lbs of live rock and 20 lbs of live sand. Could a hang- on refugium with some micro-alge be useful or will it be a waste of money
This is a pic of my tank at sunset.
From the look of the photo, the first thing I'd suggest is more live rock. There is no such thing as too much live rock, and it is going to be the biggest aid in biological filtration for something such as this.
You could do the hang on fuge if you wanted to... but it would have to be a pretty good size to make any real difference once you start adding more animals to the tank.
Watch your water params, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and
calcium. Your test results will tell you how good of a job your filtration is doing. Add animals slowly, one at a time. Space the additions a few wks apart. This allows the tank to adjust slowly to account for extra waste. After each addition, test water every few days for the first wk or 2... watch any ammonia spikes and be sure they break down completely to nitrate before another addition. This will also help to let you know when your tank is full.
Also, remember that its not the filter itself that will make the most difference, but the media inside of it. Magnum canisters are no good for saltwater... they clog very easily and are not made to endure the salt long term. If you want to work with a canister, try Eheim or Filstar.... or Cascade. Look for the ultimate in space for media.
For media make sure you're working with some kind of filter padding, sponge, and bio media. Eheim makes some awesome media and it can be used in other filters. Epimech, the "noodles"... look for porous materials that offer the ultimate in surface area for your beneficial bacteria to populate.
It's also a good thing to remember that your bio filtration will build slowly according to the amount of waste in the tank. It takes time for that bacteria to populate enough to do the job, and when you stop adding animals, once it is populated enough to handle the current waste, it will stabalize there. This is why I say to add animals slowly... give the tank a chance to stabalize in between each addition.
And... of course... keep up with your water changes. Frequent small changes will be much healthier and safer than infrequent large ones.
Hope this helped.