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27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I am switching from fresh to salt water in a 36 gallon bowfront that I have been using for about three years as a cichlid tank and I have a few questions. For now I will keep using the the two HOB filters that I have been using. One is an Emporer 280 and the other is a Penguin 150. Between the two of them I believe I have enough filtration for about 70 gallons.

1. Do I continue to use the established biowheels? In my head I shouldn't, bu the guy at the LFS told me to keep using them since they are established.

2. The standard filter pads I use (Right Size E & C) both have a filter pad and a small carbon chamber on them. Will the activated carbon hurt anything in the saltwater. My wife is smarter than I and she believes that the carbon will remove the bacteria that we want in the SW environment.

Thanks in advance for the advise. You guys were great a few weeks ago when I set up a 29 gallon biocube.

4,055 Posts
Stop using the Filters, they are not needed, and they are not enough flow for a 36g tank, as you need a minimum of 360gph flow in there.
Don't use Carbon, as it has been known to cause HLLE in fish in the Marine system.
You can't use this establsihed filter or anything else FW, the bacteria will die off in SW, and you start over anyways. In this tank you will need a Skimme, that of which you did not need in the 29g.
All the rules you used in the 29g tank, apply to this tank also. And the list is this:

#1-Dry Rock, there are a few hitchhikers on Live Rock that people want to stay away from, so they opt for using Dry Rock, or Dead Rock. Macro Rock is a good place to start looking for that. Either way you go you will need a minimum of 1lb per gallon. You can use Fully Cured Live Rock, and have the tank cycled in just a few days also. Other way is to use just a couple of pounds of Live Rock and the rest Macro or Dry Rock.
#2-Replacement filter media like filter floss and activated carbon (if you get a filter) Which is really not necessary.
#3-Multiple Power heads (2 or 3) 10x your water volume for just a Fish Only With Live Rock, and at least 20x your water volume for a Reef Tank. So lets say your going reef, and you have a 100g tank, you would need flow in that tank at minimum of 2000gph, or 2 1000gph power heads.
#4-Protein Skimmer, rated at 2 times your water volume. Unless your tank is under 30g, in which case you can do 10% water changes a week to rid the system of detrius. But, you'll have to watch the water parameters close, if things go haywire, you'll have to do more water changes.
#5-Saltwater Test Kits. Reef Test Kit. Test for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, Phosphates, Calcium, ALK and Magnesium.
#6-Saltwater fish food. Mysis Shrimp, Squid, Cyclopease, Algae Sheets, Romaine . Flake food is not really a good food to feed your marine fish.
#7-Aquarium vacuum. This one is iffy. Most don't use one, if you have enough flow in the tank you won’t need one
#8-Rubber kitchen gloves
#9-Fish net
#10-Two, clean, never used before, 5-gallon buckets
#11-Aquarium thermometer, digital being the best.
#12-Brush with plastic bristles (old tooth brush) - needed for cleaning the live rock if you don't get Fully Cured Live Rock.
#13-Power Strip, possibly GFCI outlets by the tank.
#14-Optional but definitely recommend getting a Reverse Osmosis or RO/Deionization filter for the make-up water, and a barrel for storing the water.
#15-Possibly a Quarantine Tank for your new fish. They sit in here for a few weeks to kill off parasites and bacteria, to keep it from getting in your main tank
#16-Heater rated for your size tank.
#17-Saltwater Mix. Marine Salt. Instant Ocean is the cheap Salt that beginners and Advanced use alike.
#18-Saltwater Hydrometer or even better a Refractometer, which is more accurate. There is also a Digital Meter that is way advanced if you have the cash.
#19-Aquarium filter (not absolutely necessary if running with adequate amounts of live rock, but nice to have if you need to use a mechanical filter or activated carbon, or GFO and such)
#20-Aquarium substrate such as live sand or crushed coral. Some go bare Bottom, others choose the 2-3" bottom, others, more advanced will try the Deep Sand Bed, which is over 6" deep.
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27 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info, I'm confused about #2 & 19. The activated carbon you mentioned, that is what is on the back side of the filter pads that I was using when it was FW isn't it?. It is a pad on the front and charcoal / carbon on the back.

344 Posts
No carbon? Is this a new/recent study? All the stock filters for SW tanks come with carbon in either pellet or foam form. Not to mention the highly popular carbon reactors one could by.

Very Interesting,
Posted via Mobile Device

3,667 Posts
I have read this study before (when you posted it in reference to a question of mine), but is there any other research to back that claim up? I stopped using A. Carbon after I initially read this. I am currently trying to concoct an algae scrubber that will Hang on back of my 20 Tall in place of a skimmer. I think altering a HOB filter and adding a light and screen to encourage algae growth will be an easy enough project to alleviate the skimmer.
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