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DiverDude
04-06-2010, 07:19 PM
I've got a 30 Gal tank with a Remora C skimmer on it. I find that fish and other critters are stirring up a lot of sediment and the tank clouds. I'm thinking of adding some form of mechanical filtration like a canister filter to remove this stuff since the skimmer isn't.

I've been warned that these filters can become a problem (nitrate factory). I'm ok with cleaning it regularly and I really want to clean up the water.

I thought of buying a tried and true Aquaclear HOB unit but I'm looking at running bio-pelets in a reactor as well so perhaps a canister filter of some sort
would be better so I can plumb the reactor into the return line ?

Any words of wisdom on how to go about this ?

RIPTANK
04-06-2010, 07:37 PM
First, I would strongly recommend investing in a better skimmer like the Tunze 9002. The Remora skimmers are really poor at skimming. Had one and gave it away...

I run a Fluval 305 filled entirely with carbon in all 6 compartments on a 20 gallon and it keeps the water crystal clear. Great for LPS and fowler tanks but not for SPS.

DiverDude
04-06-2010, 08:23 PM
I haven't been thrilled with the Remora actually (I get very little skimmate out of it). That issue aside, a skimmer is supposed to remove proteins from the water but doesn't appear to do much for particulate suspended in the water column -hence the interest in some kind of mechanical filter to physically remove 'bits'.

mark
04-06-2010, 08:37 PM
something like use suggest, Aquaclear HOB, seems like a good idea. Fill it full of floss or foam pads. I wouldn't be fearful of a nitrate bomb taking out your tank but you'll need to clean or replace the media every once and while.

ksalt
04-06-2010, 09:14 PM
You need to keep it all suspend in the water column so that the particulate goes into the filter / skimmer. i.e. add flow HTH

hillegom
04-06-2010, 09:39 PM
If you had a sump, then you could put the drain from the DT into one of those filter socks and clean that out every 2-3 days.

globaldesigns
04-06-2010, 09:49 PM
Hey, I have a aquaclear, let me know if you want it, will give it to you cheap.

mike31154
04-06-2010, 10:23 PM
Many conventional powerheads, AquaClear for eg, offer an optional accessory 'cage' that may be fitted with a cylindrical poly filter. Easy to pop on and off, so no problem to clean/replace, plus you get the added water movement. One of those should polish your 30 fairly quickly. I use a Rena XP canister to run carbon but no longer put any other pads or filters in there, too much of a hassle to clean regularly. If you go the canister route you may be able to run those bio pellets in there without a separate reactor, dunno what those pellets do or how they work.

DiverDude
04-07-2010, 06:28 AM
ok, lots of god persepctive here. Let me ask this then: Do you run just a skimmer or do you run both a skimmer and some form of mechanical filtration ?

For the sake of simplicity, let's limit this to those who DON'T have a sump because that changes the equation too much.

mike31154
04-07-2010, 03:57 PM
I run my sumpless system with a DIY counter current wooden air diffuser skimmer and as mentioned, a Rena XP2 canister filter with a bag of carbon only. Actually I'm using an XP3 motor on the smaller XP2 container, ended up breaking too many mounting tabs on the XP3 container. I suppose the carbon bag itself acts as a bit of a mechanical filter in that it traps a certain amount of debris. It's nothing like a dedicated foam or poly pad though.

The only critter that occasionally messes with the sand bed (medium to deep in some areas) is my Maroon Clownfish female. Lately though, as my tank has matured, the sand bed is getting a bit of a 'crust' on it, preventing her from stirring it up at all. I stir it up manually from time to time to break the crust. Not sure why the crust is forming, I suspect it's because I've been keeping my calcium levels a little higher (above 400) with the occasional dosing. I use regular IO salt for water changes and that's known to be low, although the newer mix is supposedly higher.

FYI, I have two VorTech MP40Ws providing flow and although they're dialed down a bit, create quite an undertow and powerful movement throughout the system. If anything was going to stir up the sand, it would be them and that hasn't really happened, even when I had only one cranked up to 100%. Maybe that's why my tank is fairly clear, these pumps do not allow anything of a certain particle size to hang around in the system for very long. The VorTechs are about 3.25 inches from the surface at either end.

You don't mention how long your system has been running. I've found that as it matured, the sand bed became less likely to be stirred up. Seems to me I've read that most sand beds will do this, get 'heavier' with age and less prone to being kicked up, something about bacterial & critter colonization. Finally, I also ran a Remora C Pro with a Mag 3 pump and was not that pleased with it's performance, nor the excessive noise made by the injector nozzle. There are mods to deaden the noise, but I'm happy to be back to the old school, very quiet DIY skimmer. It does quite well and uses very little power. I have no problem changing the wooden air diffusers occasionally, compared to the power consumption and noise of the Remora. My skimmer uses a small AquaClear powerhead in a pre-skimmer box in the display to circulate the water. The pre-skimmer box also collects a fair amount of crud so if your Remora C does not have the pre-skimmer box that's available, that may be something to look at for improving performance and capturing additional debris. Drawback is that the box will take up a fair amount of real estate in your 29 gal.

EDIT: as an alternative to the pre-skimmer box, you could try one of these cheapo surface skimmer contraptions. Most LFS will stock these, takes a bit of fiddling and tuning and they'll still take some water from the lower intake. Much smaller footprint in the tank though. I hooked one to the Mag 3 and I'm pretty sure it helped:

http://www.jlaquatics.com/product/pf-acpskm/Hagen+Aquaclear+Surface+Skimmer.html

So in the end, depending on the age of your system, depth of your sandbed and granule size, it may boil down to a matter of time to let it mature and perhaps some better flow to keep stuff suspended so your skimmer can remove it. Mechanical filtration may be a good option for the time being.

blacknife
04-07-2010, 06:24 PM
both when i ran my 33 sumpless and in my newer system if i stired up to much crap i just put foam over the powerhead intakes. I would take the foam from an AC HOB filter and cut a slit in it so it fits over the strainer part that comes with most powerheads, when it looked full<dirty> jsut pop it off, wash it and put it back on. I also ran the AC300 with just carbon on or with an attempt at a fuge for a while, but would slip the foam on the intake for it when nessisary.

BCOrchidGuy
04-07-2010, 07:31 PM
If you want an HOB filter, I would suggest you consider is the Magnum 350 by Marineland. There are two versions I believe, one is an HOB the other sits on the floor with hoses to and from the aquarium. The reason I like this filter is that you can run it as an external filter and then use it as a diatom filter and polish your water once in a while. Just clean it well afterwards and use it again as your external filter.

Doug

DiverDude
04-08-2010, 06:15 PM
...You don't mention how long your system has been running. I've found that as it matured, the sand bed became less likely to be stirred up.

EDIT: as an alternative to the pre-skimmer box, you could try one of these cheapo surface skimmer contraptions. Most LFS will stock these, takes a bit of fiddling and tuning and they'll still take some water from the lower intake. Much smaller footprint in the tank though. I hooked one to the Mag 3 and I'm pretty sure it helped:

http://www.jlaquatics.com/product/pf-acpskm/Hagen+Aquaclear+Surface+Skimmer.html


The tank was established (with a hair algae problem which is now well under control) when I got it from another Canreefer and it's been at my place about 2.5 months now.

I just received a new light last night along with a pre-filter box for the remora. However, I found a Bubble Magus skimmer that looked like it could do a better job a lot more quietly so i went and bought that. I tried installing it last night but it won't fit in the tank until I re-aquascape :-(

When I install it, I'll try putting a surface skimmer attachement on it and see how well that works.

mike31154
04-08-2010, 09:58 PM
The tank was established (with a hair algae problem which is now well under control) when I got it from another Canreefer and it's been at my place about 2.5 months now.

I just received a new light last night along with a pre-filter box for the remora. However, I found a Bubble Magus skimmer that looked like it could do a better job a lot more quietly so i went and bought that. I tried installing it last night but it won't fit in the tank until I re-aquascape :-(

When I install it, I'll try putting a surface skimmer attachement on it and see how well that works.

Hmm, too bad about the need to rearrange stuff for the new skimmer. This Bubble Magus sits inside the display? Like I mentioned previously, I was glad to put my DIY skimmer back into service, but did a few mods to it as well. It came with the used system I purchased when I started out and as far as I could tell the previous owner hadn't used it much, if at all. The lady could not give me too many details as to how to set it up, other than that I needed to put a piece of foam in the skimmer box, which I haven't done to this day. It's designed to hang on the tank, but I ended up building a separate stand for it. This required rotating it 90 degr from the way it would normally hang on the rim and necessitated re-plumbing of the intake & output feeds to make it work. The tank is too close to the wall for this thing to fit on the back glass so having it on the separate stand gives me more room to work. The advantage of the Remora was that it actually fit between the tank & the wall.

Here are a couple of photos. I've recently acquired a larger air pump, so the bubble production has increased substantially. The photo of the powerhead in the skimmer box is new, the skimmer photo was taken a while back and the collection cup had just been cleaned. The mods I made to the skimmer include adding the ball valve to regulate the water column height in the skimmer body, a T-fitting at the bottom to drain it without having to remove it from the tank, a drain for the collection cup (goes to a large plastic pop bottle), a slip union to enable length adjustment of output plumbing and an acrylic manifold to attach two wooden air diffusers (vice a single one).

http://hlj1yw.blu.livefilestore.com/y1p4mqCXeYl2bPCvSROoWNUI9ZhaY7W314Y6eawKpm00NaeDXM FUZkniqS7HUyFbB8PcQaJy3mKWFTlSlPfsbXI68WfKwjXpQfj/P1010815d.jpg

Two compartments in the skimmer box. One for the pump and a smaller one for the return

http://hlj1yw.blu.livefilestore.com/y1piXvJ3MZRpnkjANSrz-sl8Q9aDcvHxH1oSXZnS8HWA_XCc1RPZkMm0ijy737MzOcv7m82 XPQLxk6tqbIC6ZVZRYg3FCKOy61E/P1030317a.JPG