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  1. #1
    Senior Member drummer89's Avatar
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    Emperor Bio-Wheel

    I have an emperor dual bio wheel filter in my 55 gallon tank, and I was wondering whether or not I should upgrade to a better filter. I heard these filters are mainly mechanical, and do not provide enough bilogical filtration. I have about 50 pounds of live rock in y tank, and I'm running a Remora skimmer which seems to be working well. Are wet/dry filters the way to go? What about canister filters?

  2. #2
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    I'm a big fan of "If it ain't broken..." What's prompting the desire to upgrade?

    More information on your tank & where you want it to go would help us make some recommendations.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  3. #3
    Senior Member drummer89's Avatar
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    The tank has been set up for quite awhile (2 years?) I've always had Nitrate problems, so I figured it may be the type of filter I have. I thought I might need more biological filtration to reduce Nitrates. I've been using AZ NO3 for the past month, and that has brought my Nitrates down, but that may just be temporary. I have an aragonite substrate and about 50 lbs live rock. No serious corals, just a few mushrooms that seem to be doing well. 4x65 PC lights
    What type of filters do most people use on marine tanks? I guess I never really looked in to any other types except power filters. Any ideas?

  4. #4
    Junior Member sasquatch's Avatar
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    Hey Drummer, what kind of flow is in the tank now? I think a lot of people have switched out the wheel and bio ball stuff for cheato and macro algae.of coarse the big filter is the rock and the skimmer. Question to you, can or do you need to clean a bio wheel? Ive never run one so thought I would ask, see ya Steve

  5. #5
    Senior Member drummer89's Avatar
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    Somebody once told me that the bio wheels can trap Nitrate and release them back into the water. I was never sure if that was true though. I guess if a bio wheel can trap Nitrate, so can the filter pads and such.
    Are the Fluval canister systems good filters? Does my tank need to be drilled?

  6. #6
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    They don't trap nitrates, they trap ogranics that will break down into nitrates. Cleaning them regularily will help reduce this, but over time biowheels, bioballs, & canister filters tend to be far too good at breaking things down into nitrates.

    Most people use a protein skimmer rather than a power filter. You've got enough rock to support the bio filter. I'd look at getting a skimmer.

    Removing the wheel will lower how much crud your system can process. I'd run the two of them together for a couple days, until the skimmer finishes breaking in. Then remove the power filter.

    You could drill the tank & add a sump. That's always a good thing. (more volume, more room, more, more, more.) But that basically means getting a new tank. You have a decient risk that the tank will break when it's being drilled, so you never drill a live tank.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  7. #7
    Senior Member drummer89's Avatar
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    I already have a Remora skimmer that has been set up for a month or two. It does a pretty good job, but I thought there was also supposed to be an alternate source of filtration for the tank. So a canister filter wouldn't do any better than my power filter? I don't have room for a sump (nor the money!) It just doesn't seem like anybody else uses power filters on marine tanks. Am I wrong?

  8. #8
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    Maybe nobody else admits to it Power filters are fine if you're FO or FOWLR. You just need to deal with the increased nitrates. It's a matter of balance. If you can't see the algae because something's eating it as fast as it grows, do you have a problem?

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. But if you want to reduce the nitrates you can live without the bio wheel. You may also want to look into a HOB fuge. Acrylic City makes some decient ones for not a tonne of $$. Inside you can add some rock & some macro.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  9. #9
    Senior Member drummer89's Avatar
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    I have a red cyano problem currently...but I'm not sure whether that has to do with Nitrates or not. I'm trying to increase flow and I even added three fighting conchs to see if they could tame it, but that's not really working. It's obvious that I'm not in SERIOUS need of a new filter, but maybe sometime in the near future, I can install a fluval or eheim instead of the emperor. Is there a product I could use to increase my biological bacteria load in the aquarium? I heard a product called "cycle" helps reduce nitrates and produces bacteria. Maybe I just don't have enough bacteria built up in my tank? Any thoughts?

  10. #10
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    Cycle's not going to help a lot with cyano. Cyano is a nutrient / flow issue. You don't have enough flow in that area. Nutrients collect & the cyano grows. A small powerhead would get you further ahead than a new filter.

    Keep the water quality up, siphon out the cyano if it's bad, and do your partials. It'll go away, it just takes time.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

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