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Thread: How am I doing?

  1. #1
    Senior Member aragorn69's Avatar
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    How am I doing?

    Ok, I've read in another thread :

    canister filters that have high flow rates do a real good job of breaking down ammonia and they therefore create nitrite and then nitrate. they produce it so fast that your tank can not keep up so you end up with a nitrate issue = not good for corals but very good for unwanted algae
    Rob

    My question is, why wouldn't a sump, with lets say a return flow rate of 700GPH(mine) not have the same problem?

    Let me tell you a little bit about my setup and if you notice any thing that my be 'wrong' or 'not so good' let me know.

    65 Gallon tank and then I had it drilled and an internal overflow installed.
    100Lbs Live Rock
    about 20 Lbs Crushed Coral on the bottom of the bed ("not very much, just had some extra and used it for mostly under
    the live rock)
    60Lbs of Carib Sea Aragamax Sand
    2 Canaster Filter:
    Eheim 2213 (116GPH)
    Fluval 204 (180GPH)
    These pull water from the bottom of the overflow and return it to the Display tank(I use them because I already had them, and I want to curculate the water in the bottom of the overflow)
    And if i ever nead to add carbon, I'm set.
    In the display tank I also have 2 Zoo Med Power Sweep 214 Powerheads, I like them because they automaticaly rotate.
    I have a 3rd but it's in use in my other aquarium right now but when this one is ready, it'll be moving across with the live stock
    Each power head is 160GPH
    So far I'm at 776 GPH
    Then in to sump I have a Rio 2500 for my return (700 GPH)
    Some filter floss, some Red Algae and an airstone.
    oh and 2 airstones in the display tank, my fish play with bubbles, so I can't forget about them.

    next on my lsy of things to tackle will be the lighting, so please refraim from any questions regarding lighting, for now. Or if you have some definate don't please let me know.
    Adam

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  2. #2
    Senior Member aragorn69's Avatar
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    Oh and I forgot the most important thing, my skimmer, It's REad Sea Prizm Deluxe, it's not the greatest, but it's servered me quite well.
    Adam

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    The difference is that the canister filter will direct ALL the water over the media at what ever flow rate the filter offers. This is VERY efficient. The sump is a little less accurate with the water flow so a equal flow rate through the sump will not have the same effect. The other difference is the rock that is in your tank and your sump. If you have enough rock in your system and the tank is in balance the canister filter is not needed and its use can upset the balance by being too efficient. It's kind of like this in layman's terms. Comparing a canister filter to a sump is like comparing a vacuum to a fan. Both will move a lot of air but the vacuum is far more efficient at it. The canister filter creates nitrate too fast for the tanks rocks de-nitrifing ability to keep up with. Nitrate is broken down far slower then it is created.
    Rob

  4. #4
    Senior Member aragorn69's Avatar
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    Ok, i think I understand now, thanks for clearing that up.
    Adam

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    Aragorn69, are you running those filters empty (except for when you use carbon) just to increase tank circulation? If so, then there shouldn't be any rapid nitrification going on...and the increase water flow is beneficial. It's the media, if you're using it, that causes the reaction...so just run them empty for the extra water flow.
    Keep passing the open windows!

  6. #6
    Senior Member aragorn69's Avatar
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    Yup, all the canasters are empty, and will stay empty unless I need to add carbon.
    Adam

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Conan's Avatar
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    But Rob,
    if it produces nitrates faster, does that not mean that without a canister filter, ammonia and nitrites stay longer in the tank? Since nitrates are produced from nitrites, and a canister is so effective, what happens to the rest of the nitrites then?
    Do or do not. There is no "try" - Jedi Master Yoda

  8. #8
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    If you have enough rock and sand in your tank it will come into balance with each other. Bacteria breaking down ammonia to Nitrite and that being broken down to nitrate and finally the bacteria that live deep in the sand in rock breaking that down. It is all in balance. A canister moves a lot of water over a SMALL area where bacteria can become very efficient and produce too much nitrate for the bacteria in the rock and sand to manage. There is no bacteria in a canister filter that will break down nitrate and this is where the issue lays.
    Rob

  9. #9
    Senior Member reefmac's Avatar
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    This can be controlled with Water chages though can't it?
    "I'm Mad!...I'm mad 'cause I cant see my forehead!" ~ Patrick Starfish, Bikini Bottom, Ocean

  10. #10
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    yes but if you run a high flow rate canister filter you will be doing a lot of water changes to keep up. The other issue with canisters is lack of O2 in real hot weather and power failures. Bacteria will start dieing in those closed filters in about 1 hour in a power outage. Cleaning them also upsets the entire colony every time it's done
    Rob

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