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Thread: Filter issues

  1. #1
    Senior Member atlantic's Avatar
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    Question Filter issues

    I am running a Emperor 400 on a 35g tank. There is about 22lbs of live rock in the tank.

    Here is my issue. I have never been able to get my ammonia to zero, very close to it but no cigar. I have heard that leaving filter sponge in will cause ammonia and nitrates to increase. So i am thinking of removing all my mechanical filtration, and maybe using some bioballs, however i am concerned that removing the filter media will remove some biological with it that is contained on the filter pads, and cause another crash or not have enough biological to support the tank.

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member MalHavoc's Avatar
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    You may want to try a different test kit first. If you've got livestock in the tank, and they are doing reasonably well, it's unlikely that there's a significant amount of free ammonia in your water. Ammonia is highly toxic to all marine life.

    If there is ammonia, what I'd do is first increase my biological filtration by either adding more live rock, or perhaps connecting a refugium to your tank,and waiting for it to take hold. Once you've increased your biological filtration, you should be able to remove what you want to remove and just monitor everything closely, doing water changes when appropriate.
    Jason Nugent
    http://malhavoc.homeunix.com/
    ReefCentral Admin

    180 gallon Oceanic with Lifereef Sump, 33 gallon with VHO, 20 gallon frag tank with MH

  3. #3
    Senior Member tictoc's Avatar
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    if you remove the media I'de do it a little at a time.

    Tic
    Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple

  4. #4
    Senior Member atlantic's Avatar
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    its a filter cartridge...its either in or out.....

  5. #5
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    Hey Atlantic, I have an emperor 400 too. You can use one of my biowheels for a while if you want.

  6. #6
    Senior Member atlantic's Avatar
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    i have two bio wheels on it, do you use in your emp?
    im thinking about leaving a carbon in one side and stocking the other side with bioballs

  7. #7
    NFR Mod Azonic's Avatar
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    There's nothing in the tank right now...why not just pull it all out and see what happens with your levels...?
    Visit my Reef @ NewfieReef.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member CanadianGuy's Avatar
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    I use several Emporer filters...both the 280 and 400. There is plenty of room to dump some bio balls behind the cartridges. Or better yet yank one side out and fill it completely with bio-balls. You have to change the filter cartridge at some point anyways...so you'll lose the biological filtration that it provides no matter what.

    Also if you're turning this tank into a reef tank you'll want to remove the bio-wheels...they are little nitrate factorys! If it's going to be FOWLR then leave em in.
    James...

    "Knowing is half the battle!" ~ G.I. JOE

  9. #9
    Senior Member atlantic's Avatar
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    ok....im going to pull out one side and fill it with bioballs.

    CanadianGuy: what do you do about the spray bars? when you pull the biowheels dont they make a ton of noise?

  10. #10
    Senior Member MalHavoc's Avatar
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    In my opinion, bioballs are nitrate factories as well. Both bioballs and bio wheels are essentially the same thing - they provide lots of surface area for nitrifying bacteria to grow in an aerobic environment, but do little for nitrate processing. If anything, the bioballs are worse, since they'll trap detrius a heck of a lot more than a biowheel filter.

    If there's nothing in the tank right now, why not just load up on the live rock and get a DSB going instead? Let nature take its course here.
    Jason Nugent
    http://malhavoc.homeunix.com/
    ReefCentral Admin

    180 gallon Oceanic with Lifereef Sump, 33 gallon with VHO, 20 gallon frag tank with MH

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