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Need some advice about filters?


ClayTheSavageFraser

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I just got an established 20 gallon tank and the guy didn't have a skimmer or a filter, just a powerhead and live sand and a tiny bit of live rock, oh and some macroalgae? What is everyones advice on how I should proceed? I want it as a reef/fish tank? I think I need a bio wheel filter with maybe a canister filter, or create a refugium with a overhang filter? What do you think? Please help, I am new and I have a 100 gallon that is thriving, thought I would get a small one for a quarantine tank.

 

Sunshine and Smiles,

 

Clay

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First Welcome new"toad" :) If the 20 is doing good i wouldn't change it unless it was having problems. Canister filters are only used as media holders, carbon ,phosban. Bio wheels are a no no on a salt system as they will produce nitrates. Simple setup is always the best. Live rock, live sand, skimmer. Proper lighting for what your keeping and flow. How about some pictures.

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What are you trying to filter from the water? Are you trying to clear particles so the water looks clear or are you trying to improve water quality? I am with CCR on this one, the less the better. A canister is good for running media, as CCR said, but from my experience you start putting foam pads or other things in there they become nitrate factories. I just recently removed mine for this reason. If you want to improve water quality I would lean to the refugium and leave the mechanical filters alone. Just my humble opinion.

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No biofilter, no bioballs.

Instead of a canister I would go to a skimmer and more live rock. A 20 gal. is pretty hard to start with. It doesn't give you too much of a safety net. I would add a sump (as big as possible). YMMV

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I personally like the high flow, low filtration method. This means I use no filter sock, no bio media, no floss, no canister, ect. I have carbon in my sump, and a large protein skimmer. The skimmer should take care of anything you dont want in the water. The problem with floss, and socks, ect. is that they catch debris and hold it so that it decomposes in your system. so unless you are changing them out daily, they cause more damage than good.

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The only thing i would add here is frequent water changes. Nutrients are used up pretty quickly in a small volume, weekly water changes would help keep your params in check and supply your corals with alk/calc/mag etc that is used up.

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You a guys are awesome!! Ok, let's see? I added live rock from my 100 gallon tank and I am taking my lionfish and hawkfish (if I could ever catch the guy) out of my 100 gallon and adding it to the 20 gallon. I want to have some corals in there eventually!! So, no, canister, not even for a little bit? Ok....I am sort of scared to just leave it. I have a tenecor without the bioballs. I have a skimmer and lots and lots of live rock. It is going great. Now on to the 20 gallon challenge...hopefully not.

 

I do need help making a refugium! Can I get a list of items I need for a 20 gallon on a stand.

 

Clay

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I had a 20 set uo in our dining room, I had one of those basic hang on back filters with the white pad/carbon, it kept the tank really clean. I had a clown, anenome, soft corals with 1-2 sand and live rock just did regular water changes. It was up for a year when I noticed red slime algae, I kept brushing it off but it wouldn't go away. I saw a product at a FS that said "kills red slime algae" it was a small vial of yellow powder. I mixed up a cup that night and poured it in, it turned the whole tank cloudy.

The next morning the red slime algae was all dead, so was everything else in the tank, soft corals almost disapeared, fish, snails, everything. Not quite what I had in mind but I guess it worked

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