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  1. [M] Filtration Articles in TFH
    by fssmith/ (Greg Smith) (14 Feb 92)
  2. (B) bio-media amounts: reply for (M)-only
    by moss/ (Gary S. Moss <moss>) (22 Apr 92)

[M] Filtration Articles in TFH

by fssmith/ (Greg Smith)
Date: 14 Feb 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article <>, (AYUSMAN SEN) writes...
>     This month's Tropical Fish Hobbyist magazine had a couple interesting
>articles concerning marine filtration systems, namely:
>1) An article on the relative abilities of protein skimmers and trickle
>filters to keep the water clean. The authors premise (which almost got lost
>in this poorly written and edited article) was that skimmers are invaluable,
>and trickle filters are largely unnecessary for home aquaria, since an
>efficient skimmer should remove the wastes that the filter would oxidize.
>     Is this really viable for an invert tank, to have a simple mechanical
>filter and a skimmer and leave it at that?
>Alan Hutson

The best looking reef tank that I ever saw did not have a trickle filter.  The
sole piece of filtration equipment was a very large prorein skimmer.  I
had been running my tank for several years with both a trickle filter and a
protein skimmer.  Several months ago I removed my trickle filter and have yet
to notice any changes in the tank.  About  a week ago I added another large
protein skimmer to see if I could get the small amount of hair algae in my
tank to go away.  ...

Yes it is possible to run a tank with only a skimmer IF it is big enough.

(B) bio-media amounts: reply for (M)-only

by moss/ (Gary S. Moss <moss>)
Date: 22 Apr 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article <>, (mark stephens) writes:
|> Yes folks, it's time for the bi-weekly bio-media posting by yet another 
|> bio-filter builder wanabe.

In my opinion, based on experience with my 55g reef tank, forget the media!
If you have a fair amount of live rock of good quality (highly porous) and
good water circulation around/through it, you would be making a mistake to
use biomedia in your wet/dry filter or in any way encourage nitrification
away from the live rock.  That is not to say you don't need the sump
arrangement to drive other appliances like skimmers, chillers, heaters,

The reason for confining nitrification to live rock is that denitrification
will take place deeper within the rock where anaerobic conditions exist.
The popular theory is that the proximity of these two processes is essential
to make the nitrates available to the anaerobic bacteria as well as nitrites
produced by the denitrification process available to the nitrifying bacteria.
It has been about 6 months since I removed all biomedia from my wet/dry
filter.  Since shortly afterwards, I have detected no ammonia, nitrite, or
nitrate.  I am a couple of months behind in my usual 20% monthly water
changes and still detect zero nitrates.

While it is true that other practices like heavy growth of Caulerpa, protein
skimming and use of deionized water are perhaps equally essential, I fermly
believe that use of biomedia in a strictly aerobic environment is a nitrate
factory that is difficult to control with countermeasures.  It probably
explains the surging popularity of nitrate-reducing resins, a lucrative
business to be in these days as evidenced by all the new products on the


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