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Filters & Overflows - Aquarium Product Reviews

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Filters & Overflows

RECOMMENDED FILTRATION

FOR REEF AQUARIUMS - Use the following equipment:

  • Protein skimmer
  • Live rock
  • UV sterilizer
  • Activated carbon
  • Pumps & Wavemakers

Filtration in a reef tank is best done with live rock (for biological filtration), activated carbon (put into the sump), a protein skimmer and a UV sterilizer. Do not use a wet/dry filter, undergravel filter or a canister filter or any other type of aquarium filter, other than a protein skimmer for a reef tank. A reef tank is defined as any tank with even a single coral.

We often hear customers talk about formulas for how much live rock to use, based on a ratio of pounds of live rock to gallons. Basically, you need enough live rock to build a structure that reaches from the substrate to near the top of the water.

The total pumping capacity of all the pumps and powerheads, not including the protein skimmer pump, should turn the water over at least 10 times per hour.

A wavemaker will improve your filtration by creating varied water movements that will better stir up trapped debris.

FOR SALTWATER FISH ONLY TANKS - Use the following equipment:

  • Protein skimmer or a canister/power filter, or both
    Live rock or undergravel filter
  • UV sterilizer
  • Activated carbon
  • Pumps & Wavemaker
    Systems under 50 gallons can use a Power Filter. This filter will hang off the back of the tank.
  • Systems over 50 gallons can use an Ocean Clear or NuClear canister filter These filters will require that you have a way of getting the water out of the tank using a a plumbed through the bottom tank or with an over the back overflow box.

Instead of the Ocean Clear or NuClear you could use an Eheim or Fluval or Fluval FX5 canister filter for a tank over 50 gallons. These filters include the pump and plumbing and are relatively easy to set up. The filters either come with or can be purchased with biological and chemical filtration media as well as mechanical filter media.

The total flow of all the pumps should turn the tank over 7-8 times per hour.

A wavemaker will improve your filtration by creating varied water movements that will better stir up trapped debris.

FRESHWATER TANKS - Use the following equipment:

  • Canister filter or power filter
  • Biological filtration: The canister filter or power filter should have biological media, or you can either use an undergravel filter or a wet/dry filter along with the canister filter.
  • UV sterilizer
  • Activated carbon
  • Pumps & Wavemaker
  • Systems under 50 gallons can use a Power Filter. This filter will hang off the back of the tank.

Systems over 50 gallons can use an Ocean Clear or NuClear canister filter. These filters will require that you have a way of getting the water out of the tank using a a plumbed through the bottom tank or with an over the back overflow box.

Instead of the Ocean Clear or NuClear you could use an Eheim or Fluval or Fluval FX5 canister filter for a tank over 50 gallons. These filters include the pump and plumbing and are relatively easy to set up. The filters either come with or can be purchased with biological and chemical filtration media as well as mechanical filter media.

The total flow of all the pumps should turn the tank over 5-6 times per hour.

A wavemaker will improve your filtration by creating varied water movements that will better stir up trapped debris.

For proper sizing of the filters, pumps and UV sterilizer, visit those respective sections.

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