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Cultivated Reef

Detritus buildup and filter media


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I've noticed an accumulance of detritus building up on my live rock. I have a few questions regarding fixing this problem.


1. After using a turkey baster and blasting the detritus off the rock can I use foam in my HOB to catch the detritus? Whats the best way to get rid of it? Its near impossible to catch of all of it with airline tubing?


2. If a foam insert can be used, how often am I supposed to clean it? How do I clean it, and when should it be used? How often do I clean it?


3. How do I clean media bags for an HOB? Do I throw away the Foam insert or can I always use it provided I always clean it out?


I also have hair algae on the rocks. Can I use the same method to catch the algae I brush off with a toothbrush?


Any suggestions as to methods for fixing these two problems manually?


When can I use carbon in my HOB? And for what should it be used?

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Christopher Marks

Get an AquaClear foam sponge to use as a prefilter in your HOB. Just rinse it out when you do your water changes.


How do you clean media bags? I usually just replace them.

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IMO if you have that much detritus on the rocks you might not have enough flow in the tank. Just something to think about. It seems like you have enough GPH, but maybe the minijets aren't pointed in the right directions?

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The flow is fine. It's that I just found my new reefing best friend the turkey baster. I used it to blow a lot of detritus out of the nooks in my rock.

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As Chris said, definitely pick up a couple of the AC foam inserts. A trick I used on occasion to grab finer debris from the water column was I would cut a strip of a PolyFilter to sit on top of the AC foam insert (or beneath it) . PolyFilters can be ordered at most online shops.


Next time your'e going to blast your rocks, put in the mechanical filtration (foam, mesh, filter pads) right before hand and then have at it with the baster. Once your done you have the option of letting things settle out, or giving a few stirs with your hand to keep the material suspended in the water column to be removed by your HOB power filter. Leave the foam in overnite, or for several days (your option) alternatively you can leave it permanently and as CM pointed out, just rinse them with water changes. Yes, you can rinse and reuse mesh bags.

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