Jump to content
Andrew561

Filter floss the only media in Filter?

Recommended Posts

Andrew561

Hi everyone,

 

I am very new to salt tanks and acquired a pretty sweet set up from a friend of mine. I have the most basic of questions. What am I supposed to put in the filter as media? The person I got it from was using carbon filter pads. I only have filter floss in there. Is this enough? The tank has a skimmer and a live rock. 

 

Also, any general advice would be greatly appreciated. There are 2 clowns, and a peppermint shrimp in there. There are also those 2 corals you see, a small mushroom, some red sponge growing on the rock, and an orange anemone that you can see on left side of rock.

 

Thanks!

 

 

IMG_2419.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
jservedio

Using nothing but filter floss is what most people use for mechanical filtration in an HOB filter. It's also totally fine to use no mechanical filtration in your HOB as well.

 

If you also need to run carbon, use granular carbon in a media bag - certainly way, way cheaper than carbon pads.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Clown79

I use seachem carbon in small quantities in a media bag and filter floss.

 

I change my carbon every 2 weeks and filter floss 2 times a week

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Andrew561
1 hour ago, jservedio said:

Using nothing but filter floss is what most people use for mechanical filtration in an HOB filter. It's also totally fine to use no mechanical filtration in your HOB as well.

 

If you also need to run carbon, use granular carbon in a media bag - certainly way, way cheaper than carbon pads.

Thanks. How would I know if I need to run carbon? and If i used no media at all, wouldn't my water not be very clear?

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

Some people run carbon all the time, but I personally only run it if I think it's needed to remove some sort of harmful substance from the water, like if I've annoyed a paly frag particularly well.

 

Water clarity is no indication of water quality, and you can have it in a tank with no filtration whatsoever. Some tanks run just fine, with nice clear water, with no filtration at all. All you need is something to provide water movement, any filter media is just an extra thing that can help keep the tank clean. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
jservedio
1 hour ago, Andrew561 said:

Thanks. How would I know if I need to run carbon? and If i used no media at all, wouldn't my water not be very clear?

You will know that carbon is going to be helpful when you start having soft coral competing with each other - the carbon will soak up some of the chemicals released during warfare between soft corals. A small amount isn't going to hurt anything - so if you feel better running carbon, there isn't really a downside in a new tank.

 

The only real downside of carbon is that it also soaks up large organic molecules that corals and your other tiny critters utilize - but with a very lightly stocked tank that isn't an issue at all since you just don't have a ton of things to use it up. As your tank becomes much more mature and is capable of using up lots of those organics, that's when you will need to find a happy balance between reducing the effects of chemical warfare and making sure all of the life in the tank is getting everything they need.

 

You should also keep a fairly close eye on your nutrients (Nitrate and Phosphate) to ensure they aren't getting too low. If they start dropping, you will definitely want to take your skimmer offline since very low nutrients is a real problem.

 

I've never had an issue with water clarity in the 10 years my 20g has been running and my tank has absolutely no filtration. If you do have issues with clarity due to new sand or something, you can also just run floss until all the tiny particles are removed.

Share this post


Link to post
Clown79
2 hours ago, Andrew561 said:

Thanks. How would I know if I need to run carbon? and If i used no media at all, wouldn't my water not be very clear?

Carbon helps reduce toxins especially from corals. These toxins can irritate and hurt other corals.

 

There have been many studies done on activated carbon use in reefs and the end result has been its helps the tank as long as you don't use large quantities, change it regularly.

 

There really isn't negative effects from using it.

 

Other medias like gfo, purigen, phosguard should be used as needed as these can have negative effects on a reef.

Share this post


Link to post
Andrew561
1 hour ago, jservedio said:

You will know that carbon is going to be helpful when you start having soft coral competing with each other - the carbon will soak up some of the chemicals released during warfare between soft corals. A small amount isn't going to hurt anything - so if you feel better running carbon, there isn't really a downside in a new tank.

 

The only real downside of carbon is that it also soaks up large organic molecules that corals and your other tiny critters utilize - but with a very lightly stocked tank that isn't an issue at all since you just don't have a ton of things to use it up. As your tank becomes much more mature and is capable of using up lots of those organics, that's when you will need to find a happy balance between reducing the effects of chemical warfare and making sure all of the life in the tank is getting everything they need.

 

You should also keep a fairly close eye on your nutrients (Nitrate and Phosphate) to ensure they aren't getting too low. If they start dropping, you will definitely want to take your skimmer offline since very low nutrients is a real problem.

 

I've never had an issue with water clarity in the 10 years my 20g has been running and my tank has absolutely no filtration. If you do have issues with clarity due to new sand or something, you can also just run floss until all the tiny particles are removed.

I am going to take the skimmer offline because it's barely even producing bubbles.

Share this post


Link to post
jservedio
18 minutes ago, Andrew561 said:

I am going to take the skimmer offline because it's barely even producing bubbles.

Probably just needs a good cleaning! Sometimes the air feed line of the venturi gets clogged with calcium carbonate and stops producing bubbles.

 

Having the skimmer available if you are having trouble keeping nitrates and phosphates at reasonable levels is really nice - you just need to be careful not to overdo it since if your nutrients bottom out, you can end up with Dinos or Chrysophytes. I'm pretty sure everyone who's responded to you in this thread has done that, and it isn't pleasant dealing with it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Andrew561
2 hours ago, jservedio said:

Probably just needs a good cleaning! Sometimes the air feed line of the venturi gets clogged with calcium carbonate and stops producing bubbles.

 

Having the skimmer available if you are having trouble keeping nitrates and phosphates at reasonable levels is really nice - you just need to be careful not to overdo it since if your nutrients bottom out, you can end up with Dinos or Chrysophytes. I'm pretty sure everyone who's responded to you in this thread has done that, and it isn't pleasant dealing with it.

Wow thanks! i took out the white screw in the skimmer and used a poker and it is finally working! From what you guys are saying, I will use it for a little while but def not run it all the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Clown79
2 hours ago, jservedio said:

Probably just needs a good cleaning! Sometimes the air feed line of the venturi gets clogged with calcium carbonate and stops producing bubbles.

 

Having the skimmer available if you are having trouble keeping nitrates and phosphates at reasonable levels is really nice - you just need to be careful not to overdo it since if your nutrients bottom out, you can end up with Dinos or Chrysophytes. I'm pretty sure everyone who's responded to you in this thread has done that, and it isn't pleasant dealing with it.

True. Dino's are the worst. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
jservedio
1 hour ago, Andrew561 said:

Wow thanks! i took out the white screw in the skimmer and used a poker and it is finally working! From what you guys are saying, I will use it for a little while but def not run it all the time.

The more important thing is to test your water regularly. If your nutrients are low, keep the skimmer off and work on raising them. If your nutrients are creeping up, by all means keep the skimmer running.

 

The key is knowing what's going on with your chemistry and only adding equipment that you have a reason to add.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
mcarroll
On 10/12/2020 at 11:41 AM, Andrew561 said:

What am I supposed to put in the filter as media?

Water is all I put in mine....it runs empty 99% of the time until there's a reason that I need to run (eg) carbon or something.

 

On 10/12/2020 at 11:41 AM, Andrew561 said:

The tank has a skimmer and a live rock. 

This is all the filter a tank generally needs.  You're all set – just maintain the skimmer.  IME daily cleanings maximize performance...but do what works for you.

 

On 10/12/2020 at 11:41 AM, Andrew561 said:

Also, any general advice would be greatly appreciated.

If you don't have any reefing books (as in: made from paper) get at least one.

 

Marine Aquarium Handbook Beginner to Breeder is the one I usually recommend, but there are tons of good ones...and it's ideal if you can have at least a few.  One or two should be HEAVY with pictures.  It's nice if at least one is a "complete" reference like the one I linked.

 

On 10/12/2020 at 12:11 PM, jservedio said:

If you also need to run carbon, use granular carbon in a media bag - certainly way, way cheaper than carbon pads.

Just to add on:  

 

If budget isn't the priority, pads are WAY easier to live with....very quick to change out and almost no mess.  Nothing wrong, per se, with pads.

 

On 10/12/2020 at 1:28 PM, Andrew561 said:

If i used no media at all, wouldn't my water not be very clear?

Nothing wrong with that.

 

On 10/12/2020 at 4:31 PM, Andrew561 said:

I am going to take the skimmer offline because it's barely even producing bubbles.

Worth repairing...most of the time it just needs a deep and thorough cleaning.  Calcification in/on the pump is a common problem....especially around the air intake.  If you let the skimmer pump get BONE DRY you can see all the calcium deposits.  (Wet you can only see really heavy encrustation, not light encrustation.)

 

Soak the pump in coffee maker cleaner (citric acid) or vinegar to break down any calcium deposits.  It will help if you can scrape off the worst ones after the chemical soak loosens them up.

 

It's way less likely, but also possible that the skimmer's impeller is broken....but that will be fairly apparent if you take apart the pump to clean it.

 

In any event get it working again.  👍

 

On 10/12/2020 at 7:21 PM, Andrew561 said:

Wow thanks! i took out the white screw in the skimmer and used a poker and it is finally working! From what you guys are saying, I will use it for a little while but def not run it all the time.

...and so you did.  LOL.

 

You can run it all the time....and it's advisable to do so.

 

A skimmer provides a nice light level of filtration.  When you feed your tank, a skimmer automatically "shuts down" due to the food oil changing the water's surface tension/bubbling ability....so it can't really take food out of the water.  Plus it aerates the water 24/7...a feature that's usually underestimated.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Andrew561
7 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Water is all I put in mine....it runs empty 99% of the time until there's a reason that I need to run (eg) carbon or something.

 

This is all the filter a tank generally needs.  You're all set – just maintain the skimmer.  IME daily cleanings maximize performance...but do what works for you.

 

If you don't have any reefing books (as in: made from paper) get at least one.

 

Marine Aquarium Handbook Beginner to Breeder is the one I usually recommend, but there are tons of good ones...and it's ideal if you can have at least a few.  One or two should be HEAVY with pictures.  It's nice if at least one is a "complete" reference like the one I linked.

 

Just to add on:  

 

If budget isn't the priority, pads are WAY easier to live with....very quick to change out and almost no mess.  Nothing wrong, per se, with pads.

 

Nothing wrong with that.

 

Worth repairing...most of the time it just needs a deep and thorough cleaning.  Calcification in/on the pump is a common problem....especially around the air intake.  If you let the skimmer pump get BONE DRY you can see all the calcium deposits.  (Wet you can only see really heavy encrustation, not light encrustation.)

 

Soak the pump in coffee maker cleaner (citric acid) or vinegar to break down any calcium deposits.  It will help if you can scrape off the worst ones after the chemical soak loosens them up.

 

It's way less likely, but also possible that the skimmer's impeller is broken....but that will be fairly apparent if you take apart the pump to clean it.

 

In any event get it working again.  👍

 

...and so you did.  LOL.

 

You can run it all the time....and it's advisable to do so.

 

A skimmer provides a nice light level of filtration.  When you feed your tank, a skimmer automatically "shuts down" due to the food oil changing the water's surface tension/bubbling ability....so it can't really take food out of the water.  Plus it aerates the water 24/7...a feature that's usually underestimated.

 

 

Hi and thanks for your advice,

 

I have a couple questions: 


First, why would someone not atleast put filter floss in the HOB filter? What is the benefit in not doing it? I would think it would keep the water a little bit clearer than if it were not in there.

 

Second, I have been in a deep state of confusion in regards to whether or not to run my skimmer and how much to run it. My tank is getting full of corals, and from all the research I’ve done, I’ve concluded that my skimmer could definitely be run too much to the point where it takes out good nutrients. It also seems that a skimmer is pretty much overkill for a nano tank and not necessary at all. 

 

What do you think about running my skimmer on a timer for a few hours at night? 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Ratvan
51 minutes ago, Andrew561 said:

Hi and thanks for your advice,

 

I have a couple questions: 


First, why would someone not atleast put filter floss in the HOB filter? What is the benefit in not doing it? I would think it would keep the water a little bit clearer than if it were not in there.

 

Second, I have been in a deep state of confusion in regards to whether or not to run my skimmer and how much to run it. My tank is getting full of corals, and from all the research I’ve done, I’ve concluded that my skimmer could definitely be run too much to the point where it takes out good nutrients. It also seems that a skimmer is pretty much overkill for a nano tank and not necessary at all. 

 

What do you think about running my skimmer on a timer for a few hours at night? 

 

 

For the first question the HOB provides water movement and oxygenation of the water.

 

Second, pass I have never skimmed

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Clown79
57 minutes ago, Andrew561 said:

Hi and thanks for your advice,

 

I have a couple questions: 


First, why would someone not atleast put filter floss in the HOB filter? What is the benefit in not doing it? I would think it would keep the water a little bit clearer than if it were not in there.

 

Second, I have been in a deep state of confusion in regards to whether or not to run my skimmer and how much to run it. My tank is getting full of corals, and from all the research I’ve done, I’ve concluded that my skimmer could definitely be run too much to the point where it takes out good nutrients. It also seems that a skimmer is pretty much overkill for a nano tank and not necessary at all. 

 

What do you think about running my skimmer on a timer for a few hours at night? 

 

 

Some ppl don't like using any media and go the completely natural route. Which is perfectly fine.

 

Some of us prefer using minimal media like carbon for reducing toxins that corals produce for chemical warefare- completely fine and often recommended.

Regular use of small quantities of carbon has been proven to be beneficial.

 

A lot of us like using floss because it collects particles in the water like uneaten food. Once again if properly used, perfectly fine to do so.

 

Skimmers- used 1 on a larger tank but none of my nano's. There has been no need on my nano's. It would have been a big waste of money.

 

There are many ways to run a reef tank and thats why you will see conflicting info

Share this post


Link to post
Andrew561
4 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Some ppl don't like using any media and go the completely natural route. Which is perfectly fine.

 

Some of us prefer using minimal media like carbon for reducing toxins that corals produce for chemical warefare- completely fine and often recommended.

Regular use of small quantities of carbon has been proven to be beneficial.

 

A lot of us like using floss because it collects particles in the water like uneaten food. Once again if properly used, perfectly fine to do so.

 

Skimmers- used 1 on a larger tank but none of my nano's. There has been no need on my nano's. It would have been a big waste of money.

 

There are many ways to run a reef tank and thats why you will see conflicting info

Since this is pretty much a “to each his own” type of thing I ordered a 24 hour timer and I am going to run the skimmer at night for I think 6 hours. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
jservedio
1 hour ago, Andrew561 said:

Since this is pretty much a “to each his own” type of thing I ordered a 24 hour timer and I am going to run the skimmer at night for I think 6 hours. 

If you are running a skimmer, you should run it constantly or not at all - turning it on for 6 hours is going to do pretty much nothing except cause the organics in your tank to fluctuate for no reason at all. A skimmer takes a while to build a head and concentrate organics to a level inside the body where they can be pushed into the collection cup. After 6 hours, you will have removed next to nothing, but when you turn it off all the organics that were building up in the skimmer body are going to flow right out into your tank.

 

If you have excess nutrients that you are trying to control or you want to feed very heavily while also not allowing the unused food to break down into nutrients, run the skimmer constantly. If you have no quantifiable need to run it, put it in a box until you need it and then run it constantly.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Andrew561
10 minutes ago, jservedio said:

If you are running a skimmer, you should run it constantly or not at all - turning it on for 6 hours is going to do pretty much nothing except cause the organics in your tank to fluctuate for no reason at all. A skimmer takes a while to build a head and concentrate organics to a level inside the body where they can be pushed into the collection cup. After 6 hours, you will have removed next to nothing, but when you turn it off all the organics that were building up in the skimmer body are going to flow right out into your tank.

 

If you have excess nutrients that you are trying to control or you want to feed very heavily while also not allowing the unused food to break down into nutrients, run the skimmer constantly. If you have no quantifiable need to run it, put it in a box until you need it and then run it constantly.

Ok I’ll put it away for now. I feed every other day a fourth of a cube of brine. Thanks for this.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...