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I have a 46 gallon bowfront aquarium that I am setting up as saltwater. Right now It has about 10lbs of live rock, two large pieces of rock that the store recommend to be seeded by the live rock, 1 clownfish, 2 damsels, and a brittle star. I have a protein skimmer running on it that is producing a good amount of foam. My main problem right now is all I have for filtration is an Emporer 400 hang on filter left over from when this was a freshwater tank. I am thinking of going with a wet/dry trickle filter and was wondering if I could get some opinions. Also any other opinions and ideas would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Most of us recommend live rock for your primary biological filtration. Ten pounds is a start but you will need to add at least 36 lbs more. This is needed to colonize bacteria and allow your tank to properly cycle in. This should be your next purchase. Your Emperor 400 will act like a wet dry but will not support your tank.

A wet/dry filter can only be recommended if you intend to have a fish only tank (that's why I suggested much more live rock). The real problem with wet/dry filters is that they produce too much nitrate. Many invertebrates and almost all corals can't tolerate nitrates much over 5 and the closer to 0 the better. Wet/dry's will have you in the 20+ range all the time.

Many of us no longer use any fish to cycle our tanks because you chance loosing them. Grocery store shrimp have replaced them in pushing the cycle. Good luck with your bow and I hope this helps.
 

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First off I would like to welcome you to the forum! Glad you found us and joined.

drhank has provided you with some excellent information! Take it for what it is...

You will defintiely want to see if you can get about 50 lbs of rock in your tank as a minimum. The amount of rock recommended will vary depending on its quality which is usually depended on how porous it is. If using something like Fiji which is the most common live rock the generally accepted stocking level is 1.25-1.5 lbs per a gallon. This is part of your biological filter and as such a critical componet of your system and its health. Dont skimp here.

A wet/dry filter can only be recommended if you intend to have a fish only tank (that's why I suggested much more live rock). The real problem with wet/dry filters is that they produce too much nitrate. Many invertebrates and almost all corals can't tolerate nitrates much over 5 and the closer to 0 the better. Wet/dry's will have you in the 20+ range all the time.
Couldnt have made a better case myself. Trickle filters are notorious for this. Even when the Bio-balls have been replaced with Live Rock Rubble the problems is the same. A good sump with a good skimmer will do you wonders and allow you to keep most of your hardware down below in the sump giving you a nice clean uncluttered dispaly tank and superior filtration compared to the filter your currently using. Its also an excellent way to conduct maintenenace such as water changes and such without disturbing your display tank as well.
 

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~/root
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First off I would like to welcome you to the forum! Glad you found us and joined.

drhank has provided you with some excellent information! Take it for what it is...

You will defintiely want to see if you can get about 50 lbs of rock in your tank as a minimum. The amount of rock recommended will vary depending on its quality which is usually depended on how porous it is. If using something like Fiji which is the most common live rock the generally accepted stocking level is 1.25-1.5 lbs per a gallon. This is part of your biological filter and as such a critical componet of your system and its health. Dont skimp here.



Couldnt have made a better case myself. Trickle filters are notorious for this. Even when the Bio-balls have been replaced with Live Rock Rubble the problems is the same. A good sump with a good skimmer will do you wonders and allow you to keep most of your hardware down below in the sump giving you a nice clean uncluttered dispaly tank and superior filtration compared to the filter your currently using. Its also an excellent way to conduct maintenenace such as water changes and such without disturbing your display tank as well.
A refugium would solve your nitrate problem.
 

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It might but he needs more live rock and to remove his Emperor 400 to slow the nitrate production down. If a refugium solved all nitrate problems then everyone would skip the skimmer and use wet/drys.

I agree that a refugium is a good thing to have but it's the combined effect of skimming, live rock, a refugium, and even more importantly not overfeeding that get the job done.
 
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