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FAQs on Chemical Filtrants Use In Marine Filtration 1  

Related FAQs: Chemical Filtrants 2,  Zeolites, Marine Maintenance, Nitrates 2, Nitrates 3, Nitrates 4, Nitrates 5, Nitrates 6, NitritesAmmonia, Phosphate, Silicates, Biological Filtration, Fluidized Beds, Denitrification/Denitrifiers, Wet-Dry Filters, R.O./Distilled/Treated Water
FAQs on: Chemical Filtrants By Product Names/Manufacturer's: Chemi-Pure (Boyd Enterprises), PolyFilter (Poly-Bio-Marine), Purigen (SeaChem)

Related Articles: Marine Chemical Filtrants, Zeolite Filters: A Discussion of What Zeolites Are and How They Function by Jens Kallmeyer
The ZEOvit System: A New Concept in Reefkeeping by Alexander Girz


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Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Wunderbar! Deutschen marine aquarium products   10/4/06
Hello Guys, <Pat> I was just wondering what your take is on some of the products coming from Europe like 'Prodibio' and 'Zeovit'.  I am in disbelief somewhat over the claims of these products and methods.  It seems they defy every conventional thing we have come to learn about keeping natural and biological systems. For example, some users of these products claim to have nutrients under such control that their macro algae die off and have to remove it?  Others claim no longer needing a skimmer.  I am at my wits end if there is any substance to this.  The amount of money we spend on reactors, skimmers, sumps and all to be replaced by a few hundred dollars of supplements? Anyway can you get some none biased or factual proof as to whether these methods work? Thanks.. <Have seen these claims as well ( http://www.prodibio.fr/anglais/accueil.htm) and the results... and don't know how they actually do what they do... Bob Fenner>
Re: Wunderbar! Deutschen marine aquarium products   10/4/06
Thanks Bob, <Patrick> I read these as well, this is why I wrote you guys.  I don't have nearly the experience you have but I came to the same conclusion after not being able to find anything online that would present these products in such a way that you could understand what they do? <Wish I could read (well, enough to understand) German... we have a piece on Zeovit: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/zeovit/Zeovit_system/zeovit.htm but it is largely unsatisfying in its scientific thoroughness/completeness... "Just calling folks terrorists doesn't make them so"> I will assume from your response that no one there has used them or could say either way if they work. Thanks Patrick <I know naught... as usual... perhaps a few years from now. Bob Fenner>

Chemical Filter Media - 02/26/06 Hello all, thanks in advance for your help ;)  I was wondering if any of you would recommend any products to keep my Nitrates/Phosphates down. <<Poly-Filter, PhosBan, ROWAphos>> I've stumbled upon several choices (Poly Filters <your thoughts on these?>, resins, etc), but was wondering if you had any experience/thoughts on these. <<Poly-Filter is an excellent product which I use myself.  The exchange resins available are also good scavengers though a bit more costly, but many can be "renewed" if you're willing to go to a bit of trouble.>> I've also heard of a Seachem made NO3/PO4 remover in one, have you heard anything about this? <<Hmm...I am a fan of Seachem products...is likely HyperSorb or Purigen you refer to.>> I know frequent water changes/not overfeeding/RO are the best way to cut down on Nitrates/PO4, but I'm exploring additional options ;) <<Understood...some authors advocate keeping a phosphate removal media in your filter flow path at all times.>> Thanks all, Alan Gray <<Regards, EricR>>
Re: Just A Few Questions - 12/28/05
Eric, et al..- <<EricR here>>    Thanks for the direction. <<Hope it helps...>>    To clarify, is the polyfiber you recommend for the canister the fluffy stuff that is sold loose in large bags? <<Nope...what I was talking about is Poly-Filter...please see here re:   http://www.poly-bio-marine.com/polyprod.htm >> There are also polyfiber cut-to-fit filter pads out there, some specifically designed to cut ammonia or phosphates.  I would plan on using the fiber as my first stage of mechanical filtration, as it is easily accessed, removed and replaced on a weekly basis.  Correct? <<The Poly-Filter material will change color to let you know when it is exhausted.  Even so, it still benefits from a weekly rinse in fresh water so yes, in the first-stage would be good.>>    Thanks again! <<Welcome, EricR>>

Polyfilter - 30/11/05 Thanks for your reply. <Hello... John here with you today> Along a different vein...I've started reading "The Natural Marine Aquarium Series - Reef Invertebrates". Instead of using it for reference I decided to read it cover to cover as a book and am enjoying it very much. I've just crossed the mention of activated carbon and Poly-Filter as a supplement to the natural filter.  Each time I've placed Poly-Filter into my system it impresses me as to how much/quickly it visibly traps impurities and would like to leverage the product. I would like to describe my setup and ask your opinion as to the best place to place the Poly-Filter media because it does restrict water flow to an extent, but maybe that's no big deal. For the purposes of what may matter to this question:  I have a 46 gal tank / LR-LS / several power heads / small CPR refugium with Kent bio-sediment and Chaeto / Emperor 280 bio-wheel with activated carbon & filter fiber / Aqua-C Remora skimmer. Many thanks - Brad <I would place it in your Emperor filter with the carbon. In addition, if you ever face problems with high nitrates, consider ditching the bio-wheel. Best regards, John> 
Polyfilter follow-up, Cut to Fit - 11/30/05

Thanks John (Crew!),   Two quick follow-ups... I considered the Emperor for placement of the Poly-Fiber but on the label they recommend that water can not get around it but rather forced through. Given the shape/size of the Poly I can't enforce that recommendation. So do you think it would still be pretty effective if it isn't a tailored fit? <I can't think of any better place to put it. You can cut it to fit.> Secondly, you mentioned nitrates and the bio-wheel.  Even with very little bio-load...nothing but LR, LS, a small Colt coral (I think) and some snails and crabs I continue to register nitrates. Not a lot (~5 ppm). Can the bio-wheels (especially with all the other living filtration) associated with nitrates?  <Absolutely... Let the live rock do the work for you!> This bio-wheel is carried over from my freshwater setup. Thanks again! <You're welcome! Best regards, John> 

Chemipure Rinse - 11/15/2005
Josh, <Tony> You say to clean my ChemiPure weekly, do I have to rinse in tank water or does it matter? <Just use fresh. Doesn't matter.> Thanks, Tony <Welcome. - Josh> 

Bad experience with PhosGuard - Example of Good Husbandry w/Bioballs 10/12/05 First of all I wanted to say I have found the information on your site to be very informative. Good Job! Anyway, this isn't a question, just wanted to add my recent bad experience with Seachem's PhosGuard to the others I have read on your site. <I see> I had a 75 gallon reef tank that I ran back in the bare bottom tank days from 1989-1995. I gave all of the rock and livestock away and tore down the tank when I got laid off from my job.  The tank was stored in my Grandmother's garage. I finally got off my butt and set it up again this July. I really missed it.  My 75 Gallon reef has been up for 3 months and my water parameters are very stable so I won't waste space with the details. I majored in Organic Chemistry, <My arms' are starting to ache with memories of Morrison & Boyd's bicep breaker> so I can assure you my param.s are fine. Although I have a heavy Chemistry background, I ended up an IBM Mainframe Systems Programmer (Dinosaur!). <Could've been pet-fish...> Some tank details: Filtration consists of 140 lbs fine grain Arag-Alive live sand, 120 lbs live rock, Poly-Filters, Miracle Mud hang on refugium w/Chaeto, EV-180 skimmer, Iwaki pumps, RO/DI system for all water that goes in the tank of course. I still use my bio balls and have no plans to remove them for reasons I outline in the last paragraph. Bought some nice cured Kaelini <One of Walt Smith's daughters Fijian names BTW...> live rock from Premium Aquatics and I added a couple of "Detritivore Kits" <Detritivore...> as well for good measure. The tank has never tested positive for NH3 so I guess the sand and rock must have been active since day one. The highest the NO2 ever got during the first 2 weeks was 5ppm. I guess it was from the rock or maybe that is what Carib-Sea puts in the bags to keep the bacteria culture alive. <The rock> 2ppm is the highest NO3 reading I have ever seen which was in the first 2 weeks as the NO2 cycled through. It was less than 0.5 ppm by the 3rd week. So I put in a Centropyge loricula <A fave species, but would wait a few to several months to place dwarf angels> and the Plerogyra sinuosa after 3 weeks and all has gone well since. NO3 has only been trace amounts for the past month (just a slight tinge of purple in the vial viewed from the side). I have seen worms in the sand when viewed from the side since the 3rd week before I even added the Detritivore kits. I use Salifert test kits and really like the Ca and Alk kits as they give precise readings via titration from a syringe instead of counting drops. There are Two 175 6500k Halides, 1 VHO Actinic and 1 VHO 50/.50 in the canopy. I have a solenoid operated water top off system and add Seachem Ca and buffer as needed according to the Salifert test results. Minimal algae blooms, everything is going very well so far. I used Seachem Marine Buffer, Reef Builder and Reef Advantage Calcium with success in the past so I continue to use them now. I only have 3 fish, a Flame Angel, Copperband Butterfly and a Fire Fish all doing well so far. Will add a Mandarin after maybe 6 more months or so, but that is all I plan to have as far as fish go. After all it's only a 75! I am a firm believer in having only a few fish even in my freshwater tanks.  I only feed 1 cube of frozen Mysis when I get home from work and another in later in the evening. Unfortunately the butterfly won't even look at anything else, so that's what I've ended up feeding the fish as a staple to avoid polluting the water with uneaten food. Every few days I feed some Mega-Angel for the Flame and to see if the Copperband will try it but no luck so far. It will only go for whole Mysis and ignores anything that isn't a whole shrimp that looks alive. I clean the filter pads every night before going to bed and I do a 6 gallon water change every Wednesday and Saturday. I've been thinking about going to a 3 gallon a day routine instead.  I was really into Discus years ago and back then I learned that there is no amount of filtration that can substitute for routine water changes. I did large daily water changes for them which is no big deal in a freshwater tank. I have read that Discus don't appreciate NO3 and so it must be kept to a minimum just like a in a reef tank. The Discus really loved the new water and would usually swim right into the stream from the bucket as I poured it in. <I am in strong agreement with your synopsis> Two weeks ago PO4 was approaching 0.1 ppm so I bought some PhosGuard at the LFS just to insure that PO4 stays low. I rinsed it according to the directions, put it in a filter bag and added it to the chemical chamber in my sump along with the Poly-Filters. After a few days the Pachyclavularia violacea no longer emerged. One of my Actinodiscus Red Mushrooms detached from it's rock and the rest weren't fully extending. The Lavender Rock polyps (they may be a type of Ricordea. I bought Borneman's book and still not really sure what they are, but I've always liked them) started looking sick and one of them detached as well. My Zoanthids quit emerging too. The Plerogyra sinuosa, Goniopora, Carport, a Cauliflower Coral I can't identify and some other type of Tree Coral I can't identify that came on a piece of live rock seem unaffected. The PhosGuard doesn't seem to have affected the Blastomussa Merleti, Xenia or the Crocea Clam either.  I've read some things on this site and others about mixing some types of soft and hard corals, but I kept most of these same species together successfully for 6 years in the past and everything has looked healthy this time around until the recent PhosGuard incident. I pulled out the PhosGuard 5 days ago and stuck with my routine 6 gallon Wed/Sat water changes. The organisms that were affected are finally doing better today. <Ah, good> The Pachyclavularia violacea came out for the first time in a week this afternoon. Unfortunately I bought a 1 liter jar of it, so I still have a bunch that I will never use. I ordered some RowaPhos and will give it a try in a week or so as I have read the iron based phosphate removal products are safer to use with the types of organisms I have in my tank. I just want to insure that phosphates stay low.  <0.1 ppm should be no problem... phosphate is a "critical compound", needed (in low concentration... though not "free" in solution"...> In my tank at least, it seems that PhosGuard only affected certain types of Cnidarians and very quickly. I am unwilling to continue the experiment by using it long term to see if affects any of my other tank inhabitants. My wife was really upset when it made some of our corals sick. About the bio balls. I still use my Bi-Ox media with 4 air pumps blowing into it and rinse my pre-filters and 100 micron filter pad in the drip tray daily just like I did 10 years ago. The chemist in me refuses to give up the surface area for gas exchange they have. I never had a problem with NO3 back then, so I will continue to use them. I never saw much NO3 after running this setup for 6 years, so I really don't comprehend why people have problems with them. I basically had the same inhabitants/ bio load in the tank that I have now.  I just happen to like keeping these particular species since I had good luck with them in the past.  When I tore down the tank I didn't find any detritus build up on the Bi-Ox which I assume is due to the daily cleaning of the filter pads. The only thing I am doing different these days is I've added the sand bed, a hang on refugium and a modern, more efficient skimmer than the one that was built into my US Aquarium wet/dry. As I ran this setup a successfully as a bare bottomed tank for years, the only thing I really worry about this time around is that the sand bed will end up packed with detritus and become a NO3 sink and that I will end up having to tear it out. I just don't trust it yet. I spent many sleepless nights debating with myself on whether or not to have a substrate on the bottom or not when I was in planning stages. I hope I don't end up regretting this addition to what was a very successful setup in the past. Bryan  <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Skimming and Rowaphos 10/01/05
Hi WWM crew. The most valuable web site... I learn & enjoy and thanks to you all. I am setting up a 210 gal FOWLR system in my office with 75 gal refugium under the cabinet. Its been set up and running for 10 weeks. I am trying to reduce any chance of algae problem in the beginning for future and my set up is follows. It has ozonizer and controller that is set to 350 mv and is in working order,  6" DSB in the refugium (36" X 18" X 6" in volume with 9 bags of 30lbs Aragamax Sugar-Sized Sand). The main display has 1/2" of the same kind of substrate with 175 lbs of live rock. AquaMedic 29" protein skimmer with Mag Drive 5. Iwaki MD100RLT motor for circulation between refugium and main display. Aqua Medic NitrAte reductor that release 0 nitrate and 0 nitrite after filtration. 3 bags of Chemi pure in the refugium before the return motor. Lighting with 2 XM 15000k 175W metal halide and 4 60" VHO 140w each (2-AquaSun 10000k and 2-Super Actinic 420 nm peak Bulbs). Total of 910 Watts. Turns on 7 hours a day with timers in sequence. I have a little more lighting in case I change to a reef later but not now.  I do not turn on  metal halide bulbs at this time. I only have one 12" Golden Moray Eel that I added 3 weeks ago and feeding is done twice a  week as you recommend and doing very fine. I filled the system with RO/DI water from the start. Water test are done daily with Salifert test kits.  Ammonia 0 ppm,  Nitrite 0 ppm, KH 9.6 dKH, Ph 8.2, Nitrate 10 ppm, Silicate 3 ppm, Phosphate 1.5 ppm, Temperature 80 F., ORP 350 mv with 24 hours monitor & controlled with ozonizer. I was worried about the nitrate, phosphate, and silicate test reading and I read about Rowaphos PO4 & Si02 Absorber on the website and I added 700 ml of them in Fluval 404 Canister filter with 2 sheet of Poly Filter that cut in small pieces with 1 qt of E.S.V. Granular Activated Carbon. I used a cut to fit filter pads in between them to have maximum water contact time for the materials. They recommend to run the filter for 24/7 for maximum removal of unwanted algae problem caused by phosphate and silicate from the beginning. The skimmer removed at least 1.5 to 2.0 cups of waste every day and the water was crystal clear. Now here is the problem. After I installed and run this Fluval 404 Canister filter with all of the filtering things inside my skimmer produced a small amount of black waste and stopped producing anything for 2 weeks . The water is cloudy now. The Nitrate level is still around 10 ppm, phosphate dropped to 0.4ppm, silicate dropped to .05 ppm after the canister filter ran for 3 days. I turned  off the canister filter, adjusted the skimmer, vacuumed the substrate, performed a 20% water change, turned off the ozonizer, adjusted lighting time more and less, but still no skimming. My knowledge is ran out of idea and I could not find related FAQ's on your web site about this problem I have. Please HELP me and Thank You in advance.<<Rowaphos is effective at removing phosphate and silicate from water. Phosphate contributes to algae growth while silica contributes to diatom blooms. A properly functioning skimmer removes organic waste from the water. These are two different things. From your description, it sounds like the Rowaphos was working in that the phosphate and silicate levels were dropping. Removing phosphate and silicate is not removing protein waste. While the tank rock is cycling, the skimmate production will be higher. After cycling, fluctuations in production will be related to the amount of waste available. This is a function of the number of fish in the system and the amount of food you are introducing. Ozone will also affect skimmate production and generally enhances the skimmer performance. If the skimmer production diminished it could be because the skimmer needs adjustment or it might be because there is not a lot of waste to remove. A lack of waste could be caused by a combination of things including: the system has completed the initial cycle, you have a large water volume with only one eel and you have stopped the ozone. Additionally, Chemi-Pure removes waste. The cloudy water could be caused by a bacterial bloom, sediment in the water column or micro bubbles. Sediment will settle out and a filter sock will help. If it's micro bubbles, you will need to find the source of the bubbles. If the cloudy water us related to a bloom of some kind, fixing and increasing the skimmate production will help clear it. At this point, I would check the skimmer adjustment, continue with the water changes and monitor the system. Good luck - Ted>>

Purigen  9/12/05
Hi.  I was looking at a catalog today, and see that ChemiPure is put   out by Boyd, so it must have been the Purigen that I had tried when   all my fish died.  I also see from the catalog that the Purigen is small, amber beads, <Yes... ion-exchange resin> and the ChemiPure looks black. <Yes, mostly carbon...> The product we   used had small amber beads in a bag, so it was the Purigen (this was   about 12 years ago).   At least now I know why all my fish died   suddenly back then.  I may try ChemiPure in the future, since it is   not put out by the same makers of Purigen.  I just don't trust a   company that is not upfront with its warnings.  All they have to do,   is put on the label, "warning: may be lethal if not used solely with   other SeaChem products."  Maybe I was the first one back then who   experienced the toxicity problem when used on a tank that had been   conditioned with StressCoat.  At any rate, I'm glad to know 12 years   later, why my fish all died in five minutes, but it still upsets me   to know that this will continue to occur to other hobbyists who think   that reading a product label will give them all the information they   need for safe usage of a SeaChem product. <Sorry for your losses... but am not sure as to the cause here. Bob Fenner>

Seachem and Toxicity?  9/12/05
About 10-12 years ago, I bought a Seachem product, it was either   Chemipure or Purigen, and immediately upon putting it into my   freshwater tank, and I mean seconds, the fish were all madly dashing   about the tank, trying to jump out.  Within five minutes every one of   my fish was dead.  It was like I had poured poison into the tank and   it was awful watching the fish in such agony. <Does sound like a case of "carbon shock"... too much too soon a change in water quality> I was very upset, and   contacted Seachem.  They denied that it was their product, did nothing to refund the cost of the product <Not likely> or of all the lost fish,  and said that they never had anyone report any problem like that.    Now, after reading this board, I learn that Purigen creates   chloramine when used in conjunction with StressGuard. <Really? Would you point me to this reference... perhaps the reactions involved?>   Well I know   for a fact that we were using StressGuard, because we always use that   product.  StressGuard is a very popular product and many people   commonly use it.  I think it is negligence on Seachem's part, to not   put a warning on their Purigen product label.  People should not have   to go to Seachem's website to find out that using Purigen could   potentially  kill all of their fish. <Mmmm... I think you've got your facts a bit wrong... StressGuard is made by SeaChem... maybe you mean StressCoat... it is not "amine based"... and the complaint with its use and Purigen is the loss of capacity at regeneration: http://seachem.com/support/FAQs/Purigen_faq.html Not something you would do in the tank...>   I have heard a lot of positive things about ChemiPure on this   board, but am very reluctant to try it as I don't want to learn the   hard way if it is going to react with something and kill all of my   expensive fish. <Is a fine product... I have used many, many units... but with all carbon based filtration products, one has to "match" use with the volume, quality of water being treated... it sounds like you induced too sudden a change... even the possibility of a disastrous removal of dissolved oxygen...> I have not used any SeaChem products since that   episode. What are your thoughts on this? <Both Boyd and SeaChem are ethical companies that have fine, time and lab-tested products of consistency, utility... Bob Fenner>
Re: Seachem and Toxicity?
 9/13/05 <Mmmm... I think you've got your facts a bit wrong... StressCoat is not "amine based"... and the complaint with its use and Purigen is the loss of capacity at regeneration: http://seachem.com/support/FAQs/ Purigen_faq.html Not something you would do in the tank...> I'm not referring to regeneration.  I'm referring to the toxicity   that's mentioned on Wetweb and on SeaChem's website. <<This bit above is from SeaChem's website... Neither their StressGuard, which is what you mentioned, nor AP's StressCoat, which is what I assumed you meant... are amine-based... trouble when using Purigen>> I've pasted in part of the Wetweb board below and bolded the part I   was referring to.  Whether StressCoat is amine based or PVP based,   the end result when used with Purigen appears to be that chloramines   are created and fish die. <<Only in the presence of chlorine... if the water to be used is pre-treated (outside the tank) with whatever conditioner, this shouldn't be an issue>> If Purigen can become toxic (as stated on   SeaChem's website) when used with another commonly used product such   as StressCoat, I think that the public should be made directly aware   of this on the product package label.  As far as I know, this is not   the case here.  After all, if the product a person used would kill   him  if he used it when eating wheat products, don't you think he   would want to know on the product label itself?   You outlined your   thoughts on this as follows:  Some water-conditioning products (e.g.   Novalek's Amquel, Aquarium Pharmaceutical's StressCoat) contain PVP   (polyvinyl pyrolidone)... and I suspect this is the source of   chloramines that the folks at SeaChem are referring to. Unfortunately we didn't have the Internet to refer to when we lost   our fish, but even if we'd had it then, we still probably wouldn't   have gone looking ahead of time to see if there might be interactions   between the resin product and other chemicals.  Maybe this is being   naive, but I trust that the manufacturer is including instructions   for safe usage on the product label, especially when there is a known   interaction. Quotes begin: > http://seachem.com/support/FAQs/Purigen_faq.html: Q: On some of the Purigen™ documentation I have read it says that some   slime coat products can contaminate Purigen™ and render it toxic. Can you identify these products ? A: Only certain slime coat products will cause Purigen™ to become   toxic; the products that do this are amine based. Prime™ and Safe™   are not amine based and so will not cause this problem. If you're   curious, what happens is that the amine compounds can strongly bind   to the resin, then when they (the amines) come into contact with any   chlorine they will form chloramines which are highly toxic. We offer   a stress coat product, StressGuard™, which is not amine based and so   can be used in conjunction with Purigen.™ > your site, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/rofaq3.htm (emphasis added): Question about Purigen and its interaction with other water conditioners Hello, <Hi there> First, thank you and congratulations for your site which provides   plenty of information for new aquarium hobbyists as I! <Delighted> I would like to ask you a question about Purigen . I have bought a   100ml of Purigen , but I am reluctant to use it, as I found this text   on Seachem's website, saying that Purigen may become toxic with some amine based slime coating products : "Only certain slime coat products will cause Purigen (tm) to become   toxic; the products that do this are amine based. Prime (tm) and Safe   (tm) are not amine based and so will not cause this problem. If   you're curious, what happens is that the amine compounds can strongly   bind to the resin, then when they (the amines) come into contact with   any chlorine they will form chloramines which are highly toxic. We   offer a stress coat product, StressGuard (tm), which is not amine   based and so can be used in conjunction with Purigen .(tm)" The problem is that it's impossible for me to figure out if a product   contains amines or not from reading from the ingredients. Right now I   am using Tetra AquaSafe to condition the water of my aquarium, and   sometimes I also use a bit of JBL Acclimatol as an anti-stress. Tetra   AquaSafe says it provides slime coating for the fishes, as well as   some vitamin B1. But I have no idea if AquaSafe is compatible with   Purigen , and I am wondering if vitamin B1 contains amines which   could interact with the resins in Purigen , as in vitamin there is   "amine" (?). Could you give me advices regarding this issue ? <It is my opinion that you are safe using the B1 vitamin (and all   other vitamins) together with the Purigen... I would not use Tetra   AquaSafe in saltwater... or the JBL product, but instead adopt/adapt   a pre-mix and storage protocol for water changes. Please see here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm Some water-conditioning products (e.g. Novalek's Amquel, Aquarium   Pharmaceutical's StressCoat) contain PVP (polyvinyl pyrolidone)...   and I suspect this is the source of chloramines that the folks at   SeaChem are referring to. If you're insistent on utilizing water   conditioners, I'd switch to all of one brand (like all Seachem's).   Bob Fenner> Thank you very much for your attention. <<Am not a fan of using "in-place" resin filter media in biological systems period... obviously there are problems, confusion re. Bob Fenner>>

Ocean's Blend Phosphate remover 8/19/05 Is this NON synthetic Ferric Oxide media safe to use on reef tanks? I can't find anything bad about it on the Internet and some people have had good experiences.  My concern is that it is real Ferric Oxide.  I found this definition: A dark red compound, Fe2O3, occurring naturally as hematite ore and rust and used in pigments and metal polishes and on magnetic tapes. And from it I'm a bit concerned about the rust part.  The product essentially looks like rust.  I know synthetic products like Rowaphos and Phosban have received much praise for their effectiveness and "safeness" but the Ocean's Blend product is about 1/2 the price and can be purchased @ my LFS.  Any advise would be greatly appreciated. <Raul, I did some checking on the company and as far as I can see, I would feel comfortable trying this product.  Their products are tried in their own aquariums and they welcome feedback for continuous improvement.  James (Salty Dog)>

Polyfilter Placement
Hello crew, <Hi there! Scott F. your Crew member today!> I have a wet/dry filter and I want to use a Poly filter. Can I put activated carbon on top the Poly filter or is there a different way to do this? < I suppose that you could, but I would place the Poly Filter somewhere in your system where it receives a good water flow through the pad. No need to "sandwich" it between carbon or other media.> I would also like to replace my bio balls a little at a time with live rock. Do you have to use a light to keep the rock alive? Thanks Terry <Well, Terry, lighting live rock when it's cycling is debatable; some people feel that it's important to help keep the resident photosynthetic fauna alive as long as possible during the process. On the other hand, a lot of the life will die off and come back at some point once the rock is in the display tank. Lighting the rock in the display is, of course, recommended if you want to have light-loving animals in residence. Hope this helps. Regards, Scott F.>

Nitrate Reducing Media...Which One Is The Best?
Has any testing ever been done on the Nitrate reducing properties of the many over-the-counter filer media? Do any of the following products reduce nitrates? 1.  Matrix 2.  Cell Pore 3.  Bio-Glass 4.  Nitrex 5.  De-Nitrate 6.  Purigen 7.  Nitra-Zorb <I am not aware of any systematic scientific study done on these media and their ability to reduce nitrate. However, some of the products you mention are biological filtration media designed to provide an efficient and hospitable surface for bacteria to inhabit, and others (i.e. Purigen) are chemical filtration media which do have some absorptive capabilities. I think the bottom line is that no one media can do the job alone. Nitrate reduction is the end product of a number of things, particularly good overall husbandry. If your husbandry habits are good, then these products can be a valuable ally in your fight to reduce nitrate and improve water quality. Always look at the big picture! Regards, Scott F.>

SeaChem's Purigen
Hello, <Howdy> I unfortunately don't have the ability to have a protein skimmer due to noise restrictions where my tank is situated. How familiar are you with SeaChem's Purigen product to be used in a canister filter to remove proteins and a broad spectrum of organics as they claim? <A very good product...> Thanks in advance for your answer. ...Andrew Greenblatt <I would still investigate other makes, models of skimmers... perhaps a small hang on variety like an Aqua-C Remora... or an in-sump (if you should add one)... Bob Fenner, whispering> 

Fluval question -Please help James or anyone,  <James, here>  I read that you use a canister with Chemi Pure. I plan on using a canister filter for chemical filtration in addition to my sump (former wet/dry) and skimmer. I am wondering what is the recommended media to be used for chemical filtration apart from ChemiPure e.g. something to manage phosphates etc.  <Your choice, either Sea Chem or Kent Marine phosphate removers would be my choice.> Secondly should I be running the recommended chemical filtration (via my Fluval) during my cycling phase?  <I wouldn't use it during cycling.> Finally I was going to use the canister for mechanical filtration but was told this could be a nitrate trap. I would like to change/clean my canister media monthly.  <Monthly changes will be a nitrate factory. I clean my filter weekly and my nitrates never exceed 5ppm, then again I do 10% water changes weekly. James (Salty Dog)> 

Chemical filtrants
I have a 220 gallon reef and currently use as chemical filtrants Rowaphos, PolyFilter and (Black Diamond) activated carbon. My question is whether there is any benefit to using all of these as opposed to simply using more of one. (Say, PolyFilter.) In other words, is there something that activated carbon does that PolyFilter doesn't? And something Rowaphos that PolyFilter doesn't? If PolyFilter does what these other two chemical filtrants do, too, then presumably I can stick to using only PolyFilter.  <I'm thinking RowaPhos is a phosphate remover? Correct? If so, the PolyFilter will remove some phosphate from the water, but not really as effective as a product designed for just that. To answer your question below, I use Chemi-Pure and find it very affordable as compared to the PolyFilter, and am quite satisfied with its performance. In using activated carbon and phosphate remover, you are fighting fire with fire. Just about all carbons do release phosphates into the water. Phosphate is used in the activation of the carbon in the form of phosphoric acid. Chemi-Pure does have a very low rate of phosphate leaching. And, I don't think much benefit is gained by using more than one chemical filtering media (excluding phosphate removers). James (Salty Dog)>

"Phosphate Out"- Anyone Used It?
Crew: <Scott F. at the keyboard today> I did a search on the web site but found no hits. Do you have any experience with "Phosphate-Out!" from CellPharm Bio? I assume this soluble product reacts with the PO4 in the aquarium and forms an insoluble phosphate salt. I'm leery of trying this without some reference. Thanks! Ken Baker <Sorry, Ken- this is a product I have not heard of, and have no experience with it. I'd try the WWM Chat Forum, or other message boards like Reef Central, etc. to see if your fellow hobbyists have experience with this product. Sorry I couldn't be of further help on this one! Regards, Scott F.> 

Phosphate reactor
Hi guys! I am interested in this new PhosBan reactor. Do guys use such a device on your tanks? Or do you use phosphate media?<Stephan, PhosBan is basically a phosphate remover same as PhosGuard.  There is alumina present in PhosGuard where PhosBan has some iron oxide present. You can get the same effect just by putting PhosGuard or PhosBan in a nylon mesh bag and hang it in your sump, although it would work quicker in a canister type filter where there would be no water bypass.>Is worth it in terms of prevention of algae bloom?<The best prevention for algae blooms is not to overcrowd or feed, do 10% weekly water changes, and clean skimmer and filter weekly. I would not use it until the problem arises. You may never need to.> Still under construction my 180 gal. reef will have a downstream refugium with DSB for NNR and an upstream refugium without sand and Chaetomorpha. I will be using an R/O DI unit. The tank will also  have a DSB. How will I know when to replace the media?<By "media" you must mean the PhosBan.  Generally these are good for up to one month depending on the phosphate level in the tank.  When you can measure phosphate in a tank your in trouble since low levels of phosphate are quickly used up by the algae(s) present.> Thank you again. <Your welcome, and good luck with your 180.  James (Salty Dog)> Sincerely Stephan Gaudreau

Ammo chips
Hello guys, My set-up is a 30 gallon tank with an emperor 400 power filter.  I took out the carbon in the cartridges and replaced them with ammo chips.  The extra media containers were filled with Seachem's matrix bio. I have a few questions in regard of using ammonia removal media. Using Ammo Chips or Marineland's White Diamond...as a filter media on a continuous basis bad? <Nope, not good or bad as long as it's properly rinsed> any negative effects? <Nope> how long does this media last? <two weeks at the most?  The companies stated that they last for about 2 weeks and is fully rechargeable by soaking them into salt for a couple of hours.  <In my experience this type of media is not useful at all after two weeks of use.>   I am not sure how long I can keep on recharging these media until it is no longer effective? How about the SeaChem's matrix bio?  The company states that the Matrix Bio needs not be replaced, and can just be rinsed.   Will the effectiveness of removing nitrites be still as effective after some time?  <I have experimented with many different types of bio media and every time I go back to a the bioballs and the occasional filter floss to polish the water.  The carbons and ammonia removing chips get costly because they lose their effective properties very quickly and need replacement.> I tried contacting the companies but already a week....no replies  :( I hope you can help me out. thanks! Sincerely, Antonio <I hope that helps, LinearChaos>

Eliminating Phosphates and Silicates
Hi, <Hey there! Scott F. with you tonight!> Could you please tell me which type of phosphate/silicate remover you think is the best?  Thanks, James <Well, James, there are a number of products out there on the market, but the two that seem to garner the best reviews from hobbyists are Phos Ban and RowaPhos. Both have pretty good track records, although I've seen some threads on various discussion boards implicating these products in sudden die-offs of SPS corals. Whether this is a legitimate correlation or just a few people making anecdotal observations and conclusions is not entirely clear, but possibly worthy of consideration before utilizing such a product. Personally, I am a big fan of removing these compounds at the source...In other words, attacking them in your tap water. I highly recommend utilizing a good Ro/DI unit with a high silicate removal cartridge. This will help ensure that such compounds never get into your water to begin with. Keep up the high water quality with regular water changes (with your treated source water), activated carbon or Poly Filter, and aggressive protein skimming. Keep in mind that phosphates are ubiquitous in foods, but can be managed through the aforementioned husbandry practices. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>  James Hall

Albert Thief's products?
Hi, could you please tell me where online I can purchase aqua Thief's no-phosphate and no-silicate. << I have no idea.  I don't know anyone who has purchased it.  I would suggest some big name stores like DrsFosterSmith.com or premium aquatics or maybe even inland aquatics.  If not there.... well... I'd spend some time on Google. >>  I cannot find any place to buy it.  thanks, James <<  Blundell  >>

Zeolite in Salt water
Hi, <Hi Roger, MacL here with you tonight> Thank you in advance for your time. In my 40 gallon FOWLR and anemone, with a few hermits snails etc.. I run a emperor 400 with bio wheels, my problem is this. Yesterday I changed the carbon to MARINELAND'S DIAMOND BLEND, Which I believe is Activated Carbon and Zeolite or similar. <Yes it is and its totally useless in Saltwater. The Zeolite won't work with salt.> Today, I read on the container it says  " freshwater only" I will remove it as soon as I can. But I'm wondering what the difference is between carbon for fresh and salt" is it the pore size? <The carbon is the same but the Zeolite won't work in salt and in fact might cause you problems.> " and will this current carbon blend hurt anything, and why freshwater only? <Totally inactive in salt.> Once again, thank you for any reply, you guys are the best! <Hope that helps.> Sincerely,                                                                                     Roger

Can I put crushed coral in my canister filter?
Dear WWM Crew, << Blundell here. >>   Is there any benefit in using crushed coral as a filter media? << I think so.  It provides great surface area. >> Will that have any positive impact on pH or alkalinity? << I don't really see how it will, but it can't hurt. >> I've been using a H.O.T magnum filter as a mechanical filter/water polisher with the micron cartridge. This task will now be performed by an Eheim 2213 canister filter with nylon wool stuff. That leaves the magnum without a job -I have an Eheim 2227 wet/dry for the biological filtration. Rather than running the Magnum empty, I was thinking of filling it with crushed coral, so as to slow down the erosion of my DSB. << I've thought of this before, but can't really see how it will be dissolving.  However, there really aren't any reasons not to. >> Can I use crushed coral/dolomite or some sort of media meant for a calcium reactor? Thank You, Narayan <<  Blundell  >> PS. Adam, my QT has been running for a week now. I'm ready to get a cleaner goby now.. Thanks.

Concerns with adding crushed coral to a canister filter.7/29/04
You guys know your stuff and I hate to criticize, but I think this response was off. At the very least a caveat about possibly damaging the motor of the filter should have been offered (as small pieces of coral are likely to break loose). << That is a good point, that I overlooked.  There are possible problems with this idea.  I should also mention that I do have canister filter with crushed coral in it, but I don't use it anymore.  I do still use my BioWheel filter, and I pulled out the filter pads and filled that space with sand and rubble rock.  On occasion, the sand will get in the impeller area and get plugged up.  But it isn't that difficult to get going again.  So there definitely are risks to consider, but overall I like the idea of extra surface area in the areas of high water flow. Thanks for the email. >> L<<  Blundell  >>

- Use of Chemicals -
Hi Crew, Thanks for your help in the past and now for a question regarding the use of a type of product. Dr. Foster carries it and it is called HyperSorb and the pitch is: A synthetic absorbent that removes organics, stabilizes the ionic balance, helps control ammonia, nitrite, nitrate. There are other similar products. Would a product like this cause a reduction in the bacteria population of a fully cycled system by reducing the available ammonia? <It might - would be a competitor for the resource.> I am looking for a way to reduce nitrates but I do not want to lose the natural cycle I already have which results in zero ammonia and nitrites for the load in my tank. <Best to up the amount of live rock and also step up the water changes - perhaps 5% a week. Cheers, J -- >

Media sans phosphates please
Hello!!  Sorry to bother you guys with this newbie question.  I will make this real easy and short.  My first question is: 1)  Can you name a few carbon media that will not leach phosphate?  << I think most carbon media is the same, but I use Black Diamond made by Marineland >> 2)  Can you name a few phosphate remover media that will not leach phosphate?  << All phosphate removers can leach phosphate, after they absorb it.  However, they absorb far more than they will leach.  Basically when it turns from a white color to a tan color, it is probably "used up" and should be replaced. Hope that helps. >> Thanks!!! <<  Adam Blundell  >>

Filtration Conundrum (3/29/04) 
Hi,<Hi. Steve Allen here.>  46 gallon bow/Aqua C Remora/Live Rock/Live sand/Power heads. Want to know about mechanical filtration. You talk about adding a canister filter best option, but then people say that is attracts phosphates? <Actually, nitrates if detritus is allowed to build up in it.> They say to remove the bio stuff, but if I add a Phosphate remover stuff (Rhoa phos??) In the filter, can I just leave everything alone. <Phosphate removers have to be taken out frequently. Again, it's nitrates that are the main issue with a canister. You can test for phosphates and use a remover if needed.>  They have lots of options to add to the filter (Eheim 2217):  http://www.marinedepot.com/IMD/fl_classic_media.jpg > 2217  http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_filter_media_eheim.asp?ast=  Should I use all of this with a phosphate remover. should I remove any of these? Should I use a canister filter at all? <Not sure who told you a canister is best. My personal preference is a HOT power filter such as an AquaClear. It's so quick to change the media. If you don't have space for one, then a canister is a viable option, but you will need to clean it out frequently. Test for phosphate and remove as needed. Carbon also needs to be changed a lot an you need a brand that does not leech phosphate.>  Also, instead of adding this, I was looking at the little Berlin sump (BS1) under my tank, is that a better choice, will that do the filtering? <Sumps are always nice, but not if you have to use a siphon overflow. Only drilled overflows are safe from floods. You use a floss bag on the pile leading to the sump for mechanical filtration and can put bags of carbon of phosphate remover into that bag.> Can I add the phosphate remover there? <Yes> Wow, choices are tough! <Indeed, no one way is clearly best for all. I'd really choose a HOT power filter over a cartridge or a sump that relies on J-tube siphons.> Mark <Hope this helps.>

Cleaning a poly filter - 1/28/04 Aloha WWM Crew, <Aloha> Thank you very much for the wonderful service you provide. <Thank you for being part of it> I have a quick question regarding poly filters. <As in the product made by Poly Bio Marine Inc???>  I have been using poly filters to help control phosphate in my 120 FOWLR. <OK>  How often should I be cleaning the poly filters and how should I clean them? <This is right off their site: "How does an Aquarium Hobbyist regenerate Poly-Filter? for reuse in an aquarium?" "Poly-Filter? is not an ion-exchange resin, therefore it does not exchange ions or anything else back into freshwater, saline, natural or synthetic seawater aquaria. Due to the complex nature of the metabolic waste products ad/absorbed into poly-Filter? ----- there is no safe method of cleaning a Poly-Filter?. You may rinse Poly-Filter? in Distilled Water (USP Grade) to help remove organic particulate matter. Never rinse Poly-Filter? with bleach or chlorinated water - chlorine reacts with ad/absorbed organic matter producing toxic volatile organic chemicals." See here:  http://www.poly-bio-marine.com/polyfaq.htm > I was going to bleach them, but someone told me that it can cause chemicals to leach into the tank. <Yep> I would just purchase new ones, but they are pretty expensive here in Hawaii. <They are pretty expensive everywhere, but a great and safe product. Purchase away!!!! ~Paul>   Mahalo Nui Loa, Jeff

Zeolite, in seawater, Bio-Spira Marine for cycling Ian: Just a quick note with no need to post. I noticed your reply to the folks with the ammonia of 4 and pH of 7.2. They mentioned that they are using Ammo-Carb. This is a combo product of Zeolite and charcoal. Zeolite absorbs ammonia in FW aquariums but is useless in SW. In fact SW is used to remove the ammonia from the Zeolite  to recharge it for re-use. I doubt it's actually harming anything for them, but it's certainly not doing any good.<Thanks for the info!> Have you ever heard of Bio-Spira Marine?<No I haven't...I am not too familiar with many new chemicals.. treatments that make it on the market :(> It is a new live bacteria product that instantly cycles a tank if used correctly. <wow> Must be refrigerated. It might help these folks, but I'd bet their pH of 7.2 would kill it.<probably so> It may be worth suggesting to people in need of a rapid increase in biofiltration. I have used both Bio-Spira and Bio-Spira Marine with excellent results.<good to hear and I will post this, good luck and happy holidays, IanB> Steve Allen

Purigen for Nitrate Issues? >Was wondering if you knew anything more about Purigen?   >>Sorry, never heard of it, shall Google. >I currently have a 55 gallon fish only system.  My nitrates are through the roof, anywhere between 80ppm to 160 ppm.  I change 10 gallons of water about every other week.   >>Well, you won't see results using that method.  Do a 75% w/c (do test the makeup water both before and after you mix the salts for nitrate), then retest.  Then, address initial nutrient export and conversion issues. >I bought Algone to see if that would help with the problem, I've only had Algone in the filter for about a week now.  Does Algone even work?   >>HIGHLY doubtful, tossing in one chemical to remove another when we can utilize naturally occurring microbes doesn't make much financial sense to me, my friend.  Consider a deep sand bed (for its denitrification abilities using anaerobic bacteria to convert nitrate to nitrogen gasses and other components), as well as a refugium for initial nutrient export issues that are leading to such high nitrate readings in the first place. >I figured I would buy it cause for 8 dollars where could I go wrong.    >>I'm an exceedingly frugal woman, Scott, and you'll be hard-pressed to get me to throw away $8!  It makes more sense, in the long run, to address these concerns (have you skimmate?  If so, is it efficient?) via other methods, and in the short term do at LEAST one 75% w/c.  You very well may have to do two, back to back, in this situation, but honestly, if you're going to toss the money into the Algone, it's better spent on fresh water for your wards.  Just Googled it, it's a Seachem product, and I DO like Seachem, but again, it makes MUCH more sense to address these issues from the get-go, rather than go to such a product.  However, being Seachem, I would expect it to do as purported. >Thank you again for your time.  Scott >>You're welcome.  Marina

- PolyFilter - How long do PolyFilters last? <Depending on the system they are used on, the bioload etc... probably not useful for more than two weeks, perhaps less.> How many times can they be washed and reused? <They can be washed and reused as often as you like, but after the first use, it is just a normal filtration pad - the PolyFilter magic is gone and cannot be practically recharged.> Ana <Cheers, J -- >

Rowaphos I have seen this product ROWAphos mentioned many times but have been unable to find an on-line source.  Can anyone tell me where I can purchase this product? <There are a few place I know of in the US that carry it. North coast marine, Reef Reflections, and Coral Clips. You should be able to find what you are looking for at one of these places (great product) MikeH> Your help and advise has been invaluable.  Thank you!

- Chemical Filtration & Makeup Water Heating - I have done some reading about the two products Chemi-pure and Phos-Zorb.  They sound like really good products for my reef tank.  What I would like to do is place these two in a hang off the side filtration system will they work that way? <Yes.> I have several dual chambered hang off side systems lying around from my cichlid days.  Not worried about unsightliness because I bought a tall tank and stacked the live rock all the way up to the water line.  It gave the tank an interesting effect.  I have fish living in an almost apartment style from top to bottom. I installed mirrors on the wall in back of the tank with dim lights to see what goes on back there.  A lot let me tell you. It's a regular dance club. Complete with bass players and a sand bar.  I also have several corrals put on the rocks I took the time to make sure all are secure ( I built little PVC holders custom made for each coral to keep them off of the rocks and out far enough  to let them fully expand and grow.  Very ugly at first but now all are overgrown with coralline algae) I put light lovers at the top, deeper water ones down at the bottom, aggressive corals with plenty of room.  I also have a few anemones in and around the rocks.  Very aggressive skimming a Sea-Clone 100 (I know not the best skimmer, but I made a few modifications on the air inlet valve and now I get a whole lot of brown goo in the cup about every other day.)  The reason I wanted to know about these two products is I use a very simple filtration system.  A gravity flow of water from the bottom of the tank into a modified plastic bucket filled with floss and activated charcoal and a big power head to pump it back up into the tank. I guess really the power head helps suck the water through the filter so it is more of a gravity assisted filter.  It has worked well for over three years, Sea-Clone 8 months,  but I want to do the best I can for my conversation piece (aquarium).    Also I keep 33 gallons of salt water for my every two week ritual of water changes, I only aerate it.  I have been reading that some people heat their water in the container. <I'd be one of those people.> I always thought this to be a grey area. <Not in my mind.> Should I keep all 33 gallons at 78F or heat it just before I use it? <Yes... or at least heat it up a day or two before you use it - adding water that is not temperature matched to the tank can be a source of stress for your animals.> Thanks ahead of time, Craig <Cheers, J -- >

Too much chemical filtration? Hello, I'm currently using a combination of SeaChem's SeaGel (a mix of carbon and PhosGuard) and PolyFilters on my aquarium.   My question is this:  Is there any benefit to using both types of chemical media?   Could I safely stop using one chemical medium or the other and save myself some money? Thanks. I've been using the SeaGel and PolyFilters since the tank  was started up about 5 months ago.  I had a huge hair algae problem about a month ago which is gone since adding the snails.  I change the water twice a week using Instant Ocean salt and RO water, and change the chemical media every other water change (and stagger the change). <you can safely stop adding poly filter and keep using the SeaGel Mike H>

Recharging Phosguard? Hello Guys, <Scott F. your guy tonight> I hope all is well in paradise... <Couldn't be better!> I have another question. I am given to believe that Seachem's Phosguard once used can be recharged and used again. Is this true? If it is, can some one please advise me how it is done? <Well, I'd recommend that you contact Sea Chem to get the facts on this. They are very helpful folks who really know their products. In all honesty, I generally avoid attempting to recharge most media...I really (and, possibly wrongly) believe that you're better served simply buying more product...Many recharge methods are time consuming and messy, and if not executed correctly, can be worthless! That's my two cents worth on the subject- but do contact Sea Chem...> Thanks again and again, Jorell <You're welcome! Regards, Scott F.>

- Losing Fish, Follow-up - Hi But I thought with Chemipure I would not need to replace the saltwater for up to five year? <I should hope not... I've never trusted anything that promises 'no water changes' and there's no filter media I am aware of that would last five years. To keep your fish healthy, you simply must do regular small water changes, otherwise your fish end up living in their own filth. Five percent a week or 10% every two weeks is a good interval for water changes, but it's not wise to wait much more than that.> By the way, I have check my PH level, it is at 8, so it is at a healthy level. <Uhh... pH should be in the range of 8.2-8.4 so 8.0 is actually lower than it should be.> I mentioned my tank as 2ft tank not 2ft long apologize if I mislead you. <I still not sure I follow - what are the dimensions of your tank?> Cheers Terence <Cheers, J -- >

Polyfilter help The book is great!    <Yes, a wonderful read and resource. Those involved did a great job eh?> So glad I pre-ordered as it was well worth the wait.   I was wondering if anyone can help me figure out how to incorporate Polyfilter into my tank.   I have a 55 gallon with live rock, live sand and a small H.O.T. refugium that used to be a H.O.T. wet/dry.  The only skimmer box feeds the refugium which then empties back into the tank by means of a power head.   I also have H.O.T. Remora Pro and a H.O.T. Ultraviolet light.   I can't figure out how to incorporate either carbon or PolyFilter just to add a little extra clarity to the water and pick up anything my live rock and sand might miss. I have four powerheads that add circulation and seem to have good water movement.   I would appreciate any ideas you could come up with.    <All you need is a location that has good water movement. Do you have the skimmer box that is available for the Remora Pro? If so, you can put the carbon/poly filter in the outflow side. In addition the skimmer box is really worth the money and increases the output/quality of the Remora IME. Or, you could get a small HOT power filter (re: used/cheap? like the AquaClear 300 and use the carbon bag and power filter instead of the foam. Take care, Don>

-Turboflotors and hair algae- Thanks for the quick reply, yes it is hair algae. When I purchased the Turboflotor 1000 it said for tanks up to 250g, is this wrong. <I suppose that would depend on who you ask. I rate it for a 50-75g mixed reef.> Only one of my return lines goes through the UV sterilizer. If I remove the DSL from my wet dry and use the chambers for Carbon and/or Chemipure should that help with the hair algae? <Neither the carbon or the Chemipure will help, use phosphate remover even though it's not detectable. Good luck, -Kevin>

Chemical filtration requirements... hey guys.... Thanx for previous help.  You guys are very helpful!!!! <Howdy, Kevin here today> I have a question regarding filter media.  I've visited many websites, and now I'm kinda confused on what is good media to use.   I have 46 gal tank, and I'm using Fluval 404 filter - media: sponges, carbon, ammonia remover, bio-max (ceramic rings).  I change ammonia remover and carbon every 30 - 40 days, I do weekly water changes (30%) and I treat the tap water with Aqua Plus. The tank has been set up for 2 years now, and I haven't had any major problems. Water parameters are very stable. I would really like to hear you opinion on what filter media I should use.   The reason why I'm asking, couple weeks ago I went to local pet store, and I ended up getting two Burundi Frontosas (they're only inch and a half so far).  Guy at the pet store assured me that they will be fine in my tank for year or so (I'm was planning to upgrade next year).  So far they're doing really good in the current tank.  I'm not having any problems with them.  In last reply to my question Ryan told me that they will quickly outgrow my tank, and I shouldn't keep them in such a small tank.  Well instead going back to the fish store and trying to get my money back, I've decided that I will get a 100 gal tank ( I've been always wanting one ) and I'll create a Lake Tanganyika set up.   Anyhow back to the filter media question.  I would really appreciate your opinion on the media to use, since having two tanks set up my media expanses will go up, and setting up the 100 gal will already cost me a fortune.  But if it is necessary to maintain my tanks the way I've been doing it for past two years by all means I won't hesitate.  I want my fish to be happy.   Oh yeah, on the 100 gal tank, I'm planning to use Fluval 404, and Aquaclear 300. <Sounds like you're on the right track. From your description, the only thing that you're changing with any frequency is the ammonia remover and activated carbon. I don't see any problem there, although changing carbon at least once a month is pretty much mandatory (it only really removes stuff for a few days then in time leaches them back in). With a 100, a 30% monthly water change should suffice. Good luck with the new tank! -Kevin> I'm looking forward to see your suggestions. Thanx!!! Daniel.

Reef tank to freshwater... I wrote a few days ago, asking advice on the freshwater tank slated to replace my 45 gal.  Having found that my time was not sufficient to properly maintain a small reef (where bad things happen quickly), I traded all my livestock (13 years old!) and rock to a great SW store and got credit towards an Oceanic "reef ready" (180 gal). <That's too bad...> I mentioned before that I planned to use bio balls in a wet-dry sump.  I would also like to use Poly filter-- but where? <Wet/dry filters have a thing called a drip plate located above the bio-balls where a piece of filter pad is usually located. You can put a poly filter right on that plate.>  Should I get an Eheim canister for mechanical and poly filter, or should I just toss a couple of poly pads in an area of the sump with sufficient water flow? <Try my suggestion> Or would a wet dry system with sponge prefilters do just as good a job?   <Good luck with this tank! -Kevin> thanks tom

Water Quality And Chemical Filtration Media Dear Scott, <Hello there!> Is brown algae on the glass a nuisance algae indirectly implying that high nitrates and phosphates rare present? <Well, it is implying that there is some type of nutrient in the water that is fueling its growth. Usually, the culprit turns out to be silicate, often found in source water. Of course, sometimes it can be a number of other substances, too- like the phosphates and nitrates that you mentioned. The importance of quality source water, good husbandry practices, and aggressive use of protein skimming and chemical filtration media cannot be stressed enough, IMO!> I was recommended by many LFS the product "Chemipure" which claims a "5 year no water change". I would like your opinion about the effectiveness about the product and its claims. I was told it would remove any excess nitrates and phosphates + other bad organics in the water. <Chemipure is good stuff, IMO, and will remove many organics from the water. It will not, however (nor will ANY media, filter, or setup technique) eliminate the need for water changes! I cringe when I see that claim by Chemipure. I wonder what the tank looked like in year six? Just because one, or even 150 people, got lucky and didn't change their water for 5 years and spawned their clownfish repeatedly doesn't mean that you should do this! I mean, there is someone out there who drank a pint of Jose Cuervo and scarfed down two dozen jelly donuts one night, and his Flame Angels spawned the next day! Does that make it okay to do that to get your Flame Angels to spawn? Nope! Never forget that we are talking about closed systems which rely on our dedication, effort, and  careful observations for the healthy long-term maintenance of our animals. Change that water regularly!> I have been adding vitamins to keep my fish strong and was worried whether it might remove the vitamins as well. <Well, it very well might. However, if you are making those regular water changes, you will be replenishing the naturally occurring vitamins and trace elements in the water regularly. Frankly, I think that regular, frequent water changes can eliminate the need for many additives that we use in our tanks. By the way, I use products like Vita Chem regularly-=but I mix it with the fishes' foods...A better way to get them their vitamins, IMO.> I was puzzled with your reply that the new fish should be smaller. I thought it needed to be bigger so as to be able to ward off the initial aggressiveness of the existing fish? <You're right- this is a rather unorthodox approach...But it has worked well for me in the past. My experience shows that the larger fish sees the smaller "new guy" as less of a potential threat, and that, despite some initial skirmishes, the social order within the tank will settle down more quickly. My apologies to you for not mentioning this the first time, and for not clarifying that this is based on MY experience. Kind of irresponsible on my part! Just because it has worked for me does not mean that it will work for you! Take any advice with a grain of salt, and use it only if it makes sense for YOU!> Thank U once again  :) <Any time! Regards, Scott F>

Seachem Renew? Hi. I was wondering how you felt about a carbon replacement by Seachem called Renew. I plan to use it in a 20g reef tank that has phosphate problems? <I have used this product before. Like all Seachem products, it works as advertised. Purigen and HyperSorb by Seachem are good, too. Personally, I use Seachem's Matrix Caron. I like this stuff a lot, and it will not leach phosphates into your system. Use as instructed, and change it regularly. I also use Poly Filter pads in every system...they are a remarkable product, and a great compliment to a good grade of carbon, such as Seachem's . Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F>

Phosphate sponge and Poly filters (Poly-Bio Marine company) Is there any downside risk to using a phosphate sponge?   <they are quite effective and straightforward... a little strict though on usage. They must be removed after a day or two for most (heed mfg rec's) as they may degrade and throw adsorbed phosphate right back into the water> Also, what is a poly filter? <one of the best chemical filtrants IMO. They are ion exchange pads that chemically adsorb contaminants to aquarium water, last very long (perhaps over 6 weeks!) and change colors to indicate the nature of the dominant compounds adsorbed (red for iron, yellow for ammonia, blue for copper, etc).> Thanks, Ana M. <best regards, Anthony>

Copper in tapwater, removal with Polyfilter hi  you answered me about copper the water plant i get it from says they don't add copper it sometimes leaks in from copper tubing from the faucet what is a PolyFilter ill buy one ASAP if it get out copper thanks JM  <A poly filter is just a white pad that will absorb pollutants, metals, etc.  When they absorb copper they will turn blue.  If your local fish store doesn't have them check our sponsors.  Cody>

Polyfilter Use can you put the PolyFilter in an already established reef tank? i could put it in my emperor filter<Yes and yes, Cody> thanks JM

Ammo-chips is Marine aquarium? Hi, is it ok to use ammo-chips (by Aq. Pharmaceuticals) in marine aquarium, just in case there's any ammonia (prophylactic use). Also, what is your opinion on the commercial nitrate removers (by Aqua Medic for instance). Would it make water changes less necessary? <You cannot substitute for the benefits of regular small (10%) water changes. All that you listed are simply hiding another problem, not solving it. Hope this helps.> Thank you, <You are welcome, Don> Luke

Ammo-Chips & Saltwater Crew: <Hi Steve, PF here tonight> Thanks once more for your wonderful service to this challenging and therefore fascinating hobby. <Thanks for the praise. : ) We do our best.> I read the question about Ammo-Chips for saltwater ammonia control today. From bitter personal experience, I agree that no product is a substitute for good husbandry, parameter monitoring & water changes. I responded to a sudden, scary ammonia spike by using Amquel. I did not read the fine print about it lowering the pH. The resulting plunge in my pH from 8.2 to 7.4 killed all of my cleaner shrimp & brittle stars and wiped out my biofilter, thus causing the ammonia to skyrocket. My fish spent more than a month in a Rubbermaid container in my bathroom while I stabilized my system. <Yikes! Sorry to hear about that. Hopefully someone else can learn from your misfortune.> I would also like to point out that Ammo-Chips (and all other brands of Zeolite) only work in fresh water. They will not remove ammonia from saltwater. In fact, saltwater is used to recharge them (remove the ammonia from them in exchange for sodium) so they can be reused in freshwater aquaria. <Interesting, I knew the chips didn't work in saltwater, and now I know why. Thanks for the info!> Steve Allen <Thanks for sharing Allen, we appreciate it. Have a good night, PF> Salifert Phosphate Eliminator Has Anyone Tried Salifert Phosphate Eliminator, I Heard It Works Great For A reef tank. Thanks Woody <Well, Woody- I do not personally have experience with this product- but Salifert does have a reputation for quality products. I'd post a message on the WWM discussion board to see what other hobbyists have to say about the product. Regards, Scott F>

Using PolyFilters 3/30/03 Anthony what is the best way to put a poly filter in my 180 gal reef tank. <its best to force water though it (not used passively). You can rig something like a large diameter PVC tube with poly-filter disks to catch effluent skimmed water or from a flow elsewhere (like a teed bleeder off the return pump). Else, packed into a cheap hang on power filter will be fine and give extra flow> The only filter i use is a protein skimmer.     <all good <G>> RGibson  PS  take time to breathe so you will get that book <Heehee... yes, indeed... we are back to a crazy schedule. Fun but daunting at times. Kind regards, Anthony>

Returning from Quarantine after copper use Hello again, 'crew'. <Howdy> I followed Don's advice and for the last 5 days have been running Poly-Filter (you wouldn't believe the price of this stuff in Canada) and carbon, trying to eliminate the copper (in tri-chelated form as included in Organicure with formalin) before returning fish to display tank.  However, so far the filter is turning red (I was expecting blue) and the copper levels are not falling. <Interesting... the reddish coloring generally portends iron removal... I would definitely check your test kit here for the copper> The last treatment was 3 weeks ago and I have also done water changes totaling approximately 60 gallons during this time to help to bring copper and nitrites down. Oh yeah, in an ammonia spike panic I also added Amquel detoxifier. <It may well be that the Amquel is rendering a "false positive" in your testing here> 1) How long should the Poly Filter take to do its job and why would it be red vs. blue? <Should/will remove in a few hours to a day or so... the iron content has been mentioned> 2) What else can I be doing to keep a medicated QT tank cycled? As mentioned I am water changing (using display water), pounding it with Cycle, brought sponge in from display, etc. but given the lack of all other things that help like substrate, live rock etc., it seems like a losing battle. <Mainly what you list and water changes, addition/switching out of pre-cycled media. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/estbiofiltmar.htm and the linked file (above, in blue) on Quarantine... it's FAQs files> My impatience at this point strictly relates to the stress that my fish, particularly the clowns, continue to absorb. And Don, you were also bang on re the damsels. <Will relate to Don re. Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Ron

Using chemical nitrate removers - 02/17/03 Hello all: <Hello! Ananda here…> A question I'm a little embarrassed to ask as it seems rather simplistic; but in regards to chemical filtration (if that's the correct term) I currently use 2 products: Chemi-Pure and Cleanwater.  (Opinion on second?  I know the first is recommended on this board) <No experience with it whatsoever - the only information I could find on it was on a Spanish-language retailer's site. Thank goodness for online translation pages…it sounds like it's a souped-up carbon replacement, if the manufacturer's claims can be believed.> My big question is proper placement and application. For instance: My big filter is the nitrate king Penguin 400. <Hmmm. The Emperor 400 has the spray bar; the Penguin only goes up to 330. I have one of each, with the Emperor on a freshwater system and the Penguin on a brackish system. Nitrates are easily removed via water changes.> My placement here was to move the carbon filters forward a notch so that there was room to place the bags of above product behind them (in other words they are second in the flow) of course they promptly sank out sight... note these are not in any sort of cartridge - should they be?? <It would keep them from sinking out of sight…I would try putting them in the open-topped V-shaped media bins if you have them. The water will still move through them.> The other bag (total of 3) is in my Skilter (modified) and it is in front of the carbon filter there as there was no way to move the filter from it's slot.  It also sank right to the bottom, so I pulled the top of the bag up a little and hooked it on the Skilter lid so that the bag hung in the middle instead of them bottom, but there seems to be no way of "flattening it" as the Manuf. Suggests... <Is there any room in the Skilter to hang a (possibly modified) refillable media cartridge made by some other manufacturer? That's about the only idea I'm coming up with.> So - point me in the right direction here if I'm off Next:  Am I wrong with thinking these things are effective at controlling nitrates? Or are they a sink in themselves??   <Some might work, some won't - and I suspect most could be a nitrate sink if left in place too long.> I ask because I pulled my carbon filters from my Penguin the other day to rinse them off and upon reinstalling them I had to lift the Cleanwater bags up a bit since they had slid under the slot where the filters go, and when I looked down in my tank there was a cloud of "junk" like detritus floating around... a "Quick Dip" nitrate test showed them up to 160!!  (Up from about 40 the night before) <The detritus not caught by the filter cartridges and the carbon in the filters are both potential nitrate sinks. You might consider rinsing them more frequently.> I have a very lightly stocked 55g FOWLR so I would have noticed if something died - I accounted for all of them - there was no overfeeding, etc. as well. Could these things have dumped all this in my water? Xeones <Could be from the filter cartridges not catching the stuff… but the original source is your fish and their wastes. You don't mention how much live rock you have, or what you are using for substrate, so I would suggest you do some reading about deep sand beds and live rock. And do consider a skimmer upgrade. -Ananda.>

PolyFilter Rocks! Dear Anyone, <Scott F. your "Anyone" today> How long, on average, does a Poly Filter pad last in a trickle filter type sump? <Depending upon organic load in your system, these can last anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks, in my experience. I like to change them every two weeks. It's an expensive habit, but healthier than smoking or something!> I mean...I'm using it to detoxify an ammonia spike and potential heavy metal Detox, and so far it's been in here for two days and has basically turned a light tan color. <That's fairly normal...It means that it's removing organics...I'd dump it when it starts to take on a darker brown color...or- like I do- every two weeks... You should see how blue they get when you're removing copper from the water. very efficient at this> Are these pads good for days, weeks, months?  I'm uncertain to how they even work. <It's a very special manufacturing process, involving multiple steps and extraction...the end product is amazing. Visit Poly-Bio Marine's site for more information on these products> I'm assuming the padding is impregnated with several chemicals that absorb toxins. but wont the pad leach these toxins back into the sump water if the pad is moved around every so often while performing routine maintenance. <PolyFilters do not release absorbed organics back into the water. Does one need to clean this pad every few days with fresh water rinse, then put it back in? <Well, I'd rinse off any particulate matter that accumulated, but you will not be able to "rinse" out the absorbed products> Can one regenerate the pad somehow by leaving it out in the sun like I do my phos-Sorb? <Don't even think about it!> The directions on the label are scant at best, and don't really get into detail on proper maintenance, re-use of the pad. <"Cause there is no "reusing" these babies! Just put them in the water where they'll get decent flow, and through 'em away when they're used up.> Thanks, Steve <No problem, Steve>

Dear WWMCrew, Thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail.  I have a few topics I need help with. SNAIL ACCLIMATION Currently when I purchase snails I add a cup of system water to the shipping bag every 10 minutes until salinity/ph/temp are the same.  I've read articles that say you should take them out of the shipping water for 10 minutes so they can expel excess water.  What do you recommend for acclimate snails? <Float the bag in the tank so the water temp will be the same (45 minutes or so). Then start adding water to the bag like you are doing. I wouldn't take them out into the air at all except during the transition to their permanent home> Also, I've been purchasing turbo snails.  I've read that these animals come from cooler water and should not be placed in warm water (75 to 78 degrees).  Is this true?  What species is most suitable for this temperature? <I am not aware of this problem. You can buy these guys just about anywhere and they are widely used> CHEMICAL FILTRATION I've only been using poly-filters up to this point. <Polys are expensive but work really well> I would like to add Chemi-Pure for additional filtration.  I've read about several ways to do this: 1) Power Filter Is there a recommended brand/model of power filter?  (My main concern is having enough room for the Chemi-Pure). <Or canister filter. No specific model or brand> 2) Canister filter My understanding of Chemi-Pure is that it is packaged in round bags.  Can this package fit properly into Eheim, Magnum and Fluval canister filters?   <Oops...I jumped the gun didn't I! To my knowledge yes. A Fluval should be fine for your situation> 3) Chemical tray in sump My wet/dry filter doesn't have a chemical tray.  I am in the process of removing the bio-balls and will have an empty compartment.  Could this be rigged for a chemical tray?  Do you have any suggestions for building my own chemical tray? <You could do this but what's the use? All you would need is some egg crate and a few pieces of pvc for support. The trickle sound of the water would probably be pretty loud> 4) Carbon reactor/chamber If the carbon chamber is the best approach, can you give me a few tips on how to make one?  I know it involves a pump and PVC placed vertically in the sump.  Does the pump fill the chamber from the top or the bottom? <I have no experience with this item therefore I prefer not to comment> XENIA I placed my Xenia is high in my tank in moderate current.  I've read that they won't pulse in this type of current.  Should it be placed in low current?  Is pulsing a sign of healthy specimen?  Also, in it's current position it will be exposed to air during water changes.  Should I move it to a lower spot or change less of the water? <Pulsing is a behavior that researchers don't understand very well. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Xenia like iodine supplements and a high pH (over 8.3) and <gasp> high nutrient levels! Pulsing has nothing to do with the health of a specimen. We don't really know why they pulse and we don't really know why they stop. If it's happy where it's at leave it. It can move on its on if it decides to> MECHANICAL FILTRATION Is the pre-filter on the overflow enough mechanical filtration or should I purchase a power or canister filter? <Prefilter is a type of mechanical. If you put carbon in the canisters or power filter it becomes chemical. Do you have live rock and a good skimmer? Yes? Then you definitely won't need these other filters unless you want to put carbon in one> PROTEIN SKIMMER I placed my AquaC Remora in my sump.  My thought was that it would be better hanging off the sump than hanging on the tank.  This way it is fed water skimmed from the surface.  Is this a good place for it or would it be more effective on the display tank? <Sounds perfect. Make it first in the sump. The water should not travel through any kind of filter before reaching the skimmer> Looking forward to your response, Jeremy G <Thanks for the well though out questions! David Dowless>

Question about Purigen and its interaction with other water conditioners Hello, <Hi there> First, thank you and congratulations for your site which provides plenty of information for new aquarium hobbyists as I! <Delighted> I would like to ask you a question about Purigen . I have bought a 100ml of Purigen , but I am reluctant to use it, as I found this text on Seachem's website, saying that Purigen may become toxic with some amine based slime coating products : "Only certain slime coat products will cause Purigen (tm) to become toxic; the products that do this are amine based. Prime (tm) and Safe (tm) are not amine based and so will not cause this problem. If you're curious, what happens is that the amine compounds can strongly bind to the resin, then when they (the amines) come into contact with any chlorine they will form chloramines which are highly toxic. We offer a stress coat product, StressGuard (tm), which is not amine based and so can be used in conjunction with Purigen .(tm)" The problem is that it's impossible for me to figure out if a product contains amines or not from reading from the ingredients. Right now I am using Tetra AquaSafe to condition the water of my aquarium, and sometimes I also use a bit of JBL Acclimatol as an anti-stress. Tetra AquaSafe says it provides slime coating for the fishes, as well as some vitamin B1. But I have no idea if AquaSafe is compatible with Purigen , and I am wondering if vitamin B1 contains amines which could interact with the resins in Purigen , as in vitamin there is "amine" (?). Could you give me advices regarding this issue ? <It is my opinion that you are safe using the B1 vitamin (and all other vitamins) together with the Purigen... I would not use Tetra AquaSafe in saltwater... or the JBL product, but instead adopt/adapt a pre-mix and storage protocol for water changes. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm Some water-conditioning products (e.g. Novalek's Amquel, Aquarium Pharmaceutical's StressCoat) contain PVP (polyvinyl pyrolidone)... and I suspect this is the source of chloramines that the folks at SeaChem are referring to. If you're insistent on utilizing water conditioners, I'd switch to all of one brand (like all Seachem's). Bob Fenner> Thank you very much for your attention.

Improving Tap Water Hi guys, <Hi there! Scott F. here this evening!> As I've stated in my previous emails, I am slowly converting from a FO to a reef tank. Right now I cannot afford an RO/DI unit.  I was wondering if a product like Seachem's Phosguard would be enough to get me by. <Seachem makes fine products, but I don't think you can rely on a phosphate-removing resin alone to deal with phosphate on a continuous basis. I think that the best way to eliminate phosphate from aquariums is to do frequent, small water changes (like 5% twice a week). Much phosphate is regularly deposited in the aquarium through foods, so careful feeding is another thing you can do to reduce phosphate buildup in your tank. Perhaps you can treat your makeup source water with the phosphate removing resin before you mix the salt.> I live in New York City.  Are there any other parameters (besides phosphates/silicates) that I should be concerned with in a city water supply? <Many, many things, such as nitrate, heavy metals, chloramines, etc. A good grade of activated carbon in an inside box filter, placed in your makeup water container can help remove some of them. Using a product like PolyFilter in your system on a regular basis can remove a lot of detrimental substances from the water, too.> As far as chlorine goes, do the salt mixes on the market like Coralife and Instant Ocean contain dechlorinators, or should I also be using a product like Amquel? <I am not aware of any salt mixes that contain dechlorinating substances, so I'd use one of the products you mentioned, in addition to aging, filtering, and aerating the makeup water before its use> If/when I can afford an RO/DI unit, can you recommend an efficient, low cost unit.  Also, what product should then be used to replace what the RO/DI removes from the water? <There are a number of good units out there on the market available to hobbyists. I'd recommend a DI unit instead of an R/O for its efficiency and lack of excessive waste water production. Do check our advertisers on the wetwebmedia.com site for the manufacturers and models that they carry> Thanks again, Adam <And thank you, Adam, for stopping by!>

Phosphate Removal I am using Sea Chem Phos-Guard, changing it monthly. Am I wasting my money? I have a FOWLR using RO water. I get the impression that chemical phosphate removers are not really effective. Thanks, Michael <This product, like many phosphate removing media, does have a limited degree of effectiveness. It certainly can remove some phosphate, if used according to the manufacturer's directions. On a personal note, I have never found most phosphate removal media to be as effective as we'd like them to be! IMO, it's far better to eliminate the source of the phosphate that you are encountering, rather than removing it once it's in the system. A good RO/DI unit should yield product water with virtually undetectable levels of phosphate. If you are experiencing high levels of phosphates in your system, re-examine your husbandry techniques. Allowing the juices from frozen foods to get into your tank is a common, and major, source of additional phosphate in a closed system. Be sure to execute regular, small water changes (like weekly or more often, if possible), and employ aggressive protein skimming, with attention paid to cleaning the  skimmer often. If you are already employing these techniques and are still experiencing high phosphate levels, do look into the source water and your RO unit's membranes (perhaps they need replacing?). Good luck with your efforts!>

Diatom Algae and Poly Filters Dear Craig, How do you do? <Pretty good Mimie, how goes the battle?> In regard to the above, I am slowly but surely surmounting the seemingly insurmountable diatom problem. I've augmented my efforts by adding some macroalgae (Ulva and Gracilaria) apart from the Caulerpa racemosa. What are your thoughts? Also ordered CombiSan to help bolster the growth of my corallines. Best, MER <The macroalgae are fine as long as you or fish keep them harvested in order to remove/transfer nutrients out of your system. Also keep in mind some of these, like Caulerpas, secrete agents into your water that can limit growth of corals, etc. It can also suffer die back that can cause problems, so be watchful of your Caulerpa. I think you would be better served by regular dosing for Kalkwasser and a buffer/alkalinity supplement. Most of these other supplements are a waste of money. Have fun!  Craig>

Keeping It Green Hello Crew: <Scott F. today> I have added Greenex to my  quarantine tank for one of my fish.  I have added Greenex to the tank with PolyFilters in filtering system.  Can I leave the poly filters in, or do I need to take them out while adding the Greenex. <I would remove PolyFilters during disease treatment with medication. Among other things, these pads excel at removing medications from the water!> Company indicates one drop per net water amount, if I add few drops too much, what are consequences? <This medication can be very powerful, and create disastrous consequences if over- dosed. I've heard some really bad results from using it incorrectly...Not a big fan of this product, myself> Too little, not effective? Lastly, company indicates three treatments every other day, then no treatment for three days later? Is that standard protocol? <I'd follow the manufacturer's instructions to the letter, when using this, or any other medication.> Thanks for the assistance and have a nice day. Regards, Mendy1220 <Glad to be of service! Good luck! Scott>

Life Span of Chemical Filtration Media Hey gang, I have read many things about "activated" carbon and how long the activation lasts, once read a study that claimed only 6 hours. I run an Aquaclear filter with only a small bag with about a small cup of carbon in it (black diamond), what are your thoughts on how often I should change this carbon (been doing so weekly, but it isn't cheap stuff), as well as HBH's phosphate pads. <The useful life of carbon is subject to a lot of debate among hobbyists. I personally use carbon in filter bags in every set up (in the sumps), and generally rotate through the bags every other week. One measure of the effectiveness of carbon is it's ability to remove discolorants. You can determine this by holding a sample of system water against a white piece of paper. If the water looks clear, then it can be presumed that the carbon still has some useful life left. If it's discolored, it's time to replace the carbon. Personally- I find this a bit tedious, and just change it (the carbon) out regularly!> Been having a heck of a time with hair algae since I stopped using these pads, picked more up today. How often should the piece I use in my sump's first tray be replaced? <I don't have much experience with phosphate removing products, with the exception of PolyFilter, which generally changes color when it's exhausted. Its generally best to follow the manufacturer's instructions when using these products. Frankly, you should review your source water for phosphate, and consider the purchase of an R/O unit down the line. It will certainly save you money in the long run over purchasing those pads constantly! I think these kinds of pads are great to supplement your other chemical filtration media, such as carbon, but they too often become a "crutch", and it's far better to determine the cause of the algae problem and eliminate it, rather than to "treat the symptom". I'll bet you'll easily solve the algae problem once you identify the cause!> Give you the run down on my tank once again.... 130g with sump bio balls being slowly removed, good protein skimmer (cup o day of nasty dark gunk),200-220 pounds of mainly Fiji, Florida and some indo rock, Picasso trigger, blue and Naso tang, queen angel, red cories wrasse, tomato clown and a volitans (none past 4 inches, soon to be weeding out a bit),10g water changes every 4 days or so... Thanks as always guys!.....riot..... <Gosh, Riot- seems like you've really got a good handle on the maintenance-love the water change interval and skimmer production! Glad you plan on moving some of your fishes out (hopefully to larger quarters) as the need arises. Best for all, in the long run! I think that you should really check out your source water for high phosphate levels...I'll bet that's a big source of the  algae problems that you were having. Also- verify that you're using phosphate-free carbon. Sounds like your system is doing fine- just keep doing what you're doing, and follow through on your plans for future population "dispersion", and continued study and refinement of your system and techniques! Have fun- you're doing great!  Regards,  Scott F.>

PolyFilters, Turboflotors, and Dark Skimmate! Dear Crew. <Scott F. here this evening> A quick question: Can PolyFilter be cleaned and recycled? With Clorox as Bob's filter cleaning advice prescribes? Will it retain it's almost magical ability to catch Cyano and other undesirable stuff? <Believe me, if there was a reliable way to regenerate PolyFilter, I'd be a happy man! I love them! But, unfortunately, I'd have to say that there is no way to regenerate them> Just starting my third year in this hobby, I'm no one to give advice but a bunch of folks having trouble with their Turboflotors should be aware that the needle wheel was significantly improved a year or so ago but many units in inventory and retail stocks have been/are being sold with the older wheel. Custom Aquatics has the improved wheels in stock - a couple of bucks. My unit sits in the sump 8 inches deep, is fed by a pump which is controlled by a bypass valve (using a bypass reduces load on the pump and gives finer adjustment). It puts out lots of dark brown garbage. Bob suggested putting a nipple in the cup so it can drain through a hose into a milk jug. I have left it for two weeks or more and (while it gets really nasty dirty and there is about 2 - 3 quarts of goo in the jug) it continues to put out dry foam. Howard in Wisconsin <Thanks for sharing the information, Howard. I think that a lot of our readers will find that of great value! Keep learning and sharing! Scott F.>

Diatom Algae and PolyFilters Dear Craig: Thank you very much for your Bio-Marine Polyfilter suggestion. <Alright Mimie! I'm glad it's working for you! It is something in your water!> Looks like it is working. I placed it in my hang-on-back filter and there seem to be no diatoms on the walls of my tank this morning, which looks like brown dusting. And the PolyFilter is gradually turning to black! <Excellent! You will notice the diatoms will be worse with light and disappear in the dark, they need light to grow.> Just wonder if I can rinse and re-use it. Thanks again! hugs and kisses, Mimie <Unfortunately they need to be replaced. They work by electro-chemically attracting the positive and negative ions of certain pollutants.  Once they are full, they are done.  A little spendy but they work great for this type of problem. I would still look at testing for phosphates and silicates in your source water, I still suspect that is the source.  Have fun!!!  Craig>

Tank problems since place tented for termites hi bob (or one of bob's minions). <<Minion JasonC here...>> You are truly the hobby's best friend. My place was tented for termites 2 weeks ago. I removed all fish and L. rock (leaving sand and water) and shut system down. Oh, and for the record a minion recommended taking tank out. Then I let tank run for 3 days before restocking. Added rock and small guys first, then big fish 3 days later. I've got UV, P. skimmer and carbon all in sump. Bioballs in the overflow. Some problems since, but I think they're more the result of the place that kept my fish than anything termite related. <<Or both...>> Oh, and like an idiot I didn't fresh dip any fish upon return, something I ALWAYS did after every purchase (after reading TCMA). The problems were as follows. RS Sailfin scuffed around snout (net related?) Sohal scuffed even worse (same area) and had what looked like a small pinkish pimple on right fin (could it have been lymphsomething or other) Happy to report that those guys now seem healed. <<Oh good.>> My tank has 2 cleaner shrimp and a cleaner wrasse (all over a year old) and they've just put in for overtime. May even form union! Now for the first time ever in my tank a fish, my blue tang, is showing ich, and my Queen angel seems lethargic, less colorful, with some faint blotches. Both spend a lot of time over by shrimp. Tank temp is around 80, which I'll raise a few degrees. Salinity around 1.023, which I'll start to lower today. How much fresh water in and salt water out to get a 125 gal from .023 to .018 and over how many days should I take to reach it. Also how do I get it back up, and when. <<By adding extra-salty [1.025-1.030] water slowly, over many days. When is hard to say.>> I might also throw in a neon goby (I've had 2 in past but they only lasted ~ six months) before taking more drastic measures. I'd sure appreciate your thoughts on all this. Thanks. KEITH <<Keith, my thinking is thus - many times problems that present themselves as parasitic are actually induced by stress. Treating the problem as parasitic would only increase the stress, and eventually there is no battle to win - the fish give out. I would really consider the possibility that there are chemical contagions [can we call them that? - nasty organophosphates and the like] which are terribly bad for people let alone fish, remaining in your tank. This is one of the reasons they tent the house. I would pick up a Poly-Filter [name brand] or two and run these in the circulation path of your system. Make sure there's nothing in the water that will foil all other efforts to bring about a cure. Then you can work at whatever parasitic problems remain with the typical therapies. Cheers, J -- >>
Minion Jason C...PolyFilter only?
Hi minion Jason C. <<Hi...>> Thanks for rapid response. When you suggested poly filter for termite related fish and ich question earlier...does that mean "Only", or would you still raise temp and lower salinity? <<I would work on one thing at a time in the main display. If you have separate quarantine tanks at your disposal, you could potentially try and treat the ich there, but... the name of the game at this point should be stress elimination - increased temperature and lowered salinity will not really help reduce stress so much. As for ich treatment, these actually work better with the fish out of the tank - speeds up the life cycle of the parasite, which could make them more virulent depending on the state of the system. Try the Poly Filter for a couple of days - if you find the thing turning colors quickly, then you know you've got contamination problems - if it stays white or turns brown from organic matter, work on the ich.>> Cause I just bumped up thermometer 2 degrees and took out 5 gal of salt water and replaced w fresh water. Wondering how green Bubbletip will react to changes. <<Oh... I didn't notice that inhabitant before - I would think "not well" - invertebrates don't do well in low salinity. The shrimp "might" make it through 1.018 but all bets are off for the anemone. Perhaps try instead a regimen of pH-adjusted, freshwater dips for the fish.>> Of interest--a hermit crab and small snail were accidentally left in tank during tenting AND BOTH SURVIVED! Cool, huh? <<Well - maybe... I mean, if everything else were hating it and these were the only things that survived... not so cool then. In my mind there's just too many reasons to be concerned about the pesticides.>> Also, the blue tang and Queen angel are both looking better than they did yesterday. So am I probably, I might add. <<I know the feeling.>> They're both constantly over at the shrimp station. <<That would be a good thing, as Martha Stewart would say... or perhaps she isn't saying that so much anymore.>> Oh yeah, and how do we know you're not just some neighbor kid of Bob's? <<Uhh... you don't ;-) Because I live in Massachusetts? Or what if I was a Mira Mesa neighborhood punk - what then? Cheers, J -- >>

Amazing Poly Filters and Coppered Live rock! Anthony, thanks for the help. Is PolyFilter a brand name or product name?  <it is an amazing product "Poly Filter" from Poly-Bio Marine. I swear that I am not a spokesperson or have ever even received a free sample! Its just a great product. It is a pad that acts as a chemical adsorptive media (replaces or compliments carbon). The cool thing is that it changes colors to indicate the contaminants that it picks up: blue for copper, yellow for ammonia, orange for rust, or simply brown for general organics> Some of the live rock had been in the tank during a copper treatment but even directly after that I didn't have any problems with snails and such.  <whoa, bud! That's because the carbonate material did not immediately dissolve and liberate copper. There IS local copper contamination in you water that may not show up on a test kit but will kill invertebrates in the microclimate. All carbonate live rock and sand dissolves slowly in time. 100 lbs of live rock put in a reef tank weighs say 80 lbs 5 years later when the tank is torn down. Carbonate bound copper is slowly being liberated. If you didn't know it before, NO medication should ever be dosed in a display tank. Quarantine tanks and fallow periods take care of sick fish and infected systems> In replacing live rock can over-nighted rock be added directly to the tank?  <absolutely not, my friend. Air-shipped live rock needs to be cured. 7-10 days despite shameful claims by many of "cured" live rock. When the rock arrives in the same narrow cardboard boxes that it was shipped out of Fiji in... rest assured, that rock hasn't seen water for over a week> I am thinking about changing it out anyways for much larger pieces. I have a copper test kit and will give it a go and get back to you.  <no worries... and don't expect to see much copper free in the water... this is a matter of chemical adsorption... not free ions> Thanks again. <best regards, Anthony>

Purigen use Hi, I recently started my first salt tank. I have had several people swear by Purigen. Pleading ignorance of what is best, I have placed a bag of it in a HOB Millennium filter (it is a small tank and I am using some addition filtration) in place of the carbon that was there. I was told repeatedly that this would be a good idea. What is your opinion of this practice? <I have never used the product, but I looked it up on the Seachem webpage. It had a very interesting ad. I would follow your friends recommendations. It sounds just fine.> Love your site! Thanks for you time and information, Andy Weaver <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Polyfilter Dear Sir, We are a small wholesale company and are looking for the manufacturer of a so called "Polyfilter". This is a white pad and (as we heard) is used in the dialyses technique with patients having kidney problems. This filter is also used for aquarium purposes for cleaning the water. I have no idea whether this is used elsewhere for aquarium use. Would you have any idea where this could be purchased? many thanks, John van Lune AquaHolland Holland <The manufacturer is Poly-Bio-Marine. Their URL: http://www.poly-bio-marine.com/ Bob Fenner, WetWebMedia.com> www.aquaholland.com < http://www.aquaholland.com/>
Re: Polyfilter
Hello Bob, Thanks for your help. This was exactly what I was searching. Best Regards, John <Ah, good. A pleasure. Bob Fenner>

Glass and Grammas Dear Anthony, <Salutations to Greece!> just for your info, the EHFI SUBSTRAT is an EHEIM product, a specially-designed sintered glass with an enormous surface area of 450 m2 per liter and ideal for the colonization of nitrifying bacteria colonies. I already use it in my biological filter in one of its compartments. In the other compartment I use the so called "stars" , I do not remember the type and brand. <yes... thank you for the clarification, my friend. I am familiar with the sintered glass products after all. The have advantages and disadvantages over bio-balls. They seem to have more surface area, but subsequently require more oxygen for the biological colony. They also clog easier if the prefiltration is not adequate. Since you are experienced with this product already, you may use it instead of bio-balls if you like it well enough. I prefer the extra gas exchange of the open media like bio-balls and am willing to trade a little of the bio-load for it. But that is largely just a personal preference> For the history, I have taken out the Loreto and it quite o.k. The only problem is that there was a fight with the damsel and the Loreto put the entire head of the damsel's mouth into its mouth (!) causing a small wound to the damsel (hope to be better soon!). <initial disputes are sometimes inevitable...the damsel will likely be OK> The Gramma does not come to the surface to eat,  <correct.. a cave dweller and not likely to do so> so I try to let some food come close to the bottom, and then he gets it. The problem is that the other fishes do not the food come down! They are aggressive eaters! I hope to find the solution soon... <you may need to use a feeding tub> "Kalinichta", Thanassis <"Good night", my friend. Anthony>

Do Bio-ring need to be replaced/re-treated after years? Hi Bob, It's the first time I write to you, so a little bit nervous. <No need/cause> I have my 1000L FOT with sump for more than three years & I've put some Sera Siporax (bio-ring) in the sump so as to up-keep the bio-load.  <A good product> However, I've found the tank's NO2 level raised to 0.3 mg/l level recently that really makes me worry. My fish number keeps constant & I regularly do my partial water change weekly. I just wonder why the NO2 level raised. <Mmm, I suspect your test kit, not actually nitrite> Besides, do we need to replace/re-treat bio-ring regularly?  <No. One time purchase, generally no need to "treat"... can/should be rinsed if you find yourself washing out the rest of the filtration> How could we know it's time for us to replace them? Just need your opinion. Many thanks! King <Thank you for writing. You might try rinsing (in the sink with freshwater is fine) the Siporax beads to see if this makes a difference. Otherwise I would "test the tester". Check your test kit, water samples against another kit/assay. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Filter media help <<Greetings Jim, JasonC here.>> I have a 72 gal tank, filtration includes a Aqua C sump, Protein Skimmer also a Fluval 303. My problem is my water is cloudy and I don't have a RO unit? <<These two are not necessarily team-mates. Not using RO does not guarantee that one will have cloudy water.>> I have heard on a lot of discussion boards that canister filters are becoming obsolete do to there Nitrate farming. <<not sure I would agree completely. Canisters do have their uses. They also have some drawbacks, but that doesn't make them obsolete.>> I use Chemi-Pure Carbon and the supplied ceramic rings. What do you suggest I do? <<are you having problems?>> I get brown algae on my glass but not severe and brown dust on my rocks. <<this is completely normal, just keep it clean; vacuum the gravel occasionally and scrub the viewing panel. The brown algae is most likely diatoms which can be dealt with best by using RO water for your mix.>> Any specific brands or tips would great! Jim <<Cheers, J -- >>

Polyfilter bob, Yesterday I put 3 pads of PolyFilter on the chemical tray part of my trickle filter. In one day all the pads are blue. From pulling out the copper in my 240. Now since the pads are blue, does that mean that the pads are 100% exhausted? should I throw them away right now? Thanks <Read the directions that came with this product. Bob Fenner> Linstun
Re: copper
Bob, I've been unable to find PolyFilter at any of the LFS's. I have one more to try and then I'll let you know what's going on. Thanks again for the help. <Mmm, great product... do try the etailers listed on our Links Pages if all else fails: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/links.htm Bob Fenner> Jeff
Mr. Fenner, I am trying to limit algae growth by placing PolyFilter to my Fluval 404 canister filter. My question is by using PolyFilter, will my skimmer still work along with the PolyFilter? Thanks! <Yes, fine. Bob Fenner>
Re: Polyfilter
Mr. Fenner, I forgot to ask you one other important question concerning the use of Poly-Filters. Can Poly-Filters be use along with activated carbon?  <Yes... a great product (really) that can be used with most anything other than dye and metal-salt based medications. Bob Fenner>

Water Chemistry Help Bob, I wrote a couple of weeks back about a dead Condy that has now wiped out my tank completely except for one clown that is now in my quarantine tank. I also want to apologize for the length of this inquiry but I'm a bit confused and definitely exhausted from all of my efforts to try and rectify this problem. I need your help. I will be performing another large water change tonight (50%), this is my third in three weeks, the first two were only 25% each time. Also the prior two water changes were done with DI water, I will be using prepared/conditioned tap water for tonight's water change. Since the DI water basically takes on the pH of the remaining tank water I was only getting a short term pH reduction, whereas my tap water has a pH of 8.3, no nitrates and phosphates of .5 (I live in central New Jersey)<Wife's family are in Garfield and Belmar> I'm hoping to have a long term effect on the pH. Last week I took out my live rock and scrubbed off some of the green algae, tested the water yesterday and all parameters were on target (ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 20, alkalinity 3.2, calcium 300, temp 82) except for my pH which is consistently at 8.62 - 8.65. The only thing I have in the tank is live rock. Couple of questions: <Do pre-mix your new water for a week... stirring with a powerhead.> 1. Based on your earlier feedback I have used baking soda to try and bring down/maintain my pH. <pH? Shouldn't have any real effect here... will reduce biomineral levels, like calcium> When I add the baking soda my monitor registers a decline from the range listed above to 8.56 - 8.58, but this is only short lived and within 12 hours it is back at where I began. I have tried adding it directly to the tank or with my replacement water when lights were off and when they were on, each time the results were the same. I recently purchased a pH monitor because I questioned the validity of my 5 other pH test kits but all show the same pH. I'm concerned of over using baking soda (if this is possible) and causing more damage to my water parameters. Any other suggestions on bringing down my pH to about 8.4? <Hmm, a bunch to say here... If it were my system, I really wouldn't get too involved with the apparently high pH chemically... do add more live rock, macroalgae and be careful on adding supplements (check these with your pH gear... and the reductive events in your system will trend toward reducing the pH slowly over time... if the source water is THAT bad, do look into a reverse osmosis filter, for your drinking and cooking use as much as pet-fishing> 2. I have also noticed these white worm like creatures with calcified heads protruding from my live rock (I'm sure this is a result of my scrubbing down the live rock something I now regret doing). I touch one of them yesterday with a plastic stick and it suddenly became turgid. What are they and should I be removing them? <No worries here, scrubbing or worm-wise... likely some sort of Polychaetes... and not deleterious> 3. I use activated carbon as you suggested, the only question is on WWM it states to use approximately once a month. Since the carbon is exhausted within hours to a day of it's use do you mean to take it out after this period and add more next month or let it be for the whole month and then replace? <Good point... leave the old in till you replace it... I leave the old in "two cycles"... as it does other things...>I will be using Chemi-pure tonight, what is your opinion of this product? <Great product... if I could have traded most anything to Dick Boyd, I would have had this as the only part of my trade representation over the decades... high grade activated carbon and resin in a handy Dacron bag and closure... in a barrier container... fabulous> Should I not use it and add activated carbon instead? I have looked for the high retention carbon sold by Tropical Marine Centre but have been unable to locate it. <This is also a phenomenal product, but really not the highest and best use for your system... presently... HR by TMC is the best for high phosphate situations...> 4. I don't plan on adding any more inhabitants for about another three weeks (total a month). Is this long enough? Or should I add a damsel this weekend to see if all is ok? <Do a bioassay with a damsel... and if there's continuing problems (from malingering products of dissolving Condylactis) we'll talk about more extreme measures to recover your system> The tank is 75 gallons with 75lbs of live rock and crushed coral. I have a Eheim wet/dry, Fluval 304, Aquaclear 500 (primarily as easy access to add Chemi-pure/carbon), Berlin HO Skimmer, three pumps for water circulation, 220 watts of power compact lighting. Nick <Be chatting my friend, Bob Fenner>

Help! OK...here is the scenario...I've had a 30 gal. setup with HOT 250 canister filter, 2 powerheads, and 110w PowerCompact lights. It's been running for 6 months. I had a clarkii, scooter blenny, button polyps, star polyps, mushrooms, and open brain coral. I had an extremely bad case of suspended algae in the water, turned my tank solid green (dark green). I was moving a week and a half ago so thought that would be a good time to do a water change. The move went well, but after a 60+ACU- water change the water still looked terribly bad. So I went out and bought some phosphate removing compounds and did another major water change. Everybody seemed happy and the water looked better, no heavy breathing or darting. So the next day I went and purchased a sebae anemone (for the clarkii) and a bi color angel. Everyone seemed fine for about a day or so, the water was a foggy white but no green. Yesterday I noticed some heavy breathing+ADw-uh oh+AD4-.Then this morning all the fish were dead, the mushrooms are barely hanging on the rock, I am so disappointed. I know that the major water changes aren't recommended but I had to get rid of the algae. Where do I go now?  <Yeeikes... much to say... for one your filtration is inadequate... At least do add another outside power filter (even a good sized hang on will do) and definitely a protein skimmer... Please read over the set-up, maintenance sections on our marine index part of the website: Home Page > Did I destroy my water cycle?  <It's possible... or adding the phosphate remover may well have just pushed the available oxygen balance too far, too fast... > Do I start the cycle all over again? <Likely not... wait, add the skimmer, other filter as soon as possible, and wait to see if your livestock and rock recovers... it likely will> Your advice would be greatly appreciated. PS- the open brain looks good and the sebae isn't doing bad. Sincerely, Discouraged >> <Don't be. Turn that emotion into action. Now. Bob Fenner> Much thanks...also I'm thinking that the big problem is that I need to add some carbon. Should I remove the Phosguard? >> A good idea to do both, add the carbon, remove the PHOSGUARD. Bob Fenner

Resin Hi Bob: Me again! I went and bought the Chemi-pure like you suggested and when I read the container and opened it up, I noticed that there was carbon and resin beads. I work at a company that manufactures many types and sizes of ion-exchange resins! I have access to several kinds , but I am not sure if the ones in Chemi-pure are anion or cation exchange . Are you familiar with these resins? Jill Bernstein >> Hmm, kind of... though this is supposed to be proprietary knowledge, and the "call outs" probably have changed from way back when Dick Boyd (founder, originator...RIP) told me about it... Have the lab folks take a look... Bob Fenner

Removing Trace Elements Hi Bob. Just one question. Will the use of carbon actually absorb all/some of the trace elements and nutrients (e.g.. strontium, iodine) added into the tank. Your expert advice please. Thanks. >> New carbon will indeed ab- and adsorb a good deal of these and other biominerals (including calcium)... about the only commercial carbon that doesn't is TMC's (Tropic Marine Centre's) HR Activated Carbon.  However, in actual practice, most carbons get "used up" within minutes to hours of application... and I generally suggest to others to do as I do... change out their carbon about once a month. Bob Fenner>

I'm having some problems with some green algae in my tank so I was informed to use some phosphate remover. I found some on this site called "Kent Marine Phosphate Sponge Filter Grains, 2 quarts, for Fresh or Saltwater Aquariums" I was wondering if this is what I should use, how do I use it  etc. I have a 55 gallon saltwater tank, so I was wondering what your advice would be in the matter. Thanks for your time Andy  >> Using specialized chemical filtrants to remove essential nutrients is one approach to algae control... but about the last (before chemical poisons) that I would encourage... Where are these phosphates coming from? Your tapwater, foods? There are ways to limit these at their source(s)... as well as competing life forms... like macro-algae, mud filters... to deny the problem algae food... And what about the practical consequences of using a phosphate remover... Do you have other livestock that requires phosphate? If you have non-macrobiotic feeding life (like photosynthetic corals, anemones...) you sure do... \ How much phosphate do you have? Do you have a working skimmer; as in is it clean, functioning?  Please don't become broke and dependent on "chemical" additives and filtrants... consider other safer, long term design, and maintenance approaches. Bob Fenner

Question: Just dropping you a note to let you know the poly-filters worked in removing the mysterious chemicals from my tank and also did a tremendous jog in making the water crystal clear. I now have four different corals open and doing well. Thank you very, very much for solving a problem no one else could handle. Bob's Answer: Love these happy messages. Thanks for getting back with the good news. Bob F. who asks if pro is the opposite of con, is congress the opposite of progress?

Question: I have a 40 gal. long reef that is doing great......but.... [sound familiar?]. My problem is I recently started using silicate remover because of the hair algae and diatom bloom that was steadily getting worse. Well after 1 1/2 weeks the hair algae and diatoms that were on the reef disappeared but.... instead of cleaning diatoms off of glass every third day , I am having to clean it off every day !! Any ideas as to what may be happening? All parameters are consistently : Ph 8.2, alka. 4 meq., calcium 400, phosphates and nitrates 0 . I use bottled water for make-up and for water changes that are 5 gal. every 2 weeks. Silicate remover was started 20 days ago with silicate remover being changed every 5 days, continuing for the first 30 days. I have a dozen or so soft and hard corals and 50 lbs of Fiji LR. also a yellow tang, banded hawk and 3 small cardinals that are fed sparingly, according to the tang... all corals are either fragged or reproducing on their on and stay open big, pom pom xenias all put out new polyps daily. I'M GETTING REEF DIATOM ELBOW AND COULD USE SOME RELIEF ...HELP!
Bob's Answer:
David and Angela, I feel your pain (ouch!). "This too shall pass" and you can make it all go faster. How much light, duration do you have? Try boosting and extending all to favor other macro algae (wouldn't some nice crusty corallines go good right now?). Otherwise, trash that SiO2 remover, and stop adding any more supplements till the diatoms are supplanted.

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Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

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