View Full Version : Do I need a mechanical filter?

01-19-2011, 04:36 PM
Hello all,

I am very new to marine aquariums and joined the PMASI forum in hopes to find a good local place with some old timers to share some of the tricks they have learned along the way. I hope to be a full pledged (and paying) member to PMASI soon.

The question....

I have a 29 gallon tank with approximately 25 lbs of live rock. (I know I'm a little short) I have a Coralife Supper Skimmer 65g and a Fluval 205 canister filter. Do I need both? I have heard the canister produces to much Nitrate. My tank has only been running for 3 weeks after cycle. No problems with Nitrate yet.

Thank you in advance. My profile has tank pics.

01-19-2011, 09:46 PM
I just have the skimmer and the live rock for my filtration.

01-20-2011, 08:56 AM
Welcome! First I wouldn't say you are too short on rock, its what you like and how it looks. For the canister you will find arguments both ways, you would have a nitrate issue is if you don't regularly clean the filters and let it build up. Keeping up on weekly maintenance should help eliminate nitrate buildup.

Do you have a sump attached?

Are you using anything to help you cycle along? It is processing through a cycle?

01-20-2011, 05:08 PM
Thanks for the welcome. No sump. The tank has already cycled. I am just trying to prevent problems for the future. Is it safe to have the biological media in the mechanical filter or should I let the live rock and protein skimmer take care of it?

01-21-2011, 02:35 PM
I would not use the mechanical all the time- unless you are very overstocked and overfeed ( like many of us). I certainly would not use biological media in it -let the live rock do the biological and the skimmer take out proteins, etc. However, when doing water changes, or if you need to move rock around, or anything else that stirs up the sand I would attach and run the mechanical filter to remove particulates, detritus, etc. for a several hours to a day.

01-22-2011, 12:58 AM
I'd definitely use a mechanical filter if it were the only way to get carbon into the system. I believe in activated carbon and believe that it enhances the overall success in the tank in totally unrecognized ways. As stated, it's all in what kind of maintainence routine you're willing to commit to. Detrius WILL build up in the filter (no matter what kind it is) and if it isn't taken out of the filter by us cleaning it, it will create a lot of nitrates.