Saltwater Aquarium FAQs 2

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Saltwater Aquarium FAQs #2:

1. I am setting up a 30 liter Nano reef and I am going to use an Eheim 150 canister filter and going to stack it with media the way you discussed. My question is: when the cycle is complete, at what point do I start doing my filter cleaning regime, when I start stocking or weekly from when the cycle is complete?

Can it be used similar to a reactor? As in… it has 2 trays and if I put in Purigen in one tray and phosphate remover in the other and run it, but clean it religiously. Will this run like this with no pre-filters and be ok? The reason I did not go for a reactor is because my tank is only 30 litres and I could only find them without pumps that needed putting in the tank. A sump is out of the question.

I am not new to the hobby, just been out of it for a couple of years and had a reef tank last time. This is my first nano.

Personally I don’t like canister filters. They are a chore to take offline and to clean and there are bound to be lapses in our cleaning regimen. Plus they are scary if a hose gets dislodged.

But to answer your question I would start cleaning the canister filter once there is some bioload in the tank ie. fish. You can cycle the tank with the canister running but leave it empty with no filter floss. Maybe just a little bag of phosphate remover to arrest any phosphates leeching from the live rock.

I never thought of using a canister filter as a phosphate remover/Purigen reactor of sorts. Good idea! Just check it occasionally for clogging or mulm buildup.

For a nano tank I strongly recommend a hang-on-back filter like the Eheim Liberty. Great unit but don’t use the carbon cartridges.

2.  I am on a quest to find out information on a… I believe its a worm but truthfully I have no idea what it is. I video taped it today on my iphone, it came out of a rock, had a head and eyes and spit out little O’s. I have it on camera doing this… and when one came out another one just appeared and starting doing the same behavior. I have no idea what it is. If you would like to see the video I’d be more than happy to send it too you.

What you have is either a polychaete bristleworm — beige colored harmless unless it grows very big — or a eunicid worm.

The eunicid is jet-black in color and can grow to several feet.  The one in my tank also had luminous orange spots and exhibited exactly the same behaviour you describe — blowing little ‘O’s. They are pretty disgusting, and a menace in the tank and should be removed as they chow down on mushrooms and corals. Some reefers have even reported fish losses when they’re around. I would just take out the rock it’s in as they are pretty impossible to catch.

3. Have been reading you post on The Nitrogen Cycle. Can I cycle with Nutri Seawater? I plan to use live rock, dry sand and the shrimp as suggested in the post.

I would think it would be a waste to cycle with Nutri Seawater as it’s quite expensive and you would need to throw out about 25% TO 50% of it at the the end of the cycle anyway. I would cycle the tank with regular dry salt mix and RO/DI or DI water.

You can use Nutri Seawater as part of your regular water changing regimen once the tank is established.

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