Back up Equipment

Discussion on aquatic lighting.

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weagle117
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Back up Equipment

Post by weagle117 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:41 am

I had a scare with my 33 gallon tank a few weeks ago....came home from shopping & noticed the fish were acting strange (I only have 2 clownfish & a watchman goby in it). I checked the water, the temp, & finally realized the pump had stopped working. It is a whisper 30-60 gallons (I think)- old, but has 2 large filters. Anyway, I took it off, cleaned it & so far, it has been running fine. My dilemna is that I am going out of town for @ a week. I don't want to chance it going out again so I'm thinking I will get a backup. My initial thought was to get another filter of the same type- except Marineland has one with biowheels (Penguin Biowheel 350) that is updated. My other option is a HOT Magnum Canister by Marineland.... which I am having difficulty getting started.... will take it back to the store today if I can't get it to work. They are holding another one for me if I find that this one is defective (calling customer service soon). I've been told the canister is so much better than the other.... but, I've never had trouble with my old whisper & I do water changes @ every 4 weeks. I don't overload it so I know that helps. I only plan to put maybe one more fish in it ..... if I need to- a wrasse for brittleworms, maybe. I'd like to have clownfish babies one day .....oops, I digress. Anyway, I'd love an opinion on backup filters. I'd want to run both filters simultaneously but don't want to wear my fish out with the current. I also want it effective enough to keep the critters alive & well if the other goes out... I have a power head running now that I would take out when I add the other filter... What are your thoughts on this? It's a 33 gal. flatback hex.... very simple. The only other devices besides the filter & the powerhead are a heater and an airstone (on the 33 gal)- which I bought for the clownfish to play in but they've paid it no attention (they are still pretty little though- @ 10 mos). Is the whisper filter & a canister too much? AND while on the subject, should I put a backup (maybe the marineland biowheel Penguin 350) on my 55 gal? I've never had it go out... just blow bubbles when the water gets low and once the protein skimmer didn't come back on after a short power outage (but I wiggled it & it was fine)- it's a sump, by the way.
SO.... 1. Do most people have back up pumps?
2. Are my backup choices for the 2 tanks appropriate?
Thanks for any quick advice you can provide.... I leave in the morning.....

Buddy08
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Re: Back up Equipment

Post by Buddy08 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:50 am

for one, if its saltwater the filters arent really needed, infact most filters with filter media can cause problems with water quality. your liverock is your filtration and the idea is to have enough water turnover to ensure the liverock can do its job. if you have a 33gallon tank, you may want anywhere from 450-1000gph turnover (i would personally keep it around 750). if youre using the filters for water circulation, take out whatever media you have (pads, floss, and so forth) and put in dry rock rubble with a few pieces of liverock to seed it. that will work nicely. powerheads will be your best option for water circulation imho. If you want to stick with a filter, i have a rena xp 1 for sale for 60$ and a rena xp 2 for 90$. these are great canister filters and move a lot of water. they also have baskets inside that you can keep carbon in for clearer water, and more liverock rubble for better filtration. Just a thought, let me know if youre interested.

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Amphiprion
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Re: Back up Equipment

Post by Amphiprion » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:50 pm

I have a smaller, much cheaper circulation pump lying around just in case, in addition to some extra powerheads. I also have battery-operated air pumps in case of power failure.

On the subject of how much and/or too much water motion, it depends upon the inhabitants, as well as personal taste/experience. What you are proposing is not too much by any stretch. If your system suffered in short time without the Whisper, you may want to consider increasing the volume rating of your powerhead. I have an even smaller system with a proportionally much higher amount of water motion (~4000 gph)--with clownfish, which are supposed to be weak swimmers.

If you already have a protein skimmer, why are you using an air stone? The gains from using an airstone are small when used with a protein skimmer. It can serve as a backup in case the skimmer fails, though I'd recommend running it in the sump if you run it at all. A productive refugium with growing macroalgae will provide more oxygen and utilize more CO2 (which is likely the bigger threat in most cases) than what you'd see from an airstone or even a skimmer, since those two only equilibrate with the surrounding air. That is what I rely on as a sort of backup, assuming the power is on to provide light. Photosynthesis can strip most or all the CO2 from the water and supersaturate it with respect to oxygen. Just a thought.
Andrew

40 breeder seagrass patch reef

weagle117
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Re: Back up Equipment

Post by weagle117 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:28 pm

Thanks for the advice. For some reason I just now saw your replies.... sorry I didn't respond sooner. Buddy, I got my canister to work. It has carbon inside a round basket like thing inside.... should I put liverock in there instead of or with the carbon? I guess that's not really a filter, although it does have a stretchy blue sleeve that the basket sits in. You think I should put live rock inside the whisper....instead of the filters? They get so dirty & gross....... The tank looks really clear & bright with the canister on there.... it's definitely doing something the whisper is not.

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