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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 55 gallon acrylic hex which fits nicely in a corner of our maritime decor family room - great conversation piece. It's a little over a year old and flourishing. It has 2 percs, 2 pj cardinals, a sixline wrasse, assorted corals (trumpet, frogspawn, candy cane, blastos, large open brain, flavite, yellow polyps, mushrooms), the usual cleaners, worms, pods, etc. It has internal overflow, a small 9 x 18 wet/dry sump with a Blue Line 40HD external pump, and I have a small Aquaclear powerhead to give a little counter flow for the corals. Lighting 175w 10K MH. Hardly any algea problems (knock on wood).

The LFS that set it up was not as knowledgeable as I thought about aquaria maintenance and care (they are no longer in business). The filtering system consisted of a sponge filter over the standpipe in the overflow, bioballs and another filer pad in between the bioballs and the return, no skimmer. I have removed 75% of the bioballs and plan on replacing them with live rubble. My question is - are the filters necessary, or are they just nitrate factories? I also think the sump is too small for a skimmer, I do a 10% water change a week and things are doing fine.

Last parameters - Temp 80, SG 1.026 (refractometer), pH 8.2, NH3 0, Nitrate 0, Nitrates 5, Phos 0, Ca 440, kH 8.

Any and all opinions / ideas are welcome.
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