Carbon/Chemical Filtration vs Live Rock vs


New Member
I was just wanting to know every ones opinion on what type of filtartion they use and why? I always have the people at the pet stores telling me to use just live rock in my 4 stage external canister filter. I use these pictured products.

here is my 4 stage canister filter are as fallowed.

1. prefilters
2 pura complete
3 Bioballs and prefilters
4 bioballs
I chose pura complete because it had alot of advances i thought with all the phospate removers and such, but i am being told its stealing from my reef. My mushrooms and all my fish all seem fine. It says change every 6 month but, i change every 5 and i never have had any problems. I am about to spend about $300 on live stock and want to make sure my take is tip top! I will dislplay at the conclusion. My final questions is is live rock better? if not what is? If not what do yall reccomend? p.s. 8oz on 50 gallon, i use 8 0z on my 30 gallon.
32 ounce size
Treats 200 Gallons for up to six months
PÛRA Complete is a blended media that provides the most complete aquarium pollutant control at low cost. Blended with 25% PhosLock for total phosphate and silicate control, virgin bituminous acid washed carbon,and cation exchangers for the control of ammonia and heavy metals, PÛRA Complete offers a truly impressive spectrum of activity. This product removes a broad range of organics like urine, phenols, coloring agents, odors, and proteins; a broad range of heavy metals like copper, lead, and mercury that accumulates over time from trace quantities found in all fish foods; a broad range of toxins like ammonia, formaldehyde and arsenic; and a broad range of aquarium scum promoters like phosphates, and silicates.
PÛRA Complete is fast acting, long lasting, and very effective in reef, marine, planted, and delicate freshwater aquaria. PÛRA Complete should be used in a fine meshed bag instead of plain carbon, and no additional "specialty media" are necessary to provide total, complete, and cost effective aquarium waste management.
Convenient to implement, comes with a 6" x 12" 300-micron media bag
Here's the poop(little pun):

All-in-one broad-spectrum chemical filtration media.

>[list type=decimal][*]25% PhosLock brand modified Granulated Ferric Hydroxide Oxide (GFH);

  • 64% modified high purity zeo-sorbent (Ion Exchange Capacity of 1.65-2.10 meq/g or higher);

    • 11% select grade acid washed activated carbon.
[/list type=decimal]

To be used in fresh and salt water aquariums to remove large quantities of environmental and metabolic aquarium toxins including: ammonia, phosphate, silicates, arsenic, copper and other heavy metals, organics and residual medications.

All-in-one convenience and simplicity. Maintains extremely low to non-measurable levels of phosphate and silicates thus greatly reducing propagation of algae. Removes copper, arsenic, zinc and other heavy metals, organics, metabolic wastes and residual medications. Extremely low impact on trace elements and desirable fertilizers like potassium.

Currently there are no similar products on the market.


Active Member
I have a DT + Sump/fuge setup so I have a different need than you.
I have LR (~82 lbs) in the DT and some LR rubble (~5-8lbs) in the sump/fuge. I also have a skimmer, AquaC Urchin down below. I also have 2 of the smaller (LFS that I frequint didnt have the large size) bags of chemi-pure elite down below too. I used to have a filter sock as well. When the sock was on and everything else in there, I had no floaty bits and water was crystal clear. Without the sock, I have some floaty bits, but still clear water. I like my setup. I wish I had room for a phose reactor under my tank as my phosephates are too high. BRS has a nice 2 stage unit that I could put the carbon one one side and the GFO on the other.


I'm more for the natural but I'm against synthetic as long as I know that it works well and are good for my fish.
I have 3 stage sump in the bottom and I have mixtures of both natural and synthetic.
1st stage is where the water comes down from DT with the hose socked and I have my skimmer there hooked up with air pump + ozone.
2nd stage - I have flu bio blocks in a mesh + carbon in a separate mesh bag + 2 layers of sponge with poly sponge in between.
3rd stage - I have about 10 pounds of live rock with uv sterilizer plus titanium ground I have jvj brand and it leaks electricity ouch....
I want to add a light down there and get a power head and a bag of clerpas to filter things out more naturally.


Active Member
Live rock is better because it provides area for anaerobic bacteria to cultivate. No 'chemical media has the same ability (unless you count sulfur used in denitrators). Carbon, phosrowa, UV sterilizers, etc, all work to achieve different goals in an aquarium. And definitely DO NOT replace one another.
Personally, I would never use a canister filter in a saltwater aquarium. Filter socks remove the "floaties" better then the sponges in a canister, and any media used in a canister, is better served being used in a proper media reactors.
My 90gal reef filtration is 120lbs of LR, 29gal sump mostly dedicated to the refugium growing caulerpa, two TLF reactors, one running PURA Phoslock (the best stuff out there) constantly, and one that I run every so often using activated carbon to clear up the water.
The 240gal has 350 pounds of LR, an AquaC EV240 skimmer, and a 55gal refugium with LR and caulerpa.


aqua knight - I'm interested in growing clerpas. However I heard that you need to add really good water flow and proper lighting. What do you do on your setup?


Active Member
I would suggest starting off with chaeto (chaetomorpha) instead. Chaeto is supposedly hardier, but more importantly, it doesn't go asexual like caulerpa can. I've never personally had caulerpa turn on me, to spite some abuse, forgetting the light for 3 days, etc. Go with chaeto first and once you get a handle on experience keeping macro algae, pruning, etc. then you can switch it out to caulerpa.
The 90gal just has the refugium in the first section of the sump, so that's all the flow it gets (Mag 9.5 return pump). And the 55gal fuge on the 240 is fed by a GenX 4100 through a spraybar, and that's all it gets. Both are light by a 17watt Par 38 LED bulb. Here is a video of the 240's sump/fuge setup';


Sounds good since they don't release all the bad stuff into the water like clerpas...
Another question, I forgot how big was my sump but I intend to put it in my 3rd stage which is like 15g by itself. 15w or 25w pico tank light will be sufficient for it?
Or shall i put it in the 1st chamber with all the equipments? It does have best water flow and I plan to go ahead and add the power head as well.
Also I read that you need to turn the light on opposite of the tank to make sure that your ph doesn't drop.
If I have strong power head on it, can i just forget about it and just trim it once in a while?
Just wondering and pondering what will be the best way to set up in my tank...


Active Member
Running the fuge light opposite the main tank lights does have the benefit of helping keep the pH level constant. It's not a necessity though. I'm not sure on the lights, not overly familiar with pico tank lighting, and the only thing I could find regarding a 25w, was a heater... If the 25watt is a spiral type fluorescent, it should be enough.
I think in the third section in your sump would be the best. The chaeto would probably get sucked up by the equipment in the first. The powerhead wouldn't have to be all that strong. A little Rio 600/800 would be enough. Maintenance for chaeto is just a bit more then pruning it. You'll have to keep an eye on it so see if detritus builds up, and if so, you'll need to shake the clump clean. Some people say aerating the chaeto on a regular basis helps anyway.


Well-Known Member
Live fast growing macro (or even turf) algae will condition the water better than any man made filter material.
Live rock in a canister filter I would not recommend as the algae will die off and the algae is a major source of why the rock works.
my .02