Development of my FW Sump

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Development of my FW Sump

Postby Terrance on Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:01 am

Current Problem/Situation
1. Weekly maintenance too long
I've had 2 Aquaclear 110 HOB filters and 2 Fluval FX5 running through the 120g in the past. It took around 40mins to take both canisters apart and clean the filter pads during my weekly water change. That is way too much time for me. I recently sold both HOBs and one of the Fluval FX5, leaving me with only 1 FX5 running with some circulation pumps. It still takes too much time and effort cleaning one canister.
2. Meeting only minimum requirement for keeping a Fahaka
RTR has always kept above minimum requirements for long-time success.

Planning/Overall Goal with a Sump
1. Easier maintenance
2. Stay above minimum tank requirement for a Fahaka & better water quality in between weekly water changes

Equipment/Specs
Tank size: 120g Fahaka
Sump size: 20g long (biggest I can fit)
Media: 5g of Pond Matrix
Equipment: Eheim Jager 200w & Marineland Visi-Therm 200w; Danner Mag 18 pump; 2x 100micron filter socks
Flow: ~1400gph main; sump water turnover of ~140 times per hour
Future equipment: 1g of Purigen (taking out dissolved organics) & DIY Algae Turf Scrubber (taking out dissolve INorganics) when Barney gets bigger. He is ~3inches long at the time of this posting.

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I'm 2 weeks into cycling the Pond Matrix and seeing if it will reduce nitrAtes as advertised. One end has a Koralia circulation pump and the other side has an Aqauclear HOB filter (no media inside) for a total of ~1000gph through the Pond Matrix. Water level is low because I want more flow going through (not over) the Pond Matrix.
Kind regards,
Terrance
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Re: Development of my FW Sump

Postby goldielocke76 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:07 am

Interesting. Let me know how it works out for you! I am curious to see your results. =)
5.5g: Pond snails
5.5g: Red Cherry Shrimp and Rams
10g: PZ the Pee Wee (DP), Ghost shrimp, Otos x3
36g: Luau the F8, Zebra nerites x8, sometimes a herd of ghost shrimp for food
60g: Perches the starry blenny, 1 watchman goby Snaps the l.c. hermit, 2 emerald crabs, 1 red crab, 2 turbos, 7 asteas, 2 nerites, 2 clown gobies and 2 firefish gobies (upgrading to a 90 gallon reef)

RIP Yoshi, you are dearly missed <3
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Re: Development of my FW Sump

Postby RTR on Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:39 am

My external canisters are all bio-only internally in the canisters, generally housing nothing other than Dupla Minikaskade spheres as the biofilter substrate. The canisters are prefiltered at the tank intake , normally with FilterMax sponges as mechanical filters. At water change time, the canister is shut down, the prefilter pulled and rinsed (tap water is fine, no biofiltration needed or desired on the prefilters), Once monthly the canister is back-siphoned to drain in case any debris has built up internally. They are only opened every six months to a year to clean the hoses internally as and if needed. It is all fast and easy. I have too many tanks to do time-consuming upkeep. A big pat of having more than a handful of tanks is having or developing techniques which are quick and simple while still accomplishing the required processes. In-tank mechanical filtration needs only quic and fast rinsing.

We had an article on bio-only canister filtration in the library, but I do not know if it in the files saved or not. It will be replaced when the site is restored if it is not currently available.

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Re: Development of my FW Sump

Postby Terrance on Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:02 pm

I think I found one of your bio-only canister filtration on badmanstropicalfish.com
Kind regards,
Terrance
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Re: Development of my FW Sump

Postby RTR on Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:57 am

That one is a bit old, but covers the concept.

I have simplified it a bit more in current practice, as I mentioned in the post above.
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Re: Development of my FW Sump

Postby Terrance on Tue May 15, 2012 2:05 am

RTR, I went ahead and made a sump after comparing the external filter with a sponge at the intake vs a sump. I liked the sump better. Today I am done.

It look 4-5 months to gather all the funds to purchase everything I needed, but its worth the wait. After drilling my tank 2-3 weeks ago, I hooked up my glass-hole overflow. Today, I finished the plumbing.

I bought the 1500 overflow kit and the 3/4" return kit.
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The eggcrate basket carries enough Seachem Pond Matrix to fill up a 5g bucket. After testing for a month and a half, I don't think it can culture anaerobic bacteria (removal of nitrAte). This is my biological filtration.
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I have 2 large filter socks (100 microns each) to catch most things coming from the main tank. These filter socks are 7"x16", so it will take long to clog up. Nevertheless, I have a 3rd filter sock as a spare back-up. This is my mechanical filtration. The ultra-flex PVC pipe makes plumbing very easy. I only needed 2 elbows for my whole system.
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My return pump will go in the right side of the sump. The return line has no elbows at all because the 3/4" ultra-flex PVC pipe is extremely flexible. I bought a Danner Mag-Drive Supreme 18. I'm expecting ~1100gph overall flow. Ample of room left to add more equipment if needed.
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Sorry for the glare!
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Next project is adding an Algae Turf Scrubber (ATS). I will need more funds, so maybe 2-3 months before I'm done.

I just tested for leaks today. I have a tiny drop of water coming from the overflow gasket coming out at a rate of 1 drop per minute. The gasket is too close to the drilled holes (I chipped part of the edge). When I'm touching around the gasket and glass, I can feel the uneven glass at the very edge of one side. I will get some aquarium silicone and do a quick fix. Do you guys have a better idea?
Kind regards,
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Re: Development of my FW Sump

Postby RTR on Tue May 15, 2012 7:51 am

I have issues with infrequently serviced mechanical media. Invariably IME they become nitrate generators. That requires denitrification filtration (slow and tricky to establish) with its pitfalls. Personally I tend to go wit mech fillyrtation which is quickly and frequently serviced and thus never develops nitrification capacity. The water IME will stay higher quality more stably and with less effort on my part. I do prefer frequently (weekly to alternate week rinsing at the most) to avoid excess nitrate development from the decay/digestion of trapped particulates. Seldom rinsed mechanical filtration is why I gave up conventional external canister use decades ago. Such use requires easily up to 2x the water change volume of systems which employ frequently rinsed mechanical filtration. I opted for the frequently and easily (tap water) rinsed mechanicals. It saves me much time and water change volume. The mechanical filters are pulled, tap water rinsed and set aside to dry while the tank id fitted with clean dry duplicate filter sponges. Those will be traded out again the next week. It is a simple and thoughtless operation. Seldom maintained mechanical filtration is a contradiction in terms - it becomes bio-active far to quickly and then contributes to the pollution load. Organic waste need to removed from the system, not sequestered in so-called "mechanical" filters. That is the fallacy of most filtration processes using all-in-one-unit operation.

Infrequently serviced "mechanical filters" digest organics and become contributors of dissolved waste which should have be removed from the system before it was digested. Such "filters" can effectively double the total bioload of a system. To me that is not any saving at all, but an increase in require work and water changes.

That whole concept is for some reason alien to most hobbyists.
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Re: Development of my FW Sump

Postby bertie 83 on Tue May 15, 2012 5:44 pm

I agree hence my sig
It's amazing how easy maintenance is. If done regularly and thoroughly
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Re: Development of my FW Sump

Postby Terrance on Tue May 15, 2012 8:42 pm

The whole purpose of the sump is for easier maintenance and better water quality in between water changes, just as described on my initial post of this thread. I'm not changing my maintenance schedule at all. Only making it easier. Still doing the 50% water changes.

The filter socks will need to be changed 1-2 times per week. I've read on MFK that sumps are a lot easier for maintenance than canisters (doing a quick filter sock change is a lot easier than taking apart a canister and/or HOB filter and rinsing the pads). It used to take me at least half an hour every week to clean the filter pads on all of my HOBs and canisters. The large filter sock helps minimize the common problem with the smaller filter socks - fast and easy clogging of the socks. Cleaning a filter sock is super easy according to the sources I find online. It should take 1-2 minutes to complete. One of my goal is met is now met.

All the extra stuff helps keep water cleaner in between the water changes. Plants add more to the maintenance IMO and I don't really like plants. Growing algae will be easier and requires little to no maintenance compared to plant care. I'm hoping Seachem Purigen will help remove Organic waste as advertised, but I could just be falling for the sales and marketing tactics. If I get these items, then I will meet the other goal.
Kind regards,
Terrance
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Re: Development of my FW Sump

Postby Nuclear_Glitter on Tue May 15, 2012 9:17 pm

Why not just plant the tank to reduce nitrates?
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Re: Development of my FW Sump

Postby Terrance on Tue May 15, 2012 9:54 pm

The slow growing plants are easy for care, but they don't really affect nitrates. The fast growing plants soaks up more nutrients, but grow faster and will add more stuff on my maintenance list (ie trimming, lighting, algae, etc). Growing algae is easier and more efficient than growing plants. I'm not a fan of plants anyways. I don't even like gardening in my yard.
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Re: Development of my FW Sump

Postby Nuclear_Glitter on Tue May 15, 2012 11:01 pm

Oh, okay.

Well, I hate to break it to you, but fish keeping requires A LOT of maintenance.

I am wondering how well the sump is going to work though. I am very curious.

Maybe you should also add some of those ceramic rings they use in aquaclear filters. They're great for holding beneficial bacteria. Maybe a few sponges like they use, as well.
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Re: Development of my FW Sump

Postby Terrance on Wed May 16, 2012 2:02 am

Fish keeping is not really a lot of maintenance IMO. It can be simplified for easier maintenance though. Spend a total of 1-2 hours every week for maintenance and feeding, and then more another few hours for months that require big maintenance. I just think cleaning those canisters are too time consuming (although I have a lot of time to spare during the long water changes). People stopped lifting heavy buckets now that we have water change hoses that connect straight from the tap to the tank. I feel like a sump have a slightly similar effect with a lot of added benefits.

If I set up an algae turf scrubber, then it will reduce my need for biological filtration. There will be a 6-8 hour period everyday where the algae's light will be off, so I'll be relying on my media to get the nitrates. I over did the media by adding too much Matrix (enough Pond Matrix to fill up a 5 gallon bucket). Most of my ideas are copy cat ideas from the SW side and MFK members.
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Re: Development of my FW Sump

Postby RTR on Wed May 16, 2012 7:33 am

I suspect that you may find algae filters higher upkeep than vascular plants. At least that is the case for me. I ran algae filters on SW in the days before LR was available, but gave them up in favor of LR. In FW, I use vascular plants, never algae.

I gave up conventional canister packing prior to 1980, HOBs well before that. Neither technique is particularly efficient or sufficiently effective as most commonly used. "Sump/sumps" has become too closely associated with wet/dry filter techniques, which were hot in the 1970s and '80s, but also are rather dated for most applications these days. Using the terms "refugia/refugium" is probably better terminology these days, as it alerts folks that you are not talking about the older W/D techniques.

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Re: Development of my FW Sump

Postby administrator on Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:55 pm

RTR wrote:My external canisters are all bio-only internally in the canisters, generally housing nothing other than Dupla Minikaskade spheres as the biofilter substrate. The canisters are prefiltered at the tank intake , normally with FilterMax sponges as mechanical filters. At water change time, the canister is shut down, the prefilter pulled and rinsed (tap water is fine, no biofiltration needed or desired on the prefilters), Once monthly the canister is back-siphoned to drain in case any debris has built up internally. They are only opened every six months to a year to clean the hoses internally as and if needed. It is all fast and easy. I have too many tanks to do time-consuming upkeep. A big pat of having more than a handful of tanks is having or developing techniques which are quick and simple while still accomplishing the required processes. In-tank mechanical filtration needs only quic and fast rinsing.

We had an article on bio-only canister filtration in the library, but I do not know if it in the files saved or not. It will be replaced when the site is restored if it is not currently available.

HTH


How much Minikaskade balls do I need to fill half of an eheim 2262? Also how large are the balls? Thanks.
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