Hola amigos! My newest major fish project will hopefully be a sump for my 55 gallon African Cichlid tank. I want the extra volume and footprint to hopefully get some plants growing and to provide space for fry (wishfully thinking).
I have a few things I want to test out with my sump. First, I'd like to try a fluidized bed. I've read and researched them a bit and want to experience them for myself. I also have some media that would go great with a drip system.
I sketched out a few designs. Any suggestions or mistakes you can point out would be greatly appreciated.
Here's the first design.
This design has everything within the 20L tank. First step is a few layers of mechanical filtration from some sponge pads. I can build either a trickle tray (or get a small plastic bin and drill it) or use PVC. Below that stage will be a fluidized bed filter using Kaldnes K1. The water will fill up to the top on the next stage where it will trickle down onto some porous media (Growstones). Lastly we have the refugium.
An alternate design would use some of the space below the Growstones chamber but would not allow for the area to be planted in the refugium.
I was planning on putting the return pump at the end of the refugium with a prefilter but here's an alternate design. It will have less of a min/max water level difference but will prevent air bubbles and debris from clogging the pump.
The second design (current favorite) uses more of the 20L tank. It starts off with a plastic pencil drawer piece with some sponges for mechanical filtration followed by the Growstones bio filtration from a drip. The water then enters the fluidized bed section(s). The overflow pours into the refugium before being pumped back into the tank.
Hopefully the pictures are relatively clear. The dotted lines are anzhats on water levels.
I have not committed to a pump yet but I believe I want something in the 700gph range. The system will have about 4' of head from the sump to the top of the tank so the gph will be cut down a bit. I will still be running a canister filter on the tank so the sump will be an addition to the current filtration. I want this to be overkill.