Some tank ideas... kinda long. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-08-2004, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
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I've always wanted to start a planted tank for the longest time, but before I do, I wanted to run some ideas to see if they should be implemented in my first tank...

The tank will be a high-light, pressurized-CO2 injected, 50+ gallon tank.

Using a HOB-overflow box with a sump. By using the overflow box, this will get rid of the surface scum buildup. The sump will be probably be a 20 gallon long. I can also put the heater in the sump which will get equipment out of the main tank. Another advantage of overflow is the water level will remain constant in the main tank. However, how much CO2 will be lost this way? How about the noise level?

Using a canister filter to return water from the sump to the main tank. By doing this, will this tremendously reduce the life of the canister filter?

Using an undergravel filter in the main tank to disperse the return water. The hose carrying the returning water will be connected to one of the plastic upright tubes. The other upright tubes will be cut to just above the gravel line and left open. By doing this, will this cause a small amount of circulation of water through the gravel (assuming the gravel is coarse enough)? Also, if the gravel depth is ~4 in thick, will roots grow through the plastic divider and cause circulation issues if I plan on using a lot of foregrount plants?

Sorry, its kind of long. What do you guys think? Do you have any other ideas I can try?

EDIT: Also forgot to mention that I will probably leave the tank top open.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-08-2004, 04:36 AM
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Hmm... I would reconsider your filter ideas. Firstly, the sump will cause you to lose a lot of co2 due to all the water turbulance. I don't think having a canister filter will be able to pump all that water back into the tank fast enough and you should avoid under-gravel filters because the roots can tangle around it, etc.

I really thing it would be less hassle and even better if you just used a canister filter. This would also probably be cheaper. Co2 injection would be more efficient because you are able to minimize surface agitation. You would have an easier time keeping the co2 levels resonable.

I also think this would be really noise. Just think... rushing water over a skimmer box, going down like a mini waterfall into the sump and then into a canister filter. I would guess it would work if you like the sound of niagra falls. J/k. It would probably be pretty loud though.

I truely think you would have an easier time and better results just using a canister filter. I don't really worry too much about the surface scum. I just ripple the water every once in a while.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-08-2004, 05:45 PM
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First off...Welcome to the forum!

Since your question seems to be about filtration, I will address filtration.

I would forget the whole sump/undergravel filter idea. It is a good plan, no doubt. It is obvious you are giving this a lot of thought and consideration. Would your plan work? of course, its a great plan, but not a great plan for a planted aquarium!

As Justin has stated, the drawbacks of a sump and UGF are too great. I think you would out gas most of the CO2 you would be injecting. Is that an expensive problem, not really. CO2 is relatively cheap, but running around getting a bottle refilled is a cramp. It will be noisy, no doubt about that. You also run the risk of overflowing the sump and flooding out your place if there is a power outage. I am also not sure if a canister filter is going to be the optimal piece of equipment to return water from the sump into the aquarium.

The UGF can create problems for you if you plan on planting lots of Crypts and Sword plants. the roots of these plants work themselves everywhere ( I have had Crypt roots grow between flat pieces of slate and fishing line that was wrapped around the stone to tie down Riccia) and may inevitably get wrapped up into the UGF. Problem? Maybe. If you are the type that likes to move things around a lot, it will be a problem for you.

My suggestion. Get a canister filter. With a canister filter all of the above mentioned pitfalls will be avoided. If you are concerned with a heater in your aquarium, look for a canister with a built in heater (thermofilter) or an external heater that will fit inline with your canister filter's plumbing. Of course I would highly recommend an Eheim filter , but the choice is yours.

Hope I helped!


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-08-2004, 06:57 PM
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I'm new with planted aqauria too. Recently I planned and set up a tank with a sump, all the hi-tech goodies. Posted my plans of a few boards and kinda listened to the advice. Now I'm two weeks in and realize the erorr of my ways. The Sump. I did a pretty trick setup and if this were a reef I could take advantage of all the money I spent.

The Problems:

CO2 usage is very high
Some of the smaller fish enjoy the "Fish Slide". I now feed the sump as well as the tank.
Overflows eat valuable real estate.
While it's not jet engine loud, the ambient white noise level has increased

IF I was to do it over, and I have given it some thought, I'd ditch the sump and use Eheim cannisters with built in heaters. Splice CO2 reactor in one return, UV in the other. Then my CO2 cannister could fit in the stand! :lol:

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