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Old 04-24-2011, 12:11 AM   #1
KnH
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Better with or without a Sump


I just picked up a used 175 bowfront on the cheap, saltwater setup with dual overflows and a sump

My Goal is to have a low tech with discus
I can cap off the holes or use the sump

Is the a consensus on using sumps with the low tech approach

Thanks
Ken
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:36 AM   #2
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i have a sump on my 95 wave front aquarium which was also a saltwater setup. i like to be able to hide all the equipment it is also a more efficient filtering unit. the only problem is if the sump is a wet/dry you will have more heat and c02 loss. (if you use c02)
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:51 AM   #3
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Welcome to PT.net

Since you are not using C02, don't worry about whether you should use it or not. Why sumps or wet/dry filters aren't good for high-tech planted tanks is because the constant trickling off-gases the C02 (This can be fixed though by replacing the bio-balls with filter floss or sponge).I would go ahead and use the sump If I were you. It will provide more water volume making your parameters very, very stable (Even 175 gallons should keep them stable). Also, the advantage with the sump is that you can hide all your in-tank equipment in it.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:10 PM   #4
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Like what's been said by everyone else, on a large low tech tank I'd keep the sump! If it's available to you, might as well use it. Also the discus will appreciate the extra water volume it gives your system. Not to say a 175 is small by any means ha.
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:41 AM   #5
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CO2 loss using wet/dry filters is minimal.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:21 PM   #6
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I dont have the money to get my sump a nice light/substrate or more plants but once I do, Im planning on putting lots of plants in one side. Then I will run the lights on a timer on an opposite schedule as my main tank. That way the sump makes o2 for the fish at night and when the sump lights are off during the day, the plants will make co2 for the main tank. wont be much, but any co2 it adds will be better than without it and its free. Plus a great spot to grow out some plants or hold some extra fish. then use the other side of the sump for mechanical filtration.
search freshwater RDP sump if your interested in trying it. Im sold on it, just need to buy a light!
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metallicanick78 View Post
I dont have the money to get my sump a nice light/substrate or more plants but once I do, Im planning on putting lots of plants in one side. Then I will run the lights on a timer on an opposite schedule as my main tank. That way the sump makes o2 for the fish at night and when the sump lights are off during the day, the plants will make co2 for the main tank. wont be much, but any co2 it adds will be better than without it and its free. Plus a great spot to grow out some plants or hold some extra fish. then use the other side of the sump for mechanical filtration.
search freshwater RDP sump if your interested in trying it. Im sold on it, just need to buy a light!
Wouldn't it be much easier and about 10x less expensive to put an airstone in a sump...

The purpose of sumps like this is the act as a nitrate sponge, but since we grow plants in the main tank, there is no point in this as we have to DOSE nitrates to keep them up.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:33 PM   #8
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Airstone dosen't add co2 during the day. plus it dosen't grown more plants 8)
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:36 PM   #9
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Airstone dosen't add co2 during the day. plus it dosen't grown more plants 8)
The amount of co2 the plants release during there "night" cycle will be next to nothing. In the end, a setup like this would likely require MORE injected co2 than two separate self contained tanks, as there will be no rest/recovery period in the water column. Ferts will also need to be dosed at unusually high levels.

I love sumps, but in a planted tank, there is no real good reason to put a hot, bright light in you stand to grow plants when you have a perfectly good tank to grow them in above.

If you want to grow some more plants, other tanks, sure. Even in series on central filter systems. But expecting them to counter the co2/o2 cycle in a tank with meaningful results.... eh.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:52 PM   #10
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Most tanks that are big enough to have sump have the watervolume to dissipate heat from a light. I have a 55gal sump with about 25gal baffled off for the RDP side. 50 or so watts of light would grow plants like crazy. Im not saying its the equivilent of adding pressurized co2, but its adding some co2, and in a low tech/ low light tank, alittle co2 will go a long way. I like to think of it as 2 tanks that share most of the equipment so they are cheaper to set up than 2 separate tanks.
And I dont think the amount of co2 that plants give off in the dark has been studied enough to confirm or deny the effectiveness of an RDP sump. but people that suffer from low 02 in the mornings (as seen by fish gulping at the surface before the lights go on) can agree that the amount of 02 used and c02 expelled by plants in the dark is definetly not next to nothing.
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:42 PM   #11
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But you'd be 'stealing' more co2 for the sump than you'd be generating for the main tank. Co2 is at its peak during the morning when the whole tank has been generating it and dies off probably before noon in a good low-tech with high plant mass. This is why folks do light seistas so that the co2 can recover.

If you plan to run lights in the sump, aim for massive air/water surface agitation so at least you'll have atmosphere pressure co2.

I use a sump for extra water volume and to hide equipment. Im looking into getting some iava moss for a scud colony, but am worried about sump vs. main tank plant competition. My plan is to go extra easy on sump lighting, since I only need a place for the scud colony.
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:39 PM   #12
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I see what you guys are saying, and since I haven't set mine up yet I can't test it to say for sure either way. But once I do complete it I will post my co2 levels through out a 24hr period. I have a feeling that I will end up with a more steady level of co2 and PH vs no plants in the sump. And that level will be higher than the average of the highs and lows during "on light times" no matter how many or how long a seista you want to take. I am in no way an expert, but from what I do know, a higher average amount of co2 while the lights are on sounds better for the plants AND worse for algae.
It's never talked about in freshwater planted tanks because I don't think anyone uses this technique, and thats because no one has ever set it up properly and actually tested it to show if it is a benefit or a detriment.
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:51 PM   #13
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To sump or not to sump UGH! such a silly question.

If you have it, use it!

Why? Cheaper replacement filter materials, easier to change things around and hide stuff rather than put it in the main tank. Easier than cleaning any canister and takes less time.
Have one, like it and sold off three canister in the last 6 months.
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:21 AM   #14
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Yeah, I'm basing most of my facts on CO2 levels from Walstad's book that shows that a siesta period really helps CO2 levels dramatically. That's also where I learned that CO2 concentrations in a 'normal' low-tech tank can exceed atmospheric pressure pretty rapidly, so off-gassing could be a concern for low-tech.

If you could produce a similar graph for a SUMP, that would be awesome. The question is: Can you get the average CO2 levels *higher* than they would be with no plants in the sump and a siesta. If you can swing this, then I'm definitely going to mimic you with mine

The other key here, is that with a good diverse ecosystem, you can throw a whole lot of 'bad' conditions at it and wind up with vibrant life. That's what I really love about aquariums. I keep learning how resilient life is to my blunders
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Old 06-26-2011, 02:27 AM   #15
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hahaha if you get bored and have time to waste I did a thread on converting my trickle filter into a no splash sump. Leads right into my 110g thread. I have Walstad's book and do read it often but it's a reference, not the end all authority,,, I don't think it was intended that way.

Doing research on sumps at the time I set it up nobody here replied to the thread with much help.
I emailed Mr. George Booth. He kindly responded and I'm very grateful as it helped answer a ton of questions I had.
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