Overflow in planted tank
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:40 PM   #1
thedudeabides
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Overflow in planted tank


Hello I am new to the site but not to keeping planted aquariums. I recently moved and this gave me motivation to set up a new tank. All my old tanks have used canister filters but I am thinking of using a overflow that will run into a fw refugium that will include a reverse flow ug filter. I really like this idea as to hide the co2 system, heaters, and filters, put am a little concerned about its application in a planted tank. Will all this circulation and generating the co2 in the refugium effect the co2 levels in the main tank. Also I would like to do a moss wall but am a little worried about the moss getting sucked into the overflow and clogging it. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by thedudeabides View Post
Hello I am new to the site but not to keeping planted aquariums. I recently moved and this gave me motivation to set up a new tank. All my old tanks have used canister filters but I am thinking of using a overflow that will run into a fw refugium that will include a reverse flow ug filter. I really like this idea as to hide the co2 system, heaters, and filters, put am a little concerned about its application in a planted tank. Will all this circulation and generating the co2 in the refugium effect the co2 levels in the main tank. Also I would like to do a moss wall but am a little worried about the moss getting sucked into the overflow and clogging it. Any thoughts?
I personally would not do a planted tank with an overflow and especially an UG filter. The trickle filter will gas out a huge amount of CO2 and the UG will limit root growth, and be a trap for bacteria.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:37 PM   #3
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All my old tanks have used canister filters but I am thinking of using a overflow that will run into a fw refugium that will include a reverse flow ug filter.
Don't do this. Aside from maybe a specialized shrimp setup, UG filters have no place in planted aquariums. Keep your sump as simple and maintenance friendly as possible.


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Will all this circulation and generating the co2 in the refugium effect the co2 levels in the main tank.
You will use marginally more CO2 to achieve 30-40ppm in the main display, but probably not much. You can cover the sump to reduce CO2 loss, but I would suggest this more for noise and evaporation control.


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Also I would like to do a moss wall but am a little worried about the moss getting sucked into the overflow and clogging it. Any thoughts?
You will notice that most tanks have overflows that are a tiny bit shorter than the rest of panels (i.e. even if the overflow teeth are completely clogged, water will run up and over the teeth without spilling onto the floor). Plant matter does constantly get caught in the overflow teeth, though. There are a few different ways to address this. Check the reef forums.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:45 PM   #4
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This setup from Plantbrain (aka Tom Barr) has an overflow/sump setup on it. Read through and see what he's using. I think he's gone into pretty good detail in there.
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:38 PM   #5
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I personally would not do a planted tank with an overflow and especially an UG filter. The trickle filter will gas out a huge amount of CO2 and the UG will limit root growth, and be a trap for bacteria.

No trickle filter in this set up, the co2 diffuser would be near the return pump anyway. and since the ug filter is in the sump with just moss and maybe water sprite not to worried about roots. I've also heard that that is a myth about ugs and planted aquariums. Also isn't the whole point of a ug to trap bacteria? I know ugs get a bad rap but i have never been anything but successful with them.
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:44 PM   #6
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Really the UG is more you don't need it and becomes just another maintenance item. overflows and sumps in planted tanks seem to be getting more popular, I love mine. to cut down on CO2 loss eliminate as much surface agitation as possible and cover the Sump. if you can make a full siphon setup for the overflow this will help immensely with CO2 loss.

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Old 02-29-2012, 11:54 PM   #7
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Really the UG is more you don't need it and becomes just another maintenance item. overflows and sumps in planted tanks seem to be getting more popular, I love mine. to cut down on CO2 loss eliminate as much surface agitation as possible and cover the Sump. if you can make a full siphon setup for the overflow this will help immensely with CO2 loss.

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a full siphon setup and covered sump makes more sense to me (having a sump) in a planted tank situation... wouldn't this be counterproductive? i thought the whole point of having an overflow sump was to oxygenate the water?





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Old 03-01-2012, 07:08 PM   #8
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...I've also heard that that is a myth about ugs and planted aquariums. Also isn't the whole point of a ug to trap bacteria? I know ugs get a bad rap but i have never been anything but successful with them.
With regards to UG filters, I think it was a popular piece of equipment in the past, but there's a really good article that details the bad side of these filters here... http://www.aquaworldaquarium.com/Art...ent_killer.htm

As for trapping bacteria in the gravel, there's a huge difference between bad bacteria (anaerobic bacteria) and good (nitrifying bacteria).
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:02 PM   #9
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It says in the very article you posted that you would need 6-12 inches of gravel to create anaerobic conditions, not to mention you don't really need anaerobic bacteria in there because the plants will take care of most of the nitrates anyway. Also anaerobic bacteria isn't really bad it is useful in removing nitrates. Also reverse flow ug's work pretty good and don't clog as easy as the traditional methods. Since the ug would be in the sump I am not going to be disturbing the main tank if I do a gravel cleaning anyway. I know a lot of people are saying not to but I am going to try it anyway. I let you all know how it goes. You never know until you try and this is something I can do with the equipment I already have. Thanks shortsboy that was an epic thread but had a lot of good info.
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