diagonal sump mattenfilter?
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:56 AM   #1
lochaber
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diagonal sump mattenfilter?


I'm currently planning a paludarium (40B), and I'm considering using a sump (mostly to maintain a constant water level in the paludarium, and also the keep the heater out of sight), and putting in a mattenfilter in the sump(10).

Most of the setups I've seen show the foam going across the narrow dimension of the tank (which makes a lot of sense, if it's in the display tank).

I was thinking of running it diagonally across the sump, splitting the 10G into 2 triangle shaped areas - one where the water enters, and another where it will be pumped back up to the main tank. I haven't fully planned this out yet, but I'm assuming if I did this way, I'd need to divert the flow somewhat, so that it doesn't all go through the center.

I've been thinking about this for a bit, and I'm sure there are some major reasons not to do this, but I've failed to think of them so far. So I just wanted to toss the idea out there, and see if anyone had any thoughts/criticisms, etc.

I've tried to attach a 'diagram' to show what I'm thinking of. the black diagonal near the inflow is just a barrier to spread the flow of the water some. before you comment on the quality of the 'diagram', please consider how much time I invested in it (a bit much, I won't disclose exactly how much though), and what would happen if a similar expenditure of energy was put into creating parodies of your most cherished tanks. :P

Anyways, I'd appreciate any/all comments,advice, etc.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:34 PM   #2
deeda
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I'm not really sure what benefit it would be to run the HMF foam diagonally across the sump versus the traditional way. It would probably work just fine but seems a waste of space that might be used more efficiently.

If you are looking to improve the debris trapping ability of the sump, you could use the traditional narrow dimension installation method but use a combination of different pore size HMF's to trap debris.

I can't draw even a simple diagram as yours (very nice, BTW) but you could use a coarse (10PPI) mat that was installed 4" from one end of the tank that filters your incoming water from the aquarium. Next 'stage' could be a 20PPI mat and if you wanted, add a 3rd 30PPI mat. The heater could be placed in the same section as the return pump.

The progressively finer PPI mats wouldn't have to span from the sump top to bottom if you were concerned they might plug up and overflow the sump. Here is a link to Swiss Tropicals basic WET SUMP design.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:02 PM   #3
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I don't see the value in using a diagonal mattenfilter. You would get very close to the same filtering area if the filter ran the length of the tank, and it could be offset to one side to allow plenty of room for other equipment on either side of the filter foam. Using 3 pore sizes in series would certainly increase the polishing of the water, but my ordinary mattenfilter (in the tank) does a very good job keeping the water clear anyway, so it may not be necessary to use multiple pore size foams.

Mattenfilters are supposed to work best if the flow velocity through the pad is within a certain range, so a too big filter would drop the velocity too low for optimum biofiltration. You would want to check that part out first.

I would use something across the bottom of the tank to keep the foam pad in place, since you wouldn't have a substrate to serve that function.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:47 PM   #4
lochaber
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Thanks for the replies.

Mostly, I was just thinking that running it diagonally would give me a larger surface area, and therefore allow me to have a higher flow rate (gallons/minute) while still keeping the water velocity through the mattenfilter in the acceptable range (5-10 cm/minute, i think?).

I think I also thought I could get away without installing bracing/inserts, since the corners of the tank would serve to hold the mattenfilter in place, but as Hoppy pointed out (thanks), without substrate, I'd need to put something along the bottom, otherwise the water would probably channel underneath.

Actually, running the mattenfilter across the length of the aquarium didn't occur to me.

Thanks again for the replies and input
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:05 PM   #5
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Doing it diagonal seems fine to me as long as the flow rate is within the proper range as mentioned. And to prevent the water from channeling under the mat, you could definitely put substrate in the sump. I see people with substrate in sumps all the time. I would use large size pea gravel or something like it, it would help with filtration, even in the event of the water channeling under the mat.

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Old 01-20-2013, 07:10 AM   #6
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amberoze>

Thanks. Today on the bus, I realized I could put substrate in the tank, it would solve the issue of water channeling under the sponge, be easier and cheaper then installing braces, as well as making it easier to repurpose the sump tank in the future.

I'm not too concerned with trapping particulate matter with the mattenfilter, I figure there are other/better ways to do that if it becomes an issue in the tank.

Mostly, with what I'm currently planning, I felt the narrow dimension of a 10G sump would restrict me to a really low flow rate. I was hoping that if I could place a mattenfilter diagonally (or maybe lengthwise as Hoppy suggested), I could go with a higher flow rate.

I just suspected there was some dreadfully horrible and obvious reason not to do this, and that I had somehow overlooked it. Eventually I figured it was worth the risk (displaying the result of hours of my click-dragging shapes in an attempt to illustrate my plans) to see what sorts of dreadful things I failed to notice.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:30 AM   #7
Diana
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I have a sump set up with diagonal filter media.
A lot of crud builds up on the bottom of the sump, but otherwise it works just fine.
I have the medium-fine poret material, and some finer sponge media in that sump.
Flow is great. No need to divert it to spread it out. If the media gets plugged in one area there will be more water flow in another, until that gets plugged.

It takes so long to plug up the poret or coarser media that there is not benefit to running it diagonally, though.

If I ever rebuild the sump I will do it the traditional way, with the media at right angles to the sides of the sump.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:29 PM   #8
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Diana>

Thanks, glad to hear someone else has done this before.

You said you would do it the more typical way if you tore down your sump, is that just because you feel it's unnecessary, a waste of space, or was there an actual problem with it?


Thanks again to everyone who replied.
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