Trickle Filter.. Overkill?
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:24 AM   #1
anastasisariel
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Trickle Filter.. Overkill?


I just got a free 75 gallon setup that was used for saltwater back in the day. The setup came with a pretty interesting Trickle filtration setup that I fired up because well.. it was free.

I used to be active on this forum years ago and I never remember anyone ever using a trickle filter. Are they overkill? Any particular reason I shouldnt' use one for a freshwater planted setup?

Anyway, I'm pretty sure it will turn out nice. Instead of having a 75 gallon aquarium I probably have 90 gallons (or more) as my tank volume. Any feedback is appreciated.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:45 AM   #2
Sean W.
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more water equals more better

there are pros and cons to using a " trickle " filter. FYI, its called a wet/dry sump.

Pros:

-Adds more water to your system
-you can service the filter without disturbing the tank/fish
-Even a small sump can hold way more bio media than a largest hang on back filter (HOB)
-More bio media equals more better
-They are much more efficient at filtering the water than a HOB filter
-you can hide other life support systems in them ( heater, protein skimmer, temperature probe etc etc )
- The water level drops in the filter and not the tank when water evaporates
- Easier to set up a auto top off system with a sump
- it allows you to get the tank closer to the wall because there is nothing hanging on the back between the wall
- depending on your pump you can turn over the entire water volume more times per hour than a HOB filter can
- larger mechanical filtration pad, dont have to clean them as often as a typcial HOB filter cartridge because they are larger

Cons:

- If you do it wrong you can flood your floor. (most) people ( including me ) usually learn this the hard way ( see notes)
- Higher initial setup cost than an HOB ( doesnt apply to you cause you got it for free )

hmm... cons... cons, cons... hmmmm, lets see.....

thats about it for the cons...


not pros or cons but just notes:

NOTES:

- make sure you have an anti siphon device to prevent the water from the outlet from flowing back into the sump when you loose power or turn the pump off to do maintenance . There are a few different ways of doing this, each with their own pros and cons, wont get into that now
- the pump you are going to need to get adequate complete filtration cycles per hour you are going to need is going to cause quite a lot of water movement, more than most people with planted tanks like, but a spray bar will solve this. you are going to want a pump that pumps about 600 gallons per hour.
- if you can, stand your heater up vertically in the sump, some heaters dont like being horizontal, like mine and it was was making me so frustrated when it wasnt working right.
- Put a cheapo LED light above your sump, it makes life a lot easier


i guess thats all for now!

if you want to see how my sump is setup, check out my video. This is a different sump desing than what you have because all the bio media is completely submersed, where your will have water raining down on the filter media.


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Old 11-04-2013, 10:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anastasisariel View Post
I just got a free 75 gallon setup that was used for saltwater back in the day. The setup came with a pretty interesting Trickle filtration setup that I fired up because well.. it was free.

I used to be active on this forum years ago and I never remember anyone ever using a trickle filter. Are they overkill? Any particular reason I shouldnt' use one for a freshwater planted setup?

Anyway, I'm pretty sure it will turn out nice. Instead of having a 75 gallon aquarium I probably have 90 gallons (or more) as my tank volume. Any feedback is appreciated.
As long as you keep your pH and kh levels rock solid, you can pipe the water around the house and back. Just manage the water first.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:49 PM   #4
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The original trickle filters didn't really have a sump to them. Not what we would call a sump today anyway. The first ones were really drilled trays that held gravel usually. 5 or six trays and water pumped back up. A super simple idea that was really based on an undergravel that was taken out of the tank and ramped up.

Someplace in my house I've got some magazine articles from back in the day.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anastasisariel View Post
I just got a free 75 gallon setup that was used for saltwater back in the day. The setup came with a pretty interesting Trickle filtration setup that I fired up because well.. it was free.

I used to be active on this forum years ago and I never remember anyone ever using a trickle filter. Are they overkill? Any particular reason I shouldnt' use one for a freshwater planted setup?

Anyway, I'm pretty sure it will turn out nice. Instead of having a 75 gallon aquarium I probably have 90 gallons (or more) as my tank volume. Any feedback is appreciated.
You didn't mention anything about CO2, I assume it's going to be a low tech setup? Otherwise I would seal seal the filter to prevent off gassing.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:34 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. There just doesn't seem to be any reason why I shouldn't use the trickle/sump system. Having the sump below my tank hidden from view just has too many benefits for me not to be satisfied with it. exv, yes it is a 'low tech' setup without CO2 although I have a C02 system I could install eventually. To be quite frank, I love it so much that I will never go back to any other system.

I love how much I can tinker with it using various filter media and trays in the bottom. I love how the tank will not have to be topped off (on the top). Also very cool how I can turn the bottom tank into its own mini tank too. VERY happy that the canister that came with it could not be primed and I had to use my brains to get this beast to work. )))
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75 Gallon journal http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=480226
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:29 PM   #7
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I am in the process of setting up my 40B with a 40B sump in the bottom to house shrimp, fry and the obvious filtration setup, heater, pump etc.

A sump will let you completely customize how you want your tank to filter (if you build one yourself) I preferably enjoy a sump as it is easier to maintenance in my opinion. As for running CO2, the loss is minimal and not something I would be concerned over. A CO2 refill is cheap. As far as the overflow from power loss is concerned, if you set up your sump to almost completely fill then you would need an anti siphon device, an overflow into a bucket or gate valve etc. If you drill high or set up a high overflow box (such as a CPR aquatic one) and do not fill your sump up completely, then the if the power goes out the output line will drain below the bulkhead and your sump will take on the additional water without overflowing. Again, take your time with this. A sump that is done without thought can be your worse nightmare.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:53 PM   #8
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If you drill high or set up a high overflow box (such as a CPR aquatic one) and do not fill your sump up completely, then the if the power goes out the output line will drain below the bulkhead and your sump will take on the additional water without overflowing. Again, take your time with this. A sump that is done without thought can be your worse nightmare.[/QUOTE]


+1!! I was one of the unfortunate ones that learned the hard way when it came to this. its not fun trying to get all the water out of the carpet and flooring.
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