Filter concept: Re-purposed 12 gallon bookshelf - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 04-29-2018, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Filter concept: Re-purposed 12 gallon bookshelf

Attached is concept I want critique of. I'm not all that attached to it but I do think it could work. Here it goes...

I have a 75 gallon freshwater low tech planted tank. Lots of fish. No filter just circulation and good water. No holes drilled.

Adding a 55 gallon underneath it. At first I wanted to just plumb it as a refugium/sump. Then I remembered...

I have a spare 12 gallon long bookshelf aquarium branded Mr. Aqua at the time and am now considering using as a 3 chamber filter in between these two tanks.

Plumbing between everything would be PVC/hose combo most likely. I'll have HOB overflows taking water from main display tank into the 12 gallon filter tank and then have that drain into the 55 gallon below.

The 55 gallon would be heavily planted. Fish load in this tank would depend on how well the water quality is in the main display above.

I guess I'm thinking that I could possibly achieve:

1) A superfilter capable for improved water clarity and bioload handling
2) A way to use the entire 55 gallon as essentially another display tank rather than partitioned as a traditional staged sump/refuge.
That being said, it will be heavily planted and capable of more nutrient absorption.
3) Another tank to grow my fish into or use for creative purposes

I'm new to the plumbing but have been studying how to do all of it.

This is just a concept right now that I'd like critique of. The 12 gallon in between is another point of failure I know.

The feed into the 12 gallon long tank would be designed to ensure it runs through most of the media and slows down over the UV submerged lights.

The 55 gallon underneath will be filled lower, maybe to 40. I'll have overflow of last resort directed into my kitchen.

Thinking that I can basically do a lot of the maintenance through the 12 gallon filter also. Not expecting this to "get me out of water changes" or anything of the sort. Just trying to expand and use spare equipment. I have a 7.5 gallon cube that I'd put underneath the 12 gallon filter for drips/add'l overflow.

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Last edited by darkwater; 04-29-2018 at 11:04 PM. Reason: clarified freshwater
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 09:41 AM
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Bioballs are great in a wet/dry (trickle) filter because they break up the stream of water down to drops of water increasing the air/water surface area by a HUGE amount promoting off gassing of harmful compounds and the absortion of huge amounts of oxygen. Bioballs as a submerged media is pretty ineffective. You would be better off using old shoes than using the bioballs submerged.

The first stage of a sump should be a mechanical filter of some kind wether it is a filter pad, filter sock or something else. Capture the fish poop and other solids before they permeate the rest of the sump. Your mechanical filter should be easily acessable so you can rinse it frequently with minimal effort.

Your design shows your main tank feeding a sump that then feeds a refugium from which water is returned to your main tank. Should work just fine if you have room for the 55 + 12 under your 75.
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