In-Tank Fluidized Sand Filter? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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In-Tank Fluidized Sand Filter?

We took our son to a children's aquarium the other day, and in one of the tanks I saw an area where sand was "bubbling" up an inch or so before falling back to the bottom. At first I thought some critter was digging in it, but quickly realized it was just a water return under the sand.

In addition to being a visually interesting "spring" effect, I've started thinking this might actually have some functional effect as a fluidized sand filter.

I was thinking that if I created an appropriately sized area of course, plain sand, segregated it in some fashion and piped the output of a small pump down into it with an upturned nozzle, I might get some measure of the benefits of an FSF without actually building and installing a discrete unit. Plus, of course, an extra bit of visual interest, and maybe a way to deal with a dead spot, if thoughtfully placed. I figure it wouldn't hurt anything, at minimum. :shrug:

What do y'all think? Am I smokin' crack on this, or am I maybe onto something?

Last edited by NatCh; 12-28-2011 at 05:07 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 03:52 PM
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So, you are saying... bubbles were coming up, out of the sand???

If so, I do this by putting a flat air stone underneath the sand and let it do its work... never thought about the whole filtration of it though..
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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No, no bubbles, just water flowing up through the sand tossing it up some. Sorry I wasn't clearer.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 05:19 PM
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That is a reverse flow undergravel filter (RFUG). I used that for a couple of years, and it worked ok. I also had a canister filter, so I ran the filter outlet into the RFUG to get an extra stage of filtration, and I had my CO2 reactor in the filter outlet too, so I was introducing the CO2 right at the bottom of the tank. I always had crystal clear water with this setup, so the filtration was great. But, it didn't seem to be of much benefit for making the CO2 more available to the plants.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-28-2011, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think it was a RFUG, Hoppy, but I have no experience with them.

The tank was about six feet wide, four high, and about eight front to back. This sand motion was only in one spot about two inches in diameter, and the sand was moving pretty energetically, rising an inch or more with the water flow before falling back to the bottom.

Does that sound right for an RFUG? Like I said, I've never actually seen one, so far as I know.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2011, 03:20 PM
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Did it look like a pond aerator effect? I wanted to try doing something like that eventually but am not quite sure how, or if it would work. Did you try it?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2011, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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No, nothing like that. There were no gas bubbles at all, just sand and water.

I've been traveling, and am not sure, offhand how to try it in my tank, I don't have a sand substrate, so it would take some doing.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-30-2011, 09:49 PM
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If it is what I think it is, they had one at the NJ stat eaquarium. it is a Weird fitting but push water up through a sand bed and the hard part is getting the right amount of water coming up from the sand without spraying it all over......
My MS Paint skills will come into play as I draw it up soon
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