BioBalls in Sump and is sump working normal in general? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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BioBalls in Sump and is sump working normal in general?

I have no room in my sump to setup BioBalls and allow water from the drains to run over top of them. Would it be helpful to still have them if I keep them in the drain area, since the bioballs float, they still move around, would that be enough, or should I just forget about using them, and go with lava rock/ceramic rings in the drain area? I have 3 gallons of the bio balls already so I figured I would use them. I also have one gallon of CPR BIO-BALE between baffle on each side of the tank. I got 2 foam inserts as well to put after the last baffle before the pump to help with water as well. How much flow should I have in my sump? Mine just seems to trickle? I don't know if that the case or not, pump never run dry. The pump is a MAG 18, with flow open all the way, I am running herbie style drain on each side of the tank with returns come back over the top.

Sorry for all the questions, my tank been cycled for a while now and have bunch fish in it, and now it seems to be doing some type of cycle again, and smells, I have been doing 50% water changes, and the smell gone away, but wondering if my sump was not working as it should or what going on, bit confused. Below is how I reconfigured the sump today, and seems to be working bit better.
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post #2 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 11:32 PM
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as long as the bio-balls are getting flow and not drying out than they will be doing their job. some people prefer them out of the water, as in a trickle filter style sump. Some think they are more effective that way because they have acsess to more o2... I had mine under water and worked fine. My sump was about the same as yours, but I had the pump on the left and both drains on the right with the bio-balls under the filter socks. I had a middle section that was just empty because I never had the time to do what I wanted with it before I sold it.

What size is the sump and display tank? mag 18 should keep it moving pretty good if its <55gal sump...
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post #3 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by metallicanick78 View Post
as long as the bio-balls are getting flow and not drying out than they will be doing their job. some people prefer them out of the water, as in a trickle filter style sump. Some think they are more effective that way because they have acsess to more o2... I had mine under water and worked fine. My sump was about the same as yours, but I had the pump on the left and both drains on the right with the bio-balls under the filter socks. I had a middle section that was just empty because I never had the time to do what I wanted with it before I sold it.

What size is the sump and display tank? mag 18 should keep it moving pretty good if its <55gal sump...
Thanks for the info. The display tank is 125 Gallon, and the sump is 30 Gallon. I have Herbie style drain setup in each overflow box. Primary drain in each box and Backup Drain in each box. This is why I have the drains on each side of the sump, I wanted to keep from having to do extra plumbing over to the other side of the tank, this way the sump in the middle of the stand and makes it simple, at least for me. Plus the middle always has water in it, so no worries for middle to run out of water. Do you think that not a good idea to do it this way? Any thoughts on adding the foam in the middle? I was going to put it right up against the baffle on each side.

Thanks
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post #4 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 11:54 PM
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It should work fine like that. I have seen a crazy number of sump and some are just wierd... but they all work just fine. The more foam the better, as long as it wont get sucked up into your pump somehow.
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post #5 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 12:05 AM
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Could always cap the bio balls with some lava rock or rings to weigh them down

You may only hear a trickle but if that pump is wide open... Trust me its moving the water!!

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post #6 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Could always cap the bio balls with some lava rock or rings to weigh them down

You may only hear a trickle but if that pump is wide open... Trust me its moving the water!!

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Thanks for the info.

Here the bio balls I have.

2 Gallons
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...7&pcatid=14727

230 of the Solid ones listed below

70 ish of the Ceramic ones listed below.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...2&pcatid=12742
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post #7 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 12:24 AM
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Should be good, what does the flow out of the drains look like, I know my Mag 18 is moving some serious water in the sump,

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post #8 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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Should be good, what does the flow out of the drains look like, I know my Mag 18 is moving some serious water in the sump,
I don't feel it moving some serious water, but then it could be fine, just not sure. The water in my sump does not overflow on the baffle very much it almost a trickel it seems like, but I am sure it more than that, it not a waterfall I can tell you that. When I look at it, I have to put my hand on the baffle to see if water is moving.

With that being said though, if I close off the drains, the sump will be empty in about 10 sec, if not less, so I know it flowing and the drains are keeping up with the pump.

This is my first sump, should I be able to see water moving in all the chambers? I don't, but if I put my hand on the pipe that goes into the filter sock I can feel the water, not flowing like crazy, but I can feel it. I also know that if I shut everything down, the 2 corner flows are empty in about 5 sec.

Not sure what to think at this point, maybe some pictures would help.
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post #9 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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I have 2 overflows, that just picture of one. Also have 2 returns, one on each side of the tank. The returns don't blow the plants around.
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post #10 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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The Pipe going into the sock is my primary drain.
The Pipe to the left is the backup drain, not really used unless primary is blocked.

The Tube going into the Union Ball Valve is coming from the return pump, which then goes into my CO2 Reactor, then goes from the CO2 reactor to the 2 returns that are in the tank, those are split one goes to right and left.

The other Tube going into the chamber with the Sock filter is from my UV, that on it own pump not connected to the MAG18.

The first chamber goes under, then into the 2nd chamber with the BIO Bale, and then over to the top into the return pump chamber. Mostly it seems to trickle over. If I put my hand on it, I can feel water, but not a waterfall like I have seen in some peope sumps. The other side of my sump looks the exact same way. I don't have the foam in the middle section right now, that was going to go up agains the baffle the water flows over the top on.
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post #11 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 01:45 AM
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i believe in the 10x turnover rate
and the 18 holds up to that standard

the overflow on the back of my tank doesn't seem like its moving much water but im running about 360 gph through it so between 5-6 gpm. still doesn't seem liek it but my drain poured into a bucket sure would believe it

also take into account. ur moving lots of media around. it'll probably go through a small cycle and get better. after its been up for 1 week without any changes. u'll have nothing to worry about.

those returns seem a little thin.. what size are they?

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post #12 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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i believe in the 10x turnover rate
and the 18 holds up to that standard

the overflow on the back of my tank doesn't seem like its moving much water but im running about 360 gph through it so between 5-6 gpm. still doesn't seem liek it but my drain poured into a bucket sure would believe it

also take into account. ur moving lots of media around. it'll probably go through a small cycle and get better. after its been up for 1 week without any changes. u'll have nothing to worry about.

those returns seem a little thin.. what size are they?
Thanks for the info.

From the MAG18? It 3/4 all the way into the tank, from the MAG18 it goes into my CO2 reactor, then it splits into a T, one going to the left return and one into the right return. From the return that in the tank, it one 3/4 loc-line, which is split into the 2 Flare Nozzle you see on pictures above, so are you saying those Flare Nozzle look thin, or you saying overall the return line looks thin?
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post #13 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 02:16 AM
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The flare nozzles look thin. More like they are for velocity. I have a standard u return with a wide fan and it flows great. Even at 5 foot of headt that mag 18 moves 1200gph that is basically 10x turnover. Ur plants should be swaying. Take the flares off and just see what happens flow wise..

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post #14 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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The flare nozzles look thin. More like they are for velocity. I have a standard u return with a wide fan and it flows great. Even at 5 foot of headt that mag 18 moves 1200gph that is basically 10x turnover. Ur plants should be swaying. Take the flares off and just see what happens flow wise..
OK, I will give that a try, for that matter should I just do away with the Loc-Line? Only reason I kept it so I could change direction of where water flows.

Do you see any reason why I would need to change that 3/4 line and return to 1 inch? I rather not, but if that would be better I will. I guess let me take those nozzles off before I start making my shopping list for lowes.

Thanks
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post #15 of 70 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 02:26 AM
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3/4" outlet tubing is the correct size for the mag 18. Are the co2 reactor, bulkheads, and T fitting all the right ID as to not have any constrictions? Such as, is the T fitting a barb fitting so that the hose goes around it, or is it like a pvc fitting that is glued on the inside of the T? (the latter hold the same ID throughout while the first jumps down to maby 5/8s" ID?)

I think HDblaze is getting at, maby your pump is not putting out the flow its rated for. which could be why is seems slow through your sump... mag 18 at 5' of head should be delivering 1200gph and at 6' 1125gph. on paper, that is good flow through a 30 gal sump... I had a mag 7 on my 220 with 55sump for a while while I saved for another pump and it seemed like it was turbulent in the sump... but I was using 1" tubing to match the ID of the bulkheads I had.

So that pump should be fine. just dont asume 1800gph of movment through your sump, you have to take into consideration head pressure 1800-->1125 and resistance through tubing and fittings 1125--> 1025(?) and the co2 reactor 1025-->925(?) and the loc line and nozles are meant to increase the speed of the water going through them so you can reach all the corners of your DT, but they reduce flow (volume) by creating back pressure. ~900-950gph is fine in your tank and is probably what your seeing, which is why you look in your sump and think "huh, dosent feel like 1800..."
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