FLUIDIZED BED filter - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
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FLUIDIZED BED filter

Greetings,
I just finished reading a lengthy article, which among other things touched upon the subject of filtration. It was mentioned there that FLUIDIZED BED filters are the best filters for planted aquariums, due to them not only being supreme bio filters, but also the fact that they are the least destructive when it comes to Co2, (my own words there).

I have done a fair amount of reading regarding planted aquariums, but that was the first that I have heard of that. I used to hear of them back when I had a salt water aquarium, they were always a bit mysterious to me, but nothing since.

Is that true?

MS
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 07:37 AM
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I used one for a year. The TMC V2 fluidized sand bed filter.
It was a pain. One needs to use a prefilter like a sponge to prevent too much detritus from entering the filter. I used coarse sponge. When clean, the flow from the powerhead was too much for the filter and I had to turn it down via the valve. In very short period of time when the sponge got dirty the flow dropped below the recommended line indicated on the filter so I had to adjust it constantly.
Eventually it developed a pin hole at the base of the plastic and leaked half my tank on the floor. So it's now binned. I can't tell you if the biofiltration it provided was any better to be honest as I do just fine with external filters.
Plus you need to find proper powerhead for the size of the filter, proper size hoses and outlets like sraybar, etc..so it can become expensive in the end. I'd get an external and forget about it.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Hi shrimpletess,
Wow, that sounds like a pain, and compounded by a bit of misfortune. I did some reading on them. Apparently the "recommended line" is used as a guide, such as where more emphasis is apparently put on not going over the mark, rather than attempting to stay on it. It's there so you won't push sand out of it by going too high on the pressure. I bet they had some complaints like yours so they went on to clarify that aspect in the write up.

The thing that got my attention is where they recommended two different pump types to pressurize them. One, a submersible pump like a Rio. The other is pushing it with a powered canister filter, like a Rena X2 through X4. I just happen to have a Rena X3, ahummm. :-)

I am working on building a natural tank, no pressurized Co2. So that got my attention real quick when they said that it tends to disperse Co2 into the atmosphere at the least of all bio filter types. Plus, from the animated gif I saw, they look pretty darn cool running. Not that I would care anything about that. ???

Thanks mucho for the reply though. Definitely gives me cause to take a step back and think it over a while.

MS
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 10:22 AM
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Over the years, I've seen the hobby go through a lot of fads. A lot of stuff comes and goes. Fluidized bed filters are a more recent one.

They do work, but they have some downsides, as pointed out by shrimpletess.

One additional downside is that if the flow through it stops for any length of time, most of the bacteria and your starting over growing it. This isn't too big a problem in a lot of planted tanks, because the whole tank lots of other bacteria. In other types of tanks, it can be a serious problem.

I'd say stick with a canister filter. They have been around for years, and give excellent results. No need to spend the extra money on fluidized bed filter.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-21-2014, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dave. I all ready have quite a list of things in my cart for this project!

MS


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
The thing that got my attention is where they recommended two different pump types to pressurize them. One, a submersible pump like a Rio. The other is pushing it with a powered canister filter, like a Rena X2 through X4. I just happen to have a Rena X3, ahummm. :-)
I used and Eheim pump, per researched specs recommended, hose sizes the same, flow more than enough to spit out sand through the outlet. The problem wasn't the pump quality.
I just can't understand how could water and sand dig a hole into the bottom plastic of the filter. The material mine is made of is questionable so I certainly can't recommend the TMC V2 1000
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 01:01 AM
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There is also the floating media 'moving bed' filters that are another type of fluidized filters that don't have the problems with clogging that sand filters do. Just do a search for K2, kaldnes, or, moving bed filters to pull up tons of info, videos, ect.

The moving bed filters use a floating media that is kept in motion with either a dedicated pump/airline or through a passive flow as from flow through a sump. Because the media is submerged, but, kept in motion with water flow or air bubbles, it does an excellent job as a bio filter, while being self-cleaning (using the kaldnes media). Depending on how it is set up and powered it can have very little impact on co2 outgassing.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-22-2014, 06:54 PM
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I looked up the floating media for the moving bed filters Sparkles. It looks like a very handy additional DIY filter if one has the space inside the tank which is a downside. But for fry tanks or bare tanks it seems great.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-23-2014, 04:44 AM
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I've seen some pretty ingenious DIY projects where a 16oz coke bottle was attached (inverted-bottom up) to an air driven sponge filter with the kaldens media in the bottle. Water is pulled through the sponge up into the bottle and through the media, then out through small holes at the top. It had a small footprint and is ideal for increasing bio-filtration to a sponge filter for fry tanks. I agree that it would not be aesthetically pleasing in a display tank, but, they don't have to be huge and can be made to fit in small sumps or hidden in corners. Anyhoo, thought it was worth mentioning!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-25-2014, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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I guess it's always something that I can add in later. If I have problems with my plants growing I'll go for it. I just spent a bunch already so the wallet is a bit rebellious at the moment.

I do believe from what I've read that they are good about preventing Co2 loss. The one thing I'm confused about though is that they recommend placing the unit in line with a Rena canister filter (down stream). So if the water flow is already going through a canister filter, how is that going to be more efficient in preventing Co2 loss compared to a traditional bio filter?

Grizz.
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