Sump or canister in this case? - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 03:40 PM
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If I were setting up a planted 120 and wanted not much gear in the tank, I'd do:

The tank with a single large canister filter (oversized so that I'd get enough flow) with clear intakes/outflows.

Inline heater (no heater in tank), heater slightly undersized (better slightly too cool than too warm, for the livestock I prefer).

Pressurized CO2 with inline atomizer/diffuser (no CO2 diffuser in tank).

On the side of the tank with the filter hardware, I'd do the probes for a thermometer (or temp controller) and pH controller (used to control CO2 levels).

Total equipment in tank - inflow/outflow pipes, a prefilter guard/sponge on the filter inflow (I keep shrimp), two small probes. Instead of an overflow inside the tank.

Weekly maintenance - once, midweek, do some topoff. Once a week, do a waterchange, which includes cleaning the inflow/outflow pipes with a flexible bottlebrush to get the algae off. Filters I'd clean every two/four weeks as needed.

I haven't found surface film to be a huge problem in my tanks - I keep a mini surface skimming filter (I think it's an Azoo) and run it for about an hour on water change day, after the water change, which skims any oil/detritus off the surface, and remove it between.

If I were doing a large peninsula aquarium, I would consider building an in-tank sump with the last 2-3" of tank, for nearly perfect equipment hiding. But I don't think it's necessary. If I were building an aquarium to be visible from all four sides, I'd do a center overflow and sump. But I was never able to get my overflows reliably tuned to be completely silent, and while a reef really does have enough junk that a sump makes sense to contain it all, I just don't need that much equipment on my planted tanks. I do run my tanks medium-energy though (medium light, not high, with CO2), which maybe makes a difference. But I was so happy when I left reefing and returned to planted tanks and never had to run a sump again.

So since there are several data points here of people that love sumps and always want to run them, I thought I'd chime in as someone who hates sumps and would always avoid them if I could, just to help balance the group.
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post #32 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayo View Post
If I were setting up a planted 120 and wanted not much gear in the tank, I'd do:

The tank with a single large canister filter (oversized so that I'd get enough flow) with clear intakes/outflows.
Sump advocate here, and I cant claim to know much about high flow cannisters, but can you name one that has even 600 gph at say 5 feet of head? And that gph still isn't anywhere near enough for a 120.

How about this: I can see a closed loop system with non-motorized cannister(s) and a higher end variable speed pump working well. You could T off to get slower flow through the cannister filtration and send the remaining flow to the tank.

Does anyone do closed loop systems with freshwater?

Last edited by mboley; 06-11-2019 at 08:09 PM. Reason: Improvement
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post #33 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mboley View Post
"How does a Rex Grigg reactor compare with something like a Sera Flore 500?"

Im not sure what that is. The Griggs reactor is know for 100% co2 dissolution as long as it is designed right, meaning the length versus flow. No bubbles in the tank. As a bonus, make it out of clear PVC and you can watch it work!
Hey, where'd you find clear PVC? I made a Griggs reactor a few weeks back and spent a good amount of effort trying to find clear PVC. Home depot, Lowe's, Ace Hardware, pool supply companies. I even ordered something off of Amazon but apparently PVC and I have different definitions of what "2 inches" means. The piece I got didn't fit up with the 2" fittings from HD/Lowe's.

Ended up spray-painting some regular PVC black which looks neat but not nearly as cool as it would if it was clear.
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post #34 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 08:21 PM
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OP: Re- Griggs Reactor--
I probably bought the same 2 ft length of clear PVC you did on Amazon. I had to lengthen mine after I turned up return pump. I went for no bubbles and it can be mesmerizing watching the co 2 bubbles in the tube . I used to be a reef keeper and I liked watching my protein skimmers work. Now here I am watching more bubbles in a clear tube.

Here's my Reactor in action best I can show you. And my high tech set up with sump and Apex controller.
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post #35 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayo View Post
If I were setting up a planted 120 and wanted not much gear in the tank, I'd do:

The tank with a single large canister filter (oversized so that I'd get enough flow) with clear intakes/outflows.

Inline heater (no heater in tank), heater slightly undersized (better slightly too cool than too warm, for the livestock I prefer).

Pressurized CO2 with inline atomizer/diffuser (no CO2 diffuser in tank).

On the side of the tank with the filter hardware, I'd do the probes for a thermometer (or temp controller) and pH controller (used to control CO2 levels).

Total equipment in tank - inflow/outflow pipes, a prefilter guard/sponge on the filter inflow (I keep shrimp), two small probes. Instead of an overflow inside the tank.

Weekly maintenance - once, midweek, do some topoff. Once a week, do a waterchange, which includes cleaning the inflow/outflow pipes with a flexible bottlebrush to get the algae off. Filters I'd clean every two/four weeks as needed.

I haven't found surface film to be a huge problem in my tanks - I keep a mini surface skimming filter (I think it's an Azoo) and run it for about an hour on water change day, after the water change, which skims any oil/detritus off the surface, and remove it between.

If I were doing a large peninsula aquarium, I would consider building an in-tank sump with the last 2-3" of tank, for nearly perfect equipment hiding. But I don't think it's necessary. If I were building an aquarium to be visible from all four sides, I'd do a center overflow and sump. But I was never able to get my overflows reliably tuned to be completely silent, and while a reef really does have enough junk that a sump makes sense to contain it all, I just don't need that much equipment on my planted tanks. I do run my tanks medium-energy though (medium light, not high, with CO2), which maybe makes a difference. But I was so happy when I left reefing and returned to planted tanks and never had to run a sump again.

So since there are several data points here of people that love sumps and always want to run them, I thought I'd chime in as someone who hates sumps and would always avoid them if I could, just to help balance the group.
Its always good to have an alternate viewpoint.

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60 g. low tech w/ F1 Alenquer pair /Stendker "Tefe" discus and wild Altum Angels
30 g. low tech w/ Wild Tucano tetras
30 g. low-tech African Biotope
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post #36 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-11-2019, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
Its always good to have an alternate viewpoint.
Agreed, I do appreciate a good reality check. I ran a large Eheim on my old 29g, mostly successfully, but this discussion has reminded me of the thick protein film that formed occasionally, and how it signaled upcoming issues for the inhabitants because of the inhibited gas exchange. I'm tempted by the glass lily pipes and intakes, at least until I remember trying to clean the gunk out, always afraid of pressing too hard and slicing my hands open.

One thing to consider about pumps vs. canisters: flow rates for canisters probably include the loss for going through full media while the pump rates do not.

Getting back to the hobby and up to speed.
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post #37 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Rainer View Post
Agreed, I do appreciate a good reality check. I ran a large Eheim on my old 29g, mostly successfully, but this discussion has reminded me of the thick protein film that formed occasionally, and how it signaled upcoming issues for the inhabitants because of the inhibited gas exchange. I'm tempted by the glass lily pipes and intakes, at least until I remember trying to clean the gunk out, always afraid of pressing too hard and slicing my hands open.

One thing to consider about pumps vs. canisters: flow rates for canisters probably include the loss for going through full media while the pump rates do not.
Im really curious where the thick protein film comes from. I did see this years ago when using HOBS on my high bio-load tanks and temporarily after feeding with certain foods- namely lower grade prepared foods and beefheart ( which I fed my juvenile discus). But I have not experienced this at all with my Fluvel canisters and I have bigger fish (cichlids) with large bioloads: geophagus, discus, altum angels...
I do do frequent large water changes, however. 2 - 75% weekly on the discus, altum tanks and 1- 75% weekly water change on the 180 gallon- the geophagus tank.

180 g. low tech w/ wild South American cichlids, corydoras eques, and African Congo riverine tetras.
60 g. low tech w/ F1 Alenquer pair /Stendker "Tefe" discus and wild Altum Angels
30 g. low tech w/ Wild Tucano tetras
30 g. low-tech African Biotope
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post #38 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-12-2019, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Rainer View Post
One thing to consider about pumps vs. canisters: flow rates for canisters probably include the loss for going through full media while the pump rates do not.
nah, most canisters are rated while empty or near empty and probably like 5ft of head height. if you want to go with a canister it's best to get one "larger" than what it's rated for.

you could always wait for the sunsun hw-5000 coming out in july if you're considering the canister route, cheaper fx6 with a dc adjustable pump basically

if you decide to go with the sump route, go with something with something that has pipes exiting under the water line for silence. lid on sump also reduces condensation in the sump.


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post #39 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by SingAlongWithTsing View Post
nah, most canisters are rated while empty or near empty and probably like 5ft of head height. if you want to go with a canister it's best to get one "larger" than what it's rated for.

you could always wait for the sunsun hw-5000 coming out in july if you're considering the canister route, cheaper fx6 with a dc adjustable pump basically
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOfwrniRKyQ

if you decide to go with the sump route, go with something with something that has pipes exiting under the water line for silence. lid on sump also reduces condensation in the sump.
If you do that GOOGLE "siphon break" first. with the return exit below the surface you'll have a pre-primed siphon straight back to and through the return pump in the event of a power failure.

And before the suggestion is made don't ever trust a check valve with a sump unless you enjoy spending time with a mop.

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post #40 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the heads-up, Cichlid. I've seen plans online for just that and wouldn't have thought about it. So essentially only wet/dry sumps are safe?

Sequential check valves wouldn't suffice? Must be a remarkably high failure rate.

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post #41 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Cichlid-140 View Post
If you do that GOOGLE "siphon break" first. with the return exit below the surface you'll have a pre-primed siphon straight back to and through the return pump in the event of a power failure.

And before the suggestion is made don't ever trust a check valve with a sump unless you enjoy spending time with a mop.
sorry needed to clarify that i meant the pipes in the sump like in this example from my earlier most people I see complaining about noisy sumps dont set it up like this

Quote:
Originally Posted by SingAlongWithTsing View Post
just slap a lid on your sump, it'll reduce some co2 off gassing.

I burn through 20lbs of co2 on average of 104~105 days, I inject about 100 cc/min of co2 for 8hrs a day.

If I had the opportunity to redo my sump this is what I would of went with, at least the far right sections.


the far right section ensures silence if your pipes exit deep enough into the water level, heavier detritus would also land here and lighter ones will flow over the baffle to the filter sock/pad.

if any fish does end up going into the overflow at least it'll end up in the far right. you also wont be degassing as hard since the pipes won't be splashing.

Anything between that 2nd baffle from the right to your return pump you can throw w/e media you want imo, foam blocks, etc.
and yeah dont trust the ball check valves from homedepot and most other hardware stores. the flapper style ones and the fancy cleanable (expensive af imo) ones you can trust a bit more.

math things out before you set your return lines depth


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Last edited by SingAlongWithTsing; 06-16-2019 at 12:40 AM. Reason: ...
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post #42 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 02:04 AM
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Thanks for the heads-up, Cichlid. I've seen plans online for just that and wouldn't have thought about it. So essentially only wet/dry sumps are safe?

Sequential check valves wouldn't suffice? Must be a remarkably high failure rate.
I wouldn't say that. Check valves are a murphy thing - anything that can fail sooner or later, will.My Sump is safe and my wife is comfortable with it in the living room on a hardwood floor. The safety comes from understanding the physics of siphons and fluids.
@SingAlongWithTsing is right about the drain inlets into the sump needing to be beneath the water level in the initial drain chamber. That is a noise eliminator and splash safety- but they need to be submerged only enough to to cover the end of the pipe by about an inch or so, otherwise you'll have a hard time clearing air from the drain which is crucial in obtaining a full siphon and that's where you get the exceptionally high flow rates that sumps are known for.
I've never used a wet/dry. they sound great for high bio loads,maybe in an african tank where over stocking is common to control aggression or large specimens like rays or similar. I doubt if even Dennis Wong would recommend a wet dry as the CO2 out gassing would be too high. The key is balance, enough skimming to pull oxygenated water into the column but low enough agitation to reduce excessive CO2 off gassing. There's a bit of craft involved but once you start to get the hang of it it can become a fun part of planted tanks.

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post #43 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 03:42 AM
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Sump advocate here, and I cant claim to know much about high flow cannisters, but can you name one that has even 600 gph at say 5 feet of head? And that gph still isn't anywhere near enough for a 120.
Just thought I'd chime in as an engineer.

Head pressure is determined by the net vertical distance you're moving a fluid. This is what drives a siphon - sure, the water has to go up a little bit at first, but the net change in elevation pulls it down and out.

For closed systems, such as a canister filter, head is the vertical distance from inlet to output. With a typical canister filter, the net vertical distance you're moving the water is close to nothing, so you'd have a couple inches of head.

As some others have mentioned, the presence of media can impede flow. Additionally, the tubing can cause some frictional losses. If you had to lengthen the filter's lines, you might reduce flow that way, but head pressure is not a significant part of the equation.

Edit: Also, the Eheim Classic 1500XL is rated for 2400 L/hr, which equates to 634 gal/hr. I'm not sure how much the presence of media will reduce flow, but it's surely still in the ballpark of 600 gal/hr. Also, that rating is at 50hz. I don't quite remember this from my one electrical class, but I believe 60hz power as found in the US would increase speed a bit (don't quote me on this).

Edit 2: Some quick googling says that 60hz power will drive a 50hz motor 20% faster. So, unless there are other effects at play, the 1500XL can do 761 gal/hr without media in place. Assuming a 20% reduction in speed with media still gives you a hair over 600 gal/hr.
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post #44 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by SingAlongWithTsing View Post
nah, most canisters are rated while empty or near empty and probably like 5ft of head height. if you want to go with a canister it's best to get one "larger" than what it's rated for.

you could always wait for the sunsun hw-5000 coming out in july if you're considering the canister route, cheaper fx6 with a dc adjustable pump basically
if you decide to go with the sump route, go with something with something that has pipes exiting under the water line for silence. lid on sump also reduces condensation in the sump.
Finally, a DCpump on canisters!!
Jeeez it's 2019.

I've been modding out hang on filters and canisters with dreams of the use of an adjustable flow DC pump vs people restricting a full throttle 100% power AC pump.
I you ever have the chance to run DCpump, go big. Run oversize DCpumps at 1/2 speed for noise and longevity. All the pumps run hotter at 100% vs 1/2.

Long story short, Run oversized DCpumps on 1/2 or 2/3 power.
-still pushes the same. Less heat and noise. Don't cry over a few bucks. It's a great hobby. You'll forget about the price over time.
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post #45 of 54 (permalink) Old 06-16-2019, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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How does a Neptune COR-20 sound for two returns and a lower flow Purigen reactor loop? The returns have to push enough flow across 48" and down 20-22" for CO2 to reach the carpet plants.

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