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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,


So I have a 60 gallon display tank that I'm working on setting up. Dimensions are (36" L X 19" W X 20" H). (yes it was custom built). When I purchased it, it just looked so good, I got its twin brother for the sump. So I have a 60 gallon display tank with a 60 gallon sump both the same size. Will be doing a bean animal overflow.





Here are my goals for this sump.
-Fantastic mechanical filtration
-Fantastic Bio filtration
-Auto Top Off
- 20-30 gallon refugium for fry grow out
-Store all equipment (heater, co2 reactor, fertilizor auto doser)




I will be posting a few ms paint drawings of possible sump setups that I would like some advice on critiqueing.


A few questions:


1. Can I achieve just as good, or at least really close bio filtration by having like 10-20 gallons of bio media,( was thinking marinePure media) or is wet/dry really that much better? I would like to have a school of 30-40 small tetras and 30-40 corys in the 60 gallon display.


2. Would you reccomend all of the filter flow through the refugium, or should I branch off some of the flow from the tank and have the refugium dump into the sump? (This will be better illustrated in my paint drawing).


3. Can anyone think of a way to setup a wet/dry and a refugium all in the same sump?




Thanks
Joshua
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here is my first ammateur design, let me know what you think. Improvements, flaws, etc.

My main goal is to have maximum filtration/co2, and if possible I'd like to implement a refugium for shrimp/ fry grow out.

In this diagram, the main bean animal siphon tube would T and a ball valve would control flow into the refugium. The flow would be very minimal, Maybe 100GPH. That way the rest of the flow 500-600GPH would go through the whole sump.



Thanks again,
Joshua
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Why not just enlarge the area where the main inlets come in and have that be the refugium? I doubt the extra flow would bother any fry too much.

It seems you don't really have a lot of actual filtration for such a large sump. The wet / dry definitely makes a difference in effectiveness because the bio media is exposed to so much air exchange, but it does make it trickier to minimize CO2 gas off. Everything is a trade off.

So basically you are saying put the refugium in the front, so that all of the water in the system gets filtered the same?

I wonder could I put the refugium where the water enters, and put a wet/dry filter after the refugium?

The only problem I would forsee with this design, is that I wouldn't have very much water volume in the tank for evaporation.

If I change the refugium to the front, and just add 10 more gallons of bio media, would that help? I guess I would like this system to be as quiet as possible, and I've heard trickle wet drys can be noisy. I wouldn't mind doing a wet/dry, i just really would like a refugium if possible.


Why not use a filter sock for the water coming into the sump?
I'm not into changing socks out every 3 days, I want a more set and forget kind of filtration.


Hey Josh, nice design to try. Only thing I can see is that the water going into your refugium isn't getting filtered much. How about using a HMF design ( with a medium Poret foam), with the inlet flowing through it into the refugium. Besides filtering, your shrimp and/or fry will love eating all the stuff that will inhabit it. I've seen where you can have the HMF be just in a corner so it won't take up too much space. But again what do I know! Easy to be an armchair quarterback!!!
Thats an interesting design, Its similar to the first part of my drawing, but with less glass. Hm... I'll look into it more.







What do you guys think is more important in a high light/ co2 enriched tank:

More bio?
More mechanical?
Wet/Dry?


Is it not possible to achieve similar results to a wet/dry, by just adding more submersed media?

I'll redo my sump design and repost a few different configs.

Thanks again for the replies,
Joshua
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Having filter socks isn't a bad idea actually. Nothing is set and forget, but if you use the socks you pretty much never have to clean the biomedia, which is a nice trade off. The foam pads will protect it some, but not nearly as much as filter socks.

I'm using only poret foam in my wet dry right now. The pre filter in the overflow box is 0 ppi, then 4" of 20 ppi and 2" of 30 ppi. I tried to "set and forget" it for 6 months (cleaning the prefilter of course) and when I finally did clean it the 30 ppi foam was absolutely caked with mulm. It took a half hour with the garden hose to get it to run clear.


I guess I'm confused at your filter sock logic, change something out every week, or change something out every several weeks/months if I don't use filter socks?

After thinking it over, I may just go full wet/dry setup with no refugium. Refugium's are cool, but at the same time, I feel like I'll have plenty enough to worry about with the 60 gallons on top that I won't really have a want for one. If I do, I can always setup a smaller tank and close loop it into the system later.

So if I'm going full wet/dry setup, what is the best way to utilize a wet/dry setup with a bean animal overflow to minimalize co2 loss?

Joshua
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hmm. I have an idea that I just thought of that might work better. I'll post it later today. The whole reason behind the big tank was that I wanted a refugium. I'm gonna post one last design before calling the refugium idea quits. I know that there are huge benefits of having a wet/dry filter, but I think that if a 90 gallon fish tank can be run off of a couple of canister filters, then why should'nt 20-30 gallons of submerged sump be enough to filter my tank and refugium?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·


I can even put more bio media going towards the return pump as well.
I figure, this would give me around a 15 gallon refuge, and also keep everything together in one shot. I will have autotop off on this system, and eventually would like to do drill a runoff hole in the sump for auto drip/ water changes.


What say you? :)
Joshua
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Okay guys, hows this?



This would be alot more simple, still having a good bit of filtration, and also giving the best water volume in the sump. What do you think? This is going to be my setup for the next 10-15 years, so I'm looking for a system that I can be happy with for years to come.

Also is it necessary to seal your sump if you don't have a wet/dry?
Joshua
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Crazy, I'm gonna have to agree with dprais on this one. I know there are huge benefits from a bacteria growing standpoint (healthier more active) but why then do so many people have beautiful tank running canisters? This will be in a jist 3-4 times te media of any type of canisters that I would put on this tank. Also in agreement with dprais, I will be dosing Ei meaning 50% water changes every week. I imagine that given the additional plant mass in the sump along with the large amount of bio media that will be present, my tank should be pretty stable.

I just personally prefer a nice refugium over a wet/dry.

I will put gutter guard on my overflow, so hopefully with that it can space out my sponge cleanings.

I can always get a few filter socks to keep handy and after a big trim put them on for 2-3 days while the debris collects.

I will shrink the refugium slightly to better be able to reach the pump, but other than that I really like this design, seems pretty simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Piano,

I have a guard on my overflow/inlet drain and it collects 90% of all excess plant trimmings/clippings/pieces etc. And the remaining get caught in the filter sock. While I agree that a healthy bacteria population will help, I just believe that water changes and rinsing out filters will be just as effective and you can still have your refugium as like Dprais said.

What I don't think many people realize is that by having a refugium you can easily add another layer of biological filtration via substrates. And in a planted tank, I personally do not believe that the extra biological filtration will be that necessary unless you want to keep discus, rams or have no desire for water changes.
I won't have discus for sure, beautiful fish, but not into the high maintenance. And this will be a planted refugium for sure, I'm thinking of having a buce/ aroid only scape similar to my current 20 gallon in the refugium and having a more stemmish scape with "dutch"ish qualities in the 60 gallon display, that way the refuge will be very low maintenance, and I can have a place to grow my favorite plants.

As far as fish go, I'm thinking a school of corys, a school of tetras, and maybe a pair of rams or apistos. And with weekly water changes, and lots of media for bio to stick on, I don't think I will have any issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I think the benefit of wet/dry is that you get two types of bacteria. If you just do wet you miss out on the benefits of the 'dry' bacteria. i.e. aerobic vs. anaerobic. This is what I figured from Tom Barr et al. anyways. He made a good point that any 'professional' sump will incorporate wet/dry.

Canisters are fine, but you are forced to keep up on water changes. The sump is part1 in reducing the need for constant water changes (expanding your volume). The wet portion gives you anaerobic bacteria. The dry portion gives you aerobic bacteria.

I'm not gonna pretend I know exactly what they do, but I know that having both is key for 'best filtration'.

I guess your situation is different since you're breeding, but I've had this tank online since early November and I've done one 25% water change. Water is crystal clear. Fish are happy. Plants are growing. Tank is clean. Just saying that since one of your goals was low maintenance, you'd want to incorporate every asset in the sump arsenal to help.

I look forward to the build nonetheless!


One item I was searching for was the 'silver bullet' of sumps. As of this time, since the freshwater sump seems to be a new concept, there is no concrete answer beyond 'look at what the pros do'. Sump discussion threads like this greatly interest me - thanks for taking the time to diagram and discuss! :D
I agree with you mate, I figured a good design thread was necessary as there really aren't many freshwater discussions out there, much less planted freshwater. I've learned alot in talking over this design. I realize that I will have to do more water changes, however, I was planning on doing that any way. I guess our aims are a little different. As this will be a high light/ ei dosed/ co2 injected tank, so increased water changes are a must for me. But they will be automated, don't worry.


Good discussion all around.

I do not quite understand the wet/dry concept involving anaerobic bacteria and aerobic bacteria either. In general layman's biology terms, aerobic means "with oxygen" and anaerobic means "without oxygen". As a graduate with a biology degree I can discuss what both of those mean in terms of cellular respiration, but along with Crazymittens I do not know exactly how they pertain to aquarium biology filtration.

Yeah, I can understand that much too, not sure of much else though in those regards.

Thanks again everyone,
Joshua
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
If you are worried about that you can do a couple of things, but I don't think it will be an issue.

First, you can lower your intake pipe/tube towards the bottom of the sump. This way the water will travel in a upwards path into your foam and eventually over the top, but it might not be 100%. If you go this method, be sure NOT to block the water coming out. So make sure to suspend you intake tube about 3 inches or so above the bottom of the sump.

Second, you can simply add a second wall in front (intake side) of your foam. Seal the wall all the way to the top of sump and leave an inch of space at the bottom. This way, the water has no choice but to travel below the new wall and up through your foam and out the top.
I like the second step, its one more piece of glass, but I like the idea. I'll still get horizontal flow, but it will be more forced. I think I would leave .5" from the top of the sump though, just to have some ugh oh room incase of flooding. I'll post a pic in a sec of the new design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 · (Edited)


Basically the only thing that would change would be the addition of the new glass. before the sponges on the right, causing the water to go down first and then up. If I use this configurations, I may invert the sponges horizontally and having it rise through the media, like a canister filter style. I think it would give overall better filtration?I'll just make a basket type system for the bio media on top.

 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Bought poret foam from Swiss tropicals. They are a little expensive, but I reckon it will last for a long time to come. Got foam for the last design posted with the foam oriented horizontally, so the water flows vertically. Ill post pics once I get the whole sump setup. I used muriatic acid to clean out the calcium deposits on the glass this weekend. It worked okay. Still a little hazy but not as bad. Gave it several good rinses. Now I will let it sit for a few days and then take a razor blade to te silicone to reseal the internals. And then I'll add in the baffles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
Well for my sump design, I reckon that I'll need to be rinsing the 30 ppi foam alot more than the other foam, as 30 ppi is much finer and will get clogged much faster. Just make sure that however you design it, you allow room for water to flow on top of the sponge in the worst case scenario of complete clog.

The foam came in by the way, and it really is high quality stuff. Very sturdy, can easily stand on its own in a sump. Although supports won't hurt. Any one have any tips on cutting poret foam to size neatly?

Joshua
 
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