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yessir

Keep in mind your filter area doesn't have to be huge. I made mine as small as I could without sacrificing filter area and large enough to make maintenance easy. I want my refugium to be as large as possible to grow out shrimp and plants such as staurogyne and java ferns.
 

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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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I do not find it necessary to seal the sump. CO2 loss is minimal.

Here is my sump setup. My second wall is not glued in yet and neither is my second foam pad. But here is the basis of what we have been discussing.

What I have found is that using a glue gun to set your acrylic in place and then using silicone sealant works best. Use a small spot of hot glue on the top and bottom corners. Then seal it.
 

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I forgot to mention, I purchased and eschopps micron bag holder. I didn't want to spend the money but it is so easy to attach my inlet hose too. And for maintenance, I just lift it off and replace whatever filter media I chose to use. In the photos you will see a filter sock, but I will probably just cut a blue fliter pad that fits all the way around in the inside. The water flows out of the top.
 

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I forgot to mention, I purchased and eschopps micron bag holder. I didn't want to spend the money but it is so easy to attach my inlet hose too. And for maintenance, I just lift it off and replace whatever filter media I chose to use. In the photos you will see a filter sock, but I will probably just cut a blue fliter pad that fits all the way around in the inside. The water flows out of the top.
What size tank did you go with?
Is that rocks I see in with the filter sock? if so, what kind of rock and why/ So I can get a better understanding.
 

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(Quote) What size tank did you go with?
Is that rocks I see in with the filter sock? if so, what kind of rock and why/ So I can get a better understanding.(Quote)

It is a 20 gal ong

The rocks are hot glued on to the exterior of the filter area, not the inside. They are simply small pieces of lace rock. I did this for two reasons:
1. To hide the filter media a bit
2. prevent the outflow from causing too much turbulence in the refugium area

I will also try to add some moss in between them eventually.
 

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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
The sock filters are much easier to change out so I figure the actual amount of work is about the same, but just spread out more often.

For a full wet / dry just make a top to cover the wet / dry portion of the filter. You'd still need a small area that would overflow onto the trickle plate since the bean animal style overflow doesn't prefilter. Otherwise, you'd be changing the pad on the trickle plate every few days.
 

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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

this is pretty much what I was thinking, but I would flip the coarse and fine foam. by putting the fine foam first you are catching lots of junk saving you from having to clean the coarse very often. the fine poret foam acts more like a good mechanical, but also biological if you only clean it in tank water.

also the poret foam from swiss tropicals is fit to size---it gets wedged into place and does not need any means to keep it there so adding acrylic or other dividers is a waste, at least for the poret foam.

(my sump runs Left to right, sorry for confusion is my original suggestion)
 

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Josh, I'd strongly urge you to reconsider the design - you've left out the 'dry' portion of a wet/dry filter. Everything I've read (on multiple forums, plus professional sump designs) shows that there is a significant and measureable difference in filtration capacity if you have both wet and dry.

One other item of note...your return pump area is tiny. It would work, but getting your hand down in there would be a trick.

My suggestions: compress the refugium area and add in a drip tray with exposed media. Even if you have to do a 'tower' wet/dry setup.


And my thoughts on filter socks - if you have decent pre-mech filtration (gutter guard to stop leaves and whatnot), socks could work in a low-maintenance setup. If you don't do pre-mech filtration, socks will get overloaded every time you trim (my experience).
 

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Josh, I'd strongly urge you to reconsider the design - you've left out the 'dry' portion of a wet/dry filter. Everything I've read (on multiple forums, plus professional sump designs) shows that there is a significant and measureable difference in filtration capacity if you have both wet and dry.

One other item of note...your return pump area is tiny. It would work, but getting your hand down in there would be a trick.

My suggestions: compress the refugium area and add in a drip tray with exposed media. Even if you have to do a 'tower' wet/dry setup.


And my thoughts on filter socks - if you have decent pre-mech filtration (gutter guard to stop leaves and whatnot), socks could work in a low-maintenance setup. If you don't do pre-mech filtration, socks will get overloaded every time you trim (my experience).
tricky here....just my thoughts...

wet/dry is probably better at filtration.

BUT, the poret foam will have the capacity to harbor more bacteria than you could probably ever hope to need even in a very overstocked tank. So would you see any difference with a wet/dry? I don't think so. Unless you plan on keeping a bunch of full grown goldfish, and even then I'm not sure it would really prove 'better.'

The difference in water quality will eventually come down to two things;

1. how often you change water to remove buildup of excessive nutrients and organics (such as nitrate and general waste/detritus/mulm)

2. How often you clean your filter media which traps lots of waste/mulm/detritus ie organics that break down into nitrates etc.


A wet/dry won't remove those things(neither will any filter they just trap them), but may make it harder to do so. Poret foam you take out and rinse and put back, no finagling with parts or doors, snaps or locks. That is why you want plenty of clearance to get to your sump.

If you rinse one of the black or fine poret foam each time you do a water change you will be light years ahead of a wet/dry will you only end up cleaning the media once overy two-three months because it is such a pain.

It is the same as my 68yr old mother buying a $2,000 Mac to look at Facebook once a month and check her emails every two months. Nice, but overkill without any benefit from using a plain ol' $400 desktop.


Just my thoughts
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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
 
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