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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I’ve not found many freshwater posts about this, but I wanted to set up a low maintenance Lake Tanganyika tank for my classroom. I didn’t want to buy a wet-dry (although, I think it would be good n this specific tank) as I wanted something more versatile if I want to try something else next year.
So, I used a basic sump (30” Trigger Crystal Series) and two media reactors with bio media (one with Eheim Substrat, one with Seachem Matrix). This has seemed to keep ammonia and nitrite undetectable after a fishless cycle.
I know this isn’t a planted tank, but I’m thinking of using this setup on a planted tank, and I was curious if anyone has utilized a similar setup on a planted tank.
My main questions are:
  • Will this type of setup be significantly more CO2 efficient than a wet-dry?
  • Will oxygen levels be too low?
  • Any other concerns or things to consider?
    Wood Plant Pet supply Shelving Rectangle
 

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On my 180g aquarium I use bashsea products. I have an ss46 sump and added a media reactor. I still put all my media in bags in the first part of the sump and let it just sit. My media reactor is for carbon. I use rox 0.8 in it to keep water clear.
I use a co2 reactor on my output and have no issues with o2. If you put the outlet nozzles so they barely break the surface and make ripples you are good.

wetdry for high tech would be a lot of co2 leaving for sure. I wouldnt do it.

I think sumps are 1000% the way to go. I hate canisters
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! That sounds roughly similar to what I’m planning. It’s a reef ready 75 with a Trigger Emerald 26. I’m planning to use a reactor in the first section with Eheim Substrat (like this tank has), and a CO2 reactor (Rex Griggs style) on the output.
Do you have a bypass on your reactor? I got a DC adjustable return pump, but wasn’t sure if I’d still need to include a bypass to fine tune the reactor flow.
I’ve generally avoided using carbon in planted tanks, but I have an internal canister I use with a micron cartridge and carbon to remove yellowing from driftwood (a Marineland one. I can’t recall the model).
Never used Bashsea stuff, but it looks like quality equipment.
 

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Wet drys work just fine if you can manage to seal it to contain the CO2. Tom Barr himself had a similar setup. As long as the wet dry is sealed and water isn’t turbulent or splashing anywhere else in the setup your golden.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I’m sure you could seal a wet-dry, but with the fairly minimal biological filtration needed in a planted tank, I thought using a media reactor would be an easier solution. It also allows me to use standard sumps, so I can put all of my hardware below the tank.

@jtammerman , you're sort of replicating a style of filtration that was popular on larger tanks a couple decades ago:

Yes, I remember those. We used them on a saltwater setup for UV sterilization, if I’m remembering it correctly. I agree with your assessment of a sealed wet-dry; it seems like a weird way to run it.
 
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