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Some Filter engineering concept questions
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Joined: 12 May 2003

PostPosted: 2003.05.12(Mon)23:09    Post subject: Some Filter engineering concept questions Reply with quote

The last of the old timers in my Freshwater tank have moved on, and I'd like to start a reef or FO tank. I've done the "read, read, read" bit, and talked to various petshops (and tried to sift though what information is usefeul). In either a Reef or FO tank, I plan on using live sand (which I hope isn't a faux pas, seeing as Aragonite seesm to be the substrate of choice). I have an 85 gallon tank.

Firstly does it matter the rate at which water runs thorugh the biological media? Or is the drip system cirtical? A petshop here in Winnipeg makes custom tanks, and can isolate, and make a corner of the tank to act as an over flow box. Water flows through the grate, and down the corner, to a hole with the apporpriate piping, into a sump then gets pumped back up.

From what I read The amount fo exposure to the biological media (Bioballs) is of great importance.

Would allowing water from the overflow go directly throuhg the biomedia be efficient/effective? (as opposed to allowing it to go through a siphon, into another box, then to the biotower, then to the sump, etc.)

Aslo one petshop owner sugessted making it such that, the water has to flow around a maze like system in the sump tank, before it reaches the water pump so that gases can escape, again, is this necessary for an efficent filter? or can I cut this corner.

For either FO or reef tank, would activated carbon, and zeolite be apporpiate somewhere in the system?

I must ask for forgiveness from you old salts on this forum, for any ignorance I may have shown.

I would just like to to know the basics principles I must adhere to before conrstucting a system. I have plenty of pith and vinegar, not so much money, and a bit of luck.

Also what is protein skimmer exactly? and would I be able to bypass it with the overflow/sump system I suggested? Could I bypass a UV sterilizer on the water return end too?

Thanks, and I hope this long post didn't warrant any eyedrops.
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The Old Salt

Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: 2003.05.13(Tue)0:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Live sand is very good. Make sure that the live sand is aragonite and not silica.

Zeolite is useless in saltwater, so don't bother with it.

A maze in the sump for degassing? Oh please. That's one corner you can certainly cut.

There is another term for trickle filter, and it is "Nitrate factory."
They were all the rage in 1985 when we didn't know any better, but nowadays they're hardly worth anything more than the sump. Lose the trickle balls of doom and just use the sump to hold more skimmers and some base rock, and let your live rock and sand do the nitrification & denitrification.

Look up "Algae filter," "Ecosystem Method" & "Refugium" for some much better ways to use the space under your tank.

The plumbing below is also a dandy place to hook up your UV unit.

What's a skimmer? A skimmer is a chamber in which a current of water is pushed against a column of very tiny bubbles. The water escapes at the bottom, while the bubbles escape at the top. Attached to those bubbles is a film of chemicals extracted from the water.
Unlike a more conventional filter, the waste removed by a skimmer is actually removed from the water instead of being merely trapped and held somewhere still in the water.
The advent of skimming is what first made keeping saltwater corals practical, if not merely possible in the first place.
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Joined: 12 May 2003

PostPosted: 2003.05.13(Tue)13:05    Post subject: Trickel Balls of DOOM Reply with quote


Well when you put it that way about the bio tower, I'll skip it and modify the setup. I suppose a biotower would only be necessary for a Freshwater setup, but then again, I might as well just buy a cheap, effective aquaclear.

Thank you old salt for your help, to quote the immortal W.E. Coyote,
"Back to the old drawing board"
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