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Old 08-02-2004, 09:50 AM   #11
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I already like blorkiemom. Well, I like when people agree with me anyway...

Here's the cool thing about a dsb and lr filtration. There is no mechanical filtration. It's just like having a mini ocean in your house, all natural. To help you understand, here's the quick and dirty version of filtration 101. I'll skip undergravel as they have absolutely no place in a SW tank imo.

Mechanical filters, including HOB, bio-wheel, canister, and wet-dry: The big advertised benefit of any form of mechanical filtration breaks down to great ammonia and nitrite reduction as they have a lot of surface area for bacteria to live and work on the waste. A canister or a wet/dry with bio-balls or similar tends to have the greatest amount of surface area for a mechanical filter. A real benefit to the right type is it will capture physical particles and help a bit with water clarity. On the downside, any mechanical filter must be cleaned very regularly (a few times a week for some), or else the physical matter will build up in the media and begin to rot causing high nitrate levels. They also will not grow anaerobic bacteria as the media is constantly exposed to air. While fish can generally adapt to the nitrate as it rises, it will likely kill off inverts and corals. FWIW almost everyone starts with some form of mechanical filter, generally a hugely overpriced WD. This is because most LFS say they are a MUST for SW. And some folks continue to run them and do well with them as they are committed to the maintenance. Lots of folks convert over to DSB with LR after being in the hobby for a while, so on to

DSB with LR filtration:
As I said, the big benefit of w/d and canister is the surface area available. However the surface area is limited to the number of bioballs you can cram in the filter. Now imagine a filter media you can replace the bioballs with that has several hundred times the surface area of the balls it replaces, creating vastly greater places for bacteria to thrive in the same amount of space. Even better filtration, no? Turns out the best (and cheapest) way to accomplish this, is to use sand. True the pieces have small surface area each, but when added up... Also, since you use a deep layer of sand you create an area that does not get much or any oxygen, creating a space for anaerobic bacteria to grow. Anaerobic bacteria is needed for natural nitrate reduction. When you add rock (live or base) you create even more places for bacteria to live, further increasing your filtration. It also gives your fish and other livestock places to play and hide.

A skimmer is not a must for a FO tank, but is a darn good idea. It will remove microscopic organic matter from the water and will aid greatly in water quality.

As for the sump design. I like mine best, but I seem to be biased for some reason I'm using a 10g tank on my 55 display atm, as its the largest I can fit in my stand since it has a full width divider. I'm currently putting together a 115g display and will probably be using a 20-30g fuge when its done. I don't have a pic, so I'll try to do a quicky diagram.


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A B C

This would be a side view, three total compartments (A,B,and C) The 4 vertical lines inside the tank are baffles made of plexi and glued to the tank with silicone. The overflow drains into A, the return pump is in C. I have a hob skimmer, but if C is large enough it could be placed there. B has my heater, a 2" sandbed, rock, and and macro algae. Having the internal baffles overlap smooths the waterflow and forces it through the middle of B, rather than flowing across the top. The baffles keep the incoming water from disturbing the sandbed. I'm running about 300gph and the sand and algae is motionless.

hth

Well, that worked well. I'll try to do a .jpg when I get the chance.
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Old 08-02-2004, 10:18 AM   #12
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Good info Indy, Thanks! So if I replace all of my bioballs with LR Rubble and LS can I ditch the filterpad on top of the "trickle plate" in my sump? Do I get rid of the the trickle plate as wll? how do I filter out the "chuncks" from my water? Thanks! Lando
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Old 08-02-2004, 12:55 PM   #13
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Thanks for the detailed post, Indy! I guess I have been thinking of the different kinds of filtration too narrowly--I've been thinking of "mechanical" as purely as way to get the big chunks out, I guess! In my FW tanks there are always bits of poop and plant and god know what floating around and I wasn't getting how those bits would go away without some kind of filter medium. I do get (I think! I keep amazing myself with what I suddenly realize I don't know) how any filter medium will cause nitrate problems.

So you run your sump without any filter medium at all, then? That would be very cool--one less thing to clean every week. A .jpg of your sump would also be very cool so I could get how the baffles work. I've been planning on using only a few pounds of LS to seed the sandbed--will that work for a 'fuge, too?

Man, I'm just full of questions today. Oy! Thank goodness everyone here is so patient with newbies.
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75-gallon SW tank with 29-gallon sump
Euroreef ES5-3
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Mag drive 9 return
Coralife 4x65 Lunar Aqualight
120 lbs rock from liverocks.com
1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
2 black Ocellaris, Squish and Smudge
3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
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Old 08-02-2004, 10:32 PM   #14
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this is what mine will look like when i build it. of course i'll stick heaters and other thins in either the exit or entrance section but this is what it will look like. ingore the rock sticking out of the water he shouldn't do that. the bafles are a bit low in the pic and it could actually hold alot more water but remmember to ahve room for the excess water that will drain, when power goes off or you turn off the pump.
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Old 08-03-2004, 01:09 AM   #15
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Cool, swiftwing7! I see how those baffles work--under/over/under. I wasn't getting that part from my reading. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this. It's really helpful.
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Rebecca
75-gallon SW tank with 29-gallon sump
Euroreef ES5-3
2x Maxijet powerheads
Mag drive 9 return
Coralife 4x65 Lunar Aqualight
120 lbs rock from liverocks.com
1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
2 black Ocellaris, Squish and Smudge
3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
10-gallon tropical
29-gallon with two goldies, Carrot and Orangehead
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Old 08-03-2004, 08:23 AM   #16
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I've loaded a .jpg, just waiting for it to be approved so I can post it. Anyway, swiftwings is pretty similar to mine except there are only 2 baffles on each side. The bottom baffles extend over 1/2 way to the top, and the top extend over 1/2 way to the bottom. This forces the water to pass through the middle of the tank instead of flowing across the surface.

Lando:
if you have a good sandbed and rock base, you can get rid of all your bioballs, filter pad etc. Just do it slowly so your bacteria can seed and grow in your sand. No ammonia spikes this way. I'd have to see your sump, but you should be able to dump the trickle plate.

Blorkie:
My entire tank has no form of filter media in it, it is entirely natural with the exception of the skimmer. As for chunks... Rather than thinking of filtration in terms of what you add to your tank mechanically, consider every living thing in your tank as part of a living filter. We'll ignore corals' part in this for the moment and go with a fowlr setup. You've come this far with me, now its only a few tiny steps to thinking like me (mwuhahahahaha )

You start by adding big chunks of waste to your tank (food). Your fish eat these big chunks and pass smaller chunks of waste into the water (poop ammonia etc). The physical waste will generally settle to your sandbed or into your rocks. The liquid waste skips directly past this step. Your cleanup crew (crabs, snails, worms, pods etc) eat these smaller chunks and pass even smaller chunks, which the smaller members of the crew eat and pass on, generally we're more or less at the liquid level by this point. Your bacteria then eats the ammonia passing nitrite, which another bacteria eats and passes nitrate, which another bacteria eats passing nitrogen gas, which exits the tank through the water surface thus completing the nitrogen cycle. This pretty much sums it up, including the chunks for the most part.

Now generally with this kind of filtration you will always have a little particulate matter floating around as it takes time to settle to the bottom to be dealt with. You'll have to look for it, but it will be there and is nothing to worry about. However there is another small benefit to a refugium with macro algae. The algae in your 'fuge will grow into a very dense weave of live algae. It will trap quite a bit of particulate matter and keep it from returning to the tank (like a filter pad). But what about rotting food and high nitrates if it works like a filter pad you ask. By the time you've grown a healthy fuge, the algae will be crawling with worms and pods. They will chow down on this matter and continue it on its way down the cycle's path.

It all boils down to being a self contained ecosphere, except you'll have to add food. Everything will work more or less the way nature intended. I know I can never get it to be 100% natural, but keeping it as close as I possibly can has been my goal ever since I ditched my wetdry for the dsb.

hth
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Old 08-03-2004, 11:38 AM   #17
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Thanks Indy, I may be able to score some free LS from the LFS tanks to start the DSB with. I wll keep an eye on amonia. Thanks again!
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indy
I've loaded a .jpg, just waiting for it to be approved so I can post it. Anyway, swiftwings is pretty similar to mine except there are only 2 baffles on each side. The bottom baffles extend over 1/2 way to the top, and the top extend over 1/2 way to the bottom. This forces the water to pass through the middle of the tank instead of flowing across the surface.

hth
That's a neat design. Would something like that work if you had a sand bed?
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:17 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by lando
Obviously, the larger the sump the more water it can hold. the more water in your system the better. More water = more stability. Go as big as the space will allow. ust remember that when planning, make sure there is enough room left in the sump for water darinage from your main tank if the electricity goes out. You don't want to over-flow onto the floor. Make sense?
Is there a method to test this without spilling water everywhere on the floor? Trial and error in this case may become very messy
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Old 08-03-2004, 01:16 PM   #20
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Indy . . . feeling strange . . . . head swimming . . . . feel strange thoughts about 100% natural filtration coming into my mind . . .

Seriously, thanks for the clear explanation. I get it! I don't see the jpg yet but I will come back and check.

PS
Quote:
Blorkie:
My entire tank has no form of filter media in it, it . . .
I can't be Blorkie--that's my three-year-old. Hee. --though sometimes I think she could understand all this faster than I do.
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Rebecca
75-gallon SW tank with 29-gallon sump
Euroreef ES5-3
2x Maxijet powerheads
Mag drive 9 return
Coralife 4x65 Lunar Aqualight
120 lbs rock from liverocks.com
1 peppermint shrimp and 1 fire shrimp (very shy)
2 black Ocellaris, Squish and Smudge
3 chromis, too identical to name as yet, in QT
10-gallon tropical
29-gallon with two goldies, Carrot and Orangehead
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