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Old 01-20-2007, 12:26 AM   #11
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Here's the thing about a wet/dry...it's a nitrate factory. For a FO tank, it's probably the most efficient form of filtration you can have because, other than the substrate, there isn't anywhere for the biofilter to grow in that type tank. In a reef, your live rock is the biofilter and it efficiently converts ammonia and nitrite into nitrate. But, it also converts some nitrate into nitrogen. Your wet/dry won't do this. Nitrates aren't a huge problem in a FO tank because you don't have the high intensity lighting that you would have in a reef tank so you don't have quite the algae problem. Also, fish aren't terribly sensitive to nitrate...inverts usually are. I would suggest to you "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner and "The Reef Aquarium...Science, Art, and Technology" by Sprung and Dilbeek. If you want to read about the mud sump theory, check out www.ecosystemaquarium.com .
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Old 01-20-2007, 01:02 AM   #12
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[quote="loganj"]Here's the thing about a wet/dry...it's a nitrate factory. For a FO tank, it's probably the most efficient form of filtration you can have because, other than the substrate, there isn't anywhere for the biofilter to grow in that type tank. In a reef, your live rock is the biofilter and it efficiently converts ammonia and nitrite into nitrate. But, it also converts some nitrate into nitrogen. Your wet/dry won't do this. Nitrates aren't a huge problem in a FO tank because you don't have the high intensity lighting that you would have in a reef tank so you don't have quite the algae problem. Also, fish aren't terribly sensitive to nitrate...inverts usually are. I would suggest to you "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner and "The Reef Aquarium...Science, Art, and Technology" by Sprung and Dilbeek. If you want to read about the mud sump theory, check out www.ecosystemaquarium.com .[/I mentioned above all of the material I've read on saltwater & reef aquariums over the last two months. I have both book and have already read them. The conscientious aquarist is one, if I remember correctly, that states you don't need the wet/dry. I will re-visit both. First I'll visit the website you've provided. Thanks]
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Old 01-20-2007, 04:54 PM   #13
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I think you will be hard pressed to find anyone here who will advise you to run a traditional wet/dry on a reef tank. Here's a pic of an EcoSystem sump in the leak testing phase. I realize it looks like a wet/dry, but it isn't. It uses a mineral mud substrate and caulerpa to control nutrients and manage, to a degree, trace elements.
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File Type: jpg ecosys_sump_setup_488.jpg (56.3 KB, 22 views)
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:52 AM   #14
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Is this the same as a Refugium using the mud as the substrate, live rock, caulerpa and running the lighting non-stop? The display above looks like it includes bio-balls. I've looked for and read a lot of articles on Ecosystems today but nothing that explains the complete setup. Can you explain everything that goes into the sump and how the water travels through the different chambers? I've also read that this system discourages the use of a protein skimmer. Is there any filter media to trap incoming debris from the tank? I guess my last question here is what are all of the connections/valves for? So many more questions!
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Old 01-21-2007, 02:46 AM   #15
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It doesn't use LR in the sump although you can put some in there if you want to. The bioballs are for bubble control. Water flows into the first chamber full of bioballs and exits about halfway up the divider. Bubbles are dissipated somewhat by the bioballs. They also act as a very coarse filter media catching and breaking up large derbis The center chamber contains the mud substrate and the caulerpa. The caulerpa removes nitrates and organics from the water as it flows through. The mud slowly leaches trace elements back into the water. This center chamber will soon be full of life...worms, pods, sponges, even mushrooms. Water travels through another baffle full of bioballs before entering the pump chamber. Bioballs are again used for bubble control. This last chamber is a good place for a heater as well. Problem algae tends to grow in the sump, but not in the main tank. This is due, I think, to the fact that the flow rate is very high in these systems and the nutrient laden water passes through the sump and creates a favorable environment for hair and bubble algae. The main tank doesn't really have enough of a concentration of nutrients to support it's growth there. This algae is easily removed from the sump and actually contributes to nutrient removal. The skimmer is discouraged because it is believed that it removed a large portion of the plankton generated by the mud based refugium. However, if I'm not mistaken, it is recommended to use a skimmer at least part of the time if you have an SPS tank as they are more demanding of water quality. Soft corals, zoos, shrooms, ect... like slightly "dirty" water...they actually thrive in it. The valves you see in the picture supply water to the UV sterilizer, the calcium reactor, the phosphate reactor, and the ozone reactor. The valves you see on the drains were intended to bleed off some of the air that came down the drain lines before it was forced into the sump. They do work...just not to the extent that I'd hoped they would...but that's how we learn I suppose.
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:27 PM   #16
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My lfs has a huge half cyclinder reef tank right as you walk in. It uses the "mud sump" thing that loganj is talking about, although I hadn't heard of that term either. I just here it refered to as a refugium built into the sump.

That reef tank is awesome. There are tons of very expensive corals in there that are doing great. The cheapest coral in there I believe is an $80 orange plate coral and maybe half the coral in there is not for sale. It is magnificent.
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:37 PM   #17
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I'm going to search for one at my local lfs's. Hopefully one of them has this setup though in the past each has pushed the wet/dry system. For that reason I'd be surprised if they had a mud setup. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Loganj, Does the bio-balls solve the bubble problem. I've read many complaints in regards to this issue. I am now leaning toward setting up the Mud Ecosystem as opposed to the wet/dry. I've gone to the Ecosystem site but did not find enough information in regards to the complete setup. I've not been able to find this information on this site either. Can you tell me the equipment I would need to setup a mud ecosystem? Also it seems the system requirements are different for sps corals than they are for LPS of soft corals. The SPS corals need calcium added and the skimmer. All of the information you've provided is right on and exactly what I've read. Can I find this information in "The Reef Aquarium...Science, Art, and Technology"?
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Old 01-26-2007, 09:11 PM   #18
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In regards to pumps, I intend to get an external based on loganj's suggestion and also because of the heat a submersible will add to the tank. I've heard Iwaki is a good brand. I'm thinking there will be about 4 feet (maybe 5) from the pump to the top of the tank. How do I determine which will provide the correct flow rate into the tank? Also, could you describe what a closed loop and an sqwd are?
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Old 01-29-2007, 07:23 PM   #19
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Could someone answer chase's question?

I am also wondering how to determine the correct flow back into the tank.
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Old 01-29-2007, 08:36 PM   #20
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My tank has two overflows (MegaFlow by AGA) rated at a maximum of 600 gph each (Using a rated 2400 GPH pump at a 5' head). There will be between 3 1/2 and 4 1/2 feet between the pump and the return connection at the bottom of the tank. I am planning on using a Mag-Drive return pump. The Mag-Drive 24 has a rated flow rate of 2000 GPH at a 4' head (1850 at 5') and the Mag-Drive 18 is rated at 1350 GPH at a 4' head (1200 at 5'). I plan on using a T connection back into the sump if the flow rate is too high. Are these too powerful? Which would be the best for my setup?

Lance, you can find info in regards to return flow at http://www.melevsreef.com/allmysumps.html.

Info about the SCWD and closed system can be found at http://www.melevsreef.com/closedloop.html
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