I dismantled my sump setup this weekend and cleaned it out, with almost 2 years old it did have a bit of stuff in there. Not too bad considering but I revised the setup based on several posts I've read here and RC forum.
Here is the way it's set up. Please note I forgot to draw the HOB
skimmer, it's a large skimmer by Aqua-Medic but due to space limitations, I had to get it HOB
The setup is basic and my main issue is space. So I ditched the filter cotton and opted for a sock. I got rid of the several layers of various treated foam pads that are supposed to reduce nitrates and went with what you see sketched above.
I stopped by my LFS
and they gave me a lot of coral rubble and pieces of small LR
with lots of life on it. They gave me all this for free. I figured the LR
will help seed the rubble quicker.
On the flat section after the sock and rubble/LR
, the water goes up and through a bag of Seachem Matrix. I haven't heard any review about this stuff, but it seems to me like it functions the same way as any other rubble but with more surface area. If you have any experience with the Seachem Matrix, I'd love to hear from you.
The Matrix bag is secured down by more LR
pieces and coral rubble. The water cascades about 1 inch or so into the last chamber.
That last chamber is packed with pumps as you can see. The return pump is there, as well as a pump that feeds the Phosban reactor. Water from the Phosban reactor goes down through a carbon reactor, which mixes with the water that just cascades through the Matrix/LR
There is also small/tiny pump pushing water slowly through a 55 watt, almost 2.5 feet long UV
light. The water exiting the UV
light goes into the first chamber to create some current around the filter sock/LR
/rubble area. I read that it's good to stir that area to decrease settlement.
Lastly, there is a pump in the last chamber (that I forgot to draw) that feeds the HOB
Aquamedic (Aqua Medic Turboflotor Hang On Protein Skimmer
) protein skimmer. It's designed for 250 gallon tank and my system is about 120 gallons.
I read it's good practice to use a turkey baster to stir up the area around the LR
in the sump everytime I change the filter sock. It's supposed to be good food for the corals in the DT.
I'd love to hear your thoughts.