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Old 02-03-2012, 08:54 AM   #1
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rubble in sump

I've been advised by a long time customer of my LFS to place rubble in my sump after the filter sock. I've read various posts on the internet and it seems may advise against it, mostly because cleaning that area is a pain, no matter what your filter sock catches, you'll still end up with stuff making it through. While the intent is to have an area for pods and other critters to grow, you may end up raising the nitrates if you don't keep that area clean all the time. Rubble will essentially act like BB, which is not desirable.

I only have about 4" under the filter sock, but I can certainly stack a lot of rubble in the area if I wanted, but I thought perhaps by adding sand instead. Not sure that will do much though. I could probably shove the sock a bit and make the bed 6", but that would probably be the limit.

Any ideas are appreciated.

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Old 02-03-2012, 10:38 AM   #2
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I personally think it is a good idea. Two things that will help here. Any added surface area is a good thing. This will provide space for your nitrifying bacteria that will help to take care of excessive nutrients. Also Secondly they will create low flow areas that will help anerobic bacteria to colonize that will help to take care of nitrates that usually can only be taken care of by PWC`s or nutrient export.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:52 AM   #3
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How is your sump set up? If your filter sock is in the same chamber as your skimmer then I wouldn't as the skimmer will kill a lot of your pod population. My sump is set up in 3 section, one with all my equipment (Sock, Skimmer, heater, ATO ect.), the second section has my return pump, and the third is a fuge. I keep my rock rubble in my pump and fuge section, that way the pods get to my tank before they get skimmed out. If you are adding the rubble just to up your bacteria then putting it to the same section as your skimmer is fine.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:16 PM   #4
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How do pods get killed by skimming? You mean just buy getting sucked into water/air chamber??? I can definitely see pods in my skimmer section. But I would imagine some are lost by getting sucked in.

As far as build up in sump. I have had ump running for 2 years and I do have some built up stuff in bottom of skimmer section. Which is also my intake section. I don't think has any effect on my tank. I have 0 phosphates and maybe 5ppm nitrates at most. I would say more rock is always better.
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Old 02-05-2012, 07:26 AM   #5
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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 style.



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/Rubble area.

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.

cheers

Wael
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:56 PM   #6
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I'm going to use the seachem pond matrix in my FW Fuge. I have not heard of it being used in SW tanks. Keyword is "pond".

Maybe rocks are better? Not sure though.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:22 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrance View Post
I'm going to use the seachem pond matrix in my FW Fuge. I have not heard of it being used in SW tanks. Keyword is "pond".

Maybe rocks are better? Not sure though.
Well, according to Seachem, their gravel is highly porous. The gravel has macropores, which they claim is ideally sized for the support of nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria and is able to remove nitrate along with ammonia and nitrite, simultaneously and in the same filter.

You can read more about it here Seachem. Matrix

I placed one jar of this stuff (1 liter) in a filter bag at the location I've sketched above. I'm thinking seriously of getting an external canister filter, removing all the foam filters and just run it with Matrix as they say it's more effective in a canister filter.

Anyone try it?

cheers

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