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Old 01-21-2006, 02:01 AM   #11
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jsoong: thank you for everything, I like the idea about a "removable tray" for the bio-media. And as far as carbon/zeolite canister is concered I was thinking about using it to say... cycle the tank in the first place... because if it didn't do anything until after the pump the bio-media shouldn't be to drastically effected right?? well anyways I was thinking it would be good for say adding new fish to the tank... sorta like a stress reducer! haha. anyway thanks again... all of the advice is helping me to design it better. also I have a new question... is a protien skimmer going to be effective in this set-up?

EDIT: What if I were to take a 1.5" pvc pipe, cut it in half, drill holes in it. think the might distribute the water a little better?
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Old 01-21-2006, 02:58 AM   #12
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a protein skimmer only works in a saltwater environment, and if your still doing a freshwater tank, it will will not help you what so ever. Surface tension is what makes protein skimming possible, more importantly the interaction between the oxygen bubble (being injected) and the surrounding water creates friction between the two. The friction then causes the dissolved organics to stick to the bubbles and ride them to the surface (as any gas is always lighter than water) this process is only possible (in our home aquarium) because of the density of saltwater. Freshwater just is too ‘light’ to have the same effect

adding zeolite will be at best counter productive. when starting a tank you need the cycle to begin and end when it will of its own decision, or when you add new fish to the tank your bio filter must adapt to that change adding things to speed up the process will very often lead to a cycle that last much longer than it would normally or simply and utterly crash. by adding zeolite to your canister you will actually be damaging your bio filter by not allowing it to naturally adapt and when the zeolite becomes exhausted the bio filter will have to adapt twice as fast or you will lose fish from ammonia poisoning. circumventing the normal cycle or mini - cycle when adding new fish by zeolite is a dangerous thing to do and you should avoid it when you can.imho zeolite should only be used in a few select situations.
1) when they are has been a power outage for more than 6hours,where massive bacteria die off has occurred, using zeolite here will save the fish by keeping ammonia lvls down till the bio filters have re adapted over the course of a few days/weeks.
2) using a copper based or mercin based medicine on a tank (usually salt tank related here) where to save your fish from an infection you have to kill the bacteria colonies. similar to the first rule though.
3) overhauling an existing tank, where you have to disturb the gravel bed, bacterial filter media etc all at once (instead of pacing it out over a few week period)

just my 2 cents though.
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:40 AM   #13
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ok

here is the updated pre-filter design... I was thinking about making a couple different removable plates with different paterns to change the flow.
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File Type: jpg pre-filter_design_4.jpg (208.2 KB, 56 views)
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Old 01-21-2006, 07:46 PM   #14
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I like this design - you need to add a screen or something over your outlet pipe or your bioballs will fall through...

You can experiment with different distribution plates .... but others had done that! The best pattern is simply a grid of hole (1/8 " or so) spaced an inch or so apart. You just have to make sure you have enough holes to handle the expected flow rate (plus a healthy margin --- as the holes will get plugged up!).

There is also a calculation for minimum outlet pipe size and number of slots you need (between the tank & the prefilter) to handle a certain pump flow. I no longer have the link ot the calculator, but since I am paranoid, I built everything double the minimum size. <For my 100 gal system, the number is 12 inches of slots (1/4" wide spaced 1/4" apart. Outlet pipe size was 3/4" although for an effective durso noise reduction, you need 1.5" so I went with that.>
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Old 01-21-2006, 10:22 PM   #15
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thanks again jsoong, you have been a tremendous help through this entire design process. I already knew about the screen but wasn't worth adding it to the 3d model. well anyways thanks again!
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Old 01-27-2006, 06:22 PM   #16
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I have another question, would a protien skimmer be effective in a brackish aquarium?
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Old 01-28-2006, 03:35 AM   #17
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i had a good feeling that question would be asked...
the answer is simple .. marginally effective. in a brackish tank it will collect some organic matter, but i wouldn't believe it to be much if anything..
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Old 01-28-2006, 04:12 AM   #18
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well then I have this to ask... would it be pointless to add one to a sump filter of a brackish tank? and is the refugum (sp?) at all effective at filtration? also I have read that the "fluidized bed" filters are not very effective due to low oxygen, is this true? other then the biological filter what is recomended for a 45g tank?
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Old 01-28-2006, 08:31 PM   #19
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I don't know much about skimmers. FAIK not worth it in FW or brackish.

Refugium - Primarily a SW thing, but I've read of a couple designs for FW. Basically you want a fuge to remove nitrates. You could fill the fuge with plants or (much easier) algae. The most promising design (IMO) is one where water flows down a stack of plates with green hair algae. Of course you would need light to keep your algae/plants growing. At this point, the whole FW fuge thing is experimental, and effectiveness not proven. Personally, I find the whole thing too much work to be worthwhile. I simply have a sponge for the big particulates & wet/dry for the nitrogenous waste & oxygenation. PWC looks after everything else. My plants are in the display tank & they keep my nitrates at zero <I actually have to dose KNO3 to keep up a low level of NO3 for the plants.>
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Old 01-28-2006, 10:43 PM   #20
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if i was running a brackish tank, i would skip the protein skimmer altogether, i have never ran a brackish tank though, but have thought about it a few times and read a few books on the subject and not one of hte books have streesed the need for one in a tank, one books said it would be advisible with a large bio load was present but never that it was a mandorty addition.

low oxygen will make all filters less effective, not just a bed filter. if you keep the water turning over enough i doubt you will ever run into that problem

fuges can be helpful in the freshwater tank, however most people find its use there to be a complete waste. why bother stocking the fuge full of plants that you will never see, when you can put them in your display tank? some people think algea can be used instead but that idea is really closely related to 'algae scrubbers' or ATS systems and is alot more complex and costly.
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