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Old 12-11-2012, 08:42 AM   #1
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Combining an Internal Filter and a Sump

Hey All - I am new to beginning my own saltwater environment (always had one as a kid) - and for my birthday my parents gave me their set up. A 90 gallon tank and an Eheim Professional 2226 External Filter and a SeaClone Protein Skimmer SCPS100.

I have been doing a lot of reading on the benefits of a sump system - can anyone tell me if I can use my current equipment in a sump configuration?

Do External filters typically get used with sumps?

And finally if so, any recommendations/schematics of a sump system that may work?

Thank you all! This website is top notch!
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:04 PM   #2
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I have read that some people do both, but most use a sump in a larger tank. Sumps can be purchased or made with a glass aqaurium and some cut glass and silicone. Usually the skimmer is larger for a 90 gallon based on common recommendations here, but then you could just do a refugium or berlin style sump. The issue with the external filters is the maintenance and keeping them clean so as not to build up nitrate. When they flow well they do a great job of mostly mechanical filtering, the sump does mostly biological.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:48 AM   #3
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I decided to use the canister filter as a cryptic refugium - and enormously increased my skimmer to a SWC Xtreme 160 cone. My tank specs are in my profile - take a look and tell me what you think!
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:49 AM   #4
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You made a good decision not using the Seaclone! I would rethink the canister filter also. It will become a nutrient sink.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:01 AM   #5
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I have discussed with a few people that if I keep the flow rate really low (~5gph) and the LR completely in the dark - inside the canister - it would make a decent cryptic/benthic refugium and I could greatly benefit from the anaerobic bacteria that can convert nitrAtes to N2.

Side note. Just LR inside and it is from a previous FOWLR from 10-15 years ago when canisters were all the rage. So no purchasing of equipment. Thought it could be worth a try. Plus super easy to remove it I do not like results.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:12 AM   #6
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What will happen is it will collect detritus. It will keep collecting it until the little bit of live rock you have in there cannot keep up with the nitrate and then it will show up on your test kits.
Canisters are no longer the rage, because they were found to have flaws. One of them being that they need regular maintenance or the above would happen.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:20 AM   #7
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I have thought about a pre-floss filter changed every month and a complete change of the 15lbs of dry rock rubble once a year. Would this reduce the negatives while allowing for the positives?
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:28 AM   #8
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The thing about live rock is that it's already got anaerobic bacteria, deep inside it. This is why it's an effective filter. Rubble would have less, naturally, because it's smaller. I would use the rubble in the refugium, under the algae, for the critters to live and breed in.
You are going to have a sump also, correct?

I would use the canister to run media, like carbon and/or phosban, and maintain it monthly.

With 100+ pounds of live rock and that skimmer you have, you are well on the way to having a strong system.
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