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Old 03-01-2004, 01:37 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for jumping in with this flurry of answers. It was a sharkbait feeding frenzy! (OK,I hear the groans! ) Also, thanks to the admins for deleting the extra posts. I really should know better.

I read through the post that Menagerie was kind enough to point out. There is some great information there too.

I may end up choosing a cannister setup, because it seems so simple. However, right now I find the idea of the overflow/sump system fascinating. The idea of combining a sump and a cannister is brilliant. I assume since the cannister has a pump built in that you just stick the input into the sump. That might even help with the noise mentioned by Shawmutt.

It must be the DIY'er in me that all this appeals to. Did I mention that I'll be designing and building my own stand?

OK, some more questions since you have all been so helpful.

What types of cannisters are capable of polishing the water? I have read some about Magnums and their micro filter w/ diatom powders.

Would it be possible to use more than one cannister? For example, use one cannister as needed for polishing and another full-time for the chemical and mechanical filtration.

When using more than one cannister, would you run them in series or parallel?

If I choose to do some sort of a sump with a wet/dry trickle filter, are Bio Balls the way to go? Has anyone tried cut up clear drinking straws?

Are there commercially available overflow boxes? Is it better to DIY?

Would you recommend a commercial sump or a DIY? Why? I'd love to hear some of the issues.

Is there a guideline for determining the sump size?
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Old 03-01-2004, 01:51 AM   #12
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I'd use the biggest sump you can afford and have room for.

You could use cheap rubbermaid tubs (that are not treated with any chemicals) and then if you screw it up buy another and start over with a loss of only a few bucks.
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
What types of cannisters are capable of polishing the water? I have read some about Magnums and their micro filter w/ diatom powders.
Check the Ocean Clears and Nu-Clears - Depending on the media - these will most definitely polish your water. You will not need Diatom.

Quote:
Would it be possible to use more than one cannister? For example, use one cannister as needed for polishing and another full-time for the chemical and mechanical filtration.

When using more than one cannister, would you run them in series or parallel?
If your canisters are properly loaded you will not need any additional polishing, however, on my system I have an empty canister that I use when I want to add a specific media, for example - Phosgaurd, or Carbon but I suppose I could put some Purigen in it to do some extreme polishing if needed so it's a good idea to have an extra canister. It's best to run them in series - that way you get the biggest bang for your water-flow Buck. Also, note that the roughest mechanical material should be first in line. The Ocean Clears and Nu-Clears are designed to be ganged together:

http://purflo.us/PFD_nuclear.cfm

Quote:
If I choose to do some sort of a sump with a wet/dry trickle filter, are Bio Balls the way to go? Has anyone tried cut up clear drinking straws?
I wouldn't use this approach as I think it has now been pretty well documented by the aquaculture industry that there is no specific advantage and many of the disadvantages outwheigh any of the minor advantages (dry spots, dead spots, channeling, etc.). In addition, some medias like Seachems Matrix and Eheim's Ehifasubstrat give huge surface area's per unit of volume so as to make bio-balls look comical. I'm sure some woukd disagree with me here but my opinion anyway. This one of the reasons many Public aqauriums have largely switched to huge fluidized bed filters.

Quote:
Are there commercially available overflow boxes? Is it better to DIY?
CPR makes a great overflow box (available in flow capacities ranging from 600 GPH to 1600 GPH) all excellent and very reliable - I've used them for years and never had a problem with them, even on restart. not sure about DYI boxes. Probably depends a little on your capabilities.


Quote:
Would you recommend a commercial sump or a DIY? Why? I'd love to hear some of the issues.
A lot of good plastic places will build these to your specs and do so very cheaply:

Try calling PlasticLand (not sure if they will ship) 212-925-6376 - I was in their shop they had sumps of all different sizes on the walls and said they would custom build one for me and that theirs typically runs about 1/2 the price of comercially available units.

HTH

Tom
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