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Old 11-29-2008, 10:39 PM   #1
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Help with Cichlid Sump setup

I have a few issues with my Cichlid tank that I'm trying to address here.. I should mention that this is my first sump setup.. The sump in question is a Pro Clear Premier Series 175 Wet Dry on my 125G corner round acrylic tank.

1. One of the biggest issues I have is feeding.. When feeding flake food, I have to have the outputs set fairly high, pushing water away from the corner overflow... (or else I end up with TONS of food in the filter / overflow).. My fish are a bit too agressive for a feeding ring, unless I could find a REALLY large one.. (like a 1-2 feet wide) -- anyway, the problem that results is the bits of dust or whatnot on the surface of the water never really make it, or at least rarely make it into the overflow and into the sump... so my water is kinda icky on top....

2. Filtering what does make it into the sump.. There isnt much room in the top of the sump i have, and i've tired a couple differnt things in there to get more mechanical filtration.. (my cichlids are very messy eaters and I need something better) I've yet to try filter floss, but I'm looking for something a lot better than the bonded filter pads i'm using now.. I'm so used to having more layers of mechanical filtration that I do now, and my water clarity sucks compared to my old 46 gallon with the XP3... HELP !

3. Not a hardware question, but.... Display tanks, as I understand are just tanks with no decorations in them, just possibly substrate, fish, and water.. right? Do Cichlids handle them well -- as in, are they less agressive in a display tank since there is no real area for them to claim?

4. Ahh, yes, I almost forgot.. I've got a durso standpipe draining my tank currently... and I've drilled probably 20 holes in that **** thing trying to get rid of the toilet flushing sound in my living room.. I'm almost used to it now... --- anyway.. The person who had the sump before me drilled slats along the holes of the drain lines.. Which I think is draining the lines faster than the standpipe sucks, but if it sucks more, the pump can't keep up.. Would replacing the drains over the drip tray with pvc that drilled less fix this ? Does that make sense? If not, I'll try to get a pic or two...

Anyway, thanks for the help.. I really appreciate it !!

-Tony
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:39 PM   #2
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??? anyone?
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:27 PM   #3
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What kind of overflow you have, internal or external? How the overflow is setup will determine how you feed & why you can't pick up stuff from the top of the water.

Depending on your overflow, you can set up a pre-filter in the overflow. Generally, you get rid of the biggest particles in the prefilter, and get the finer stuff in the sump. I am not familiar with your sump. However, there generally is a lot of room to put stuff in the sump. You can put filter material in the drip tray, inside the compartments & also on your return pump intake. <I have a prefilter in the overflow, nothing but bioballs in my wet/dry basket (although I have room for tons of filter floss), and a sponge filter in the return pump intake. The water is not too bad ... though not as clear as running the micron filter off my Magnum.>

Display tank just refers to the tank that you want people to look at .... as oppose to the sump/fuge which you generally hide. <Although some people show that off if they have it set up really nice.> What you ahve in your display tank is up to you. People have rock work & such for cichlids .... although you would need to silicone things down as big chiclids will knock things over. Plants prob won't do well (they get destroyed.) <Note that I don't keep cichlids .... so real cichlid keeperes will chime in. Certain cichlids like angels can prob be OK in a planted setup.>

Setting up a durso .... that is tricky. I can't quite visualize the "drilling of the slats". Can you post a picture or a drawing of your setup? I have some ideas on getting a Durso to work better ... no toilet flushing sound, but it is still not silent!
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:50 PM   #4
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If by drilling of the slats you mean trying to adjust flow into some chamber housing the Durso, that's not the trick. You care about the hole on top of the standpipe (use a valve with a max size too big: way easier to adjust), the angle of the downpipe if you're using flex tubing (at some angles air seems to get trapped), and the exit pipe (submerged always was best for me at high flow, out of the water / wet/dry with slower flow).

A sump full of moss and anacharis and shrimp can pick up a lot of gunk, and ripping out plants and tossing them in the trash is a great way to export nutrients, and you can trade or sell shrimp for hobby coin, and you don't need to spend much (just lights. I used a desklamp with a spiral screw in flourescent for a long time.) to get it going. You could skip on the shrimp if your tank parameters fluctuate too much: still works.

Best prefilter for non fry tank is window screen (sponge or pantyhose is too much maintenance imo). Lots of filter floss/poly stuffing and just dense stuff with little hairs on it (like moss) is simply better than other media I've tried. And luckily its cheap
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