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Old 05-22-2011, 10:48 PM   #1
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New to the forums, filtration optimization

I had a 10 gallon FW tropical tank for years with danios and corys, and that was the extent of my experience until... a couple years ago I acquired a "free" 240 gallon tank. After researching my options I elected to go for African cichlids. They have been a TON of fun, and cichlid babies appear all the time. I also have 4 clown loaches, a pleco, and a catfish in with them and everyone seems happy. I've been having issues with my sump, filtration, return flow. It just seems like there has to be a better way than my current set up. Wondering best place in the forum to post more details to get feedback in this area?
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:49 PM   #2
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I've moved your thread to the General Hardware/Equipment Discussion. You'll get plenty of responses here.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:12 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cichlidlady View Post
I had a 10 gallon FW tropical tank for years with danios and corys, and that was the extent of my experience until... a couple years ago I acquired a "free" 240 gallon tank. After researching my options I elected to go for African cichlids. They have been a TON of fun, and cichlid babies appear all the time. I also have 4 clown loaches, a pleco, and a catfish in with them and everyone seems happy. I've been having issues with my sump, filtration, return flow. It just seems like there has to be a better way than my current set up. Wondering best place in the forum to post more details to get feedback in this area?
I thought there was a couple threads on FW sumps, but didn't find them. If it's a lot of hassle, did you consider a canister filter (2 maybe)?

Here's a google search of FW sumps that might help you with yours:

Google

Here a link to the Fluval FX5 canister, which would be my recommendation. Info says it's good for up to 400g.

Amazon.com: Fluval FX5 External Canister Filter: Kitchen & Dining
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:45 AM   #4
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Problem is I can't fit a decent sized canister in my short stand so I think I'm stuck with the sump, it's not a hassle I just worry it's not big enough to do the job the most efficiently. Is there a rule about what volume of bio balls I should be using for a 240 gallon? The entire sump is 13"/13"/36". If canisters would be way better I could run hose through the wall behind the tank and stand a canister in the closet.
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:19 AM   #5
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Problem is I can't fit a decent sized canister in my short stand so I think I'm stuck with the sump, it's not a hassle I just worry it's not big enough to do the job the most efficiently. Is there a rule about what volume of bio balls I should be using for a 240 gallon? The entire sump is 13"/13"/36". If canisters would be way better I could run hose through the wall behind the tank and stand a canister in the closet.
I've seen large FW systems with sumps is about it. I have a fluval canister (305) and it's great, so that's why I suggested a can as an option. Hopefully others will chime in and offer advice.

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Old 05-23-2011, 01:21 AM   #6
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What are your current water parameters? How large of bioload is on the sump(how many and how large are the fish? If the sump is keeping up with the bioload why change anything at this point.
But my recommendation is sump all the way fresh or salt. Benefits are a larger water column, higher surface area to create bacteria, higher tank turnover than cansiters, much easier to maintain (nothing to take apart), tons of media options , show tank water level never drops and a place to hide your stuff. I'm running a sump on both my 150's and my 180g and couldn't be happier. Now also run a Fluval FX/5 on every one of those tanks as well since I'm fairly guilty overstocking.

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Old 05-23-2011, 01:42 AM   #7
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It appears there is a lot of debris on the bioballs. The water should be well enough filtered before it reaches the bio balls that there is no sediment on them. Perhaps you just need to examine what you have and see if there is a way to improve it's performance.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:38 AM   #8
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This is my tank, I have about 55-60 fish. My parameters are good. I have crushed coral substrate that does a great job of maintaining an alkaline pH. But The bioballs definitely have a lot of debris, what's the best way to filter the water before the bioballs? Right now I just have 2 layers of a two ply filter pad material over them.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:24 PM   #9
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That's all I use in my drip tray are HBH Aqua-Pure cut to fit filter pads as a prefilter. Just like any other media used in a sump or a canister the bioballs should be rinsed in tank water to reduce nitrate build up, I don't see alot of debris in my bioballs but they do get rinsed every three months. Looks to like to it just needs a proper cleaning. That's also the best looking "free tank" I've ever seen, very nice set up.
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