Tank renovation - Filtration

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by DHyslop, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    I'm redoing my 75. I'm not sure the best way to go about it. It has ~50 lbs of live rock in it and I'll be using a TF1000 needle wheel skimmer.

    I know the live rock and skimmer won't be enough to handle a 1+ lb bimac, so my decision is bioballs vs canister.

    I must say I'm leaning toward bioballs because of cost. I have the tank for the sump and everything in hand, so the balls are mighty attractive(cheap on ebay following the live rock revolution!).

    I see most people here use canister filters, so I'm a bit uncertain. I would naturally assume the bioballs have a greater nitrifying capacity.

    I've seen people say divide your tank volume by 10 or 20 to determine how much bioballs you need: 5 gallons would put me right in the middle.

    So I drew up these diagrams of two bioball options. A standard 5 gallon bucket is used for the chamber. Note I've drawn an external horizontal overflow, that's not set in stone but it would make escape-proofing easier.

    Let me know what everyone thinks. Should I go with one of these or bite the bullet with a canister?

    Dan

    [​IMG]
     
  2. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    While more bulky and unattractive, your second design is going to give you a lot more filtering capacity, as well as easier maintenance.
    That being said, I have never cared for BB's at all, and much prefer a canister filter.:yinyang:

    greg
     
  3. Feelers

    Feelers Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Are you keen to run a dsb in your sump?

    Nice diagrams btw - very professional :grin:

    Just a note on the bioballs - nylon pot scrubbers have more surface area and have good flow.
    [​IMG]
    I'm gonna use these in my cannister - oh and about the cf - have a look for the Jebao 918 ~80usd - cheap cheap cheap, and pretty good from what I can tell, although I havent had mine for long.
     
  4. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    It seems the strong concensus is canister filter. It would let me run the 'fuge, too. I know that Colin uses bioballs, but he's not here to defend himself :) I can't remember it being stated explicitely, but don't Nancy and Carol use canisters, too? Another reason I had been looking at the bioballs is the DIY aspect is more fun than the BIY (buy it yourself).

    I was looking at canisters on eBay and saw some reasonable prices. Now I need to jump head first into researching the brands and seeing what's good and what's not. Brands aside, what size of a filter is reasonable for a bimac tank? There seems to be a price jump above ~350 gph.

    Just when I think I've got it all paid for they pull me back in.

    Dan :smile:
     
  5. cthulhu77

    cthulhu77 Titanites Supporter

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    I am a huge magnet drive fan...but others hate them. Have been using the Rainbow Lifeguard systems, and Magnum 330's for decades, and they still work like new.
    Eheim seems to be the industry standard, but the scuttlebutt on the west coast is ranking "cascade" filters pretty high.
    I would avoid Fluvals, never did care for the siphon starting !


    greg
     
  6. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Feelers-- I personally believe the concept of a dsb is robust, however I don't think it would be useful here. I believe this refugium would be too small to be worth it, especially given the nitrogen load of the system. Also, I will be moving in two years, and I don't want to have to worry about the sand bed.

    Greg--I'm surprised at your endorsement of Magnums. I wasn't giving them serious consideration due to Marineland's reputation for cheap equipment. They're certainly inexpensive. I'm also eyeing up a used Cascade 1500 that I'm pretty exciting about. Do you know anything about Jebo filters? They're pretty cheap, look rather generic, but I can't seem to find much info on them at RC.

    Dan
     
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Nancy uses wet/dry with bioballs, but has a Fluval on her 19 gallon invertebrate tank! I believe that Carol uses a canister.

    About the DSB - bear in mind that your octopus may dig in it, may even create large holes in it right down to the glass.

    About those nylon pot scrubbers - haven't been able to find them anywhere for years (and I'm looking for them as pot scrubbers! :smile: )
    Where do you get them?

    Nancy
     
  8. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Thanks for that info, Nancy!

    I could go either way at this point--it will probably depend on how cheap I can find a good, used canister. If bio-balls can support a monster like Ollie it makes me feel a lot better if I end up going that route!

    Dan
     
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    I had some problem at her peak, before she laid eggs, but I had no idea when I got her that my tank wouldn't be big enough (I believe its a 47 gallong and she needed a 75 or 100 gallon tank.) So I had to do a lot of water changes at one point, but when she did lay eggs, she continued eating, but less.... so it evened out. We haven't had such big - or long lived- octos since then.

    I was talking with someone at the NRCC who told me that, when they keep bimacs over time, some become dominant bimacs and they grow much larger than the others. I think Ollie was a dominant bimac, although we knew of a couple of other large ones that year, too. Maybe the breeding stock that Octopets uses just tends to smaller bimacs.

    Nancy
     
  10. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I think in NZ you can get them in the supermarket!!

    J
     
  11. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    hehe, i don't need to defend myself or bioballs... each to their own

    BUT if you want a large filter suitable for nitrification purposes then go with a trickle tower :) Their surface area far outweighs what a canister can offer. I think canisters have their place but only in a chemical or mechanical environment, best leave biological filtration and nitrification to bioballs and live rock.

    Why not all the methods if you can? Belt and braces so to speak?

    I don't quite follow the pipe leading from the skimmer and the tower and canister? Looks like the pipe follows into the venturi?

    I would try and get all water from the overflow into the skimmer first, that is the most efficient way of skimming

    never use those coloured scourers in marine tanks as their dye leaches out of them pretty quickly... been there and seen in happen in a wholesalers. Mysterious mass deaths got blamed on the scourers.

    so, to summarize...

    use a canister to catch suckers and physical waste
    use a canister for adding carbon or rowaphos etc
    use a trickle tower for excellent surface area and efficient nitrifying capabilities
    use a good prefilter for a trickle tower
    put overflow water into a skimmer before all else if possible
    a skimmer after the trickle tower also isn't a bad idea to re-oxygenate the water
    A refugium isn't really too necessary in an octopus tank as after it gets a certain size there is nothing in the main tank to eat amphipods etc.

    hope this helps a bit

    cheers
    Colin
     
  12. main_board

    main_board Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Here in Canada, you can usually get 6 for a buck at a dollar store. Thats how I got mine for my pond filters. Remember to cut the one end and unwinde them when you use them.

    Cheers!
     
  13. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Choice e) all of the above :smile:

    The Turboflotor's input hole is only about 1.5 cm across. Since the skimmer is designed to be gravity fed from the overflow, it can only handle about 100-150 gph of the total (300-400 gph) through the sump, so I can't do it in series which I know is ideal. My plan then was to have two pipes coming out of the overflow, the first (the bulk of the flow) into the tower and the remainder into the skimmer.

    Colin, what do you think of my tower size? Do you think 5 US gallons of bioballs is about right for a 75g with a bimac?

    Dan
     
  14. Feelers

    Feelers Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Hey Dan on the cf thing, can you get Jebao(not Jebo-different brand) filters in the US? The one I have is 1200lph, ummm 317Gph, brand new was about $80 us. Even with shipping it would still be cheapish - and this has one of those pumps too so no siphoning is needed. Its great!



    Colin thats interesting on the nylon scrubbers - I have read that they are totally inert, perhaps there are some without the dye?
     
  15. Castor

    Castor Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    How about Bio Bale? I saw some at a website, and they have a LOT of stuff! I once built a 4 ft. tall skimmer that was too efficient fo my tank, using stuff I had ordered from them, just a bit I picked up along the way. http://aquaticeco.com

    Happy cephing!

    Homer Simpson, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!"
    Rod Flanders, "Got 'em daddy!"

    circa middle of the last beer.
     
  16. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hi again :)

    I have an aquamedic 1000 multi and I still don't get it... LOL My skimmer only works by drawing water and air through the pump and doesn't have a separate water intake unlike my aquamedic 5000 that has seperates... In thinking about it I don't really see how a 1000 could be worked by overflow at all... is there a different model?

    I have a booklet from TMC that is specially designed for working out trickle tower capacities, I'll dig it out and check, I'll try and do that tonight.

    choice e gets my vote :)

    Hi Feelers, was thinking about the scrubbers today at work in a boring training course and actually, the first i seen them used was in an alligator's filter and they lost all their colour in a couple of months. The importer's tanks disaster was about a year later and I will see him on Friday so cant ask more.

    I tend to err on the side of caution with plastics used in marine tanks and always recommend them being of food grade quality. That includes not using hair curlers for filters etc too... BUT I always like to be inventive and try new things so would love to know if anyone as used coloured scourers with no problem in a marine tank

    cheers
    Colin
     
  17. main_board

    main_board Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    What about a marine environment differs than freshwater that would result in the bleaching of plastics? Surely just the salt isn't to blame. I started using these scrubbies after they were recommended by a resident koi breeder. She has used them in her home-made filters for years, and never mentioned any problems. Granted, koi are a LOT tougher than most salt water species, but some of these breeder koi from Japan aren't so much (kind of comes with the inbreeding). And all of her other water parameters are impeccable, which she demands.

    In the marine setups, are the scrubbies exposed to light? I wonder if they are just being naturally bleached by powerful lights from above and the "resultant" deaths were more of a coinsidence. All of my scrubbies still have all their colour after atleast 3 years, however they are in an enclosed filter. Something I do know to look out for when buying these, though, is that some brands come with antibacterial stuff in them so that they don't stink up and grow nasties. I don't think the fishes and friends really care much for that.

    Cheers!
     
  18. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    There's two different models of the 1000. The Multi is designed for external use and draws everything through the pump. The "classic" 1000 has an intake for overflow water and just uses the needle-wheel motor to "chop" the bubbles.

    Dan
     
  19. bananaice96

    bananaice96 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    did you ever think about buying more live rock and adding it to the sump? I have a 125 gallon tank with two 45 gallon rubbermaid sumps. The first one recieves the overflow water and contains 135 lbs of live rock and the TF1000 (used externally). This water flows into the second sump which contains a 6" dsb and two canisters for denytrificatioin purposes. In my cannisters i have a total of ten bags of chemi-pure filter media (removes all nitrates and dosent leach phosphates like carbon).. This set up keeps my tank running perfect with my nitrates and ammonia at 0 and i have a 13 inch octopus (vulgaris i think) with 13 blue chromis & 4 starfish.

    anyways my point is that you can either add live rock to the sump or choose the exsternal bioball setup for biological filteration. If choose bio-balls i would deffinately reccomend you use a dsb or CHEMI-PURE because of the high levels of nitrates they release into the water. This chemi-pure stuff really does work like magic and holds true to its name when it says it eliminates the need for water changes. nitrates are not an issue anymore.
     
  20. bananaice96

    bananaice96 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    dont know if i made sense the first time but i meant to say that for biological filteration i would definately reccomend more live rock or the bioball set-up. i would personally never use a cannister for biological filteration. but i would definately use the cannister to house chemical filteration like chemi-pure or carbon. i strongly suggest you use chemi-pure though because it definately eliminates the need for water changes which will save you money if your using synthetic sea salt on such a large tank.
     

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