wet/dry filters

kingsnar

O. bimaculoides
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#1
What wet/dry filter model is good or one that you would reccomend? I was told that the tidepool wet/dry's are bad for biological filtration because they just use a dinky bio wheel, no bio balls. I would like one where I could fit my heater and possibly protein skimmer in.

Also, where is a cheap place to buy wet/dry's online?
 

DHyslop

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#2
You might consider making your own. My wet/dry is just a 5-gallon bucket full of bioballs with a plastic pasta strainer in the top and a bulkhead in the bottom.
 

Illithid

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#3
I don't think the brand makes any difference but the features do.

Spraybar vs. drip plate:
I prefer a drip plate. Less moving parts, less things to get clogged and really screw up your system.

Bioballs vs. rolled filter floss:
I prefer bio balls. I have filter floss on my drip plate because my water volume passing is so high it doesn't matter, and that stuff gets clogged with stuff all the time. I would have to think that the filter medium would get plugged and clog -and you don't want to touch the filter stuff once it is going.

Submersible vs. external pump:
I really would like a submersible because of the ease of plumbing, but with cephers the temperature means alot so I chose external. Buy a wet/dry that can do either one and you will be in good shape.

All wet/dry filters should be bought with enough room in the sump for a heater and a protein skimmer, otherwise you should have bought a canister filter. Skimmers will also need to have room for a submersible pump in the sump of the wet/dry. You may be able to use a hang on the back skimmer on the wall of your sump, but you still need to have room for a sub. pump.
 

kingsnar

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#4
Thanks! What is a spray bar and whats a drip plate? Why do external pumps produce less heat than internal? What extra plumbing requirements are needed for external?
 

DHyslop

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#5
For a wet/dry filter to work most efficiently you need a way to distribute the incoming water across the top so it can drip through the entire volume of filter material. Spray bars and drip plates are two ways to do that. My drip plate is merely a plastic pasta strainer.

The two pumps will ultimately generate about the same amount of heat, but the submersible pump will transfer all of that heat into the water while an external pump will transfer most of it into the air. For an external pump you will need to drill the sump and use a bulkhead fitting and a true union valve to connect it to the pump. Using a submersible pump is quite a bit easier.

Dan
 

Illithid

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#6
Time for a LFS (Local Fish Store)tour!

Go to your local store that specializes in reef systems - this does not mean PetSmart. I like PetSmart for dog food and cat toys, but they know NOTHING of saltwater filtration.

Look around, read boxes and ask questions. They will point you toward their brands, but compare them with the internet and ebay before you buy. If you need the instruction, buy from them and they will help you set it up. Count the store markup as cheap consulting fees.

Some online sources have good information. Reef Central is great for information and questions answered. Some online retailers have info:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/NavResults.cfm?N=2004+22778
I don't like the brands that they carry because some use mechanical movement in the bio section (i.e. the "rocker" thingy)that can fail. I made a trickle filter that would have cost over $500 for much less than $100. But I bought my first wet/dry to see how it works-there isn't much to them. You have to see how everything works first and what effects what to design a filtration system.
 

OoNickoC

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#8
Illithid;82179 said:
Time for a LFS (Local Fish Store)tour!
this does not mean PetSmart.
QUOTE]

Thats very interesting statment as ALL corporate fish stores use external pumps to power wet/drys with no "fancy" parts. Not trying to be rude but they simply donot. Ive worked for two of the big dogs and they use traditional wet/drys and both used dolphin pumps.They know PLENTy about filtration but perfer money over quality of life....:wink: PITA is handling that issue though. A LFS filter will go something like...
Display, overflow (usually a small strainer 1/2 way submerged or small stand pipe barley under the surface) leading to the sub piping that leads into the main pipe which falls through a prefilter, then bio-balls or a refugium, then the skimmer, following to the main sump and returned in any one of various piping methods. Which is exactly how the corporations filter thier SW. Im not an advocate for deathco or any other moneydrivien pet sector but rather lone for full explanations rather thatn bias opinions. No pun intende nor ripping. Just want to clarify that "they" as long as "I (the LFS's) use very similar filtration.

SOOOOOO... without further adu...
Iwould go with DHyslop and build your own. Dont be intimidated as they can be built very easily the first time over. There are hundreds of resources for info on many DIY wet/dry systems. Do a quick "google" or whatever you use.....It is very very gratifying to build filtration.
 

DHyslop

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#9
Even if its how their display system may be set up, its rare to be able to buy any high-grade components or get help from knowedgeable staff at any of the big chains.
 

Illithid

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#11
Ohhh nooo, corporate know how to filter SW very well! They just don't sell what they use.

Anyone who can design a filtration system fresh or salt that can handle all the tanks and bioload they have there- knows what they are doing.

The employees are nice and considerate, are interested in animals and a truly trying to help. The only skimmer my local PetSmart has in stock is a very cheap HOB which they told me would work for my big tank (240). When they asked what fish I had -I mentioned a cuttlefish - they told me "those stick things aren't meant to be put in a fish tank -they're meant for bird cages"

I rest my case.
 

DHyslop

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#12
Illithid;83297 said:
Ohhh nooo, corporate know how to filter SW very well! They just don't sell what they use.
Exactly. The filtration system was planned out long before the store was even built: the people in store have a list of tasks to maintain it, but the fundamental understanding of how it all works just isn't there.
 

OoNickoC

Blue Ring
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#13
Illithid;83297 said:
When they asked what fish I had -I mentioned a cuttlefish - they told me "those stick things aren't meant to be put in a fish tank -they're meant for bird cages"

I rest my case.
ROTFL:lol:
I would have burst in laughter on the spot....then frustration. Wow. Cuttlefish is a bit off cuttleBONE. I appologize for the rant again. I know what you mean, HOB skimmers are generally overrated by 100-300% depending on the brand/model. The sadest part is that most corporations actually target out less knowledgable staff to hire to aviod policy conflict so if they are trained there they think they know a bit.....and are sadly brainwashed. Wise and experienced corporate store emp's are becoming more rare everyday. That was the pet store statement of the century, and ive heard some....lol.
 

Illithid

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#14
OoNickoC;83426 said:
ROTFL:lol:
I would have burst in laughter on the spot....then frustration. Wow. Cuttlefish is a bit off cuttleBONE. I appologize for the rant again. I know what you mean, HOB skimmers are generally overrated by 100-300% depending on the brand/model. The sadest part is that most corporations actually target out less knowledgable staff to hire to aviod policy conflict so if they are trained there they think they know a bit.....and are sadly brainwashed. Wise and experienced corporate store emp's are becoming more rare everyday. That was the pet store statement of the century, and ive heard some....lol.
Well said
 

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