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Sump Recommendations

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5 replies to this topic

#1 LexAgate

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  • Joined: 03-February 15
  • Location:Perth
  • Location: Mount Lawley

Posted 19 August 2017 - 09:35 PM

Hello again everyone!
Quick update:

As of recently I've moved on my 5 foot tank and I'm planning on selling my 4 foot, 140L as well as my 64L fry tank! This is all to make way for if plans go well a 5x3x2, a wide tank may suggest some big fish but you'll have to wait and see!

Now the real post:
I've decided to go with a sump plan in terms of filtration!
So far the sump has been designed to take a course like this,
From tank through a
200 micron filter sock then into a
200G rated media reactor then onwards to a
Small section for bio-balls then pumped back into the tank.

Now in terms of biological filtration I know that bio-balls will provide a fair amount and I was wondering if the sump should be filled with sponge or k1 media?

The tank will be 800 Litres, the media reactor is rated for 757 Litres!

The sump would be about 190 Litres!

And any other tips or recommendations are greatly appreciated!

Yours Lex


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#2 Stretch

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  • Joined: 06-May 17
  • Location: Willagee

Posted 19 August 2017 - 10:20 PM

Hey lexagate, I recently setup a 2m x 1m x1m tank with a 4 foot sump. It's been running for a few months now no worries but I've learned a lot in the process. Mines a 4 compartment sump starting with rough to medium sponge followed by two 10 cm layers of fine wool. In the next two sections I've filled them with hydroton(aquaponics media) mixed with ceramics and bio balls and the sump pump in the last section. The hydroton works really well and is dirt cheap but takes forever to sink. My advice would be to go as large as possible with the sump( I'll be upgrading as soon as I can) and make the sump return bigger than you think you need. I have two 40mm sump inlets and my pump still drains the section before the inlets can refill it if I don't restrict the pump. Also the inlets flow better if my tank is over filled so a bigger sump can hold more overflow if you have a power outage. The media reactor sounds like a good idea too. Good luck with it all and keep us posted

#3 Peckoltia

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  • Joined: 15-October 04
  • Location: Dianella

Posted 21 August 2017 - 10:09 AM



Just a couple things to consider. 


1. Bioballs work much better when they're used it a wet/dry application (water trickled over them providing a super oxygenated environment), they do not work well fully submerged. I can't tell from your description what is happening.

2. Having a sump makes a 'reactor' kind of redundant. Can just use a chamber in the sump for tumbling media. I have also not seen a commercially produced reactor with the specific purpose of tumbling k media effectively, I don't think anything with a closed top like a store bought reactor would be any good for tumbling k media.  

3. Ratings are garbage - especially when it comes to biological filtration. There are so many variables that are at play that you may as well pluck a number out of a hat - stocking densities and effectiveness of the 'reactor'/tumbling method play a huge part. 


K media is by far the best biological media I have ever used bar none. I run a chamber in my sump with about 50L of K1 media - K1 media in a sump has its drawbacks though and its limitations. The first being that the compartment is square. This can easily create dead spots if you are not onto it, and even if you are can still be difficult at times. K1 media is much better suited to being tumbled in a cylindrical container or barrel. It is also a pain because it gets everywhere - into pump intakes and between baffles, K3 would solve this. 


I recently set up a two tier 6x2x2.5 set up. I made the filter myself out of a 55 gallon barrel - it is essentially just a a barrel with a small prefilter filled with wool (this may be changed later on depending on the mechanical needs of the system, and how often I'm having to clean it) and at the moment 100L of k1 media being tumbled with air. 70L of air is tumbling the whole 100L, most people recommend 1:1 ratio of air to k1, but I am getting away with much less due to the barrel shape. In a square/rectangular application like my sump 1:1 is needed.






Million ways to skin a cat. 

Edited by Peckoltia, 21 August 2017 - 10:16 AM.

#4 zach16

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  • Location: Westminister

Posted 22 August 2017 - 02:22 PM

Nice Alex looking good man! Does it return from the bottom of the barrel to the tank?

#5 Peckoltia

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 09:12 AM

There is an external pump connected to the bottom of the barrel (not gravity fed back to the tank). Will install a second drain hole at some stage for flushing. Was only a temporary set up so didn't bother during the initial build. 

#6 zach16

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  • Joined: 12-September 10
  • Location: Westminister

Posted 23 August 2017 - 10:04 AM

Awesome man nice.

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