filtration options

Discussion in 'Technical' started by joffy, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. joffy

    joffy

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    Hi guys,

    I am in the process of planning for a planted discus aquarium. I had an initial idea which has changed due to constant research. This is going to be a long project of mine and I am wanting to get it done right the first time around.

    The initial tank was going to 650l but now I am building an even larger tank at just shy of 1000l.

    My question here on this thread is regarding the filtration. I was going to build a sump filtration, but due to the plants I am under the impression that this wont work.
    Other consideration was canister filter. It was recommended to me here on the forum to go for a trickle tower (same as a wet/dry?) but to be honest I dont want to see a small filtration tank hanging on the side of my main tank. However if this is truly the best option then I can manufacture a cabinet which covers the filter.

    So.... which really is the best option to go for and does anyone have any solid information on it. I have tried to scour the net but I cant seem to find anything other than forum suggestions debating the conditions of the water etc......

    Thanks
     
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  3. PsyXe

    PsyXe

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    Sump is only a bad idea if you have CO2 injection, as it causes offgassing of the CO2. You can have plants do very well in a low-tech setup with a sump and without CO2. I recommended the wet/dry because I like mine and it's really cheap, but is the same as a sump in that it doesn't work with CO2. The reason canisters are recommended for CO2 setups is because they are sealed and don't let the gas escape.
     
  4. OP
    joffy

    joffy

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    i think I understand. As this is a new project from scratch and wanting to to do it without any shortcuts.... do I need a CO2 injector?
     
  5. PsyXe

    PsyXe

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    I would suggest not, because of the discus. Discus don't like very bright light. Low light means low tech (no CO2). Discus also like very high temperatures, and there are only a very few plants that tolerate these temperatures, mostly Java ferns, Java moss and Anubias. Coincidentally, these plants are all slow growers that thrive in low light, no CO2 conditions. (They are also all plants that need to be tied to something, not planted in the substrate, incidentally). You will probably find you are able to grow some other plants as well, but these 3 are the basis of a planted discus tank. It is possible to do a high tech, CO2 discus tank, but if you've never done CO2 before I would say it would make it too complicated. (Disclaimer, I have never used CO2, I might be prejudiced). Plus most discus keepers feel that a sump is the best filtration system.

    My personal suggestion would be to go low tech, no CO2, heavy on the Java ferns (there are three different leaf shapes, and nothing kills them!), whatever other plants you feel like trying, a lot of dramatic driftwood, thin layer of pool filter sand on the bottom, sump. I am extremely jealous that you are going to have an almost 1000 litre discus tank!

    You seem to be getting a whole lot of my opinions and not much of anyone else's... Come on discus people!
     
  6. OP
    joffy

    joffy

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    lol.... I promise to take some exquisite photos for you :)

    I have had java ferns and moss in my previous discus tank (but this was a juwel tank and I assumed it was all good and done - now with research I know there is so much more to discus). What I did not know was that the java fern needs to be tied to something. I always removed the cotton-wool and planted them in the substrate. To be brutally honest there I have a look for the aquascaping in mind which is inspired by Takashi Amano. I would love to try and get my aquascaping with discus to this degree.... see pic.

    amanotank.jpg

    lighting is going to be as natural as possible... 2x T5 Natural tubes and 2x T5 Colour tubes. I might even be looking at LED instead.

    So is there then a schematic for a sump that I should consult? I mean, I am going to have SPACE under the tank.... heaven knows its not going to become the home for Arachnis Daddylonglegs. Plus, I have uber tonnes of 6mm glass from which to manufacture said sump.

    amanotank.jpg
     
  7. PsyXe

    PsyXe

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    If you're set on carpet plants you may need to go the CO2 route. Although oddly today I was thinking about whether it would be possible to make a carpet using dwarf Java fern attached to something flat.

    There is a good thread on sumps for discus somewhere on this site, written mainly by Dirk, I'll try to find it tomorrow if you haven't.
     
  8. Gordon

    Gordon

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    Hi Joffey,

    That pic you've attached definitely has CO2. But I would also recommend not going the CO2 route with Discus.
    You don't only have to have Java Fern though, I use PFP for my substrate and DSD for ferts and most of my plants do well. I would definitely think about using PFP (search the forum for it) , it's really cheap and easy to do. And you really don't want to be redoing the substrate on such a big tank at a later stage!

    Cheers,
    Gordon
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  9. eros111

    eros111

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  10. OP
    joffy

    joffy

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    lol... heck no. I am going with 10mm glass clear float AAR glass.
    the 6mm is going to used for my sump
     
  11. eros111

    eros111

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    @joffy - what a relief - and you ARE going with double glass on the bottom I presume ??? Do you intend to drill the glass or you going to use the overflow method into your sump?
     
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  12. OP
    joffy

    joffy

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    to be honest I was going to stick with just one layer of glass on the bottom. From what I have researched I have not seen anything about a double layer. Why and how would I construct it?
    With regard to the drain to the sump I spent about 5 hours researching and trying to come up with a plan.... in the short of it I am going to have the tank drilled. I will do a sketch and post it along shortly.
     
  13. eros111

    eros111

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    @joffy - I am not a tank builder - HOWEVER - I think that everybody here, will agree with m,e that you HAVE TO HAVE a double layer glass bottom on this size tank. I have personal experience ( heartache) of my 500L cracking because it was only made with single layer glass. I know that my 1000L has a double layer of 10mm glass. You need to ask the guys that do build their own, and are tank experts, but what normally happens, is that after you have assembled that main tank, you cut panels to fit INSIDE the tank ( kinda wall to wall ) and glue them onto the bottom glass. Please ask because I, and I am sure you, don't want you to have a cracked bottom. Rather spend a few extra bucks and do the double layer -in fact I insist on it for your (and my) peace of mind :D ( and even more so if you going to drill it I would imagine)
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  14. OP
    joffy

    joffy

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    A basic idea of what I am wanting to achieve. I would like to minimize the amount of hardware inside the tank.... so I am thinking of the tank being drilled in two places. (A) is outlet and (B) is inlet. (B) is submerged.
    Not sure if this will work. The outlet then will go into a sump which I am still researching.
    tank layout1.jpg

    tank layout1.jpg
     
  15. OP
    joffy

    joffy

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    HAHA... believe me - i dont want it to break or crack either. A double layer sounds good to me and makes sense and I do not mind spending a little extra for the peace of mind. Though after rereading your post it seems that you are referring to long strips of reinforcing siliconed to the base. If that is the case then yes, i have made provisions for that as per image below .....
    tank layout2.jpg

    tank layout2.jpg
     
  16. eros111

    eros111

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    Ask the tank builders about drilling holes in the back - most tanks are drilled in the bottom as far as I know - why drill a hole for the return pipe? - would it not be safer to pop your return pipes over the top of the back sheet of glass. Drilling weakens the glass - more so if it is a single layer, and also, be careful that you don't create a siphon by having your return pipes at, or below, the water level.
     
  17. eros111

    eros111

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    No, what I am talking out , are pieces of glass that you cut and glue to the inside bottom - WALL TO WALL - not just little strips against the sides as you show in the diagram. I am talking a virtual second layer of glass the same size as your bottom sheet, but cut into squares as opposed to a solid on sheet
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  18. eros111

    eros111

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    @joffy - If B ( the return) is submerged, as you say you ARE going to have, you will create a siphon and that might flood your sump and that is not a good thing !
     
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  19. OP
    joffy

    joffy

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    cool. I will ask around again regarding the base. Thanks for the heads up on that :)
    As for the drilling, I am not sure what the best method is. Logic tells me that it would weaken, but then why do large tanks get drilled in the first place? I read somewhere that drilling the tank yields better results or something to that extent. I am trying to find pros and cons on the option of drilling.
     
  20. eros111

    eros111

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    Tanks get drilled - in the bottom usually - because I suspect that it is easier to have the water overflow into a sump than setting up a siphon system. What gets pumped back from pump in the sump, raises the water level, and the "excess" water then just overflows naturally and easily into the downpipe - much easier than the siphon route. There is also only one upright pipe in the tank as opposed to all the piping that is needed to create the siphon thingy - where you have up and down pipes that are not so easy to hide !!
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  21. OP
    joffy

    joffy

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    With reference to the following filtration design by Prof ( Tropical Aquariums South Africa ) I have come to understand that this filtration option is used next to the main tank as opposed as underneath the main tank ... am I understanding this correctly?
     

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