I have been thinking I can run my tank on a much lower turn over rate, if I redesign the sump, and use better Bio media.
Typically in a sump cheaper media such as bioballs and lava rock can be used, this is because you can have more space to use more media. So you are not forced to buy high density media like you would in a canister.
Also the true effectiveness of bio media is contact time with the water, in sumps the contact time is short, the time it takes the water to trickle down. This is why high turnover rate is need, if you can't get long contact time, make the time it takes the water to get back to the bio media shorter.
So if you where to design a sump where the contact time is longer, you can have slower turn over rate.
So here is my Idea of a redesigned sump.
Instead if dividing the section top to bottom, forcing the water to fight gravity, and loss of total sump water capacity, divided them from side to side. This way you still have the whole capacity of the sump, also as long as the spacing is at least 6 inches you will never restrict flow.
This is also give your pump access to more water, in a typical sump with multiple compartments the pump only has the water volume of its compartment. So lets say that compartment holds 20 gallons of the total sump capacity, when the pump is off this compartment is full, when you power it on the compartment drains however many gallons is needed to start flow though the sump. If you had a tank that is 84x24x25 and the water had to raise 1" to start flowing through the sump again that's around 9 gallons. What can happen is if your pump is strong and that compartment is taller rather then longer the water level can be lowered to the point where the pump sucks in air.
The bucket is the only enclosed space, this is where the water will enter the sump and contact the mechanical filter; This will be the only bypass free place. Now I no we have all be taught bypass is bad, and bypass free is good. This is not 100% true, for mechanical filtration this is true you need no bypassing since dirt is not effected by osmosis. However what is important to the fish is the water parameters,and this is effected by osmosis. If you take 50 gallons of water out of a 100 gallon tank, filter it so it has zero pollutants then place it back in the tank, the water is 50% pollutant free do to osmosis.
So why is this important in my design? because you will only line the bottom of the Maze with biomedia. The water that dose contact the biomedia will have a prolonged contact time, removing the pollution more effectively; this will in turn lower the pollution in all the water through osmosis. You get two benifits here slower movement is better for mechanical filtration, the slower water means more contact time for the biomedia this is also a plus. also you can use a lower powered pump for the filtration, and then use ultra low power power heads for circulation.
The addition of a bubble wand under the bio media will help with the reduced O2 you see from lower circulation.
Here is my first sketch of the idea, and two photos of my diy build.
You can see here that the water must move through 3 hallways of bio media before reaching the pump.
Here is a side view.
I could have used clear Silicone and maybe done a cleaner job, but I was in a hurry, and who will see it anyway?
So what do you think?