02-07-2010, 12:53 PM
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I know we have been led to believe flow rate is very important, and to some extent it is but also what medium you are using for biological and mechanical filtration is more important; water flow does some of the work but the bacteria and medium do the rest. Here is a set up Carl Strohmeyer likes, but I haven't been able to find the "fluidized bed filter" anywhere locally in greater Vancouver. The write up below is Carl's and not mine, you will find it in the link I gave in my first post here, two posts back:
Another link: Fluidized Bed Filter FLUIDIZED BED FILTERS;
These filters are primarily biological filters only. They work well attached to an internal or canister filer (I prefer an internal). Fluidized bed filters use fine sand kept suspended in a water flow for aerobic biological filtration. The plus is they are basically self cleaning as the sand is constantly rubbing against other grains keeping down the organic buildup. The negative is do not supply a lot of oxygen for the aerobic bacteria. I have set up fluidized filters in marine aquariums in place of wet/drys with excellent results (I set up a whole marine aquarium store department this way).
Aquarium fluidized bed filters are the way to go if you have a planted aquarium, because they won't wear off your CO2. They also make an excellent addition to any large aquarium with a heavy bio-load. Aquarium fluidized bed filters provide the most efficient biological filtration you can get in a large tank, and they are very easy to maintain. However I strongly recommend other filters (especially internal) to make up for the weakness of fluidized filters.
This said, as I noted I have set up many for clients drilled thru the bottoms of aquariums, powered by either an Internal Filter/Power Head or a Canister Filter/Micron Filter. The beauty of this method is that they may move water slower than say a wet-dry, but they are much more efficient, less of a Nitrate factory, and move water at the perfect speed to optimize UV Sterilization if also utilized. In fact, the goldfish aquariums installed this way were among the healthiest and most trouble free I have maintained.
The bottom line, if properly installed, their strengths will shine (they are not the nitrate factories that wet/drys are especially if the sponge pre filter is rinsed regularly).
Here is a Diagram of how I installed these with a UV under the aquarium: