Looking for advice for sump media
Changing my 180 gal salt to freshwater.
I had bio balls in the pipe to the sump. Recently saw the Seachem product pond matrix.
Might it be a good idea to use it in the pipe to the sump (which is basically a wet dry), and/or in the sump?
Since no more protein skimmer, I have a lot of space in the sump, I was thinking of putting a lot of pond matrix there (submerged), or part bio balls. However, I understand the bio balls might not work submerged.
Which of the two products bio balls or matrix - might work better (or any other suggestions welcomed), in the tower from my tank to my sump and in the sump?
And last, with a fresh water tank, how often recommended to wash out the bio balls / matrix?
Also - my sump is acrylic. Wanted to strenghten one corner adding a piece of acrylic as a support. Use regular silicon as the glue?
I don't know the answer to your questions but wanted to welcome you to the forum. I'm sure someone who knows the answers to your questions will be along soon.
I'm not sure about the silicone bit as I've never had an acrylic tank, but as I've never seen silicone at the LFS sold specifically for use in acrylic tanks, my guess is that plain ol' aquarium silicone will work just fine.
How big is this sump? Will the sump be your only source of filtration? Will the tank be planted? If it's not going to be planted and you've got a really large sump, you might consider doing a planted refugium. Depending on your bioload, there's really only so much you can do in terms of offering surfaces for bacteria to colonize so having a planted refugium for nitrate removal might be beneficial.
As for the media...well, all of them are really just designed to have a lot of surface area on which bacteria can set up shop. I honestly don't think any of them are going to be so above and beyond in terms of performance as to make all competitors worthless, but maybe someone who has used these (I've only ever really used ceramic rings in this sort of application) can offer more input.
I don't think you'll ever want to wash off your filter media. So long as you've got some sort of mechanical filtration going on before the water hits the biomedia, you should just leave the biomedia be. Cleaning it can destroy the bacteria colonies and damage your sump's ability to convert ammonia to nitrate.
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