Question about sump media?
Hey everyone, so I've finished(to a point that it works, but it will be redone in the future) my overflow system, and my sump tank for my 55 gallon tank, but I have a question on if the medias I chose should work well, or if they will have a negative impact, or just be useless, etc.
I have the sump tank divided into four sections, the first section is empty, the water flows into there, then it goes into the second section through filter floss, then to the third section through porous rocks, and then the fourth section I cut up a large amount of small sections of 1" pvc tubing, as a sort of bio-ball type of thing, with no purpose but bacteria surface area.
Do these sound like they would be okay for filtration/bacterial growth?
Does any have suggestions on any better cheap medias to use?
Should I have them in a different order for some reason?
Would love to have any input on this.
The tank is still empty except for playsand substrate, i will be mostly doing large slate chunks, and stone for decor, either some large pvc tubing or some clay pots for caves and such(probably covered in stone), possibly a few fake plants, and probably some live plants, looking into christmas moss, java moss, java fern, and a few others.
The tank will house three still very small goldfish(comet/common), eventually there may be more, but these three are it's only inhabitants for quite awhile.
It seems to have been suggested that the tank would cycle best, and be most beneficial for everything if I were to do a fish in cycle with the three goldfish, so that is what I will be doing when it's prepared, but I just want to be sure I have a good enough filtering setup for them to have a good environment.
The PVC segments
The rocks I chose(they looked best to what I could think of as porous rock)
The sump tank, with a pretty bad, but to the point depiction of how the flow moves.
The red lines are where water travels over or under the divisions, and the blue section in the center is a solid divider, so the water flows into the back left corner, over a divider to the back right corner, under a divider to the front right corner, and then over a divider again to the front left corner, where the pump is pumping the (hopefully cleaner)water back into the tank.
What about using lava rock gravel as a filter media? You should be able to buy big bags of that for not much money compared to purpose-built biomedia.
Or something good to have as well as them?
Well, the lava rock normally used for gardens is a lot more porous than the rock you've got in there now (at least from what I can see) so it might make a good replacement. I think it would also probably make a better surface for bacteria to grow on than the PVC rings you've got there as it has a lot more surface area.
I'm pretty sure most lava rock is inert, though something in the back of my mind says that it will sometimes raise your pH/hardness. This shouldn't be too much of a problem though as goldfish do just fine in fairly hard, alkaline water.
I have read that plastic does not offer a very good surface for bb to grow. I know bio balls are plastic but I have reason to believe that plastic does not offer a very good solution. I base that on the ammonia and nitrate problems I still have with my tank even though I have about 10 gallons of bio balls in my sump.
A gravel bed may work well. Maybe you could even put an under gravel filter in your sump? I just added a round pool filter to mine as a huge bio wheel. Guess we'll see how that works in a week or so, maybe longer, I'm not sure how long it would take for the bb to grow on it.
Going to just scrap the pvc chunks, they were just something I had, so it seemed like a good idea, but I'd rather go with that I know will work, and lava/tufa rock is so cheap I don't mind buying it at all.
In comparison to a normal HOB filter, would the lava rock be the equivelant of the bio-canister, and the filter floss the water goes through be the same as the mechanical filtration?
I'm just not sure of exactly what defines bio-filtration, and mechanical filtration, but I'm assuming the water passing through the filter floss would be the same as normal mechanical filtration, and the lava rocks would serve the same purpose as a bio-canister in a filter.
Also curious, is there any reason not to throw some chunks of futa/lava rock right into the tank with the fish?
I like the look of it, and if it can house beneficial bacteria it would seem like the more the merrier, the only real concern I have is that it is kind of sharp and jagged so I don't know if it would pose a big hazard to my goldfish.
A lot of people put lava rocks in there tanks.
The floss will be good for both bio and filtering out particles as long as the water has to flow through it.
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I'm going to be all nervous of an ammonia spike now whenever I change it, not that it'll be too too often, but hopefully the rocks and decorations will hold enough to keep the tank stable, and I'll only chance half the floss at a time.
Well, bacteria will colonize just about every surface they can adhere to, but once the tank has been established for a while you should have enough bacteria in your biomedia and on your decor that the floss could be changed without issue. Also, you can just gently rinse the floss in the water you remove during water changes, which should help de-gunk it without getting rid of too many bacteria.
all of your filter media is completely submerged?
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