doubled flow of my genaric 4 stage u-v canister filter
pritty simple. took the outlet of the filter. used a peice of 1/2 id computer water cooling tubing. looped it over to a unused aquaclear 30 power head. and plugged it in. checked flow by leaving power head turned off and watching the flow output. then plugged it back in and wow. easly doubled the output of the filter. it was rated at 500gph but i new it wasent even close to that. the power head is rated at 175 gph. i had modified ti befor by opening up the choker on the inlet. by 3 times the original. now with the powerhead and the filter. it has close to the output of my maxi-jet 1200.
The trouble is, increased water flow does not mean better filtration. We might even say that as we push water faster through the media, we can actually force suspended organic matter right through.
What we really need to do is slow the flow and use even finer media to capture even more and smaller suspended particulate matter. This reduced flow may also aid or improve bio-filtration.
I know we're told we need 5x and sometimes up to 10x the tank size in GPH for effective filtration. I think this is just wrong and those with live planted tanks will surely agree.
Also, in many/most cases, a raging current is not that good for our fish, many of whom who came from pools, ponds, ditches or tanks that were not raging rivers of current.
So I commend your ingenuity, but suggest you refocus slightly. Perhaps take advantage of that AquaClear's patented ability for re-filtration when the flow is reduced. :-)
well so far my cories and bala shark seem to love it. they swim rite in the flow, dancing around in it having a blast. and i stirred up some gravel removing a cave for cleaning and the normal sediments stirred up. the tank normaly took around a hour to clear up when this happens. i leave everything on the bottom only vacuum every few months, planted tanks 6 amazon swords. it only took 15 min to get the water cristal clear. i understand what your saying but i see what my tank looks like and its a improvement for me. time will tell and others it may not work for. but for me its great. been like this for 6 weeks now and no issues at all. didnt want to post anything without running it for a while
The more GPH in turnover,the more suspended particulates, (and or solids
) are kept in the water column longer, as opposed to settling to the bottom where gravel vaccuming to remove solids is only way to remove them.(not so important in planted tanks)
Bacteria need oxygen, surface area, and food . More turnover means oxygen rich water and food for bacteria is brought through the filter each hour quicker ,and suspended particulates, as well as solids, are trapped by filter media quicker due to increased flow.(Cleaner water)
As mentioned,surface area,oxygen,food, are more important for biological media than flow, but faster flow, or more flow, has no detrimental effect on biological filtration for food, and oxygen rich water are being re-circulated each minute,hour.
Contact time has little meaning with regards to biological filtration in closed system where water is being circulated repeatedly each minute,hour.(constant contact)
Contact time however, Does affect UV sterilization as title to this thread mentions ? UV sterilization is indeed more effective with slower movement of water allowing more contact time with UV bulb.
With UV sterilizer ,faster flow would defeat the purpose of the UV sterilizer.
Most of those I have spoke with who run High tech,CO2 enriched planted tanks suggest 10 X or more flow per voliume of water to ensure that CO2 is being dispersed throughout the tank evenly .
They seldom mention the effect's on fishes they keep, and are more interested in plant growth to a large degree.
Hard to have too much filtration, but is possible to have too much movement for some species of fish.
Let me illustrate further. Take the sand filter for my pool. Initially the water flow is very fast. As the sand collects particulate matter, the flow slows and the filtration gets finer and finer...and the water is filtered better and better - polished. Or think of the diatom filter, filtering out suspended organics in micron particle size. It's not the speed or volume of the water, but the fineness of the media.
I suppose one might reason that increased water circulation would cause debris that might settle to the bottom to go to the filter. But this is not really a good thing. The bacteria that handles decomposition is not the beneficial bacteria we think of to handle the N2 cycle. To the contray, this bacteria actually competes with the other bacteria for resources and this decomposition might better be handled on the bottom in a mulm layer than in the filter to make a muck of bio-filtration media. This is especially true with plants, but (pardon the pun) still holds water without.
Each to his own. I let the sinkers sink and collect this periodically with the gravel siphon. Now I have a slightly under stocked tank, with fish that aren't as 'messy' as others....so our needs may differ. I rarely see any waste on top of the substrate. It's only revealed when I gravel siphon.
So my filters are only collecting floating debris and the very small organics in suspension. They employ very fine mechanical media pads and low flow of 100gph x 2, with re-filtration. They are baffled to reduce return flow. I suppliment Oz with a bubble wand at one end of the tank. The filters remain clean for a very long time. The water is polished.
If one truly believes that the trapping of debri,solids,suspended particulates by the filter is "not really a good thing'"(as stated above) then they have missed the whole point of filtration in a glass box of water.
If one believes that the bacteria responsible for the breakdown of organics is not the beneficial bacteria we think of in nitrogen cycle, (as stated above),
then they have missed the point of biological filtration in the aquarium.
Substrate does indeed provide larger surface area for nitrifying bacteria to colonize, and this takes place in first few centimeter's of substrate where oxygen albeit at lower levels than at the surface,is present.
Allowing mulm to rest on substrate, rather than being trapped by the filter and cleaned,removed, with maint of same, creates a low dissolved oxygen situatioin (aneroboic).
It is the filter and turnover from same that moves this water low in oxygen from the bottom and mid levels of the aquarium, to the top where CO2/ oxygen exchange takes place.
Those interested on BOD in the aquarium (biological oxygen demand), can google..( Plecoplanet.com aeration and dissolved oxygen in the aquarium) for perhaps an interesting read.
Mulm on and in the gravel decays more slowly and is an excellent organic fertilizer for the planted tank - removing organic waste from the substrate and adding petro-chemical fertilizer to compensate just seems wrong.
In any event, my point was rather than creating a torrent of water flow to trap debris in the filter, we might better let the filter handle organics in suspension and otherwise remove materials (wwc) settled on/in the substrate. This allows the filter to remain more effective longer than would otherwise be the case. Also, extremely fine filter pads and reduced water flow creates an even better water quality than blasting through extra GPH's - it really isn't about how fast we push water through media, it's how well the water is filtered.
Thank-you for having an open mind.
Oh yes and back to the beginning, without sufficient residence time, the UV sterilizer is probably no longer effective..,or much less effective than it was.
That would depend on the strength of the bulb. Stronger bulbs will be able to handle higher flow rates.
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