Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Shadshad 03-19-2012 12:54 PM

Using a sump as filter
I’m new to the forum but am jumping right in with a few questions as I’ve already done quite a bit of research. I kept freshwater tropical in the past, but for the past 7 years I have been keeping marines and I am struggling to find information on running a freshwater tank with a sump as a filter.

I have decided to convert my Marine tank into a tropical freshwater tank, firstly because of running costs and secondly because of the time required to maintain it. My tank is 6 x 2.5 x 2.5 with a 5 x 2 x 2 sump and holds around 800 litres excluding the sump. I have 2 overflows and 2 return pipes. I plan on using the sump as my filter. Lighting is 2 x 250w halide, which I will be keeping, but changing the bulbs to 5200K (from 14000K).

The sump has 3 compartments, the first is inflow, middle is the main filtration area and last is only small and contains my return pump.

I am looking for suggestions on what I should put into the first and second compartments. What sort of filter media would you recommend? I have seen mention of Seachem Matrix, but I am wondering how well this will work in a sump unless I put it into some form of basket to ensure a good flow through it.

I was also wondering about water movement in the tank. The overflow and return are at the surface, which means there is no flow at the bottom of the tank. It is 2 ft deep (from surface of the water) and I am concerned that towards the bottom of the tank, with no flow, it could stagnate a bit. I had 4 thoughts on how to deal with this and would appreciate your opinion on the best option.
First, extend the return pipes so that water is returned to the bottom of the tank rather than top.
Second, put a small, low flow, pump at the bottom of the tank facing into some rock/bogwood to break the flow (this is my preference).
Third get a couple of air pumps.
Fourth – do nothing ….

My primary objective is to keep this simple and as “kit free” as possible. I will be using tap water and will be stocking fish in line with the parameters I get from my tap water.

If you managed to get this far – Thanks for reading :-D


AbbeysDad 03-19-2012 02:34 PM

For the sump, you need mechanical in the first stage (sponge and/or filter floss), next would be optional chemical, but we can do biological there instead. Matrix or bio-max would be fine.
Is there a place for the heater in the sump?
To ensure against thermal gradients and promote better water flow, a small power head, HOB or bubble wand does the trick.

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