fish talk

Discussion in 'extrasuperpowr's Website Forum' started by Enigma Lips, May 12, 2008.

  1. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    I have wanted to do this for a long time. Finally I just sat down and got things started, as I am gearing up to set up a new 55gal salt reef tank. The sump is a 10gal glass aquarium, with almost all parts made from acrylic, the plates glued to the inside of the sump, holding the bio-media are plexiglass. I don't know why we (my friend helping me with the design and I) did that, but whatever.

     
  2. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.
     
  3. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.
     
  4. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.
     
  5. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.
     
  6. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    What's going on here? Can you explain what the balls are and what else is eventually going in the tank?
     
  7. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    Lemme draw a diagram.
     
  8. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    AT THE SAME TIME (in rahzel's voice)
     
  9. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    I am.
     
  10. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    bear with me. this all makes perfect sense to me, and I understand this may be new to you.
     
  11. #11 Enigma Lips, May 13, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    Aside from the actual aquarium, which I havent put a pic of up, and the 10gal glass sump, just about every piece was cut from acrylic with a table saw. For the smaller parts, I used a Dremmel often, with a metallic circular saw attachment, then a sanding attachment.

    The Overflow and skimmer box http://www.supercars.net/pitlane/pics/3315302a.jpg

    1) It all starts here. The water from the surface of the aquarium will be 'skimmed' off through 1" slits that I will be putting in one of the longer sides to the box, near the top. I should have done this before I sealed it all shut, but I had a different idea originally.

    This box is attached to the rear of the tank, it will be cemented on with aquarium sealant. The holes cut to skim the water's surface will have to match equal holes I will be putting in the aquarium itself. Probably about 10 vertical slits, about 1" high each. This will allow for the water's level to vary within 1" before I need to tend to it. The water is collected in the box, with all the surface proteins building up on a thick sponge that will be placed on top of the PVC drain. Tomorrow I am adding a hinged lid to the box as well, to keep the system closed, for contamination/evaporation reasons. But still allow easy access for cleaning and maintenance.
     
  12. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    So this is a type of aquarium that is supposed to maintain (cleanliness) itself for much longer than just a regular unit right?
     
  13. #13 Enigma Lips, May 13, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    2) The trickle plate
    http://www.supercars.net/pitlane/pics/158281/3315302d.jpg

    Part of having efficient wet/dry biological filtration is allowing lots of surface area to stay wet, but not submerged. The beneficial bacteria that will grow on the media below require oxygen, as they do water. I may add a small light to promote photosynthetic growth as well, but that won't be until much later.

    Ok, so the water collected from the skimmer runs down a pipe connected to a custom fit lid, that I have yet to build. The water is then dispensed and dispersed across this approx 8"x10" 'drip plate.'

    As you can imagine, the water just kinda rains town all over the balls below. Allowing the entire area to stay wet, but not submerged, which would kill most of the bacteria we are trying to grow.
     
  14. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    I'm following this well, you are explaining it in very easy to understand language.
    Proceed.
     
  15. #15 Enigma Lips, May 13, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    3) Filter Media and
    http://www.supercars.net/pitlane/pics/158281/3315301d.jpg

    This is where the basis of the whole system culminates. My media of choice for this particular type of layout is bio-balls. They are ultra-light weight, and as you can see, have a ridiculous amount of surface area. I bought enough to maintain up to about 75gallons of water. This is only going on a 55 gallon tank. I have room to double the capacity of the media, which I will probably do when I get around to it. More is better.

    So, these balls, as discussed in chapter 2, provide a surface for which beneficial bacteria to grow. These bacteria colonies feed off of the waste produced by organisms in the aquarium, ie, fish and invertebrates primarily.

    Over time, as the colonies grow larger, they can convert deadly ammonia, produced by fish urine, to harmless nitrates, which feed the corals and plant matter (algae, plants, seaweeds) which convert co2 to oxygen.

    The process initially takes time to build, but once it is established, a healthy aquarium can maintain itself much easier.
     
  16. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    Something I forgot to mention in chapter 1 about protein skimming. The reason that I must take water from the surface of the water, is to collect proteins. You see protein skimming in nature when you go to a beach with lots of stuff in the water. It's sea foam. Waves are nature's way of getting that crap outta the water. Well, I don't have waves, so I have to skim it, and collect it on a sponge, which I just rinse off when it starts to fill the box.
     
  17. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    4) The water runs down the plates, into the reservoir

    The area below will be filled either with nylon bags of carbon, or crushed live rock and covered in snails and hermit crabs. That process is called a refugium, which is my next project. It's pretty much a mini tank that filters a bigger tank, just sectioned off and full of tiny critters. Some people put a small fish in there as well, if your refugium is large enough.
     
  18. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    5) Two more walls are going in tomorrow. The first, about 2" high, and about 2" from the next, which will come from the top, down. A sponge is going between the two, along the lengthe of the tank. This will catch any excess build up that grows from the balls. This shouldnt get too dirty, but I don't want anything solid entering the pump.
     
  19. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    6) The Pump

    Keeps the room from flooding. As does the skim box. The water will never be siphoned out, so flooding won't be a problem. If the pump dies, it just stops pumping, and the water stops coming down as well.
     
  20. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    7) Exhaust.

    Not yet built. Probably just going to be two small nozzles so there is some pressure coming out. Attached via a PVC holster. Shouldn't be too tough to build.
     
  21. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    This whole sump is going to be placed inside the stand, under the tank. The pump is near silent, and with the doors closed, it's more quiet than most power filters. And significantly more efficient.

    Also, in the reservoir, I will probably put nylon bags full of carbon, to remove any chlorines/chloromines as well as help with any ammonia that doesn't get processed in the bio filter.

    All in all, I am really stoked about this whole design. It's fairly innovative for my first attempt. I have wanted to build one of these for a long time. And I am getting pretty good at making things look nice now. I wish I knew what I was doing in the first few steps (the two shelves inside the sump) but oh well, it's gonna work fine.
     
  22. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    I'll be putting new pics up just about every day until it's done. I want to have a whole demo set up before I move into my new house, because this is going to be the showtank.
     
  23. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    Learning through experience is wicked fun. This project looks very interesting and I'm sure your next one is going to be even more so.
     
  24. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    The next one I do, I want to build it into a wall, on a corner. So two sides of the tank are exposed with two accessible from a room behind. Where I could build a really elaborate system.
     
  25. Building a wet/dry trickle filter/sump.

    Mad dope. When I worked at the aquarium, I actually didn't get to see too much of how the actual tanks were run. I remember going behind the way of the tropical tanks a few times and it was some of the most impressive plumbing I've ever seen. Pipes of all sizes, other tanks, wires, lights, etc. going EVERYWHERE.
     

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