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Building a sump

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by midazolam, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. midazolam

    midazolam Junior Poster

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    Here are my questions:

    1) I really like the idea of filter socks. Good mechanical filtration, mega easy to service. Would it be unreasonable to run 2 or even 3 in series, say a 200, 100, 25 or should I just run one of small size?

    2) Also, in another thread Tom mentioned using zeolite and carbon. Do I want to continually replace those with fresh stuff every 3-6 months, or just use it at start up and then leave it as bio media. For a tank of about 180 gallons, how much of each would be good to use.

    3) Bio media? How much? Can you use too much, assuming the sump is reasonably well sealed? What is the preferred type...lava rocks, bio balls, ceramic rings, something else?

    4) venturi CO2 reactor. Does it go in the sump horizontally, completely submerged or do you stand it up vertically/at an angle partially above the water level. And the pump that drives it. Does it take water from the sump and run it through the reactor or does it take water from the main tank and pump it into the sump?

    I'm sure discussion of the above will stimulate more questions. Sorry, I'm in a detailed oriented field :)

    Thanks for the help guys.
     
  2. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I can help a little...

    1) Tom has mentioned putting 2 socks together as a good way to save the smaller micron sock from clogging quickly. I haven't set up my sump yet, but I am planning on using 2 socks together.

    2) I once asked this question, and Tom said the zeolite was mostly for startup. I think also that carbon is not really necessary after a tank is stabilized. I, however, always use at least a little carbon in my filters. Just in case I indavertently contaminate my tank by reaching in with a dirty arm, or whatever. Carbon is cheap and easy to work with (if you use a filter bag), so I see no reason not to keep using it. I have heard that carbon also helps with biological filtration as it gets older.

    3) Can't really help here about how much or what's best, but ... bio balls are probably the most common ... I'm fond of ceramic rings, but use bio balls also.

    4) If you are talking about the DIY venturi reactor, I'm pretty sure it has to be set up vertically to work right. That's how I did mine. If I had a sump, I would definitely put it down there to keep it out of the way. If you are going high CO2 (30ppm) on a 180G tank, you may end up with a Mazzei injector in the end, rather than a reactor. At the very least, it will almost surely take multiple venturi reactors to get a 180G to 30ppm CO2 in a timely manner.

    Hope this helps some.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Ted's comments are fairly close to my own.

    1. Yes, double the socks up, get good sized socks, the 12-18" long 7" dia sizes are good, place them up a bit but so that they will spill over into the sump, I typically have a section of PCV drain pipe coming in that's horizontal and I just hang the strap on that.

    100 inside, followed by a 25 or a 10 depending micron will do pretty well.

    2. Both carbon and zeolite are bio media after the chemical filtration is over.
    You can replace every few months but it's not needed after the first 2 months. They last about 1 month anyway. You can rinse and recharge zeolite with a strong NaCl
    solution brine, and you can also cook Carbon at a high as temp as your conventional over will go.

    Neither will make these as good as the new stuff, but it'll come close.

    3. Biomedia: likely cannot have too much, so PRACTICAL considerations come into play. I figure 5 lbs of zeolite/carbon/lava for a 75-125 gal tank is a lot.

    4. This is always in the sump.
    You can do just about any method in a sump, just fed the output into the return pump. You can also use the return pump's impeller and return pipe as "a reactor".
    You can also use a small venturi, say a 1/2" and drive with a 500gph powerhead and feed the output into the return pump suction side.

    Or you can use a dual venturi column tube DIY model in the sump like in the ARTICLES listing here on the BarrReport.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. midazolam

    midazolam Junior Poster

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    Just to be clear, you guys are shoving a 100 micron sock inside like a 25 or 10. This seems a lot easier than the system of tiered partitions I had sketched to run the water through progressively smaller filters.
     
  5. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Yes, that's right ... one sock inside the other.
     
  6. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom,

    This part of your reply I did not understand:

    I was wondering if you meant to type "Mazzei" instead of venturi. If not, what the heck is a 1/2" venturi? :)
     
  7. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Ted,

    Yes, a mazzei or a needle wheel or powerhead with venturi option.

    Mazzei is not the only venturi, just commonly referenced here.......I know Kent makes them as well.......mazzei is a manufacturer of a venturi injector....

    I had this type of setup Tom mentions for a while and did reasonably well for me.

    Sumps especially are easy for this method of injecting/diffusing c02.
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, what Gerry said, 1/2 venturi mazzei, Kent or the USA Mazzei place etc.

    Also, a needle wheel will work nicely here, or even a small Rio 600-800 w/ Recirculating adapter because you are also thern feeding the froth into the impeller of the return pump.

    My Lifeguard return pump gets a pretty nice froth of bubbles on my return.
    Now.......if you dislike the froth, you can easily switch the PVC reactor tower, say 2x 16-18" tall and some bioballs, add a venturi loop back to the powerhead driving that from the top to purge the gas build up that is common about 1/2 way through the day.

    So there's 3 options.
    4 if you wanted to use a disc and feed that into the suction side of the return pump.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. midazolam

    midazolam Junior Poster

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    Would you then feed both reactors with the same powerhead and co2 regulator? Or would it require two of each?
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    No, you have a sump, you have a return pump.

    Then you have another smaller powerhead to drive the venturi or drive a reactor venturi, either way, your choice etc. You can use the venturi or not.

    Up to you if you use the PVC reactor or not or just keep it simple and fed into the return pump with anything.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi midazolam,

    A setup as Tom describes is very clean and easy with a sump.

    You already have the sump pump right?

    So, you drop another smaller pump in there as well. You can use either a real needle wheel or DIY. Many threads on this here.

    Then stick the c02 inlet into the smaller pump before the impeller. Then take the OUTPUT from the smaller pump and feed it into the bigger pump. The c02 will get chopped by the needle wheel. This goes right to the sump pump and then right to the tank. No fuss, no muss.

    No plumbing to speak of and works very well, and keep it all out of sight.
     

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