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should I use wet dry or switch to canister filtration?

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by Noelle, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Noelle

    Noelle Junior Poster

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    Hello! I have a 72 gallon bow front aquarium that I am going to set up as a planted tank. It is drilled with the overflow piece in place, but I do not have the filtration system yet. I have been reading about wet/dry vs. canister filtration for a planted aquarium, and my first question is should I stay with what I have and buy a wet/dry system or should I remove the overflow piece, silicone a piece of glass over the holes and use a canister filter? I realize both are options, but I would like to set up an ideal system with the best chances for success. I would like to grow multiple plant species, some with medium/higher light requirements. I do understand about CO2 loss and am willing to do what is needed. I am looking for your thoughts on what an ideal filtration system would be in my situation, accounting for the drilled holes and the overflow piece in place. Thank you for your help!
     
    #1 Noelle, Jan 15, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2014
  2. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    I had a similar,perhaps the same 72g All-Glass/Aqueon Bowfront aquarium, pre-drilled. I did go wet/dry. If I had to do it again I would also go wet/dry.

    1. You can have a planted tank with a sump, just seal the sump on the side where the water drops into the tank with duct tape, see this thread
    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/13004-Sealed-Sump-Design-Advice-Comments

    2. You can keep most everything out of the tank and instead place in the sump, including your CO2, which you can run on a separate pump in the sump.

    3. Better O2 with a wet/dry than a canister, and better flow/current which can more efficiently spread the CO2. IMHO its better for the fish; however, you probably will use a little more CO2 than you would with a canister system.

    4. The other downside (other than increased CO2) is that its more noisy, unlike a canister which can be silent. This can be mitigated to a degree.

    Your tank relatively speaking is deep and you will need a fairly powerful light to get sufficient PAR at the substrate level to grow carpeting plants. You may also need to include a Koralia type powerhead to help with the circulation of CO2. Much of what I share was with trial and error based on my experiences getting my tank up and running.
     
    #2 fjf888, Jan 15, 2014
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  3. Noelle

    Noelle Junior Poster

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    Thank you for the advice--I have been struggling with this decision for quite awhile now. It is an All Glass aquarium--love the bow front look and think it will make a beautiful planted tank. I will certainly start perusing other threads to set this up correctly, but is it possible for you to list recommended brands of what you consider ideal wet/dry sump, lighting (what do you think of the Finnex Plant+ LED light?), CO2 pump, substrate, etc? I am not much of a DIY kind of gal--I like someone else to Do It and me to Buy It. Any links to threads that would help me learn how to best set this up/equipment needed would also be appreciated. I want to do this right!! Noise is an issue--how can the wet/dry system be quieted? I greatly appreciate your time and advice!
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    I posted 4 or 5 videos on the articles sub forum around wet/dry and the setup/operation.

    You may want to review them and then come back with questions.

    Many of the vids are for a 75 gal rimless that is not drilled but much is the same.

    Then shop/compare for your budget.

    Many ways to accomplish c02 and filtration.

    Reducing sump noise is possible but that does take some effort and a bit of DIY. I cover this in one of the videos I have out there.

    Hope this helps.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hi,

    I posted 4 or 5 videos on the articles sub forum around wet/dry and the setup/operation.

    You may want to review them and then come back with questions.

    Many of the vids are for a 75 gal rimless that is not drilled but much is the same.

    Then shop/compare for your budget.

    Many ways to accomplish c02 and filtration.

    Reducing sump noise is possible but that does take some effort and a bit of DIY. I cover this in one of the videos I have out there.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Read the post and the videos on the topic, it will certainly make things much easier.
    It's been around for over 20 years on planted tanks, but few really know much about it.

    Fortunately, a number of folks have all made the switch and detailed their results and impression.
    I went back years ago and tried to re evaluate canisters. But they fell short for O2 and did not degas the CO2 at night.

    I also could not keep elephant noses in a canister run planted tanks, today, I can and they are older and fat.
    There's a lot to learn and some uneasiness, and it's a big jump, but once done, most folks are pleased with the result and would do it again.
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    By the way, there is nothing stopping you from connecting a canister to the drilled bulkheads. You also get surface skimming this way.

    This is of course a closed loop system but is a third option. I have done it this way on a 180 a few years back and it worked well.

    - - - Updated - - -

    By the way, there is nothing stopping you from connecting a canister to the drilled bulkheads. You also get surface skimming this way.

    This is of course a closed loop system but is a third option. I have done it this way on a 180 a few years back and it worked well.
     
  7. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    There are a ton of lighting choices out there. As for Finnex, I have only purchased a clip on light for a 2g betta planted no CO2 tank, which so far has been a good purchase, but they appear to be cheaply made, but they are cheap. I would probably go LED now, but if you decide to go t5, i would go with 4x54 t5 HO fixture, where you can mix/match your bulbs for color and spread. I also would only run all bulbs for a a brief period (2-3hr). The problem I had with the shape of the tank was insuring spread of light was sufficient throughout the tank.

    I used a RIO RVT-800, I think, pump for CO2, I also used an up-aqua atomizer. Both worked well. Some people don't like the mist in which case you could also run through a CO2 reactor to further break down mist and dissolve completely. Gerry has a video on this.

    Substrate is largely a matter of aesthetics and your goals. There are your aquasoils (ADA aquasoil, Mr. Aqua Water Plants Activated Soil and Brightwell Florin Volcanit), and your more inert substrates, Eco-Complete, Flourite. Aquasoils will get your plants off to a fast start and what most of the aquascapers use. The other substrates are just fine, you just will need to be on top of your fertilizing, and have their advantages, longer lasting, easier to move and redo without making a huge mess,

    Right now I would read and educate as much as possible about the various options. There a lot of material out there on this forum as well as others.
     
  8. Noelle

    Noelle Junior Poster

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    Thanks to all--I have been reading articles for hours now and am getting super frustrated. I fancied myself as a moderately knowledgeable fish keeper, had multiple tanks in my past and worked at a fish store for 5 years (long ago). The articles are very interesting and I am so thankful to have found this forum, but I apparently am quite simple minded when it comes to setting up a planted tank. Can someone refer me to articles that are more "Planted Tank 101" that lists all the necessary equipment for success? Also, is there somewhere that demos setting up a wet/dry with predrilled holes and the overflow in place in the tank like I have? I will continue to read the vast information in the articles, but I really need some rudimentary help with my set up here. I also have to find a sump that will fit in my stand as it sits in the middle of my living room. The stand is 4' long, then is 13" wide at either end and 18" wide in the center. After watching Gerry's videos, I am unsure if this is even possible (to fit everything underneath my tank inside the stand). In reference to the lighting--thank you fjf888 for your info--you say you would choose LED now--can you advise which light out there would be adequate for this tank (22" depth)? And what kind of schedule you would run it on? I am currently feeling quite stupid and am considering that this may be too much for my pea-sized brain……Can someone also please list what test kits I need/what I need to test for and how often? I think I have the CO2 system figured out--I need the CO2, a pump, then an atomizer or reactor. I will continue my reading but any direction or advice you can give is greatly appreciated--thanks to everyone for your patience with me!!
     
  9. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Try google :)

    These two may help a bit.

    Operation and connections:

    http://kb.marinedepot.com/article.aspx?id=11033

    Plumbing parts

    http://kb.marinedepot.com/article.aspx?id=11137

    How did you used to keep tanks before? Canisters? Hang on the back filters?

    You will get what you need, just break it down into sections to make it easier.

    You may have to use a smaller sump than I did for your tank to fit your cabinet dimensions.

    And here is a you tube search page. Looks like bulk Reef Supply (BRS) which is an online retailer (afaik) has a series of vids on sump installation.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=aquarium%20sump%20pump%20installation&sm=3

    - - - Updated - - -

    Try google :)

    These two may help a bit.

    Operation and connections:

    http://kb.marinedepot.com/article.aspx?id=11033

    Plumbing parts

    http://kb.marinedepot.com/article.aspx?id=11137

    How did you used to keep tanks before? Canisters? Hang on the back filters?

    You will get what you need, just break it down into sections to make it easier.

    You may have to use a smaller sump than I did for your tank to fit your cabinet dimensions.

    And here is a you tube search page. Looks like bulk Reef Supply (BRS) which is an online retailer (afaik) has a series of vids on sump installation.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=aquarium%20sump%20pump%20installation&sm=3
     
  10. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Noelle,

    What brand tank did you purchase? That will help me develop a detailed plan for you...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Noelle,

    What brand tank did you purchase? That will help me develop a detailed plan for you...
     
  11. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    Gerry I had the exact same tank. Its a 72g All-Glass Bowfront.
    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y123/tygger27/72g%20Tank%20Setup/IMG_0910.jpg

    I can't remember the sump I used.

    Also try buildmyled.com for lighting.
     
  12. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hey Fred,

    Thanks. How is the HG doing?

    What size/fitting on the bulkheads? 1" and 3/4? slip or barb fittings under the tank?

    Thanks

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hey Fred,

    Thanks. How is the HG doing?

    What size/fitting on the bulkheads? 1" and 3/4? slip or barb fittings under the tank?

    Thanks
     
  13. Noelle

    Noelle Junior Poster

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    Hi Guys--thanks for your interest. The 2 predrilled holes measure 1 3/4" and 1 1/2". I checked out buildmyled.com and looks great with many positive reviews. Can't wait to get this up and running:). The pic Fred posted is the same tank (I have it in maple with pine stand instead of black). No fittings under the tank.
     
    #13 Noelle, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2014
  14. Noelle

    Noelle Junior Poster

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    Fred--would you go with 2 LED strips for better light distribution (due to the odd shaped tank)?
     
  15. Noelle

    Noelle Junior Poster

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    Hi Gerry,
    Thanks so much for the links--it really helped to understand my personal set up and I don't feel quite so stupid now:rolleyes:. To answer your previous question, I used undergravel filters in the distant past with powerheads. Very archaic but I had minimal issues back then--both fresh and saltwater and did successfully grow a few low maintenance plants in my 55 gallon community tank. I have surfed around for sumps and have not found any as ideal as yours--you say in your video that it is custom made locally for you. Can you give me an idea how I could get something similar in my neck of the woods (Colorado) or who could make one that I could have shipped here? Thank you for taking the time to make these videos--it really helps to SEE it and not just read it! I've enjoyed your cats as well--we also have an orange tabby and black kitty here, so I feel right at home.
     
  16. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    Yes, I probably would, but I would definitely invest in the dimmer so I could adjust the intensity of the light.
     
    #16 fjf888, Jan 21, 2014
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  17. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    I don't have the tank anymore, I used standard flex pvc for the filter inflow, I remember it being more than an inch. 3/4 barbed seems right back into the tank from filter.

    The HG is starting to green back up, and now that I look at it starting to fill and close the gaps between the plants, no fish yet. So it seems to respond pretty fast, although I am pounding the CO2 and light and have new substrate. I had too much HG, so I donated the rest to a GWAPA member, so its making the rounds in the DC area. Good stuff, thanks!
     
  18. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Noelle,

    I would start with a local fish store, even a saltwater one. Someone should sell sumps or at least use them. Visit one or two and poke around and see how they do it and what they use....

    That said, my lfs has a local builder. I ordered late Fri night and picked up noon Sunday, so can be quickly made. I can PM you the lfs name/contact and tell you the model, but then you are paying for shipping.

    I like this model as it has dual intakes which allows for an emergency pipe and a Herbie modification and more flow if desired. I like too that the tower part is pretty well sealed, and the removable drip tray is also nice.

    Yeah I have plenty experience with UGF LOL

    That's nice you have cats and the same colors! Mine are brothers/litter mates and approx. 6 years old iirc. Mine take a very keen interest in anything I am doing and do their best to 'help'....

    Have you decided on a direction yet for filtration? Sumps are a bit more thought but work really well for planted and fish only applications. Many other advantages once you get past the fear...we all can help and I think you can figure it out :) Glad the vids helped and is why I put them out there. WIsh I had had them when I started.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hi Noelle,

    I would start with a local fish store, even a saltwater one. Someone should sell sumps or at least use them. Visit one or two and poke around and see how they do it and what they use....

    That said, my lfs has a local builder. I ordered late Fri night and picked up noon Sunday, so can be quickly made. I can PM you the lfs name/contact and tell you the model, but then you are paying for shipping.

    I like this model as it has dual intakes which allows for an emergency pipe and a Herbie modification and more flow if desired. I like too that the tower part is pretty well sealed, and the removable drip tray is also nice.

    Yeah I have plenty experience with UGF LOL

    That's nice you have cats and the same colors! Mine are brothers/litter mates and approx. 6 years old iirc. Mine take a very keen interest in anything I am doing and do their best to 'help'....

    Have you decided on a direction yet for filtration? Sumps are a bit more thought but work really well for planted and fish only applications. Many other advantages once you get past the fear...we all can help and I think you can figure it out :) Glad the vids helped and is why I put them out there. WIsh I had had them when I started.
     
  19. Noelle

    Noelle Junior Poster

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    I definitely want to go with a wet/dry system, and feel like I just might be able to pull it off with all of your help! I live in a pretty remote area here in Southwestern Colorado and only have one LFS that does not carry sumps and when I talked to them awhile back they indicated that they thought it would be better to go with a canister filter--did not encourage the wet/dry and weren't all that helpful and also told me I would have to pay shipping to get it in to their shop. So……it looks like shipping charges are unavoidable and it will likely be ideal to have one custom built due to my space restrictions. I really like the idea of having the CO2, heater, etc. out of view as well. I am getting a better handle on the plumbing part of it--to make things a bit quieter I need to have longer bulkheads in the overflow, right? You may think this crazy, but I hate PVC pipe and am wondering if I could use HDPE piping instead?

    I have cats that are brothers and litter mates too--our black kitty is ~10, and the 2 brothers are 2 years old--orange tabby and grey tabby. It was great to have them grow up together--got into much less trouble as they had each other to play with and it is so neat how close they have remained. I know what you mean about them always "helping"--what fun they are!:D

    I will rewatch your video showing your sump to better understand what you mean by dual intakes--I just remember the 2 holes in the top that you attach hoses from the overflow system(?) So much to learn………

    I watched the video on planting HC in your tank before filling it--something I want to look further into as it sounds like a great way to get a good start with plant growth.

    Funny you use the term fear--I think that has been the hurdle that has kept me from setting this up for several years--I spoke with the LFS and was really intimidated and so left this beautiful tank empty to collect dust. I am ready now and am grateful to have your help!

    Best regards,
    Noelle
     
  20. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    There are plenty of places where you can order online and shipping will be free.

    For example:
    http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3579+3587+23752&pcatid=23752

    They have free shipping for orders over $49. There are plenty of other places to order from as well. Gerry can correct me if I'm wrong, but generally I think its a good idea to go up in size on the filter. With a 72G, I would go with a filter rated for 110 to 125 vs one rated for a 75. IMHO, once you get your arms around it the wet-dry is a fairly simple system. I found mine very easy to maintain.
     
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