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Best Filtration-sump/filters

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hi all,

Would just like to know what the main differences are between using a sump and/or internal and external mech filters.

i sorta understand the concept but would like to know more.

and also the pro's and con's for each

thank you for your time,

Luke

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Google is a good place to start your research.

Essentially sumps increase the water volume of your system, generally have a higher water turnover rate, more effectively convert nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia... give a greater opportunity to customise media that you put in them and allow you to hide things such as heaters.

In my opinion sumps are a more effective means of filtration. But I use canisters because I'm lazy.

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x2 with all the above, i've been meaning to get my 6FT sumped to ages but have been to lazy to bother. hence why there is a canister!

oh one minor con, you have to get your tank drilled/fitted ect. which i cbf doing.

HTH

Michael

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i have asked the same question b4 and have been told cannister filters are the way too go. it so confusing i know when ur trying to get the right answer. but i guess it comes down to wat u want to put in there.

there are pros and cons for both i suppose, if you want a sump go with a sump, if you want a cannister filter than do it. ultimately its ur choice and money you want to spend. i have gone with a canister filter because theya re smaller, and they do the same thing as a sump does essentially.

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you can fit heaps and heaaaaaaaaaps more media into a sump making it a better bio filter. you can also add a massive pump to suit ur needs if you have a large tank also helps to keep the water clean. having a sump also keeps the water level at maximum hight. all evaporation come out of the sump. sumps aerate ur water. no need for a air pump, you stuff all ur heaters into your sump so the dont look ugly in ur tank. thats about all i can think of. hope this helps

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x2 with all the above, i've been meaning to get my 6FT sumped to ages but have been to lazy to bother. hence why there is a canister!

oh one minor con, you have to get your tank drilled/fitted ect. which i cbf doing.

HTH

Michael

You can fit an overflow..no hole drilling required ;)

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The Main advantange of Sumps (wet and Dry filters as known in old saltwater days) is aeration hense the name wet and dry, the mixing of water and air. The Bateria that converts Ammonia and Nitrite, is aerobic (needs air / O2), so the more air, the more Bactria, therefore more amonia / nitrites that can be converted.

A Canister will use the O2 in the water so as the water is returned to ur tank, it is depleated in O2 (not ideal for fish).

The other advantage of sumps is that they are able to be constructed at home (mine consists of a large sump for water storage (due to the overflow of excess water from the tanks, if the pump is turned off each tank will lower their water level so the sump needs to be able to hold this water) and some 12" stormwater pipe standing up 6'. There is a shower head at top of pipe being feed some of the water going back to the tanks. This allows a nice slow contact with the bio media to allow time for the bacteria to do their job. This simple and cheap system is able to filter over 3000l of system (soon to be expanded), and support 1000s of fish (not uncommon for me to have 100 1-2cm african fry being heavily fed in a std 2' tank. I have 2 of these tanks with about 50 3-6cm Africans atm and they are still growing).

To do my system with canisters I would need either lots of smaller ones or probably 3 FX5s (there is $1000 there). The other advantage is Maintenance, my sump has 1 sponge that I need to cleen once a week, that is it. Lot easier than cleaning 20 smaller filters.

Matt

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Some people like to make life complicated....some like to keep it simple

If you are a DIY enthusiast and part of the kick of keeping fish is playing with the equipment......or you want to filter 6+ big tanks at a time or you have a salt water tank......then a sump's the way to go.

With large individual freshwater tank filtration is not as important as it is for saltwater

and water changes aren't as difficult(or expensive)....so a commercially produced canister(s) of appropriate size + regular water changes will be all you need to keep you fish in Top condition.

It is far simpler to install a canister than it a sump......most sumps don't take advantage of the opportunity and an in essence just a big external box filter.....properly done they can provide a lot of filtration....but in some cases it is overkill

both work.....it is really a matter of personal desire and How much effort you are prepared to make!

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hi all,

thanks for all the ideas + opinions so far, please keep them coming :)

i would like to convert over to a sump as a i see there are some major advantages

i have a 2yr old boy and another on the way (found out yesterday :P:P ) so was a bit worried about finding toys cars and uneaten food floating in the sump 8O8O8O

hence why im currently running 6 internals :(

but im guessing there would be some huge power saving's also with the sump ??

is there a " rule of thumb" as to size of sump to tank area etc.

[_}c Cheers Luke

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Go the sump mate, less maintance and better filtration. All you have to put up with is a bit more noise , not too bad depending on how setup. As for the toddler.. can you enclose the sump in the cabinet ie behind doors?

I moved from canister to sump a few months ago and it was best thing i've done, water quality is much better . My mate just moved from sump to internals temporarily while he sets up a new system and since he went away from sump has had all sorts of dramas.

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Sorry for the delay in responding,but work calls

Ray has put you on the right track as always :P as he said there are already made ones and there is a place in WA if your interested they will make you one for less than $100

PM me if your interested

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Firstly the two main types of filteration are mechanical and bacterial.

Mechanical is simply the removal of detritis and solid wastes by filtering through some form of filter (sponge, dacron etc). Bacterial is having bacteria breaking down the waste and making it non harmful to the fish and animals. So the larger the amount of media you can have the more bacteria you have. At the same time bacteria use oxygen to break down the waste, so they require some way of getting air.

As far as the amount of water flow - the general rule is that to do the job properly you need to turnover your water 4 - 6 times an hour. If you have a 400ltr tank then you should be using at pump somewhere between a 1600ltr/hr and a 2400ltr/hr. There is an old saying that you can never have too much filtration, but you can have too much current or turnover.

Now if you look at the four basic types of filters, internal, hang on the side, canisters and sumps. The sumps are by far the best.

They are better in every way possible. The main drawbacks are their large size and if you purchase one complete, their cost. These problems can be overcome easierly.

If you have room on your tank stand under the tank then you have room for a sump. Stands can be enclosed to hide the sumps no problems and this will also reduce noise.

If you build your own to suit the space you have then size is not a problem and the costs can be greatly reduced. In fact I built two sumps using old tanks for less than the cost of buying one canister filter.

The next best filters, depending on size, are canisters with hang on the side very close behind.

Some of the smaller canisters are not as good as the same size hang on the side filter.

Canisters main problem is that they return oxygen poor water (they strip oxygen from the water) back to the tanks, hench the spray bars to help oxygenate the water. Most do however have a good sized amount of media.

Hang on the sides have much better oxygenation of the water but lack a little in size of media, but not by much. I use Aquaclear 500's (with three sponges in each) on my 4 x 18 x 18 tanks and have never had a problem.

At the bottom of the heap and a long way down from canisters and hang on the side filters are the internal filters. Note that there are some newer internals similar to the big Aquaones, that do have reasonalble size amounts of media. These I would rate above normal internals.

The normal internal filters are so poor in performance compaired to the others that I would only use them for short periods as an emergency replacement. If needed to be used for longer that a couple of days then I would recomemd cleaning every second or third day at the longest.

Their poor performance is mainly due to the small amount of media they have for the amount of current flow, also the fact that they are submerged and hence have no oxygen getting to the media. Even with a venturi attached the air only gets to the impellor not the media. So once again the bacteria can not do the job of breaking down the wastes properly.

If you looking to change then search out a heap of information before you make up your mind. But in the long run the sumps are the best by a long long way.

Graeme :roll:

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Filtration is also relevant to the type of fish you are going to keep

there is no one Best solution

If you are keeping African cichlids in non planted tanks that are very alkaline and from what I've seen high density stocking is the norm.....then more filtration is needed because waste is more toxic in alkaline water than in Acid water(ammonia becomes less toxic ammonium as water becomes more acid) and there are no plants to process toxins naturally.....so perhaps a sump is warranted....particularly if the tank has no substrate....which is another popular solution.

If you are planning a South American community tank.....heavily planted....soft acid water...good lighting

Then a sump would be a total overkill and would probably strip nutrients that would be better used by the plants

If you are keeping "wild type" bettas in very soft acid water then NO filtration is needed(biological filtration doesn't work in very acid water because it kills the bacteria that do the work!)....just water changes works

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for Africans with the no plants thing...

you could have a refugium - which are used in saltwater tanks

basically just use a macro algae or plant in a separate section to do whatever plants do and get the benefits from them without them being in the main tank

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Good Idea!

Never kept Mbuna....

but if I did and had a sump on their tank......I'd have a light over a sump with duckweed in it.....then feed it back to the fish

Duckweed is Good at absorbing nutrients and is a very Good food for vegetarian fish and it grows like mad

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