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Old 11-26-2012, 08:47 AM   #1
blindkiller85
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I'm upgrading my tank in February. Going all out. 220g starphire 3 sides. Making my own stand. Not letting my fiance's inability to manage her finances stop me like the planned pond which is now scrapped entirely. Realized the heating aspect of it would be absurd.

Question I have is really a which is better scenario for biological filtration. Canister or a sump. Have a fluval fx5 currently and love it. But would bioballs/sock/polishing pad work better or basically be the same? Or please educate me on media within a sump to still perform great.

I know there are great aesthetic differences. And I have much better options and resale value going drilled and sump. Also easier to add in an RO/DI, inline UV and heater to add more to the aesthetic values. All of which I realistically want to do. Also makes it a cakewalk going to saltwater which I eventually will do.

Anything else that you guys want to chime in with, feel free.
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Last edited by blindkiller85; 11-28-2012 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:56 AM   #2
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I think sumps are more work. But in theory, at least, bigger is better. A 40 gallon sump with a flow comparable to a canister will hold a lot more media, which will allow you to stock more heavily (if this is your desire). There has got to be a bit more skill involved and a greater risk of disastrous flood, but I'm sure you can handle it.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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Sump would be more work, but wouldn't the filtration rate be better? I would think the fx5 would be able to handle the 220 by itself.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:49 PM   #4
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Haha emc. I don't know if you're being sarcastic or serious but I'm laughing. In either case I was looking at it from the beneficial aspects of it for filtration. Better is better, bigger has little to do with it. More work is no problem with me personally. Disasterous flood, won't happen. I already plan on taking the entire thing into my garage with a pan and drain for flooding before it goes in the house. Super heavy stocking, not my goal either particularly. Better is just better, if I'm going to spend the money getting the starphire tank, I don't want to come even close to skimping on filtration.

Oddball - According to Fluvals ratings, yes it can handle a 220. They state it's capable of up to a 400 gallon. Flow rates tested around the internet have claimed 400-525 gph. I tested mine how it's packed and I have right around 475. So I'm atleast double. Testing 4ppm ammonia took 13 days to turn it to nitrates all brand new media and new water using identical seeded media via tests done on Monster Fish Keepers

UGh. I so want to just keep using the fx5 and not get the tank drilled to make it so much easier and cheaper but I'd really rather be prepared on all fronts for the future if there's only a $200 difference for drilled and not with starphire glass.

I'd really love to go RO as well, but then I'm going into a heck of a battle with my 7.8pH rather hard water.
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125g - 13 Denison barbs, 3 brilliant rasboras, 4 scissor tail rasboras, 5 red eye tetra's, 2 SAE's, 1 common pleco
http://www.fishforums.com/forum/fish...done-tank.html
34g - Driftwood and gravel 10 ghost shrimp, L128 pleco

Last edited by blindkiller85; 11-26-2012 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:01 PM   #5
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I would just put cichlids in it and not sweat the pH. But if you are planning SW down the line, it makes sense to plan ahead and be RO ready.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:07 PM   #6
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My understanding is the amount of bio filtration you can support depends on the media area * flow rate. DIY sumps are seldom as efficient as well-designed canisters, but there is so much more area they usually come out ahead. However, you will only have as much active bacteria as your feeding will support. So a great big place for bacteria to live still won't be full if you have a light fish load. It should "scale up" faster though when you add more fish.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by emc7 View Post
My understanding is the amount of bio filtration you can support depends on the media area * flow rate. DIY sumps are seldom as efficient as well-designed canisters, but there is so much more area they usually come out ahead. However, you will only have as much active bacteria as your feeding will support. So a great big place for bacteria to live still won't be full if you have a light fish load. It should "scale up" faster though when you add more fish.
Thanks for the education on that one. Never really put 2 and 2 together on that one. But it makes sense.

As far as cichlids, I like them, but they aren't my cup of tea per say. For lack of a better word and description, as it is 530am and I'm getting ready for work, I'm beside myself and completely infatuated with my stock now. Though my giant danio's are pissing me off, they are just too actively running around getting fat lol.

Can I realistically do an RO/DI for adding water only. And then go with fertilizers and additives to bring the properties of water up to par for the fish to be happy, grow and survive? Add plants in to help with nitrates.
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http://www.fishforums.com/forum/fish...done-tank.html
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:06 PM   #8
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Or am I getting that wrong and would there be enough trace elements after passing through an RO/DI to keep the fish in optimal conditions? I just don't know. Educate me please.
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125g - 13 Denison barbs, 3 brilliant rasboras, 4 scissor tail rasboras, 5 red eye tetra's, 2 SAE's, 1 common pleco
http://www.fishforums.com/forum/fish...done-tank.html
34g - Driftwood and gravel 10 ghost shrimp, L128 pleco
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:23 PM   #9
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If an RO is working right, there is almost nothing left in the water. You can use it as a base to make any water you like by adding stuff, fresh, brackish or salt. But even discus need some stuff in the water. So you either blend it with tap, use it for top-off only (only pure water evaporates), or add back in all the desirable minerals. Look at Equilibrium & Replenish on the SeaChem website.

If want to use plants to attack the nitrate you can turn the sump into a "refugium" densely packed with plants with its own light.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:40 PM   #10
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Would using equilibrium and or replenish make the water livable is the question.

I say and ask that because well, I think it's just about as foolish as using ph up or down. My high pH tap water would be rather ineffective at having a stable pH which as we all know is much better than a pH out of range. Even goldfish would be at risk of death when pH fluxuations versus stable ph.

Doing a plant refugium is never a bad idea, but it's secondary to trying to avoid excessive water changes due to keeping pH stable in the sense of RO use.
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" To reach manhood, we are all cast into the fire and purified by pain "

125g - 13 Denison barbs, 3 brilliant rasboras, 4 scissor tail rasboras, 5 red eye tetra's, 2 SAE's, 1 common pleco
http://www.fishforums.com/forum/fish...done-tank.html
34g - Driftwood and gravel 10 ghost shrimp, L128 pleco

Last edited by blindkiller85; 11-29-2012 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:37 PM   #11
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Yes, that's the whole point of those products. Pure RO water is no good, but returning the lost minerals will make it suitable.
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