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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I intend to setup a large tank (approx 132 long 36 wide 24 high - inches) and am trying to come up with some reasonable filtration. This will be a heavily planted tank (attached is my 120). My initial thought was sump but i had one shop strongly recommend canister filters. A more interesting alternative that was suggested by someone was to have no filtration as the tank will be large enough to be self sustaining with the substrate providing adequate biological filtration.



My current design thoughts based on feedback from a fellow who ran his tank without filters would be the following:
corner matten filter (similar to what swisstropical sells) with a hole underneath - water would be piped down through an inline heater and then pumped up the other side. One concern here is that the current would be too fast through the sponge. Conversely this does not provide a large amount of mechanical filtration (well it does but the sponge might clog quickly).
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The alternative design would be to have a traditional sump but that will generate more noise and of course added cost.
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All of this is just thought and am looking for feedback from folks with experience.
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Has anyone setup such a tank and have experience with different filtration options and if so can you add your experience?
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Attached is my 120 which is the sort of tank i am targeting:

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I've never had a tank that large. But I do use both canisters and large, pond size sponge filters with power heads in a planted tank. You do not want any filter or pump with the impeller in the bottom as sand and crud will chew it up. Lid impeller canisters like fluvals or sunsun should work, but they'd have to be at least 2 big ones and cleaned regularly. Most people I know with that size tank have sumps or refugiums (sumps with lights and plants. And sometimes a in line uv filter to kill algae in the water.
Unfiltered, natural balanced style tanks can work. The trick is to keep a very low amount of animals. In a heavily planted tank, you may rarely see a fish outside of feeding time. You might check out monsterfishkeepers.com for info on diy sump stuff and theplantedtank.net for lighting and fert. info. Best of luck, keep us posted. Talk to someone at jehmco.com they can help you plumb a sump and sell you what you need. If decide to European style balanced aquarium, get a book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok thanks. I think the problem is figuring out what equipment the larger tank need. It seems that a lot of people use pond pumps and hot-tub heaters for such tanks. Never heard of jemco.com but will check with them. The tank will be a forest like my 120 but a bit more open in the middle/front since it will be larger and greater width. Sadly i cannot make it taller since i have short arms. It will be mostly SA but i will have loaches and a few asian plants since I am not a purist.
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Should a planted tank have UV filter? I know some people use them but i've also heard they sometime kill good things in the water. I have a little alge in my 120 but it is not awful or offensive but the tank is only 2 years old - maybe after 5 I will regret it? I clean the glass maybe 4 times a year.
 

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Hopefully you will not need uv and you can always add later. In theory, if you get the plants and nutrients right, algae will stay under control. Don't forget the h In jehmco. They are a good middle ground between total diy and buying a complete setup. They will help you select parts, sell them to you and advise on assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My 120 is pretty stable. It has been setup for almost 2 years now and algae in that has not been an issue - every now and then i get a touch of bba but it seems to not spread and slowly goes away. I'll look into jehmco - it is a company i've not heard but now several people have recommended them.
 

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Jehmco has been around for awhile and has a good reputation for quality products and very good service.
 
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