User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: canister or sump filtration for 1200L nature aquarium to host Discus + Altum fish

  1. #1
    SCAPE Member Just Planted aeneas's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Slovenia
    Posts
    5
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    Enej
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    canister or sump filtration for 1200L nature aquarium to host Discus + Altum fish

    Hi from a new member; I've had Discus / Amazon-themed aquariums for 30+ years (basically since childhood), mostly 200-400L low-tech.

    We recently moved to a new house and am now planning my dream aquarium build - a ~1.200L aquarium (240x65x80cm or maybe 240x65x70cm) with a "wild" nature aquascape hopefully catching the atmosphere and concept of something close to Josh Sim's "Congo". There will be many technical hurdles to overcome and figure out how to do this project and I look forward to learning and hopefully getting some good tips and guidance from experts here.


    I have several initial construction concepts first I need figure out and your help would be greatly appreciated. Overall I would like to (a) keep aesthetics of as clean as possible with minimal intrusion of hoses and devices in the display area (using ADA glass accessories where needed etc.), and (b) design a system that is a quiet at possible - this will be in the main living/reception area so continuous humming sound of filter pump gets really annoying. This brings me to the 1st key decision I need to make in terms of construction: will I go with a Canister or Sump for filtration? ...one VERY important factor in this decision is not only efficacy for filtration, but also quiet operation; we currently have Eheim Professionel 3 XL for our 400L aquarium and my wife complains that it is much too loud (it vibrates through entire current wooden cabinet below the aquarium) and wants something that would be able to run quieter.

    I like the simplicity and ease of use and maintenance of canister, but I may need to canisters to ensure enough flow for 1.200L and that would raise the noise further. I am thinking Fluval FX6 or Oase Biomaster Thermo 850. Any experience with these in terms of noise? Perhaps if I use anti-vibration pads underneath and use a good soundproofing insulation of the inside walls of the cabinet that could do the trick?
    With a sump, I think noise is often even bigger problem and I also worry about troubleshooting the sump and all the complexity it brings, but at the same time it would allow me a lot of added flexibility in terms of adding all the other devices incl. CO2, UV, etc., but most importantly, it would allow me an automated water exchange & top-up (e.g. on timer, each day 50L water would be drained from the sump and refilled back; also with a floater, water level would be continuously maintained, as I would expect a lot of evaporation in case of open top design.

    Any tips and suggestions at this stage would be very very helpful!!!

  2. #2
    SCAPE President 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2017
    Location
    91762
    Posts
    2,224
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    Kole Hopkins
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by aeneas View Post
    Hi from a new member; I've had Discus / Amazon-themed aquariums for 30+ years (basically since childhood), mostly 200-400L low-tech.

    We recently moved to a new house and am now planning my dream aquarium build - a ~1.200L aquarium (240x65x80cm or maybe 240x65x70cm) with a "wild" nature aquascape hopefully catching the atmosphere and concept of something close to Josh Sim's "Congo". There will be many technical hurdles to overcome and figure out how to do this project and I look forward to learning and hopefully getting some good tips and guidance from experts here.


    I have several initial construction concepts first I need figure out and your help would be greatly appreciated. Overall I would like to (a) keep aesthetics of as clean as possible with minimal intrusion of hoses and devices in the display area (using ADA glass accessories where needed etc.), and (b) design a system that is a quiet at possible - this will be in the main living/reception area so continuous humming sound of filter pump gets really annoying. This brings me to the 1st key decision I need to make in terms of construction: will I go with a Canister or Sump for filtration? ...one VERY important factor in this decision is not only efficacy for filtration, but also quiet operation; we currently have Eheim Professionel 3 XL for our 400L aquarium and my wife complains that it is much too loud (it vibrates through entire current wooden cabinet below the aquarium) and wants something that would be able to run quieter.

    I like the simplicity and ease of use and maintenance of canister, but I may need to canisters to ensure enough flow for 1.200L and that would raise the noise further. I am thinking Fluval FX6 or Oase Biomaster Thermo 850. Any experience with these in terms of noise? Perhaps if I use anti-vibration pads underneath and use a good soundproofing insulation of the inside walls of the cabinet that could do the trick?
    With a sump, I think noise is often even bigger problem and I also worry about troubleshooting the sump and all the complexity it brings, but at the same time it would allow me a lot of added flexibility in terms of adding all the other devices incl. CO2, UV, etc., but most importantly, it would allow me an automated water exchange & top-up (e.g. on timer, each day 50L water would be drained from the sump and refilled back; also with a floater, water level would be continuously maintained, as I would expect a lot of evaporation in case of open top design.

    Any tips and suggestions at this stage would be very very helpful!!!
    I would definitely go with a sump with a refugium section to help with nitrate removal, can load it up with hornwort or floaters. I would do a trickle tower sump design, I built one for a 60g cube I had a little while back and that thing worked amazing! There is some noise from the water trickling through the filter, but if using a quality pump that should be about all you hear. I have had good success with the Sicce pumps, they are pretty dang quiet.
    There is also the added benefit of being able to hide misc equipment within the sump which can make for a really clean display tank, something I often find more important than a slight hum from filtration or pumps, but that's just me lol. If you do decide to do a trickle tower filter I would also do a Rex Griggs reactor on the return hose for you co2 injection.

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
    More Tanks!

  3. #3
    SCAPE Member Just Planted aeneas's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Slovenia
    Posts
    5
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    Enej
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Kole85 View Post
    I would definitely go with a sump with a refugium section to help with nitrate removal, can load it up with hornwort or floaters. I would do a trickle tower sump design, I built one for a 60g cube I had a little while back and that thing worked amazing! There is some noise from the water trickling through the filter, but if using a quality pump that should be about all you hear. I have had good success with the Sicce pumps, they are pretty dang quiet.
    There is also the added benefit of being able to hide misc equipment within the sump which can make for a really clean display tank, something I often find more important than a slight hum from filtration or pumps, but that's just me lol. If you do decide to do a trickle tower filter I would also do a Rex Griggs reactor on the return hose for you co2 injection.

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
    Although I dreaded going down this path, I do like the idea of a sump and it would allow me lots of additional flexibility - like having automated water changes with a solenoid valve letting ~50L water into the drain each night and then refilling back to the floater level; also automatically dosing nutrients and chemicals would be much easier... I have been reading about the bean animal overflow etc. but it seems waay to complicated to me for designing and all the engineering details that would need to go along. I understand overflow could be made quiet and there are some external pumps that can also be supposedly extremely quiet - you mention Sicce; any experience with Red Dragon 3? Some time ago as I was looking into pumps this seemed to be the best of the bunch...
    But as you point out, many people seem to complain about all the trickling of the water in the sump etc. If it is not done perfectly, it will be a lot of time and money wasted and my wife will not be too happy with it
    What about CO2 maintenance with the sump? People say sumps tend to loos a lot of CO2 which is essential in a highly planted nature aquarium...
    Also I worry about power failures; we live in a new neighbourhood where there is continuous construction going on so there are frequent (i.e. once every 2-3 months) power cuts.
    Anyway, lots of challenges, but would be happy to consider it further if you guys help me out with thinking this through.

    Here are also some additional sketches I made in terms of the layout against the wall - looking currently at two sizing options; wall-to-wall or with some small extra space on the size, leading to a slighly smaller volume tank:
    Slide1.jpg
    Slide3.jpg

  4. #4
    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr ichthyogeek's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2020
    Location
    San Fernando Valley
    Posts
    65
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    J
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think it depends on what you want your tank to do. I don't think I would use a sump if the tank was high or even medium tech planted. Sumps are great for the saltwater side of the hobby. But if you're CO2 supplementing, a lot of that CO2 is going to be lost dependent on the sump you want to do. However, a power failure will be less rough on a sump than on a canister filter in my opinion.

    Sump:
    Pros: minimal hassle when cleaning, water level does not drop in display tank, reduces surface film on top of water
    Cons: will most likely prevent floating plants from living in the tank, is fiddly in the beginning, takes up a bit of space underneath the tank stand. Can be hard to DIY if no prior experience.
    Sound: Three sources: overflow, pump, and entrance into the sump. Overflow gurgling can be fixed using something like an Herbie, Bean, or Durso style overflow. The pump's noise can be solved by using something like a sponge underneath it to minimize vibrations. The sound of the water entering the sump can be minimized by running the water onto something like sponge. A wet-dry trickle filter using bioballs would be fairly noisy (so much dripping). Biological filtration such as bioball filtration will be noisy.

    Canister filter:
    Pros: will keep floating plants alive, is easy to use straight from the box, and does not take up a lot of space underneath the tank.
    Cons: a hassle when cleaning, water level in the tank drops according to evaporation, surface film builds up.
    Noise: Mostly from the pump. Easily fixed by putting it in a bucket with padding like filter floss.

  5. #5
    SCAPE President 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2017
    Location
    91762
    Posts
    2,224
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    Kole Hopkins
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by aeneas View Post
    Although I dreaded going down this path, I do like the idea of a sump and it would allow me lots of additional flexibility - like having automated water changes with a solenoid valve letting ~50L water into the drain each night and then refilling back to the floater level; also automatically dosing nutrients and chemicals would be much easier... I have been reading about the bean animal overflow etc. but it seems waay to complicated to me for designing and all the engineering details that would need to go along. I understand overflow could be made quiet and there are some external pumps that can also be supposedly extremely quiet - you mention Sicce; any experience with Red Dragon 3? Some time ago as I was looking into pumps this seemed to be the best of the bunch...
    But as you point out, many people seem to complain about all the trickling of the water in the sump etc. If it is not done perfectly, it will be a lot of time and money wasted and my wife will not be too happy with it
    What about CO2 maintenance with the sump? People say sumps tend to loos a lot of CO2 which is essential in a highly planted nature aquarium...
    Also I worry about power failures; we live in a new neighbourhood where there is continuous construction going on so there are frequent (i.e. once every 2-3 months) power cuts.
    Anyway, lots of challenges, but would be happy to consider it further if you guys help me out with thinking this through.

    Here are also some additional sketches I made in terms of the layout against the wall - looking currently at two sizing options; wall-to-wall or with some small extra space on the size, leading to a slighly smaller volume tank:
    Slide1.jpg
    Slide3.jpg
    Although sumps can be a bit more noisy, I feel they are the best bang for the buck when going with larger tanks.
    I have never used the pump you mention , though my experience with sumps and return pumps is a bit limited. @Nick Shades or @John7429 could probably point you in a good direction, one being a saltwater guy and the other who has had a few beast sized tanks.
    As for co2 maintenance, I would go for the most efficient way to diffuse it into the water which is why I mentioned the reactor idea. With a proper reactor you can diffuse almost, if not all, 100% of the co2 injected. There will be some gas exchange happening on the overflow side, but with near 100% diffusion on the return there should be a decent amount of co2 in the tank. Luckily though, the Aquascape you mentioned as a reference for your Nature style doesn't utilize very high tech plants. Mostly mosses, ferns, and low tech plants. You should be able to have more than enough co2 for those.
    As for the power failure issues you may face, if you plumb and set up the sump properly you shouldn't have to worry about that. You will want to make sure your sump has enough water to run properly, but also leave enough volume leftover for whatever water may overflow from the display tank if the power shuts off....and you would want a gravity style overflow so things run normal when the power comes back on. In the 60g cube I had the overflow was only about an inch or so below the running water level which was only a few gallons of water.
    Here is the link to the sump I built for my 60g cube. I went as budget friendly as possible and didn't have much space to work with under the stand so there wasn't much room for extra equipment. The concept is the same between the DIY and some of the purpose built sumps.
    http://scapeclub.org/forum/showthrea...=Trickle+tower

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
    More Tanks!

  6. #6
    SCAPE Member Just Planted aeneas's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Slovenia
    Posts
    5
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    Enej
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My wife is voting for canister filters - she says sump is too messy. I am thinking that with 2x Oase 850 Thermo (with added heater benefit) should be able to handle ~290 gal tank if properly heavily planted and with plants doing a big job in the ecosystem... if not, maybe 2x Fulvals...

    But: with canister filters installed, I was thinking how to automate water top-up as well as do a ~50L water exchange per day. Here is a sketch that I'm playing with: one of the canisters will be linked to two separate solenoid-valve controlled hoses; first one will be timer-controlled and will open just enough to let 50L drain out once per day (e.g. during the night); the other solenoid is controlled by a water level detector in the aquarium - such as Hydor, which turns it on whenever water drops below the required level and then tops up with fresh pretreated water back to required level. This then takes care then of both the evaporation as well as when the other solenoid drains 50L per day.

    Tell me what you think of the idea?
    AQUARIUM-9.jpg

  7. #7
    SCAPE President 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2017
    Location
    91762
    Posts
    2,224
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    Kole Hopkins
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by aeneas View Post
    My wife is voting for canister filters - she says sump is too messy. I am thinking that with 2x Oase 850 Thermo (with added heater benefit) should be able to handle ~290 gal tank if properly heavily planted and with plants doing a big job in the ecosystem... if not, maybe 2x Fulvals...

    But: with canister filters installed, I was thinking how to automate water top-up as well as do a ~50L water exchange per day. Here is a sketch that I'm playing with: one of the canisters will be linked to two separate solenoid-valve controlled hoses; first one will be timer-controlled and will open just enough to let 50L drain out once per day (e.g. during the night); the other solenoid is controlled by a water level detector in the aquarium - such as Hydor, which turns it on whenever water drops below the required level and then tops up with fresh pretreated water back to required level. This then takes care then of both the evaporation as well as when the other solenoid drains 50L per day.

    Tell me what you think of the idea?
    AQUARIUM-9.jpg
    I don't see your sketch as being workable with the drain line coming off of the return hose to the tank. When that solenoid opens to drain the water, the water flow back to the tank will cause a siphon and keep water from flowing to the drain. This same type of siphon will be how the water from the autofill reservoir will return to the tank. Seems like a much more complicated system that can have some problems if not done correctly.
    My real question is.....how come nobody has ever thought to sound proof the inside of their aquarium stands?

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
    More Tanks!

  8. #8
    SCAPE Member Just Planted aeneas's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Slovenia
    Posts
    5
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    Enej
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Kole85 View Post
    I don't see your sketch as being workable with the drain line coming off of the return hose to the tank. When that solenoid opens to drain the water, the water flow back to the tank will cause a siphon and keep water from flowing to the drain. This same type of siphon will be how the water from the autofill reservoir will return to the tank. Seems like a much more complicated system that can have some problems if not done correctly.
    My real question is.....how come nobody has ever thought to sound proof the inside of their aquarium stands?

    Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
    Hmm... good point. I was counting on the water coming from the canister under strong pressure pushing ~20% water into the drain pipe once that one opens; equally, the fresh supply of water comes with a pressure (behind the wall is a toilet and so I have drilled through the wall plumbing with fresh pretreated (softened, filtered and de-chlorinated) and heated water at a household water pressure...) so I was hoping the pressure would be strong enough to push into the flow of the hose leading into the tank. In fact, I would assume the flow into the tank would even create some "pull" factor - again allowing fresh water to mix in. Might need to calculate this to see whether these assumptions are entirely wrong. And of course would need to test it out with just a filter and hoses to see whether this could be pulled off.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •