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Thread: Freshwater Wet Dry design help

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    DIYFK member 7fa's Avatar


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    Freshwater Wet Dry design help

    Newbie here... Looking to use a 50 breeder as a wet dry filter for my new 150 tank. Been researching this site and internet and have managed to confuse myself with all the designs out there... I have two sketches of what I am thinking of trying- but not sure which one makes more sense. Open to any suggested changes.

    Not sure if the added intake chamber on #2 is worth the extra effort and lost space?
    Would adding another section for polishing filter floss before the pump be a good addition?

    Planning to use two 1" overflows and Mag-12 pump on single return line.

    WD #1.JPG

    WD#2.JPG

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    DIYFK member Nil13's Avatar


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    I like the second option better because you can make the first chamber a sock filter. For the second chamber, I would drop the second baffle down a bit depending on flow requirements. I would put the ceramic bag on eggcrate to keep it off the bottom. Detritus is going to collect down there and it's easier to vacuum up if it's bare. Is the last bit of foam for bubbles/fines filter?

    Looking at it again, I would go with as much mechanical filtration as possible before you hit the bio tower. You want the water as free of particulate as possible. Then, in the tower I would make shelves out of whatever your top distribution plate is. If you could make it a basket with sides, that would be better. Then on each shelf put a layer of feather rock or ceramic media. Do that till you hit the bottom of the second baffle. If you just stacked up the media it would end up channeling and collecting detritus. Making it a bunch of single layers solves that and redistributes the flow at each level. Check out Bakki Showers for the big version. If you're going to make a shower might as well pack as much surface area in there as possible with ceramic instead of bioballs.

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    DIYFK member Nil13's Avatar


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    Any reason why you are planning on a tower? There are simpler filters.

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    DIYFK member 7fa's Avatar


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    Thanks for the input. I'm open to other design ideas- but thought using bioballs/ scrubbies was a good cheap solution for a FW tank setup. Your suggesting to replace the open area for the bio balls with individual media "shelves" that would stack on top of each other and have their own drip plate at the bottom of each tray?

    The foam I had after the tower was intended as a polishing sponge/ floss chamber before the water went back to the pump

    Is this what you're suggesting? When you say move the the 2nd baffle down- you mean make the gap between tower section and sponge filter smaller?

    WD3.JPG

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    DIYFK member Nil13's Avatar


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    Wrt to the gap under the second baffle, yes I was suggesting that 3" is too high. A 1"x16" slot will easily gravity flow 2500 gpm. The cross sectional area of a 1" gap is greater than a 4" drain line that gets used in koi ponds. Since you are only running 1200 gph max, 1" is more than enough.

    Here is what I was talking about wrt the bottom ceramic media. You don't want anything on the bottom glass because that where all the detritus collects and you need to be able to vacuum that up. The foam polish filter should also be up off the bottom glass.

    Wrt the trays, you want a stack of trays with air gaps around them so that the falling water can draw fresh air into the tower. I found a diagram for a Bakki shower that sort of shows that.

    Is this your first sump filter build?Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

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    DIYFK member Nil13's Avatar


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    The classic wet/dry puts the dry tower over the sump in order to maintain as much drain down capacity in the sump. Plus there is usually quite a bit of vertical space in the cabinet and the bio tower doesn't need to hold water. The problem is that mechanical filtration is usually not thought about too much except for a foam pad or filter floss on top. The problem with that is that mechanical filtration is probably the most important part of the filter. The biofilter needs clean water without a bunch of detritus that will clog it. As far as fines and bubbles go, you can put a filter on the pump to take care of that. The bit in the middle was supposed to be for like bags of carbon, but that doesn't work all that well.Click here to enlarge

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    DIYFK member 7fa's Avatar


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    thanks- yes 1st sump build... trying to get it right 1st time, but understand these are all pretty unique. I like the idea of the media trays. Would be nice to find something stackable already made- but it not should not be too hard to build from acrylic if I cant find something the right size. When you say you want air gaps around them- you referring to building in some open vertical space in between each tray?

    My stand only has about 24" vertical space and 50 breeder is 19" tall- so not much room to go higher for a tower...

  8. #8
    DIYFK member Nil13's Avatar


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    If I were going to use that tower form, I would make the tower socks that drain to more socks. Put as many as you can fit across the width of the sump. Make the mech easy to clean, so you swap out your socks for clean ones each week or more often depending on your fish load. Aquaculture uses rotating drum filters as mechanical filtration to remove all the solids from the water column immediately. Getting rid of the solids is key. They cause nothing but problems.

    Then once everything if filtered mechanically, just use a moving bed of K1 for the bio. You'll be able to get enough media in there for a loaded 150 no problem.Click here to enlarge

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    DIYFK member Nil13's Avatar


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    Ah got it. That's a short stand. Yeah a tower would be a problem. But 19" is a pretty good size to work with.

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    DIYFK member Nil13's Avatar


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    Airspace would be vertical space between the bottom of the tray and the next layer of media but also on the sides. You need air to flow down the tower so there needs to be a gap between the tray and the tower and a way to get the air into the tower. There also needs to be a way for air to get into each tray. So the bottom of the tray should be smaller than the top. You might look at plastic shoeboxes or 1/2 sheet polypropylene food pans that you drill holes in the bottom.

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