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Re: Fluidized Bed Filters

>>GB What about power failures?  I've heard they good sour quickly when the
>>GB power is lost because they compact quite a bit with no water flow. 

>MB With my Merlin a prolonged power failure (>5min) is generally disasterous
>MB unless I'm around to fix it.  The sand will become very compacted very
>MB quickly and the little powerhead cannot make the sand fluid again without
>MB manual intervention....

>>GB Do you think you need that much biofiltering in a planted tank?

>MB I suspect this much bio-filtration is unnecessary and not the best
>MB filtration option for a planted tank....

>MB I am in the trickle filter camp.  Actually I think a Berlin style sump
>MB would be more appropriate as a large bio-filter is probably not necessary.

Well thank you both for saving me from a costly experiment.  As George said,
"maybe he's trying to sell you the latest and greatest."  :-)  In defense of the
pet shop owner's, he is a very accomplished reef aquarist.  He simply doesn't
have much/any experience with plants.

The trickle filter certainly seems to be a 'tried and true' method.  (That is
what I was talking about with the pet shop owner when I went off on my 5 day
It seems that the 'standard' reef tank advice for sizing pumps and trickle
filters may be overkill for the modern plant tank.  Based on my tank size of 265
gal he was recommending at least 900gph through 18 gallons of bio-balls.

I am planning on rigging a constant flow water change system that will
continuously drip about 0.35 gallons of tap water per hour into the tank.  This
should give me a little better than 20% per week water change, when accounting
for the dilution factor.  I am planning on using my tap water which is about
40ppm kH and making a 'dosing pump' from an IV bag that will contain my calcium
carbonate and fertilizer.  This automatic water change is important to me
because I think lugging 60 gallons of water to the tank once a week would
discourage doing timely water changes. 

Based on all this, any recommendations for water flow rates and gallons of
bio-balls for the trickle filter?

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