[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Filtration

Alysoun McLaughlin wrote:

> I currently keep an Eheim, rated for a 55 gallon tank, on my 30 gallon
> tank.  It's not really for the bacteria, but for the actual debris. 
> With an actively flowering crispus and a bunch of lilies that are
> constantly dropping older leaves in favor of new ones, I still need to
> gravel vac weekly to remove the debris, which gets caught in the
> grasses.  Not to mention, I've got a lot of floating bits, mostly of
> ambulia, from disturbance by the fish...
> Anyway, I change the filter media every two to three weeks, and I've
> always got a sludgy soup.  Granted, I have a high fish load (just over
> 40 fish).


The reef keepers have pointed this out over and over, but it seems like 
it may need to be mentioned here.

If you use a mechanical filter you need to clean the filter very
frequently (daily, for instance).  Otherwise the filter just holds the
trapped debri in a nice, aerated stream of water where it rots back into
the water at the highest possible rate. 

This has the effect of minimizing the value of the filter while maximizing
your costs.  The antithesis of optimization. 

So far I haven't found a mechanical filter in the hobby trade that I want 
to use on a continous basis.

One of my unfiltered tanks tends to collect trash.  For that tank I run a 
Magnum 350 with a polishing filter insert for a couple hours after each 
cleaning.  My other unfiltered tanks don't collect debri either because 
they don't contain plants that produce a lot of trash, or because they 
contain snails that eat the trash. 

Over-the back filters with a simple screen to catch debri offer the
easiest solution.  It might be necessary to concoct your own screen to
make it work. 

I've also toyed with a DIY cyclonic separator feeding a large sump.  
Separators are only good for heavy debri, so of limited use in aquaria.  
Some aquaculture systems (mostly in Europe, I think) use a self-cleaning 
filter called a triangle filter that I'd like to see adapted to aquaria.

Roger Miller