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NFC: Another Filter/Aquarium Question

Are undergravel filters a necessity?  In large tanks can you get away with
just a gravity fed wet/dry system that just pumps the water back in the
tank?  I'm designing and building a tank and stand that is enclosed at one
end so it can stick out in the middle of a room.  I'm running a pvc elbow in
near the top of the tank at the enclosed end that will run down to the

My concern is areas of stagnant water that an undergravel filter would cure.
I plan on running the return line down the length of the hood and drop the
water back in at the other end of the tank.  I'm also debating to instead,
run the pvc return line down into the tank and direct it from the bottom to
flow away from the enclosed end.  Any input on this...anyone?

I using a Rio 3100 pump which will output about 500 gallons/hr at 5 feet of
height ($50 on ebay).  Should I go bigger than one inch tubing from inside
the tank to the wet / dry for that?  Will 500 g/h overflow the tank with
just a one inch escape?

Any and all input is greatly appreciated.
Many thanks,

BTW:  I just bought two 4'x8' sheet's of plexi for under $250 total.  It's
enough to make a 6 x 2.5 x 1.5 ~ 170 gallon tank and I'll be left with two
4' x 2' sheets (front and back of a 100 gallon tank).  I'm making my own
Wet/dry filter out of 1/4" ($36 in materials minus bio-balls).  I'll put
pictures of the project and process on a web page when it's done if anyone
is interested.

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