180g (attempted low/easy maintenance) peninsula dirt bottom planted tank build

Tobiassorensen

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Overall it looks really good. I agree with an emergency for the socks. I would have the return to flow from opposite side to direct the waterflow to the overflow
 
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Oughtsix

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I appreciate all the replies... it is reassuring to know that my design isn't completely crazy. I should have mentioned that my design goal is to make the filter maintenance as quick and easy as possible. Any ideas on making the design easier to service would be greatly appreciated!

I also should mentioned that the 180g will be a heavily planted dirt bottom with gravel cap tank. I haven't decided on stocking yet... we will probably lean towards many smaller fish rather than a few larger fish that tend to tear up plants and do their own landscaping. Our current tank is dirt bottom with a gravel cap and we really like this configuration.

Thank you for pointing out the emergency overflow for the filter socks. I will definitely make provisions for overflow when the socks are plugged. My plan for the filter sock holder is to use a 12" x 12" x 3/8" - 1/2" plate of plate of acrylic and drill four 4" stepped rimed holes to hold four filter socks. In the middle of the four filter sock holes I will drill a ~2" hole and weld in a piece of 2" acrylic pipe ~1" high. If the water level backs up above this emergency drain it will just bypass the filter socks and fall directly onto the bio balls through the 2" hole. (I haven't plotted out the geometry of the holes yet to make sure all the holes will fit on the 12x12 plate... but I will do so before I get too deep into the build)... hmmm... maybe I will just put a 4" dia 1" tall pipe in one of the filter sock holes and only run 3 socks. Seems like this would give me plenty of overflow capacity.

I plan on utilizing a "Ghost Overflow" type overflow in the tank rated for a pretty high volume. This will give me two or three ~1.5" bulk heads that I will plumb into the sides of tower. I am thinking that with three fairly large drains from the overflow I should not need a siphon to increase the flow. If I do not have enough flow I will lower the whole column until I get enough siphon to support the gph of the filtration.

I am contemplating running a course filter pad above the fine filter socks. I am debating the extra effort of getting to the filter socks vs the ease of quickly cleaning and replacing just the filter pad on a more regular basis than I would clean the filter socks. Any thoughts?

I have not decided what all will be in the 55g sump yet. There will be the return pump and a heater obviously. I kind of like the idea of having the 55g sump rather empty so it is easy to get to and clean the gunk that inevitably settles to the bottom over time. I can see the 55g might be used as a refugium at some point... probably for growing out young plants and rooting clippings.
 
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CrazyKoiCracker

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There are bulk generic bio rings on amazon that work great. Aquacity is the brand name, $30 for ten pounds. That way you can have wet dry and also submerged. Or if you’re worried about cleaning the sump, make it a moving bed filter. Just need a small air pump, two air stones, and a few gallons of k1 micro or something similar. Of course a moving bed can’t double as a refugium. But submerged ceramic media is fine for shrimp, fry, or just a ton of pothos. Personally I’d fill the bottom of the sump with ceramic media and start a shrimp colony if you designed it in a way that would prevent the shrimp from reaching the return pump.
 

Oughtsix

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There are bulk generic bio rings on amazon that work great. Aquacity is the brand name, $30 for ten pounds... But submerged ceramic media is fine for shrimp, fry, or just a ton of pothos. Personally I’d fill the bottom of the sump with ceramic media and start a shrimp colony if you designed it in a way that would prevent the shrimp from reaching the return pump.
Shrimp?

Why would we keep the shrimp in the sump instead of the main tank?

Shrimp is one of the creatures my duaghter and I would like to keep in our new tank but shrimp are completely new to me. I am guessing you would put the shrimp in the sump instead of the main tank to protect them against large predatory fish? We are thinking staying with smaller fish... we have done the huge cichlid tank and are more interested in aquascaping and growing out a lot of nicely scaped aquatic plants. Angle fish will probably as large a fish as we would consider keeping and we aren't sure if we would even go that big. Do you let the shrimp breed in the sump then move them into the display tank when they are large enough?

Not shown on my drawing is large DE filter that I left out for design clarity. The DE filter has massive surface area available for bacterial colonization so I have no worries about having enough bio filtration. The tower and bio balls are mostely for oxygenation instead of bio but they will of course act as bio filtration too.

This leaves the sump pretty much open. I use pothos in unplanted tanks like my daughters axolotl tank but I don't usually use pothos in a tank planted with aquatic plants. Also not shown the sump will be equiped with a float valve and an exta pump that will go to a hose and be used for watering house plants and water changes. The float valve will have to be pretty high flow and be connected to a proportioning valve to fill the sump with large amounts of water of the proper temperature. We have well water so we never treate our water. If I find a used tank larger than the 55 for a good price we will probably go larger on the sump.

I have done a lot of searching for a 12 x 12 acrylic column... while readilty available as display pedistals they aren't cheap! And shipping a large piece adds to the cost considerable. I am thinking I will want the tower to be about 48" tall. Any ideas on a place to get one cheap would be appreciated.
 

Tobiassorensen

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Shrimp?

Why would we keep the shrimp in the sump instead of the main tank?

Shrimp is one of the creatures my duaghter and I would like to keep in our new tank but shrimp are completely new to me. I am guessing you would put the shrimp in the sump instead of the main tank to protect them against large predatory fish? We are thinking staying with smaller fish... we have done the huge cichlid tank and are more interested in aquascaping and growing out a lot of nicely scaped aquatic plants. Angle fish will probably as large a fish as we would consider keeping and we aren't sure if we would even go that big. Do you let the shrimp breed in the sump then move them into the display tank when they are large enough?

Not shown on my drawing is large DE filter that I left out for design clarity. The DE filter has massive surface area available for bacterial colonization so I have no worries about having enough bio filtration. The tower and bio balls are mostely for oxygenation instead of bio but they will of course act as bio filtration too.

This leaves the sump pretty much open. I use pothos in unplanted tanks like my daughters axolotl tank but I don't usually use pothos in a tank planted with aquatic plants. Also not shown the sump will be equiped with a float valve and an exta pump that will go to a hose and be used for watering house plants and water changes. The float valve will have to be pretty high flow and be connected to a proportioning valve to fill the sump with large amounts of water of the proper temperature. We have well water so we never treate our water. If I find a used tank larger than the 55 for a good price we will probably go larger on the sump.

I have done a lot of searching for a 12 x 12 acrylic column... while readilty available as display pedistals they aren't cheap! And shipping a large piece adds to the cost considerable. I am thinking I will want the tower to be about 48" tall. Any ideas on a place to get one cheap would be appreciated.
Why dont you build your own acrylic tower?
 

CrazyKoiCracker

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Yeah I’d build the tower. Since it won’t be totally full of water it would be easy and minimize the risk of leaks or blowouts.
Shrimp in the sump because I got my convos mixed. Was posting in a thread about Oscar filtration on the same day and my logic was it would be a good contrast to the Oscar tank and if a shrimp made it to the return pump anyway, it’s an Oscar snack. Angels would likely eat neocardinia shrimp, but live bearers are much safer.
 

Tobiassorensen

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Yeah I’d build the tower. Since it won’t be totally full of water it would be easy and minimize the risk of leaks or blowouts.
Shrimp in the sump because I got my convos mixed. Was posting in a thread about Oscar filtration on the same day and my logic was it would be a good contrast to the Oscar tank and if a shrimp made it to the return pump anyway, it’s an Oscar snack. Angels would likely eat neocardinia shrimp, but live bearers are much safer.
I cant see any pros in having anything live in my sumps or use a sump as a refugium for freshwater at all. I use pothos and monstera on some of my tanks but i use planterboxes that i feed with tankwater above my tanks like an growbed. Why do you wanna put something to live in the sumps? Sumps are for filtration;)
 

CrazyKoiCracker

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I cant see any pros in having anything live in my sumps or use a sump as a refugium for freshwater at all. I use pothos and monstera on some of my tanks but i use planterboxes that i feed with tankwater above my tanks like an growbed. Why do you wanna put something to live in the sumps? Sumps are for filtration;)
Excellent question. And idk why I do. It’s just always been floating around in my head. I think mostly because it’s the only place I could be sure they wouldn’t get eatten since I’m not prepared to set up a shrimp only tank. I have three guppy tanks with different lines and I have no doubt those little buggers would eat em.
Good point tho lol. I never stopped to think about why I’ve got this shrimp-sump obsession. Macro algae makes sense in saltwater. But freshwater...I have no idea.
 

twentyleagues

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Flint town!
The reason to have plants in the sump would be to keep them from being destroyed by something in the tank and to have a means of nitrate removal. Since you have grow beds then the only reason would to be allow for propagation of certain plants a sort of grow out. The only reason to put animals in a sump would be the same. But if you put animals in the sump you have to feed them and depending on where they are you are adding junk back to the tank if they are after the filtration which in this case they would be. Now if you had them in a settling area before filtration then they would benifit the tank by eating uneaten foods. After, you are adding waste that doesnt need to be there. But I think you guys have that all figured out.
 

Tobiassorensen

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The reason to have plants in the sump would be to keep them from being destroyed by something in the tank and to have a means of nitrate removal. Since you have grow beds then the only reason would to be allow for propagation of certain plants a sort of grow out. The only reason to put animals in a sump would be the same. But if you put animals in the sump you have to feed them and depending on where they are you are adding junk back to the tank if they are after the filtration which in this case they would be. Now if you had them in a settling area before filtration then they would benifit the tank by eating uneaten foods. After, you are adding waste that doesnt need to be there. But I think you guys have that all figured out.
That is so true. And since i mostly have predatory fish that has no manner at all i cant have plants in any tank except my snakeheadtank. So i use swampplants like monstera and peace lily that grow like hell with my tank water. Pothos i only chuck in the roots and let it climb free like it self wants:) but i have a little prject going on to acually grow tomatoes and such above one of my tanks just like you do with aquaponics but on smaller scale on a growout tank i feed heavely 3 times a day.
 
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