Best filter setup for rays

PeteLockwood

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Sep 20, 2009
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Westfield NJ
Be surprised if anyone runs carbon with the possible exception of using it to remove meds. You'd be getting through a crapload of carbon, considering the size of the tanks and the bioload you're running. Water changes tend to rule.
 

DB junkie

Gold Tier VIP
MFK Member
Jan 27, 2007
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I'm NOT one for fads or being part of the "in" crowd. Never have been. Was an outcast on school, am one at my job (younger mechanic) and am one on here. But I didn't just up and decide one day that I wanted to jump on the bandwagon and be one of the "cool kids" by choosing a bio reactor over a scrubbie filled sump, or just the need to buck the system, or to have great debates like this one. I came to this conclusion through trial and error, simple observations, and maybe a lil research.

I've kept rays for a while now. I've been through my share of ups and downs. I've always kept decent sized rays, and always engineer my own filtration systems. I started with HOBs and canisters and strived for improvement time and time again. I've found something that has bothered me for a while and for all I know it could be a simple coincidence, but here goes...... Everytime I have experienced sick rays weather it be simply diminished apppetites or come home to one in curl I've found a common factor. That factor is crap in the filter. No matter how clean I think my system is if the rays start acting different a simple filter teardown is done. Everytime I've found accumulations of junk in the scrubbies. I tried different forms of mechanical filtration from pads to socks and each time several different micron ratings are used. I could be wrong but I think this muck could be a byproduct from a filter doing what it's supposed to.

Now I could go a year with no issues, maybe even closer to 2 but guess what? Eventually rays would get sick and a teardown reveals the same thing.

I'm not standing here on a soapbox on top of my broke down Mazda 6 preaching down on you guys. Simply sharing my findings. I could be crazy (wouldn't be the first time I've heard it and KNOW it won't be the last) but I think there may be a relation here.

I have run, and currently do run scrubbie systems in my house. In fact the only system utilizing reactors is my big tank. I run wet/dries with scrubbies, AND entirely submerged scrubbie systems. Guess what? Same thing there. If the sump is up and going for a year or better with a decent stocklist eventually the inevetable happens. Muck gets built up rays act wierd. I seem to be getting better at catching it. Rays act funny- clean filter, reduce feed, WC like crazy, rays get better.

Recently I set up my 750 and plummed it into the pond I had going ran off the monster wet dry I have been using for years (1200 scrubbies only 1/3 submerged). I also added a bio reactor. After a few days of fixing bugs it was ready and I simply moved rays from pond to tank. A few weeks in they seemed like differnt rays, more active, eat more, better color. Bam- 2 preggo females. The tank they went into has a slightly bigger footprint then the pond but not much. I credit the filter for the change in rays behavior.

Most of you know I recently went through a spell of sick rays. I suspect a new import brought in some crap. It destroyed my juvie tank that is ran of a submerged pot scrubbie sump. Upon filter teardown there it was..... Muck. One of the rays was moved into the 750 that was in that tank and bam- rays in the 750 were now no longer eating. Same protocol followed on both tanks. 2 rays in juvie tank die. None in 750. It took week after week to nurse the juvies back to health. The big tank was back to normal in less time with significantly less WCs. So what am I getting at? Is the "harmless muck" indeed a breading ground for these bacterial outbreaks I can't seem to avoid? I don't know, but the coincidences for me are hard to overlook.

I think a huge difference that sets my experience apart from others may be the sizes of rays involved and in turn bioload. Maybe all you with flawlessly running scrubbie systems simply don't have the bio load necassary to crash your filter..... YET.

Really enjoying this thread guys!!!! It's stuff like this that makes MFK so enjoyable..... friendly debates that may spark others and general exchange of opinions...... :)
 

JeremyXXXX

Gambusia
MFK Member
Jul 13, 2010
652
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Long Island
I have a FX5 and 405 on my 125 gallon and I really wish I did a sump. Cleaning the canisters is a pain in the ass and there is not as much bio as there would be if I had just done a sump setup.
 

johno27

Piranha
MFK Member
Feb 21, 2006
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Eastpointe MI
another reason I shyed away from the reactor was room, whatever I was running had to fit in my stand :(

When I get home from work I will mock up my "ideal" filter system (space and money not being an issue) on paint and see what you guys think :)
 

scott s

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Sep 11, 2010
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Indiana
Not to debate or derail Al, you were the first I expected to jab at us sump users. But to clarify something. I dont have a bunch of gunk in or below my scrubbies, I have pre filters in my Overflow boxes and 100 micron socks that catch anything before it reaches the scrubbies. My scrubbies are now freefloating and are allowed to tumble as the water circulates. I also have polishing pads which catch all debris in the FX5s and only need to be rinsed a few times a year. Dont know why you would tear them clompletely down. Havent had to in 3 years.
So no gunk in my filters......
"Free floating scrubbies that tumble in the water are the same concept as a bio reactor. I have a DIY moving filter bed/sump with K1 (again, same concept as a bio reactor). Can't say I love the design on the first try, but it does work, not alot of gunk builds up in it. Filter change is super easy. Definitely want to change the design when we get our own place, but really like how efficient and simple they are. One thing I may add is a pond canister filter between my return pump and the tank...wouldn't add much operating cost, just the UV light.
 

DB junkie

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Jan 27, 2007
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"Free floating scrubbies that tumble in the water are the same concept as a bio reactor. I have a DIY moving filter bed/sump with K1 (again, same concept as a bio reactor). Can't say I love the design on the first try, but it does work, not alot of gunk builds up in it. Filter change is super easy. Definitely want to change the design when we get our own place, but really like how efficient and simple they are. One thing I may add is a pond canister filter between my return pump and the tank...wouldn't add much operating cost, just the UV light.
K1 is open and hard media that allows the dead/uneffecient bacteria to fall off. A scrubbie is gonna trap this stuff and might move around but surely it wwon't tumble hard enough to loose this stuff.

The important part is the flowrate/dwell time. IF this isn't right all the effeciency that is a reactors greatest asset is out the window. I've seen some DIY designs on here that definetly need some adjustment to work like they're supposed to.... Like guys trying to shove 3000 gph through thier moving bed.....
 
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