Filter Sock Conversion

Fish Tank Travis

Redtail Catfish
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Feb 28, 2016
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Hey everyone, I have been contemplating converting my current sponge/floss setup to filter socks for a while now. A few things have kept me from doing it so far. First, the depth that I can have the filter socks reach is a little short. Next, the area in my sump I have to work with is rather small. Finally, I’ve just not bought anything yet and have some questions on what’s best to buy. These are some pictures of my current setup:

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The sump tank is a standard 55 and has baffles in it as pictured. The area of that first chamber is about 11”x11.5”(standard 55 width). As you can see, my current setup uses some course sponges and filter floss. During maintenance I just rinse out the sponges and replace the filter floss with new. The water flows through the sponges, then the floss, and then through my ceramic ring bio media. The bio media is suspended above the bottom using egg crate so that I get good flow throughout its entire area.

What I would like to do is remove the sponges and floss and then put in three sock holders that my current overflows will drain into. The overflows are each 1.5” vinyl/flex tubing. I can add a little bit of length or elbows to them, if needed, to make them reach the sock locations.

Now, for the socks, I’m thinking I will need to go with 4” socks due to the limited area. Then, they will probably have to be 14” or less in length. So far, I was looking at using the $9.99 holders on Amazon (which have good reviews).

My questions are:

Are these filter sock holder fine for what I’m doing or should I get different ones? Are there any that anybody recommends that will fit well on the 55 in the area I have instead of the Amazon ones?

What micron rating should I go with if I get three 4” socks that are about 14” long? I’m not looking to be replacing them everyday of anything like that, but I do want them to be effective. Also, the flow will really only be going through two of the socks as the third will be connected to the emergency drain, which is pretty much always dry.

What brand of filter socks do you all recommend? Not looking to spend an arm and a leg on them, but would like some that will last pretty well.

As always, thanks for the help!
 
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markstrimaran

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I use two 200 micron polyester, or nylon mesh sock of 7" x 14". They will go about a week between cleanings with 40 african cichlids.

I get about 2 cups of sludge, it is a simply process to clean. Dump, rinse, and soak in 25% bleach. I use 2 sets, and bleach them in a zip lock bag.

I get a little cloudy water immediately after changing but it clears up after an hour.

I tried the 4" socks but they needed changing every 2 days.

I use super sized rubber coated wire twist ties to hold the to the end of a pvc pipe baffle.

In tight quarters the 7" rings can be slightly off set at different elevations and they will still work.

Lots of ways to do this. The floss socks last longer, but they kind of need a really nice wife that will permit the clothes washer to be used for fish tank duties.
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I use a mesh tube, on the end of the discharge to silence the air gap splashing sounds.

My return pump is via a bulk head fitting 3 feet below in my basement.
 
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jaws7777

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Mar 1, 2014
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4 inch socks are going require changing more often than 8 inch but should still be better than the floss. You can make sock holder out of egg crate or thin walled pvc and elbows.

I get my socks from mcmaster carr.


I think you might be able to get 3 8 inch socks in there but it would require you to extend one or two of the drains. Is removing the baffles and option ?
 

duanes

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As you can see with mine, I just run a zip tie thru the loop ring, and hang it around the rim of the 1.5 " elbow.
The elbow is friction fit to make sock removal fast and easy.
Since I don't use baffles, the socks are either 12" or 15".
I use Jehmco for the socks because I also got food, diamond bits, bulkheads, artemia eggs, and other misc items. from them, very easy to toss in a few filter socks with the order.
 
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Fish Tank Travis

Redtail Catfish
Original poster
Feb 28, 2016
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Dayton, OH
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Travis
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Male
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Engineering
I could possibly remove the baffles but I’d like to try it without removing them first.

Thanks for all of the tips. I will probably try to order some of the parts and give it a shot.

For you guys with 7-8” socks, how many do you have on your tank and how often do you have to change them? I’m trying to figure out if I could go a week with 4” socks.
 

jaws7777

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I could possibly remove the baffles but I’d like to try it without removing them first.

Thanks for all of the tips. I will probably try to order some of the parts and give it a shot.

For you guys with 7-8” socks, how many do you have on your tank and how often do you have to change them? I’m trying to figure out if I could go a week with 4” socks.

I have 4 and change them weekly. I could probably get 2 weeks out of them but being how easy they are to change i just swap them out during wc's

I think you'll be ok with the 4 inches. Try cutting out a few 8 inch discs of card board or a paper plate to see its possible to fit them without having to rearrange the sump
 

Fish Tank Travis

Redtail Catfish
Original poster
Feb 28, 2016
3,120
1,943
154
31
Dayton, OH
Real Name
Travis
Gender
Male
Occupation
Engineering
I went ahead and ordered the holders and socks. I ordered three 4” holders (just cheap hang types from Amazon) and eight 200 micron 4” Aquatic Experts filter socks.

I’ll take pictures of everything once I get it setup.
 

Fish Tank Travis

Redtail Catfish
Original poster
Feb 28, 2016
3,120
1,943
154
31
Dayton, OH
Real Name
Travis
Gender
Male
Occupation
Engineering
Got my holders an filter socks today (thanks Amazon 2-day shipping) and wasted no time getting them in.

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I am very surprised at the quality of the holders for $9.99 each. The screws are plenty strong enough to keep the filter sock holder up on the rim of the tank (they needed to be up a little bit to keep them out of the water). The filter socks are just Aquatic Experts 200 micron, 4” by 14” long felt socks. The two on the sides will be replaced most often. The one in the middle corner is actually the e-drain and it is usually dry.

I did not have to change any of my current setup since the current drain lines had enough “slack” to allow them to be moved to each filter sock mount. Replacing the socks will be very easy since it’s all flexible tubing. Just lift the tube and replace the sock. If I would have known it would be this easy to switch I would have done it long ago. Oh well, live and learn I guess. Lol

Looking forward to seeing how these work out.

Thanks for all of your suggestions.
 
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slippery slimecoat

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I use those same brand filter socks. They've held up well for about 2 years now. I cut the little plastic piece off that goes through the center ring. I find it makes it a little easier to take the socks on and off the plumbing.
 
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