How much media needed

duanes

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Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
If your pump fits in the section, and you have enough room to get your hands in to do maintenance, then its big enough.
I sectioned off sumps for a while (as is traditional), but now my preference is to keep the sump an open area where media is in mesh bags, easier to lift out, and swish around in old water change water to get rid of gunk.

You will know if you have enough media, by doing ammonia tests after the tank is cycled. All bio-media is, is just a surface for bacteria to grow on, if there is enough surface area to for bacteria to colonize, and oxygenated water flows past it, to eat ammonia, you have enough.
And it doesn't matter what the media is, pot Scrubbers, lava rock, bio-balls are all just surfaces to grow bacteria on, and that bacteria is not particular, it will grow on old hair curlers, of old porous bricks. At the moment, I'm using sea shells I find at the beach., among other stuff.
fullsizeoutput_1a10.jpeg
The above sump is sectioned off, because it came with the tank that way, but my plan is to use something bigger and open so maintenance becomes easier, to just reach in and grab what needs to be cleaned, or repaired.
It is also a tradition (maybe because it saves space, to put sumps directly below tanks.

This practice leaves little room for arm movement, I now put sumps off to the side (because I have the available space), making it easier to get stuff in and out of.
IMG_0452.JPG
 
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Lyferxb9s

Candiru
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Sep 5, 2012
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Country lake estates, New Jersey
If your pump fits in the section, and you have enough room to get your hands in to do maintenance, then its big enough.
I sectioned off sumps for a while (as is traditional), but now my preference is to keep the sump an open area where media is in mesh bags, easier to lift out, and swish around in old water change water to get rid of gunk.

You will know if you have enough media, by doing ammonia tests after the tank is cycled. All bio-media is, is just a surface for bacteria to grow on, if there is enough surface area to for bacteria to colonize, and oxygenated water flows past it, to eat ammonia, you have enough.
And it doesn't matter what the media is, pot Scrubbers, lava rock, bio-balls are all just surfaces to grow bacteria on, and that bacteria is not particular, it will grow on old hair curlers, of old porous bricks. At the moment, I'm using sea shells I find at the beach., among other stuff.
View attachment 1391088
The above sump is sectioned off, because it came with the tank that way, but my plan is to use something bigger and open so maintenance becomes easier, to just reach in and grab what needs to be cleaned, or repaired.
It is also a tradition (maybe because it saves space, to put sumps directly below tanks.

This practice leaves little room for arm movement, I now put sumps off to the side (because I have the available space), making it easier to get stuff in and out of.
View attachment 1391089
I already have the glass and stuff to section them off but I may only section off the first part for the mechanical filtration
 

duanes

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Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
You can put heaters in the sump, to keep them out of sight in the display, I usually just lay them on the bottom.
And one pump is fine, although having another waiting in the box, or an extra impeller is a good idea just in case one goes bad..


above is a 75 gal sump, I float old bio wheels as bio media, there is a heater,
another shot below, where lava rock is in a bio tower for bio media.
 

Oughtsix

Dovii
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Apr 9, 2011
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I would put the lava rock in a few mesh bags. Put a large bubble disk or several air stones in the bottom of the sump. Then put the lava rock bags on top of the bubble disk / air stones / bubble wands.

I am a big bio ball fan but they do no make sense in a submerged application. Bio balls are great in a trickle filter because they break the water stream down to water drops which maximizes the air / water surface area. There is no reason to pay for bio balls if they are just going to be submerged though.

If you go with scrubbies I would still recommend putting an air stone underneath them.
 
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