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Customers questions and answers 19/02/2014

Hi there thanks for the appreciation.As for sumps i am not really a major fan of them they come with the systems i use so that’s the real reason i use them.Fish keepers are always looking for the holy grail and sumps always tick that box.As for me i would use a sump if i needed to hide equipment from view like skimmers and heaters etc yea they can make the appearance of an aquarium look better so go for it in that respect.As for filtration,if your water quality via your test kit is perfect then no matter which type of filtration you have done your job.That is how simple life is it scares me that people find it so hard to grasp this concept.Your test results are the answers to your questions.People unfortunately think of water clarity as being the success they have been searching for and i always say then why don’t you keep your fish in vodka that’s nice and clear…..:)It amazes me the hold the trade can have over the general public keep them like mushrooms.Sometimes people get frustrated with me for referring back to water quality all the time but if your results are what you need then that’s that.The most important thing about a sump system is oxygen levels.We come across the same phenomenon using multibay filtration for koi ponds.It is no use having ten chambers packed with media if you cant supply enough oxygen to support the growth of bacteria across the whole of the system.The limiting factor anyway will be available ammonia which is basically a food source.So in essence you will end up with a giant mechanical filter without realizing it.But it serves the same end technically.
In an ideal world the set up you should be focusing on is this as with all filtration.We need to separate the solids fro the water column.By doing this we can keep our culture of bacteria in top form breaking down dissolved waste.Unfortunately this is seldom achieved most filters will turn into a big mushy nightmare if not maintained properly.So when choosing media it is more a personal choice.When it comes to multibay filtration for koi etc nothing beats filter brushes in the first chamber as long as the chamber is sized correctly.You can put all the modern gadgets against this old technology and i haven’t seen it be4ttered yet but the hobby is all about selling gadgets so let them at it. I come from a thinking approach fish have been my life for over 30 years we used to make professional filters ad on occasion we still do when we need too.Brushes will settle solids and solids stick to solids so with in no time you will be shocked at the amount of physical waste a couple of brush chambers in inline will collect.Anyway for a sump we are more restricted.The biggest problem is the return from the tank which will be approx 3500 lph.I do suggest the sock great idea to a degree but the solids will eventually go into solution you will only trap the coarse material but it is something i like the concept… all concept.You need to provide a way of slowing the water to a halt so solids will precipitate out of the water column.Bio balls are as good as any but layers of poly wool would be more effective.I love poly wool it is so versatile.It ticks all the boxes.You can use it to prestrain and trap the solids keeping them from moving through the system.Remember to turn off the sytem before removing so you have a static body of water.This prevents contamination of other chambers then you can syphon off the solids that settle while you do your maintenance.Biological media i love siporax it is tremendous every copies it in one way or another but the original is still the best.Sera do bulk siporax we are the agents(little plug there).As a guideline it takes about a cubic foot of media t handle a 1000 litres of water you can use that to gauge the project.I would then use my graded foam coarse medium then fine on the return pump just to keep the last escapees from beating the system.It does not have to be complicated.Fish keepers ultimately battle with particles……its all a visual thing……particles will be beaten by flow rates and the correct building of the weir in the tank.If your weir is just a standard over the top job you will have problems if it has an outer box that collects from the bottom first then you are ok i guess.You can always use an external for removing any stubborn particles in my opinion.

Remember overcrowd your africans this is the way they exist in nature maybe stick a giraffe cat in with them to stir up the sand they are brilliant for hoovering tanks.So i hope this has been helpful to you.
Best of luck

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