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After taking a few years off I'm going to be staring up another cichlid tank in the next month or so but I'm still planning out my filtration. I was going to go with a FX4 since I'm familiar with the FX5 but I want to try a sump this time around. I've decided on this sump from BRS;
https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/up22-sum ... skimz.html

Since I'm not going to use a skimmer how do I turn that center skimmer section into a strictly bio section? Can I just use bio media in several mesh bags (ex: eheim substrat pro etc.) and leave it in that section to sit on the floor of the sump or do I need to turn it into a wet/dry section? If I have to turn it into a wet/dry section how do I do that? I know I can probably make some type of stand with egg crate but I don't know how I will force the flow down into the return section.

I've never used a sump before and I've been reading for hours over the past few days but I'm still a bit lost. Most people build their own but I'd like to use something more professional and I really like the features on the Skimz UP22. Can a UP22 even be setup with a bio section in the middle or do I have to go with something like the Aqueon Proflex and use their biomedia accessory (shown in the center section below) that includes a top / bottom and bio balls?
 

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I'm not 100% familiar with that particular setup but generally speaking all you need for bio-filtration is the media, and water movement through it. The problem you'll run into with some sump designs is that they're not necessarily made to FORCE water through the chambers. I changed my sump to work for freshwater by adding baffles that make the water go up and down through the chambers - thus ensuring at least some of it is going through the media.

As long as you can make the water go where you want it, you'll get plenty of bio filtration out of just about any standard bio media. I typically use the EHEIM Substrat Pro as well...and I just put it in mesh bags.

If the water is flowing over the last baffle - into the skimmer/return section - then I'd just load it up with Substrat and you're good to go.

I can't quite figure out the water flow. It comes in through the socks in the first chamber, but it seems like it overflows into the middle chamber and over the bio balls. How does it go up and over the baffle between the socks and bio balls?
 

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I have a simple sump with biomedia (ceramic rings) scattered in the chamber that the filter sock drains to. Then it goes over a baffle and under a second to get into my pump chamber. To do a wet/dry or trickle setup you'd have to add a baffle to that Skimz sump. I'm assuming you don't want a DIY solution, so I'd suggest a bag of biomedia in that center chamber and call it done. :)
 
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