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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 50 gallon tank I'm setting up as a display tank for Malawi. I want to make it run very quietly and be VERY clear as it will be a focal point of the living room. I'd also like to keep as much clutter out of the tank as possible or to hide it where I can. To that end, I'm thinking a sump system would be best rather than the HoB filters which I've been using for years. I'm sick of the messy eye sore they become over time and they are never as quiet as you'd like.

To get water to the sump, I was planning on the 600 GPH overflow like this one:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/p ... catid=3642

And the 634 GPH version of this pump (with the head height, it will be a little bit less than the 600 GPH overflow) to get water back into the tank:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/p ... catid=4604

To keep the tank water circulating, the output from the pump would go to under gravel jets, ala:
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ug_jets.php

It seems that this:
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/diy_wet_dry.php
could be modified so the first layer after the drip tray was a large matt of filter floss. Then everything drops down into the bioballs. That provides two of the three types of filtration.

For that extra sparkly clean, I was thinking something like the 25w UV system run in-line here:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/p ... atid=13954
Probably wired in on the pump intake so it will have the most effect (already filtered mechanically.)

So with all that said, am I nuts or is this a reasonable idea? After rocks/substrate, the tank will be no less than 40 gallons. With plumbing and head pressure, the pump will do around 550-580 GPH tops. That makes for about 14-15x turn over (not counting the volume in the sump which will be around 20-30 gallons). Is that too much current for the poor fish even with a lot of jets to break it up a bit? The tank will be relatively open, so the current won't be focused in small areas.

Is the filtration idea going to work at all without it being forced through via pressure? If not, how is mechanical filtration handled in sumps typically? It seems that the drip tray idea works fine as long as there is enough surface area to let the water find it's course naturally over a large area of floss.

Also, the whole "drip tray" sounds noisy, in practice, are these quiet? If not, how can I achieve my filtering goals realistically? One thing I like about this current design is that the ONLY moving part is the pump and that can be isolated for noise quite easily. There are also pumps available that are almost totally silent.

Thanks in advance for the help!
 

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If quiet is a major consideration for you staying away from HOB filters is certainly the way to go. The filtration system you are proposing sounds awesome, but as you noted yourself, it's a heck of a lot of hassle for a 50G tank. It's up to you to decide if that's worth it, but it might well be. If my wife thought up I'd set up a noisy eye sore, she would have never agreed to a 240G in the living room :D

Despite the size difference, that 240G might well be worth looking at, since my goal in setting it up were very much alike to yours. I am using micro filter bags for filtration, which I think are at least as effective as a wet/dry, but a lot more quiet. Also, submerging the pump in the sump cuts down a lot on pump noise. And tweaking the overflows, usually in a Durso type setup - is key to quieting a sump.

Having said all this, for a 50G I would simply go with a large canister filter - Eheim 2217, or if you want to splurge 2260. It will be dead quiet, much easier to set up and maintain than a sump, and I really don't think you will ever see a difference in water clarity.

Just my 2c

Frank
 

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I agree with fmueller, that does seem like A LOT of hassle for that small of a tank. I have an eheim 2215 on a 40B directly next to the couch in my living room and you can't hear a thing unless the water level has dropped, but that doesn't happen unless I'm in the middle of a water change. You could still set up the output of a canister to run your jets, you might just need a bigger canister to make sure you account for headspace.

(Your sump plans sound awesome though, well thought out and would likely work really well. Just my preference to not go through the trouble for a 50gal)

:thumb:
 

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i have an eheim 2217 with a black background....all the pipes are painted back....

bottom line is you basically have a tank with nothing else visually intruding.
 

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Rather than a sump and overflow (can be a hassle and are definitely not considered untra quiet) I would go with a canister filter. I have 2 Rena XP3s on my 55 (a single XP3 would be fine for a 50...I have the second one because I am going to upgrade to a 125 soon and I got a great deal on the pair) and they are practically silent. If it wasn't for the water movement in the tank I cant tell they are running even with the stand doors open.

Eheim and Marineland also make some extremely quiet good quality canisters.

Since my background is black, I painted the intakes black as well (the spray bars come black). I have one behind a tall plant, but you really cant see either of them unless you are really looking. there are a couple of brands that have inline heaters, though again with the black background and all the rocks you can't even see the 2 Visitherm stealth heaters. Because the spray bars are at the top of the water the only invasion is the intake tube which if painted melts away.

I have found that correct placement of the spray bar eliminates the need for under gravel jets. (I had them in my 65, but eliminated them when I upgraded to the 75.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for the great advice. I went ahead and traded in some of my bazillion multis and snagged an XP4 for a song from the LFS. I wanted a Pro II but they didn't carry it but the Filstars get great reviews here so I hope it will be ok.

I'll be adding in the Rena heater that goes with this canister as well as an in-line UV filter for sparkling clean water. Hopefully this will all work out for a low maintenence, very nice tank.
 

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MalawiLover
Hello,seems like your the 1 to talk to about these bars.Got a 90gl with 2 fluval 405s on each corner.What would be the best placement for the bars.
Both at top sides shooting towards center of the tank.
Across the whole back shooting to front glass.
Or 1 at top side and the other at bottom opp side.
I;am thinking all would be put horn,what do you think.
Thanks
 
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