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Background: Currently I am building 185 gallon tank with 40 gallon breeder sump, it will include two Koralia Magnum 6's (Positioned on the back sides hidden from view in my backdrop).

Question: I am thinking of building a custom reverse under-gravel filter/jets. it would be powered by a high gph submersible pump (~900 gph) with a sponge filter on the inlet (to prevent debris from getting pushed into the piping). I will not be building jets that come to the surface of the gravel (I am using a mixture between Cichild gravel and plant substrate, salt and peppered color) but instead running 3/4" and 1/2" PVC piping grid throughout the bottom of the tank with 13/64" holes (possibly a little larger) drilled through out the matrix. The holes will be facing towards the bottom of the tank so that the water flow will go though most of the gravel. The matrix would insure that there would be uniform distribution (or close to it) throughout the gravel. My thought behind this is three fold. One it would create more biological media (utilizing the gravel as a bacterial bed as well as the sump) and second it would decrease the amount of waste that ends up in the gravel (NOT eliminate, I know I would still have to vacuum the gravel). The third use for this pump with the sponge filter is that it would essentially pull water throughout my cave system (built into the background) removing waste from several of the caves and collecting it on the sponge filter.

What are all of your thoughts? What kind of pump would you recommend for this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
fox said:
Where will the pump be located, in the DT or in the sump? If in the sump Be Sure to put a siphon break just below the operating water level in the DT.
Good question Fox. Well I was thinking of putting one in the tank incorporated into my latest idea for a custom cave full background (right in the back middle). There would be a small section that would be able to be removed to access the sponge filter to clean it regularly.

I currently have this setup in my 55 which is full of rocks and a pain in the arss to vacuum since I have to pull out over 100 pounds of this rock. The 185 will have hardly any rocks in the tank besides from a few custom built towers and the lightweight concrete caved backdrop. I figure this will minimize the the headache of having to remove all of the rock when doing water changes. I'm just not sure if it will be worth it setting up a RUGF/J idea like this. I do like the idea of having another pump in the tank to suck the poo from all of the custom caves that will be in the backdrop since I don't plan on taking those out unless absolutely necessary.
 

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Agridion said:
Background: Currently I am building 185 gallon tank with 40 gallon breeder sump, it will include two Koralia Magnum 6's (Positioned on the back sides hidden from view in my backdrop).

Question: I am thinking of building a custom reverse under-gravel filter/jets. it would be powered by a high gph submersible pump (~900 gph) with a sponge filter on the inlet (to prevent debris from getting pushed into the piping). I will not be building jets that come to the surface of the gravel (I am using a mixture between Cichild gravel and plant substrate, salt and peppered color) but instead running 3/4" and 1/2" PVC piping grid throughout the bottom of the tank with 13/64" holes (possibly a little larger) drilled through out the matrix. The holes will be facing towards the bottom of the tank so that the water flow will go though most of the gravel. The matrix would insure that there would be uniform distribution (or close to it) throughout the gravel. My thought behind this is three fold. One it would create more biological media (utilizing the gravel as a bacterial bed as well as the sump) and second it would decrease the amount of waste that ends up in the gravel (NOT eliminate, I know I would still have to vacuum the gravel). The third use for this pump with the sponge filter is that it would essentially pull water throughout my cave system (built into the background) removing waste from several of the caves and collecting it on the sponge filter.

What are all of your thoughts? What kind of pump would you recommend for this?
I was thinking of doing something similar to this, except I was going to drill the holes facing up so the water pushes up through the gravel. Starting to wonder if pointing them down might be a better option, but at the same time I wonder if there would be enough displacement of the water to actually keep the "poop" off the bottom if pointing them down.

Also thought about getting one of the pre-made under gravel filters and just reversing the flow... I've never seen what one looks like up close so I'm not sure if it would have the same coverage or if it would be able to handle the pressure water pushing through the system rather than being pulled.
 

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Honestly if you already have a sump with any sort of reasonable bio filtration, I'm doubt the cost/benefit ratio of the RUGF makes sense in this case. You can already put way more bio than you'll ever need in the sump, and a RUGF doesn't make a terribly good mechanical filter. If you had no sump, then imho a RUGF would be a fine way to go. Have you considered simply putting a HOB (such as an AC running double sponges, or a HOT magnum) on the back with the intake down in the area you want to pull the poo from? maintenance would be easier, as would the initial setup.

To each their own though -- my tank is going to be totally overkill in a different fashion, so if it makes you happy, do it!

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 

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i agree with Rick. secondly if you have a pipe with holes (facing up or down) surrounded by sand and underwater. eventually they will get blocked by the sand and you have to take the whole system out for cleaning. it is just a matter of time. it does not matter which way the water flows across the holes sand will enter. after that its a vicious cycle of slower flow and more sand entering. unless of course the holes are above the sand level as in a regular UGJ. anyway, it looks to me like you have enough filtration and really do not need these extra hassles
 
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