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You can use all kinds of things as biological media in a sump. I've personally run everything in sumps from bio-balls,. Seachem 'Matrix Rock', to this stuff,



Called in the U.S. plant and landscape nursery trade, 'Permatil', it's a fractionated-porous (crushed-superheated) slate rock that was cheap ($8 for a 50 pound bag) and worked very well as wet-dry (trickling) biological media, in a 10 gallon aquarium sump I DIY-built. A fluidized media type sump with the K1 media you mention above is something I haven't tried (yet), but sounds very promising.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can use all kinds of things as biological media in a sump. I've personally run everything in sumps from bio-balls,. Seachem 'Matrix Rock', to this stuff,



Called in the U.S. plant and landscape nursery trade, 'Permatil', it's a fractionated-porous (crushed-superheated) slate rock that was cheap ($8 for a 50 pound bag) and worked very well as wet-dry (trickling) biological media, in a 10 gallon aquarium sump I DIY-built. A fluidized media type sump with the K1 media you mention above is something I haven't tried (yet), but sounds very promising.
Do you rate matrix rock how to you store it in the sump in bags or basket or loose
 

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'Rating' sump bio-media could be kind of hard to do. I certainly wouldn't check any of the manufacturers claims or data on that - they just all want to sell you more product! Senor Strum would have a field day with this one, as he's gotten into all kinds of detailed explanations regarding surface area, particle size, opening sizes in porous material, and most importantly - USEABLE surface area for the beneficial bacteria (BB) to colonize.
Oh, and El' Hefe' does love him some FOAM filtration media for BB colonization in sumps and all sorts of things! So.... Seachem Matrix hmmmm?
It's different when you place media in a sump, than when you use it in a canister filter or something. Basically, when you place that stuff down in the compartment where it will be housed in the sump.... IT STAYS THERE. That means no scooping it out. Periodically rinsing the stuff out in dechlorinated water. None of it. So, you pretty much just guess at how much of the stuff you need (and after rinsing the dust out) just pour it loose on down into the sump. That loose bio media will work great fully submerged, partially wet/dry (trickling) or fully submerged with airstone(s) blowing air up through it.
Oh, and another bio media source you might want to seriously consider for use in the sump (esp. if this will be for a dedicated African Rift Lake higher PH/harder water aquarium), woulds be Lava Rock. Found as bagged aggregate in garden centers or landscape stores In smaller 1/4 inch particle size, Lava Rock is a cheap, quite porous media that will work great in sumps. Some downsides to Lava Rock as follows,
  • Sometimes hard to find bagged up in smaller particle sizes (not everyone wants a loose truckload!)
  • Tough to rinse out. Lava Rock is incredibly dusty stuff! Be prepared to spend quality time outside with a garden hose blasting that stuff out.
  • It will boost up the PH and water hardness of your aquarium water, This isn't (usually) a problem though for the African Rift lake or Central American themed aquarium.
 

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Hmmmmmmm.......

Think of running my uv in the sump also.
A great idea! Sumps are a good place for running all sorts of equipment and technical things down in them, that you would prefer to keep hidden from, 'The Main Event'.
For your UV sterilizer, those things seem to work/kill best when the water current supplied to them is basically - slow and easy. I would definitely rig your sterilizer up with a small-sized/low GPH submersible pump set up in re-circulation mode, down in the sump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hmmmmmmm.......



A great idea! Sumps are a good place for running all sorts of equipment and technical things down in them, that you would prefer to keep hidden from, 'The Main Event'.
For your UV sterilizer, those things seem to work/kill best when the water current supplied to them is basically - slow and easy. I would definitely rig your sterilizer up with a small-sized/low GPH submersible pump set up in re-circulation mode, down in the sump.
I will have my ivy running off manifold in my sump what sort of turn over threw the uv is recommended in freshwater water set up
 

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Flow rate through a UV sterilizer is dependent on a lot of things. First and foremost, you should check with what the manufacturer recommends that built the product. Their info might provide most, or all of your answers. But, in general terms at least.... a slower water flow rate through a UV sterilizer is better, as it will give the water more contact time/exposure to the ultra violet light source to successfully kill off free-floating algae and possibly a whole host of other, undesirable micro-organisms.
 

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I have everything from the most expensive media to pot scrubbers. IME pot scrubbers are just as good. The ones that cost a dollar for three, bright colors and look like a ball of little plastic springs.

You just need a lot of surface. And honestly, I think most of us have WAY more surface than the beneficial organisms need already in our tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have everything from the most expensive media to pot scrubbers. IME pot scrubbers are just as good. The ones that cost a dollar for three, bright colors and look like a ball of little plastic springs.

You just need a lot of surface. And honestly, I think most of us have WAY more surface than the beneficial organisms need already in our tanks.
Ye what is your favourite media tho DJ if you could only have one
 

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I would buy the cheapest rings or bio balls I could find. I would use them with pot scrubbers. The pot scrubbers alone do not slow the flow of water at all, and I do think some blockage of the flow is good. And I would use foam as well to further slow the water and remove particulates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would buy the cheapest rings or bio balls I could find. I would use them with pot scrubbers. The pot scrubbers alone do not slow the flow of water at all, and I do think some blockage of the flow is good. And I would use foam as well to further slow the water and remove particulates.
Will definitely be looking into the pot scrubbers more
 

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I heard my name - so...

I am a huge fan of USEABLE surface area. Manufacturer claims in this regard are ridiculous.

The hardest part with biofiltration in a sump - I have found - is that the water must be FORCED through the media. Foam is good if you can force water through it. I did this originally for silence reasons. Silence is incredibly important to me because I work next to the tank all day.

I originally had the sump filled with foam, and I've actually moved it around a bit. My primary filtration is now two MBBR (filled with Smokey Mountain Biomedia like K1) reactors, split with a layer of foam in it. The foam is only to stop the currents in the two chambers from interacting with each other. The reason I did this is that my sump has no baffles. It was a linear flow. Goes like this:
1. Down the hatch, pipes terminate under water to keep it quiet
2. Straight into filter socks - filter socks have a 2 inch thick foam plug in them to keep the water from falling into the sock. Falling water makes noise. Foam stops the noise.
3.a. From there, it flows from the filter sock sump chamber to the biomedia chamber, and the first MBBR. It contains about a cubic foot of media.
3.b. At the back side of the MBBR, there is a sheet of matala mat to hold things vertical and to keep the K1 in the proper chamber. After this are 3 inch block of 20ppi poret foam/matala, 30ppi foam, 30 ppi foam, and another sheet of matala to separate all that from
3.c. second MBBR, also with almost a cubic foot of K1
3.d. MOAR FOME! Seriously, though, Auballagh was right. WTH is wrong with me... 2x2inch thick 30PPI foam and then into
4. The pump chamber. In a development that comes as a surprise to nobody, I have more foam in here...and... all the rest of the space in this chamber is taken up by plastic pot scrubbers exactly as described by the esteemed moderator, DJRansome. However, I'm quite certain I'm cheaper than him and found them for less expensive on Amazon.
5. Return pumps feed directly into dual 36W UV sterilizers. Again - I believe here that you can get away with less than folks tell you based on the Bunsen-Roscoe law of reciprocity in photobiology. The key is here, you're passing all the water through the UV sterilizers multiple times per hour. So, even if the critters in question get a small dose of radiation, they get lots of doses, and it all works out.


So, you pretty much just guess at how much of the stuff you need (and after rinsing the dust out) just pour it loose on down into the sump.
FALSE! (please read with Dwight's voice - it's the only way this makes sense) I ran detailed calculations for how much biomedia I need. I can tell you that my system will support nearly 10 pounds of fish. I'm happy to share the calculations. The source of the assumptions used was Aquariumscience.org. Whether the initial assumptions will hold water is irrelevant - I didn't "guess":ROFLMAO:
 

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And well, El' Hefe' has once again - delivered the goods!

I ran detailed calculations for how much biomedia I need. I can tell you that my system will support nearly 10 pounds of fish. I'm happy to share the calculations. The source of the assumptions used was Aquariumscience.org. Whether the initial assumptions will hold water is irrelevant - I didn't "guess":ROFLMAO:
My goodness! I actually meant to just merely inform the amount of media it would possibly take to fill the area in his sump he would be using. You know, a bag of the stuff? Maybe a little more? The detailed calculations of filtration media surface area based off of expected fish load needed to properly, biologically filter the aquarium..... whew! That super-technical calculation stuff, was never really considered. 🤓
 
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