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125 gallon. Best location for filter intake/return? Back vs side?


EvilVegan

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Hey all,

 

I'm setting up a big, planted aquarium and I was wondering if you guys had a suggestion on where to place the filter?  

 

I read somewhere about creating a gyre in the tank by putting the return above the intake and having the intake a few inches above the substrate, so that water is pushed forward across the surface, then down along the front, the back towards the intake, then up into the intake.  My current setup has the return and intake on opposite sides of the tank with the intake skimming at the top and I can assure you that's not effective.

 

I'm going for a Walstad-ish setup.  Dirt with a PFS cap.  So some amount of remaining waste is 'fine', as long as it blends in with the sand and hides behind plants.  

 

 

Anyway, should I put the intake/returns on the side, to create a long gyre with a gentle slope to help waste get back to the intake eventually?  Or should I put it in the middle on the back?  Or in the corner in the back?

 

The back/sides are in a garage and painted, so plumbing can be as ugly and bulky as necessary.

Edited by EvilVegan
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What kind of filter's do you have?

 

It's a DIY franken-system, the display tank drains into an empty 55 gallon "settling" tank with a UV sterilizer, then that drains through a wet/dry that is closed at the bottom so CO2 won't go anywhere before it goes into a second planted tank that runs on a reverse lighting cycle, which then pumps back into the display tank from there...

 

So... Sump I guess?

Edited by EvilVegan
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I'm not sure this exactly applies to your system, but you have a long tank, & the plants will be breaking up the water flow a bit - what about having your main filter at one end, & a powerhead at the other end to help push water around? I have a HOB at one end of my 75 gal & a big hydro sponge with a powerhead on it, that shoots water back towards the HOB.

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I put my filter return on one side, drain in the middle toward the bottom panel, and a powerhead on the opposite side. This pushes water from both top corners to the bottom middle drain and is fairly free of dead spots.

I should say I would never do goldfish walstad method, but wish you luck nonetheless :)

Edited by Arctic Mama
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I should say I would never do goldfish walstad method, but wish you luck nonetheless :)

 

I will definitely need it. They've left a lot of my current plants alone in sand-only substrate, but these new plants might be too tasty for them.

 

I'm contemplating putting my existing HOBs on either side and having the sump intake/returns in the middle, with air stones spaced between.  The length of the tank is daunting.

Edited by EvilVegan
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Good luck! I think its something that may be able to be achieved. I somewhat achieved it, but i took lots of time and work. You need a big tank, lots of aquatic plants and lots of terrestrial tanks and very few fish. And by few i mean like two...maybe three....depending on the species you are wanting to go with.

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I recommend you build a pond type filter for the tank.  You can see some builds here and here.  A pond pump picks up water at one end of the tank and sends it to a filter on the other end which dumps cleaned water into the tank, producing a "river flow" -- the best circulation for a small pond.  The filter should have 1/10 the volume of the tank.  A 12 gallon drum works perfectly.  It may not look beautiful to start, but paint it and load the top of the filter with house plants and it becomes a showpiece.  

 

I suspect the failure you had with filter inlets and outlets at opposite ends of a tank had to do with flow rates.  For a river flow, you want a pump that turns over 2X the tank volume per hour.  The gentle flow works.

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