External filter not cleaning as well as hoped

Discussion in 'Filters, Filtration and Pumps' started by justjason88, 25 Apr 2012.

  1. justjason88

    justjason88 Member

    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    South London
    Hi guys, just a quick question regarding my JBL crystalprofi e1500. Although it is more than capable of handling the job in my 125L i have noticed that since swapping it for my internal juwel filter the water is no where near as clean. There is constantly a lot of debris suspended in the water and it isn't as clear as it used to be. I've also noticed a heavy build up of scum on the surface of the water. This is probably down to two things. 1) The juwel filter had a grill at the bottom and also the top to filter debris/scum from the surface and also lower water column. 2) I am unable to fully open the outflow valve otherwise the movement in the tank would look like a hurricane. I presume that point 2 would also affect the strength of the inflow, the stronger the outflow means the stronger the current of water being pulled into the inflow pipe? At the moment debris has to literally pass within millimeters of the inflow strainer to get sucked in, anything further and the inflow isn't strong enough to pull debris into it.

    Any suggestions as to how i sort this problem? I was going to drill a series of tiny holes along the inflow pipe but this will reduce the strength even more i imagine and i don't really want to invest in a second filter.

    Cheers

    Jason
     
  2. Iain Sutherland

    Iain Sutherland Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,568
    Location:
    Cambridge
    Im only speculating here but my guess would be that now you have a filter with some balls it is stirring up all the crud that was settling on the bottom with the standard filter. You want the particles to be suspended as long as possible so they can be picked up by the filter.
    Give the tank a good clean and WC with a gravel vac and I would imagine that it will clear shortly after.
    Are you running floss in the external?

    dont worry about your intake, it shouldnt pull things in from distance, it works on the fact it is running 24/7... slowly slowly catchy monkey :)
     
  3. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    +1 to what Easer says. That filter is more than capable of doing the job on that tank even with the outflow cranked back. Have you tried adjusting the outflow until it is at the point where it cannot flow any faster without creating the hurricane you talked about, or just cranked it back full stop !? Remember, JBL recommend that you do not crank it back more than 50%. I would suggest not even that much. I had one of these in my 175L tank and cranked it back just a tad and it was ok. You could extend the spraybar so that it runs the whole length of the back of the tank. This would enable you to up the flow a little as it would be more diffused.

    But ultimately I still agree with Easer... It is likely that its stirred up all the crud thats been there a while because the juwel one certainly would not have managed to do that. Do you do quite invasive substrate cleaning when you do water changes or do you just drain the water and replace ? How much volume do you change and how often? I think you need to get it all stirred up and do a couple of big water changes to rid the tank of all that muck, and then let the filter cope with a normal load ;)

    Good luck and let us know how it goes :thumbup:
     
  4. awtong

    awtong Member

    Messages:
    421
    Location:
    Newmarket
    From my experience those internal Juwel filters clogged very easily so would not clean nowhere near as good as the JBL. The posts from the guys above make sense and what you are seeing is an improvement in flow relating to the filter "finding" hidden detritus.

    Andy
     
  5. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Its also worth bearing in mind that because of all this extra detritus, your JBL will be working harder than normal to clean the water. I would hazard a guess that the mechanical stage of the filter (esp if you are using filter wool or the fine mesh foam that JBL provide) will need a clean already. In these early stages of running a new filter its wise to check on them every couple of days for the first week, and then once a week for the first month, just to ensure all is running well. Dont let it get too clogged to start and then when its working with cleaner water to start with it can do its job better in the long run :thumbup:
     
  6. sWozzAres

    sWozzAres Member

    Messages:
    233
    Location:
    UK
    They clog really easily because they are doing a great job of filtering the water!

    I ripped the internal out of my 180l a decade ago and had similiar issues to justjason88. In my new 350l I have kept it in but have two filters - the internal does biological and trapping dirt particles, the external does flow and purigen. Two filters in the same tank and it's the internal that is trapping all the dirt - the external is always clean even though it has higher throughput - 1600l/hr versus 1200l/hr!

    Watching the 180l it's obvious why, a dirt particle needs to be within a few millimetres of the inflow hole to be sucked in, but the juwell internal has a massive inflow area which is at the top in a region of low flow so not only does it has a much greater catch area, the low flow in that area means it can pull in dirt from further away.

    Juwell internals are good, they just look ugly.

    Anyway, maybe you can drill some holes in the back of the spray bar allowing you to run at max flow and still keep your flow pattern.
     
  7. justjason88

    justjason88 Member

    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    South London
    Thank you very much for all your replies

    easer i am running the media that came with the filter, so a mixture of ceramic, large media and fine media. I have done 2 or 3 large WCs over the past 2 weeks, each time concentrating on cleaning the gravel where the most fish waste is. I tend to only clean the top few cms of the gravel as it's qicker and easier, if i clean any deeper half the tube gets filled with gravel and i have to keep constantly squeezing the tube to release the gravel. Also i was told leaving waste underneath the top gravel is more beneficial to the tank as a whole.

    antipo i reckon outflow is around the 50% mark, any higher and my barclaya longifolia uproots. I've had the bulb growing for the past 2 months or so but it grows very very slowly and hasn't put down enough roots to up the flow yet, hence the reason for the 50% flow. Once it has taken a proper hold 70% flow should be the limit before the tank turns into a mess from the extreme flow. I haven't tried moving the spray bar to run the length instead of the width, i may try that. I usually concentrate on the areas with the most dirt when doing a WC and leave the dirt around the plants as it acts as ferts for the plants. I do roughly 4-5 15L buckets so around 40%, once per week - week and a half depending how busy i am at work. I stirred it up once and it caused a LOT of mess. Next time i might just stir up a small patch and then next WC a different patch, see how that goes.

    swozz i think i agree with you, although the l/h flow in a juwel filter is quite a lot lower than any external filter the water quality was really faultless. Every week i changed the pre filter pad and it was always dark brown. I honestly believe the way it works is faultless and may be due to the suction it creates in the box. I could always see dirt get pulled into the top of the box from a little distance away too. I think in years to come if i upgrade i'll definitely keep the internal and plant around it and invest in an external as well like you.

    I think i may change 1 of the baskets with some fine filter pads, i have loads left over from my juwel. This may help in filtering a lot of dirt (plus you can visibly see how much is taken out unlike the blue ones).

    Thanks again for all your replys :D
     
  8. Iain Sutherland

    Iain Sutherland Forum Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,568
    Location:
    Cambridge
    Cushion stuffing off ebay is a nice cheap alternative and come in massive sacks ;) If you put a decent layer in it will reduce you flow but you have room to move there anyway.

    +1 for the spraybar along the back, easiest way to get even flow.
     
  9. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    What is more, with the spraybar along the back, you will also be more likely for the filter to get the muck up off the bottom so it can be filtered.

    Leaving a bit of mulm in a tank as ferts is one thing, but it sounds from what you have said, we are talking a LOT of detritus here. Personally I add liquid ferts so I am in control of that variable rather than leaving it to chance from tank detritus. So I still reckon my earlier comment about getting it clean to start with is worth bearing in mind.

    If your gravel vac clogs up the way you described, this could indicate a) you have massive sized gravel (which itself can trap dirt a lot more easily than smaller grain, as detritus tends to rest on the surface of smaller grains and get blown into suspension for mechanical filtration) OR b) your gravel vac is not appropriately sized. Is it either of those or a combination of both :)
     
  10. sWozzAres

    sWozzAres Member

    Messages:
    233
    Location:
    UK
    I've not had any luck extended the spray bar to get even flow. I find that the first hole is way more powerful than the last one to the point that flow out of the last section of spraybar is rather pathetic. The CO2 mist also comes out of the first few holes with none out of the last.

    I think you need different size holes to even it out.

    I've even connected the outlets of the external and internal filters together in one long spraybar! Theory being that both ends are more powerful than the middle. Doesn't really work though, the internal filter isn't powerful enough to blast the water onto the front glass and down so I abandoned this plan. I figured that it's better not putting any restriction on the outlet of the internal filter, because it's biological, maximizing flow through it is more important.
     
  11. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    I think your experience is isolated, or at least not necessarily a general result. I have extended my spraybar on my Eheim 2078 and the flow at the end hole os 90% as good as the first hole. Result: Much more even distribution of the CO2 that gets into the tank. You are right that the CO2 does not come out of the last few holes, but its not all about where the bubbles come out, more a case of creating more even circulation within the tank. If you find that you lose velocity towards the end of your extended spraybar, you could consider taping over every other one. I read that someone else on here did that at it achieved pretty good results. The OP's filter (JBL e1500) would be more than capable of powering an extended spraybar in the size tank he has. :thumbup:
     
  12. sWozzAres

    sWozzAres Member

    Messages:
    233
    Location:
    UK
    Interesting, sounds like I might be confusing movement of mist and flow. I'll take another look at it at the w/e :thumbup:
     
  13. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,935
    Location:
    Eastleigh
    I have extended my e1501 spray bar all the way across the back of my Vision 180, cost £20 to do and you only need 1/2 the bits, 1 spray bar and 1 extra sucker. I have 1 spray bar and sucker left for a price if interested.

    With spray bar all across the back of the tank I can run my e1501 full power and doesn't uproot plants or move substrate. Mind you it didn't really before fitting the extra bar, but then one end of tank was clearly flow deficient.

    The pressure out all the spraybar holes is the same, as last weekend when I did a water change and when tank was just over 1/2 full I turned the e1501 and water hit the front of the tank across the full width.

    You do have to clean the e1501 a bit more than instructions suggest (every 2 weeks ?) as mine was loosing power due to coarse filter being clogged by plant debris.

    Also when you re-assemble make sure you get the rather small gasket rubber on top media tray aligned correctly or else water can circulate around inside the filter.
     
  14. spyder

    spyder Member

    Messages:
    1,026
    I did this with my 2075 in my Rio 125l. Once extended flow dropped considerably so this increased the flow/circulation whilst still providing the end to end coverage I needed.
     
  15. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Cool. This is a subject where people get a bit confused/misled. It is distribution of CO2 that is the important issue. However, in general terms, this is often most likely to be achieved when you increase flow. But it all relates to how the flow actually works rather than the amount of flow. You would be successful with relatively low flow as long as the CO2 reached all the plants that need it. George Farmer and Mark Evans have both alluded to this, and just look at their tanks ! They are aweful ! :lol: :lol: (Just kidding). They both achieve great results without worrying so much about flow rate but rather, ensuring the CO2 reaches its intended destination successfully :thumbup:. 'Course, their experience and dedication to the hobby probably helps them a little too :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :lol: :lol:
     
  16. justjason88

    justjason88 Member

    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    South London
    When you describe CO2 being distributed THROUGH the spray bar, does that mean your diffuser is placed underneath your intake pipe so it enters the filter and then distributes through the spray bar once it has diffused in the filter?

    At the moment my diffuser is placed underneath the spray bar, a lot of the bubble hit the water surface and then dissapear, only some are blown across the tank
     
  17. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Who are you asking the question of JJ?
     
  18. justjason88

    justjason88 Member

    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    South London
    sorry mate didn't hit the quote button -.- was meant to be for you

     
  19. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    OK I get you now :)

    No. In answer to the question. My diffuser (UP inline) is situated in the return pipe. Order of play is ..

    intake strainer and pipe : filter : outlet pipe : Hydor ETH 300 inline heater : UP inline diffuser : more outlet pipe : spraybar.

    What i meant is that by extending the spraybar I improved flow and circulation within the tank. Because the flow and circulation is better, so too is the distribution of CO2.

    Hope that helps ;)
     
  20. justjason88

    justjason88 Member

    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    South London
    Ah i understand, thanks. Going a little off-topic now but the reason why i ask is because my diffuser is situated underneath my spray bar and when the bubbles come into contact with the stream jetting out, they get pushed to the far side of the tank and circulated. However i find 60% of the bubbles hit the surface of the water instead and then disperse, i don't know if they are disolving in the water or not so i may think of a different way to distribute the CO2 in the tank.

    Back on topic, will mess around with the filter later whilst doing a WC and replace a basket with some fine foam. When that's ran out i'll look into getting some cushion stuffing off ebay

    Jason
     

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