Low maintenance sump idea

Michael1212

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18 May 2019
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Hi all, I'm planning a new 100 gallon long planted tank, and I would like to run an idea by the folks here on an aspect of my sump filter design.

The basic idea illustrated in the image attached shows water falling from the main tank into a detritus settling chamber. Waste is free to float around in here, but can not escape due to gravity and the brown coloured filter pads drawn above. Due to gravity these pads should stay very clean and not require frequent changing. The ceramic rings in blue should stay even more clean. At the bottom of the settling chamber is a drain controlled by a tap. Once a week or every couple days, I will stop the pumps, then open the tap, which lets waste drain into my houses plumbing. 10 - 30 seconds should be enough to see all the gunk flushed out. No need to wash filter socks or change pads! Depending on turbulence it may be ok to open the tap while leaving the sump pump still running.

I'm also incorporating an auto water change system in here, and a method to quickly drain 0% to 75% from the lower water column of the display tank, which should be effective for cleaning a sand substrate. Overall maintenance should be minimal, while keeping water quality high.

Please let me know thoughts and any issues that I haven't yet thought of.

Cheers,

Michael.


low_maintenance_sump.png
 

foxfish

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The concept of a settlement chamber is a good one and widely used in commercial filtration plants however in your design, I dont think the debris will sink to the bottom but more likely be suspended and moving in the confined area causing most dirt to be caught in the sponge.

The larger the settlement chamber and the slower or more defused the flow, the more effective the design becomes.

That is not to say it wont work as a filter and certain large partials may well end up in the bottom but for the settlement principale to really work you would need to incorporate a much larger section of the sump.

So if you did not use the sponge and kept the second stage of you sump empty, then that part would work as a very effective settelment chamber!
All you would then need is a net bag filled with bio balls suspended at the end of the sump, there would not be any mechanical filter medium used and the net bad can be removed and rinsed out every month.
 

Michael1212

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Given gravity, would the particles get stuck to the sponge or preference floating around in the water? If they float around in the water, then they should all clear out when I flush the chamber via the lower drain.
 

foxfish

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You will have to try it out but I think most debris will get caught in the sponge.

Settlement chambers are a pretty standard filtration method and very well documented in sewage works but perhaps the best examples in this scenario would be Koi pond filters.

Virtually every dedicated koi pond will a have a first chamber, if space is not an issue then a large empty chamber is best however in more recent years development has progressed into compact designs that utilise a Vortex .
A vortex will effectively separate solids and allow the particles to fall to the bottom .
Like I say your idea is not necessarily a bad one, it just might not work as well as you hope.
 

hypnogogia

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I’m not sure that the downward forces of gravity will be stronger than the upward forces as a result of water flow sump. I suspect your detritus will be let in suspension as a result and forced I to the filter pad.
 

Michael1212

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18 May 2019
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Singapore
Thanks for the input, and I do see the point being made. If I had the time I'd like to build prototypes, but since I plan on building this just once I want it to have a decent chance of success. This got me reading a bit more about commercial particle separation methods, and it is not a straight forward problem. That filter sock is looking more and more attractive..
 

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