Taking a sump. Back in five minutes...

Geoffrey Rea

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Hi @Deano3

As the tank was started with Amazonia soil went with ADA’s fert system for the first few (2-3) months to give it a fair run. That’s just potassium and micros basically as you probably know. Theoretically nitrate is primarily located in the soil in massive amounts and phosphate is high in the tap water here due to agricultural practices anyway, so they’re omitted from liquid ferts during the startup phase. I had to be out the country in that period as well so easiest thing to ask someone else to do is pump two bottles once a day. Yes expensive water but a part of a proven system that is fool proof in my absence.

Switched to EI but omitted phosphate, plant growth went ballistic so went back to the remaining ADA ferts for a while until any deficiencies showed up. Restricting nitrate and iron under high light will colour up the plants temporarily but wouldn’t say it’s a good long term plan.

Now the soil is leaning out and it’s CEC has dropped it’s time for full EI for more rapid growth and lots of pruning.
 

Deano3

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So did EI bring vivid colours and was any deficiencys presnt when using it ?

Also what EI kit would you recomend ?

Thanks for that long write up very interesting.

Dean

Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
 

Geoffrey Rea

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EI is just a set of parameters for ferts per litre. You can use anything you want to achieve that @Deano3

Personally if going for an all in one I vote TNC for an easy life and you’re supporting a British business. Forum members can point you to salts. The ADA soil and fert system is pricey but mostly fool proof if you follow their guidance.

I say just try things, it’s half the fun of the hobby.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Hi @Conort2

Went with a mix this time tap/RO just to give it a whirl. Tank is actually in a really shabby state as been busy taking down the 4ft. Will do it justice in the coming months.

TDS in the tank on water change day between 100-120ppm so should favour better nutrient uptake in theory. Plenty of argument to be had there so dropping that one like it’s hot :lol:

I think the wet/dry sump system may have a lot more to do with the tank health. It is pretty heavily stocked but even then it’s holding its own. Saturated o2 is high throughout a 24hr cycle.
 

Conort2

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Hi @Conort2

Went with a mix this time tap/RO just to give it a whirl. Tank is actually in a really shabby state as been busy taking down the 4ft. Will do it justice in the coming months.

TDS in the tank on water change day between 100-120ppm so should favour better nutrient uptake in theory. Plenty of argument to be had there so dropping that one like it’s hot :lol:

I think the wet/dry sump system may have a lot more to do with the tank health. It is pretty heavily stocked but even then it’s holding its own. Saturated o2 is high throughout a 24hr cycle.
Ah I was hoping you’d say tap! I have a TDS of more like 400. I feel like I struggle with certain species due to my harder water. Softer water tanks with a lower TDS seem to produce healthier more vibrant plants. Rotalas for example just seem so much better in softer water.

Or maybe it’s just me and not the water lol!
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Too many factors at play to say @Conort2

Take into account the colour rendition from the full spectrum LED’s of the two ONF’s, plus they’re running at 100% giving a high exposure rate and the auto colour correction of the now ancient iPhone 5s for instance... This could account for the colour. However, the pictures are very accurate to real life.

The jury is still out on this tank running at 120ppm TDS, peeps can see if the end results are any good as will report them.

Fundamentally I just wanted to see how much light you could smack a tank with without issue so there’s oddity’s like; over the top filtration, wet/dry system compared to the usual canister, highly nutritious soil and EI at times, very very high co2 injection rate coupled with surface agitation to cap the maximum... hardly made it easy to find out any causal evidence that softer water is superior to harder water :lol:
 
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Geoffrey Rea

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More finger pulling out. Quick trip to AG for some change ups, shop is looking fab!

The influx of Amano shrimp turned the repens and wallichii to salad.

Staurogyne repens tapped out... Hydrocotyle tripartita tagged in:

upload_2020-1-5_16-51-2.jpeg


Rotala wallichii shrimp food...
Rotala green in for an easy life:

upload_2020-1-5_16-54-15.jpeg


The stems are picking up the pace now we’re back on EI. Can see growth day to day since the big prune:

upload_2020-1-5_17-2-32.jpeg


09E5756D-C15E-4207-9F7A-CAFFD61D6595.jpeg
 
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Wookii

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Great thread, and fantastic looking tank.

I really like the idea of having a sump on my possible future tank there are so many factors in favour of it. From the outside looking in, having never ran a sump before, it looks like maintenance should be easier versus a canister, and allows a hidden area to store heater, CO2 diffusers and other equipment (so the base minimum of items in the tank) - all with easy access without disturbing the tank - plus the sump system provides integral surface skimming, so no need for a separate unit, and higher saturated O2 levels. The only thing I can think it lacks compared to a canister, is the ability to extract detritus at the substrate level (at least I'm not aware of a way to add that in a sump system?).

How are you finding living with it now the tank has been running for a few months, versus say a decent quality canister filter? Do all the above positives hold true?

Also, how reliable have you found the hang-on overflow box? My paranoia tells me I'd want a physical hole in the tank on mine, to avoid the risks of the overflow siphon failing, but probably I'm being overly cautious?

(Also, as an aside - how do you prevent your hatches from carpet surfing?)
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Hi @Wookii

The only thing I can think it lacks compared to a canister, is the ability to extract detritus at the substrate level (at least I'm not aware of a way to add that in a sump system?).
When draining the tank weekly I hang an intake shepherds hook to the lowest point in one of the front corners. Waft all the plants and begin the siphon. No problems so far but I was using a spare external filter filled with filter floss like a hoover, cleans without the need for a water change once in a while. Not really necessary though as draining the tank in the manner above during weekly water changes is very effective.

How are you finding living with it now the tank has been running for a few months, versus say a decent quality canister filter? Do all the above positives hold true?
Love it, to be direct. It out performs any canister due to o2 gains from the wet/dry and maintenance is simple as well as less frequent. The only part that can be time consuming is setting the ball valve correctly on the intake so it runs silent, but it's a couple of minutes. Hardly soul destroying.

Also, how reliable have you found the hang-on overflow box? My paranoia tells me I'd want a physical hole in the tank on mine, to avoid the risks of the overflow siphon failing, but probably I'm being overly cautious?
It works, but the model on the tank is a CPR unit from California. They specialise in acrylic and the unit itself is great. The only problem I had was the UPS delivery driver beat the hell out of the package and it had a crack which was fixed with Tensol. Can't speak of other manufacturer's though. I would also opt for a drilled tank with weir for simplicity if given the choice now, but this project was purely to see if you could retrofit a sump system without drilling, hence the overflow unit. Either way works, but if you design well enough back siphoning isn't an issue - design better basically and have adequate capacity in the sump relative to the display if you want to be cautious.

There is no outcome where this system can flood, even the ATO is 4 litres and with multiple failures of return pump, aqualifter pump and ATO dumping it all fits without a drop lost. Just takes some consideration. This is the benefit of building your own system and it's quite fun!

(Also, as an aside - how do you prevent your hatches from carpet surfing?)
Those two hatchetfish evaded me when I was dismantling the other tank last month, so they are housed here until they can be re-homed. Posted on the thread about jumpers before regarding your question:

https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/jumpers.59523/
 

Wookii

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Hi @Wookii

When draining the tank weekly I hang an intake shepherds hook to the lowest point in one of the front corners. Waft all the plants and begin the siphon. No problems so far but I was using a spare external filter filled with filter floss like a hoover, cleans without the need for a water change once in a while. Not really necessary though as draining the tank in the manner above during weekly water changes is very effective.
Thanks makes sense - though I like to set up automatic water changes (I hate manual water changing - I get PTSD flashbacks from carrying buckets around the house many years ago!), so siphoning during a water change wouldn't work so well for me in my planned future setup.

I also use a little old Fluval canister filter for monthly 'hoovering' duties!

Love it, to be direct. It out performs any canister due to o2 gains from the wet/dry and maintenance is simple as well as less frequent. The only part that can be time consuming is setting the ball valve correctly on the intake so it runs silent, but it's a couple of minutes. Hardly soul destroying.
A quick question on that - what in essence are you doing there when adjusting the ball valve to get it to run silently? I had assumed the flow would have been determined entirely by the flow rate the pump is set at? Are you adjusting the inflow from the overflow so its partially filled with water at all times, rather than being mainly empty causing a height drop to the water which generates noise?

Could that be overcome by having an S-bend higher up in the overflow pipes? (Just thinking out loud here)

The only thing I can think it lacks compared to a canister, is the ability to extract detritus at the substrate level (at least I'm not aware of a way to add that in a sump system?).
Hate to quote myself, but I did a little research to see if a sump system could in fact have an extraction point at the substrate level (obviously in a addition to the usual overflow), without risking siphoning off the entire tank. It appears you can, and all that is needed from the safety perspective is a tiny hole in the inlet pipe being used, just below the intended surface level. Apparently, should there be a failure and the tank start to drain, as soon as the water level reaches the hole, the air inflow will break the siphon! A simple solution that just didn't occur to me! I guess beyond that I'd just need a ball valve to control the flow rate, and a pump inline to start the siphon. . . Plenty of food for thought.

PS - For any mods watching, this thread really deserves to be a Featured Journal!
 

Geoffrey Rea

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A quick question on that - what in essence are you doing there when adjusting the ball valve to get it to run silently? I had assumed the flow would have been determined entirely by the flow rate the pump is set at? Are you adjusting the inflow from the overflow so its partially filled with water at all times, rather than being mainly empty causing a height drop to the water which generates noise?
The rate of return from the return pump is guided by how significant you want the rate of return to be (flow/distribution/surface agitation).

The rate of intake can be controlled in several ways. But two options are pertinent in this setup:

- The herbie method can be employed i.e. two intakes; the one you control and an overflow. The overflow is always 100% open and you fine tune the other so just a small amount goes into the overflow so it runs silent. Or....

- As is done in this setup you run the first intake tuned in. This means getting the air out of the return pipe by adjusting and the overflow is there just in case of emergency.

In summary... the return pump is set to what you desire (constant) and you use the adjustment on the returns to control flow to match the return pump. Balance.

PS - For any mods watching, this thread really deserves to be a Featured Journal!
Beyond my pay grade @Wookii up to the mods.

Just hope it’s useful to anyone who wants to give it a whirl and is interested in tailoring to their needs.
 

Conort2

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Had a prune recently but still needs a fair bit of taming. Anyway, few pics...

View attachment 130917


View attachment 130920

View attachment 130922

View attachment 130923
Looks great, has really grown in well. The colours are great. Is that bacopa colorata at the back?

Your myriophyllum Guyana is really dense, do you trim replant the tops and save the bottoms? I’ve only had mine going for a month but seems to be spreading upwards rather than out and it already has a lot of light hitting it. Would love to achieve the same look.

cheers

Conor
 
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