150 gallon SA cichlids help on decreasing water changes.

A201

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It's a pretty good bet that the owner of that beautiful tank w/ ultra white spotless sand substrate has a very rigorous & aggressive WC & tank maintenence routine.
 
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Riuqlav

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A201 said:
It's a pretty good bet that the owner of that beautiful tank w/ ultra white spotless sand substrate has a very rigorous & aggressive WC & tank maintenence routine.
I bet he or she does!
 

Momgoose56

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Riuqlav said:
I

For now this is my dream tank:
I have no much space, that's why I thought about the sump I grow a lot of column feeder plants in there, like java moss, hornwort, elodea and such that I know I can sell and, even some I can feed the fish with.
I'll follow what @jjohnwm and @JayH said and improve the overflow and put a chamber of filtration before.


I don't think discussing and researching ways to make something more efficient is being lazy, actually I believe sitting back and accepting the established is, I bet you guys don't use incandescent lighting to grow plants ...
But anyways I keep you guys posted!
The thing is, nature is often the best teacher when it comes to how to best take care of things ripped from their natural habitat and put in small closed system boxes. Through real experiments, like Biosphere 2, we've learned that artificially creating a 'miniature earth' that sustains itself may work for a short time, but requires intensive oversight, continual adjustments and help from natural resources (oxygen, filtered and RO water) to continue to survive. You may save yourself some water changes, but not time, work or money designing a microscopic aquatic biosphere. You don't have to actually build something to know how, and if, it's going to work. It's science and math. Know the science and math and you can almost predict any outcome. It's good you're working it out and thinking it through and not just jumping in and having an epic disaster. Just like small aquariums vs. Large aquariums, small ecosystems (backyard ponds) are much more difficult, and sometimes impossible, to make self-sustainable than large ones (lakes).
 
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Riuqlav

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Momgoose56 said:
The thing is, nature is often the best teacher when it comes to how to best take care of things ripped from their natural habitat and put in small closed system boxes. Through real experiments, like Biosphere 2, we've learned that artificially creating a 'miniature earth' that sustains itself may work for a short time, but requires intensive oversight, continual adjustments and help from natural resources (oxygen, filtered and RO water) to continue to survive. You may save yourself some water changes, but not time, work or money designing a microscopic aquatic biosphere. You don't have to actually build something to know how, and if, it's going to work. It's science and math. Know the science and math and you can almost predict any outcome. It's good you're working it out and thinking it through and not just jumping in and having an epic disaster. Just like small aquariums vs. Large aquariums, small ecosystems (backyard ponds) are much more difficult, and sometimes impossible, to make self-sustainable than large ones (lakes).
I understand what you mean, but my point is how is this guy doing it for turtles?
Have you seen the crazy amount of waste they produce in that little amount of water?
The guy still manage to grow fish and shrimp in that...
What I want to know from the ppl here is if this guy is just talk or someone ever tried that, because sounds quite believable to me...
He doesn't seem to be starving the animals, maybe some old tank syndrome might happen, but I couldn't see the whole in his experiments, I'd like to know if you see.
 

JayH

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Riuqlav said:
I don't think discussing and researching ways to make something more efficient is being lazy, actually I believe sitting back and accepting the established is, I bet you guys don't use incandescent lighting to grow plants ...
This reminds me of a recurring character in some of the Heinlein novels. He memorized the logarithm tables so he could do complicated math in his head because he was too "lazy" to do math longhand. (The novels were written before the days of handheld calculators.)

What you're doing is putting more work in up front to establish a more complete filtration in order to save yourself work down the road. Nothing at all wrong with that.

There are some threads around here on doing full cycle filtration by establishing anoxic zones where the bacteria will process nitrates in addition to ammonia and nitrites. There are a number of different approaches that should work. Using full cycle media like Biohome is one. Check out the Dr. Kevin Novak videos on YouTube. He talks about using baskets of a particular type of kitty litter with some laterite sprinkled in. Putting a plenum under a thick gravel bed will allow for establishment of anoxic zones where the nitrate eating bacteria can thrive. There's a fish store in San Francisco whose owner claims he hasn't done intentional water changes in twenty years. (It's a fish store, so some of the water goes home with customers and has to be replaced.) Check the Aquarium Co-op YouTube channel for "I like this fish store better than my own". He uses massive amounts of plants combined with lightly stocked tanks. You can pick one of these approaches or combine several.

Momgoose56 said:
So kind of like a canister filter...only sideways!
Basically, yes. But then most filtration is similar in some respect. Virtually all of it today moves water over some kind of material intended to house beneficial bacteria to deal with ammonia and nitrites. From undergravel to moving bed, the basic principle of operation is the same.

I spent quite a few hours trying to design something that would do a great job of filtration while not requiring a huge amount of regular maintenance. Ultimately it came down to one or more primarily mechanical stages followed by a primarily biological stage. With that in mind, the idea of simply using pieces of foam friction fit across the width of the sump ends up being just as efficient as any other and vastly less work.
 
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Riuqlav

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JayH said:
Dr. Kevin Novak videos on YouTube.
JayH said:
I like this fish store better than my own
Those are exactly the ones I've been watching haha
Since I'm setting up my new SA tank, my idea is to use the combination of both water changes and anoxic filtration.
My question is, would be really more efficient to have it, or the difference in nitrogen depletion is so minimal that I shouldn't even bother getting wetting extra sand for a refugium...
 

JayH

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I wouldn't be counting on the substrate in a small sump to deal with the nitrates produced by a large aquarium. I'd put 3-4" of substrate on top of a UGF plate in the main tank and use the sump like a big canister, with two or three pieces of 3" foam for mechanical/biological and then Biohome for additional biological and nitrate reduction. You mentioned a budget without saying what that budget was. If it's tight enough, I'd maybe try the kitty litter rather than Biohome.

If the fish in the main tank are incompatible with plants, you could fill the center section of the sump, after the layers of foam, with fast growing floating plants. I think this could be combined with baskets of kitty litter. Novak's video shows the biocenosis baskets in his sump just sitting in the middle with water flowing all around, so I can't see where plants growing in all that open space would be an issue.

With all of this it would be like using every tool in the toolbox -- plenum under the substrate to create anoxic zones, multiple Matten filters in the sump for mechanical and biological, biocenosis baskets for nitrate reduction, and loads of plants to also help with nitrates and other pollutants.
 
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Riuqlav

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JayH said:
Ok I already have the underground filter from an old tank, already have the a fine sponge I'd just need more coarse ones to put in front, I might use scrubies, or those nets from onion bags.
JayH said:
kitty litter
Instead I'm planning on using these backed clay balls that I already have under my substrate on my current tank.
The only problem is that my EBA digs huge pits to breed, I don't even know about the Geos...so I don't think the plate under the sand is gonna be doable, what do you think?
 

JayH

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You need to think about ease of maintenance with alternative media like pot scrubbies. The real cheap ones that look like powder puffs are extremely porous. I know a lot of people use them, but they don't strike me as good media or especially good value when you get down to it. The very dense nylon pads are good on the porosity front, but I'm not sure about the value unless you get a great deal on a full case of them. And then there's the issue of eventually cleaning 2,000 scrubbies. I'd personally spend the few bucks and get one or two pieces of good quality foam that I can take out to the driveway and hose down when it's time to clean them.

You can still put the plate under the gravel. It's not like the fish are going to dig through it and it's not all that less natural looking than the glass bottom of the tank. The digging will most certainly disrupt any anoxic zones that might have been set up in the area of the dig. If their digging is limited to one area the damage will probably be minimal. If they constantly dig all over, that could kill the idea of anoxic zones in the substrate. I'd still consider the plenum just to keep a healthy circulation of water through the substrate.
 

Islandvic

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I agree with JayH....

Dr. Novak style plenum for the tank and throw in a couple of Biocenesis Clarification Baskets in the sump.

Dr. Novak has his own YouTube channel, lot of info there on anoxic facultative anaerobic bacteria there and in online blogs he has contributed too.

I'm very interested on your SA build. Geophagus have always been very interesting to me and SA builds.
 
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Riuqlav

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I just got a 525L for really cheap I have another question about the built, Severum and plants real plants. Did anyone already had success keeping both?
 
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