Questions About Anoxic Filtration

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Faytaya

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Hello.
I have a bit of a toughie, and I'm not sure this is a thread which belongs in beginners, but here goes.
If I were to build an anoxic filtration system for, say, a 30 gallon tank, and didn't have a sump, how could I make one? What equipment should I use? How would it be assembled? Finally, how much DIY will I have to engage in to make this? Can I build one with a HOB filter, or does anoxic filtration work differently? Thanks in advance.
 
  • #3

JayH

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You can do it passively with a few inches of substrate, preferably on an undergravel filter plate. You don't hook up the UGF. You just put it on the bottom to create a plenum. For a slightly more direct approach, you can hook up one of the UGF lift tubes and rig it to draw via venturI into a canister filter. Look for Dr. Kevin Novak on YouTube. He's got a video showing this. The idea is to get very low flow, like one to two gallons per day, through the UGF. This mostly just helps even things out as you'll get flow through the substrate with just the plenum.

You can also use kitty litter as your substrate, perhaps under a layer of more normal gravel for cosmetic purposes. The kitty litter is porous and allows for lots of bacteria. You do need to get the right kind. Check the Novak videos for this too.

After several months you should get the right conditions for the bacteria to start devouring nitrates.
 
  • #4

TheLadyFreedom

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JayH said:
You can do it passively with a few inches of substrate, preferably on an undergravel filter plate. You don't hook up the UGF. You just put it on the bottom to create a plenum. For a slightly more direct approach, you can hook up one of the UGF lift tubes and rig it to draw via venturI into a canister filter. Look for Dr. Kevin Novak on YouTube. He's got a video showing this. The idea is to get very low flow, like one to two gallons per day, through the UGF. This mostly just helps even things out as you'll get flow through the substrate with just the plenum.
I have kitty litter, but its not plain. My UGF is 2 plates- it doesn't cover the entire bottom as I have a corner tank...

I watched another one of his videos. Tell me if this is right- I could put bio balls under the two plates, and then some eco complete (kitty litter needed here?) Then, finish off with my eco complete?
 
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JayH

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In the video where he used bio balls for the plenum, the balls were just there to support the plastic screen and the gravel. He could have used marbles or anything inert that would support the weight of the gravel while still allowing water to freely circulate underneath. You wouldn't gain anything by putting bio balls under the UGF plates. The plates are already doing the job.

As long as your UGF plates cover most of the bottom of the tank I think it should be fine. You might get a few areas that are a tad stagnant, but I can't imagine it would be a huge issue. No matter how much of the bottom they cover, it should be better than having no plenum at all.

He uses the non-clumping, clay kitty litter in two ways. One is as a substrate. In this case I think it's just a cheap substitute for other clay substrates like Eco Complete. If you already have enough Eco Complete, I'd just use that. If you don't have enough, you could put down a base of the right kind of kitty litter and layer the Eco Complete on top. The kitty litter should help somewhat with filtration used like this with a plenum underneath.

Dr. Novak also uses the kitty litter as a straight up filter media in his biocenosis baskets. My take is it's mostly just a porous media that can form anoxic zones that are conducive to bacteria consuming nitrates. Unless you have a sump I don't think this will be useful for you. The kitty litter might make a reasonable and very cheap filter media for the canister. It should harbor aerobic bacteria just like any other porous media.
 
  • #6

TheLadyFreedom

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I have 60 pounds of eco complete cycled substrate.
If I left the plates, do I need to put the weed barrier? I don't know if we have any left.
 
  • #7

JayH

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I don't think you'd need the weed barrier if you're using Eco Complete. That would be more for sand to keep it from falling through the slots on the UGF plates. The Eco Complete should be large enough that it won't be a problem.
 
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