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    Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

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    nphocus

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    Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by nphocus on Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:50 pm

    Some Links about Fluidized Sand Filters for your consideration:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluidized_bed
    http://www.bioconlabs.com/abtqs.html

    And from http://www.aquariumpros.com/articles/biofiltertypes.shtml

    Fluidized-Bed Filters: Fluidized-bed filters are a very unique biological filter. If properly designed and built tall enough, they have the ability to cultivate not only aerobic nitrifying bacteria, but also facultative anaerobic denitrifying bacteria. This means they may have the capability to remove not only ammonia and nitrite, but also nitrates. They usually consist of some type of column chamber which houses several cups or more of coarse sand or similar media. Water enters at the bottom of the filter and exits at the top. There is usually a control valve for regulating water flow. A check valve is usually placed on the filter intake to prevent the sand from packing-down when the filter is turned off.

    Because water flows upward through the filter, the sand in the filter becomes suspended or "fluidized" in the water column, forming a fluidized bed of sand. If the flow of water is controlled properly, the sand does not flow out of the filter, but remains suspended. This happens because the flow of water is just fast enough to keep the sand in suspension. The weight of the sand prevents it from escaping the filter. Because the sand is suspended in water, fluidized-bed filters are self cleaning, and require little or no maintenance.

    The water at the bottom of the filter is fresh and high in dissolved oxygen, so aerobic bacteria cultivate in the bottom half of the sand bed, and remove ammonia and nitrite, using up oxygen in the process. In taller fluidized-bed filters, enough aerobic bacteria cultivate in the bottom half so that as water flows past them, they remove most of the oxygen from the water, so facultative anaerobic bacteria cultivate in the top half of the sand bed where they remove nitrates. Not all fluidized-bed filters are tall enough to promote anaerobic denitrifying bacteria, but most are very efficient at cultivating beneficial aerobic bacteria.

    Some fluidized-bed filter designs are stand-alone units that are too tall to be placed under an aquarium in a cabinet stand. These are actually the best designs, but are not practical for most aquariums. Other fluidized-bed filters are designed to hang on the back of an aquarium or sit in a reservoir, and may be driven by a small pump or the return line of a canister filter. These types of fluidized-bed filters are an excellent way to provide biological filtration on an aquarium equipped only with a canister filter.


    This is exactly what I'm talking about:

    http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/FluidizedSandFilter.html

    If you look at that, it's just 4" tube with 1" tube inside of it and an outlet coming off the 4" tube and an inlet on the 1" tube. It's an external reverse flow under gravel filter!!!! And I'm just guessing, but if you have a strong enough pump and the specific inclination, you could run this setup in series... ie multiple 4" pvc tubes with 1" tube linking them together, and different filtration media in each....

    Read the link info:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB2dOGux1H0

    A DIY fluidized sand bed filter for an aquarium. A FSB is a biological filter with a surface to volume ration of 1000:1. The bacteria convert ammonia waste into nitrite and another strain converters nitrites into nitrates, which is exactly what plants thrive on. This unit can process ammonia for 18 pounds of fish. For more info see http://backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=113250#113250
    This was made for under $17 from LDPE using a plastic welder. A commercial version cost hundreds of dollars. This biological filter has a surface area of 4,430 square inches/ 9.309 square meters, enough to process 1.86 to 8.3 grams of ammonia per day in theory or based on the SRAC pdf, 2 to 10 grams of ammonia. I have room to add more sand, but that might make it unable to restart after being turned off. Southern Regional Aquaculture Center says 10g/day of ammonia is produced per 100 pounds of fish. So .1 grams of ammonia per pound of fish that would mean this filter can handle 18 pounds of fish.


    nphocus

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by nphocus on Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:51 pm

    http://backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2903

    Some notes I have gathered:
    1 kg / 2.2 pounds of fish feeding produces about 37g ammonia per day.
    1 square meter surface of bacteria can convert .9g .2 being more real.
    1 mm sized(medium) sand has S:V ratio of 3141 per cubic meter to 1.
    Very Fine sand can have a S:V ratio of 10,000 to 1
    Fluidized sand filter gives most surface area for bacteria
    Takes longer to get bio started in FSB filter.
    *Water flow to high and bacteria will not work and ammonia goes up
    To Little flow and sand will not fluidize properly and may channel.
    Best operated with only enough flow to fluidize all of the sand
    FSBs work well with shock load changes
    FSBs have been use for 15 years now in large systems
    FSBs have been used in fresh water aquariums for 8 years
    FSBs operate best in a starved mode. More bacteria vs ammonia
    FSBs are extremely efficient at converting ammonia to nitrites/nitrates
    FSBs need to be pre-filtered to remove solids, to prevent foaming

    Starved operation allows for rapid adjustments in fish load
    Water should be going through FSB at all times.
    Long power failure can cause anaerobic conditions.
    Anaerobic conditions can generate hydrogen sulfide, dangerous to fish
    Air stone in bottom of FSB can prevent anaerobic conditions.
    When calculating ammonia load add 25% for ponds in full sun; algae ect
    It us best to have a cone to make sure sand settles back down.
    Sand should all be round and the same size to prevent caking/sticking.

    nphocus

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by nphocus on Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:55 pm

    http://www.duboisi.com/diy/BNfbf/bnfbf.htm





    These filters are very efficient biological filters, the above filter contains enough sand for a 900gallon tanks' worth of bio-load. Although they work well in any tank over 75 gallons.


    Thats a nice sump design, but I'm not going with a sump. I do like his use of pvc "Y"s. I would actually use that Y off to go a fair bit higher to allow use of a higher pressure/volume pump to allow more fluidization and seperation before going back to the tank.

    These guys actually hold a patent for fluidized filtration:
    http://www.bioconlabs.com/

    Check out the mini filter they sell for 60-100 gallon tanks...
    http://www.bioconlabs.com/qsamini.html



    they also have a larger drum model that's specifically geared for 5000 gallon koi ponds...
    http://www.bioconlabs.com/qsp.html

    More pics:








    http://www.emperoraquatics.com/install/fluidizedbed.php



    Recommended Installation
    The Emperor Aquatics Inc. Fluidized Bed Bio Filter featuring our exclusive “U Design” is extremely dependable but must be installed as demonstrated in the above diagram. We suggest that these filters be operated using a dedicated pump rather than in conjunction with other filters. Water exiting the fluidized bed filter may be returned directly to the sump or passed through a re-air tower. Installing true union ball valves before the suction and after the discharge of the pump is recommended with all applications.

    Special Comments
    Do not install or operate our fluidized bed filters inline with any type of mechanical filtration.

    For dependable operation we suggest a dedicated pump be used with our fluidized be filters.

    We recommend a 1 mm silica sand or garnet be used as the biological media.

    When sizing a pump to operate our fluidized bed filters, use our recommended flow rate @ 10 feet of head pressure. Example : COM5002 would require a feed pump capable of at least 18 gpm @ 10 ft. of head pressure. Over sizing the pump a bit and cutting back on the discharge with a valve is recommended.



    http://www.emperoraquatics.com/commfluidbed.php

    nphocus

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by nphocus on Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:15 pm





    http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/showthread.php?105515-Help-for-diy-fluidized-bed-filter

    http://www.monsterfishkeepers.com/forums/showthread.php?208356-My-DIY-bio-tube-filter...thing.



    [img][/img]











    Truly a simple thing of beauty.

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    FishVixen
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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by FishVixen on Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:19 pm

    I really want to try this when I get a 90 gal for my flowerhorn.

    nphocus

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by nphocus on Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:27 pm

    I've looked, and clear or clearish pvc is ridiculous. One option is to use thin pvc - which is also cheaper - and then hold a light up to the back of the pvc, the amount of light that passes thru will show you where the sand is. You can also just look down from the top and adjust the pumps flow or the amount of sand you use by adding enough or cranking the pump up enough so you can see the fluidization but it's not overflowing sand thru the output.

    I think I was only looking to use 1-5lbs of sand. As long as it's moving and not channeling, its not too much.



    More info:

    Interesting, if you skip the elbow on the tube at the bottom and point it straight down, you can adjust the amount of fluidization, ie the flow rate, by adjusting how far the end of the tube is from the bottom of the outside pipe.

    http://www.waisaquarium.com/Bio&DenitrificationFilters%28testformat%29.htm



    With the MERLIN product, the water-flow to the chamber can be adjusted mechanically by varying the Flow Regulator. The Flow Regulator has a Regulator Pin connected at the bottom. Turning the Pin in different directions can raise or lower the Inlet Tube, thereby varying the opening between the Flow Nozzle and the Deflection Plate. The larger the opening between the Flow Nozzle and the Deflection Plate, the larger the flow rate and the higher the level of fluidization. The appropritate level is anywhere between the marked levels shown on the bio-filter


    So, WillieMcD and I built one of these... and tested some different ideas and theories on how the whole shebang could/would work. I am very pleased with the preliminary results. I will get some pics up once I've gotten some sleep... I've been working on this FSB since the day before yesterday. It's going to take some time to cycle it, test it, and get some real world results, but we've already figured out how to do a much smaller version 100% in tank with just a low flow powerhead.

    We built the first one for less than $25 and I'm going to run it off of the output from my series connected canister filters. Depending on how much pressure they deliver, I may or may not add a cheap mag pump to boost output. We tested it with approximately 15lbs of pool filter sand in a 4 foot tall 4" wide tower and were fluidizing it with approximately 200gph of flow.

    williemcd wrote:Materials cost was less than $25.00.... buttt.... we started approx at 9 p.m. last evening.. dumpster dove a few times to locate some scrap PVC 4" tubing... tested it finally at 4:30 a.m. today. Tried a few other variations to check out results and pics will be coming!... Oh.. we estimate the filter built last night/this morning is capable of handling 9,000 gallons of tank water.... Yea.. not a typo... We will see!.. Bill

    I've been trying to find a real world capacity for these fluidization sand filters.

    http://www.warehouse-aquatics.co.uk/phosphate-fluidised-reactors/fluidised-sand-bed-filters/v2-bio-fluidised-sand-bed-filter-600-p-5672.html

    The largest model is the V2 Bio 1500 which is for aquariums up to 1500 liters or roughly 400 gallons. This model is only 2 feet tall and uses 3" Inside Diameter pipe.


    Out of that 2 feet of height, only 1/3 of the pipe can be full of sand and when it fluidizes it should be cloudy/fluidized up to about 3/4 of that height. I'm estimating that the sand is packed 8 inches high by 3 inches wide in a cylinder shape. That gives you roughly 1 liter of sand, not allowing for the volume displacement caused by the pipe being in the sand.

    Our first test was with 18 inches deep/tall by 4 inches wide in a cylinder shape. That was roughly 5 pounds of sand when weighed dry. That volume is 3.7 liters, once again not allowing for the volume displacement caused by the 3/4" pipe being in the sand.

    Working that math out further, that initial test should be enough to biologically filter about 1500 gallons... Geebus... The 5lbs of sand was a hotdog in a hallway relative to seeing fluidization in the water when looking down from the top of the tube.

    Our second test was with 28 inch deep sand, blah, blah, blah, and weighed a total dry weight of about 15lbs. When inserting the pipe with water running, it was much more resistance to push down thru. Starting with this bed depth created a LOT of initial back pressure. I think that the initial back pressure would be greatly reduced by packing the first 4-6 inches of pipe with pea gravel which has less surface area to stick together combined with greater mass/weight than the sand... the gravel settls first and the sand slowly floats down and piles on top of it... I theorize that the sand will not pack "IN" or "thru" the pea gravel. The pea gravel will allow starting with significantly less back pressure when compared to starting against just sand alone....

    Anyway, I will test it with some loose gravel and see if that makes it easier to restart. I don't think that it will effect the fluidization of the sand very much. This volume of sand is roughly 6 liters and should be adequate for a 2300 gallon tank... or pond.

    This fluidized sand filter is one of the methods for providing filtration on koi ponds... FYI.

    It will still take a few weeks to a few months for the sand to cycle, probably less with my setup as I have 1 seasoned canister feeding it's output into a 2 week old canister feeding it's output to this FSF filter with new pool filter sand.

    I'm already planning and budgeting for a second version with a U bend at the bottom where water feeds in from the top of one side of the U and flows out the top of the other side of the U with the output side of the U being twice to 3 times as tall AND having a 18" or greater section of clear PVC in it so I can see the fluidization and adjust my flow rates accordingly. I also think seeing the sand churn will just look freaking cool.

    -Bobby


    nphocus

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by nphocus on Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:33 pm

    From:

    http://backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2903&start=30

    As to the capacity of the filter, its hard to say because I just used play sand and not equally sized/graded sand. If it was all medium sized then based on the amount I put in it would have a surface area of 4,430 square inches/ 9.309square meters, enough to process 1.86 to 8.3 grams of ammonia per day in theory or based on the SRAC pdf, 2 to 10 grams of ammonia. I have room to add more sand, but that might make it unable to restart after being turned off. Southern Regional Aquaculture Center says 10g/day of ammonia is produced per 100 pounds of fish. So .1 grams of ammonia per pound of fish that would mean this filter can handle 18 pounds of fish with 8 ounces(volume) of medium sized sand and up to 36 pounds of fish with 16 oz of sand and a better pump. I have ~1.7 pounds of fish in the tank.


    I probably have 15-20lbs of fish, with 20lbs being generous... 16 ounces is 1lb of sand, roughly. (I know that volume does not equate to weight/mass/density). So, based on that ratio, 5lbs of sand would be able to support biological filtration for 180lbs of fish. 15lbs would handle 540lbs.

    Those numbers really sound unbelievable.

    nphocus

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    Finally, this is my actual setup :)

    Post by nphocus on Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:34 pm









    She's done. The 3/4" tube goes all the way down to the bottom of the tower. I don't adjust it for height as even pushed all the way down it still flows at the same rate. I can't see down in the pipe to see where the fluidization "should" be occurring. The next build will have a clear section for just that purpose, unless someone has a suggestion for seeing thru pvc.

    Right now it has about 15lbs of pool filter sand inside of it and it's being powered by the output of a single cascade 1500 canister filter.

    nphocus

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by nphocus on Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:36 pm

    This project started almost exactly a month and a half ago. Here are the final results:













    After about 45 days of waiting for it to cycle properly. Those are the water tests from today on my 75G planted tank. The tank houses over 20 small cichlids, 9 kuhli loaches, a cory and a pictus catfish, a zebra loach, two large snails, and 3 algae eaters.

    I would consider this tank heavily stocked and the FSF handles the load with ease. I'm going to build a second FSF for my 90G koi tank in the living room.

    nphocus

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by nphocus on Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:43 pm

    If you have any questions or comments and your name isn't Alowhosthesmartassnow, I'll be more than happy to respond to them to the best of my ability.

    The canister that was being used to power the FSF initially was replaced with a dedicated mag drive pump and the canister just does mechanical filtration with the FSF handling the biological filtration.

    I have another 18" tall piece of PVC pipe hidden in the tank that is topped with a drainage screen and stuffed full with walmart's finest polyester pillow fill. I have 4 air hose lines running to it from an air pump. This device was inspired from one of Fishvixen's DIY filters that I saw at WillieMcD's home. I use it for water polishing. The sides were drilled with a 3/8" drill bit on the lower 4 inches to allow for water to enter. The air tubes come in thru a couple of the drilled holes and the rising air bubbles create a water pump that draws water into the drilled holes and thru the tightly packed pillow fill and out thru the top of the drainage screen.

    The PVC was a free, from a dumpster dive - thanks Bill. The pillow fill is $2 from walmart. The Drainage screen is found at Lowes and is with all the other pvc elbows and adapters.
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    williemcd

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by williemcd on Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:58 pm

    Bobby.. personal attacks are best left offline. Bill in Va.
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    zeketaz

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by zeketaz on Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:14 pm

    Name calling isn't necessary. Questions of all sorts are good cause some people may be afraid to ask.
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    williemcd

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by williemcd on Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:43 pm

    Not to gloat too much but.. this was buried in my latest deal:
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    FishVixen
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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by FishVixen on Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:29 pm

    Bill you gloat! NEVER!!!! LOL

    nphocus

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by nphocus on Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:29 pm

    So, during a late night/4AM bull session at WillieMcD's house we talked about doing a FSF inside of a fish tank... He thought I was joking... I just did it.


    I Found these at a local Michael's arts and crafts store, though I imagine you can find them anywhere from target to walmart. I'm even thinking about buying a tall martini glass shaped one.

    They are about 24-28 inches tall and the widest is 8 inches wide and the narrowest is 3 inches wide. The cone shaped vase is the "ideal" shape but pretty much any of them will work with enough "pump" pushing sufficient water volume. Out of this batch, I ended up using the 3" diameter 24" tall vase on my 75G tank and I just finished setting up the cone shaped vase which I think is about 28" tall on my 90G corner tank.

    Sidenote: Another easy DIY project is using these suction hooks from the craft store to attach romaine lettuce to the side of the tank, this way the uneaten stalks are easily retreivable. The tank is cloudy because I've been rearranging stones and setting up the new in tank FSF.

    This is the old external FSF getting torn down. Note the 3/4" pipe that goes all the way to the bottom of the pvc tube. The tube is 4" schedule 80 pvc from walmart. The Y is also a standard piece. The length is approximately 4 feet and it's capped on one end with a rounded cap.

    This is the danner mag pump that ran the entire system. I used a ball valve on the output of the pump to reduce flow because the pump is stupid powerful. Turns out I didn't need to throttle it down at all.

    This is the grill that kept the pipe centered and it is snug enough to allow me to adjust the distance between the end of the 3/4 pipe and the bottom of the tube.


    After almost 2 months of running.

    This is the sand that was in the FSF along with the ceramic beads that I took out of my canister and used to seed/cycle the sand. Just regular Pool Filter Sand from a local pool and spa supply store.

    Test fit of the new 3 inch x 24 inch vase in the middle of the tank.

    Top down view.


    Once it's in the tank, it's damn near transparent.

    nphocus

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by nphocus on Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:11 am


    Just the tube in the empty vase... which is almost invisible.




    With a few handfuls of sand.



    More sand, more fluidization. I think this is about the ideal size container. The amounts of sand that I use are really overkill, but hey, why not? I've also noticed that the hard ceramic rings that were in the FSF have actually become significantly rounded from being in the fluid sand. I have thought for a while that the sand acts as a sand blasting cabinet and grinds down material and would even go so far as working as a water polisher by mashing and breaking down impurities until they were small enough for bacteria to go to work on them. I'm also theorizing that it would have this effect on solid waste. As waste is grinded down, more of the surface of the waste is exposed to the bacteria for break down.


    This is a 28" tall cone shaped vase submerged in a 31" deep tank!

    Fish are too curious, I have about 3 inches of water above the lip of this filter and fish swam into it constantly, like churning sand is a good experience. Then again, it may conjure memories of being gutter fish, back in their teens. This tank is also 31" deep, so with the cloudy water, you can't even begin to see the back of the tank. More After pics in a few days.




    Close encounters of the Third Kind...

    This is the 75G again, topped up with 18" of fluidized sand.







    nphocus

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    Good Morning

    Post by nphocus on Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:21 pm

    I woke up to this:





    Two of my resident snails had climbed up the glass tower and then down into the fluidized sand... they watched me eat breakfast while they checked it out and then climbed up, over the small lip, and out of the tower... snails will try to go anywhere!

    -Bobby
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    H2O Nyck
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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by H2O Nyck on Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:58 am

    This is an awesome thread!!!! Keep up the good work!!!!

    nphocus

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by nphocus on Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:16 pm

    Update:

    The 75G planted cichlid tank looks awesome. The 90G koi tank is cycling again. The cloudiness is slowly clearing up. That tank is also 30" deep instead of the 18" of the 75, so I'm stacking a few rocks up to get the top of the vase to come up above the water line. The 90G also has a built in overflow sump that doesn't play nicely with the danner mag pump I've got wedged in there. The pump flows water out quicker than the sump can refill
    I'm thinking about removing the overflow block off and running the a different water pump with a very large coarse sponge filter on the intake. This should mirror the setup on the 75G.
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    FishVixen
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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by FishVixen on Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:06 pm

    sounds like that would work. Overflows can be a pain.

    nphocus

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by nphocus on Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:18 pm

    FishVixen wrote:sounds like that would work. Overflows can be a pain.
    I signed into the chat IRC chat window, but I missed everyone. Can you guys chime in with a good pump recommendation. I'm looking at the Rio HF20. With this fluidizer, a good high flow pump means good fluidity and the ability to fluidize more sand better. I don't know which danner mag I have on the 90G right now, but it's definitely one of the smaller ones. The HF20 looks like it should do 1200gph at the virtual 2-3ft of head that I will be pushing it at. It also seems like it shouldn't have any issue pushing thru packed sand when we loose power.

    I have one of the larger danner mag pumps on the 75 and that thing is a complete beast. With a 4" tube packed with 15lbs of sand <-ALOT OF SAND, it didn't flinch at restarts. With about 5lbs of sand on the smaller mag pump, the pump cant push thru the sand to restart the fluidization.

    Thanks,

    Bobby

    nphocus

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by nphocus on Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:37 am

    I came home to a 90G tank with a barely turning danner mag pump on it. Fortunately I already had sponges and airstones in it for aeration. Hopefully the new Rio 20HF will be here saturday or monday.

    Anyway, I had to share this link:
    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/blog/riveraquarium

    It's a 2000 gallon river aquarium that was just built.

    The life support system is located in a separate building 200 feet away and consists of cartridge filters, fluidized sand filter, bio tower and a UV Sterilizer.

    nphocus

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by nphocus on Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:27 am

    http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+20024+3654&pcatid=3654



    Product Gallons Media Minimum
    Sug. Flow Measurement
    FB 300 Up to
    300 gallons 3 lbs. 135 g.p.h. 3" D x 7-1/2" W x 17" H
    FB 600 Up to
    600 gallons 6 lbs. 144 g.p.h. 3" D x 7-1/2" W x 26-3/4" H
    FB 900 Up to
    900 gallons 9 lbs. 200 g.p.h. 3" D x 7-1/2" W x 34-1/2" H


    Something I just found to back up my claims. The FSF I built was 4 feet tall and held 15lbs of sand and costs under $25 to build, not including pump.
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    williemcd

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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by williemcd on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:13 am

    later


    Last edited by williemcd on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    FishVixen
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    Re: Fluidized Sand Filtration Systems

    Post by FishVixen on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:26 am

    Now folks lets put differences aside. If a 200 GPH runs the 34.25x7.5 I would say you need at least 300 gph to get through a 4" tube.

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