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I was looking at a design for a tank today that used a system I am not 100% familiar with.

The basic idea of it was that it was the "main tank" in the front, while the filtration happened in the back in a set up looking a little like this:

user posted image

it worked before, now you must click the pic

please excuse the poor quality drawing. It isn't exactly to scale, however this part is about 4 inches wide and runs along the whole back of the tank. The questions I have about this are:

How effective would this be?

How exactly do you see it working? (i.e does the whole lot fill up or does it work in a trickle system or does it matter?)

Is there anything else you would add to this part to make it work better?

What filter media to use?

Could this move the required amount of water through (3-4 times the tank per hour) in trickle mode (if it needs to go that fast)?

The two ways I saw this working were like this:

1. Entirely submerged with an internal power filter(& sponge) near the outlet pumping the water out at the required rate.

2. In a trickle system, where there is just an internal pump in the sump area to put the water out. When I envisioned this system, I could see the trickle being too slow and it was overflowing. Is this possible? Would it move the water at the right speed?

This set up was new to me and I couldn't quite see it working the way I imagine it would. Could you please enlighten me on if it would be any good or not?



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can you link in a bigger pic? I don't see why an internal trickle would be any less effective than an external one - given the same volume of filter area, same pump size & same overflow area.

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I have built a filter using a similar theory into a 2 foot tank before, taking up about 3 inches of space at one side. I have sold that tank to one of the forum members and, as far as I know, this filter is happily working away - I never had any problems with it!

Provided the overflow was large enough to handle the water being pumped back in there is no reason for the tank overflowing. You would really have less chance of it overflowing than if you accidentally overfilled and external sump based filter, there is just no way that you could put more water into the system than the tank could handle...

The Back to Nature brand 3D backgrounds actually use this idea to make the "wasted" space behind the background into a large filter system. I haven't got the link handy at the moment, but I'll find it and repost yes.gif

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I'd recommend sponge/scourers over bioballs (both will work but the former is less expensive). Bioballs are work most efficiently in wet/dry systems (but will work underwater).

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As the water evaporates the water level is going to go down where the bioballs are. I imagine half will be under water and half will be in the air.

You will need a drip tray above the bio balls or half of them will never see water.

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