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Combined Filter Input - Workable?


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Hi

Would it be possible to have just 1 filtration input in the tank that feeds 3 or more canister filters?

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Or would the filters "fight" against each other reducing combined flowrate? This way there would be only 1 (albeit a large one) sponge visible in the tank instead or 3 seperate input strainers.

Suggetions... Ideas... Possibilities....

Cheers

Brian

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I think you may get at least a little bit of "filter fight" as the first pipe will get the most draw. If you think about is like a reverse spray-bar, the hole closest to the source (i.e. going to filter 1 in this case) will have the most pressure or preference to the other 2. Filter 2 will have less pressure and No. 3 less again. A "first in best dressed" kind of situation.

A "forked" input will reduce the amount for "filter fight", making sure that each line is as close to the same length as possible. The longer your single draw pipe (large diameter pipe) is though, the stronger the "filter fight" will be.

Another option is that if the 3 filter in-pipes are the same size as the large diameter pipe, then you could simply glue/wrap them together and have them draw directly from the tank. You will get virtually no "filter fight" this way as each pipe will have the same pressure around it. Attached in a trianglular or in an inline way shouldnt impact much on the combined draw.

Just my thoughts,

T.

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Thanks for the replies.

I think Samma3l is correct. If, for example, the 3 filters were 1000l/h, 2000l/h and 3000l/h, I think the 3000l/h filter would be drawing water from both the uplift tube and from the other two tubes causing them to work as if their intakes were blocked and in a worst case senario, drawing water backwards through the weakest filter.

Perhaps the solution is to place each individual intake into the same sponge prefilter and make it as neat as possible.

My reason for wanting to do this is to create 1 point towards which all water will flow, because it would have a large combined flow rate it would lead to more efficient pre-filtration of particulate matter. Sponge could be cleaned a couple of times per week which would hopefully lead to slower nitrate buildup.

This, combined with frequent water changes, would mean I could maintain a lower, and more stable, nitrate level.

As always, thoughts appreciated.

Cheers

Brian

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how course will your prefilter sponge be? And what size tank is this setup for?

For a canister filter, the way everything is setup, the "tube cage" that is on the intake is the coursest of the whole thing and that traps the biggest particles. Basically everything that you could pull out by hand e.g. leaves, dead fish etc are caught here. From here you have the next stage which is at the bottom of the cannister, this is where the heavy stuff sits that got through the first stage. As the water is drawn through the filter more stuff gets trapped as the media gets finer and the particles smaller. This is the basis of the mechanical filtration. The idea of it is to have everything work as a series of sieves.

Consider it like a big coin sorter (the tube cage is where the notes are trapped). You want your coin sorter to start by collecting the biggest coins first, such as 50c pieces. Next stage you will trap 20c, then $1 coins, then 10c, then $2 and lastly 5c. Sooner or later your coin sorter will get full from all the coins collected at each stage, but when sorted by size from biggest to smallest, you are able to sort more coins for a longer time.

Bear with me I'm going somewhere with this...

With your prefilter sponge in the game early, it is like putting your $1 stage in your coin sorter before everything else. You will get everything up to your $1 coins getting caught here. Thats all your 50c, your 20c, your $1 coins AND the notes collecting in the one place - and at the place where the notes should be collected. Because you have so much trapping so early, it will fill up early and have to be emptied earlier. This also affects chemical levels in the tank because your water flows at a reduced rate.

Just for your consideration. I hope that isnt too confusing.

T.

Also,

If you have been running other canister filters with a prefilter sponge you will have most likely found that your prefilter sponge gets really, really dirty and everything else is fairly clean.

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Samma3l: Thanks for the info. I am aware how a canister filter works. I tend to run my canisters as bio only and in order to keep them clean for as long as possible, I prefilter the intake. I dont mind cleaning the sponge daily if need be, its far less hassle than cleaning an Aqua One 2400 or a fx5.

The tank will be 8x2x2.5 , currently a 5 footer but have filters running for immediate setup when tank arrives.

Cheers

Brian

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Really quick to clean the sponge. Since I am not concerned about maintaining bacteria on the sponge, about a minute of good squeezing under a hottish tap does the job.

Cheers

Brian

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I think the pre-filter sponge is a good idea.

I have a very course sponge as a pre-filter in my outdoor pond...I clean the sponge once a month and it is amazing how much sediment it traps.

I don't think the coin analogy is very accurate...it seems that small particles get stuck to the sponge and they inturn trap/stick too....smaller particles till the sponge is clogged....so a course sponge is capable of trapping particles a lot smaller than the opening within the sponge.

I'd have a separate sponge for each filter.

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when you get the 8 footer, get it drilled and sump it,

very easy to clean the top layer of filter material, or last layer!

one neat drain in the tank with either holes at the top, or standpipes, or overflows.

more efficient, neater, you can SEE what is happening in the filter, and when things need attention.

one 4500lph pump instead of 3 canisters, = less cords

heaters etc can be contained in a sump so more attractive display tank.

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Thanks Trofius

When ordering the tank, I agonised over the decision as to sumping it or not. The tank is going in my lounge and my wife would really not like the sound of splashing water or gurgling in that area of the house. I took the decision to run with canisters. In the future, I may be forced into sumping the tank if the canisters cant cope, but I was under the impression that sumps are not so good when it comes to mechanical filtration and I would probably have to run a canister as well anyway. Water clarity is important in an area where we entertain visitors.

If, in the future, I decide to add a sump, I'll probably go with an overflow system and perhaps have to locate the sump in another room. About 15 years ago, I ran a sump on a very overcrowded african setup. it worked well but water clarity was never 100%. Water quality was excellent however.

I must admit that I do feel a little guilty getting a larger tank whilst we are in a period of water restrictions and drought. The extra water usage for water changes will probably add 30% to our water consumption. The tank will also probably use twice as much electricity to run as the 5 footer which also impacts on our environment. The addition of a sump would increase this percentage even more as more water would need to be changed.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against using water and electricity to maintain these beautiful fish is as good an environment I can provide for them, I just feel a little guilty when I hear stories about people only showering for a minute or placing bricks in their toilets to reduce water consumption and here am I using 400-500 litres a week for my hobby.

Anyway, enough of my internal conflict. Thanks for the suggetion and rest assured it has been taken aboard and will be further considered.

Thanks

Brian

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Fair enough, valid point.

I am just happy the wife allowed me to keep one tank in the house, also an 8x2x2 which i have sumped for the above reasons.

I agree that canisters probably are the best way to acheive the least amount of water movement noise, my sump itself is pretty much silent, including the pump which makes a very slight hummm. the sump is however 10mm and will eventually have 4mm thick glass doors covering it, yet again reducing the noise from this area. The only noise i have is fom the restrictive outlets on the tank, which wil be changed to an overflow, type setup within a few months all going well.

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