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Thread: How I manage water quality....

  1. #1
    Registered Member Chad Hughes's Avatar
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    Default How I manage water quality....

    Well, I've finally taken the time to snap off a few shots of the filtration system that I employ on my discus tanks. Attached are some pictures of the contest tank's filtration.

    I basically run two filters. The canister (Fluval 405) is the biological powerhouse. It's contents are simply foam pads for mechanical filtration and ceramic biomedia. I won't explain away the canister. I think we all know how that works.

    The second filter (wet/dry) is where I do all my voodoo magic. LOL! The wet/dry gives me surface skimming via an overflow box plus gives me room to put all the stuff that I need to make plants grow and keep water crystal clear and DOC free.

    The wet/dry works like this...

    Water leaves the tank through the "siphon" overflow box. It passes through a prefilter in the overflow and travels down to the sump. The water then trickles through filter floss and drips through a perforated plate down in to the bio ball chamber. Once the water makes it through the bio balls my pumps and reactors take over!

    First, the water enters a protein skimmer. Now, protein skimmers don't really do much for a freshwater tank, but the manner it which it whips water around makes it a great ozone reactor plus it has a built in venturi. The water enters the protein skimmer and is injected with ozone. The ozone increases the ORP (oxidation-reduction potential) of the water and increases it's ability to break down dissolved organics.

    The water then spews from the protein skimmer and is sucked up by the return pump/CO2 reactor. The return pump simply delivers that water from the sump back to the tank. While it's returning water to the tank It also delivers CO2 to the plants. The tank's CO2 is controlled by a Ph meter. Based on the KH of the tank, I set the Ph meter to allow the controller to dispense CO2 to the tank in order to maintain 30ppm CO2. When the controller senses a rise in Ph, it applies the CO2 to the return pump. The return pump pulverizes the CO2 bubbles and pumps the freshly mixed CO2 water back to the tank.

    Before the water makes it back to the tank, it passes through a carbon reactor. Since I am using ozone, it's important to pass the ozone treated water through carbon before sending it back to the tank. Ozone can be as harmful to fish as it is to dissolved organics! I am not a big beliver in the use of carbon for standard filtration. With ozone, it is a must! The water goes back in to the tank and the process continues.

    This filtration system will allow me to change water every 7 to 10 days without ill effects. Yes, there is a lot to it and it does require some occassional tweaking, but it helps me keep my water bill below $100 a month! LOL!

    The attached pictures show the mess below this tank. I don't want to hear any complaints! This is actually clean and organized compared to most days! LOL!

    Best wishes!
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    Chad Hughes

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    Registered Member Chad Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I manage water quality....

    And here is the rest.....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Chad Hughes

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    Default Re: How I manage water quality....

    that is a killer setup.. goodluck chad!

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    Registered Member rickztahone's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I manage water quality....

    i have a new level of respect for you Chad, that is a crazy setup. i wish i knew what half of what you posted meant, . your fish will do marvelously

    Click here to view my 75g Acrylic Tank w/ Bean Animal Overflow with 40g Sump Thread

    Also, click here for my 25 group of discus grow out thread


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    You can get this and many more items such as T-shirts/Polos/hoodies/cups from our merchandise shop:
    Cafepress.com

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    Registered Member Scribbles's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I manage water quality....

    WOW! That's an incredible set up! Did I also see an inline heater or was it all filtration etc.? Also, what size is the sump? Thanks for sharing.

    Chris
    "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."~ Mahatma Gandhi

  6. #6
    Registered Member Chad Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I manage water quality....

    Quote Originally Posted by MRQuad View Post
    that is a killer setup.. goodluck chad!
    Thanks! And good luck to you as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by rickztahone View Post
    i have a new level of respect for you Chad, that is a crazy setup. i wish i knew what half of what you posted meant, . your fish will do marvelously
    Thanks man! That's kind of why we're here! To learn! LOL! Thanks for the kind words! I really appreciate it! Best wishes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scribbles View Post
    WOW! That's an incredible set up! Did I also see an inline heater or was it all filtration etc.? Also, what size is the sump? Thanks for sharing.


    Chris

    Thanks! The sump is a total of 13 gallons. 5 gallon bio ball chanmber and 8 gallon sump area. No inline heaters. I do have an inline desiccant dryer though. It's purpose is to provide dry air to the ozonizer.
    Chad Hughes

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    Registered Member calihawker's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I manage water quality....

    That's awesome Chad. Being an ex reefer I've always tried to fing ways to adapt reef technology to freshwater/planted tanks. You've done a great job here!

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    Default Re: How I manage water quality....

    WOW!!! I want to be just like you when I grow up Chad Great set up, I think So much to learn..
    Jerry

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    Registered Member Mr Wild's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I manage water quality....

    Chad

    You have come such a long way since I taught you all I knew re TDS! LOLOL

    Now if I could just understand everything you said I know I would be very very impressed...for now I am just sooooooooooo

    Cheers Kath

  10. #10
    Registered Member Chad Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I manage water quality....

    Quote Originally Posted by calihawker View Post
    That's awesome Chad. Being an ex reefer I've always tried to fing ways to adapt reef technology to freshwater/planted tanks. You've done a great job here!
    Thanks Steve! I really appreciate that. Have a great holiday weekend!

    Best wishes!

    Quote Originally Posted by jerbear View Post
    WOW!!! I want to be just like you when I grow up Chad Great set up, I think So much to learn..
    LOL! Thanks Jer!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wild View Post
    Chad

    You have come such a long way since I taught you all I knew re TDS! LOLOL

    Now if I could just understand everything you said I know I would be very very impressed...for now I am just sooooooooooo

    Hey Kath!

    I have been so fortunate to have you as a teacher!

    I know it sounds confusing. It's like smoke and mirrors! LOL! I'll have to draw it up in a diagram.

    Have a great weekend! Best wishes!
    Chad Hughes

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    Registered Member seanyuki's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I manage water quality....

    Wow Chad that's is killer filtration set up and must learn from you how to set up my very first wet/dry system....thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.


    Cheers
    Francis

  12. #12
    Registered Member Chad Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I manage water quality....

    Quote Originally Posted by seanyuki View Post
    Wow Chad that's is killer filtration set up and must learn from you how to set up my very first wet/dry system....thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.


    Cheers
    Francis
    Thank you Francis! Let me know when you're ready and I'll do what I can to help you out! Have a great weekend!

    Best wishes!
    Chad Hughes

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    Registered Member Scribbles's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I manage water quality....

    In another thread you said that water use was an issue in San Diego, how often are you planning wc with this filtration?

    Chris
    "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."~ Mahatma Gandhi

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    Registered Member Mr Wild's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I manage water quality....

    Quote Originally Posted by avionics30 View Post

    Hey Kath!

    I have been so fortunate to have you as a teacher!

    I know it sounds confusing. It's like smoke and mirrors! LOL! I'll have to draw it up in a diagram.

    Have a great weekend! Best wishes!

    Chad
    You are a love, but I don't think I diagram would help me!!!! LOL I am flat out working out what power point I have everything plugged into! Wish you the very best and I hope all those gizmos help you win the contest!
    Cheers Kath

  15. #15
    Registered Member Chad Hughes's Avatar
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    Default Re: How I manage water quality....

    Quote Originally Posted by Scribbles View Post
    In another thread you said that water use was an issue in San Diego, how often are you planning wc with this filtration?

    Chris
    Chris,

    50 gallons weekly is all this tank will get.

    Best wishes!


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wild View Post
    Chad
    You are a love, but I don't think I diagram would help me!!!! LOL I am flat out working out what power point I have everything plugged into! Wish you the very best and I hope all those gizmos help you win the contest!
    LMAO! Got it! Thanks for the well wishes. I'll keep you posted as things go on! Have a great weekend!
    Chad Hughes

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