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FAQs about Wet-Dry, Trickle Filter Pump Issues

Related Articles: Trickle Filters, pt. 1 By Bob Goemans, Physical Filtration, Denitrification/Denitrifiers, Nitrates and Marine Systems

Related FAQs: Wet Dries 1, Wet Dries 2, Wet-Dries 3, Wet Dries 4, Selection, Set-Up, Pumps, Plumbing Issues, Bio-Balls FAQs, Bio-Ball, Wet-Dry Media 2, Other Filter/Media/Elements (other than bio-balls), Modification/Conversion, Operation/Maintenance/Repair... Biological Filtration, Biofiltration 2, Fluidized Beds, Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PhosphatesDenitrification/Denitrifiers,


Marine Plumbing   8/25/10
<Hello Bruce>
My friend gave me a Del Ray 125 wet/dry filter without no plumbing and pump. So I did some research and ordered a siphon overflow box rated 600gph at eBay and also purchased a Rio HF20 as a return. The pump is about 5 ft below the top of the tank. Did I order too big of a pump?
<No, should be closely matched if the overflow is indeed capable of 600gph.>
If so, what are my option of correcting the flow output from the pump.
<It is always advisable to install a gate/ball valve at the pump's outlet for output control.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Marine Plumbing 8/25/10 8/26/10

I read a lot of info in your websites stating that the overflow boxes will have a big chance of causing flood in the house.
<Is always possible.>
So, I was wondering, can I plumb the wet/dry filter with 2 pumps. One pumping into the sump and the another pumping back to the tank. By doing this way it will have a less chance of flooding the house. Am I correct?
<No, that will present an even greater chance of flooding the house and is nearly impossible to balance out. If the pump that is pumping water back into the tank fails, what do you think will happen with the other pump still going strong? I know. James (Salty Dog)> 

Wet-dry, overflow, pump... how do it work altogether?    7/13/06 I currently own an Amiracle Wet Dry filter that sits by the side of my 75 gallon aquarium and takes up space.  I unplugged it about a year ago because every time I turned it on, I either had water that overflowed the sump or that overflowed the aquarium.  When I called the manufacturer, they advised that if I installed the right return pump, I should never have this problem, and they recommended that I purchase a particular pump.  However, the pump that they recommended had been discontinued.  What do you recommend? Murray Meeker <Mmm, reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/overfloboxfaqs.htm and the linked files above to gain a "good-enough" understanding of what you're up to here. There needs to be a balance twixt the total volume of water present and what is "in play" in terms of flow rate through the device/s used to get water from the main tank and back... Not a guessing or blind game of "who said what". Understand what you're doing, then act. Bob Fenner>

- Which Pump - Hi, I am running a Del Ray 125 wet dry filter. My tank is a 100 gal, Fish only. My question is what size return Pump do I use. Will a Rio 3100 work or a 2500. <I'd go for the larger pump, perhaps larger even than a Rio 3100.> The flow will also go through a 12X Turbo Twist UV filter. <Would suggest that you loop this through it's own pump... a flow rate of even the 2500 at full bore won't kill much of anything in this unit.> I don't know what will work the best. Please Help. <Cheers, J -- > WET/DRY Hello everyone! <Ughh...noon is too early to be awake> I want to make this simple but enough info that you can help my particular inquiry. I have a 90 gallon...with 100lbs. Of live rock. Crushed coral substrate. 10 fish- royal Gramma, 2 ocellaris clowns, 1 flame hawk, sailfin blenny, ruby-headed fairy wrasse, coral beauty, Red Sea purple tang, hippo tang, mandarin. All doing very well. Beginning to stock with very easy, hardy corals. That's all I have a desire to keep. Starburst polyps doing great. <I'm assuming Tubastrea spp.? They need daily feeding if so> Also have 10 gallon refugium. Indo-Pacific Sea Farms has been a great help in stocking this with algae and critters. It has a deep sand bed. First very fine then fine. About 4 inches. Algae are Halimeda, Ulva, Gracilaria, Red kelp. My equipment consists of a Turboflotor skimmer, UV, and a Tidepool wet dry. Which leads me to my question...  I bought Mr. Fenner¹s book (The Conscientious Marine Aquarist) and was reading about filters. I am wondering about the feasibility of SLOWLY taking out the bio balls and bio-wheel to avoid future build up of nitrates. (I think this is why Mr. Fenner does not think too highly of wet dry filtration for reefs). <You're correct. The wet\dry in an aquarium likes yours is redundant, and can contribute to high nitrates in the future, though with your DSB it may not be a problem. If you plan on adding corals and no more fish, I would remove it, but if you are going to have a heavily stocked mostly-FO tank, you may consider leaving it> I would leave the pre-filter trays in place of course and still use the sump, etc. My pump does 500 gallons per hour and I have two rotating powerheads each doing another 270 gallons per hour. My nitrate is zero....yes the tank is young....6 months. <I would seriously up the water flow in your aquarium...possibly build a manifold\closed loop...Anthony has written tons of good info about manifolds on his forum @ Reef Central> I cycled my tank with live rock and initially that nitrate just hung out at 30. But after much patience it dropped after a couple of months to zero. I do regular cleanings once a week of the substrate and 10% water change and clean most all pre-filters. I am purchasing from IPSF the Surfzone Live Sand Activator Plus. Would adding this each time I took out say, four cell-pore media balls compensate enough that may tank would not go through a mini-cycle? I certainly don¹t want to crash the aquarium, but do want to try to get rid of these if possible. Surely not all my bacteria are in that cell pore material and bio-wheel, right? <With 100lbs of live rock, you should be able to remove 1\4th of your media per week. You're right, not all, and probably not even most, of the nitrifying bacteria\organisms are living in your wet dry - most are going to inhabit your live rock\sand. Monitor your water quality after the removal, but I am betting you won't see any adverse effects> Oh, and when I get that sand from IPSF, how long should I shut off that UV while I wait for the good bacteria to find a home? <I wouldn't run a UV sterilizer in a reef tank at all - but they're fine in FOWLR> Thank you for your time put into this question.  <You're welcome> Sincerely, Renee' <M. Maddox> 

Re: Wet-Dry modification, reef system set-up Hi. I took the information given me and I appreciate it. Was wondering about that Biowheel. Yes, you said 1/4 of media a week removal....but that BioWheel is big......will it cause a rise in levels? <Not likely... in an established system, plenty of other biological filter media, organisms> And then water will trickle through all the trays but then will it just splash down where that BioWheel used to be? Will that be o.k.? <Should be> Should I put some type of media in there? A sponge of some type? What could you recommend?  <You could, but it will have to be attended to... rinsed, cleaned frequently... perhaps daily> And with hardy corals, not very demanding, 1,040 GPH in my 90 is not enough? <Should be> I understood that 10x [turnover] is sufficient. Yes of course some do 20x, but there are corals that don't like it like that either. <Yes> Without blowing everything away, I can pick spots of stronger and lesser currents. Correct me if I'm wrong on this....do I need more flow? Thanks. Renee <You should be fine... good to find your understanding/realizing there are micro-habitats w/in systems. Bob Fenner> 

Wet/Dry? Hello Mr. Fenner I have recently been looking for a Wet/Dry Trickle filter for my 55 gal. reef aquarium. I don't want anything with a built in skimmer or other fancy equipment, since I already have most of that stuff that comes built in on most filters. My favorite so far is the Amiracle SL-100. for around $185.00. I had a lot of trouble finding good info. and prices on other companies. Is it that there are so few models online, or are there only 3 or 4 companies that make trickle filters? Anyway, I was wondering if you knew any better filters for around that price? Also, what kind of Rio pump should I buy for the filter? <Thank you for writing, and so well. There are actually dozens of companies that manufacture wet-dry/trickle filters (many advertise in the hobby magazine "Freshwater and Marine Aquarium"), and the one you list is a good "premium" make/model... but I do encourage you to seek out the possibility of making... your own sump (basically a chemically inert "box" that holds water... and a few bulk-head/through-hull fittings) and skip out on the wet-dry portion entirely... not necessary, and a cause of many problems. Lastly (for this interchange), I would also caution you about the Rio pump line... not a good gamble as too many burn out, short... cause trouble... Not to despair about any of this "no, not really, keep investigating" input here... do keep looking and planning. Read over FAMA, visit the URL's listed in ads there, do read through our website: Home Page for much much more, and, we'll be chatting, Bob Fenner>

W/D Hey Bob, I have made a couple of alterations to the system I am going to run. I will still have the 72 Gallon tank, but I will have a SeaLife System Model 100 and a removable protein skimmer. I am going to use a Magnum 350. Do you think that the Magnum 350 is enough to push this filtration. <No... I would have/run a separate dedicated pump of over-pressure and flow...> The Oceanic tank has a overflow box built inside the tank. In my last email I asked about any other power heads. Will I still need them if I am not using any Coral or live rock.  <IMO/E yes... you will want more circulation, aeration> Or do you think I will need any. Please tell me what you think I should do and if the stuff that I am going to purchase is any good. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. I greatly appreciate it. Thank You. D <Keep investigating till you are satisfied you know enough. Only you can decide for yourself. Bob Fenner>

Re: W/D Hey Bob, I have written you early today and I needed to make a correction in my questioning. I used the word Magnum 350 and I was trying to say Mag Drive 350. I just thought I would make that correction for you. Thanks, D <Oh, instead of the canister filter from Bob Sherman this is a pump? Yes a good choice... no need for other fluid-moving device. Bob Fenner>

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