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Old 04-13-2011, 02:15 AM
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Default Paludarium Filtration

Hey guys. A few months ago I built a 42 gallon paludarium. I finally got it up and running but I am having filtering problems. Let me explain my setup exactly and hopefully someone on here can help me out, cause the water has been stagnent for a few weeks now and I just want to get it back up and running properly! So the tank is 25L by 18W by 24H. The bottom 5 inches or so is the water section. So ther is roughly 10 gallons of water give or take... I ran 2 1/2 inch pipes over the back of the tank in hopes to siphon the water out via canister filter. I was running a cascade 1000 to siphon the water up the back of the tank down abot 3.5-4ft then back up 3.5-4ft back into the tank. The first week it was set up it ran like a champ, then one day I came home from work and it was gurgling, so i re-primed the pump intake, ran great for another 4-5 days, repeated this process about 5 times until the pump finally shit the bed. So my plan now is to try and create this same suction using a more powerful water pump instead of a canister filter. I have a blueline velocity t1 pump I am planning on using. So I guess the real question is will this pump be powerful enough to suck the water up the back of the tank and then pump it back in on the other side??? Is ther any specific pipe configuration that helps wen trying to create a siphon or maybe using an aquarium air pump to try and help create suction??? Any info will be greatly appreciated! Im just sick of having stagnent water in my brand new palu! My goal is to create a sump type filter from scratch using the velocity t1 as the power plant to siphon and return pump without burning out my new $200.00 pump. Can it be done? If not what other options do I have to try and siphon the water out, btw drilling for a bulkhead is out of the question as Im 99.9% sure the glass is tempered... Thanks in advance for any help!!!!
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:52 AM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

I've dealt with your issue before I know what you are talking about.

You have two options.

Using a canister filter you get the outtake line (from the tank) "primed" with water and DONT EVER let air get into it. Not a great option but one none-the-less.

Using a sump configuration you could have issues as you'll need two pumps. One to pull/push from the tank and the other to push from the sump. If its a true sump and isn't a watertight system like a canister filter, you will need two pumps most likely and thats a recipe for trouble.

What I've done with success in this situation is to use a canister filter that is inline with a pump. You can put a pump into the tank and use it to prime the system if air gets into it again, or you can have it on all the time to help push water into your canister. This has the issue of the pump getting clogged though.

Personally I'd return the pump as that is WAY overkill for your tank and watervolume (if its $200). Get a basic Cascade 500 or 800. Then use a small pump to push water into the hose to prime it, and then keep the intake hose as low as possible in your water column. Have the small pump available if you need to reprime the system. Making sure all connections are air tight is a good idea too, to make sure you are not pulling air into the system from somewhere.

You could figure out a complex way to make a sump work, but with the water volume you are looking at, why bother? In the post I just made about the Vine Snake build I've got 8 gallons or so and am using a cascade 800 filled with carbon and it keeps it crystal clear.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-13-2011, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

So basically what you think was going wrong wasvthat there was air getting in the line in turn ruining the siphon effect? I only went with such a big pump because I was planning on siphoning with the pump and pumping through a nu clear canister and back into the tank. It would b a pressurized system using one pump. I kno the pump and canister are WAY over kill, but at this point I'd rather hav way more power than needed then not having enough just to have to start over again. Take a look on monster fish keepers. Search for 300 gallon paludarium build. This is where I got the idea, just want to do it on a little smaller scale.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

it's a tough one, you could potentially have an air leak in your PVC plumbing or air could have come back through the return maybe... Or that pipe could be too large in diameter for the canister, and it's just not handling it. I'm worried that I'll run up against this kind of problem on my current build too, but only time will tell.

An internal pump to a hose to a HOB filter doesn't seem like an elegant solution.... I'm not familiar with the giant pump you ordered, but if you're talking about pushing through a passive filter chamber, I think that sounds like a decent idea. You'd want to include a valve in the return line so you can adjust the rate of flow AFTER the water is filtered. The valve should be last in line before the water is returned to the tank.

While it's sitting stagnant, might as well run an airline in there just to keep the water moving, will help keep things fresh.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

Good idea about the airline, as it is set up rite now I hav a ball valve on the inlet and outlet. I def can't put a pump in the tank, so the siphon is the ONLY way I can make this work. So as of rite now my only concern is the pump being able to suck the water up 24 inches and down into the pump inlet. If sumone knows a good reliable way to create a suction strong enough to do this without burning up my pump. My problem will be solved. I'm sure between the 2 or 3 of us we can figure this out. Keep brainstorming, as I will be and when I get my pump and plumbing all set u will keep you all posted on how MT plan works. Thanks for all your help and ideas!
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:41 AM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

if you keep your intake line down on the bottom of your tank it should be ok
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

So your saying if the inlet to the velocity t1 pump is low enough in my water table the pump should hav no problem siphoning the water out?
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgregoire View Post
Take a look on monster fish keepers. Search for 300 gallon paludarium build. This is where I got the idea, just want to do it on a little smaller scale.
300gal paludarium project
Its on here as well
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:34 AM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

So I have my paludarium back up and running, I tried the velocity t1 and it failed miserably(which was indeed my fault), so my buddy had an xp3 canister laying around that he said I could try. So I took all my plumbing off pvs cemented all the joints and hose clamped every hard line to soft line joint. I filled the canister and hooked the inlet and outlet lines up. I then primed both lines, and plugged it in. Holy s*** it worked! I must have had an air leak before and I must have fixed it with the cement.......NOT!!!! I let it run for like an hour and it started gurgling again, so I went in to check on it and figured out that the pump is to strong, its gradually pumping all the water out of the canister into the tank to the point where the pickup cant get to the water inturn makes the gurgling sound. So I think ok thats a simple fix I'll just shut the ball valve a little bit on the return back to the tank. So I re-prime both lines and top off the water in the canister and start it back up with the ball valve like a quarter turn shut. Now it stops the siphon all together!!!! SSSooo..... Im stuck yet again! So now Im hoping someone on here has experienced this and has a quick fix for me. I def want to keep using the canister, so does anyone have a fix for me or another idea to try?
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:13 AM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

It really only sounds like you need to add more water to the tank once it has been running for a little bit. If your first canister was running for 4 to 5 days then started having issues your water maybe evaporating due to heat from your lights, tank heater and the canister filter. I would just take a piece of tape or a washable marker and put it at your water level when completely full then check your water level every 12hrs to see how much the water is going down.

In a closed loop system the water can only be pulled as fast as the water returns to the tank. You have to count the total gallons needed by the amount of water in the canister filter, the tube lines and the water in the tank. When I first ran a sump on 120gal I had the same issue as I did not take that into consideration and was always trying to adjust the ball valves to get the flow just right. Then I realized I just need to add water and it ran without a hic up...well until I torn it apart to redo the entire filtration system

Tony
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

My buddy that I got the xp3 canister from showed me the magic marker trick and about an hour of running I am finding the water level in the tank to be a good half inch above my mark and the water level in the canister is down about an inch from my mark, which tells me the pumpbis pumping water in faster than it can siphon out. So I'm not doubting you, but I just don't see how adding water to the tank, which is already to high, will help. Could ther be air getting in somewhere causing the xp3 to loose suction or to slow the siphon, inturn causing it to pump water back in faster than its siphoning out??? Maybe?
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

Could you post pics of the set up showing your in-let and out-let area? That would really help in trouble shooting this. You could be pulling in air depending on where your in-let is and how far into the water it is.

Tony
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

I can try to get some pics up tonight. It might be kind of hard to see under the land area to the inlet to the pump but I will try. Btw, thanks for all the help!
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:38 PM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

Click the image to open in full size.
This is actually the return back to the tank cause I cant get a pic of the feed to the filter because its way in back under the land section, but it is identical, same exact height in the tank (which is about 2.5-3 inches under the water). The only difference is it has a black "strainer" on it so no fish or animals get sucked into the filter.

Click the image to open in full size.
This is the feed and return lines from the back view, the tall one with the cap feeds the filter the other is the return.

Click the image to open in full size.
This is feed and return under the tank going into the xp3.

Click the image to open in full size.


Click the image to open in full size.
These two are just an overview of what it looks like for anyone who might want to see. I started with the bick root ball, put the other peice diaganal for the root ball to the corner, used eggcrate to make a false bottom for the land section. All underneath the land is water with g.s. background just around the outside to hide the feed and return lines to the filter. Enjoy,
hopefully this will help find me a solution, and thanks for looking!

P.s. sorry for the HUGE pics, not so sure how to resize them...
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:17 AM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

After looking at the pictures you could actually have a simple issue. The return water may not be getting back to the in-take fast enough. How is the water getting back to the in-take now?

Really like the way you have the root in there and the way the moss is covering the branches. Very nice layout.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:31 AM
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Thanks for the compliments! I can't wait until it is fully established and grown in! I don't really understand what your saying about the water getting back to the in-tank? As it is right now the feed to the pump/filter is a few inches behind that stack of sleight, from there it gets siphoned up and over the back of the tank and directly down to the filter, the return plumbing is a bit longer than the feed maybe almost double the length...idk if that will help you diagnose the issue... I hope it does because I really just want to be done with this tank so I can sit back and let it do its thing while I work on one of my other four main tanks! Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgregoire View Post
the return plumbing is a bit longer than the feed maybe almost double the length...
That right there is the issue (I hope) both the return and feed should be (as close to possible) the same length.

Last edited by ynotnad; 04-20-2011 at 02:46 AM. Reason: screwed up the q
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:47 AM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

Ok. Great observation! I will give it a try.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

The filter, after you pack it and get it running, is going to have a lot of air trapped in it. So, after an hour, it may have expelled enough water to take on that much more water. Especially with the large canister you are running. Now that you have 1" less, add water back to your mark, and see if it disappears. It shouldn't. If it does, it's on the floor, or evaporated, because your filter is now full.

I have a similar set up running now, where I siphon water up over a 20" tall tank wall, from a 7" deep water area, and then it's pumped through a big canister back up. It can be more difficult to get the siphon running, but also, once it is running, any air can really affect performance, enough that the return might stop for a second or three, because the cavitation is breaking the flow. sometimes just a slight shake to the canister is enough, other times I have to push the prime button for a sec. usually, it goes away on it's own. The reality is, I'm pretty much abusing the pump by making it pull the water so high up and over the back wall. It's designed for 2 or 3" vertical travel up before it turns down.

In the photo of your return, it looks like it's under water. Having the return underwater creates a lot more back pressure on the filter and will affect the flow and operation quite a bit. You also run the risk of back flow. If you have the water return at the surface, it really lets the pump flow as freely as it can, and also creates a chance for air to break any siphon that line may ever create. This also gives air a better chance of escaping through your return line.

I have a different tank, running a pretty large Eheim 2217, with the return at the bottom of a 30g tank. With that return under 18" of water, it barely has 50% of the flow it has if I just run the hose into a bucket. The water pressure is too great, and the filter is slow.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:17 PM
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I have tried adding water and it seems like it still goes back to the same level, so Im not sure whats going on. I know that there is no water leak, maybe there is air getting in somewhere. I still havent tried to shorten the return yet I've been busy getting another tank up but I will be getting back to the paludarium very shortly and will try you guys' suggestions. I will post my results for all who care. Thanks alot for all the suggestions!
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:41 AM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

I dont think you're catching my drift... Even if air is g
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:44 AM
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Default Re: Paludarium Filtration

Weird iPhone is acting up on this, but really, it doesnt matter if air is getting in, or not... The dropping waterline has nothing to do with it. It's a leak, or it's evaporation... Those are the only 2 options
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