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Old 04-21-2019, 07:56 PM
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Default False bottom water circulation

Hey All,
Starting my 3rd build, an 36x18x24 exo terra.
I have gone the waterfall route and although I have a decent working setup I don't plan on the pain and hassle with this build. I however like the realistic look of a low laying water area. I plan to have an egg crate false bottom and a low area with just river rock with some standing water. My question is has anyone figured out a decent way of moving the stagnant false bottom water through a filter. Im not looking to have a perfect clear pond but would rather some moving water instead of just stagnant water. I was thinking of just a small filter like the link below to keep the water moving. I would bury the filter in the peddle rock with the filter moving around the false bottom water pool.
Has anyone tried this ?

Exo Terra : Repti Clear F250 / Terrarium Filter
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Old 04-21-2019, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: False bottom water circulation

I worked out a few ways before I decided to scrap the water feature idea (wanted a low maintenance, low hassle setup)

One way is build a trap door/enclosure for a nano-sized pump.
You can direct the water flow as desired with tube/nozzle setup.

Roots will eventually invade this area, growth will make it difficult to get to, and you'll likely wish you hadn't done it. (just my opinion) and why I scrapped the notion before I built it.

A less invasive method would be to use an external canister filter, with tubes running/foamed in to the background layer.
This would be my preferred method at this point were I to go the water feature route...which I wouldn't.

This isn't an "anti-water feature" statement so much. Years of doing reef tanks and ponds etc leave me no doubt that I could have pulled it off...I just think the "KISS" approach is best for these things if you're like most poeple, life, wife, job, kids, other hobbies etc etc etc...again IMHO.
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: False bottom water circulation

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimM View Post
I worked out a few ways before I decided to scrap the water feature idea (wanted a low maintenance, low hassle setup)

One way is build a trap door/enclosure for a nano-sized pump.
You can direct the water flow as desired with tube/nozzle setup.

Roots will eventually invade this area, growth will make it difficult to get to, and you'll likely wish you hadn't done it. (just my opinion) and why I scrapped the notion before I built it.

A less invasive method would be to use an external canister filter, with tubes running/foamed in to the background layer.
This would be my preferred method at this point were I to go the water feature route...which I wouldn't.

This isn't an "anti-water feature" statement so much. Years of doing reef tanks and ponds etc leave me no doubt that I could have pulled it off...I just think the "KISS" approach is best for these things if you're like most poeple, life, wife, job, kids, other hobbies etc etc etc...again IMHO.
Like first stated I'm not so much looking for a water feature more of just moving around the stagnant water laying in the bottom of the tank. A small filter like my link would hopefully low maintenance as long as it doesnt get clogged with substate.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: False bottom water circulation

"feature" was used loosely on my part.
Point is...water pump.

A small filter like that would be fine, just might be hard to get to after a while.
More than one way to skin the cat.
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Old 04-22-2019, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: False bottom water circulation

I suspect that filter will clog in fairly short order. As was suggested already, a small 50gal/hour fountain pump placed somewhere (can be easily hidden) will move the water just fine regardless whether you want to create a waterfall, or do whatever, and is much less like to clog/need routine maintenance.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:14 PM
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I use an in tank filter for my firebelly toads. I screened off part of the vivarium and put pebbles and aquarium substrate to make a pond area. Works really well. I hide the pump with planted bamboo but mainly just going for function over aesthetics. Since PDF's are smaller may need to add screen over pump outflow.
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Old 05-06-2019, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: False bottom water circulation

Iím not sure this would solve your issue, but make a box and put in a Ďcat water fountainí pump then a tube feeding back into the Ďpondí area should be enough to move the water a bit. Iím in the same spot with trying to figure out how to create a low lying water area but Iím using a drainage media not egg crate.
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Old 05-06-2019, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: False bottom water circulation

Only thing that matters is that it is accessible for cleaning and you can take the filter out if you need to. How much work you want to do and how good you want it to look is what determines what path you take.


You can get a canister filter and drill holes in the back of the vivarium to get the water in and out of the canister filter. Then you dont waste much internal space, and you dont have to worry much about how big the canister filter is so long as it has the power to pump up to the vivarium.


You can also do a sump this has the big advantage of taking care of the drain and keeping the water level consistent built into the design.


Or you can be creative and create a visually appealing rock or log or something with a trap door top to access the filter inside the tank. The down side is it typically takes a lot more space up then you think and it puts a lot of limits on your design.
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: False bottom water circulation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakers View Post
I use an in tank filter for my firebelly toads. I screened off part of the vivarium and put pebbles and aquarium substrate to make a pond area. Works really well. I hide the pump with planted bamboo but mainly just going for function over aesthetics. Since PDF's are smaller may need to add screen over pump outflow.
I opted for a similar idea to this....
I will add pictures to show what i did
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Old 05-08-2019, 02:17 AM
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Default Re: False bottom water circulation

I am doing a water feature in a set up that I am currently working on. My plan id to set it up much like a reef tank with a bulkhead in the bottom and a sump under the enclosure for the water to drain into. The sump will have an easily accessible pump that will pump the water back up into the tank creating a water feature. I don't have to worry about roots growing into the pump or dirt/debri clogging the pump because the sump will be baffled trapping these before they ever reach it. Also I can run charcoal in the sump to help keep the water clean and healthy. Not sure how this is going to turn out but I like the idea so far.
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Old 05-08-2019, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: False bottom water circulation

Quote:
My plan (is) to set it up much like a reef tank with a bulkhead in the bottom and a sump under the enclosure for the water to drain into. The sump will have an easily accessible pump
In my opinion, based on about 8 water feature builds of varying size, complexity, and failure/disappointment history, this is hands-down the best way to do it. Bulkhead, gravity sump, return pump. The return pump can be a canister filter, you can even slap in a UV sterilizer after the filter if that turns your crank. Or you can just have a trickle filter atop the sump, and some baffles & charcoal to "remove the big pieces and the odors & colors". I like media bags and a plain old pump if I've just got a little dribble going (the media & the plants remove enough of the yuck), and a canister filter if it's a real stream (for various reasons I have drifted away from these, over time dialing back the flows in my lively streams to where now they mainly just dribble gently).

But whatever your filtering & pumping details are, the key is to get all that water-quality infrastructure outside the viv. Because the real key is to have easy maintenance, because if it isn't easy you aren't likely to do it. And an unmaintained water feature is going to get nasty eventually.

Good luck, have fun!
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: False bottom water circulation

I would agree that if you can swing it, an external filter is the way to go. It entails getting a little creative with tubing and hiding said tubing but being able to clean the filter easily and not have to destroy your setup doing it is huge. I bought a Hydor 250. it has quick disconnect(with individual shut off valves for the in and out) at the filter so you can leave the tubing in place and take the canister out for cleaning. I also bought a sponge filter to cover the intake so no fry/Shrimp get sucked in. Doing things this way also allows you to get really creative with where your water "Falls" Good luck with your decision and post your triumphs!!
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: False bottom water circulation

If you only want to move the water, running a line from an aquarium air pump would do that without a problem. If you want to move AND FILTER the water, a canister filter is the way I would go though you definitely have to be concerned about the intake getting clogged eventually. I would think that burying the intake under pebbles, river stone etc WITHOUT a strainer on it would keep it open and prevent clogging the longest. You could always blow it open if it were to clog completely. The outflow could be the source for a waterfall and it would signal when the intake is clogged or partially clogged.
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