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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

I am hoping to get some opinions and recommendations on a filtration system for a 40G Breeder set up that I am going to build over the next few months. I know, for the most part, what I am going to have in the tank, but I can not land on a filtration system.

My initial thought was a canister filter. Something nice and sturdy, high powered to keep the water nice and healthy for my inhabitants. But I am also wanting to obtain coral for this tank. Would this create enough water flow? Could it handle the sensitivity of the coral? So then I thought refugium...

But are the refugiums worth it? Short of building one myself, they seem to be on the expensive side of things. Is it worth waiting the extra month in order to make things more complicated... that is what I can't decide.

I would appreciate any and all suggestions or personal experiences. This is actually my first post on this site, so if I am missing any pertinent information, please let me know and I will answer any questions.

Thank you!
 

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First - I would say there's some misconceptions. a refugium isn't a filter. It's a refuge for critters that would be considered a food source by your tank inhabitants. If instead you're thinking about tumbling chaeto or some other form of macro algae to suck up nutrients - I'd discourage against it. Why? I see many reefers who don't use it and a lot who do. If it's not needed by the reefers in one group - then I don't see the need in running it.

Maybe by refugium you meant sump? If so - yes - highly recommended. it increases your overall water volume and allows you to place equipment out of sight. You'd set up a small pump (maybe an eheim 1252) to send water from the sump to the display and design some sort of overflow from the display into the sump.

If it were me, I would only run filter socks, a skimmer and maybe a UV - much easier to maintain (changed out every one or two days). I haven't seen a canister filter running on anything recently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the replies.

You are correct, I did mean a sump, not a refugium. I just got a little mixed up. But after looking into videos and such on building a sump, it doesn't look TOO complicated. So I think I'm going to go that route.

I have heard the phrase "bubble trap" used several times. I have never heard of this, any experience with that?
 

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I'm building a sump too, and I found this page easy to understand. There's a good explaination of bubble traps toward the end.
http://www.melevsreef.com/node/710

The different overflows and filters and stuff seems complicated at first, but once you learn a little bit about each you can see how they work for people's needs. Like how much space you have behind or under the tank, what you want to keep in it, and what kind of maintenance you prefer to do.

Welcome and good luck!
 

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I use canister filters rather than a sump on my 45g display. I didn't want to go through the hassle of creating a proper sump or overflow, nor the cost, and I already had two 30g canister filters. Now I have created a nice downward flow at the back of my tank while also making it very easy to dose carbon or anything else I need. I don't think they're necessary, but they certainly can expedite my various other marine endeavors due to basically being portable live rock. A friend borrowed one to put on their fresh 29 and after four days they added way more livestock than they should have and didn't have to deal with any ammonia/nitrogen spike at all. Not sure it was a great idea, but it worked for them. They weren't going to wait the proper amount of time either way, so they tried that. Three months later, they've had no die-off.
 

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I agree with ynot, keep it simple. For me, a sump is a place to house a skimmer, ATO and heater. That's really it for me. The bubble trap is the part of the sump that has (usually) three staggered walls between sections. It aims to release bubbles from the skimmer so they don't end up back into the DT. These staggered walls force water to go down, then up to the surface (releasing air bubbles), and then back down.
 

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The reason that canisters are frowned upon is because they can easily become a source of nitrate. No matter how easy you make it to clean a canister it's still 100 times more work than pulling out a filter sock or sucking out a corner of a sump.
 

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Having run both I can say if you have space for a sump do it, a canister will work but if left unchecked will eventually spike nitrates
a sump is a godsent and personally I find the miracle mud and skimmer combo (poletta method) to be amazing easy maintenance and I had my water changes down to once every couple of months with no issues at all I always think the easier it is the more likely I am to do it lol
Never make life hard :)
 

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an oversimplification, but essentially true.

the biggest problem with canister filters is that they trap detritus in a high flow area where the bacteria decomposing the detritus has easy access to a constant supply of oxygen. this increases the rate of decomposition. meaning more of the trapped nitrogen and phosphates that were in the detritus are now being released back into the water column to be utilized by other organisms. this diminishes the purpose of the canister. it is meant to be a nutrient export device.

G~
 
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