What do you think of Fluidized Sand Bed Filters? - Equipment - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 08-31-2014, 04:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What do you think of Fluidized Sand Bed Filters?

I've been researching them for a while now ever since my cousin showed me the one on his planted tank and explained it to me. Do any of you use them? If so, any pros/cons?
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What do you think of Fluidized Sand Bed Filters?

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Originally Posted by FrustratedJP View Post
I've been researching them for a while now ever since my cousin showed me the one on his planted tank and explained it to me. Do any of you use them? If so, any pros/cons?
Nobody runs them?
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What do you think of Fluidized Sand Bed Filters?

I think a few disadvantages are the fact that it reduces nitrate (which is needed by plants) and that they are hard to tune/setup. But they are perfect for fish only tanks IMO!
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What do you think of Fluidized Sand Bed Filters?

I used one for a while, regret I ever bought it. It actually developed a leak, not sure how, as I never moved it but a small hole developed in the bottom plastic, I suppose from the pressure, and one day leaked half my tank on the floor while I was in another room. The one I used was TMC V2 1000 sandbed filter connected to an Eheim external powerhead, both were outside the tank.

The flow through it also was fluctuating often enough for me to play with the valve every couple of days to adjust it. It was either too high and spit sand out or too low and wouldn't fluidise to the recommended line. Obviously the prefilter needed meticulous cleaning as it affected the flow in a few days and it's kind of hard when one needs to keep it constant to keep the sand stirring at that fluidisation line.

By the way, I used it in a heavily planted tank, for a year and there are no downsides in regards to plants. They grew lush, didn't care what filter was running inside the tank.
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What do you think of Fluidized Sand Bed Filters?

When I was looking into fluidized options, the main drawback I found with sand is the aftereffect of power outages. The sand will settle, compact, and then quickly go anoxic and die. Then when the power is restores, it dumps toxins in the water like ammonia and H2S.

Something like WaterTek's MB3 or Kaldnes's K2 in a sump would be a safer option.

They won't compact and would breath much longer in an outage.
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Old 09-03-2014, 11:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What do you think of Fluidized Sand Bed Filters?

The sand that's inside the fluidised filter is made of perfectly rounded same size grains which makes it hard to compact to the point to lose all oxygen. When it leaked I actually left the filter in a bucket of water for ages not running, still no smell when I opened it to empty it a few weeks later. If that was an external filter(which I once accidentally left off for weeks) it would have stunk the house.
I used to switch off the filter for water changes as well, sometimes quite long, never any issues at all, at least no hydrogen sulphide smell that I noticed.
That's my personal experience so I would not worry about a power outage at all.
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What do you think of Fluidized Sand Bed Filters?

They do a great job of biological filtration, but not so much mechanical. Debris particles can pass right through them.
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