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Freshwater Stingray / Arowana & big tank filtration related question.     3/15/16
Dear WWM crew,
<Timur>
there might be a bit of text, but bear with me.
<Sure; take your time. Best to be thorough>
I live in Czech Republic and I'm not new to the hobby, but not veteran either, though I do my fish stuff with passion.
<Ahh!>
I'm moving out this year and I had to sell my 120G tank, wood fishes & everything. (Still got 3 small tanks left, which will move with me, red cherry shrimps galaxy Rasbora etc)
Here is my 120G when it was active.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hWCI6nQoZ8
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hWCI6nQoZ8 ) 
Initially I wanted to go for Oscars, some silver dollars and bottom dwellers (like angel catfish), but after some weeks of thinking I will go for single silver aro, school of silver dollars(Metynnis maculatus variant at least 8)
and motoro ray or leopoldi ray (single) on the bottom (depends on the market).
<The Arowana and either Potamotrygonid will grow... to be too large for a 120 gallon tank>
I was thinking to go for smaller variant of FW ray, like reticulatus or hystrix, but after reading I learned, that they are not as hardy(not trying to say any FW ray is hardy here, all are very delicate) as motoro and that the tail gets very long + they are almost impossible to get in my country.
<I see>
I've studied the fish extensively and I'm aware of the diet, sand bottom and the size the fish will grow into. The diseases and issues that these fishes  have (like Drop-eye issue with silver Arowanas) and all the possible information .. dangers of the sting from the ray, treatment and possible long lasting effects. In the end this setup is what I came to.. the tank will be 330 gal/ 1215 liters ish including the filter which will be part of the AQ.
<Oh! Yes>
In ideal situation I would build bigger AQ and put 300liter sump filter below it. But I'm limited by the total weight of the aquarium & all the accessories.
I decided on the fish setup (numbers) in regard to the bioload, surely some people would put more fish in it considering it's a big tank, but from what I studied this tank is a border-line minimum for an adult fish of the
species and I would like it to have as much space there as possible for the fish, without having an empty tank.
<Good; you and I's philosophy is concurrent here>
Since I'm limited by weight (new house, but not meant for x tons of weight concentrated on one spot) .. I decided to put the filter inside (no piping outside the tank, no drilling) here's a diagram. Not here to discuss that, it's going to be inside. No canister filters either.
<All right>
On the diagram you can see that the swimming space for the fish is 200x90x60 which should be enough for these fish considering there will only be 1 aro, 1 ray and school of smaller fish (15cm max silver dollars).
I will have the water & drainage near the tank so water changes will not be an issue.
<Good>
Pumps will be either Jebao or something similar (intended flow from both pumps choked at 1000L/H each, because any more L/H and the overflow filter would not work properly and would not do the needed bio filtration correctly) adding bunch of Tunze Turbelle to create good flow in the tank.
This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized %1%2.
I pretty much have a very good idea how the filter could look, here is another diagram, please comment on it.
<Looks very work-able>
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the first chamber is the intake from AQ and there will be a net so the fish wont get in.. now why is it so big you say, well because I want to add some sort of mechanical filtration in there. That's the only thing I'm unsure of how to do properly.. I thought of using the aquael turbo 2000 internal chamber filter to do that another diagram:
<Open cell foams meant for aquarium use would be my first choice here... I'd have at least two sets; one for in-place use, the other for processing... bleaching possibly, freshwater rinse, air-drying...>
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What do you guys think, or do you have a better solution for this first chamber ? I want to lessen the particles & waste that gets to the sponges area, I do know about the socks that marine aquarists use for their sump
filters, but they clog way too fast and require change every few days according to the marine aquarists.
<Agreed; these bags are better for marine applications>
as for parts of the actual filter: starting from chamber to the left: blue is a sponge which will lessen the sounds that the overflow makes, below it is plastic that will hold it and allow good flow to the pumps (there will be 2 pumps hence 2 pipes inside of the chamber), pumps sit on sponge as to lessen noise.
next mini chamber is 3 cm and is dedicated to create good flow, the 20 cm chamber is purely out of ceramic bio filtration media that will be in a netted bag, so I can easily take it out when needed. We get another small
chamber for flow and then we have the sponges, I am not sure if it should be 20 ppi to 10 ppi left to right (coarse first) or just both of them 20 ppi, because there will be less waste coming.
<Okay>
The big question is how to do the first chamber properly. In ideal solution I would only clean the filter in first chamber i.e. - take out clean, put it back.. once in a few weeks.
<The "blue" sponge material of pore size... I'd switch out weekly, when doing gravel vacuuming, water changes>
And the actual bio media would not get cleaned in months.. all depends on how well the mechanical ones work.. Also what would you put inside of it?
<More foam cut to size... smaller pore size>
Picture related, the chambers are stackable.. up to the height of the tank basically.. I think 3 & 3 would be enough. No sponge there, just that plastic intake.
Sorry for so much text, but it's easier to understand if I write this much
<This is fine; am wanting to understand completely, and be understood in turn>
Thank you for your time
Cheers.
<And you; Bob Fenner>



re: Freshwater Stingray / Arowana & big tank filtration related question.     3/16/16
Dear Mr. Fenner,
<Mr. Tuktarov>
thank you for your swift reply. I'm glad that you agree on the philosophy and that from your point of view the tank is sufficient for this fish setup.
<Welcome>
I had thought of keeping Jardinei instead of Silver Arowana, but from experience of many keepers of this fish, it is quite evident, that it is a gamble to try to keep it with anything like an expensive FW ray, so I scratched that idea.
<This is best; they're not easily kept in "other fishes" set ups>
"<Open cell foams meant for aquarium use would be my first choice here... >
I'd have at least two sets; one for in-place use, the other for processing... bleaching possibly, freshwater rinse, air-drying...>"
I see, what PPI would you suggest to use for these?
<Not so important the porosity... as long as it is fit to the flow characteristics of the chambers, pump flow>
I've re-made the filter
design (8th now :D )
The initial filtration chamber what PPI would you use there?
<The larger.... let me see if I can find on the Net: http://www.swisstropicals.com/filtration-shop/poret-foam-shop/ The Poret 30 PPI is a good choice>
It's meant for mechanical filtration, I chose 15 cm instead of 10, so it would not clog so  fast, after this first chamber stops most of the dirt particles I put wool in second chamber right below the overflow, so the finer particles get caught there, wool would not be washed... just tossed when dirty. after that the second chamber could have a bit finer PPI (your suggestion?)
<The 45>
third chamber could use the same as the 2nd, fourth chamber would be sera Siporax or other quality ceramic rings for bio filtration, fifth chamber starts with foam, because the fifth chamber will have the least of water (pumps working) and there will be noise made upon water descending, that's why the foam is right below it. But the water has to flow fast here, so there will be 2 cm of free space so it can go over if needed. The green stuff is plastic tray meant to help with flow.
Net is all over the "open" areas that connect to the aquarium, in the water and out of it, in case a fish decides to jump it wont get into the filter, net would be hard (non-corroding metal) and it would be "glued" with
aquarium silicone.
<A good plan>
Since I've never built an actual overflow filter, I have to ask, will this work as intended ?
<Should; yes>
The pumps will be adjustable. Each can go from 600 to 2000 L/H and can be controlled by a remote .. so I can figure out the exact best flow.
<Good>
I expect to clean the first chamber once the flow stops going as fast as normally.. wool will be thrown out when needed. I think that at first (small fish) it wont need much cleaning.. but when they Aro/Ray grow to substantial size, it will require cleaning more often.
<Yes>
Goal is to make the chamber 1 and wool, the only things that need cleaning.
Other chambers should remain clean for months ideally.
Anything you would change here? Are the partitions in the filter correct?
<Appear to be okay for starting>
All of this is a theory by my I must say average understanding of water flow...
<You're learning; and quickly. All will become much more clear w/ install and operation. Bob Fenner>


re: Freshwater Stingray / Arowana & big tank filtration related question.     3/16/16
Dear Mr. Fenner,
<Mr. T.>
thank you for your time! Can't wait to build this.
<Oh; please do send along progress reports, images of your work>
Kind regards,
Timur
<And you; BobF>
re: Freshwater Stingray / Arowana & big tank filtration related question.     3/16/16

Will do, expect them by the end of summer, my house should be finished by then.
T
<Ahh! B>

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