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Lifeguard Fluidized bed filter FB300?


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#1 az9

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 07:25 AM

http://www.ebay.com/...=item588e35fa03

Anyone use one? Comments? I noticed a few negative comments on Amazon.com where they also sell them as in poor quality, but a friend bought and uses two of them with no problems.

I've been using homemade RBC's for my small scale aquaculture tanks and I've very happy with them. Over 100 lbs. of fish capacity per RBC. However, I'd like to try other types of filters and I'm seriously considering purchasing the FB300 for a very small tank (the FB300's capacity in pounds is about third of my RBC). I also want to eventually bring the brook and brown trout I grow out in a flow through pond indoors into an insulated Pole barn for biosecurity and less water consumption. From a coldwater conference I attended last June it appears upflow fluidized sandfilters are the way to go for coldwater fish due to massive amounts of surface area and other advantages. What I want to do is build a much larger unit for the trout once I get some experience from purchasing this smaller unit.

#2 Usil

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 08:56 AM

I would be willing to bet that there will be controversy in the answers to this question.  I think that you should consider exactly what it is you want to do in the space you have available and maybe consider alternatives.  Growing 'good' bacteria is not hard as it colonizes every surface under water in a tank system or pond including the substrata, tank walls, plants, wood, rocks and any filter media you use.  

The goal as stated in this presentation:  " There is considerable debate as to the most appropriate biological filter technology for intensive aquaculture applications.  An ideal biofilter would remove 100% of the inlet ammonia concentration, produce no nitrite, require a relatively small footprint, use inexpensive media, require no water pressure or maintenance to operate, and would not capture solids. "
( http://ag.arizona.ed...%20Overview.pdf )


These are my thoughts on this.

1.  Upflow fluidized sandfilters will grow bacteria but I have always wondered if there is a more efficient system.  Roiling grains of sand, while they do present a large surface area, continually bump into each other and surely must restrict the total bacterial growth possible through a 'scrubbing' action which dislodges and limits the bacteria that can grow.  

2.  The commercial fluidized bed filter seems way over priced and I would think that a home made one made from bits and pieces from Lowes would be just as good and a lot cheaper.  I think fast clogging can be an issue too so they need tending to optimize flow.

3.  RBC's have the complexity of moving parts to contend with.

4.  Activated carbon is a simple solution and presents 'miles' of growth chambers for bacteria and work quite well but in a planted tank might deplete minerals that the plants use for good growth.

5.  Non GAC solutions such as Bio-Chem Stars: http://www.amazon.co...m/dp/B0002568M2 or similar products, I think presents a good solution that addresses the issues using GAC.  Large surface areas and easy to use as they can be placed into a filter housing.  

I found this link on RBC design:  http://nsgd.gso.uri....98001_part6.pdf )  And here is a video of a moving bed filter in action:   )

For me, while all have advantages and disadvantages,  I would go for the simplest least time intensive solution.  I like the Bio-chem star approach.

Usil

Edited by Usil, 10 October 2011 - 09:09 AM.

My 55 Gallon Fish Cam - Sometimes on (Use Ie8 or 9): http://173.74.23.62:...ndex.html?cam=0

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#3 Erica Lyons

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 10:26 AM

I have a chemical engineering bachelor's degree from CWRU.  When I first saw a fluidized bed reactor converted into a fluidized bed filter for an aquarium, I was like, "Of course.  That's great :)"  

The reason why we have biological filters is to increase our population of beneficial bacteria.  You can think of the square feet available in the media of a biological filer as the number of houses available for the bacteria people to move into.  More square feet (more empty houses) means a greater maximum population of the beneficial bacteria.    

The surface area of the fluidized bed filter is much higher than the surface area of any other type of filter.  This source here says that the fluidized bed has 6,200 square feet of surface area per cubic foot of media, while trickle filters have up to 200 square feet of surface area per cubic foot of media.  Source:  http://www.bioconlabs.com/abtqs.html  Those numbers make the engineer in me happy because I see that one reactor is much better at providing a home for the beneficial bacteria than the other reactor.  Because both reactors (filters) are the same price ($60 to $80 for a fluidized bed, $50+ for a 50 gallon and up waterfall filter), the choice at this point seems obvious.  

But the question is, how many 'homes' (square feet) are really necessary?  Do we really need 6,200 square feet?  Or is 200 square feet enough?  That's an important question.  It turns out that people have run those waterfill and drip filters for years with no problems.  200 square feet is completely adequate for most waste loads in most aquariums.  For most people, the trickle filter is actually preferable to the fluidized bed reactor because the death rate of bacteria during a power outage, although significant in both filter designs, is not as rapid in the drip filter as it is in the fluidized bed filter.  In a fluidized bed, the moment flow decreases and those grains compact you start killing the beneficial bacteria.  So most people's fishtanks would do perfectly well with a drip filter, and you don't have to worry as much about short power outages.  

But 'most' is not every.  I was once asked at a pet store why the 100+ gallon goldfish tank with thousands of goldfish in it had a measurable ammonia concentration.  The tank had been set up for quite a while (I assume years) and yet the beneficial bacteria population was still not yet high enough to convert all of the ammonia to nitrite and then nitrate quickly enough.  Some of the nitrogen was staying in the form of ammonia.  The population of bacteria wasn't high enough because there weren't enough 'homes' for them to live in (surface area).  The trickle filter was not enough to deal with the filtration required.  A fluidized bed filter would have solved that problem.  

If you have a really large tank, or a large nitrogen load, then it's possible the waterfall filter might not be enough filtration.  If you've got large predators who leave chunks of meat in the tank when they're done feeding, a trickle filter might not cut it.  In those circumstances, a fluidized bed filter could save you a lot of hassle and money.  One fluidized bed filter for $60-$80 is a lot less expensive than three waterfall filters rated for 50-70 gallons that cost $65 each.

Edit:  And the price of building your own fluidized bed can vary quite a lot because you need a good pump to push the water fast enough to fluidize the particles.  I personally would just buy one, not make my own.  Buying the pump and the plexiglass and the tools would probably cost more than buying the premade unit.  Of course, if you already own one/all of the materials and tools, then heck yeah, build your own.  There are some great blueprints online for DIY fludized beds.

Edited by EricaWieser, 10 October 2011 - 10:36 AM.


#4 az9

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 08:08 PM

View PostUsil, on 10 October 2011 - 08:56 AM, said:

I would be willing to bet that there will be controversy in the answers to this question.

For sure! In the aquaculture community it seems to be like the old which is better, a Ford or Chevy!

View PostUsil, on 10 October 2011 - 08:56 AM, said:

I think that you should consider exactly what it is you want to do in the space you have available and maybe consider alternatives.  Growing 'good' bacteria is not hard as it colonizes every surface under water in a tank system or pond including the substrata, tank walls, plants, wood, rocks and any filter media you use.

Very true and there is never enough room from my experience. However I'm always up to trying new things and I love tinkering and refining things especially when it comes to raising fish. I'd like to be able to try all the major biofilters and be knowledgeable on each one. As a promoter of aquaculture and president of my state aquaculture association I'd like to be able to help others by knowing what works and what doesn't work.  

View PostUsil, on 10 October 2011 - 08:56 AM, said:

The goal as stated in this presentation:  " There is considerable debate as to the most appropriate biological filter technology for intensive aquaculture applications.  An ideal biofilter would remove 100% of the inlet ammonia concentration, produce no nitrite, require a relatively small footprint, use inexpensive media, require no water pressure or maintenance to operate, and would not capture solids. "
( http://ag.arizona.ed...%20Overview.pdf )

Good stuff! My RBC's are quite good using those standards. With my color test kit I get 0 readings on Ammonia and Nitrites. No water pressure is required and the RBC is rotated by water cascading off the center baffles which also adds oxygen at the same time. Few solids are captured as the water is clarified before it gets to the biofilter tank. The RBC and tank does take a little space though and the initial capital investment was about $250.00 not including labor to build one. But their is no motor to break down and the axle is simply a 3 inch pipe in side a 4 inch pipe that is lubricated and moves under water.  


View PostUsil, on 10 October 2011 - 08:56 AM, said:

These are my thoughts on this.

1.  Upflow fluidized sandfilters will grow bacteria but I have always wondered if there is a more efficient system.  Roiling grains of sand, while they do present a large surface area, continually bump into each other and surely must restrict the total bacterial growth possible through a 'scrubbing' action which dislodges and limits the bacteria that can grow.

My thoughts are the vast amount of surface area negates the loss of bacteria by sheering, but sheering is a good thing as it sheers off old and dead bacteria that aren't as productive as the younger bacteria.  

View PostUsil, on 10 October 2011 - 08:56 AM, said:

2.  The commercial fluidized bed filter seems way over priced and I would think that a home made one made from bits and pieces from Lowes would be just as good and a lot cheaper.  I think fast clogging can be an issue too so they need tending to optimize flow.

Don't know much yet about the potential of fast clogging but it would seem with the combination of sheering and having the water clarified before it reaches the biofilter that should at least moderate the potential for clogging.  

View PostUsil, on 10 October 2011 - 08:56 AM, said:

3.  RBC's have the complexity of moving parts to contend with.

Not a problem with mine as the PVC axle is inside another piece of PVC and is constantly lubricated by water. There also is no motor or gear drive involved.

View PostUsil, on 10 October 2011 - 08:56 AM, said:

4.  Activated carbon is a simple solution and presents 'miles' of growth chambers for bacteria and work quite well but in a planted tank might deplete minerals that the plants use for good growth.

Isn't there more potential for clogging with more and smaller chambers?

View PostUsil, on 10 October 2011 - 08:56 AM, said:

5.  Non GAC solutions such as Bio-Chem Stars: http://www.amazon.co...m/dp/B0002568M2 or similar products, I think presents a good solution that addresses the issues using GAC.  Large surface areas and easy to use as they can be placed into a filter housing.  

I found this link on RBC design:  http://nsgd.gso.uri....98001_part6.pdf )  And here is a video of a moving bed filter in action:   )

For me, while all have advantages and disadvantages,  I would go for the simplest least time intensive solution.  I like the Bio-chem star approach.

Usil


I can relate to keeping it simple. I've always lived by the KISS principal.

Edited by az9, 10 October 2011 - 08:10 PM.


#5 Usil

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 08:22 PM

AZ9 - i think I saw your setup on this forum.  Very big and looks like it is functioning very well.  M final comments were basically for an aquarium and I would guess that maybe scaling up there might be better alternatives when aquacultural uses are needed.  What do you think about trickiling filters compared to what you have?  I was involved in a beverage factory setting up a waste management system that used trickling filters and it worked very well.

Usil

Edited by Usil, 10 October 2011 - 08:24 PM.

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#6 az9

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 09:38 PM

View PostUsil, on 10 October 2011 - 08:22 PM, said:

AZ9 - i think I saw your setup on this forum.  Very big and looks like it is functioning very well.  M final comments were basically for an aquarium and I would guess that maybe scaling up there might be better alternatives when aquacultural uses are needed.  What do you think about trickiling filters compared to what you have?  I was involved in a beverage factory setting up a waste management system that used trickling filters and it worked very well.

Usil


Yes my system is on here somewhere but I've modified it since then. The only downsides I see to trickling filters are possibly some areas that don't get water due to uneven water distribution, and by channeling caused by biofilm and particulates? But I know some people that swear by them.

#7 az9

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 04:02 AM

Only two posters responded to this? Not a problem but I'm kind of disappointed there weren't more responses. What do some of you use for biofiltration?

#8 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 07:57 AM

View Postaz9, on 13 October 2011 - 04:02 AM, said:

Only two posters responded to this? Not a problem but I'm kind of disappointed there weren't more responses. What do some of you use for biofiltration?
dirt and plants

Only their names and residence make one love fishes. I would know even the number of their fin-rays, and how many scales compose the lateral line. I am the wiser in respect to all knowledge, and the better qualified for all fortunes, for knowing that there is a minnow in the brook.
Henry David Thoreau, Excursions, 1863


#9 Erica Lyons

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:05 AM

View Postaz9, on 13 October 2011 - 04:02 AM, said:

What do some of you use for biofiltration?
I have an AquaClear hang on back waterfall filter.  It's either a 50 or a 70 rating, I don't remember.  My tank is a standard 55 gallon.  Its nitrogen load is low, so there minimum required bacteria population is low.  I mostly bought that filter because it's life time guaranteed and the company will fix anything that breaks.  I also only have two tanks, 10 and 55 gallons.  If I had a large fish room with dozens of tanks, I'd connect them all and hook them all up to a single large fluidized bed filter.  But with two tanks, owning two small hang on back filters does the job and works fine.  

I also have lots of live plants that are nitrogen sinks.  This prevents nitrate from building up at all quickly in the water column, since the plants take the nitrogen out of the water column to use to make their new tissues as they grow new leaves.  But I still do a partial water change about once a week ideally to keep allelopathic interactions between the plants to a minimum.  

Picture of my Elassoma gilberti tank as of October 6th (the plants are a lot more filled in now, with the Hygrophila difformis almost touching the surface):
http://gallery.nanfa...ageViewsIndex=1
That's Special Kitty® brand kitty litter on the bottom there.  

Fish:
http://gallery.nanfa...oom in.jpg.html
http://gallery.nanfa...odworm.jpg.html
http://gallery.nanfa...lberti.jpg.html

Edited by EricaWieser, 13 October 2011 - 08:12 AM.


#10 MichiJim

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 09:50 AM

For my 180, I use a large Eheim canister.  I don't remember the size off the top of my head, but I think its in the 300 gph range.  I also use sponge filters if needed, although with the relatively low bio-load I have I took them off and haven't noticed a change.

I have some plants, but I am not sure they do a lot right now.  I have to take the tank down in the spring, so when I reset it I am going to follow Michael's lead and go with a soil substrate and increase the number of plants.

I also do regular water changes - 30 - 50% every other week or so.

Hope this helps you.

#11 steve

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 10:40 AM

My 45 gal. and 55 gal. are planted, dirt substrate capped with sand.  I still have some Aquaclear HOB's running in them just because I like to have extra cycled filters around for starting up new tanks in case of emergencies.  My 150 gal. has two marineland 80's with bio-wheels, one Rena Filstar XP-4 canister filter, and a large sponge filter run by an air bubbler and just one fish in it.  My favorite filter is the canister filter, but it does occasionally  concern me that it might start leaking and it's tucked away from sight  so I wouldn't know it immediately.  It did leak around the power chord  once after a cleaning, but stopped in about 15 minutes.  Never had any  more trouble with it other than that.  I've also got a 28 gallon that has a large sponge filter and an Aquaclear 70 HOB.   I've also got a couple of 10 gal.'s that aren't planted but they're just temporary.  I'm still working on my 75 gal.  Waiting on hardware, but it will be heavily planted like my 45 and 55.  I'm hoping to just use one pump for circulation and then run a sponge filter with an air bubbler.

Steve.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


#12 az9

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 07:19 PM

View Postfrogwhacker, on 13 October 2011 - 10:40 AM, said:

My 45 gal. and 55 gal. are planted, dirt substrate capped with sand.  I still have some Aquaclear HOB's running in them just because I like to have extra cycled filters around for starting up new tanks in case of emergencies.  My 150 gal. has two marineland 80's with bio-wheels, one Rena Filstar XP-4 canister filter, and a large sponge filter run by an air bubbler and just one fish in it.  My favorite filter is the canister filter, but it does occasionally  concern me that it might start leaking and it's tucked away from sight  so I wouldn't know it immediately.  It did leak around the power chord  once after a cleaning, but stopped in about 15 minutes.  Never had any  more trouble with it other than that.  I've also got a 28 gallon that has a large sponge filter and an Aquaclear 70 HOB.   I've also got a couple of 10 gal.'s that aren't planted but they're just temporary.  I'm still working on my 75 gal.  Waiting on hardware, but it will be heavily planted like my 45 and 55.  I'm hoping to just use one pump for circulation and then run a sponge filter with an air bubbler.

Steve.


Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen! I will keep your posts in mind when build my in wall aquarium that will be about 100 gallons. I've got some eyepopping size hand fed bluegill and yellow perch in one of the ponds right now I want to put in there to add to the fish mounts on the wall of my taxidermy studio. (I specialize in fish). I think I have some pound and half bluegill and close to 2 lb. yellow perch in the pond this year. They go nuts over hydrated commercial feed right off the pier. Mix the dry feed at a ration of 3 parts feed to 1 part water in a zip lock bag and let sit for 2 hours. Takes on the consistency of clay and the fish eat it like crack cocaine and fight over it. My smallmouth even go nuts over it.

#13 gzeiger

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 07:36 PM

I use a 60 gph pump attached to a 4"x4" diameter sponge filter in a 75 gallon tank.

#14 Usil

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Posted 13 October 2011 - 08:53 PM

"one Rena Filstar XP-4 canister filter" - Mine leaked from the cord area too and I got a replacement but it leaked a bit too.  After I put silicone grease on the threads and top of the siphon cap it has never leaked since but I do keep it in a plastic tray.  The siphon screw cap is very non-critically made actually very sloppy plastic injection and I do not see how it would ever seal properly even when screwed on as tight as possible.  Many report this problem but Rena has not made any changes in the design.  This is the point where slow air leaks into the system and causes the top of the filter to fill with about 1.5 inches of air in it as well as the leak from the cord area.  Once you seal the cap this all is fixed.  Silicone grease just seemed the easiest to use and it worked perfectly.


Usil  
My 55 Gallon Fish Cam - Sometimes on (Use Ie8 or 9): http://173.74.23.62:...ndex.html?cam=0

What I do in the Summer:  http://michael-paris.blogspot.com/

#15 steve

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 12:52 AM

View Postaz9, on 13 October 2011 - 07:19 PM, said:

Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen! I will keep your posts in mind when build my in wall aquarium that will be about 100 gallons. I've got some eyepopping size hand fed bluegill and yellow perch in one of the ponds right now I want to put in there to add to the fish mounts on the wall of my taxidermy studio. (I specialize in fish). I think I have some pound and half bluegill and close to 2 lb. yellow perch in the pond this year. They go nuts over hydrated commercial feed right off the pier. Mix the dry feed at a ration of 3 parts feed to 1 part water in a zip lock bag and let sit for 2 hours. Takes on the consistency of clay and the fish eat it like crack cocaine and fight over it. My smallmouth even go nuts over it.

That's pretty impressive that your smallmouth will eat prepared food that well.  If it's not alive, mine wants nothing to do with it.  It even spits out earthworms.  It's almost like the food has to put up some kind of a fight going down for the fish to stay interested in it.  I've probably just babied it too much though.  I tried it on pellets for nearly a week when I first kept it, but it just wanted movement.  At that time, it was only about 5" long.  Over 13" now.

Those big bluegills and perch will definitely look cool in your 100 gal.  Please post some photos of them in the tank when you get it set up if you can.  I'd love to see them.

Steve.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


#16 Skipjack

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Posted 15 October 2011 - 02:08 PM

You simply cannot beat a fluidized bed filter. Cecil is thinking aquaculture, while many here are thinking aquarium. An FBF will convert more waste in a small area than most other filters. Important If you have a high stocking density. The major downside is the sand. I like bioreactors, because you get many of the benefits of a FBF, but the media is neutrally buoyant. When these small FBF shut down, like a pump failure, the sand becomes quickly impacted, and they can be difficult to get restarted. If you can manage for this possibility, then you can count on that tiny filter doing a better job, than trickle filters 10+ times its size. You seem to know RBC's, so you certainly cannot go too wrong there. The FBF would surely be a worthwhile addition to an RBC as well. Matt

Matt DeLaVega


#17 az9

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 12:08 AM

View PostSkipjack, on 15 October 2011 - 02:08 PM, said:

You simply cannot beat a fluidized bed filter. Cecil is thinking aquaculture, while many here are thinking aquarium. An FBF will convert more waste in a small area than most other filters. Important If you have a high stocking density. The major downside is the sand. I like bioreactors, because you get many of the benefits of a FBF, but the media is neutrally buoyant. When these small FBF shut down, like a pump failure, the sand becomes quickly impacted, and they can be difficult to get restarted. If you can manage for this possibility, then you can count on that tiny filter doing a better job, than trickle filters 10+ times its size. You seem to know RBC's, so you certainly cannot go too wrong there. The FBF would surely be a worthwhile addition to an RBC as well. Matt

You're right and you did send me a drawing to build one. I want to try that as well.

#18 az9

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 12:09 AM

View Postfrogwhacker, on 14 October 2011 - 12:52 AM, said:

That's pretty impressive that your smallmouth will eat prepared food that well.  If it's not alive, mine wants nothing to do with it.  It even spits out earthworms.  It's almost like the food has to put up some kind of a fight going down for the fish to stay interested in it.  I've probably just babied it too much though.  I tried it on pellets for nearly a week when I first kept it, but it just wanted movement.  At that time, it was only about 5" long.  Over 13" now.

Those big bluegills and perch will definitely look cool in your 100 gal.  Please post some photos of them in the tank when you get it set up if you can.  I'd love to see them.

Steve.

Steve,

I can't take credit for the smallies easting pellets as I bought them feed trained. I will feed train mine by crowding them in a tank and starting out with krill etc.




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