Socks, Filter Cups, Roller Mats; need quick advice!

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ariellemermaid

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I’m setting up a new RSR XXL 750 and before I fill it (hopefully very soon!) I need some advice as this will be my first sump system. This tank’s sump comes with 4x 4” filter sock holders. Filter socks are out for me; my life is way too busy to deal with cleaning them every 3-5 days and that’s messy. So from what I can tell, here are my options from my R2R research:

1) Filter cups with poly fil. Cheap, easy(ish) to empty and refill. I’ve read this should be done every 3-5 days but I’d probably aim for 7 (weekends). I’ve read they clog easily though so timeframes might be shorter depending how they’re packed.

2) Mesh bags with filter mat on top. Even less work to toss out and replace. From what I can tell these need to be rotated, but how long before rotation and finally throwing it out? Why I do feel the answer is still 3-5 days?

3) Roller mat $450. Permanently de-construct the brand new sump to remove the sock holders and permanently alter the overflow drain. For my tank I’ve found instructions for the Clarisea SK-5000 as a good fit. However with this unit on this tank people are saying rolls last 4-6 weeks and they cost $34 each, so that’s $300-400 a year in poop fleece! Vs. $7 for a big bag of poly fil. I don’t know about that; seems like price gouging for material worth penny’s. Plus the roller pins routinely breaking seems to be a very common issue. And, there’s no going back.

Do I have the above options + timeframes about right? I don’t mind weekly (easy) maintenance, but 3 days is absurd and I know up front that won’t work for me especially if it involves cleaning socks. I frequently work 60 hours a week.

Final question. We often take work or pleasure trips of 1-2 weeks and next year have a 3+ week trip coming up. If I go with option 1 or 2 for that long, will the tank still be fine/stable? I know the water will overflow and bypass the chamber if media is clogged, but is that the end of the world for a few weeks? Or when I get a little lazy.
 
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MaddyP

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Personally, I run cups with reef rock rubble in it. I rely on my decent flow rates to keep particles suspended and my skimmer to pull them out. Anything extra that settles will get stirred up during my regular cleanings or eaten by some organism.
 
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ariellemermaid

ariellemermaid

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I've not tried these yet but they do look like an interesting option;

Interesting option, easy to change even frequently. 1) I wonder if they fit the unique Red Sea cup size. 2) However, one review says they clog every 3 days like clockwork. So each set lasts about a month = $336/yr. So about the cost of roller mat fleece without the 4-6 week maintenance free interval.
Personally, I run cups with reef rock rubble in it. I rely on my decent flow rates to keep particles suspended and my skimmer to pull them out. Anything extra that settles will get stirred up during my regular cleanings or eaten by some organism.
I was going to throw no mechanical filtration as an option (or at least for long trips). I also intend to have high flow as I’m going dual large returns. My only concern there is that sump cleaning seems a bit challenging so I’d like to keep as much stuff out as possible. First sump though so I don’t know all of what I’m in for. I’m going to have an AWC fish room so I kind of hope to keep manual maintenance to a minimum aside from gravel siphoning.
 

MaddyP

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I was going to throw no mechanical filtration as an option (or at least for long trips). I also intend to have high flow as I’m going dual large returns. My only concern there is that sump cleaning seems a bit challenging so I’d like to keep as much stuff out as possible. First sump though so I don’t know all of what I’m in for. I’m going to have an AWC fish room so I kind of hope to keep manual maintenance to a minimum aside from gravel siphoning.
A dirty sump never hurt anyone. ;) Seriously though, sumps will get dirty filter or not.
 
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mermaid_life

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Hello fellow mermaid! Nice big tank! How exciting!

Here's a quick read about the options:

After I started seeing big fat amphipods and bristle worms in my tank as it matured, I DEFINITELY said I was never going to wash a filter sock again.

I'm like you though. I work long hours and often travel for work. My sig other is not very passionate about this hobby so I couldn't rely on him for maintenance.

I run an oversized skimmer in the sump and I'm not worried when the filter floss gets clogged and overflows. My corals actually seem to like it once in a while too. The filter floss+cup method by far has been the easiest maintenance method for me and also the least wasteful of materials.

Since you have 4 filter slots, I think you'll have more than 3-4 days until it clogs although it completely depends on how many fish you'll be stocking. Looking forward to seeing the tank get set up!
 
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ariellemermaid

ariellemermaid

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Hello fellow mermaid! Nice big tank! How exciting!

Here's a quick read about the options:

After I started seeing big fat amphipods and bristle worms in my tank as it matured, I DEFINITELY said I was never going to wash a filter sock again.

I'm like you though. I work long hours and often travel for work. My sig other is not very passionate about this hobby so I couldn't rely on him for maintenance.

I run an oversized skimmer in the sump and I'm not worried when the filter floss gets clogged and overflows. My corals actually seem to like it once in a while too. The filter floss+cup method by far has been the easiest maintenance method for me and also the least wasteful of materials.

Since you have 4 filter slots, I think you'll have more than 3-4 days until it clogs although it completely depends on how many fish you'll be stocking. Looking forward to seeing the tank get set up!
I like it! I said easy (ish) because the cup is so big that you still have to pull it all out and layer it in. Looks like you found a solution to that. Have you compared this to just putting a fleece pad over the top of all 4 holes? I think the issue with the pad is that it clogs from the flow side and can then start overflowing from the chamber’s side into the return chamber vs. the whole overflow chamber clogging evenly at the same time and overflowing forward, but just curious.
 

mermaid_life

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I like it! I said easy (ish) because the cup is so big that you still have to pull it all out and layer it in. Looks like you found a solution to that. Have you compared this to just putting a fleece pad over the top of all 4 holes? I think the issue with the pad is that it clogs from the flow side and can then start overflowing from the chamber’s side into the return chamber vs. the whole overflow chamber clogging evenly at the same time and overflowing forward, but just curious.
I have tried that on my old tank. What I didn't like was that the edge of the pad closest to the drain section would get super crummy and the far side would take a while to clog. Sometimes the water will flow directly into the next chamber (path of least resistance). I also didn't modify the sump though. Others have modified it so there's more of a lip and forces the water to pass through the entire pad. I hope that makes sense.
 

Reef Diaper

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Interesting option, easy to change even frequently. 1) I wonder if they fit the unique Red Sea cup size. 2) However, one review says they clog every 3 days like clockwork. So each set lasts about a month = $336/yr. So about the cost of roller mat fleece without the 4-6 week maintenance free interval.

I was going to throw no mechanical filtration as an option (or at least for long trips). I also intend to have high flow as I’m going dual large returns. My only concern there is that sump cleaning seems a bit challenging so I’d like to keep as much stuff out as possible. First sump though so I don’t know all of what I’m in for. I’m going to have an AWC fish room so I kind of hope to keep manual maintenance to a minimum aside from gravel siphoning.
The standard Reef Diaper will not fit the Red Sea filter trays, but we are modifying some of our existing flanges to fit. They are being machined now and should be available shortly (see pic).

The time it takes for the filters to clog will vary from tank to tank. It depends on several factors such as the bio-load per sock and the height of the filters above the sump waterline. The single sock in my 90 gallon lasts three days. I feed 2 cubes of frozen food and one algae strip per day. I think yours will last longer since you have 1 sock per 40 gallons, but it will really depend on how much you feed. Let me know if you have any other questions.

IMG_3416.jpg
 
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ariellemermaid

ariellemermaid

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The standard Reef Diaper will not fit the Red Sea filter trays, but we are modifying some of our existing flanges to fit. They are being machined now and should be available shortly (see pic).

The time it takes for the filters to clog will vary from tank to tank. It depends on several factors such as the bio-load per sock and the height of the filters above the sump waterline. The single sock in my 90 gallon lasts three days. I feed 2 cubes of frozen food and one algae strip per day. I think yours will last longer since you have 1 sock per 40 gallons, but it will really depend on how much you feed. Let me know if you have any other questions.

IMG_3416.jpg
I was about to suggest you sell the socks and flanges separately to reduce costs. I see you do! A 30 pack of the filters alone is $30 so $10 a month at 3 days each. That’s actually not that bad. I might check it out when you get the Red Sea flanges and see how it goes.
 
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Jedi1199

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Option 5...

This is what I do on my 55. Heavy bio-load, heavy feeding. I simply bought about a months' worth of socks. I peek under the cabinet at feeding time and see if its overflowing. When it is, I replace it. squeeze the old one out in the sink and let it dry. When I have collected 9 or 10 or so, I toss them in the washing machine with NO SOAP OR BLEACH. Plain hot water. Set for heavy soil and light spin.

They come out squeaky clean and no waste.

This has been working so far for me. Granted, I only have 1 sock to replace and a months' worth is about 12 (I have 18).

Since you appear to be a numbers girl, (I like that) figure cost for socks at $27/6x3x4= $324 for the initial purchase. NO remodeling of the sump. No real mess or work, remove socks, wring them out in a bucket and hang them over the edge to dry... Toss in washer... You don't even need to include laundry detergent cost lol. And they should last you for at LEAST a couple years.
 
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sp1187

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Algae scrubbers are new to me. I do plan to run a refugium though.
floating scrubber (SURF models from santa monica filtration (not affiliated i do own two)) is easier than a refugium.
 

Klyle

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I like the idea of no mechanical filtration. I pulled out my socks and now just use a piece of coarse aquamesh to dampen the sound of water. I pull it out once a week to clean fish poop. It's large enough to let food particles through. I also keep a very small powerhead in my sump to keep detritus suspended so my skimmer will pull it out or it just goes somewhere else to be eaten. I do run a small amount of carbon and gfo in a reactor. Water stays crystal clear, no detritus build up and manageable nutrient levels
 
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ariellemermaid

ariellemermaid

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I like the idea of no mechanical filtration. I pulled out my socks and now just use a piece of coarse aquamesh to dampen the sound of water. I pull it out once a week to clean fish poop. It's large enough to let food particles through. I also keep a very small powerhead in my sump to keep detritus suspended so my skimmer will pull it out or it just goes somewhere else to be eaten. I do run a small amount of carbon and gfo in a reactor. Water stays crystal clear, no detritus build up and manageable nutrient levels
I like it, the powerhead is a good idea.
 
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