I never did get a system from the BWI guy, but I did get around to installing a 24/7 drip system; I have a drip running from a cold water tap through a charcoal filter canister (supplied by a local drinking water purification filter store) and on into my sump; I drilled a hole in the side of the sump and ran a drain hose to an existing drain pipe in my basement. I bought a meter device recommended by forum member Rudy to monitor how much water I am changing daily, but due to the different hose size required to install it I have not got it set up yet. I estimate I am changing about 10 gallons a day in my 300 gallon tank. My two BDleos and group of Geos and silver dollars are all doing very well. I have had the system up and running for the last 4 months or so. I will take a picture/video of the system soon and post it up.
To my knowledge Vancouver water does not have chloramine, but it does have chlorine.
your system is similar to mine, except i have a separate 50 gallon vat that the cold water feeds and is circulated before going into sump.
My problem is dealing with Chloramines. One solution is a high quality carbon filters, my concerns is the implications once it expires. The other option is dosing pump with prime, which i would feel more comfortable with. Right now i manually fill the vat once or twice a week.
I know this is a old thread, but reading it...I just wanted to comment as well.
Frankly, I think ( I get it, I have gone down that path), sometimes we over think things and over do stuff. After trying everything from sumps, cannister, HOB..etc..etc..
Here is what I think is best, most practical, light on the wallet and very easy.
You want the best filter system? Go buy some filter rock such as Seachem Filter matrix for ponds. Throw it in your tank. Looks nice as some gravel looks good. There are about $20 per bucket, and each bucket treats like 100G or so. Throw in a few buckets.
Put a power head to get a decent current in your tank so the water passes over the rock. Very effective. Why? The achilles heal of any outside filter system such as sumps is no matter how big the sump is and how much media you got there, it is still restricted by the amount of water that has to pass through the pipes and come back to the main tank. Also if the there is a power outage, your not filtering anything. Cost allot too.
Using the live rock method your getting allot of the water to "touch" the rock all the time.
I moved to this method after doing salt water for fun for a while. All they use is live rock. It is the same concept.
You may want to ( I do) put a small eheim cannister filter with some sponges in there just to clean the water of any debris or poo for cosmetic reasons. I have plecos, so I do that.
As for dealing with chloromines. Frankly, I have tested my water after two weeks with no WC and the chloromines are so small. Why spend so much money creating an auto system? Just go buy a power head/water pump, attach some plastic piping you can get from Home Depot, do your WC quickly...and done. Doesn't even cost more than $80-$100one time. Get some powder prime by the bucket and that stuff will last you years. I have a 220G tank and throw in the powder right in there. A small tea spoon is more than enough. Trying to use chemicals or filters to take out chloromines I think is over kill and really not worth the money. Just do a WC.
In my 220G, I have an adult arowana, and right now about 6 large plecos (l24s, l25s..etc)....high bio load fish...and never have had a problem.
I also put in an air pump that has a backup battery that can pump for about 12 hours if power stops. I got it for like $80.
I have seen so many systems spend tens of thousands on filteration and doing auto WC...and I don't know how many times the fish still die when the power stops as the system is too automated, or something goes wrong. I saw one guy have so much stuff he actually electrocuted his fish when he was fixing something...amazing the arowana were ok after.
yes that is the media. if you have large fish, id say get the pond one. looks like real rocks and you don't have to cover the whole floor of the tank. remember, there is more touching by the water on the media as opposed to an external filter. i'd say cover half with one lawyer is more than enough.
Basically with the media, backup air pump and power head....you got a pretty efficient filter sytem for under $200-300. Its the live rock method. If you like to learn more, just go and pretend your going to get into salt water - thats what they all do now, use rock as media.
Yeah I have thought about that live rock idea. I use nothing but matrix in one of my fx6. But my nitrates will still climb. I wonder how having them as substrate can change tht? I wonder if the beneficial bacteria is exactly the same strain, the bacteria inside dark canister and the bacterial on substrate. Water changes are very important to me to remove DOC's. When I get home from a 7 day set of working my aro is noticeably happier after a water change. By my 3rd day hone and 2nd water change it is significantly more active and " happier". I also agree simpler can be better. Interesting post.