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300 Gallon Custom Aquarium – Filtration Overview and Wrapup

By Steve Poland Aquatics on

Speaker: This is part seven in a series of videos about my new 300-gallon tank from Custom Aquariums. I'll link to a playlist for the project down in the video description, this is kind of just a wrap-up to show a few things that I didn't get a chance to highlight as I went through the project. Some of these things I couldn't really show until they were up and running. Then I've made a few changes between the planning stage and the implementation so I'll go over those as well.

I guess it makes sense to just go through the flow of water from the tank and into the filtration and back. That starts at these overflows and you can't really see them too well from the front, so here's a better shot from above.

These are an invention that Custom Aquariums came up with and they call them H2Overflows. They're a nice alternative to a typical weir that you would see in most drilled tanks.

You get a lot of skimming area but with a pretty low profile. You can hardly see them in the tank especially if you have the back painted black like I do. They also have a nice cover screen that keeps large debris from clogging them. These flow into the stealth box which I showed earlier but not when it was attached to the tank. I have this setup with plumbing inside to silence any water noise and it seems to be working well.

The box is a cover which also helps. Then that runs down into the stand and this has changed since I last showed it. I replaced the black ribbed pond tubing with braided tubing. I got a comment about how it had failed on other people and honestly it felt a little thin to me so I figured I'd rather be safe than sorry, but to be honest, this was a pain to do and I probably should have just hard plumbed the whole thing.

I've just always avoided having anything but tubing running through my walls. I don't know why this matters to me but it's done and now all the tubing for this whole project is braided which is extremely unlikely to fail and here's where it comes down into the sump. That's basically the same as before just with the different tubing. The first chamber has two big filter socks and then the water passes into the second chamber, the baffle tub which has a bunch of media trays in it.

My first tray has some Poret foam of increasing density. Then my second tray has some pinky filter floss and some polyfill. This is not that dissimilar to what I've always run on my canister filters. Then I have several trays of bio-media. This is Seachem matrix and these nice zipper media bags which make maintenance really easy. I'll link those bags below and if you're still using loose bio-media you should really pick up a few of these.

Then I did make another couple changes to the sump. One is that I added another connection between the baffle tub and the reservoir tub. I had these connected with a 2-inch PVC line that you can see in the background which was plenty of flow but it was causing the water level in the baffle tub to be too high and the reservoir tub to be too low. This new inch and a half line keeps them closer to even and I could have done this with fewer parts but I just went with what I could buy at the store.

Then another change I made is that I moved the pump from being external and inline to being inside the reservoir tub. It still connects to the return lines the same as before but this way I never have to worry about it leaking. Moving back upstairs the return lines connect to the tank via these siphon stoppers which is another custom aquariums product. The advantage they have over normal returns is the two angled pieces at the top.

These will be exposed to air once the pump stops which prevents a back siphon that could overflow the sump, it's just another nice safety feature. Another thing I haven't shown yet is this valve. This is what allows me to drain the tank in a hurry. It's connected to the custom one-inch hole that I had drilled in the bottom left corner of the tank. I can just turn this valve and the tank starts to drain down to the basement and if I want it to go even faster I've got it running through this 1,600 gallon per hour pump that I can start with a remote control. This was all in place on the old tank but now it's even easier.

The last thing that's still a work-in-progress is the lighting. What you see here is the current satellite LED that I've been using for years. It's a 4-foot light which is actually nice because it keeps the corners in shadows. It looks really dark on camera but it's a pretty cool effect in person. Then this is a very similar light, it's a 4-foot LED from Fluval and it's controlled by my phone via Bluetooth. Like the current light, it can be customized to just about any color I want.

Then this is what it looks like with two of those four-foot Fluval lights in place which was my plan all along for this tank, but honestly, it's just way too much light even when it's set very low. It looks great here on camera but in person I think it's just too much and the fish absolutely hates it. I'm just going to keep experimenting, but overall, the project is pretty much done. I'll keep you guys up-to-date as to how it's going.

It's been a lot of work but it was definitely worth it. Thanks again to Ted Judy and Custom Aquariums. Thanks to my wife for putting up with this crazy hobby and thanks to all of you for watching. Until next time, have a good one.

About Steve Poland Aquatics

Steve’s 300-gallon display aquarium houses one fish...his huge umbee cichlid. This project features a complete Seamless Sump filter system installed under the room where the display aquarium is located. Steve is passionate about the aquarium hobby.

On his YouTube channel, Steve provides some great aquarium tips and tutorials information and showcases his fishroom tours, aquarium projects and product reviews. Please watch his videos for some great info!

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