Aquarium Background with Sandfall
A very interesting homemade 3D aquarium background with sandfall style waterfall.
The sandfall adds quite a bit of action to this homemade aquarium background with sandfall “waterfall”. There are a lot of other features to this styrofoam background. The filtration and heating is integrated into the system and carefully planned to provide superb filtering while remaining hidden from view. The video shows the various places where the filtration and heating is integrated into the entire system.
The actual background skeleton was made of carved styrofoam and then to prevent the unit from floating,as well as protect it from the ravages of the aquarium, it was coated with cement to add both natural colour and enough weight that the unit can be firmly attached without risk of it floating up. It is a bit difficult to see exactly what each piece is that is used, but there are a number of separate units that are fitted together to make the complete background, while permitting the various filters to work and be maintained on a regular basis.
The main filter in the tank seems to be an external canister unit that reverse flows the output back up through the gravel substrate. Undergravel filters are not the most popular filters these days. They have fallen out of favour with the increased reliance on the biological capacities of canister style unit. As these have become more and more the standard filters for most larger tanks, the need for huge amounts of biologically active surfaces for bacteria to attach have been reduced. Since this is the basic filtration media is biological it has not been required with these more biological canisters.
What I find interesting here is that the system is revers flow, the most efficient way to enlarge the biological area of the substrate. In standard UG, the water is puled through the gravel from top down to feed the top level with oxygen. This way the active bacterial depth is between a 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch at the most. With reverse flow, the top of the gravel layer still receives oxygen from above, but the water flow into the gravel underneath extends the active area from the bottom up. In addition, the flow of water forces any dirt up, rather than into the substrate. This keeps the entire area cleaner and easier to maintain.
The aquarium background with sandfall is a very well thought out 3D background that should make the rest of the aquascape easy and efficient.