Living Color Aquariums - Aquarium Life Support Systems
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Filtration Fundamentals

All recirculated aquarium life support systems require biological, mechanical and chemical filtration. At Living Color Aquariums, we design each Life Support System (LSS) to specifically meet the needs of the individual aquarium it is being produced for. There is no “one size fits all” application when it comes to creating your LSS. We look at size, shape, environment, as well as the marine life that will inhabit your aquarium when designing its LSS.

The design may include our self-contained Clear Choice Wet-Dry Filter for aquariums under 350 gallons, or a remote filtration system for larger aquariums. A typical remote aquarium life support system will utilize an open system and often include a closed system to provide additional water circulation. Most remote Life Support Systems will also require a chiller and heater to control water temperature within the aquarium.

Important LSS Design Fundamentals Include:

Open Filtration System Design

  • Turnover through the open system should be approximately four times per hour. Therefore, the pump should be rated for this turnover at the given head loss for the aquarium application.
  • The system requires an atmospheric reservoir of approximately 10% the volume of the main aquarium (the more volume available, the better). Within the open reservoir pre-filtration, typically micron polyester bag filters are used.
  • On marine systems, an open system includes a protein skimmer rated for the volume and load of the aquarium in question. The skimmer should have the capacity to handle at least 100% of the volume of the aquarium once per hour.
  • The open system typically utilizes a fluidized bed filter and/or a bio/de-gassing tower with a sufficient quantity of bio-balls for gaseous exchange and biological oxidation/reduction.

 Closed Filtration System Design

  • Turnover through the closed system is approximately 4 times per hour
  • The closed system provides additional circulation
  • Additional mechanical filtration is achieved using a canister filter or other high capacity mechanical filter
  • Additional chemical filtration is provided by a carbon canister filter
  • A side stream is directed to the aquarium chilling system to maintain a constant temperature
  • Water from the closed system may be used to supply an Ultra-Violet Sterilizer for additional filtration

Our professional installation team has years of experience installing thousands of aquariums around the world from New York, to Los Angeles, Tokyo, Chicago, Dubai, London and all points in between. From a 150-gallon home aquarium to a 150,000+ gallon shark tank, you can depend on Living Color Aquariums to do it right, from start to finish.

For all installations, Living Color Aquariums will:

  • Provide courteous, on-time installation by professional installers, licensed and insured as required by law, and trained to meet our tight standards
  • Take the utmost care of your home and business during the installation process, including wearing shoe covers and protecting your floors
  • Complete a pre-installation site survey upon arrival at your home to ensure the success of the installation
  • Install and secure your new aquarium structure
  • Check for proper operation
  • Clean up the work area, including removal of packaging and installation-related debris
  • Provide you with a Basic Aquarium Care manual and fish portfolio, personalized to the installed system