Fry System Build

by Dan Underwood

Note:  This was originally posted on in Aug 2011 and on Oct 2011.

I wanted to run some experiments for proof of concept with some ideas that I had. Since most of my fry tanks are either on a system or 90 gallon tubs, I decided to put together a small system. I threw this together in a couple of hours using spare parts and cycled media I had on hand. Afterwards, I realized that this system could work for others who wanted a small system.


The tank consists of a small Koi show bowl. It holds 18 gallons. I drilled it in the center for a 1 inch bulkhead. Any tank, including a glass tank, could be used provided it was either drilled or had the appropriate overflow box. The sump is a 10 gallon tank.

In the picture below you can see the bag attached to the drain. It is a 150 micron bag made by Seachem called “The Bag”. It does a great job of catching uneaten artemia. It gets changed daily. The bag sits atop some blue bonded media. That media sits atop a plastic cullender from the dollar store. The cullender is resting atop a plastic waste basket also from the dollar store. The waste basket is filled with bio balls.pic_5

In the next picture you can see to the left of the waste basket is a small 3 gallon water jug. It is filled with kaldness media and is the primary biological filter. The pump which sits between it and the waste basket is Tee’ed so it pumps water into the media, kinda like a reversed fluidized filter and up to the tank via the cartridge filter and UV. The cartridge filter is a 10 inch housing like on a RO system except it has 3/4 inch in/out fittings. I use 5 micron pleated cartridges which are changed daily.


Another photo of the bottle and plumbing of the system:


Below is a photo showing the UV filter. It is an 8 watt. Since this is a small system with the water trickling in, it has a strong enough kill rate.


And a shot of my electrical mess.


The power strip is mounted to the back of the system and facing away from any water flow. I also put an exterior electrical cover over the outlet. I have had fires in both the outlets and the power strips because of saltwater splashing on them. It is very critical you pay attention to this with any system you set up. One member of even had their house burn down because of this. Also make sure that all the lines have either a drip loop or have a dip in the wires so water can’t run down the wire into the receptacle.

Here is a shot of the high tech lighting. Actually it works fine for the needs of the system.


A view of the complete setup:


NOTE:  The pictures do not show a standpipe in place.  There is another article by Gary Henkel that does show this.


Rev Sept/2016.  Originally posted Aug/2011