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DIY - 20L AIO Project - Looking for last minute advice


Militant Jurist

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Militant Jurist

So I'm getting a 20L tank tonight for $10, so that made it kind of stupid to even think about buying a 10 gallon. So, I'm going in a new direction. My thought is to have two cut off areas, one on each side of the tank. The one side will be the skimmer area, and the other side a fuge area for cheato. Here is my proposed layout:

 

20Lbuild.jpg

 

Legend:

A - Overflow area and skilter intake (110 gph)

B - Discharge area for skilter and intake for powerhead (between 80 and 120 gph, I can't remember exactly)

[The wall between A and B will have holes drilled to prevent one side from getting too full.]

C - Overflow area and cheato

D - Intake for powerhead (gph, see B )

 

Also, I may be able to get a Koralia powerhead, so suggested placement for that would also be appreciated!

 

Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome!

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if it were me, I wouldnt go with two, just for the simple fact that your killing your swimming space. Nice thing about a long is you get that long bed with a lot of room for the fish to swim, after you fill both ends your 20L will look more like a cube. I would fit it all into one side. pick out your equipment ahead of building it so you can maximize your space, and build the sump area to skimmer dimensions with the rest left over for a fuge.

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Militant Jurist

Thanks for the response. I should have mentioned that this is going to be an upgrade tank (so I've already got all the equipment) and it will be a coral and motile invertebrates (crabs and snails) only tank. For whatever reason, I'm just not a big fan of fish in SW tanks. I think it's because of all the FW fish I've got!

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Militant Jurist

Without the swimming room issue, is the two side plan still problematic? Or is it just a question of aesthetics?

 

I'm going to be starting the building process probably tomorrow afternoon, so additional input, advice, and observations are much needed! Thanks!

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i dont see why you cant have both sides used up for chambers and what not. 1 side for the fuge, and the other for maybe carbon and phosban as needed, and the skimmer area? Just my opinion here, but even in a small tank, a small goby would be good for your tank ( a neon goby it's like $5 at a lfs and stays tiny)

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Militant Jurist
i dont see why you cant have both sides used up for chambers and what not. 1 side for the fuge, and the other for maybe carbon and phosban as needed, and the skimmer area? Just my opinion here, but even in a small tank, a small goby would be good for your tank ( a neon goby it's like $5 at a lfs and stays tiny)

 

I'm giving some thought to getting one small fish to keep the tank company. I was worried about bio-load and water quality, but I've got a skimmer/filter ("skilter") now that I'm breaking in with the 10 gallon that will soon be moving into the 20L. I should hope that it will keep the water quality as if there were no fish at all if I have just one small fish. Gobies are at the top of that list!

 

CONSTRUCTION:

 

I started last night (finally!). I've got the plexi cut for the two sides and painted. The paint job on the one side turned out to be one of the worst I've ever done, but the other side looks fine. Oh well, it will all be covered with coralline eventually! The overflows have been cut, the returns have been drilled, and one side has been secured into place. The aquarium silicon container busted at the bottom while I was trying to apply it, so I broke out a glove and did it the old fashioned way. Needless to say, once it cures, I have a lot of scraping to do!

 

I've also got a couple of 2x4s laying around, so I'm going to start the table top part of the DIY stand today hopefully.

 

Once it is all done, I'll post up pictures of what it looks like without water. I know, pics or it didn't happen!

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not sure how far youve gotten with the construction but why not flip the one side over, so that you have teeth on opposite sides rather than on the same side, to create a more circular flow rather than just frontal flow.

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Militant Jurist
not sure how far youve gotten with the construction but why not flip the one side over, so that you have teeth on opposite sides rather than on the same side, to create a more circular flow rather than just frontal flow.

 

It just so happens that I have one side left to go. I wasn't sure which was best: to have two powerheads pointed roughly towards each other for a random current effect or to have them in opposite corners for a circular effect? Thoughts? I won't be doing more work on this until 7 or 8PM tomorrow, so plenty of time for advice until then.

 

On a side note, my Koralia nano (in addition to the two powerheads in the sump and fuge areas) and the 2x24 T5 lighting arrived today! The lighting was even better than I thought: apparently, the Nova Extreme has individual reflectors after all! Since I already had the new skilter, it looks like I have all of the equipment needed for this build.

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with the two overflows you may run into water level balancing issues if u have a higher flow pump on once side. with one overflow the water overflow is driven by the pumps pushing it out. with 2 overflows and 2 pumps, you may have one pump not putting out enough gph to keep up with the overflow. IMO you would have to match the pump outputs, overflow volume/h and the flow directions perfectly. just my thought tho. i guess someone has to be the guniepig lol. best of luck if you do try it. will be tagging along to find out.

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I'm assuming when you type skilter you mean a hang on back type skimmer + filter unit?

 

By the looks of your plans, you have water entering the chamber, then being sucked through the skimmer and then flowing out via the skimmer outlet into the other chamber.

 

It may not be such a big deal, but how do you know that the amount of water entering the chamber is the same as the amount of water being taken in by the skimmer intake?

 

edit: no worries I saw that you'll have a hole between the chambers!

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