Jump to content
AquaticEngineer

PNW Temperate Tanks Using Marineland Commercial Systems

Recommended Posts

1) Quickly remove uneaten food before it can break down by replacing filter pads every 2 or 3 days (every 1 or 2 days would probably be better) and by running an over-sized skimmer.

 

Definately going to be replacing filter pads everyother day, and I dont know if the skimmer I have would be considered over-sized. It was built into the design by marineland this is what they have listed RECOMMENDED LOAD: Lobster 75-100 Lbs., Catfish 50-60 Lbs., Trout 35 Lbs. I don't plan on having anything in there that would make more waste then 75 lbs of lobster thats for sure :D

 

2) Use a Remote Deep Sand Bed (RDSB) to promote the growth of anaerobic bacteria which will consume nitrates and convert them to harmless nitrogen gas................... I strongly recommend that you find a place for a RDSB, and let it start cycling with your tank.

 

This is something I hadn't thought about, but may solve a couple problems I was running into. The way my tank is setup with the false bottom it didn't allow me to have a traditional sand bottom. I was looking into using a 40 gallon coleman cooler as a sump to connect my two tanks. This may be the perfect place to run a RDSB. I had originally thought of using seagrass that grows in sandy bottom areas out here in it as a refugium then connecting the two tanks to that.

 

Ohhhh the possibilities :naughtydance:

Share this post


Link to post
I dont know if the skimmer I have would be considered over-sized. It was built into the design by marineland this is what they have listed RECOMMENDED LOAD: Lobster 75-100 Lbs., Catfish 50-60 Lbs., Trout 35 Lbs. I don't plan on having anything in there that would make more waste then 75 lbs of lobster thats for sure :D

You're right of course. I forgot that your filtration system is already on steroids. That makes me wonder if Marineland also built in some mechanism for removing nitrates that would make a RDSB redundant. I suspect that they didn't, and that they instead recommend more frequent (daily?) water changes with higher bio loads, but you'll have to do the homework to find a real answer.

 

It case it isn't obvious, I'm soooooo envious. I keep a temperate aquarium, but I also love DIY projects and bargain hunting - you've hit the Trifecta! At least tell me the system is noisy or something, so I can ease my suffering with sour grapes.

Share this post


Link to post
You're right of course. I forgot that your filtration system is already on steroids. That makes me wonder if Marineland also built in some mechanism for removing nitrates that would make a RDSB redundant. I suspect that they didn't, and that they instead recommend more frequent (daily?) water changes with higher bio loads, but you'll have to do the homework to find a real answer.

 

That is exactly what they intended, large weekly at least water changes and a lot of carbon in the filter. It has 2 built in drains with ball valves that connect to a fitting you can attach to a hose and drain the entire tank if need be. Hopefully with the addtions I've made to encourage BB it will be on double steroids. If I do the coleman cooler sump idea I will have an extra 25 gallons of sump space to stick more filtration, a bigger skimmer, probes, etc.

 

It case it isn't obvious, I'm soooooo envious. I keep a temperate aquarium, but I also love DIY projects and bargain hunting - you've hit the Trifecta! At least tell me the system is noisy or something, so I can ease my suffering with sour grapes.

 

The big tank was too loud for me to have inside the house when the chiller was running. The pump on the big tank needs to have a new piece of rubber inserted underneath its feet to quiet some vibration. Not much louder than if you have an old refridgerator or deep freeze.

 

The cube tank has a little giant pump on it that is quiet as can be, but the chiller is an older model and needed some oil on the fan blades to quite it down. This tank I had debated on puting inside the house, but I'm going to keep it in the garage so I can plumb them together and make water changes easier.

 

Keep your eyes peeled for these on Craigslist, I found one not long ago for $400 just a couple hours south of me. They should start popping up all over the gulf coast soon with the dive the live seafood market has taken. But it did take me about 8 years to find one that was the right price at the right time and place in my life to have one :D

Edited by AquaticEngineer

Share this post


Link to post

Scored 3 coolers on craigslist today for $40. Now I just gotta find the time to add baffles and bulkheads to one of them and voila! Insulated sump! :happydance:

Share this post


Link to post
Scored 3 coolers on craigslist today for $40. Now I just gotta find the time to add baffles and bulkheads to one of them and voila! Insulated sump! :happydance:

Craigslist is the best thing that ever happened to DIY'ers like us. Good find. I would be willing to trust that the thin plastic walls and drain valves on coolers are strong enough to hold up to use as a sump, but I don't know if anyone's tried it before, or learned anything the hard way. I hope it works as well as we expect.

Share this post


Link to post

I've done a few searches and found some people who have used the large marine grade coolers as sumps.

Those ones are designed for use on boats to hold bait,or fish, or crab etc. They are much larger and is what I intend to switch over to if the little one work out. Cheapest I have found them is about $80 for a marine grade and $50 for a regular one of similar size. They go up to 200 qts.

 

I noticed one of these large coolers at a BBQ I went to for my wifes work yesterday, it actually had built in removable dividers in it. First thing I thought was " easy way to baffle my sump" :)

Edited by AquaticEngineer

Share this post


Link to post

Here's the cooler I'm using, its an Igloo 52 qt. The drain plug came out with a twist of the nut. The area where the drain is is hard flat plastic with no insulation, it will be real easy to drill larger and add a drainage bulkhead. It also has the notches in the interior sides to slide dividers into, should be easy to put some baffles in and silicone them in place. Not bad for $13 :D Still gotta get bulkheads though.

 

39755_406646876055_508601055_4971714_2629853_n.jpg

 

37890_406646976055_508601055_4971715_5019353_n.jpg

 

39490_406647061055_508601055_4971717_6907801_n.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

Are you considering using a bulkhead fitting and running an input or output line through the hole where the factory drain used to be? Or are you just going to glue a patch over the hole? I think a regular tank bulkhead will work fine, but remember that the bulkhead will be clamping down on rigid insulation, which will crush and deform if you put too much force on it, so be careful if you attach rigid PVC pipes to those bulkheads. Moderate lateral force on the pipe could crush the foam under one side of the bulkhead seal and cause a leak.

 

I think the screw on the inside that holds the strap to keep the lid open is stainless steel, which will rust in salt water. Maybe you can find a nylon or even titanium version of it, or find some other way to keep the lid from opening too far.

 

According to the interwebs, that cooler is 14.3" tall, including the thick insulated lid and bottom. That means that the interior height is about 12". That's 2.5" shorter than a standard 5 gallon bucket, which is what all the RDSB's I've ever read about are built with. If the 5 gal bucket versions fill with sand as high as they can (about 11"?) then your RDSB will probably be 8.5" deep. Will that make any difference? Who know? For all I know the anaerobic bacteria live between 5" and 6" deep, and the sand below that is dead, but if the sweet spot is 9" to 11" deep, then your RDSB might have reduced effectiveness. I know that an in-tank RDSB is recommended to be 4-6 inches deep, which suggests that 8.5" deep is plenty. On the other hand, a RDSB in a 5 gal bucket only has a fraction of the surface area of a 100 gallon display tank, but by all accounts reduces nitrates much better than an in-tank DSB, which suggests that a lot of nitrate reduction is happening between 5 and 11 inches deep. I don't know what to think, so even if I have to wait a year for it to mature, I'm excited to hear about how yours works out.

Share this post


Link to post

I am going to use the stock hole on the cooler for the drainage for sure. It is actually the one spot that doesn't have the insulation between the inside and outside. It is a solid plastic wall, I'll just have to make the hole a tad bit bigger to fit the bulkhead. Probably going to go with 1" bulkhead for the drain and use 2 half inch bulkheads for the inlets. The inlet bulkheads will be going through the sides where the insulation is, they will be plumbed with vinyl tubing.

 

All the metal that is on it is coming off before water goes in, which isn't much just the lid screw you mentioned and the ones on the outside handles.

Edited by AquaticEngineer

Share this post


Link to post
I am going to use the stock hole on the cooler for the drainage for sure. It is actually the one spot that doesn't have the insulation between the inside and outside. It is a solid plastic wall...The inlet bulkheads will be going through the sides where the insulation is, they will be plumbed with vinyl tubing.

The manufacturer didn't put foam where their drain bulkhead clamps down, which validates my worry about putting a bulkhead through the insulated wall. Even so, you're going to use flexible hose to lower the chance of damaging the foam around your bulkheads, and you are aware of the danger so I'm sure you'll baby those connections too. As long as you don't over tighten them, I'll bet it'll be fine. I think the rubber gasket used on most bulkheads is made of a stiff rubber. If you can find a more elastic gasket, you could get a better seal with less pressure on the foam.

 

I'm learning a lot from this thread. Thanks for posting your progress.

Share this post


Link to post
The manufacturer didn't put foam where their drain bulkhead clamps down, which validates my worry about putting a bulkhead through the insulated wall. Even so, you're going to use flexible hose to lower the chance of damaging the foam around your bulkheads, and you are aware of the danger so I'm sure you'll baby those connections too. As long as you don't over tighten them, I'll bet it'll be fine. I think the rubber gasket used on most bulkheads is made of a stiff rubber. If you can find a more elastic gasket, you could get a better seal with less pressure on the foam.

 

I'm learning a lot from this thread. Thanks for posting your progress.

 

Not much progress yet on the sump, gonna pickup bulkheads/fittings/tubing tomorrow. Possibly a larger cooler too. If all goes well tomorrow after work with the acquisition of plumbing pieces then there should be some pics up by Wednesday night :D

Share this post


Link to post

Hooray for hand me downs :) I met up with Jamie yesterday and he hook me up with the remaining inhabitants of his temperate tank. Got some nice colonies of strawberry anemones, some Snails, chitons, a metridium anemone, a couple beadlet anemones, and about 6-7 nice size rocks.

 

I still need to collect a suitable substrate, which may happen this weekend......we shall see what the wife allows me to do, lol.

 

Also, a local reefer who has helped me in the past with my tropical tanks is hooking me up with a larger cooler for a sump today. He also has most of the bulkheads I need to the project, so that may get done today too :)

Share this post


Link to post

Pictures of my babies in their new tank please! :) I hope everything does well for you. The strawberries don't need to eat very often, maybe a couple times a week (I feed them frozen cyclops), but the bigger nems would appreciate daily or every other day feedings of mysis. The more often you feed, though, the faster they'll grow. The trick is feeding just enough to get good growth rates, but not so much that you'll crash the tank. Steve Weast designed an awesome auto-feeder for his tank, but I'm struggling to find it. It fed his tank four times a day, and kept his inverts very happy. If you wanna invest in a minifridge, it'd be fun to try something like that.

Share this post


Link to post

I got a spare mini fridge sitting right next to the tank for that very reason :)

 

Next big investment will be some Vortechs so I can kill me main pump, feed, and still have circulation :)

Share this post


Link to post

well I totally f'd up the first hole I drilled on the larger cooler and cracked the inside plastic, but on the plus side, the second cooler I did came out pretty sweet :)

 

Here's the sump so far, gotta get some more threaded barb fittings and the tubing. Then I can water test it and make sure its all sealed up right before I hook it up. I need to add the baffles still or a stand pipe on the return.

39938_410129711055_508601055_5070361_1450310_n.jpg

39049_410129871055_508601055_5070373_5863920_n.jpg

40041_410129571055_508601055_5070355_6244173_n.jpg

36826_410129371055_508601055_5070347_2705895_n.jpg

38708_410122056055_508601055_5069892_5381386_n.jpg

39477_410122221055_508601055_5069902_5184831_n.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

I've come to the conclusion that I have been worrying to much about trying to link my two tanks together and that I should just concentrate on getting the large one up and running stable. Once the big tank is pretty much complete I'll start working again on the smaller cube tank and the sump project.

 

I've been talking to my buddy Ken about using ozone on the second tank the way that Jon Olav did on his macro tank to help with the problem algae. Also figuring out the lighting for the second tank is still up in the air.

Edited by AquaticEngineer

Share this post


Link to post

Still following and enjoying your experiments with this. :)

Share this post


Link to post

If anyone is interested in a tank like this, there is one for sale in Vancouver, WA. on craigslist for $800

Share this post


Link to post

Tank is doing well, no losses yet. Still needing to get the ozonator and hook it to the skimmer and figure out a timed doser for feeding before I start fully stocking it.

 

Need to tinker around with the smaller tank soon and get it up and running with the sump. Just need more time and money,lol.

 

I'm hoping to make it to the coast over the holiday weekend and gather more rock for the substrate.

Share this post


Link to post

Quick photo update, crappy phone pics but I thought I would take a few to see how my test setup of LEDs looks. Not bad for a $3 double stick waterproof led setup from ebay :D I'm sure it'll look much better when I have 6 of these linked up on the tank instead of one.

60256_423654446055_508601055_5400244_7578678_n.jpg

60145_423657026055_508601055_5400292_3153815_n.jpg

58775_423652346055_508601055_5400192_6303569_n.jpg

60375_423654171055_508601055_5400235_1714238_n.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

Tides were too high for us to collect anything cool, but I did manage to get a cooler full of quarter size and bigger rock for my substrate. Its looking much better now that the tank bottom is covered. 8)

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recommended Discussions

  • Sign Up or Sign In to hide this.

×