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The new project...


Undertheradar

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Undertheradar

Well. First it was the 60cube (which still operates as a SPS/LPS tank at my mother's...yeah, she wont give it back now). Then I set up a 20H w/ 2x65wattPC (and eventually tossed the PC lamps in favor of a 175wattMH. Then a 10g which expanded into the 'uber-nano' it is today with 5 clams, 30+ SPS, a refugium & sump, and a 250wattMH. This tank served as a reliable way to move apartments w/o having to deal with larger tanks (thats how my 60g cube ended up at the mothers!).

 

So, then, I intended to get a bigger tank going at the new place. The elaborate setup I have for the 60 is too big for the new apartment (a 3 tier rack next to it serves as a refugium on top, plenum in the middle, and skimmer/sump below...each tank being at least 45 gallons!). So I started making a 20" cube. I got it all set up and realized I needed more space. LOL. So, here it is...

A custom AGA 30 breeder. I had it made with black silicone, and drilled for the 3/4" returns, as well as 1" overflow. AGA does not have an overflow that short, and I would rather make one of my own to use...so I had to silicone the overflow in myself...Pretty nice if I do say so myself...

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Undertheradar

For now I am not using the sump, as I am just cycling the LR...45lbs of Fiji. So a MJ900 and the skimmer are all I need. Thats why the sump returns are angled up like that (and the overflow is capped off).

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Undertheradar

Heres the full frontal...

The sump consists of an old 20H. I positioned it sideways (6" sticks out of the back) to make the most room underneath. Why? Well, I have a 7g bucket with a MJ600 and ultralife float switch rigged up as a top-off. And as soon as I get my flange in the mail, I will also have a 24" tall kalk reactor running with it. The sump itself will be pretty simple. The 20H has an acrylic baffle 8" from the back that is 14" high. The back 8" houses the float-switch, an eheim 1262, and the heater once I turn on the sump again. But for now, as I am cycling LR, why change more water than I need to? So it sits dry.

 

The front chamber will house a skimmer and be lit 24/7 to grow a floating cluster of chaeto macro. This tank will be primarily SPS and clams, so a sand-bed-fuge and caulerpas might actually work against me. So all I will use is a skimmer and some chaeto for actual sump filtration.

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Undertheradar

I have also been very busy puttin' in my new RO. A nice KENT Hi-S Maxxima Deluxe. I put on the float valve kit and flush valve already. I will add on a tap water kit as well. The TDS meter on the unit says 175 for my input and 2 for my output. Pretty good considering the final stage deionizer unit isnt even in yet. But, as you might notice, the gauge only reads 45ish PSI, lower than suggested. That means that instead of the usual 60gallons per day, I will get 30ish. Oh well, the upside is that this membrane should last me for years then! Just have to swap out the sediment, carbon, and resin chambers.

 

edit: the TDS meter is now reading 0 on the output

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Undertheradar

I bet a few of you would like to see my el-cheapo skimmer. I used one of those RIO-600 mixing pumps, and made a 4" x 1.5" box that is 20" high. I secured the inlet and outlet just like I do on my nano-injection-skimmers...by drilling the skimmer on both sides, then using the PVC elbows and caps to hold the washers on either side against the skimmer's body. This sucker makes more bubbles than I thought. No big deal, it only cost me a few $$ to make and fifteen minutes of time. I will no doubt make a bigger one when I get the chance, so less bubbles come out of the overflow. Prolly 20" high still, as the collection chamber outlet needs to be above 16" (the height of the sump), but I will prolly make the thing 5"x2" from above. This thing made so much gunk when I first got the 45lbs of Fiji in that it kept blowing the lid off. So I jammed a 1.5" thick piece inside the thing to direct the bubbles downward.

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Undertheradar

this detail shows the pump inlet above (1/2" CPVC) and the outlet below (3/4" CPVC), and how I secure the pipes and washers against the skimmer body. The pipes are not glued, so I can always remove the pipes/pump for cleaning. One change I will also make is to move the pump inlet farther up, as well as make the outlet/overflow a 1" pipe.

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Undertheradar

To make the stand look pretty, I am applying SPAR to 3/4" finish grade birch plywood that I cut to fit along the insides of the metal frame at each end. The front one is still drying downstairs. The panel in this picture will also be used to attach the bent conduit that I will use to hang the 250wattDE halide light over the tank.

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Undertheradar

So far, whuddya guys think?

 

When I was testing the sump, it was loud. I had a stockman standpipe on it and everything, but it just makes noise (The sound is not really loud, but since the tank overlooks the livingroom, it needs to be silent). I know it sounds drastic, but I am considering removing the sump all together, and swapping out the tank for a 40breeder (black silicone if I can). Then, with a piece of 1/4" black plexi (17.5" x 15-5/8" with teeth along the top edge), just sectioning off the left 6" (about 7 gallons) of the tank and using that as the sump. Sump & tank all in one. The only thing I dont like about that is that it does take a small chunk out of the bottom area (but also 4" taller)...but does mean that the tank would be silent (no waterfalls), easier to plumb (just a pump return on a SWCD, skimmer, and running the ATO to the top), and overall smaller capacity. And no bending over to get to the sump. I could prolly shoehorn another nano into the stand then since it would be all open. LOL!

 

As for the 30Breeder all drilled up and custom...well, I would box it up and save it for some other day...as it would make an awesome frag tank...but strictly for the basement where noise isnt an issue. Now I have to finish the frameless black silicone, 10 holes drilled in the 3/4" thick back, 30" cube I was making to replace the 24" one at my mothers.

 

It will be SPS, clams, frags, etc...as well as open top for top-viewing.

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DitchPlains

You spent at least 200 for a Kent Ro/DI system which is no different then the system I bought on ebay with DI for under 100, and you made a reverse venturi skimmer, rather then buy a decent skimmer? lol Tank looks great though, I love the squid, and the catapiller inlets. Do you like the full skimmer box, or would you have opted for the half skimmer box, allowing rock under it? good lux

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Undertheradar

The Kent Hi-S line boasts one of the highest removal rates of any RO membrane out there...thats why its so much...the membrane alone is over $100. I know I could opt for a cheaper model, but then I get more phosphates leaking through. I tested the output water and it is more thurough in what it removes. Mercedes might cost more than a chevy, but theres a reason why they cost more. As of today, the TDS reading on the RO is 0 on the product end. My old RO couldnt do that.

 

As for the skimmer, why buy one when I can make one...better, and for $6 in acrylic? It chugs a CPR Bak Pak...maybe even a remora. Why pay $200 for something I can make myself? Dont diss the skimmer...it has pulled out a gallon of black poop in the past week.

 

As for the overflow box...I wanted to run the bulkhead through the bottom to minimize the water's distance travelled in exposed piping to cut noise. Otherwise, I really couldnt care less. As much as a box that would let me place rock under might seem nice might be...its not like I would put a coral back there or anything. The full height box makes something I can lean the rock up against.

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theclearblue

For a minute I thought you were going to leave the tank like that, in which case I was going to congratulate you for refusing to concede to the "display tank" trend. Either way, I'm interested to see how this turns out.

 

For the skimmer, in the next version you could just install a horizontal piece of acrylic to force the skimmate down - a la Deltec MCE600, which it looks like this skimmer is roughly based on anyway. Here's a drawing of the MCE600 in case my description is kind of vague.

 

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Undertheradar

Well blue, I used such a device on a nano-sized version that ran in my 10gallon's sump. The only problem was that this area was near impossible to clean then because the piece was fixed. Good idea none the less...but I tried it and it had a drawback. FWIW, I like the domnward facing piece>> It forces the foam down across the standing liquid before able to escape the top, so it collects the foam much better. I will most likely make the next one with a lid that has a 'triangle' in it like this one so the bubbles get forced downward...yet the lid is removable.

 

What did you mean by 'you were going to congrad me' for not conforming to the display tank trend? You lost me there...

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theclearblue

Haha, I thought you were just going to leave the skimmer and heater sitting in the middle of the tank permanently before I realized that you were going to put it in the sump. More of a science project than display.

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Undertheradar

Oh, lol. Thats what you meant. Well, if having my skimmer in the sump is 'conformist' then slap a uniform on me and put me in line...I want to keep the tank as clean looking as possible.

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Undertheradar

Well...this 'cured' LR is really messy. I since I did another 100% waterchange the water has turned a yellowish tint once again. How many times am I going to have to change the water before this stuff clears up? This stuff is almost as messy as some uncured stuff I have seen! Maybe thats all I should expect from liveaquaria...

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Undertheradar

Updates, yay!

I canned the 30breeder (so if anyone wants to buy it for the $129 I payed, be my guest...otherwise I am sure I will use it as a frag tank someday). I really couldnt put up with all the noise from the overflow and sump. So, I decided to use a 40breeder and use a plexi baffle to section part of it as a sump!

 

But I wanted it to look perfect...so I contacted Brent Barr (Barr Aquatic & Zephrant over at RC) to cut up a baffle out of 1/4" cast acrylic. I wanted the teeth to look perfect! He did not dissapoint...

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DitchPlains

loving the tank so far

keep us posted

 

 

The Kent Hi-S line boasts one of the highest removal rates of any RO membrane out there...thats why its so much...the membrane alone is over $100. I know I could opt for a cheaper model, but then I get more phosphates leaking through.

 

All RO Units use the same Membrane manufactured by DOW or CETEC I believe. I doubt Kent manufacturers their own RO Membrane, but I could be wrong here. I am also pretty positive Phosphates are not removed via ro, but by DI. Make sure you have a final filter that has DI resin.

 

I never did my own LR curing keep us posted on your experience.

:D

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Undertheradar

I had it cut to fit the cross section of a 40breeder. Then, 12" of 1" teeth across the middle. When I got it, I drilled in the four holes @ 1-3/8" for 3/4" bulkheads and the litttle notch in the upper corner for the "stealth pipe".

 

This configuration allows me a little more height with a small cut into the bottom area. This might seem like a loss when compared to the 30breeder, but not really...as now I can view both long sides of the tank and the end...so my effective display area has been increased by a bunch.

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Undertheradar

Heres the end view. I love it because without a true sump...I can plumb return lines anywhere I want...so I did. I have two 3/4" returns along the bottom besides the top two returns (er, um, three returns...shhhh!).

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Undertheradar

40 breeders are really about 45gallons it turns out. The back baffle is 8" from the end, yet still takes up 10gallons...and leaves me with close to 34 gallons in the main display.

 

I decided to use the eheim 1262 again...now w/o any head pressure it should really make some action...esp when plumbed through a SCWD. The sump is a perfect fit for a heater, the plumbing, and my skimmer from before...and would you believe me if I said there will be a refugium as well (but still no sump)?!?!? You'll see. This pic is from Sunday just before I started mixing the saltwater...

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Undertheradar

heres another view with the skimmer in. So, the eheim pumps just over 900gph at 0'head. The SCWD adds a little head, but still, this SCWD is going to be spinning pretty fast. So I made the bottom left bulkhead a bypass (theres a T on the pump's outlet just before the SCWD that goes to it as well as having a bypass bleeding back into the sump if I need...or to plump in something extra like a phosban reactor, calcium reactor, or something). The SCWD alternates between the top and bottom ports on the right (close side in this photo) and the top lines on the left (far side in this shot). There are two top lines against the back wall...one is the normal 3/4"...the other is the "stealth pipe" that runs along the tank's trim up to the front corner of the tank where a couple elbows face the outlet down at what will be corals right below...to make sure even the corals at the far front get a nice blast of wave action. My cousin did this on his 40breeder...so I gotta give him credit...thanks Brent!

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Undertheradar

^^^Oh, and the blue plexi across the overflow is for two reasons. One, to keep any fish from jumping the baffle and getting into the sump. Two, to show where the 16"x6"x7" refugium will go...YES, sliding along the tank trim as a penthouse tank...fed off the main pump...and overflowing back into the display. You can also see the conduit bar attached in this shot against the wall that will hold the 250wattDE halide.

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Hey that looks veyr cool man. I like that back compartment where you put your SCWD. I would like to see that tank in action man.

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