Final Tank Review-Improvements Appreciated

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by Illithid, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. Illithid

    Illithid Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    I would like to have everyone's help in the final tank review. I have been staring at this thing for so long...

    I have cut everything and am ready to cement all the PVC fittings, but need to be sure I haven't overlooked anything. I would hate to find a problem when it is full of water that would have been simple to fix at this stage.

    Any and all improvements/comments/critiques are appreciated. (But some may not be used.) :razz:

    (Click images to view larger)
    This is the overview and overall look of the tank. The doors are magnetically attached at the four corners with the little push in/pop out things like on your glass stereo doors-that is them at the left side. I will be using plastic strapping material (2 bands-stuff that you would use for skids) around the tubs to keep them from popping the doors off to stop the bend out when filled with water.


    This is the overflow with the black cover removed. The pipes are all 1 1/2 inches with 2 durso standpipes and 2 returns. The funky "tusks" on both sides are what I am using for my return diffusers. They will be cut with slits on 1/2 of the pipe from top to bottom. These thin slits will be an 1/8 of an inch wide to allow circulation from the top to the bottom of the tank, while not letting any cephs through. The rocket scientists who made my tank didn't leave enough room for a 1 1/2 inch pipe to fit between the top and the overflow so this flex pipe will bend to fit between and spread the output.


    This is where it gets complicated.
    A. I modified the first version by adding a second 2" pipe feed from the wet/dry. The Wet/dry is on the right of "A" and the flow goes from right to left. The second tub (center) is for additional safety of overflow and for mixing seawater for water changes. There is a cap on the inside of tub 2 to mix salt and let sit for a couple days and open to release. I then use a python no spill to add and subtract water from the system.

    These tubs are 30 gallons each. So I only have a 90 gallon sump total for 240 gallons. :sad:

    B. This shows the ball valves that control the water that comes in from the dursos and drops to the drip tray that is over the bio ball tower. I have over 30 gallons of bio balls-20 in the air for ammonia removal and 10+ in the bottom (not there in the photo) for nitrifying (notice the higher output in (A) for the 1st tank.)

    C. the return that has the 2" pipe with a split and ball valve is like in the "sump" article that has been posted recently. The return to the tank is split to (2) 1 1/2 pipes and up to the bulkheads.

    D. shows the return from the third tank to the pump. I don't like that there is a 90 deg. and two 45 deg. in the 2" pipe, but I couldn't figure out any way around it. I have a union on the pump. It will run 35 gpm at this head, but with the angles, splits, etc. it should move down some. The "tusk" returns hopefully will displace out that much water over a wider space so I don't have a venturi going in the tank itself. The skimmer will go in the last tub with the pump return.

    I may have a micro bubble problem since I have no baffles. I am thinking of using a smaller tub that I could put inside the last tub and the skimmer nested in the smaller tub. Water flows through the skimmer and will overflow out of the smaller tub into the larger tub, making a baffle.

    Thanks everyone!!!!
     

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  2. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Instead of plastic straps, you could use rachet tie downs like this. I used these on my plexiglass lobster tank when it sprang a huge leak in a seam once and I didn't have the ability to tear down the tank and reglue the seams.
    http://www.agmcontainer.com/tiedowns/index.htm?source=google&campaign=tie_downs&adgroup=straps_1

    Also (this was a mistake I made!!!) make sure you have a ball valve right before the return pump and right after the pump, in case you ever need to remove it...

    Otherwise it looks good!
     
  3. Illithid

    Illithid Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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  4. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    I think I am confused... is there a place that you can shut off the flow of water to the sump (or from the sump) and remove the pump without causing a flood? I had that kind of flood and it creates a rather big puddle...
     
  5. Illithid

    Illithid Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    All the tubs are connected with bulkheads that have threaded connectors at both ends. I am thinking that I can have threaded caps ready to be put anywhere I need to stop flow. I didnt have room for a ball valve so all the water between the cap and the pump would come out.

    Unless I capped the beginning of the third tub and used my python no-spill to suck out all the water and then capped it before the pump. But I dont know if 2 tubs will hold the gravity drain amount. I haven't gotten a water level in the tubs figured out yet. The siphon breaks were going to be in the tusk outputs as little holes at the top of the flex hose.

    I can also stop the in-flow of water by the two ball valves at the drip tray.


    These are the questions I was looking for - :grin:
     

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  6. TidePool Geek

    TidePool Geek O. vulgaris Registered

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    Hi Illithid,

    I'm unclear about how you're going to use this strapping material so please forgive me if these comments don't apply:

    1. Wrapping horizontally - This will only work if you also have some sort of stiffener running along the surface that you are concerned about. Without a stiffener (a length of 1x4 or 1x6 lumber would work) the strap will just bend with the tub.

    2. Wrapping vertically - Straps will help prevent bowing but keep in mind that the strapping material you describe is intended to be used once and discarded. If you intend to wrap your straps around the tubs only you'll be better off to use the straps that Cuttlegirl suggested. If you're going to wrap the straps around the stand as well as the tubs, then it doesn't matter as much but the reusable straps will still be easier to work with.

    Tensionably yours,

    Alex
     
  7. Illithid

    Illithid Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    I was thinking that these would be cheaper and would stay in place better. I have had the ratchets on the other ones slip when moving stuff. If there isn't tension on the line they can release. The one-use ones are attached so that they don't need tension and will stay in place by themselves. The center tub will be filled and unfilled with water for water changes.

    The poly strapping also has no stretch like the nylon braided ones. I have tested the tubs and it doesnt take much to hold them together and the poly ones can hold 400 pounds.

    I was going to wrap them (2 bands) vertically over each tub by itself, and move the metal clasp to the bottom under the lip of the tub.
     
  8. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    It looks pretty good to me--you've obviously put a lot of thought into this system! You'll certainly have some problems somewhere, but that's just the nature of this kind of plumbing.

    My biggest concern would be noise and microbubbles.

    Dan
     
  9. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Well, that will work in an emergency I guess. Good Luck with that... What do you have on the floor under the tank?

    Are you using the straps to prevent the plastic tubs from breaking? I understand now how you are using them, but I am not sure that you need them, but I guess you will figure that out once you have water in the system...
     
  10. Illithid

    Illithid Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    I have removable 1x6 plywood planks making a false bottom. Under these I have about 50 bath towels to soak up anything that could leak. The space under the floor is also siliconed to hold water if it needed to (4 feet x 4 feet x 4 inches)
    I filled the tanks outside to see how they bowed out. The tanks JUST fit under the stand and I don't have the extra room to let them bow or they will pop out the magnetically held doors. I don't think they will break, they aren't holding that much water.
     
  11. Illithid

    Illithid Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Well I plumbed it this weekend-wow did that suck...

    I just finished this minute and am too scared to fill it with water in case something is leaking. I'll let you know Monday.

    Wish me luck!
     
  12. DHyslop

    DHyslop Architeuthis Supporter

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    Good luck! I always like to wait a day or so to let all the pvc cement dry, anyhow.

    Dan
     

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