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Think this'll work?

ClintonJ

Cuttlefish
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Dec 11, 2008
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#1
So I quick google sketch-up'd this setup. Any constructive criticism is appreciated.

All this stuff is pretty much to scale. That's a standard 50 gallon tank dimension. The strip across the top of the divider is an acrylic piano hinge that I've got laying around.

The acrylic nubs sticking from the walls in the first chamber are to hold egg crate with carbon, filter sponges and any other chemical/mechanical filtration I want. The water falls from the overflow slits down through these and under the wall to the right.

The skimmer is a Berlin Classic rated at a 250 gallon tank that I have in my garage. The pump to run it is a Rio 2500 which pushes about 750 gph through the skimmer and directly back into the tank. The top of the tank has a cut out just big enough for the skimmer cup to slide through.
 

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ClintonJ

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#2
The lid will be held down with some acrylic locks that I have access to. Four on the octo side and two on the filter side in case the octo gets into the skimmer section.

I may not have shown the best angles so if you have questions about it just ask.

The last pic is the octo's view of the filtration from inside the tank.

Enjoy! :grin:
 

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cephalopodcast

O. bimaculoides
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#3
Is the discharge from the protein skimmer going right back into the tank? You will probably end up with a lot of very fine bubbles clouding the tank. I 'd find some way of having the discharge sent over a block of foam or live rock before entering the main tank. You will also get a lot of build up on the underside of your lid where the discharge enters the tank and all the bubbles rise and burst. Wiggling the skimmer cup on and off for servicing will also be a challenge without removing the entire lid.
 

ClintonJ

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#4
Good call on the return idea. I could just dump the water back into the overflow side and have another pump doing the returning.

The collection cup on the skimmer just twists a quarter turn and lifts the cup and middle acrylic tube out pretty easily. So that shouldn't be a problem. It's when I have the skimmer in the bottom of a stand that things get ugly and I have to separate it from the inner tube.
 

DWhatley

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#5
Depending on the width and length of your tank, I would consider hinging the lid front to back rather than left to right. That will be a big piece of acrylic to deal with every day. The tank that we have set up some what similarly, is only 12" wide and splitting it 2/3 and 1/3 has been exceptional for maintenance. Additionally, I don't think you will be able to get to your sump with the design in the picture as the right side will not flip up around the skimmer if I am interpreting the picture correctly.

You will also need some support for the acrylic. We used 1/2" acrylic bar (3/4 - 1" would be even better) recessed to lid thickness all the way around the tank as a support for the cover. This tank has a center bar and I would suggest adding one as the acrylic tends to warp with the temperature differences between the water and air sides. The hasps and the center bar will minimize this as well as making an octoproof seal without having to be exact with the lid. (note that the lid now has air holes drilled through out for heat escape as in your design).

If you have not decided what to use to attach the hasps, we found that the two sided automotive trim tape is excellent for this purpose.
 

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ClintonJ

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#6
I was just going to remove the cup when I wanted to get to that side. Maybe I could do away with the piano hinge altogether and just have the sump side lock down and lift out and split the tank side long ways like you have it. I'd put a support where the two meet to cut down on the gap between the two.

The center support in the octo side is also a good idea. I'd probably make it out of glass. Maybe 2" thick...

I was gonna use JB Weld to adhere the hasps, but I'll give the tape a shot.

I knew posting this here was a good idea. I'm making changes to my design every time you guys make suggestions!
 

marineboy

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Dec 30, 2005
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#7
you might want to make the first chamber of the filtration a wet/dry filter to optimize the filtration. it would be really easy too with the acrylic nubs in their.
 

DWhatley

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#8
The acrylic glue is great stuff and we have used it a lot (all but one of our tanks are acrylic) but if you break a hasp, the tape allows replacement (deciding to move it is also easier with the tape). I have had the hasps on this way for about a year and am sold on it for attaching small things (the upper and lower black acrylic decorative strips you see on the aquarium are also fastened with the tape). DO use the weldon for the hinge (although, the tape by itself might work, hmmm, might have to try that one day). The automotive tape comes in two widths and I find the wider one the easiest to use.

I would use the hinge long ways (vs not having a hinge). Being able to just flip up the top for feeding and cleaning (and playing) is ideal and you don't have to put the darned thing somewhere. By splitting it long ways, it is not at all cumbersome. You will want a handle of some sort. Eventually we moved the night light (that neatly :wink: duct taped bar you see - edit, that you don't see, we duct taped it after the photos were taken :oops:) to the front and strapped it on with plastic ties making both a handle and a night light that stayed in place but a plastic tie through two of your air holes works nicely and if you have a heat gun, a scrap of acrylic can be bent and glued on as well (I have tanks with all three versions :twisted:)
 

ClintonJ

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#9
Marineboy, I thought about throwing some bio balls in there on one of the platforms but I plan on having plenty of live rock in the tank. Also, with all the waste the little guy is supposed to produce I figure an extra carbon bag would benefit the setup a little more than a few square feet of surface area for bacteria. I'll kick it around though. :grin:

I've been wanting to get more fluent in building things out of acrylic for awhile. This will help me to try some things I haven't tried before. I'll definitely use the hinge on the long part. I wondered what the bar was on your lid. It looked like a heater and I thought you knew something special about ceph care that I hadn't read about yet :wink: Is that a harbor freight LED bar?
 

ClintonJ

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Dec 11, 2008
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#10
Updated tank design:

It's a three chambers sump side now with the return pump separate from the skimmer pump. I may add a sponge above the return pump too, so the waterfall is softened, reducing bubbles.

Piano hinge is moved to lengthwise and the acrylic pieces it hinges is separate from the acrylic piece above the sump.

Two inch glass supports are added in the middle of the hinged pieces and under where the sump acrylic and the hinged acrylic meet.

Plus, I just got offered a 60 gallon with metal stand for free!! This project may get started sooner than I thought!! :grin:

Aculeatus would be fine in something like this correct? Other suggestions for octopus type or on the design?
 

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DWhatley

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#11
MUCH better for convenience! You will likely find that you may need to position your hasps opposite of the drawing in order to make them work unless your top is perfectly level with the outer rim. They are made for very flush straight surfaces but can be encouraged to work at an angle and not so flush counter surface with a little experimentation. You will want to position them so that they are very tight and give the slightest click when fully closed (but they won't at 90 deg). Finding proper sized acrylic rods was a pain and I bought two sizes but the bamboo skewers actually fit better. Ultimately, I took a heat gun and bent a few length into a U shape with a curled loop at one end for a piece of string that I attached to the hasp so they stopped getting lost. If you want to play with acrylic, you will enjoy having an inexpensive heat gun (unless you go with a map gas tourch). You will find that the cut edges sand very well with fine sand paper and I highly recommend doing this on all edges or you will find new ways to cut yourself and potentially anything that crawls on the rough surface.

The light bar is an almost common, LED moon light and nothing DIY or experimental :wink:. The only octo feature of the light is that you can push a button to have it do some entertaining light shows, one of which happens to be all red lights that stay on. Unfortunately, we are prone to quick power outages and the thing rests to white light. It took us awhile to realize this and worried when Octane would start pacing at night when he would normally be fast asleep. It turned out the the light was positioned so that it would shine the white light into his den (the red did not bother him). It caused him enough grief that we turned it off. After he died, we moved it to the front and duct taped the part not illuminating the tank. OhToo seemed OK with it and I was careful to be sure that the red light was still activated.

I vote for the carbon, not a fan of bioballs or other non-live rock (or anything without a cleaning crew) biologic media. After struggling with nitrates for a couple of years, I also vote a thin layer of argonite for bottom substrate.

Aculeatus or hummelincki (link is to Octane's thread, OhToo is still pretty camera shy) are your best bet for what is currently available. AM feels the briareus needs something larger and after watching Kalypso's antics and seeing JoeFish's Conanny, I have not gone there yet because of tank size.
 

cephalopodcast

O. bimaculoides
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Dec 13, 2005
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#13
Something else that I have not seen much discussion about is noise in the aquarium. Ever press your ear up to a tank? It is usually pretty raucous. I've always wondered how this affects fish. Not sure if it something that would bother cephalopods. But having all your pumps adjoining to the display tank will make it noisier for the animal than if it was in a sump.
 

ClintonJ

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#14
That's a good point. Do you think that putting a piece of sponge or something under the pumps would quiet them down? Or do you think that since the pumps are submerged that the vibration of the pump itself will still carry?

D, when you said "and no cleaning crew" in your last post did you mean that you don't like cleaning crews, or that you don't like "no cleaning crew"?
 

DWhatley

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#15
ClintonJ;130049 said:
D, when you said "and no cleaning crew" in your last post did you mean that you don't like cleaning crews, or that you don't like "no cleaning crew"?
Funny you should ask, two minutes ago I realized that what I had written sounded opposite of what I meant and I corrected the thought. What I intended to say is that I do not keep any kind of medium aside from charcoal (that is rinsed weekly and replaced often) if I cannot keep a live cleaning crew with it. I fought nitrates too long before I finally read enough to start taking things OUT of my tanks and especially my sumps.
 

ClintonJ

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#16
Okay. That sounds reasonable. All that I have in my 90 gallon reef sump is a big bag or activated carbon that I change once a month and a filter pad called poly filter that helps remove many harmful metals, including copper and aluminium, as these are just as harmful to many corals as they are to octopuses. I'm in the process of adding a large filter bag.

I may hang a small filter bag in the bottom filter shelf to capture particulate matter in the octopus tank. Carbon only acts as a partially effective mechanical filter from my experience.

I need to get a good clean up crew list. I'm sure I can add those before the octopus comes as they should help to mature the tank once it's cycled. I'm sure there's a thread on here somewhere about what critters are helpful and good tank mates with octopodes.
 

DWhatley

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#17
Actually, I put my charcoal IN my filter bags for all tanks with a sump. I use the poly-filter pad in the Nano (in addition to carbon) but have gone with the carbon/socks in all sumped tanks.
 

DWhatley

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#19
I keep spare socks and carbon bags and swap them weekly. The socks get cloroxed and the charcoal gets a good rinse and replaced once every couple of weeks.
 

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