• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

810l (210g) teak root tank

leonroy

Member
Joined
23 Aug 2009
Messages
128
Location
London, UK
I've been keeping fish for years, and whilst I've only dabbled in planted tanks I've decided to bite the bullet and go all in with a large project. I'm looking to get a 180x60x70cm (72"x24"x30") tank (LxDxH), which due to the size will be best made in acrylic I reckon.

The project time scale is 4-6 months, and any advice, criticism (constructive of course :) and encouragement is appreciated.

I really dislike the sight of pipework and heaters going into the tank, and whilst those pretty, glass ADA lily pipes do look very nice it seems that the best solution for any aquarium is an overflow/weir setup going to a sump?

I looked at the price of aquarium cabinets, and for the size of tank I'm looking at, an MDF cabinet will cost upwards of £500 so I figured a good quality piece of furniture could be purchased for that much and would also be more wife friendly.

A search for a good platform has been a quest in itself, and after seeing this:
fd5u6.jpg


I thought I'd found a good candidate. But alas the internal members were most certainly not going to support 810kg (1785lbs) of weight!

So my search continued and I stumbled (very nearly!) into this, a teak root table. And the manufacturer was willing to sell the roots separately:
wdkPf.jpg


In keeping with a nature aquarium I figured what better support than a tree root and considering its weight and heft, I figured that a few of these might be able to support so much weight. Of course, when dealing with aquarium support 'might' is not acceptable in any shape or form so I'll likely have to brace the supports with a discreet and sturdy metal framework. This will have to be custom made.

For light fittings, I have searched far and wide and boy is there a lot of ugly (and overpriced) stuff out there. One would think that a good quality MH or T5 light fitting wouldn't be *that* much more expensive than a quality bathroom or shop light, but it really feels like the manufacturers of aquarium lighting are price gouging just a teensy bit…*rant over*

My candidates are:

1. Giesemann Infiniti
2. ADA Grand Solar
3. ATI Powermodule
4. LED lighting

It appears that the best lighting available at the moment is a combination T5/MH lamp which provides both light variation (by switching on the MH and T5 circuits using timers) and intensity. In addition using MH seems to be the only way to get that 'shimmer' effect which you see with marine setups.

There is however a new kid on the block; LED lighting but the technology is changing so fast and there are so many new models that I can't figure out if it's even comparable to MH. Is it good enough to light a 30" deep planted tank? Can I use just LED lighting?

For filtration I have a Fluval FX5 and Eheim 2078 on my existing tank, but since I'll be moving to a sump I can ditch these I hope?

UV will be provided by a Vecton 600 and Aqua Medic Helix Max 55W, which in series I hope should be good enough for the tank?

As for the livestock I'd ideally like Altum angels in this new tank (hence the extra depth - otherwise I'd have gone for a 24" tank). So I guess the current in the tank can't be too strong?

Once again, any tips and advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

foxfish

Member
Joined
11 Oct 2009
Messages
5,078
Location
Guernsey
I would be interested in how much you can find a acrylic tank for - generally in the UK they are pretty expensive.
You don't mention filtration or Co2?
You might want to consider a sump & overflow arrangement as this might be more economical & practical compared to buying two large externals?
Whatever filtration you choose you will most likely need loads of room under the tank.
MH lights are very bright, very hot & expensive to run but you are right about the LEDs - it might still be a little early in there development to invest the very high initial cost to by them?
There are several big tanks featured on the forum (most with sumps) that might inspire & help you..
 

thingymajig

Seedling
Joined
27 Mar 2009
Messages
73
Location
Manchester Trafford
Hi leonroy, ive had a similar size tank which was 72x30x30 which was big.obviously a big
tank can give you a greater footprint to scape.but has its pitfalls from my experience,i'll
name few.

1.is it low/high tech..can you get the co2 down to the substrate adequately?
if not will lead to problems straight away...
2.to clean the bottom of the tank or to replant anything uprooted is your arm
long enough? other wise shoulder and face will be in there :D
3.weekly water change if your high tech will be quite a mission 500ltrs roughly :crazy:
will you have time once a week?if so all good :clap:
4.10x turner over will be a mission.[weir and sump doesnt do it for me.to much co2 loss]
unless you have some a way of sealing the sump with ease of maintanance then go
for it....


these were just a few of my probs with a deep tank like that..........

cheers........
 

foxfish

Member
Joined
11 Oct 2009
Messages
5,078
Location
Guernsey
This is a really great thread - every thing you need to know......viewtopic.php?f=35&t=10171&hilit=sump
Overflows can definitely cause C02 loss but it is not really the sump that is a problem!
Some folk even use trickle towers above the sump, that you would definitely have to seal up somehow but, I dont use a tower preferring to use submerged filter media within the sump.
 

sanj

Member
Joined
10 Apr 2008
Messages
1,531
Location
Coventry, UK
My 96x36x28h is in acrylic. I personally found this better than the glass, but i m not sure what the economics are at your tank size. I was also looking at the other advantages of higher clarity, strength, weight, thermal properties...

Circulation wise, I dont think ive had a major problem and is met by external filtration and powerheads. I went with Ecotech MP40s, granted they are on the expensive side, but there are cheaper options.

Water changing I find a doddle, but it depends on how fussy your occupants are. Hose pipe,tap and pond dechlorinator essentially. Thats what i have been doing for a few years now.

Internal access can be an issue, but if you can get a foot bench/steps that is high enough it can make things a lot easier.
 

leonroy

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Aug 2009
Messages
128
Location
London, UK
foxfish said:
I would be interested in how much you can find a acrylic tank for - generally in the UK they are pretty expensive.
You don't mention filtration or Co2?
You might want to consider a sump & overflow arrangement as this might be more economical & practical compared to buying two large externals?
Whatever filtration you choose you will most likely need loads of room under the tank.
MH lights are very bright, very hot & expensive to run but you are right about the LEDs - it might still be a little early in there development to invest the very high initial cost to by them?
There are several big tanks featured on the forum (most with sumps) that might inspire & help you..

I'm looking at quotes of £1600 approx for the tank... :wideyed: But it is what it is...and a glass tank is certainly no cheaper and very much heavier (and more fragile) than acrylic.

Regarding filtration I've already (over the years) picked up a Fluval FX5 and Eheim 2078. The reason I'm considering a sump is to keep the noise and clutter of pumps and heaters away from the aqua scape - I'll be plumbing the sump in the cellar below so it'll also keep the mess of filter cleaning and water changes away from the wife!

And TBH I find water changes enough of a PITA with a 60g tank that I shudder to imagine how many buckets I'll need to cart back and forth to do the requisite 25% water change (it'll be 200 odd liters a week!). A sump seems the first step in implementing an auto-water change system.

Thanks for the tip, I've been poring over the threads in this forum! :thumbup:
 

leonroy

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Aug 2009
Messages
128
Location
London, UK
foxfish said:
This is a really great thread - every thing you need to know......viewtopic.php?f=35&t=10171&hilit=sump
Overflows can definitely cause C02 loss but it is not really the sump that is a problem!
Some folk even use trickle towers above the sump, that you would definitely have to seal up somehow but, I dont use a tower preferring to use submerged filter media within the sump.

Thanks for the links foxfish, been following your log tank as well, very original!

A trickle tower is an interesting idea, seen anyone using it on this forum? Also can I get a pic of your sump? :D
 

foxfish

Member
Joined
11 Oct 2009
Messages
5,078
Location
Guernsey
I love acrylic tanks too! They are so easy to drill holes in ;)
The issue with installing a sump in the cellar will come from a couple of angles - very powerful pump required to return the water & loss of gas on its way back to the sump.
You need to consider the basic requirements to operate a big planted tank.
(1) I am assuming you are going high tech in which case you will need a good supply of C02. (10kg cylinder maybe?)
(2) An efficient way of getting all that gas distributed around your tank. (reactor or needle wheel pump?)

Have you thought about those points?
 

leonroy

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Aug 2009
Messages
128
Location
London, UK
sanj said:
My 96x36x28h is in acrylic. I personally found this better than the glass, but i m not sure what the economics are at your tank size. I was also looking at the other advantages of higher clarity, strength, weight, thermal properties...

Circulation wise, I dont think ive had a major problem and is met by external filtration and powerheads. I went with Ecotech MP40s, granted they are on the expensive side, but there are cheaper options.

Water changing I find a doddle, but it depends on how fussy your occupants are. Hose pipe,tap and pond dechlorinator essentially. Thats what i have been doing for a few years now.

Internal access can be an issue, but if you can get a foot bench/steps that is high enough it can make things a lot easier.

Honored to have you grace my thread sanj, your tank is absolutely epic, a real inspiration.

I did a quick calculation of a tank of this size in glass and it came to about 180kg in weight without any water! Come winter too I think I'll be throwing money at it just to heat the thing. Do you find acrylic much better at retaining heat?

Glad you mentioned the Ecotech MP40, I was thinking of a pair of those - one at each end of the tank to generate the required 10x flow needed. Have you seen Ecotech's new light fitting, the Radion?
http://ecotechmarine.com/products/radion/

Also do you have an experience with aquarium controllers? I was thinking of something to monitor ph, control the pumps and to also perform auto-water changes (if it can cook and clean that would be a plus! ;)
 

foxfish

Member
Joined
11 Oct 2009
Messages
5,078
Location
Guernsey
leonroy said:
foxfish said:
This is a really great thread - every thing you need to know......viewtopic.php?f=35&t=10171&hilit=sump
Overflows can definitely cause C02 loss but it is not really the sump that is a problem!
Some folk even use trickle towers above the sump, that you would definitely have to seal up somehow but, I dont use a tower preferring to use submerged filter media within the sump.

Thanks for the links foxfish, been following your log tank as well, very original!

A trickle tower is an interesting idea, seen anyone using it on this forum? Also can I get a pic of your sump? :D
Sure our resident Plantbrain uses trickle towers viewtopic.php?f=35&t=17797
 

leonroy

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Aug 2009
Messages
128
Location
London, UK
foxfish said:
I love acrylic tanks too! They are so easy to drill holes in ;)
The issue with installing a sump in the cellar will come from a couple of angles - very powerful pump required to return the water & loss of gas on its way back to the sump.
You need to consider the basic requirements to operate a big planted tank.
(1) I am assuming you are going high tech in which case you will need a good supply of C02. (10kg cylinder maybe?)
(2) An efficient way of getting all that gas distributed around your tank. (reactor or needle wheel pump?)

Have you thought about those points?

Heheh, considering how nerve wracking drilling glass is I'd call that a definite plus!

I have a fair pump collection (used to be into watercooling computers):
I picked up the MD-70RZ on the far right for £80 on ebay... :thumbup:
vIH5Fl.jpg


I am indeed going hi-tech, but am worried that the sump will cause my CO2 consumption to be far higher than if I used canister filters. I've heard the terms needle wheels, CO2 reactors and Mazzei bandied about, guess I'll need to research some more.

My main problem at the moment is deciding where to drill the tank and where to place the inlet/outlet and any potential weir or overflow.
 

foxfish

Member
Joined
11 Oct 2009
Messages
5,078
Location
Guernsey
I like to have two overflows on a big tank, I would normally drill a 46mm hole 170mm down rather than use holes in the bottom of the tank.
If you can install a sump at chest level in your cellar then it would make maintenance very easy.
If it were me, I would look into using an 100mm acrylic tube after the return needle wheel pump to completely dissolve the micro bubbles before retuning the flow to the display tank.
Depending on your sourcing but, C02 is cheap, as long as you have an big enough cylinder I would not worry to much about how much gas you use!
An open top trickle tower would be just about the most effective way to "de gas" your tank but a covered sump filled with bio balls is not going to have much effect on gas loss.
Having said all that, I do think you will need at least a pub sized C02 cylinder if you don't want to be changing it every month. i guess it doesn't matter how big the cylinder is if it is out of site anyway...
 

leonroy

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Aug 2009
Messages
128
Location
London, UK
Just pulled the trigger on two ADA Grand Solar I lights for the tank. ETA is late November, still awaiting the teak roots. At the moment looks like the tank is going to be approximately 72"x30"x30" at the upper end. Two GSI lights should cover it I hope!
 

Piece-of-fish

Member
Joined
2 Jun 2009
Messages
1,382
Location
East London
It will be enough light for sure. The bigger the tank the less wpg you need.
Regarding gas I use londonbeergases and can't recommend them enough. I use 6.5kg bottles which are 24£ to refill with usually next day free delivery to your door. You pay 60£ for the bottle initially. They also have 3.5 and 32kg bottles. First will cost you the same money and second would roughly be 1.5 times more expensive. I think 6.5 would be the best for you. They are 85cm high though.
Great project, would like to participate setting it up :clap: when you arrive to planting stage.
 

leonroy

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Aug 2009
Messages
128
Location
London, UK
Thanks for the recommendation, I'll checkout londonbeergases. Might get one canister for the nano since the thought of pouring money into ADA CO2 cartridges is a bit too much to stomach. Can you recommend a good CO2 regulator?

Yeah! Happy for the help (I'm sure I'll need it!) Would love to see your tank in person too, it's one of the best I've seen here. A LFKC meet scheduled in the near future?
 

leonroy

Member
Thread starter
Joined
23 Aug 2009
Messages
128
Location
London, UK
Asked someone visiting the US to bring back two ADA Grand Solar I units for me. They took the biggest suitcase they had and sent me this pic:
DCZ7B.jpg


Guess I'm gonna have to look at postage!
 
Top