Does this all sound reasonable? Any equipment imbalances?

Discussion in 'Hardware & DIY' started by paul.in.kendal, 19 May 2009.

  1. paul.in.kendal

    paul.in.kendal Member

    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Kendal, Cumbria
    After George’s excellent presentation at TGM at the weekend, my missus caught me feverishly doing planting and hardscape diagrams last night, and said “The sooner you get this tank the better”!

    So I think I’ve finally run out of excuses for delaying buying my very first aquarium and hardware. Here’s the suggested spec:

    Tank: 100x45x55tall (cms) Aquariums Ltd all opti-white, rimless, braceless, plus cabinet
    Lighting: Arcadia OT2 - T5 Luminaire 4 x 39W 40", 2x Grasslin timers
    Filtration/heating: 1x Eheim 2028 Professional II, 1x Eheim 2128 Professional II Thermo (both with media)
    Inlets/Outlets: Cal Aqua lily pipes x2
    Co2: Aqua Medic Pressure Regulator, Reactor 1000, bubble counter (with integrated non-return valve) and M-Ventil Standard solenoid, 2kg bottle, Cal Aqua double drop checker (just for fun, and because I’m colour blind), Grasslin Timer

    Plus nets, water-change kit, TGM scissors and tweezers, a paint brush(!) and so on.

    Fertilizing hardware: Start with TPN+, then change to auto-dosing using an Aqua Medic SP3000 dosing pump at a later stage.

    Plus an Ebac 6200 room dehumidifier!

    Does this all sound reasonable? Any equipment imbalances or alternative suggestions?
     
  2. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Looks good to me, I would consider using dry ferts from the off as it'll take a lot of TPN+ from the start and then it could cause you problems when you tailor your dry ferts moving from TPN+.

    You didn't mention any substrate?
     
  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    Sounds like you're starting on the right footing Paul! What about substrate? One thing I might say is that a de-humidifier might cause issues. I've read (but not experienced) that a de-humidifier and an open top tank can mean needing to top up more regularly, but as I say I can't confirm that this is necessarily say this is a big problem.

    Sounds like a great setup!
     
  4. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    I would not spend money for a double dropchecker, that's for sure... :wideyed:

    Cheers,
     
  5. paul.in.kendal

    paul.in.kendal Member

    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Kendal, Cumbria
    I was hoping to flatten out the steep learning curve by starting with TPN+, but I'll certainly look at dry ferts again, cheers. (Amazingly, I've not seen "Ferts" on any list of aquascaping abbreviations - you lot really do love the abbreviations, don't you?!)

    ADA Aquasoil and Powersand, I guess.

    Re. the dehumidifier, we have major condensation problems in the room already, so this is a must. If it doesn't work, I'll retrofit a condensation cover, but I'd rather not have to. Any idea where you might have read about the topping-up issue, Steve?

    Why not? Just because it's not strictly necessary? Or is it ugly, or what? I suppose £15 saved not buying that would make a dent in the total cost - NOT!! :lol:

    Seriously, any advice or comment is much appreciated. At the weekend at TGM someone suggested there might be reliability issues with the Eheim Thermo. I could get a Hydor inline, but I'm trying to keep the set-up simple. Do either of these have in-tank temperature probes? Will the two Eheims give me plenty of flow? I don't want to put a Koralia in afterwards. Can I maximse flow by reducing media, seeing as I'll be overfiltered? Sorry if any of this sounds daft - I'm a complete newbie.
     
  6. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Cobham, Surrey
    Hi Paul

    Nice to meet you on Sunday ! Your setup is virtually identical to my new one - same tank, same lights. I'll be running an eheim 2028 and a tetratec 1200 and PM lily pipes for now (cal aqua later :D )

    I'm hoping they will give me enough flow, but we'll see ! The 'hula-hoop' style media (siporax or similar) is meant to allow more flow that the 'ball' type that eheim supply ;)

    I'll use a hydor inline 300w heater, as the eheim thermos need a probe in the tank. If you go for the hydor make sure you tape the temperature dial in place as they move easily, and a couple of folks have unknowingly knocked the dial and cooked their tank.

    Hope this helps a little.

    Tony :D
     
  7. paul.in.kendal

    paul.in.kendal Member

    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Kendal, Cumbria
    No, Tony - it helps a lot! But I'm trying to avoid the "we'll see" scenario - isn't there a way I (we?) can be confident our filters give us enough flow?
     
  8. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Cobham, Surrey
    Hi Paul

    Well, the 2028 and the 2128 both have a filter circulation rating of 750lph, giving a total of 1500lph. As the general recommendation is 10x turnover, and the tank is 225l (assuming 50mm of substrate ) so you should be aiming for 2250lph.

    That said, it also depends on the amount and position of hardscape / plants, and also the amount of equipment the water is pumping through, ie the hydor or the CO2 reactor.

    Tony
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    I can't remember where I read it to be honest, but after a quick google search, it seems I might of been wrong about it! Theres a brief thread at this random US fishkeeping forum (never been there before, just what came up in google...)

    http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums/f2 ... 96813.html

    I think this has been covered by Clive here:

    viewtopic.php?f=46&t=1809&p=18857

    Bio media is always a good thing :) You could cut down on on mechanical filtration a little, as you have 2 filters perhaps.
     
  10. paul.in.kendal

    paul.in.kendal Member

    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Kendal, Cumbria
    So should I really be looking at even bigger filters? I'm guessing I'll be trying for flow-impeding jungly scapes sooner or later, and I'm sure I've read elsewhere on this Forum that the optimum flow could usefully be even greater - much greater - than 10x.

    Hi Steve,
    I'll have to see about the dehumidifier.

    Thanks for the pointer on Clive's opinion on double drop checkers. I understand Clive's warning not to try to slavishly match to a reference colour - but I'd be using the reference as a guide to the colour I'm actually reading (as someone who's colour blind), not trying to match it. I might be looking for a bit more yellow than the reference, or a bit more blue, but the reference would give me something to compare it to. But it's not a big deal really!
     
  11. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    No, as Steve indicated the reasons are more profound, although a £15 savings buys several pints at the local pub, so this is nothing to sneeze at either. :D Double dropchecker fosters a sense of false security so that when problems occur one is less likely to reassess one's CO2 technique, which can be fatal. A more brutal assessment found on this thread=> New design of drop checker

    Cheers,
     
  12. paul.in.kendal

    paul.in.kendal Member

    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Kendal, Cumbria
    Thanks for that, Ceg. The double drop checker has just dropped off my list, for either a cheesy JBL job or the Cal Aqua Oracle.

    In that more 'brutal' thread, you refer to loss of flow via in-line reactors/diffusers - especially with the Aqua Medic 1000 on my list! Is there a more free-flowing alternative, that doesn't go in the tank?

    On Superman's suggestion, I've been reading your outstanding thread on dry ferts. Like so many other readers, I found it enormously helpful and reassuringly clear - I'll certainly be looking at making up my own ferts from the outset.

    Yet again the quality and depth of advice available on UKAPS is fantastic - thanks hugely!
     
  13. paul.in.kendal

    paul.in.kendal Member

    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Kendal, Cumbria
    Ooh, and another thing, Ceg. In your dry ferts article , you state:
    - yet it's clear people are making all-in-one liquid feed for auto-dosing. How do they get round the adverse reaction you refer to?

    Sorry for what will surely be a(nother) daft question.
     
  14. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,301
    Location:
    London
    By mixing with the solution E300 Ascorbic Acid and E202 Potassium Sorbate, have a look here: http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/allinone.htm
     
  15. paul.in.kendal

    paul.in.kendal Member

    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Kendal, Cumbria
    Thanks LD - with that I reckon I've got the info I need to get stuck straight in to DIY-dosing. Once again the UKAPS community comes up trumps!
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    Great news Paul! Looking forwards to the journal now :)

    Was great to chat on Sunday btw! :)
     
  17. paul.in.kendal

    paul.in.kendal Member

    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Kendal, Cumbria
    You may be looking forward to the Journal, Steve - but it scares me rigid! I could seriously screw up here :oops:

    Looking at various bits of 'CliveAdvice', I'm wondering if I should be looking at a couple of absolute monster filters - say two 2080's. That'd clear the 10x hurdle no problem, and I'm absolutely determined to give myself the best chance of minimising algae problems, while avoiding using what Clive calls rocket-propelled grenade launchers (Koralias etc.) :)

    But what's this about 2080's having 'triple hose connection'? Do I have to have two inlets for each filter? And if I were to go for monster flow, can I put that through lily pipes without blasting fish and plants everywhere?

    Then if I go for two spraybars instead (one from each filter), is it OK that one would be delivering CO2 and the other heated water - would there be adequate in-tank mixing? So many questions! :(
     
  18. dsandson

    dsandson Member

    Messages:
    99
    Location:
    Belfast, NI
    Dont want to confuse you, but here's another suggestion for the co2... a cheap chinese inline diffusor, here http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:VRI&item=110392438841. It seems they're quite effective. You might be able to fit one to each filter with a y-connector, and use only one reg. Apparently they work best on the filter outflows.

    Or if you want a reactor... I havent seen any that are good but dont reduce flow, except for Ed Seeleys DIY design, if you were willing to make one.

    Hope that helps. You're doing you research well, I'm sure that forthcoming journal of yours will be brilliant! :D
     
  19. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    I vote for the cheesy JBL jobbie. Your eye muscles will thank you...

    Yes! As the Cal Aqua rep indicated (after graciously enduring my verbal abuse) the 17mm external diffuser solves that problem. It's still irritatingly difficult to clean but is a bit sturdier thanks to thicker glass and is available for a mere (gulp!) £79.99...I use two of these on a tank twice your size and works the charm. Err...I guess nixing the double checker and buying the cheesy JBL jobbie might make the price easier to swallow.. :?: In general, in order to overcome the weakness of the flow restrictions you could just get a bigger filter if you wanted to use the AM1000, or, as suggested, try Ed Seely's DIY reactor.

    Most importantly, by your taking the red pill, we were able to disrupt your input/output signal which facilitated your disengagement from The Matrix. Welcome to the desert of The Real.... 8)

    Cheers,
     
  20. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Yeah, I always advocate monster filters, whose return on investment becomes more apparent as tank size increases. It's as much a practical decision as well as an aesthetic one because I can dictate and control the flow more precisely with the spraybars.

    Yes, regrettably you do need two inlets per filter so this often means drilling more holes in your canopy. Difficult to predict lily pipe behavior. Many people opt for these, but I'm fundamentally against them in large tanks. I'll leave it at that to avoid the inevitable Lily Pipe v. Spraybar flame war.

    Well, there are a few ways to skin that cat. Theoretically, the best way would be to split the CO2 so that it enter both sets of bars. This adds massive complication because that means either having two sets of regulators, bottles, diffusers, bubble counters, or, using a single regulator plus a CO2 splitter and two diffusers. The next best thing would be to mount the two sets of bars stacked at the center of the tanks back wall. Each set of bars can be elongated to give better longitudinal coverage and to lower the exit velocity at the holes, which cuts down on turbulence. Third best is to have a single diffuser and to mount both sets of bars as you have described. In a large tank you always worry about how long it takes to evenly saturate CO2 across the tank so this is a concern, however this is the least complicated solution and it might simply mean that you need to turn on the gas earlier prior to the photoperiod, say, two hours prior, to accomplish this goal. I'd probably start with that technique first and push it's limits. If it's unsatisfactory then try either of the other two methods.

    Cheers,
     

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