New Tank - Harware Final Review

Discussion in 'Hardware & DIY' started by johnb, 10 Mar 2008.

  1. johnb

    johnb Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    London
    Hi

    Well Ive had loads of help in these forums and I think im finally sorted on the hardware (barring any last minute suggestions \ coments)

    Im aiming for a good planted tank with community fish at the the top\middle and bottom.

    Within reason im happy to spend quite a bit to get it right. So comments appreciated before I order.

    Tank
    Rena Aqualife 200 x 50
    Dimensions: 201cm W x 51cm x D 70,5 cm H
    Volume in litres: 717
    Tank Volume in imperial gallons: 157
    Water Volume in imperial gallons: 146


    Filtration
    Tetratec EX 1200 External Filter - 1200 litres per hour

    Ceramic Filter Rings
    Biological Filter Foam
    BB Bio Filter Balls
    Carbon
    Filter Floss

    I’m going to have two of these to ensure good flow throughout and it adds a bit of redundancy and I can clean filters alternatively



    Heating
    RENA 2x300W Heater / thermostat come with tank
    however im tempted to go with 2 HYDOR 300watt inline heaters thoughts ?


    CO2
    Going to make my own

    Lighting
    Currently 4 x 58W (232w)
    There are suggestion this may be enough ?, I will upgrade to T5 lighting

    Substrate
    Bottom - Eco-Complete – approx 250lbs to achieve 3 inch depth


    Other

    API Freshwater Aquarium Master Test Kit
    Dry Fert
    Bogwood
    Plants
     
  2. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Looks like a pretty good plan, and it's always good to plan ;) But...

    I think you might want bigger filters. In smaller tanks it seems to be best to try to aim for nearly 10x the volume so you could do with two filters that will give you a turn over of nearly 7,000 litres per hour, however this may be tricky with a larger tank!

    I'd also go with pressurised CO2 rather than a Yeast based system (assuming that's what you mean by making your own) and the Hydors to keep as much equipment out of the tank as possible. I'd look at switching to the T5s at some point, but by all means set the tank up with the T8s and then switch them later.
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    I agree with Ed. For filtration you'd be best served with two FX5's. DIY CO2 on this size tank is asking for trouble. Also, save your money and skip the API "Master Test Kit". Use the money saved to buy more plants.

    Cheers,
     
  4. johnb

    johnb Member

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    London
    Thanks for the feedback quite happy to get a couple of FX5's

    As for CO2 more than happy to invest but its a nightmare, all the bits etc - im happy to pay for the right kit but which one ?

    John B
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi John B,
    Here is a possible list of parts. This is by no means definitive, or even the best combination of parts (or even the best value for money) but a set of parts that can work well on this size tank:

    1. You'll need a cylinder of serious size. You can join the BOC and get exchangeable cylinders I suggest at least a 22 Kg cylinder. Not the cheapest gas solution, but relliable. http://www.bocindustrial.co.uk/bocindus ... ioxide.asp

    2. At the valve end of the cylinder you'll need to connect a regulator. Here is an example of a basic regulator. http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... cts_id=652
    As you can see this regulator has two gauges. The first gauge indicates the remaining pressure in the bottle. When this value approaches zero it's time to replace the cylinder. The second gauge indicates the pressure being sent to the tank and is controlled by rotating the smaller of the two black knobs in that image. That is called the needle valve and allows you to control the outlet pressure to within specific number of bubbles per second of CO2 headed to the tank.

    3. [Optional] A good idea with CO2 is to turn it off a few hours before lights out and to turn it on an hour or two before lights off. This gives your fish a break, allows you to add a higher level of gas concentration and reduces your gas consumption. This is achieved by adding an electrically operated solenoid shutoff valve like this: http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... cts_id=651
    You attach the solenoid to the outlet port of the regulator and plug the cable of the valve into a timer. You can get an inexpensive timer at any hardware or DIY shop.

    4. A less expensive alternative to buying separate items 2. and 3. can be found here: http://cgi.ebay.com/CO2-Regulator-Elect ... dZViewItem
    The solenoid plug is American so you would need to add a UK adapter.

    5. You'll need some CO2 compatible tubing to connect these components. Plan the final locations of the tank, cylinder gauges and diffusers and calculate the routing and distances required. Get sufficient length of tubing to cover these distances: http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ts_id=1606

    6. Run the tubing from the solenoid outlet to a diffuser. The options here are to mount a diffuser inside the tank: http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... cts_id=245 or to have it outside the tank: http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ts_id=1370
    On tanks this size I opt for the outside tank mount, but it's up to you.

    6.a. Another item to consider is that for this size tank a good idea is to use two diffusers. If you have good strong flow this becomes much less important, however, if you do use two diffusers you can split the gas at the solenoid outlet by adding a small bit of tubing and connecting it to a "Y" branch splitter like this: http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ts_id=1254
    Then ad two branches pf tubing, one to each diffuser.
    Looking at the external (inline) diffuser listed above, you can see the proper orientation as shown in the image. Water from the filter outlet is attached to the larger tube on the bottom while the CO2 is connected to the little spud on the side.

    7. To prevent water leakage back into the regulator you should connect a "check" valve (also called non-return valve) like this to the CO2 spud with some tubing. The arrow on the should point in the direction of flow, i.e. towards the diffuser. http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... cts_id=249 or http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ts_id=1607
    Connect another water tube to the top of the diffuser which empties out into the tank.

    You'll also need to understand how to measure the CO2 that you are injecting. It's not an exact science but this thread should help. http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=467
    A basic test kit can be found here: http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ucts_id=77 and the water you should in it use can be found here: http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ts_id=1447

    That covers all you need for CO2 injection. As I said, there are many different options for each of the items listed above, but this covers all the equipment you'll need.

    Cheers,
     
  6. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Go Clive! :D
     
  7. Martin

    Martin Member

    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    North Wales
    Wow Ceg ,you are better than wikipedia. I love this forum.
     
  8. discusdean

    discusdean Member

    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    berkshire
    i have said it before and will say it again ceg you the man .

    p.s. where do you store this stuff because you real it off faster than college proff. ha ha ha
     
  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hey yeah, I might change my moniker to cegipedia... :p

    Cheers,
     
  10. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    I've got to say Clive, i love reading your replys, so in depth and precise. Keeo up the good work.
     
  11. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    Finally got a reply from Aquatics online Tetratec 1200 delivered to your front doors £59.99!!!
     
  12. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Cool, for 700 liters you can get 6 of them without breaking the bank. :D

    Cheers,
     
  13. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    That's insane, who did you price match them against to get that dea? The street price out here is 230 Swiss Francs = 107 pounds, the RRP is even more!

    Just imagine all those tubes going into the tank!!! :wideyed:
     
  14. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    A website called fishbitz http://www.fishbitz.co.uk/tetratec-ex-1200-2130-p.asp

    Good eh? I hope it's as good as everyone says. It's on the fiances credit card as if £500 goes on there he gets a free flight... Plus I get 30 days interest free credit before he starts working out the apr involved :wideyed:

    PS Buy the tetratec as normal then in the comments section write this:-
    Price match, Tetratec 1200, http://www.fishbitz.co.uk/tetratec-ex-1200-2130-p.asp , £59.99
    They check if they want to do it for that price, took 2 days. Got an email which was like a new invoice at the cheap price. The delivery is 2-3 days so it may be with me by friday, woohooo!
     
  15. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    Just checked and they will deliver to switzerland, plus they take off VAT which makes it much cheaper, not sure how much postage will be though as you need to enter your address.
     
  16. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Thaks Lisa, very helpful as usual but Fishbits are one step ahead of you, they seem to have put thier price up to 69.99! Perhaps it was an error or maybe AO gave them a stern talking to? :twisted:

    Shipping = 35 pounds! :lol:

    My mother is coming at easter but I think its a biggish box weighing 8kg so they might pounce on her in Swiss customs. I think I'll just have to get ripped off this time :rolleyes:
     
  17. lstratton

    lstratton Member

    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    London
    ARGH, that is so annoying. I was looking at getting a couple of the 1200's yesterday but thought I'd wait. Wish I'd got them yesterday now.
     
  18. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    Thats crazy!!! They didn't even reply to my email. Well they are only £68 from aquatics online with free postage.

    Fluval 405 is like £100 and so it's still much much cheaper!
     

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