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Stupid is as stupid does

mrjackdempsey

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7 Jul 2010
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Hoping to set up my first 'properly designed' planted tank soon and busying myself in preparation of it.Ordered the El fertilization in readiness and just waiting for delivery and hopefully getting my 10 kg CO2 bottle refilled this week or early next week plus a couple of fire extinguishers as backups. I'm collecting my tank this weekend (it's 8' * 2' * 2.5' length by width by height or 240 cm * 60 cm * 75 cm, 1,080 litres) and it's starting to excite me but also fill me with dread.
The tank is second hand and was used as a reef tank by it's previous owner along with a sump which I'm thinking of doing away it because of CO2 loss but maybe I'm wrong here and it would be useful for filtration ( looking for advice here from those with better experience on such matters). Filters I have at the moment are the FX5 plus a Superfish external filter (aqua pro 3) but thinking this would have to be supplemented by at least another FX5 , also got a powerhead that's capable of 12,000 litres per hour with the tank to aid in circulating the water in the tank. Wondering about a spraybar for the FX 5 ( or even shared between 2 FX 5's) and using CO2 in - line reactors to deliver CO2 to the tank. Would the reactor have to be DIY because of the size of the FX 5 pipe work or are there commercially available ones out there? Would I be better with two reactors for a more even coverage over the tank or would I get away with one?
Next worry is about lighting. I have a Betta 1500 light unit on a tank at the moment which has 6 x 80 w Arcadia T5 bulbs and was hoping this is enough but unsure about this as the bulbs are only 5' and worry the edges won't get enough
Sorry about the over load of questions but really want it go go well and not get egg on my face.The tank won't be set up for a couple of weeks/ month as must sort out the stainless steel base plus get rid of the tanks in the room at the moment. Would like to thank all in advance and be warned, there will be more questions :crazy:
 

mrjackdempsey

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

Thanks Bob, that's why I use the word stupid :D
 

ceg4048

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

Hello,
I wouldn't be so quick to ditch the sump. You just need to understand the problems of sumps and then figure out a way to minimize the difficulties associated with them. As stated in other threads (you could do a search using "sump" as a search parameter) many sumps are uncovered and have a lot of splashing inside. This combination tends to out-gas the CO2 making it difficult to saturate the water properly. The solution is obvious, but may not be easy; eliminate or minimize the amount of splashing in the sump, and cover the sump to slow the escape of CO2. End of problem.

The next step of course is to have a sump pump(s) that will satisfy the flow rate requirement and use the 10X rule as a guide. So a 1000L CO2 injected tank should have in the neighborhood of 10,000 LPH. With the availability of submersible pumps, this ought to be easy. You can inject the CO2 in-line preferably, or diffuse it in the sump first.

You ought to be able to fabricate a custom spraybar from acrylic tubing. There is a thread about this somewhere.

480 watts T5 is a LOT of light. If the tubes are only 5 foot long then they ought to be staggered to the left and right to get more even coverage.

Cheers,
 

Bobtastic

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

I think this is the thread that Clive is referring to Bending Clear Perspex Tubing. I tried it myself recently, the first two bends were ok, but the 3rd buckled a bit... I would suggest packing with more salt after each bend (and compacting) or using bending springs. :thumbup:
 

foxfish

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

Wow that is some tank! :wideyed:

You could simplify your pumps & filters but I would need to know a little bit more about the sump before I could make any suggestions.

How big is the sump & what size, no of overflows are there in the tank?

You can definitely run a very successful planted tank using a sump & once set up & running the sump is a fantastic asset to have.
 

vauxhallmark

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

Wow, I hope you've got long arms!!

Can't wait to see how it goes!

Mark
 

mrjackdempsey

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

ceg4048 said:
Hello,
I wouldn't be so quick to ditch the sump. You just need to understand the problems of sumps and then figure out a way to minimize the difficulties associated with them. As stated in other threads (you could do a search using "sump" as a search parameter) many sumps are uncovered and have a lot of splashing inside. This combination tends to out-gas the CO2 making it difficult to saturate the water properly. The solution is obvious, but may not be easy; eliminate or minimize the amount of splashing in the sump, and cover the sump to slow the escape of CO2. End of problem.

The next step of course is to have a sump pump(s) that will satisfy the flow rate requirement and use the 10X rule as a guide. So a 1000L CO2 injected tank should have in the neighborhood of 10,000 LPH. With the availability of submersible pumps, this ought to be easy. You can inject the CO2 in-line preferably, or diffuse it in the sump first.

You ought to be able to fabricate a custom spraybar from acrylic tubing. There is a thread about this somewhere.

480 watts T5 is a LOT of light. If the tubes are only 5 foot long then they ought to be staggered to the left and right to get more even coverage.

Cheers,
HI Ceg, thanks for the detailed reply, regarding the sump it's 3'6" * 16" * 18" (L * W * H) not quite 190 litres but thinking if 10 times volume turnover of the main tank ( 1000 * 10) that would translate as over 50 times turn over in the sump which would be difficult to control ( the sump effectively being emptied and filled nearly every minute) to minimise splashing but a complete novice regarding sumps but maybe I could use the sump plus filters to get the turnover without having a whirlpool in the sump.
The light unit is a complete unit so rather not break it up as usually when I touch electrical equipment that's it, no use to God nor man .
 

mrjackdempsey

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

Bobtastic said:
I think this is the thread that Clive is referring to Bending Clear Perspex Tubing. I tried it myself recently, the first two bends were ok, but the 3rd buckled a bit... I would suggest packing with more salt after each bend (and compacting) or using bending springs. :thumbup:
Thanks Bob will have another look at this, thought it was the answer to many a problem[
 

mrjackdempsey

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

foxfish said:
Wow that is some tank! :wideyed:

You could simplify your pumps & filters but I would need to know a little bit more about the sump before I could make any suggestions.

How big is the sump & what size, no of overflows are there in the tank?

You can definitely run a very successful planted tank using a sump & once set up & running the sump is a fantastic asset to have.
Suggest away, the sump is 3' 6" x 18" x 16 " but I have no return pump at the moment, the outflow from the tank is 50mm pipe on the left hand side if that makes any difference.Thanks for the response
 

mrjackdempsey

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

vauxhallmark said:
Wow, I hope you've got long arms!!

Can't wait to see how it goes!

Mark
'Fraid a bit of a short ass , would be comical to see me trying to reach the bottom so you WILL be certain I won't post those pics :lol: Thanks for your post
 

danmil3s

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11 Jan 2010
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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

good size tank mate don't know if you might be interested ive a sequence 10000 pond pump i no longer want its a good pump with some fitting the only thing is its a bit noisy probably to be expected with a pond pump. it was in my living room though, so if you don't spend all your time next to your tank it might be OK. not sure where you are so don't know about postage its heavy and large.
 

mrjackdempsey

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

Hi mate, live in the green isle ,Ireland so more than a step away but thanks for the offer,would a pond pump be suitable or too strong I'm not too sure.THe tank will be in the kitchen and once the family's in there silence is gone out the window.
 

foxfish

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

Great project :) I guesse your sump is quite a complex design, does it have a trickle filter built in?
The main issue is with the overflow as the sump can be replaced with virtually any suitable container, a 50mm overflow pipe would coupe with a lot of water :)
Personally I would use a basic tank as the sump, something that is easily covered, like a 4' glass tank. (or your sump if it is just one tank)
I would overflow the water into one end & pump from the other with a net bag of bio balls in-between = very simple.
I would use two sump pumps of around 3000lph as that is about max you can flow through 16mm pipe then you could use two inline atomisers feeding two spray bars.
all you need then is some extra internal movement via four koralia circulation pumps.
However I really think you need to think about how you are going to scape the tank first of all, considering the length of your lights you might want to keep the areas either side free of plants or use plants that are not so light dependant?
 

mrjackdempsey

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

Hi firefox, really appreciate the help here, not sure about the sump as I haven't seen it yet but will be collecting it Sunday.It was used in a reef tank as the seller is changing to a bigger tank (10' x 2' x 2.5') and larger sump bringing total litres to over 1,600. It will be sitting on a stainless steel stand (coming with the tank). Regrading trickle filters I honestly don't know but interested in your idea of a simple sump as I have several 4' tanks sitting around (got them very cheap when a local pet closed) as I thought the baffles were to slow flow for more contact time with the bacteria.Do you think I would need the externals with the sump or would they be needed to supplement the sump.I have one circulation pump that's meant to provide 12,000 per hour that's coming with the tank. Like your idea of two return pumps as think I might run into problems regarding CO2 being distributed evenly in the tank.Please forgive my naivety with several aspects of the planted tanks but a few short months ago I was trying desperately to keep nitrate and phosphates as low as possible so coming around to seeing the light :thumbup:
 

sanj

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

Hey,

on my 1600litre I do use two co2 reactors (aquamas from Germany) going through two smaller filters (originally 2x tetratec ex1200s), from 2x5kg cylinders. They last about 2 months or so before refils. My fx5 is then left free as the main filter and for flow. Although the major flow providers are from two mp40 powerheads. So in total 3 filters and 2 powerheads.

I use two 4ft powermodules units for lighting. I am thinking that you should not panic straight off with the lighting. Is it a pendant light and can you raise this about 12-15" from the water surface that way you will get more light spread albeit less on the edges, but you can plant accordingly (lower light plants for example).
 

mrjackdempsey

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

Hi Sanj, I've read about your tank here (the acrylic tank, just to make sure I've the right one?)A real beauty!! :thumbup: It's not so much panic but the 7 P's. I don't want to be looking at the tank scratching my thick skull wondering which side is up.I wonder if you would be so kind as to put a link to your reactors as I'm sure they would solve the problem with CO2 distribution, and again with the lights I'm sure that's the solution, I've quite alot of crypts growing in a 5' tank that would be happier at the edges of the new tank.
 

foxfish

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

Another simple option & probably the most effective way to get loads of Co2 around your tank would be via two needle wheel sumps pumps.
The only trade off is a visible mist of micro bubbles however this can be viewed as a good thing because you get to see exactly were the gas is flowing (or not flowing).
I used this method for years, you simply inject the co2 via a bubble counter into the pump inlet where the specially designed impeller smashes the co2 bubbles into an almost liquid state.

This is a very popular method with the Americans who use large tanks.

At the moment I have an "UP" atomiser fitted in front of my sump pupm & that works in a similar way but, now I have thought about this I think your bubble count would be to high on your tank to utilise the UP system?

Our very own "Plantbrain" is using a needle wheel on his latest set up.
http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f= ... in#p160082
http://www.aquatics-online.co.uk/catalo ... -pumps.asp
 

sanj

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

mrjackdempsey said:
Hi Sanj, I've read about your tank here (the acrylic tank, just to make sure I've the right one?)A real beauty!! :thumbup: It's not so much panic but the 7 P's. I don't want to be looking at the tank scratching my thick skull wondering which side is up.I wonder if you would be so kind as to put a link to your reactors as I'm sure they would solve the problem with CO2 distribution, and again with the lights I'm sure that's the solution, I've quite alot of crypts growing in a 5' tank that would be happier at the edges of the new tank.


Here you go, I used a translator on the website when i ordered from them back in 2008. http://www.aquamas.de/CO2-Zubehoer/CO2-Reaktoren

The ATI powermodule is popular in the reef hobby for the high PAR ratings, but you dont need that high output. I have 4x54w models (x2) raised 15-18" above the water, with all lights on I still get 80-100 PAR at the substrate, when really around 50 would be a good level ( as in more easy to manage) with half the light on (2 on each unit) I get around 30 (25-40 range) at the substrate which is fine for most plants. Ideally it is better to have an equal amount of PAR across the substrate. The 4x54w module is approx £400 each, the Sunpower is cheaper and all that is different is cosmetic (i think). You can get them from many places in the UK, just one example: http://www.fastlight.co.uk/acatalog/ATI_Powermodule_T5_Pendants.html
 

mrjackdempsey

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Re: Stupid is as stupid does

Thanks for more food for thought, never really looked into needle wheel pumps but not sure if I would be happy with a CO2 mist but will certainly look into it .At the moment think I will go with the sump ( after dismissing the idea as too complicated), two sump pumps feeding a (maybe a DIY) CO2 reactor each through a home made spraybar(thinking at the moment that I join the spray bars at the centre , each bar being slightly less than 4' but will be nearly the 8' when joined). At the moment I have plants growing in a 5' foot tank and hoping to use these for the majority of the planting and just getting a couple of others if needed.Have lots of bogwood collected including some sumps 18" across but despite soaking for nearly six months still alot of tannins leeching from the wood so unsure if these would be suitable.Was going to use moss on the stumps along with Bolbitis to look like ferns and on the straight pieces of bog wood use Anubias and Java fern, these pieces being will need to be made smaller as some are over 15" thick and even too long for the tank, maybe easier not to use them? Only a few more days before collecting the tank and can't really get my head around it. Thinking I should of started on a (far) smaller tank :crazy:
 
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