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Old 03-08-2011, 03:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Journal: Tributary

At long last I am ready to set up a new tank. The technical decisions have been guided by the generous advice and discussions by members of DFWAPC, especially the threads "An (excited)word about filtration" and "Discussion of laminar vs. turbulent flow".

Specifications

Tank--40 gallon "breeder", 18" x 36" x 16" tall
Stand--black metal office cabinet, reinforced and modified
Light--48" Coralife fixture with 2 T5 NO 6700K tubes, suspended 4" above the tank. Yes, it hangs over the ends. I estimate this to be medium lighting; fixture can be raised or lowered to adjust.
Filtration--Eheim 2217 with coarse pre-filter on the intake, and 100% lava rock bio-media in the cannister. Intake and outflow are mounted in the middle of a short side.
Additional circulation--Tank layout will have two locations for Koralia powerheads to boost the circular flow pattern in the tank if needed.
Substrate--mineralized Miracle Grow Organic Choice potting mix with added KCl and clay, capped with natural quartz gravel and/or expanded shale.
Other decor--Texas "holy rock" limestone, driftwood may be added depending on appearance of stone.

No heater or CO2.

Here are some pictures of the black box. I'll post more when the stone and substrate are in. Comments, critiques, and suggestions are welcome!

--Michael
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal: Tributary

looks nice DDAA (leon) was selling scaping stones at the tca swap meet.
can't wait to see what you come up with...
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal: Tributary

Bill has been inspired by the same filtration thread. Looking as his huge gathered stash it looks like he has enough equipment to power a small freshwater SEAWorld!

I'll be interested to see what you come up with. About the rock... interestingly enough, at last years AGA conference I was talking with Karen Randall and she said that in the other parts of the world they never worry about what type of rock they use. She said with regular water changes it really ceases to be an issue. I thought that was quite interesting.




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Old 03-09-2011, 04:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal: Tributary

Thanks, Joe and Tex Gal.

I thought a long time about the rock. Most holy rock arrangements are garish and unnatural looking. A neighbor wanted to discard a pile of the stuff that had been weathering in his yard for decades. I picked through and found smaller, well-oxidized pieces with a lot of character, and not very many holes. So this will be a subdued holy rock arrangement. I also discovered that the African cichlid keepers take their rock out and power-wash it periodically to keep it bone-white and refresh the surface so that it can continue to leach minerals into the water. My rock has only had a light wash to remove loose soil--the gray, oxidized surface is intact.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I love the way your setup is going. Your lighting solution is simple yet sophisticated. I see on your intake, it looks like you have foam zip tied. That will be a pain to clean. You might want to consider just popping off the screen all together and use a foam cover. Jim (wrabbit) told me about which I tried, about the turtle foam filters inserts at Petsmart. I think its called 501? Its a round piece of foam that is just the right pore size to keep shrimp safe but lets the water flow through. The inner bore hole fits suggly on the pumps intake pipes. It works very well and after 2 weeks, it becomes a bio filter. You will be very happy with using a mineralized substraight. Don't be surprised if you have green water outbreak. All new tanks are prone to them till the plant load gets great enough to utilize the excess nutrients that might leach out of the substrianght. I'm excited and can't wait to see the updated progress shots.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks, Robert! The intake screen on the Eheim is very easy to take off, but if it gives me trouble I'll keep your suggestion in mind. My DIY is a pretty funky solution.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal: Tributary

Funky as it may be, it works. That is all that matters. If you ever feel the need to raise and lower the light, these Sunrise Reflector Hanging System works great. I used them to suspend the light over my tank attached to bend conduit.

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Old 03-09-2011, 05:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal: Tributary

Michael,

With your freestanding installation I think the side loaded plumbing is going to be a bit of an eyesore. Have you considered drilling the tank for bulkheads? A less radical alternative is to use glass or clear acrylic return and supply?

Bill
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal: Tributary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex Gal View Post
Bill has been inspired by the same filtration thread. Looking as his huge gathered stash it looks like he has enough equipment to power a small freshwater SEAWorld!
I have some adventures pending. But I want to get them off the ground before I reveal. That way if I crash and burn it can be a private humiliation!

But one pretty straightforward thing I have cooking is the laminar flow output. I made a prototype out of PVC. Well, I have some clear acrylic tubing and clear fittings. So we are going to make it again with good materials. I'll post the result.... Even if I do crash and burn.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Journal: Tributary

Tex Guy, I'm not up to drilling the tank, but I agree that the plumbing is ugly. All the glass returns and supply I've seen are out of my price range, and I haven't come across any acrylic ones. Do you know a source?

And I can't wait to see your laminar flow return.
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