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The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

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The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby The Cove Online » Tue 12 Dec, 2017 10:31 pm

Introduction:
Hi all, I've been fascinated with aquariums since highschool and have been keeping freshwater systems actively for over 8 years now. I've bred many types of freshwater cichlids including some exotic types that were the first known imports into the country. Tried my hand at breeding clownfish and was successful within about 1.5 years of getting a pair together. In a bid to conquer all types of aquarium systems I've finally decided to enter into the saltwater side of things. Now that I'm no longer a student and employed full-time I've got some disposable income to assist with the financial burdens that these aquarium systems tend to induce. Who needs to burn money, when you have a 1000L drain to clog... much more satisfying no?

I've always been into creating my own systems and like doing everything from the aquarium sketch through to the plumbing and chemistry supplements. A degree in Marine biology tends to help here! In my experience, there is nothing as satisfying as implementing your own ecosystem using science based approaches to derive life support systems that can maintain some fairly complex living organisms we like to call coral!

System Objectives:
  1. To finally put my background in environmental science to practical use and conquer the perils of keeping a reef ecosystem!
  2. To learn the in's and out's of reef equipment, system design and long term maintenance requirements of reef systems
  3. To create a tidy build, with minimal noise
  4. Develop a 'feel' for reef chemistry and system uptake requirements
  5. Attempt to implement a no water change system with automatic top off and as minimal human interference/labour as possible
  6. Grow a leather coral from a young size to become a large and dominant focal point of the aquarium
  7. Create an amazing display tank, that is not overloaded or overstocked end to end

System Type: Fish only, FOWLR, Predator, SPS, Mixed Reef, Softies only, Non photosythetic Corals?
Initially the system will be running freshwater, as I have some rare and expensive cichlids which i'd like to breed, then sell off. Eventually I'll convert the tank to probably run a mixed reef with a few islands being LPS (Leather, torches, duncans, etc) as well as one island being SPS. For the moment, I'm not too fussed with the style of SPS and prefer the look of most LPS. Because I like challenges, the expertise of growing SPS would be the main reason I'd consider switching over to SPS over LPS. Being in the main house, the aquarium is intended primarily for aesthetics.


Display System:

Strike up Date: The order for the aquarium was placed around August 2016. The tank was received around February 2017. Not in a rush to change the system from a freshwater aquarium to marine as I'm focused on the maximising the design and efficiency of processes. Nobody likes maintenance... so the extra hours in design can cover days worth of labour down the track.

Display Tank:
Dimensions are 257x60x60cm - 8'5"x2'x2'
Glass is starphire front and sides, with bevelled edges. Tank is custom designed to have both 100mm eurobracing (10mm thick) across the perimeter of the tank and 3 cross braces from the front to the back i.e. this tank shouldn't be bowing out anytime soon. The layout creates 4 openings at the top, which were designed to house 4 G4 CTlite's. It also has lids if needed for insulation if desired (heating loss can consume more power than lighting loss). In the case of the freshwater cichlids, the fish are prone to jumping much more than standard marine fish. A good advantage of the 100mm eurobracing is that it will prevent jump outs anywhere across the perimeter of the aquarium, which I've found tends to be where fish tend to jump from.

Display Lighting: Lighting specifications.
Ctlite Barrier Reef 190W - A company I've followed for awhile and seems to know what their doing. The light runs 5 channels:
  1. Aqua Blue
  2. Aqua Purple
  3. Aqua White
  4. Aqua UV
  5. Aqua Special

Functionality includes WIFI operation to gain control and adjust the time + intensity of each light channel. Time can be set to the minute for each channel, though there appears to be a minor software issue which can impact the amount of time points that can be placed. For most settings, this shouldn't cause a problem. The light also allows for acclimation, moon light and lightning settings to be used.

Total power consumption with all channels at 100% was measured to be 130W (transformer is rated at 2.5A and 48V = 120W!?)

Support systems:
Substrate will be a bed of coral sand approximately 2-4cm thick (probably 100-150kg worth of sand :nut: )

Stand: Stand specifications.
Stand is a modified Dexion Pallet Rack using 2591 x 80mm orange Box Beam (with each 2 beams rated to carry 1,275kg UDL - uniformly distributed load). Chose this over the 100mm beam with 2,400kg UDL to minimise the lip, which will go down into the sump space. The bigger the beam, the less room to get your hand between the top of the sump and the base of the beam carrying the tank. The beam also creates a nice 80mm gap/pocket to hide equipment and return pipes, which makes it difficult to see them when looking parallel to the sump area. The cabinet frame for general appearance is yet to be built, but will most likely be made with polyurethane like the use in kitchens.

Hood: Hood specifications.
Yet to be made, but will only be something to house the lights. Haven't decided for individual light mounts or a cross beam that runs across the length of the tank. I want to build custom acrylic reflectors to help light penetration go deeper into the tank and reduce stray light being lost to the front/back space of the aquarium. The goal was originally to remove that annoying bright light you see from the light when looking at the light fixture, then I thought why not harness that lost light to go back into the tank.

Sump: Sump specs if applicable.
My custom design: Dimensions are 152x45x45cm (5'x18"x18")

Refugium: Refugium Specifications if applicable.
No refugium, but there is a ~10L Chaetomorpha reactor.

Refugium Lighting: Lighting specifications.
Twisted LED coil within tube of Chaeto reactor.

Support systems:

System Water:
Natural salt water will be used. 2x 220L drums available or 1x 1000L IBC.


Display Water circulation:
Want to go Jebao Gyre's (CP40 or CP50) but read a fair amount of negative critique on them not lasting long term. Seems the general design of the gyre's have flaws which create impeller problems, particularly when salt creep accumulates. I prefer the general flow dynamics of the gyres over wavemakers and the fixture itself I was planning on putting on either side of the aquarium which looks sleek. I could always replace them with 2 wavemakers on either end but not sure how the general flow patterns would be. The back wall is black so they'd also blend in if I had 4 of them at the back of the aquarium.

I've also installed 2 eductors with rotational flow into the return line through two center holes which are drilled into the top back of the aquarium.

Return Pump: Jebao CM 5000L/H 10M Wet/Dry Eco Pond Pump running at 40W Upgraded to 10000l/hr Jebao running 85W (better tank flow to catch detritus, stronger eductor flow on return lines and to test 40mm pipework styles).

Skimmer: We all got one do you?
I really don't want a skimmer if I devise a system that can avoid it - I've never been a fan of systems that rely strongly on export methods of filtration. If absolutely needed I'll start with a Deltec SC-1455 - like this because it is tried and tested and can handle ozone if used. Don't want to go to the higher 2060 model.

Evaporation Top Up:Auto topup or manual?
Auto top-up will be installed using standard float switches and a reservoir behind the tank.

Chemical Support:
Dosing pumps will be used for automatic addition of chemicals with volumes determined by test kits (Hanna checker reagents) and system uptake requirements. Estimated design will require approximately 12 pumps! :konk:

Have not decided on dosing pump brand. Just after something cheap and reliable that keeps calibration. Was thinking something like Bubble Magus or Jebao's. Preferably seeking something that has the screen on the front of the device rather than the top to allow control without removal from a mounted section in the aquarium cabinet.
Potential dosing chemicals:
  1. CaOH - Kalk
  2. CaCl
  3. NaCO3
  4. MgCl
  5. SrCl
  6. NaNO3
  7. KH2PO4
  8. My own amino mix

Will try to keep this post updated as the system changes!

:clownfish: Happy Reefing :clownfish: ,
John
Last edited by The Cove Online on Wed 17 Jan, 2018 10:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Marine Experiment

Postby 555combo » Wed 13 Dec, 2017 9:13 am

Hi John,

Sounds like a great build and looking forward to following along when you make the transition to salt.
Cheers,
Aaron.

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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby The Cove Online » Fri 15 Dec, 2017 3:46 pm

Thanks Aaron. Glad to have you aboard!

Just realised how text heavy the first post was, so to make it interesting, it's time to add some photos and video :roflmao:

Here's the draft I had for the tank build - note the length is 258mm:
Image


And now some 3d Renders:

Top View
Image

Side View

Image

Front View
Image


And finally a video of the design:
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby Fady » Sun 17 Dec, 2017 10:45 am

Very cool, will definitely be following this.

I'm thinking of doing something similar but in a few years time, can't wait to see it come together.
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby The Cove Online » Mon 18 Dec, 2017 4:30 pm

Thanks Fadi,

Hopefully there will be something helpful for you to take away on your build from this thread.

Time for some more photos... this time of the real tank! How'd my renders compare?

Note the sump is flipped 180 degrees here - wasn't sure if I wanted the return lines through the far holes on the left and right or the centre at the time when this was taken. Decided to go with the far ends as the tank outlet drains and to put eductors facing left and right from the centre.

Image

Image

Image


And now for the back painted black - used "ESP" from bunnings here to help the paint adhere to glass -
"Flood 500ml ESP Easy Surface Paint Preperation." The paint used was "White Knight 250ml Chalkboard Paint - Black." Supposedly oil based paints don't work well on glass, so acrylic is the way to go. Also note that if you have water on the surface before it sets for at least a few days it will cause the paint to run. Other than that it's as simple as getting a roller and painting away once your sides and holes have been covered to prevent backspray from the paint.


Image

Image

That's all for now! Will post some some shots of the plumbing later on when I get a chance.

Happy reefing,
John
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby sparker » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 8:47 am

this is pretty epic!
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby colg » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 9:44 am

Interested to see how you do the drain lines without running a weir of some description. I'm sure you have thought about it but you might find it difficult keeping a stable tank level and quiet tank with the two outlets.
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby The Cove Online » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 1:00 pm

Thanks Sparker.

Hi Col, yes I know the standard method used these days tends to be some form of Bean Animal overflow system in either an inbuilt or external weir.

I was intending to trial a variation I came up with of an external modification of the original weir based durso standpipe design (could always build the housing for an external a bean-animal overflow box if it doesn't work I guess). The design is basically a tee fitting, with an end cap on the top to allow a threaded barb which can regulate the air flow into the design. For those unfamiliar with this method, the standard durso was meant to have a small hole drilled, which allowed for a balance of air and water to maintain a semi-siphon like flow. Too much air and you can get gurgling noises and insufficient flow, but with partial air you can get siphon like flow rates through the same pipe. From memory it's also suppose to allow the system to restart the partial siphon because of the air it allows into the system - something you can't always do on a straight siphon.

When done right, noise is not an issue - having valves to regulate the flow helps regulate this. The problem that currently may present an issue is the water level stability in the sump. In my case, I believe the two 40mm bulkheads allow too much flow out of the tank for the 5000 l/hr return pump. This means that I can't create a decent siphon and hit the sweet spot that the durso design is meant to provide. While the drainage still runs quite, it's still lacks the sufficient water turnover that the two 40mm drain pipes require IMO. While the tank is running this can be regulated by the valves to reduce flow, but the problem this presents (at least from where I placed the valves is that the system doesn't restart with the same flow rates... I will be swapping this pump out with a larger one - perhaps 10000 l/hr and see how this changes the tank dynamic. Ideally the valves should be barely closed. Can't remember if the internal drain joint needed to be finished with a downward pointing elbow or not, perhaps that would help with the air concentration in the joint from the air barb?

From what I've observed with the sump so far, the water level does shift slightly, but if the levels are set at certain points during the water change it won't go above the intended skimmer baffle section, meaning the skimmer section would remain stable. This would present issues for top-off water though, unless I just dose a certain volume daily and check salinity every so often to ensure it hasn't been diluted. I'll have to see how the drain lines behave when a bigger pump is utilised and go from there. An alternative solution I was considering was to have the pump always lean on the edge of draining the sump dry, and compensating the extra water loss with a float valve which is gravity fed from an airline tube pulling water from the main tank.

Here's some photos of some of the plumbing:

The workspace:
Image

And some close ups of the durso mod - the threaded barb for air input had not been drilled yet:
Image
Image
Image

The centre return line (a bugger to measure and plumb together!) Part of my designs always use a barb at the end of the return line pvc work so that you can minimise the flow loss that 90 degree PVC and even 45 degree pieces cause. I much prefer the use of the non-kink black flexible hose for at least the pump to pvc sections of plumbing. You can see even to split the return line in two I've angled it out with 45 degree bends over a standard 90 degree joint - the less 90 degree joints the better flow!
Image
Image
Image


John
Last edited by The Cove Online on Wed 20 Dec, 2017 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby colg » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 1:31 pm

The Cove Online wrote:The problem that currently may present an issue is the water level stability in the sump


I think that this may be something worth addressing early on. Running a partial siphon will work initially but the level in the display will alter due to bio-film build up, algae growth, etc in the valves/pipes and to a lesser extent air pressure. In my experience you will need to constantly adjust the valves in order to balance the water. The changing water level of the display will ultimately make the sump level fluctuate resulting in difficulty in setting up an ATO.
Without a weir, the volume of the sump needs to be far larger due to the increased water that can drain to the sump during power outage.

I found that, even with a 25mm pipe, i would have the valve near closed on a full siphon supplied with 5,000lph.

There is a system for outlets that i saw on another forum that basically had an 'S' bend in the overflow pipe that acted like a weir and allowed self restarting, but seemed more trouble than it was worth.
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby Spuznik » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 1:47 pm

Hi,

Just a query.

I have a similar one as a workbench and although it is 500kg rated it can bend slightly in the middle when I am loading it up with heavy equipment, have you tested the span to make sure you dont get any bending?

Cheers,

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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby colg » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 2:11 pm

Spuznik wrote:Hi,

Just a query.

I have a similar one as a workbench and although it is 500kg rated it can bend slightly in the middle when I am loading it up with heavy equipment, have you tested the span to make sure you dont get any bending?

Cheers,

Spuznik


Pretty good point! Not sure where the UDL rating is derived from, but i can tell you that these beams can have a permissible maximum deflection of 14.4mm in the center before they are considered overloaded. I have an idea that the rating is based on the deflection as shorter spans are allowed less deflection. (the formula for working out permissible sag = span/180
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby The Cove Online » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 5:01 pm

Hi Spuznik,

The tank has been filled to capacity and haven't noticed any significant centre bending of the beams. Bare in mind those ratings are uniform distributed load, not point source weights so this would impact the likelihood of bending. The 80mm box beams I got are rated to 637.5kg each, which is pretty much on par with the overall tank weight. Ideally you'd want the tank weight to be 10% lower than the rating, which should give you at least a 20% margin on the recommended weight load. For now, there hasn't been any noticeable bending - long term we shall see. I've used the longspan on another setup for 7 years and it still hasn't budged so if the rating is kept to I can't see why the heavy duty stuff wouldn't be ok. Granted this is a fairly heavy tank we shall see how it goes. Don't forget to add polystyrene to assist in any uneven distribution. Hope that helps.

John
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby The Cove Online » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 5:22 pm

I think that this may be something worth addressing early on. Running a partial siphon will work initially but the level in the display will alter due to bio-film build up, algae growth, etc in the valves/pipes and to a lesser extent air pressure. In my experience you will need to constantly adjust the valves in order to balance the water. The changing water level of the display will ultimately make the sump level fluctuate resulting in difficulty in setting up an ATO.
Without a weir, the volume of the sump needs to be far larger due to the increased water that can drain to the sump during power outage.

I found that, even with a 25mm pipe, i would have the valve near closed on a full siphon supplied with 5,000lph.

There is a system for outlets that i saw on another forum that basically had an 'S' bend in the overflow pipe that acted like a weir and allowed self restarting, but seemed more trouble than it was worth.


Agreed. With the 5000 l/hr pump I've got both my 40mm drain pipes on about 50% closed, which is why I thought the problem could be resolved with a larger pump. The difference I suppose is that you were running a full siphon, which is significantly faster than the durso siphon. I suppose one that would may complement the partial siphon system is that as the water level in the tank increases so does the pressure on the water exiting the tank - something I figured would self-adjust in such a system (to a degree). Only thing to do is experiment and see what happens... that is after all what this tank is all about.

What are your thoughts on pumping RO water through the dosing pump, would this not be sufficient if the evaporation rates remain relatively stable?

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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby colg » Wed 20 Dec, 2017 7:29 pm

The Cove Online wrote:What are your thoughts on pumping RO water through the dosing pump, would this not be sufficient if the evaporation rates remain relatively stable?
John


Yep lots of people do that. You could even use kalwasser to offset the amount of supplement dosing required. You should be able to work out a balance but it won’t be set and forget like an ATO. Manual adjustments will be required either way depending on the humidity of the day. If your return section in the sump is relatively large it will offset the fluctuations to some degree. If the return section is small you will find that the height of water over the pump changing to much will impact the amount of flow to the tank and therefore the adjustment of your drain line valves.
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby The Cove Online » Wed 17 Jan, 2018 10:16 pm

So a quick update,

I've been playing around with the water flow through the returns and drain lines and have learnt a lot about the different styles of flow. I have replaced the 5000L/hr jebao with a 10000L/hr jebao pump and the system is a lot easier to control through the 40mm valves and drain lines, though the same issues still exist where the system cannot restart with the same draining capacity. The upside is this has greatly enhanced the overall flow and venturi flow through the 25mm eductors set inside the tank on the two center return lines :clap: .

I was thinking the problem was caused because the two pvc valves on the drain lines were only 50% open using the durso style so they weren't able to kick start the siphon again as they needed to be more open. Turns out this wasn't the right line of thinking because when I tried the 10000l/hr pump and only kept 1 valve on the same issue arose keeping the air valves at the same opening point.

Because the durso pipes must draw in some air in order to regulate flow you cannot run this system under a full siphon - unless you have matched the input water to the output level using a valve. This is difficult to achieve with PVC regular ball valves and probably why people recommend the blue handle POLY valves, because of the fine control they offer at a much higher cost. If the air line valve is opened more air is allowed to be drawn into the drain lines, which has a better and faster regulation ability at the cost of noise. By reducing the air valve so that it is almost closed, you essentially force the system to create a siphon continuously, which eventually gets broken when air enters the circuit. The smaller the air gap, the more pressure and therefore duration the siphon can run before it will have enough pressure to force air into the circuit. This essentially still creates a self-leveling system, but with reduced noise because their is minimal air being drawn into the circuit. It works because every time the siphon forms, the pressure which builds has to let air in and this breaks the siphon causing a regulation of flow.

If your patient enough, I found you can eventually almost entirely close the air valve (if not completely shut) and the system ends up going quiet - the sweet spot. The problem here is that when the air line is shut, the siphon (at least in my design) fails to restart in the event of a power out. This occurred regardless of the pump size or the valve size. It's a weird scenario because I could open the water valve entirely and still end up with a water flow that couldn't be restarted once the air valve is partially or entirely closed. There is a threshold where if the air valve is opened enough it will work itself out, but the noise at this point is too high (at least with 40mm pipes). It's also interesting that it does require significant flow or air at the start in order to be-able to stop down the air valve to make it quiet, once this point is reached the system is dead silent. This could be achieved when I turned the pump off and restarted if I left the internal pipe elbow turned upwards to get air and then placed back facing down. Regardless of if I fully close the air valve or not, I never fill the sump/tank to the point where an overflow could occur and the sump can handle the flow. The restart would one of two issues: it would either fill the tank at a faster rate than the drain line back to the sump causing the pump to gurgle OR the sump would fill, forcing air into the drain lines, which would impact the skimmer level and sump water line. Both scenarios causing grief and noise. For those running DC pumps with backup power these issues may not even be a concern unless you turn the pump off during coral feedings.

I then started to consider that siphons with a fixed pipe size can have some regulation ability as a higher or lower water level provides different pressure and draining capacity. My thought process was that when you siphon out water and detritus using gravel cleaners, the lower the tank water gets, the slower the siphon operates - a result of the water pressure from water height.
This is probably why the bean animal design also recommends having the drain pipe end within 1" of the return water height on the sump chamber it gets sent to (both the let any air out faster and because it may increase flow as the water has less water to displace at it's return location (similar to running an airstone at different depths - deeper water requires more force to have the same air bubbling). So where am I going with all of this lol? Well I thought why not make the system as if it was 25mm like Col mentioned (whereby a true siphon can indeed handle 5000l/hr quite easily. So instead of replacing the entire pipework, I ended up converting the very end of the drain lines in the sump by using a 40-25mm pvc converter and then capped the line with a pvc cap. I then proceeded to drill the cap allowing me to have the pvc valve to be fully open, while only just maintaining a slightly higher drainage than required for the pump return and drain line to be in steady state. I essentially created a very fine tuned valve through the cap that replicates the flow requirements of the pump, both saving the cost of a blue valve and also allowing me to close the standard red pvc valve for fine control of flow. Therefore my goal was that if the water level in the tank does shift, the pressure going through the valves should increase causing a faster siphon helping the system to keep in steady state. Currently I've only done this on one of the two lines, so fingers crossed when I cap the other pipe this runs ok :crossfingers: ! This is probably another reason that the bean animal design recommends something like 6" distance between the siphon hole and the durso (both for the siphon to start and pressure to build).

One of the drain valves now able to run fully open:
Image

The 40mm-25mm reducer connection and 25mm cap
Image

Close up of the 25mm cap with holes - for reference both holes are around 10mm and would handle roughly half the pump flow ~5000 l/hr minus head height losses and eductor pressure so maybe 3000-4000l/hr flow.
Image

Happy reefing,
John
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby The Cove Online » Thu 18 Jan, 2018 11:29 am

Forgot to post some of the reactor lines that come from the center return line. I decided to custom cut timber panels from bunnings which have a waterproof front and back to go around the inside of the dexion rack. This will reduce noise exiting the structure and allow everything to be mounted on either the front or back of the panels

So this is the center return line again:
Image

All of these lines go on the right side of the center cross for things like the skimmer, nitrate bacteria media, chaeto rector etc.
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Also got my jebao dosing pumps. First one was fine although the second had a loose motor!
Image

Image

Thankfully all that was needed to fix it was to re-screw the joints into the motor.
Image


I also ended up doing some re-arrangement of the motors so that both the motors and screen will face towards you. As most of you who have used jebaos will know, the screen faces upwards when the motors face downward (as seen in the above pictures). This means the screen is inaccessible if mounted horizontally so the pumps face down. To change this, you simply have to take the tubing side off the motor from its clips and rotate 180 degrees so it faces upward! You can kind of see this connection from the picture above with the tube side, though it still has the screw connection, which is normally already fixed to the black pane. No changes to the circuitry or board is needed using this method. To mount the actual jebao box, you have to drill a few holes into whatever flat surface you like and your done! This ended up being the melamine panels I fixed to the inside of the stand. The only thing you have to be careful is the space between the jebao back panel and its feet, which could crack the screw joint if you screw too far or don't put a spacer to fill this void (caused by the rubber feet). I made it floating by drilling the doser into a separate timber cut to size, which was then drilled into the actual stand timber. The benefit of this is it allows you to get your leveling right and you can screw that timber into the stand timber using the same holes, just with a longer screw. You can see below the first 4 motors are facing the new position, and the last is facing the original position - this is also how the doser is designed to sit. In this perspective the screen is facing the top and the feet at the base. Some people go on about the pumps not drawing the liquid correctly, but I've found this to be false as I've both callibrated and checked this using a 0.001g precision scale.

I'll post some pictures of it mounted later tonight.


Image
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby The Cove Online » Mon 22 Jan, 2018 11:44 am

Didn't get a chance to upload the photos of the doser early, but here they are:

Here you can see the doser opened and the back plate facing a timber panel (left image), which will then be screwed to the sheeting I've got around the dexion frame. On the right image you can see the two dosers mounted to the plate and the far right doser opened with the screw joints now attached to both the back of the stand timber and the other timber plate seen in the left image.


Image


Here's the finished job all mounted up. You can see that the pump heads and screen now face towards the front now allowing easy control and attachment of lines to dosing chambers. You can also see the 8 dosing chambers to the left of the sump and dosing pumps. To the direct left and right of the dosing pumps are the 4 return lines which can be used for the skimmer, reactors UV etc. I've also hooked up some led lighting, which runs the span of the tank and lights the entire bottom section end to end. There's also some cheap plastic clips I was thinking to use to guide the dosing lines into the sump neatly. Not sure if they're worth the effort but they only cost a few dollars so not a big loss if not.


Image


I forgot to mention, to assist the dosing pumps in maintaining the same liquid level, it's a good idea to install a non-return valve like they use for air pumps. These help the fluid stay in place rather than siphon back into the dosing chambers, which can cause cross contamination as well as throw off the dosing liquids. Even in a short travel line, I found the dosing pumps volume would be inaccurate after only a few minutes since the line couldn't hold the liquid in place. The attachment of non-return valves solved this problem completely and calibrations after this were very precise. Speaking of precision, if I can find the dosing volumes vs weights I wrote down, I'll post just how accurate and precise Jeboa pumps can be. I see no real reason to invest a small fortune in something like a kamoer (which I can't stand the new design of anyway) other than if you want wifi control. If you have access to the dosing pumps, then wifi isn't really needed unless you want to adjust settings remotely. You'd still have to be around the tank to test water parameters in order to know how much you need to adjust the dosing pump volume by, so I don't really see the point. If it weren't significantly higher in price, then I'd say sure why not, but at this stage and after testing just how accurate and precise the Jebaos are, I can't see the need.



Cheers,
John :clownfish:
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby parrdog » Wed 24 Jan, 2018 5:48 pm

It's lookin' awesome John :thumbsup: .

I can't wait to see this unfold :).

Cheers,
Jamie :cheers:
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby sparker » Thu 25 Jan, 2018 9:08 am

Nice work!
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby Slartibartfast » Thu 25 Jan, 2018 1:40 pm

Very nice set-up, can't wait for the end result!
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby The Cove Online » Thu 25 Jan, 2018 3:35 pm

Thanks Guys, good to have some others following along for the journey! This is my first proper journal so I'll try to be good and update! Been wanting to do a log on here literally since I started keeping fish many years ago :)

No luck on finding the calibration data for the dosing pumps, but I need to check the second doser I bought so I'll probably do the same process so I have a record of it's accuracy and precision.

I've had some unexpected and what I would consider major issues with the CTlite's... they don't pair to my phone, which is a Samsung Galaxy S8 :nono: :wall: I've contacted Aquadepot, who also distributes products like Neptune and Salifert and they've put me through to the company directly, who has not responded in over a week. I'm considering just getting a refund as they are useless to me in the current state. The alternative I'd be looking at, which I could have bought instead was AI Hydra's. From memory I think the Ct-lites could output about 250 par to the floor of a 2 foot tank, most of which comes from the blue and purple channels they offer.

What do you guys think of Ai 26's vs 52's? I'm in the middle of designing the light stand so I can't really finalise that until I have the light specifications. I'm trying to make it a universal model so it fits a variety of brands. Here is what I was thinking:

Image

The plan with this or whatever hood design is chosen, was that the part that holds the light directly, will be painted with something called Krylon Mirror Coat Paint, which will basically turn the material into a high quality reflector and should give a reasonably detectable PAR boost = less power waste and lower power bills :). It also should leave a nice silvery finish on the part we look at. Contrasting this against something like a black will go nicely I think and create a little texture to the hood, rather than make a boring box. I'm currently debating whether or not to design a fully CNC routed sheet that will can be bent (allowing any pattern I like).
On the sides I also want to incorporate some kind of screw joint, which will allow the height of the part that holds the light to rise or lower, allowing the spread of the light to be adjustable after mounting. There's a couple of reasons I choose to put a hood:

1: The bracing around the tank doesn't allow the standard light brackets the ability to mount
2: I don't want to see the intense light from the light fixture itself - this is why I got the idea to make a reflector that beams down this otherwise wasted light.

The problem I'm having, or just procrastination is how I will do the stand to match and suit the dexion frame. For both the hood and stand I think I'm leaning towards acrylic/polycarbonate for both cost and water resistance. Guys have quoted me 3K for a polyurethane cabinet, which seems ridiculous in my opinion.

I'd like to incorporate something of this texture, but not sure how viable it is and how I would explain this to the fabricators:
Image
Image

Cheers,
John :clownfish:

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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby pilonstar » Wed 21 Feb, 2018 9:57 am

Looking good mate! good effort! :thumbsup: keep it coming :clap:
The irony: removing all the nutrients, only to add them all back as high priced supplements.
Live stream tank http://www.erickmiranda.com
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby duckmike » Thu 19 Apr, 2018 10:40 pm

Hi

Have just bought a Jebao DP4 dosing pump - and have the same annoyance over the mounting of the pumps.

Have come across your mod - to flip the tubes to mount it vertically...how has this worked for you - have you had any issues with the pumps drawing from the containers this way?

thanks
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby Amphibian » Tue 22 May, 2018 9:51 pm

Due for an upgrade :poke:
Dreambox 5x3x2 viewtopic.php?f=145&t=263224
Mixed Reef 8 x 2.6 x 2 Revamp in progress viewtopic.php?f=145&t=245064
Frag Tank 4 x 3 x 2 viewtopic.php?f=148&t=257402
Rebirth of a goodie900 x 900x450
viewtopic.php?f=148&t=253999
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby The Cove Online » Wed 16 Jan, 2019 4:56 pm

Hi all,

I know I know, it's been a long time with no updates... let's just say I was thrown about by a few less than reputable fish stores for months and months and didn't back off until they adhered to their warranty and statutory requirements. Both instances resulted in NSW Fair Trading getting involved (who are essentially useless mediators if the business refuses to co-operate), with one almost going to tribunal and the other being charged back for fraud by the bank. It's a shame this seems a growing trend that businesses in Sydney think they can get away with sub-par standards until they are threatened with people who actually know their rights. Needless to say it's no-wonder people leave the hobby.

So I was debating whether or not to move interstate, which meant the tank had to go on hold but now that I'm back in action in Sydney progress is moving forward again. I had two primary issues that needed to be resolved with the tank:

  1. The drain line was very fiddly and wouldn't restart properly in the event of a power out - neither the sump nor the tank would overflow, but the pump would eventually out pump the water return and gurgle which isn't ideal long term and makes a lot of noise until someone could fix the flow altering the vales.
  2. The cabinetry needed to be built around the metal rack

So as from above I tried numerous variations to fix the drain problem and none were successful. The issue fundamentally came down to the need for air in the siphon line in order to restart the line and then close off the air when the siphon was active to keep noise down. This was noticed because the only way I could restart the system with similar flow rates and not altering the drain valves was by opening the air barbs to allow air in the line and then shutting it back off to silence it and keep the siphon going. The one thing this wouldn't fix was the uneven flow regime back into the sump. It was bizzare that even with a fully opened valve, the siphon just wouldn't restart unless air was allowed in the line. Then I remembered the bean animal design with an air tube used in the water... I didn't quite understand what was going here as the bean animal design has one dedicated siphon line, another with the air line and then the emergency line. So I proceeded to put this air tube in the tank so that it would be submerged when the tank was full and emerged (exposed to air) when the power was out. Low and behold, the solution was found. I've attached an image of someone else's tank to illustrate the three lines in bean animals setup.

Image

The only reason I can foresee as to why the siphon wouldn't restart is due to the pressure of water required to force air out being too high - this would be why designs typically have the siphon line placed notably lower than the other lines so there is a water buildup which creates enough pressure to restart and push the air out after a power out event. Alternatively I imagine that you could also put a hole in the sump pipe for the same return line provided it will be submerged when running and emerged when off.

As for the cabinet issue, after contacting a few trades with both never contacting me back or bothering to give me an actual price, I have decided to leave it as is for the time being.

So this means I'll need to sell off my cichlid breeding setup, which could take a little longer. It's good that I have a relative who's running an SPS tank where I could see first hand a lot of the issues faced with the stony corals... namely that I must invest in a quarantine system to prevent bugs entering the main system i.e. AEFW lol.

Are there any groups still running in Sydney for marine topics?

Happy New Year all

Cheers,
John :clownfish:

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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby parrdog » Thu 21 Feb, 2019 10:37 pm

Good luck with it all John. I hope the problems you were having are soon a thing of the past.

As far as Sydney groups are concerned. You should look into joining MASS (Marine Aquarium Society of Sydney). If you send a PM to Sailfin (Wayne) he'll let you know how to join up.

MASS is actually having a meet at Bespoke Aquarium this Sunday. You could head over and say g'day.

All the best with it mate :thumbsup: .
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Re: The Marine Experiment - Custom built 8.5'x2'x2'

Postby NumnuT » Mon 05 Aug, 2019 6:28 pm

stunning build so far..
Cheers
NumnuT

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