Why A Peristaltic Pump?
This is covered in great detail on the internet. In summary:
○ More reliable consistent flow
Read more about the official MasterFlex Calcium Reactor thread here. They are spendy, 200-400 dollars. And they are awesome.
(hint, if you can spare the reef $$, stop reading this and go get one!)
For me personally? I needed to babysit some SPS. I knew that my CR flow would dip and sometimes clog. Rather than risk someone else's coral I decided to step up the game a little.
Check out my flow before and after:
Why A DIY Peristaltic Pump?
The primary reason is simply to save money.
By saving money, you might be able to have a spare on hand.
For me, I try to have 2 of anything critical because reef stores are not open 24/7 and Amazon cannot ship fast enough to save your coral if things go wrong.
Building One - Parts
Pump and Motor - $30
The pump and motor itself. Search ebay for 'large peristaltic' and you will find this one:
Pumps come and go. It is nice to have one with:
§ At least two rollers (anti siphon)
§ Stainless steel bearings (not a plastic, noisy pump)
This setup requires a brushed DC 12v motor so that it can be PWM controlled. A better setup would be a stepper motor based motor and controller. Future?
Motor Speed Controller - $11
You want a PWM speed controller. This controls the speed so the flow can be dialed in.
Note: There are tons of cool options here. Web controlled, LED speed display etc. I did find though that certain PWMs cause the motor to overheat so you may need to experiment if deviating from this one.
Power Supply - $6.50
12volt 2 amp power supply with a wiring adapter.
Here is one on amazon:
It is better to find one that is UL Listed. Once you are past the power supply though, everything is low voltage.
The wiring adapter is key (the green thing in the pic). It makes taking power from the adapter simple, just turning a couple of screws.
Wire - Free to $16
If you have any kind of wire laying around that is 16 gauge or bigger, feel free to repurpose it.
Some wiring connectors such as 2 spade connectors can be soldered onto the back of the motor or possibly crimp
Building One - Assembly
The wiring is very basic and covered with the PWM controller documentation.
Basically the power goes from the power adapter, to the PWM controller, to the motor.
Everything is labelled, it is super easy.
The hardest part is attaching the wires to the motor. You can use a variety of methods, but a crimp on spade connector can work.
Be sure to use the right gauge wire. I used 16 gauge because I had some from other projects. It's nice to use 2 different colors, pick one such as red for positive, black for ground and be consistent.
There are allot of options. Mine is stuffed into a double gang electrical box ($2).
I just drilled some holes and routed wires.
Here is the inside
For more details etc check out this thread:
The results are detailed in another thread:
Tubing wears out and fails, you need to place the pump in a location such that if this happens, water will drain into the tank instead of onto the floor! Ideally monitor the flow with the APEX flow monitoring kit 1/4" adapter. That way when the tubing goes you can quickly replace it. Sound! This is a pretty quiet pump, but it is not as quiet as an MJ sitting underwater in the sump. So keep that in mind... Super Important: Don't turn down the pump so low that it does not run smoothly. That will overheat the motor as it is basically starting up from stopped several times per second. The pump should run smooth with no visible lurching...
Man, it would be nice.
Especially now that APEX showed me how wildly the flow varies off of my MJ1200 feed pump.
Flow is in liters per hour. That means I have been ranging from 56 mls/min to 98 mls / minute. I do have to think it would be much more consistent with the peristaltic...
Going to be looking for some cheap options as my reef budget will not allow for a good one at this point (400 dollars...)!
Sorry about the delay in the post, just got my son moved into his dorm and got to spend yesterday having lunch, packing some of his things, and hanging out. Right after seeing him off, and eating dinner, I got to starting this thread.
As you all know, or now will know, the September meeting at All Things Aquarium was a Hoot! The place was loaded with SPS, LPS, and softy corals not to mention fish of all sorts.
Everything was nice and clean, several of the tanks looked amazing!
spot on. Look at this frag forest! I missed out on a red/orange centered green yuma, we left a little early and I completely forgot to snag one! Bummed, guess I better sneak back to ATA.
In between the store and the adjacent building there is a very nice courtyard area that facilitates gatherings like this splendidly.
You might be able to see in the background there, Zoolander lent his skills to the grill and did a great job, thanks a ton man.
And speaking of the grill man, here he is on the left, thinking ahead of time with those shades, it was such a beautiful day. And speaking of generous guys, Bicycle Bill here on the right came in handing out coral frags like it was trick or treat candy...He is such a nice person, generous with the corals and good advice, Bill is one of the good ones.
Here is another of the good old boys. The main man at the ATA store, Erin. He opened up his store for all of us to come in and have our meeting, BBQ, and raffle at. He has a wealth of knowledge and seems to have a knack for the aquatics, I know I will be back to pick his brain and aquariums sooner than later. Thank you my friend.
Two of our awesome sponsors here in one shot, Stylaster left and Mr Bret on the right. Both have contributed quite a bit of their time over the years both off and on the BOD and office, Cheers to you two...And Thanks a ton for the frags Roy, I will return the favor.
Highschool Reefer, eyeballing the store goods no doubt. I forgot to mention I had a few things I could throw you for your new tank setup and a few pointers on keeping macro algae trimmed back. Maybe I will see you next month though.
Jfry here. This guy is in my line of work, aquatics maintenance, and I love talking about others setups and tanks with this guy. He has some good stories and is getting seasoned thats for sure. You all know you have to come up with a lot of different solutions to strange problems in the reefing world.
Kai made it out to another meet, very nice guy. Hope that zoanthid pack you won is doing well, there were some lookers in there, blues, reds, and a little yellow. Should ease into the new tank just fine.
Gill&Fin center and DJ right. I meant to ask you on some QT questions Holly. Maybe I can still get some info out of you and see if you get file fish in frequently? And sorry I did not have time to swing by DJ, believe me I have plans on it in the near future.
Youcallmenny on the left and Albertareef on the right. With the good people that will give you a hand with the move you should be just fine getting into your new place, sounded like you have it pretty well planned out now.
Reefer Madness left and Daniel right. Daniel makes the Reefi lighting system and is a working on a couple other products as well. He also has a killer tank setup. Reefer Madness, let me know when your going on that crabbing trip, I love dungenous. And I will keep my eyes peeled for a cowrie.
Lex inverts chatting with Mr Bret. I have always liked this guy, he tells it like it is...And Also has a few very nice setups. He bred some seahorses too not too long ago.Now that I think about it I think Bret has some baby seahorses right now.
Whop whoop!!! I got this pic of Paul here winning the gift certificate to All Things Aquarium. He is totally stoked! I would be too, so much there to grab, I bet that certificate never left the store.
Grand Prize Vortech went to Albertareef! Way to go man, nice score! I love these raffles that are equal tickets equal chances. Although I wouldn't mind buying more tickets on certain items, it is a refreshing change once in a while to just take a true shot at chance.
A major highlight of this meet was the presentation given by Miles about fluorescent pigment proteins. He explained a number of things on the subject such as tracking/monitoring cell functions, mutations, calcium and photo reactions...It was wild.
I can elaborate a little more when I get back from work but for now just enjoy these shots of Mils slides. He did a great job and was very informative, answering all of Andy's questions But really Miles, Thank You, it was awesome.
A slide miles had showing the cell internal structure and Florescent Proteins that assist in research.
Lined up were a number of people who wanted to get a more in depth knowledge of the mysterious GFPs. You can see all the way down on the left had side there is a junior member getting his first reef class sessions in.
. OptimusPrime taking addvantage of the black light LED flashlight. I wish I could take those, inject them into my montis, and make a new variety of "tie dye" coral.
OH and th
e obligatory coral shots here and there.
Miles brought some samples of the Florescent Proteins, both natural and man made. Not too sure where he gets all these but I wouldn't mind a few for this upcoming Halloween...How many corals would you say is in one of those little bottles Miles?
It is getting to the point that I need to restock my Ca reactor and thought it might be a good opportunity to see what folk here recommend/prefer for media. There seem to be a few more widely available options like ReBorn (Little Fishes), ARM (Caribsea) and Reef Reactor (Seachem) but probably more that I am missing. Like many things reef, I would expect people to have some opinions on their relative merit and, of course, would be interested to hear those along with positive/negative experiences if you are willing to share.
Thanks in advance!
What: BBQ ribs, Potluck , Raffle Extravaganza and Swap Meet!
When: Sunday August 13
12 noon to 4 pm
Where: 1506 SE Martins Street
Portland, OR 97202
Next meeting is the summer barbecue and potluck!! Sirena is going to fire up the Traegar and make some delicious ribs! You are in for a treat!!
If that's not enough , bring all that equipment you have been hoarding and trade or sell with others. Make some money and make your significant other happy you finally cleaned out the garage!!
We will have a canopy and tables and it will be secure in the backyard!
But wait there is more !! We will have a 1000 dollars worth of raffle items including a members only grand prize!! That's right folks this is a great time to become a supporting member and everyone gets an equal chance at the prize!!
More to come !!!