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Jack-the-reefer

Bear with me... I've been drinking.

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Okay, I'm not drunk this morning. However, with my wife out of town last week, I spent some time drinking and staring at my tank. I had an idea, and I can't decide if it sounds really cool, or an overcomplicated mess. 

I want to build a functioning tide pool. Here's what I'm thinking...

Imagine a drop off tank with two drains. One is placed up high (where you would install any normal drain), the other sits on the actual drop off section, right at the top of that section. 

There will also be two return pumps. One will run all the time. And will be just powerful enough to keep up with the low drain. Pump #2 will be on time to stimulate high /low tide. When both pumps are running, the low drain won't be able to keep up, and it will fill to the high drain. 

Thoughts? I would have to have a pretty oversized sump, but I think it should work. 

Edited by Jack-the-reefer

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Hmm.  Interesting idea.  My first thought is that you will need a really big sump to handle the change in volume in the DT.   I'm guessing the low drain would need to be gated down significantly so that the "high" return pump would be able to easily overcome that to raise the tank level up to the top drain.  Seems like it could work in theory... might take some delicate dialing in.

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Could be really cool-- especially if you time it so the tides are in sync with our coast.

I would be concerned about the smell of live rock exposed to air. Maybe use less porous rock in the upper tank?

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8 minutes ago, rdavis said:

 

I would be concerned about the smell of live rock exposed to air. Maybe use less porous rock in the upper tank?

Isn't that a critical part of the tidepool ambiance?  Kidding aside, that is a valid point to consider.

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I've thought about the sump. It will definitely have to be oversized. The overall volume won't be too much though. The  "tank" I want to use is actually a pre formed pond I picked up a while ago. 

It would be an Oregon coast theme. So hopefully the solid rocks would be less smelly. 

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I might have just thought of a better idea. The main tank is the pond already have. I make an oversized drain and hookup one one return pump. Then, I get one of the plastic pre formed waterfalls that hold a couple of gallons and set that up next to it.  The second return pump is hooked up to the waterfall. 

When pump 2 turns on, the top section fills up and spills over into the lower section. The oversized drain is plenty big to handle the extra flow. When pump  2 shuts off, the water just drains back through the pump. 

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There was a lengthy build thread on nanoreef about this. I think the guy on there was using the “tipping bucket” method to generate the waves. I’ll edit this post with a link if I can find it.

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I would be interested to see what can survive in the tidal zone area. I don't think you need two pumps. I would install a 2 pipe overflow at the drop off a portion of the main overflow. Dial in pipe #1 so that it creates a siphon and handles say 95% of the flow. The second pipe handles the 5% difference. Simple when you want the tank to fill back up you simply close the valve, maybe get a sprinkler valve. Then that 5% flow will slowly fill the tank till it reaches the top overflow. Then when you reopen the small pipe #2 it will drain back down. If you have pipe number 2 constricted you could have a really nice smooth and slow fill-up and drain system based on just opening and closing a valve on #2 not a lot to go wrong and actually fairly simple. 

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12 hours ago, xmas_one said:

Ahh, I couldn’t find that thread, look up Borneman Surge Device.

I found it. It seems much more complicated than in looking for. 

I actually think the single pump with a solonoid on the low drain seems like the easiest idea. 

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