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Burningbaal

Calling all advice for a 180g build I'm planning

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Hey all,

We're expecting a major remodel to the basement next year and I've found a spot in the plans to put the system of my dreams in :)

I'm planning a 6x2x2 display (180g) with a 150g stock tank as a sump and a 150g stock tank as a refugium with a (hopefully) clever little answer to let the refugium also supply a 50g surge into the display at will--key here is that I can enable/disable the surge whenever I want to minimize noise/etc.

 

anyways, I'm putting together the plan on a tumblr blog as it seems like a nice place to keep the thoughts together in a stream instead of broken up in a forum. Also, it should provide a place for questions/discussion relevant to each concept, almost like their own threads. I thought about doing it in a build thread, but that really seems like the wrong place since I haven't bought the first piece of gear yet.

But: please feel free to comment on the posts and/or here/etc. I want all the feedback I can get!

https://burningbaal.tumblr.com/

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My thoughts:

I would put some thought into access for maintenance.  

It is best to have your qt in an area where you can see what is going on. 

A 200w heater will do little to nothing for that amount of water.  I have 1100 watts of heater in my 400 gallon system to keep temp stable at night. 

 

Looks neat though! 

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8 hours ago, pdxmonkeyboy said:

My thoughts:

I would put some thought into access for maintenance.  

It is best to have your qt in an area where you can see what is going on. 

A 200w heater will do little to nothing for that amount of water.  I have 1100 watts of heater in my 400 gallon system to keep temp stable at night. 

 

Looks neat though! 

thanks for your feedback!  I was thinking the QT could go under the display...it's the only thing (so far) to put under there except maybe the return lines on their way to the display, and I can see it from the fish room side (obviously) as well as from the display side if I open a door. I figured a 40B or my current 29 would fit under there with a few inches to spare under the 30" stand...what am I missing?

 

Also: there are three 200w heaters planned, one in the display (backup) and two in the sump, but maybe I should add more? you have 400g of water or 400 gallon display? if that's your water volume, I'm probably needing around 800 watts. In any case, I want all my normal heating in the sump, plus a backup heater (probably insufficient, but I don't want lots of eyesores and I figure one good heater there is better than none if the heart (return) won't pump) in the display. I figured I'd chuck an extra 50w in the elevated fuge, cause...why not?

 

thanks again!

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I have 1100 watts for 400 gallon. There is a guy in Florida with around 800 gallons and he has 2,000 watts.

We are in the PNW so we spend a LOT of money on keeping tanks warm. This is why I ran halides on my DT and frag tanks on opposite schedules.

I am going to be building a huge system at my new house and will be insulating my fuge with expanding foam.

I am going to put a large long macro algae tank under my display with about 200w of ebay led grow lights. There are lots of benefits to macro algae nutrient export.

I am also planning to have some kind of "flume". Probably part of my macro tank, where I glue 1" tall " ribs" no the bottom of the spaced about 2" apart. Sediment should settle out in these areas and I can siphon it out.

Cheers


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I have 1100 watts for 400 gallon. There is a guy in Florida with around 800 gallons and he has 2,000 watts.

We are in the PNW so we spend a LOT of money on keeping tanks warm. This is why I ran halides on my DT and frag tanks on opposite schedules.

I am going to be building a huge system at my new house and will be insulating my fuge with expanding foam.

I am going to put a large long macro algae tank under my display with about 200w of ebay led grow lights. There are lots of benefits to macro algae nutrient export.

I am also planning to have some kind of "flume". Probably part of my macro tank, where I glue 1" tall " ribs" no the bottom of the spaced about 2" apart. Sediment should settle out in these areas and I can siphon it out.

Cheers


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The reef sluice box!


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Yeah I guess it would be a sluice box! I have not seen one before but it does make a lot of sense to me.

One thing about having huge rubbermaid fuge and sump is soooo much stuff gets trapped in the bottom of it.

My thought was the little chambers in a sluice box would hydraulically trap debris.

It is only theory at this point though.

Thoughts?

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Yeah I guess it would be a sluice box! I have not seen one before but it does make a lot of sense to me.

One thing about having huge rubbermaid fuge and sump is soooo much stuff gets trapped in the bottom of it.

My thought was the little chambers in a sluice box would hydraulically trap debris.

It is only theory at this point though.

Thoughts?

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This would be between your sump and the fuge? Knowing that you have filter socks before the sump, the detritus must be pretty fine. I wonder if it would be heavy enough to settle out in the sluice? Maybe if you put some filter mat in the bottom on it to help trap? My fuge has gotten kinda gross and thinking I should clean it out. May be why my nitrates have been higher than they used to be.


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interesting thinking...I appreciate the discussion. I'm been thinking I'd stick a couple powerheads near the bottom of the fuge, pointing the opposite direction than the return (say the return is pushing north and the powerheads are pushing south). The main idea was to create a little gyre so the chaeto tumbles, but maybe it'd also keep detritus stirred off the bottom. But the return should be low enough the detritus can't really go through to the display.

Also, I've got a blog post coming out soon regarding an idea to keep a pair of HDPE buckets in the stock tank fuge as a remote DSB, which should be a good place to soak up nitrates and phosphates, and hopefully do some denitrification, all with little risk of a DSB implosion.

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Hope we are not derailing the discussion, but anyways, after doing some research and some math, the sluice box would likely not capture much of the fine stuff.  I was trying to think of a system that would sort 100-200 micron particles but that is pretty fine.  The key is the low flow so the sluice box might have to be a little deeper than I anticipated (the more head above the baffles, the lower the velocity of water).   I may not be perfect but who hasn't seen detritus gathering in the corner of their frag tanks or display tanks?  

In regards to DSB.. my opinion would be that the size would be so small that the DSB in buckets really not put a dent in nutrient levels.  I am a big fan of big chaeto chambers.  They suck up ammonia, nitrates, and phos and provide habitat for all manner of creepy crawly things.  I am also in the brain storm phases for a big tank in my new house (as soon as I sell the existing house) and I think I will have a 4 foot long chaeto chamber.   Hard to make it "roll" but I have never been able to make it roll anyways and it doesn't need to roll... it just has to do its thing. 

 

 

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Not derailing, this is the kind of conversation I was hoping for!

I figured I'd have two 5g buckets just sitting in the 150g stock tank, each filled up with about 4g (~50lbs) of sand. That's 100lbs of DSB, I thought it would probably help, especially because almost all of it would be anoxic and therefore (hopefully) full of denitrifying bacteria.

I'm not too worried about getting it rolling, but figured creating a circuit of water flow is probably good and it would hopefully keep the bottom a little cleaner. I'm thinking I'll put a couple 200w black-box purple lights above the stock tank, run about 300-500gph through the returns, and maybe another 500-1000gph with powerheads near the bottom, maybe even a small maxspect gyre if I'm feeling up for it. The Triton method argues for 10x water movement in the fuge to minimize detritus, so with a full stock tank, I'm going to shoot for about 1500gph of movement in the fuge (about 1/3 as the return). I'm planning to stick the buckets of sand in the round end, with the overflow on the opposite end and have the lights over and flow in the middle section. FWIW, my return to the fuge will be via two pipes, one carrying about 150gph and the other carrying up to about 500gph (probably turned down a tad), they'll come over one side and the powerheads low on the opposite side.
 

I'm hoping to keep high enough flow in the fuge that detritus doesn't build up there, but expect I'll probably do a periodic siphoning of its bottom and the sump's floor, though I'd rather just add a powerhead and not think about it anymore :)

I don't think I'll ever have too much circulation in the fuge or sump, I think we're normally just not willing to spend money for circulation there, but if it removes the need for siphoning, I'm all for it. A simple koralia powerhead can probably fix a lot of the problems in smaller sumps, and for larger ones...a gyre can be added for the cost of a bucket or two of salt and you'll have unstoppable circulation :)

I figure it's the chaeto's job to soak up the nutrients as that detritus breaks down, and I'd rather turn those lights on more and harvest it more often than siphon detritus.

Though I expect I'll have to use something like VCA's maxijet vacuum attachment a couple times a year to clean up.

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If there are rocks in your fuge... there is going to be detritus.  I thought I would be super slick and put a layer of light diffuser on bricks and then put my life rock on that so I could easily vacuum the fuge...  It kind of worked.  What I really need is a strong vacuum line that won't clog the pump.   There always seems to be like shells, snails, and chunks of rock down there that clog things up.  Thinking about it now, I wonder if I could tape a 1" line into my shop vac hose some how..

 

FWIW, my "chaeto chamber" was a home depot tote with a notch cut in one end.  I ended up placing a cheap fish net over the notch to prevent Chaeto from leaving.  I used the amazon white box grow light over the cheto.  GREAT results.  

chaeto.jpg

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good point about detritus because of rocks in the fuge. With the elevated fuge, it'll be a little hard to work up there...I should have some space in the sump's stock tank and can put the rocks there instead. When I want to remove detritus and do a larger water change, I can turn off the returns and manifold pumps, swish the rocks around in the sump (could even run a single surge to over-fill the sump so I've got more swishing space), then do the siphoning and the water change.

Come to think of it, I'll tweak my manifold plan. The idea was to have a big outlet on the end of the manifold for larger water changes (manifold pump is outside the return section, so it has access to tons of water). But I think I'll make a point to have the output hose for that be fairly flexible so I can use it to blast detritus out of the rock and corners of the sump before the water change. Then also, I can have the input to the manifold be a long hose so I can suck detritus out of the sump as I'm doing the water change. I could even add a three-way ball valve so I can switch between an open intake on the manifold for normal operation vs a hose intake for suction.

In total, a very slight but very meaningful tweak: put the rocks in the sump instead of the fuge (no light and detritus easier to access), add suction hose to manifold for detritus sucking.

Revised water change idea:

  • regular auto water changes, maybe 1% every other day
  • Quarterly:
    • Run the powerheads at their maximum rate that doesn't make a sand storm, probably for a couple hours.
    • Do a surge to get water volume into sump and help clear the display of detritus.  Turn off returns before it refills the fuge
    • open the output from manifold to blow detritus of rocks in the sump, stick rocks on a mat/the ground temporarily
    • put the output of the manifold in a filter sock and use the input hose to suck all the detritus out of the sump (and into the sock)
    • Move the output hose to the floor drain until desired volume is drained (maybe 30-55 gallons), removing the filter sock, probably just trash it (this is a rare maintance @ 1x per quarter).
    • start adding the new saltwater from the barrel. As soon as the sump level is high enough, turn on the display's return, leaving the fuge low until all water has been replaced.

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Here is an idea... I have (had) one of my freshwater tanks plumbed so that if I wanted to, the return pump just went through the filtration system instead of the tank.  Then when I wanted to clean things I would put a bunch of filter floss int he filter section, blast water through everything and swish it all around.  Similar to what you are talking about.  It worked out pretty well.  

Maybe you could have a bucket with a bunch of holes in it, stuff it full of filter floss (the cheap stuff they sell at wallmart), and then stir and blast all your water through it. 

 

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sounds about right. I figure since I'll have an independent manifold pump, I'll just use that instead of the return, but that's not a big difference. I think it will all work great with one exception: there will undoubtedly be some larger debris that I'm trying to clean out of the sump as well, things like vermetid casings or whatever. I can scrape them off while I'm doing all of this, so that's easy. But: they'll clog the intake of the pump, and if they don't, they'll probably damage the pump. I'll need some way to screen out the larger debris and, preferably, also capture that debris for real removal...

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