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ATS design, possible workshop


danlu_gt
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Update:  I made a typo.. not 2 pints of algae every 2 weeks.  It's almost 2 quarts! :)

I have great success with ATS as nutrient export for my system.  I clean my ATS every 2 weeks and pull just shy of 2 quarts of algae.  I did battle Dinos for months till I upgraded to larger ATS with 3x more growing area.  I have about 43 fishes which I feed over 1kg of raw frozen seafood plus flakes and pellets to my system every 3-4 months.  I don't do water change.  I will add more fresh saltwater to replenish skimmer waste and acclimate new corals/fishes.

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A lot of people asked me to share my design, so below is the design I came up with.  It's pretty basic but works well.  You put 2 grow light sources at each side.  If you use single point light source, then design the ATS a bit wider.  If you use wide light source, you can make your ATS slimmer.  All PVC is 3/4" and use union so pipe can be removed with screen easily.  I found it easier to clean the screen if removed from the PVC, so the screen holders are useful.  2 drains are to prevent clog.  The drain siphons help lower the water level in the ATS so you gain another half inch of screen growth.  To make it even more maintenance free, I toss 2-3 snails in the ATS to keep the bottom clean, which will prevent the drains from clogging with loss algae.  If you have the space for an ATS, I think this will make your reefing experience much better.

ATS.jpg

 

Things to consider for ATS size and location:

  • max height allowed to remove screen if placed above your sump under your tank.
  • allow for 1" at the bottom and 2" at the top.  So if your ATS box is 10" high, actual screen growth is about 7".
  • separate pump for ATS, more flow the better.

 

 

Where to buy materials:

  • PVC - Home Depot/Lowe's
  • Screen - Michael's.  It's call plastic canvas.  http://www.michaels.com/darice-plastic-canvas-clear/10812586.html
  • Polycarbonate - Tap Plastics (Portland and Tigard).  I use 1/4" thickness.  I recommend 1/4" or thicker.  They can cut and drill holes for you but you'll need to tell them the size, location, and dimension of sheets.  You need to account for overlap and sheet thickness so you box will be flush at top and bottom.
  • 3D parts - I can print them for $30 if you're interested.  There are many ways to build ATS and can jerry-rig with zip-ties or something creative, so custom 3D parts can be optional.
  • Grow Light - Amazon/Ebay have many options.  I got 300W grow led but actually wattage is 70W.  Inside, it have 2 35W drivers.  70W is too much, so I modify it by using one of the 35W drivers to drive all the LEDs.  Choosing LED may depend on your ATS size.  The one I got have 10 bands of LED but I'm sure just blue and red will work too.  I think it's important not to use too weak/cheap light source for this.

 

 

 

Possible workshop option:

If you feel like you still need help with this DIY project, I might able to hold an afternoon workshop for $50/ATS but only if there's enough interest.  You'll need to supply your own Polycarbonate sheets, PVC parts, and screen.  I don't know if this is even possible with our new baby schedule.

 

Workshop includes:

  • Assist with polycarbonate dimensions, prior to actual workshop.
  • Come with Polycarbonate box preassembled is optional but preferred.
  • Assist with gluing polycarbonate box.
  • Tapping 3/4" NPT theads.
  • All 3D printed parts above.
  • Weldon glue for polycarbonate and ABS.
  • Assist with modifying LED light.

Tools I have available for workshop:

  • 3/4" NPT thread tap tool.
  • Drill and drill bit for 1" hole but not ideal.  Better to have Tap Plastic drill them for you.
  • Clamp to hold polycarbonate sheets together for gluing.

 

 

 

 

Edited by danlu_gt
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A killlogram of food is alot of organics, no wonder you are in need of more efficiency. Thank you for sharing your design on the forum for us, I am one of those DIY guys so love the home built approach. And these are some nice schematics here, any way we can see the real l thing?

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A killlogram of food is alot of organics, no wonder you are in need of more efficiency. Thank you for sharing your design on the forum for us, I am one of those DIY guys so love the home built approach. And these are some nice schematics here, any way we can see the real l thing?

Sure... I cleaned it 2 days ago.

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I use a large ATS for my brood stock system because I feed so heavily. It has leds on both sides of the 8" x 12" screen. It is housed in a light prof cabinet hanging on my fishroom wall. I run the ATS on a reverse light cycle and didn't want the lighting to bother either the brood stock or larva.

 

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Edited by Fisher15
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Can it go in the sump? I don't have space otherwise. So the LED would have to sit on top of it if that would work?

 

Sump chamber is 20x20 give or tank. 200g tank

It can but will need to be above the waterline at all times. Also, there would higher risk if led units get wet.

 

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Yeah no kidding some of us are not skilled! This would be great for Sirena's seahorse tank but not sure where she could fit one.

It has to be above the sump or above the tank. Seahorse tank being in the kitchen, probably want something well hidden. Maybe place it in the cabinet above the tank but would need to drill holes. ;-)

 

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It has to be above the sump or above the tank. Seahorse tank being in the kitchen, probably want something well hidden. Maybe place it in the cabinet above the tank but would need to drill holes. ;-)

 

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Yeah don't tell her that! There will be no holes drilled in the kitchen. I could put one in my red sea reefer easily but not really having an issue as I don't feed heavy.

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Yeah don't tell her that! There will be no holes drilled in the kitchen. I could put one in my red sea reefer easily but not really having an issue as I don't feed heavy.

I think the Santa Monica Filtration Drop In scrubber would fit in the back sump of your seahorse tank. I use several of them and they work well.

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Hey Daniel do you still have your original smaller unit? What are the dimensions on that one? I am interested in experimenting with one of these but trying to figure out where I could put it.

Yes, still have it. It's 10" by 10" by 10"h.

 

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Edited by danlu_gt
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Yes, still have it. It's 12" by 8" by 10"h.

 

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That's nearly the exact size i was trying to cut up my old acrylic tanks to make! 

I can't access any of my saws so your workshop just might be right up my alley.  :thumbs:

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That's nearly the exact size i was trying to cut up my old acrylic tanks to make! 

I can't access any of my saws so your workshop just might be right up my alley.  :thumbs:

 

I don't want to misled anyone.  I don't have table saw to cut acrylic sheets.  I suggested buying them cut to size at Tap Plastics.  I have 1" drill bit and 3/4" NPT tap thread and dremel for cutting slot along the PVC.

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I don't want to misled anyone.  I don't have table saw to cut acrylic sheets.  I suggested buying them cut to size at Tap Plastics.  I have 1" drill bit and 3/4" NPT tap thread and dremel for cutting slot along the PVC.

 

That was the plan when i realized how much easier it would be to just go over to Tap and buy the pieces rather than trying to cut up a old tank to make one.  :laugh:

 

I'm sure i'll still need some help from someone who knows how to make them and how to set it up properly which is what really interest me about the workshop idea.

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