90 Gallon System Build

Shaina

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Finally had a chance to get some work done on the 90 today.

The main project of the day was installing my 2x55W light kit from AH supply.
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All pieces accounted for:
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Installing on the inside cover of my canopy...they didn't fit end-to-end because of the way the canopy is constructed, so I elected to put them in at a slant so that the middle of the aquarium is the brightest and the light decreases to the sides and back. We'll see how it turns out lol. The reflector on the right has the protective film removed in this pick to show the difference. Those reflectors are amazing.
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The reflectors and endcaps installed with the pooch standing by; the other dog wasn't so interested:
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Threaded the endcap wires through the canopy top gap and install the ballast and accompanying power cord on top where they would be ventilated and not exposed to extreme humidity.
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Fired it up to test -- success!
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Also cut out the egg crate top for the tank. Each of the two sections is actually in two parts to make it easier for me to get into the tank later:
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Also started on the sump...here's the tank w/ just the lines drawn:
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And with the baffle supports (messily but hopefully effectively) siliconed in place:
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That's all the progress for today...hopefully I will be able to get more done tomorrow.
 
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Shaina

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The GT, two of the Pictus, and one of the bristlenose that will be going in the 90...sorry for the photo quality...the water in the quar is tannin-stained and that tank has no light.

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Also got the pool filter sand today and tested the sump for leaks...one small one that will be patched up tomorrow once it's dry.
 
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Shaina

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Patches the two small leaks in the sump (though they wouldn't have mattered, I had the silicon gun out and thought I may as well). The reason the silicon gun was out was because the vertical silicon beads on the inside of the 90 were in poor shape, though the silicon directly between the panes appeared okay. I stripped off the bad inside beads, cleaned the glass, and laid new beads on Saturday.

Last night, with the assistance of the ever-so-helpful DH, the tank and stand were moved to the basement, where they will reside (90 gal tank are HEAVY on narrow stairs! :eek. For now, though, they are next to the sump drain. Filled the tank 1/2 full last night using a Python from the *upstairs* sink (the sink downstairs is not compatible)...thank goodness I got that 50' one. The plan for water changes is to drain straight to the sump pit through a mesh bag (to trap anything big that gets sucked in), and refill from the faucet upstairs.

This afternoon, assuming there are no leaks, I will fill the rest of the tank and, with any luck, will drain it and move it to its permanent place tomorrow.

I think I am going to run the sump and tank with *just* water first, with some activated charcoal in the sump, to pull any nasties that have managed to get into the tank during this time...not sure how effective that will be, though.

Anyway...progress!

And Happy New Year's Eve!
 

Jess

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Wow Shaina, sounds like you know what you're doing and are doing it! You go girl!
 
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Shaina

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Thanks, Jess it's been fun so far, lol.

The tank passed its 24 hrs @ half-full inspection, so it's totally full now.


Some pics to catch up...

The Tank


After stripping off most of the inner silicon bead, but before really cleaning it up to re-silicon:
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Taped to re-silicon neatly...I didn't care about the appearance of the sump, but this is a bit more important, lol:
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Sump/Plumbing


Bottom side of the overflow:
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Eheim pump:
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The problem? The barb on the bottom of the overflow bulkhead is 3/4" and attached with some sort of sealant. The top of the Eheim is metric, but can take a 5/8" tubing...not a 3/4". I looked all over town for a 3/4" to 5/8" barb reducer but no one had them, so I ended up jury-rigging one:
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Also, an idea of what the sump will look like, though there will be filter media in the second to right chamber as well, and the media may be rearranged. At least one chamber will be pot scrubbers.
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The sump is not plumbed at this point...the water level in the overflow is not enough to leave the main tank, though a bucket is under there just in case


Starting to fill the tank last night, with the python running from upstairs:
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That's all for now Thanks for looking!
 

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WOW - great thread and great pics. Thanks for sharing your setup progress with us. This is cool.
 
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Shaina

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Thanks, Mike



This weekend's progress:

Thursday/Friday

Added the pool filter sand to the tank and refilled it in its new (final) position. Left things to settle.

Saturday/Sunday

Connected the plumbing between the sump and tank. Added a micro particle filter to the sump so that when I turned it one, suspended sand particles would (hopefully) be pulled out before reaching the pump.

Filled the tank to the point that it filled the overflow and flowed down into the sump, filling the sump. No leaks were observed in the sump during the filling process, so apparenly my patch job was successful. Once the sump level was high enough, I stopped filling, crossed my fingers, held my breath, and flipped the power on for the sump pump...

Good News: It works. The pump quietly pumped the water back up and into the tank, and there were no leaks. Water skimmed from the tank into the overflow compartment quietly and fast enough to keep the tank level steady, and entered the inlet to the tank-to-sump drain. That's where things went wrong.

Bad News: The overflow plumbing inlet that came with the tank was based off the Durso standpipe design (will include the link when I add pictures tonight, for those interested). However, there are several problems...

First, the standpipe was designed for a different pump...and that pump had a different flow rate than mine. Thus, it is not calibrated for my flowrate. The easiest way to fix that would be to silicon the air holes in the cap closed and redrill holes until it is properly tuned. Secondly, when I got the tank I read up on Durso standpipes, and for 1" bulkheads (which I have) it is recommended that one use a 1.25" standpipe...the DIY job I was given was a 1". I knew both of these things could be a problem, but elected to test it before going out and getting parts for a new one. Well, now I had my answer...the water was still "flushing" ranther than smoothly flowing to the sump, expelling air and water loudly and messily.

In addition, the water return spout was turned downward to release the water under the surface in the tank...in my preoccupation with the overflow issues I failed to note the significance of this until I turned the pump off and water back-siphoned through the spout and started overflowing the sump below. Oops.


The new standpipe was assembled and ready to go last night except that I forgot to grab a 1.25" PVC coupler when I was at the hardware yesterday, so I couldn't attach and test it without another trip to the store. Between that and setting up a few fans to dry the last of the spilled water from the sump, I decided to call it quits, haha. Back at it tonight.
 

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Shaina, sounds like you're going to make it work. Looking forward to more pictures.
 
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Shaina

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Okay, quick picture/vid update:

Put the new, completed Durso standpipe in place. Used a "street ell" for the inlet to save on space but it was still too big to fit in the overflow compartment (must be why the former owners used the smaller size). Used my handy-dandy hacksaw to shorten up the pieces since I don't need that much seal area anyway. Fortunately, this was enough, and it was able to fit.

First config:
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Cutting off (yeah my cuts are bad, lol. Does the trick though):
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Installed:
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Full tank with Sump showing. Water still cloudy but improving. As you can see the sump is really quite full...the whole system is shut down when I'm not home until I have a chance to test it for maximum allowable water capacity without a flood risk in the event of a power outage:
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Fired everything everything up after drilling a single 1/16" hole in the cap of the Durso standpipe. Water continuously rose, formed a full siphon, and dropped to the inlet level where the siphon broke and the water level began raising again. Still an improvement over the 1" Durso, though, so that was encouraging. After consulting a friend who knows significantly more about plumbing than I do, I went to increase the air opening on the top of the cap. Slowly added more 1/16" holes (added more rather than simply making the first one bigger in order to improve accuracy and repairability without having to start over in the event of overshooting). At 12 holes, things started to look and sound pretty good, so I let it settle a bit...came back an hour later and the flow into the standpipe is about as consistent and quiet as I could possibly wish, though I am considering replacing the flexible tubing that runs to the sump with a smoother product.

A vid of the working overflow and sump:

Thanks all for now, thanks for looking
 

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WOW! Well done!
Now I can relate to what you have been doing as we are doing the same with our 85 salty and sump. The tank is in the house and the sump is outside with the plumbing going through the glass window ( well try and drill the window tonight ).
But let me say that you have done a top job on your setup!
 

Jess

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Shaina, nice job. : ) Thanks for the video too. What size is the tank below? So the sump is basically a very large filtering system not unlike on HOB but a HUT (hide under tank).Do you have any idea what the turn over rate is?
Will you plant live plants into the pool sand?
This is very cool!
 
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Shaina

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Shaina, nice job. : ) Thanks for the video too. What size is the tank below? So the sump is basically a very large filtering system not unlike on HOB but a HUT (hide under tank).Do you have any idea what the turn over rate is?
Will you plant live plants into the pool sand?
This is very cool!
Thanks Jess

The tank below is a 20 high. I wanted to put a 29 under there, and actually bought one on sale for $25, but lo and behold it did not fit...there was room *in* the stand, but not quiet enough leeway to get it in there, no matter how I tried (from the top, the front, the back, etc.).

I suppose you could think of it like a combination of a huge HOB and a cannister filter. Since I may one day want the tank to be fully planted (*can fully planted discus tank dreams in the distant future), I didn't want a wet/dry sump (if I need extra oxygenation of water now, I can just adjust the angle of the nozzle that goes into the tank to create more or less surface agitation). The idea was to create something that will last and provide as much customization as possible, while being easy to maintain and provide excellent filtration potential (depending, of course, on what I put in there).

I haven't actually calculated the turnover rate yet. It's an Eheim 1260 hobby pump, so with ~4' head (the vertical distance it has to pump the water), it should be pumping about 475 gph. That will likely be reduced somewhat when I stuff the filter full of media. I might end up adding a smallish powerhead in the right corner of the display tank if there are dead spots.

I'm going to pot vallisnera/sagiteria in flourite and terracotta pots and see how they do. May also tie some Java Fern (if I find some somewhere) and Anubia (since the ones in my other tank are nearly big enough to split) to the driftwood and rocks I have set aside for this tank.
 
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Shaina

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Tank water is running clear, finally A bit discolored, but that will be taken care of by the activated carbon I throw in the sump tomorrow, once I pick up some cheap nylon hose.
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"Banner", my Green Terror, is still waiting in quarantine. He's about 1.75" and living in a 10 gal because the 29 is finished it's sanitation. The parameters have remained stable, but I'm doing 50% water changes every day to every other day to be safe. Looking forward to getting him into his "real" tank.
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Jess

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I read that one's turn over rate should be about 5x per hour. I have no idea what mine does. But I like your idea of adding powerheads if needed.
I have a large planted Val in a container, it works great. At the moment its all the green I have.
Are the Green Terror's named for a reason. (gorgeous fella by the way) Will he get along with your dream Discus?
 
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Shaina

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I read that one's turn over rate should be about 5x per hour. I have no idea what mine does. But I like your idea of adding powerheads if needed.
It really just depends on your filter set up. If you are turning over your tank volume 10x/hr but it's going through only 100 square inches of filter media surface area, you'll get less biological filtration then if you are turning over your tank volume 3x/hr, but going through 1000 sq inches of filter media surface area. This is also affected by how efficiently your filter works...if you have a lot of channeling, for instance (where water rushes through a gap in your media...say bioballs, rather than having to 'wind' its way through), then your filter media surface area is being bypassed, and efficiency of your filter drops.


Are the Green Terror's named for a reason. (gorgeous fella by the way) Will he get along with your dream Discus?
LOL, he will never ever share a tank with Discus. The discus idea is for years from now. As for personality...well cichlids tend to be pretty individual, but yeah, they have the name for a reason. Not the meanest fish out there by any stretch, but they can get quite rough.
 

Jess

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Well in that case it seems like your large system will be very effective with lots of bio space.
I was thinking last night about your setup. When one chamber fills it fall over to the next and so on. Does the water ever get to pass to the bottom of each chamber so it gets filtered down and through? I was wondering as you mentioned what is the route the water takes. (I wish I could draw what I'm trying to describe, as drawings are so effective with descriptions)
 
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