Ponzll's 3d Printed Aquarium Goodies Thread!

PonzLL
Member
This is where I'll brainstorm and post things I've designed and 3d printed to make my aquarium hobby easier or more fun!

Here's a raised mount I designed and printed to hold my T5HO lamp above my 20L tank

2018-07-29 18.00.49.jpg


Here's a test tube drain that clips onto the 2x4 legs of my stand.

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Here's a little screw on holder for the various tools I use for precision dosing in the tanks.

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And here's a little thing I designed today to carry around from tank to tank while I do my testing. It screws down to a table if needed, and has places to drain the vials and lids.

2018-08-02 22.16.37.jpg



That's all I've made so far, but I just started doing it this week. If anyone has some neat ideas please share! I think something I want to do is make something to tie moss to.
 
IHaveADogToo
Member
Aaaaaaaand there's my excuse to buy a 3D printer
 
HelloThere
Member
IHaveADogToo said:
Aaaaaaaand there's my excuse to buy a 3D printer
Saaaaame here, is it aquarium safe?
 
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PonzLL
Member
PLA is plant based and is considered safe. You can also print with ABS which many aquarium components sold is stores are made of. PETG is another option that's completely tested and considered food grade.

I just discovered that there's a DIY forum. Is there any way for a mod to move this thread there please?
 
AquaticJ
Member
PonzLL said:
I just discovered that there's a DIY forum. Is there any way for a mod to move this thread there please?
Lucy
 
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PonzLL
Member
Here's the updated version of the testing/draining station!


2018-08-03 17.09.12-1.jpg

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techfool
Member
Is this nerd heaven?
Not quite up to your standard but here's a bit of wire holding up a pothos. You can just see my betta to the right.
 
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PonzLL
Member
lol I just have pothos hanging out the back of my filter
 
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PonzLL
Member
I printed this last night, it's a bonsaI tree modeled after cholla wood. I did not design this one myself, but found it on thingiverse and thought it was awesome to tie java moss to for my shrimp tank!


Attach26567_20180806_101555.jpg


These are 3 models that I'm going to throw up on the printer tonight. All are variations on the ones that I've made already. I think I'm going to make an Etsy store or something.

First one is for drying vials. It screws to a side panel or wall. Second is a drying station for vials and lids that sets on a shelf or table. It can be screwed down too. The third is a shelf to stick java moss or whatever to the side wall.


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PonzLL
Member
Alright here we go. I like the tree. The java moss looks pretty bad so far, but I'm hoping it'll eventually get used to my water and take off.


2018-08-06 20.22.39.jpg


Tired of using an air stone for a diffuser

Too cheap to buy a real one

gonna try to 3d print one by forcing tiny CO2 bubbles between the microscopic gaps in printed layers.


2.jpg


I made the infill full of gaps so that only the outer walls restrict flow.


1.jpg
 
aussieJJDude
Member
I'm interested to seeing how that CO2 diffuser works... I'm subbing.
 
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PonzLL
Member
You and me both my friend. The printer was still going when I went to bed, so I haven't been able to start the diffuser yet, but I'm gonna see if I can walk my wife through starting it over the phone like I did the other day so that it's printed for me when I get home from work
 
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smee82
Moderator
Member
I wonder how to convince my wife that buying a 3d printer is a good idea.
 
aussieJJDude
Member
smee82 said:
I wonder how to convince my wife that buying a 3d printer is a good idea.
You need it for 'work'?
 
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PonzLL
Member
3d printers aren't even that expensive, especially up against a hobby like this.

I'm using a Maker Select V2 which was $300, but they have a smaller one that prints just as nice for like $200.

Also here are the 3 prints that I did last night just to get parts for each of the 3 new designs posted above.


2018-08-07 15.52.39.jpg

2018-08-07 15.52.07.jpg

2018-08-07 15.51.18.jpg
 
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PonzLL
Member
I tried doing the diffuser walls 3 different ways and all of them just give me a big bubble every second or so. Oh well

I'm currently printing a shorter version of my moss bed, and after that finishes, I'm going to throw this thing up. It's custom for my 4 tanks to test Ammonia and Nitrite all at once.


home testing.jpg
 
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PonzLL
Member
The part above finished late last night and it turned out super nice. I'll post a picture today when I do my water testing!

Today I designed these to use with the DIY python water changer I put together last night. One is a vac to screw to the end of my water hose, and the other is a piece to screw on for adding water back in without disturbing everything. As I'm typing this I realized I need a female thread, so I'll fix that lol. May as well keep these ones though.


vacs.png


edit: here's the female set I'm gonna actually print.


vacsfemale.png
 
WTFish?
Member
Holy heck, this is really a thing and not just on the sci-fI channel? Wow! Great talent, you for sure need an Etsy store! I want that tree! Thanks for sharing.
 
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PonzLL
Member
WTFish? said:
Holy heck, this is really a thing and not just on the sci-fI channel? Wow! Great talent, you for sure need an Etsy store! I want that tree! Thanks for sharing.
thank you! Yeah 3d printing is miraculous lol

Unfortunately that bonsaI is the only thing I did not design myself, and it has a non-commercial license so I am not allowed to sell it. I've actually been working on my first etsy store though lol. I'm new to that site so still trying to figure out how it all works
 
WTFish?
Member
PonzLL said:
thank you! Yeah 3d printing is miraculous lol

Unfortunately that bonsaI is the only thing I did not design myself, and it has a non-commercial license so I am not allowed to sell it. I've actually been working on my first etsy store though lol. I'm new to that site so still trying to figure out how it all works
Well all of those are fantastic ideas, I’m sure your business will take off!
 
Sasha123
Member
Really cool stuff. I use a piece of styrofoam with holes poked in it to hold my test tubes for my water tests..Ive not seen any holders at the lfs here, you market those Id buy one.
 
Lacey D
Member
Do you have an Instructables, Thingiverse, or some other 3-D printing design share account I can follow?? My 3-D printer has been out of commission for a while--it kept misprinting which I thought might be due to the desk it was on. We have moved it to a sturdier desk, but just haven't had time to try it again. Printing things for my aquarium was a goal of mine, and the tool holder is EXACTLY what I need!
 
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PonzLL
Member
I do, the account name is the same as here

I haven't uploaded most of the things to Thingiverse that I plan to put on Etsy though.

omg this thing is amazing. Of course I'll need to make a second one with different labels for once these are done cycling fully and I have to start testing for nitrate

I might also either make it wider or add a place to hold all the lids while I'm carrying it from tank to tank.


2018-08-08 16.58.43.jpg

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Well both of my slightly different sized test prints for the thread fit like a charm, so I just started printing both of the pieces for the python together!

2018-08-08 17.53.13.jpg
 
aussieJJDude
Member
Have you considered the return piece being on a 90 degree angle so it doesn't jet the water straight down?
 
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PonzLL
Member
aussieJJDude said:
Have you considered the return piece being on a 90 degree angle so it doesn't jet the water straight down?
Actually I hadn't! I've only used the python thing once so far, but with a 5/8" hose and my wimpy water pressure from the bathroom sink, it didn't really seem to come out with too much force with nothing on the end, so I'm thinking this will be good enough. If I have issues though, I'm definitely going to go that route on the second attempt. Thanks
 
DarkOne
Member
aussieJJDude said:
Have you considered the return piece being on a 90 degree angle so it doesn't jet the water straight down?
Saw this on Thingverse.

I just bought a few 90° 1/2" connectors at Lowes to make a hook and shoot across the top of the water.


2018-08-08 20.22.22.jpg
 
max h
Member
smee82 said:
I wonder how to convince my wife that buying a 3d printer is a good idea.
Hide it in the closet until she comes across it, then tell her you have had it for months. That works for the new guns
 
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PonzLL
Member
I had to bolt out the door for work this morning, but I snapped a pic of the finished pieces and they're looking so sweet

I can't wait to give these a try


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mossman
Member
Pretty cool stuff! You're making me want to buy one. How long does it take to design a part like this? Does the printer come with the CAD software? Any chance you could make a few of the API test tube holders/drying rack combos and throw them up on eBay? Also, I'd love to have some sort of plastic mesh substrate that I could hang on the side of my tank that would prevent my floating plants (red roof floaters) from drifting all over the place. Something to keep them bunched together. And a diffuser plate to attach to my HOB output to keep the water current down. Also, a decent sponge filter with media compartment. I could go on and on and on...
 
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PonzLL
Member
lol well I'm going to be opening an Etsy store soonish, once I finish writing descriptions, taking decent pictures, and writing out proper dimensions for the things.

Printers don't come with CAD software. I design prototype injection molds for a living, so I just use the software we use at work (Cimatron) remotely from home to do my designs. There are decent free options like tinkercad, but they're limited in what you can do.

I like some of the ideas you mentioned too, I think I might tackle a couple of those
 
Lacey D
Member
max h said:
Hide it in the closet until she comes across it, then tell her you have had it for months. That works for the new guns
And new aquariums >_>

PonzLL said:
lol well I'm going to be opening an Etsy store soonish, once I finish writing descriptions, taking decent pictures, and writing out proper dimensions for the things.

Printers don't come with CAD software. I design prototype injection molds for a living, so I just use the software we use at work (Cimatron) remotely from home to do my designs. There are decent free options like tinkercad, but they're limited in what you can do.

I like some of the ideas you mentioned too, I think I might tackle a couple of those
I've been using tinkercad to design racks--do you know anything better, especially that can export with measurements? I have to build "scale" models, because it has a max grid of 39"x 39".

Anyway, I love your designs, and can't wait for your etsy to open
 
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PonzLL
Member
Honestly I've never actually used tinkercad myself. Fusion 360 is supposedly a huge step up and is free for private use.

 
Lacey D
Member
PonzLL said:
Honestly I've never actually used tinkercad myself. Fusion 360 is supposedly a huge step up and is free for private use.

Oooh, that looks great! My husband does small parts milling as part of his home business, but has been restricted to using pre-existing design documents (and since he is milling replacement pieces, that's not a huge hinderance). He was looking for a good CAD program though to try some prototyping--I'll point him at this. and I think we qualify for both the "start-up" and "hobby" licences Amazing that they offer it for free to those who just want to use it to improve their designs <3
 
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PonzLL
Member
That's awesome, hope it works out. I did CNC for a few years before moving into my current position and really enjoyed it. I even considered doing it at home but never took the step

So I got home and got a chance to try these bad boys out!

video of it working



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PonzLL
Member
Hey all, it's been a bit since I did anything with this. Here are some tweaks I made today!

First, after some feedback from a member here, I slightly increased the height of the cap drying pins, and added a small pocket to catch water so it doesn't run off the side.


2.png


then on my personal tasting rack tailored to my 4 tanks, I added 2 more spots, one for pH and one for nitrate, since the tanks are now all cycled. I updated the labels to eliminate confusion between nitrite and nitrate. I also added a spot to put my caps since I couldn't easily carry them from room to room with me.


test.png
 
mossman
Member
Would be nice to have some sort of attachment for a standard 5 gallon bucket to make refilling smaller tanks easier without disturbing the substrate with the powerful water fall created when dumping the new water in (for those of us that refill this way). Maybe some sort of spout that can be attached to the lid (after cutting an appropriately sized hole), similar to the ones you made for the python to diffuse the water as it pours out so it isn't such a powerful concentrated stream.
 
Lacey D
Member
You inspired me, and so I tried to design and print a simple plant hanger this weekend...and my printer made a melted mass of ABS instead So I had to take everything apart and clean the nozzles and try to get to the bottom of why all my prints for the past few months have failed miserably. I suspect the reason is that I have a DaVincI 2.0 Duo >_> But I'll get it back up and printing. Thanks for reminding me what it can do, and can't wait until you have your shop open!
 
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PonzLL
Member
mossman said:
Would be nice to have some sort of attachment for a standard 5 gallon bucket to make refilling smaller tanks easier without disturbing the substrate with the powerful water fall created when dumping the new water in (for those of us that refill this way). Maybe some sort of spout that can be attached to the lid (after cutting an appropriately sized hole), similar to the ones you made for the python to diffuse the water as it pours out so it isn't such a powerful concentrated stream.
How are you currently doing it? As I was reading your post, I envisioned something that pressed onto the top edge of the bucket and funneled water to some sort of printed grate to slow the flow down a bit, but then you started talking about a lid. I never used a lid when I was filling with buckets. How are you currently doing that?

Lacey D said:
You inspired me, and so I tried to design and print a simple plant hanger this weekend...and my printer made a melted mass of ABS instead So I had to take everything apart and clean the nozzles and try to get to the bottom of why all my prints for the past few months have failed miserably. I suspect the reason is that I have a DaVincI 2.0 Duo >_> But I'll get it back up and printing. Thanks for reminding me what it can do, and can't wait until you have your shop open!
That looks like a solid little printer. Have you changed any settings since last getting a good print? I usually just print PLA because it prints at lower temperatures and I don't need to use an enclosure. When you use ABS, the higher temps can wear out your PTFE tube which guides the filament into the nozzle. Once it gets bad enough, you'll get that mess of plastic because it won't be able to feed filament through properly. Could be that, but it could also be an unleveled bed or any number of issues. Got a pic of the disaster it made? Did it start out sticking to the bed then turn sour, or was it bad from the start?
 
Lacey D
Member
PonzLL said:
That looks like a solid little printer. Have you changed any settings since last getting a good print? I usually just print PLA because it prints at lower temperatures and I don't need to use an enclosure. When you use ABS, the higher temps can wear out your PTFE tube which guides the filament into the nozzle. Once it gets bad enough, you'll get that mess of plastic because it won't be able to feed filament through properly. Could be that, but it could also be an unleveled bed or any number of issues. Got a pic of the disaster it made? Did it start out sticking to the bed then turn sour, or was it bad from the start?
I've had a lot of bed leveling issues, and found out that the community who uses this printer apparently doesn't use the built in calibrator because it's just not very good, but other tricks--I'll give that a shot this afternoon as well. I'm printing with ABS because...well, that is what it came with (we bought it third hand). It turned out quite a few decent prints when I first got it, then one failed to stick to the bed, and everything has failed since. This last time it printed a test strip on the side, and lifted up from that but the filament didn't stop running out through the nozzle like it should have, and so it dragged the test strip over to where it was printing the rest of the design...and the rest was ABS spaghettI until I stopped it a few minutes later.

When it first stopped printing well, I thought it was the desk we had it on--it shook a lot during printing. So we moved it to a sturdier surface but it seems that there are still issues. I guess I get to spend the day troubleshooting.
 
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PonzLL
Member
Lacey D said:
then one failed to stick to the bed, and everything has failed since.
Weird. Do you clean your bed at all? When I start getting adhesion issues, I wipe the bed down with alcohol and that fixes it for a while. You can also put strips of blue painters tape down on the entire print area and the part will stick to that. If all prints suddenly stopped sticking, it's possible that your starting z level is either too close or too far from the bed. You may want to thicken the first layer if your software allows that. I print a .3mm first layer with a .4mm nozzle, then everything after that is between .1mm and .2mm.

Could be other things too, but those are the easy things I'd try first.
 
DarkOne
Member
I have a DaVincI Jr 1.0 wireless that's been collecting dust for the past 2 yrs. I fired it up last week to print one of those bonsaI trees and an Amazon Echo Dot mount. I have a ton of java moss so I plan on stuffing the tree and let it grow out. I haven't found anything else I want to print.

For water changes in small tanks, I have a 80gph pump with a 3/8" hose to pump water into the tank. I also have plastic floating breeder boxes that diffuse the water even more for delicate tanks.
 
mossman
Member
For water changes in small tanks, I have a 80gph pump with a 3/8" hose to pump water into the tank. I also have plastic floating breeder boxes that diffuse the water even more for delicate tanks.
I just bought a small submersible pump, so that should do the trick. I like the breeder box idea. I remember reading that somewhere else earlier today.
 
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PonzLL
Member
I've done the breeder box thing in the past, and it definitely helps, especially when I was using a big bucket I couldn't control the flow rate of.
 
ETNsilverstar
Member
Definitely need your etsy once you get it up and running! I'm DYING for your test tube rack! lol
 
DarkOne
Member
mossman said:
I just bought a small submersible pump, so that should do the trick. I like the breeder box idea. I remember reading that somewhere else earlier today.
I have 2 pumps. The 80gph is for delicate tanks and a 550gph with reducers down to 1/2" hose for quicker fill/empty.

ETNsilverstar said:
Definitely need your etsy once you get it up and running! I'm DYING for your test tube rack! lol
I just used a scrap piece of 2x4 to make a test tube holder after building my 75 gallon stand. I sanded it but didn't paint it.

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PonzLL
Member
That's a nice solution. I thought about doing that originally but then remembered I have a 3d printer lol. What are those caps? I like those way better than the white ones that came with my kit.

And I used to have my etsy page in my signature but it got removed by a moderator. Understandable. Currently waiting to find out if it's OK for me to post it in the B/S/T forum
 
DarkOne
Member
#000 rubber stoppers

5pk for $9


25pk for $14
 
  • Thread Starter
PonzLL
Member
Thank you, I'm gonna get a pack of those. The white ones leak on me, especially during the nitrate test!

Here are the updated designs I printed last night. The big one is custom to let me test all of my tanks + give me a place to carry the lids around as I collect water.


2018-08-22 13.52.55.jpg


The second are alterations that mossman recommended. The drainage on the caps is much nicer, and doesn't spill over the side. The center holding pin is a little awkward to me but that's fine.


2018-08-22 13.53.11.jpg


Oh and I forgot I'm making a 5/8" barb fitting to screw onto the python attachments. It's printing right now, should be done in a bit.


1.jpg
 
DarkOne
Member
I use a syringe to fill the test tubes. Easier to fill and more precise.

I'm not sure I'd trust a printed barb fitting. 3d prints are great and all but they're not good for parts that have any stress on them, even printed at 100% infill.
 
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PonzLL
Member
I use an eyedropper to fill my tubes, and syringes to dose ferts and ammonia when I cycle. I agree on the barbs, I had to thicken up the inner wall which reduced to flow a bit, but I think it's the only way to keep it strong enough. I'm gonna abuse the test prints a bit before I try to sell any lol

Ok the print is done. It's a nice fit into the existing piece, and I've tried with all my might to break it with my hands and can't do it. I think it's pretty tough. Now I just need to get my hand on some 5/8" tubing and garden hose to test the fit.


2018-08-22 17.00.09.jpg
 
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