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Advice on tank purchase and plumbing please :)

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by Immy, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Immy

    Immy Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hello Everyone,

    I'm finally getting close to setting up a planted tank and would appreciate some advice on plumbing and what type of glass to get on my tank. I've been thinking of getting a rimless 75 Gallon with the bottoms drilled for a closed filtration system. The tank will be made with ½” glass and I’m not sure on whether to go with Starphire or normal float glass (for half the price). I haven’t had the opportunity to see the difference in person so would appreciate some input from those of you who have seen the difference.

    My second issue is figuring out what size of bulkheads to fit at the bottom of my tank. My pump is a turbosea 790P (high pressure ~ 800GPH) with ¾” inlet/outlet which will power the nu clear 533/547 and ETH 300/UV sterilizer. I am unsure of whether to use the mazzei 384 for my CO2 injection and if the one pump will offer enough pressure to do everything, or to use my mag 7 with fractionating impeller instead of the mazzei. Will having a 800GPH high pressure pump AND a mag7 be too much flow for a 75 Gallon?

    If I use only the turbosea 790P then i’d imagine a 1” bulkhead draining from the tank should be enough but if I’m going to wye off and feed the mag7 as well, I’m guessing I’ll need a larger diameter drain to avoid starving the pumps....any suggestions? Since I’m new to all of this, any advice would be appreciated...even if its obvious :).

    Here is what I have at my disposal so far in terms of equipment:
    - 75 gallon rimless (soon)
    - Old fluorite black used in another non-planted tank for about 2yrs
    - Hydor eth 300 heater
    - Coralife turbo twist 3x UV sterilizer
    - Coralife turbosea 790P high pressure pump
    - Nu clear 533 and 547
    - Mag 7 with fractionating impeller
    - Mazzei venturi 384
    - Pressurized CO2 (Rex Grigg regulator and Fabco needle valve)
    - Milwaukee ph controller (as a fall back rather than the main source of CO2 control)
    - Vortech MP40
    - Lighting - still considering whether to go for a premade fixture or DIY something to match my stand – I’m estimating 4x54W T5’s with separate switches (2 bulbs/switch) so that I’ll have the full 4 bulbs only as a midday burst.

    Its taken me a long time to collect everything but I figured I’d save the actual tank purchase for last when I’m finally settled back home in Canada. So here I am. Thanks in advance for any advice!!!

    p.s. sorry for the lonnng post. I just thought that I'd provide as much info as I could think of to give you guys a better understanding of what I'm hoping to set up.

    Cheers,

    Immy
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    Glass: I vote for Starfire glass on ANY side open to viewing...Normal glass non tempered for the bottom to drill it.

    Bulkheads: I would include 2x3/4" for intakes and add 2-4 1/2" outlets. Lots of holes, but you can cap any you don't want and really gives you a lot of flexibility. Staggering the outlets provides many flow pattern opportunities. Your scape will change over time due to plant growth and your desire for change...

    Questions:

    1) Will the NC be in series or parallel?
    2) How would the mazzei be plumbed in with the NC?
    3) An MP40 is pretty powerful. You may not need that.
    4) A needle wheel works well for c02 as good as the mazzei..If this can be plumbed using the bulkheads, may not need the MP40.
    5) Where do the heater and UV fit into this?
    6) What about water changes? Can this be plumbed into your system somehow? At least to drain easily?

    You really need to plan and map out your plumbing. Think about throttle valves and unions for disconnect and maintenance.

    Also the more stuff in SERIES, the more flow it will take to push thru. Also clogs in the start of the chain have a big effect on the end of the chain.

    So, a mazzei plumbed AFTER the two NC will suffer performance as the NC clogs....

    Lighting: I would go with 2x54 MAX on this. There is no need for 4x54 for any length of time. Up to you, but I would go with LESS light at the start. You can always add more.

    Light is what drives nutrient demand and growth. Higher demand for c02 is harder to supply. Nutes are easy but c02 can be tricky.

    Unless you want to trim weekly....

    What are your goals in terms of plants and fish, and the type of growth/maintenance you want to undertake?

    If you think that was a long post, you obviously have never read one of mine :)
     
    #2 Gerryd, Aug 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2010
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    and more...

    If you plumb the mag 7 pump to a set of bulkheads for c02 injection, you won't have any equipment in the tank.....If you beef up the mag-7 in the future, you can do so easily...

    The NC are all 1" in/out. How do you plan to plumb between? I vote for 1" pvc flex...

    You may want to plumb your large pump to a 1 or 2" bulkhead. Then let the main pump run your NC however they are set up.

    Up to you then how/if to merge the flows to the various outlets.

    IME/IMO a closed loop has a lot going for it. Helps with c02 offgassing as well.

    I have the same two NC now in parallel and I love them. Easy to maintain, setup, etc.

    I have these on a 180 and they do a great job, so your 75 will be sparkling clean and able to handle a large fish load....
     
  4. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Long Post?... This May Be My Shortest

    Hi,

    With 20 feet of head, you should be able to plumb parallel rather than series loops. Gerry is as usual correct in my ever-humble potted-plant opinion. :D

    My “votes”


    • Sapphire glass (only for primary viewing angles) the difference is incredible.
    • Plenty of holes (what Gerry says), 2” PVC, 1.5” absolute minimum bulkheads for pressure pump.
    • Plumb drain and refill now.
    • Plumb drain to house drain if at all possible, it is worth the extra time and expense.
    • Keeping stuff out of the tank.
    • Closed loop absolutely.
    • 2X54 watt T-5’s with nice shiny reflectors, light backgrounds on non-viewing sides if you wish to raise iridescence.
    • Upgrade to Ideal Valve 52-1-11, instead of Fabco needle valve with money saved on lighting, trust me you want the Ideal Valve 52-1-11.
    • Skip the Vortech MP40, savings pay for plumbing house system to tank.
    • Mazzei, Mass Transfer Multiplier Nozzle, instead http://www.mazzei.net/?q=masstransfer

    Mainly have-fun, this is a hobby after all, not, well, golf…

    Biollante
     
  5. Immy

    Immy Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks Gerry and Biollante for the quick reply and very useful suggestions!!

    I Think I'll have two closed loops to keep the inside of the tank looking as neat as possible. Here's what I have so far...

    First Loop:

    1. 1.5" Bulkhead out from the tank
    2. wye off, ball valve to household drain
    3. union to turbosea 790P pressure pump then two parallel legs from output of pump
    4a. Leg1 - Mazzei + bypass and then NC 547
    4b. Leg2 - NC 533
    5. Converge two legs and have a bypass from the converged line with UV sterilizer and gate valve prior to UV unit to control flow
    6. Heater inline after UV bypass
    7. wye-in water source for refilling tank from household water line with Watts L1170 thermostatic mixer to regulate water temperature going into tank
    8. Bulkhead return with locline Y 3/4"

    Second Loop:

    1" bulkhead from tank to Mag7 needlewheel and return with locline Y 1/2"

    This will help me keep the mp40 out of the tank and allow me to tinker with both the mazzei and the needlewheel before deciding which way to go.

    My tank manufacturer insists on having the holes drilled and then tempering the bottom for added safety so I have to be precise about where to have my bulkhead holes. Gerry, you mentioned staggering the returns to the tank. Any suggestions on Placement of loop1 return and loop 2 return?..... or any further suggestions in general? I'm thinking of doing the 1.5" drain hole approximately 5" from the back of the tank and 3" from the side of the tank. The bulkhead for loop2 would be approximately 4" from the back of the tank and maybe 6" from the side of the tank. The returns would be on the other side of the tank and pretty much in symmetry except hole sizes. Do you think this would work? Any other suggestions?

    I know I've got a lot of work to do in terms of laying out the plumbing but am hoping to get the tank ordered first with the basic bulkhead layout.

    I really appreciate the advice!!!!

    Thanks again,
    Take good care,
    Imran
     
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