Barr's Behemoth giant plant tank

Tom Barr

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JoeBanks;12878 said:
What kind of mechanical filtration do you use on the esquire tank? Sand filter?

Doesn't the pump required for this size tank make too much noise for an indoor tank? How do you deal with the pump noise and vibration?

I'm asking because I'm planning a 360G later this year, and I'm wondering what would be best equipment for quiet but high volume filtration.

A 360 is small:)

We use a mech bag filter, we can use 800mic, 100mic, 50, 20, 5, 1 micron bags, they are high flow and there are 4 on this tank rated at 1000gph.
There is also 2 large OC pleated filters, and a large 400 gal sump and 6 ft FBF and a 5 Ft biotower.

500w of UV as well.

The pumps we had used were too loud, we went with the largest Iwaski pumps(always in pairs), some soft padding helps.


I'd suggest those and get a pair for about 2000-3000 gph, a nice large sump, sealed Biotower, a nice pair of venturis for the CO2.
I'm doing a 380 gal later this next month for the same client.

I think we will use a OC filter(2) and a pair of the largest Ehiems, maybe 3 and 150w of UV, or .......hopefully a sump set up.



Regards,
Tom Barr
 

JoeBanks

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I'm using 2 OC filters in series on the 180G I have now. The first with coarse and fine polystrand, and the second with pleated.

What I don't like about it is that it can't be backwashed cleanly. I was thinking that a sand filter would be easier maintenance with backwashing and also double as a biological filter. Have you ever used a sand filter on a tank?

As far as venturis, so far I haven't needed one. I'm injecting CO2 directly into the pipe that runs to the pump. I get full CO2 saturation very quickly without using venturis. I'm assuming the CO2 is collecting in the top of the OCs, and under 12-14 PSI is absorbed quickly. If I inject air along with the CO2, I get enough of a gas buildup in the system to push out a CO2/air mist without any extra equipment.

Is there a significant benefit to using a sump? It's another source of noise that I'd prefer to avoid.
 

Tom Barr

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I trhink that given your situation, the cleaning is really the only issue you want to improve/make easier.

I like a sump because it means the tank's water level is always dead on.
A small electronic float switch(40-50$) and top off can address that issue.

The CO2 sounds fine.
A venturi can be added at any point along the line, part of the issue there is that you can add it at any point and have mist come out if you desire that method.
Not required certainly. Sorbathane pads make for vibration and noise free padding also.

Cleaning the sponge or filter pads in a sump are about as easy as it gets though.
To clean the OC pleated(All I would use and perhaps a foam core), they are 25 mic's, I soak them in bleach for a day or so at about 1:4
Rinse well, add dechloro and then dry for a few weeks till the other needs cleaned.

You really should buy two sets for each, that way you can clean and not wait.
They last longer before you need to buy another set obviously since you have 2.

The other thing that will prolong filter cleaning: surface overflows(most of the heavy dirt is vacuumed/fluffed up during the water changes) and adding a sponge prefilter over the intakes.

Bead or sand filters work well for large systems, but I do not use them except for lakes and large ponds. Hard plumb yourself a backwash drain valve to the drain if the backwash water if you do this route, they are often large, not bad if you have a seperate room etc.

Make the filter cleaning as easy as well as the water changes!!!
Both of these are critical.
Access to the plants and trimming is the other main issue.

If it's hard, you will try and avoid it.
I fix stuff like that, so the folks will do it and not have much work once I'm done installing such labor reducing methods, equipment etc.

Take more work for just a little while in the short term, but the long term effects are well worth it.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

quatermass

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Oct 4, 2005
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Tom Barr;12882 said:
A 360 is small:)

We use a mech bag filter, we can use 800mic, 100mic, 50, 20, 5, 1 micron bags, they are high flow and there are 4 on this tank rated at 1000gph.
There is also 2 large OC pleated filters, and a large 400 gal sump and 6 ft FBF and a 5 Ft biotower.
Regards,
Tom Barr

Ok OC and FBF?

I looked on your glossary page. These are not listed.

http://www.barrreport.com/articles/...croynms-add-more-if-you-see-one-i-missed.html

Can you help me out Tom?
:)
 

Tom Barr

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Well, I thought I was walking into disaster, but it was not that bad of shape this time down.

I found out if you fill the tank 1/2 way and float in the tank, it makes replanting very easy. Trying hang or balance on sharp rocks with hands or feet hurts

Fish bit my toes.
These Altums...........well they have to be the biggest pigs in the tank, I fed them daily for 3 days and they always came to the front of the tank begging like the worst of dogs.........

He has not added all 64. 18 of the largest fattest ones have been added and have done well. I saw these when they where under 1", they are 5" long now.

Some guy in Germany sold the client these discus which are huge.

I did a total rework this time, spent about 30 hours of reworking labor.
I re[planted most of the front 2/3 of the tank except for the hair grass lawn, I added a large piece of Anubiasized wood to balance the sides, I could have added another log on the other side but filling in the blank space on the left removed that need.

I added 500lbs of ADA like Siuyo(sp) rock, this makes a very nice contrast and divides the tank up into workable units.

I'm trying to get one of the friends there to have us do a tank for Jim Carry. He has marine tank, I figure he needs a Freshwater equilvalent.

LA Zoo exhibit is a go and in the planning stages. There will definitely be 2 large tanks in the Amazon display there I will get to work on. We are also going to Amazon to collect the fish with Heiko.
They will film the entire process. Should be cool.

Note, this is the tank before I fixed it, it'll take a few days before it's happy and the plants have filled in more. It was literally covered in algae when the CO2 was off for 7 days before being fixed.

We used Excel+daily 40% water change, blackout and virtually all plants where algae free after 6 days. This is before I redid the tank.

Regards

Tom Barr

Canonpic2(4-01-2007 045.jpgresized.jpg


Canonpic2(4-01-2007 049.jpgresized.jpg


Canonpic2(4-01-2007 038100kb.jpg


Canonpic2(4-01-2007 047100kb resize.jpg
 

Tom Barr

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Full tank view prior to redoing the scape and addign rock and more wood. Note person's head below for size references.

It's tough to see the impact, but when you walk into the room, you turn the corn to having this right in your face. It makes some surprised faces.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Canonpic2(4-01-2007) 1600galresize.jpg
 

Tom Barr

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Lots.
See the start of the thread for info there.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

eddtango

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Tom Barr;15619 said:
Well, I thought I was walking into disaster, but it was not that bad of shape this time down.

I found out if you fill the tank 1/2 way and float in the tank, it makes replanting very easy. Trying hang or balance on sharp rocks with hands or feet hurts

Fish bit my toes.
These Altums...........well they have to be the biggest pigs in the tank, I fed them daily for 3 days and they always came to the front of the tank begging like the worst of dogs.........

He has not added all 64. 18 of the largest fattest ones have been added and have done well. I saw these when they where under 1", they are 5" long now.

Some guy in Germany sold the client these discus which are huge.

I did a total rework this time, spent about 30 hours of reworking labor.
I re[planted most of the front 2/3 of the tank except for the hair grass lawn, I added a large piece of Anubiasized wood to balance the sides, I could have added another log on the other side but filling in the blank space on the left removed that need.

I added 500lbs of ADA like Siuyo(sp) rock, this makes a very nice contrast and divides the tank up into workable units.

I'm trying to get one of the friends there to have us do a tank for Jim Carry. He has marine tank, I figure he needs a Freshwater equilvalent.

LA Zoo exhibit is a go and in the planning stages. There will definitely be 2 large tanks in the Amazon display there I will get to work on. We are also going to Amazon to collect the fish with Heiko.
They will film the entire process. Should be cool.

Note, this is the tank before I fixed it, it'll take a few days before it's happy and the plants have filled in more. It was literally covered in algae when the CO2 was off for 7 days before being fixed.

We used Excel+daily 40% water change, blackout and virtually all plants where algae free after 6 days. This is before I redid the tank.

Regards

Tom Barr

Some of my plants esp. Bolbitis and C.Helferi have BBA on them, I also plan to use the "blackout" method. How much EXCEL did you dose? Was the CO2 shut off during this blackout period?
 

Tom Barr

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CO2 is shut off, BO's will not help BBA, good CO2 will.

I rarely have CO2 isssues....and rarely have BBA.............
Excel at the suggested dosing for the water change is what I've used. Some add more but I will never tell anyone to use more than the label.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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After 4 long days of work and new Ecop complete, this is what it looked like right after filling:

resized4152007full.gif
 

livionakano

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Impressive!
Would you like to share this 4-days schedule ?
I can´t even imagine how to start to rebuilt such a big tank!
Regards,
Livio
 

Tom Barr

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Thursday:
Fly to the site. Unload materials, get 100 bags of Eco complete.
Load into the site. Set up tubs for fish. Catch fish. Remove plants.
Drain water, catch more fish. Do water changes 2x a day for 2-3 days on fish tubs.

Friday:
Hop in and do the wet siphoning out of the ADA AS.
One person sucks it(me), one person keeps the line with enough slack and prevents clogging by jiggling, another catches left over ADA into scaks and have a bucket dewatering strainer.

Wood goes all over.
Drain & fill to get any left over dirt, muck etc.
Scrub wood, clean Bio filter, reorganize back filter room.

Sat:
redo hard scape, add EC, fix and redo CO2 system by shortening lines, add 4 new diffusers, shorten venturi lines, replant plants.

Sun:
Clean, fix up back filter room, organize further, add O2 meter/re calibrate pH meters, CO2, and see how effective the CO2 is via pH drop.

Takes about 30-40 minutes to drop the pH to 1 full unit.
Which is extremely good given the size of this tank.

Regards,
Tom Barr
reposition things, replant a few things here and there.
 

sherry

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Feb 23, 2006
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its a gorgeous tank and it seems like an amazing project. Good Job

Will the tank have to cycle again?

I know you hate aqua soil, but I hope you can recycle it for some of your other clients anyway. I like the stuff because it so soft and doesn't break stems.
 

Tom Barr

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Do not get me wrong, I'll get over my anger at some point towards aDA and all the Bull they espouse at times, I like ADA AS, but there are trade offs and for this tank, they far out weigh the benefits.

Most times it's easier to predict trade offs.

With this client and most that keep massive tanks, they cannot deal with such issues, it just becomes too impractical.

Natural systems haha, there is no different between creation and restoration of a natural system or agricultural system. I just had a good Q&A session with a new plant Ecologist here at UCD and we see eye to eye on this.

Amano may love nature as much as I do, but I make no illusions, what we do is far from natural and this using that argument for support is terribly weak at best and just plain wrong. It sells though..........

What I need to do is some more soil tanks with sand and compare the ADA AS line with that.

There is no ideal substrate near as I have ever found.
I told Greg Morin at SeaChem what I would have liked, but they have not developed anything new in the last decade for that. Like ADA, they got a business to run and bigger fish to fry.

I can design it and list the attributes etc, but I have no desire to investr the resources, the time, the space for all that.

I would rather sell fertilizers instead:rolleyes:
The per unit cost for space and profit is terrible.
Both are very much a concern for me.
So that is why you'll not see me selling high volume low cost items that take up a lot of space and weight etc.




Regards,
Tom Barr
 

sherry

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Feb 23, 2006
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understood. as many as we are, plant geeks aren't enough to interest major corporations who can sell aqua colored gravel to most of their cilents.
 

Tom Barr

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well after some pain, the tank is shaping up.

New pics:

The client is getting things right, I still am working on adding a O2 controller and a special CO2 flow metering system, unlike anything seem in this hobby.

He still has a ways to go for scaping, but you get the general idea:

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All EI dosing methods.

I'll be heading down for Veterans holiday next to install a few bells etc, and tweak and prune some and switch some plants out that are easier for the client to wrestle with.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 
R

Russ

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I just tuned in to this thread. I'll echo what everyone else is saying. That's an beautiful, amazing tank, Tom.

-Russ