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Equipment Layout Idea (150G Starphire Tank)

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by flymo7884, May 13, 2009.

  1. flymo7884

    flymo7884 Junior Poster

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    Hi all,

    I'm in the process of designing and planning my dream tank (72" x 24" x 20" Starphire).

    At the moment, I'm really spending a lot of time trying to figure out what the best set up will be, in regards to the equipment used in the tank.

    For my current design, the following equipment would be used:

    Filtration:
    Eheim Pro 3 2080 Canister Filter
    Link: http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...canisterfilter

    CO2:
    Aqua Medic CO2 Reactor 1000
    Link: http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...co2reactor1000

    Heating:
    Hydor ETH 300 In-Line Heater-300 W (x 2)
    Link:http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...lineheater300w

    System Monitor/Controller:
    AquaController Jr
    Link: Neptune Systems - AquaControllers - AquaController Jr d=40


    EQUIPMENT LAYOUT:

    Overview:
    [​IMG]


    The Eheim 2080 has 2 intakes and 1 return, my idea has the 2 drains on the left hand side of the tank going to the filtration system. (in the picture they are not connected to the filter, but they would be).

    The return would also be connected to the filter (not the case in the picture) which would flow to the ph and temp probes (in line DIY housing).

    Then the CO2 Reactor, Heaters, and back to the tank.

    I would really appreciate any tweaks or improvements that could be made to the system to make it better.

    Is running the heaters in parallel the most effective way of heating the tank? I was thinking that running one after the other would cause 1 heater to do more work than the other.

    Thanks for reading,

    Cam,
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Cam,

    I also have a 180.

    All of this is my experience and opinion only.....

    Think about drilling the bottoms for the intake/return lines. Keeps much stuff out of sight.......

    1. The eheims are rated higher than their actual output. I think your tank will be underfiltered at best. You also plan on running the reactor with the same filter?

    At least I would run the reactor with it's own pump. I would just build a PVC reactor for $10-20 and be done with it. The am1000 has small inlet/outlets.

    http://www.barrreport.com/articles/3444-dual-venturi-diy-external-co2-reactor.html?highlight=reactor

    2. I used to use the AM1000 and found that it was not large enough for my needs.

    3. Up to you on the controller. I no longer use one but do monitor ph and temp.

    4. What about lights and substrate????????

    5. What about dosing fertilizers? any plans?

    6. What kind of fish and plants do you want to keep? This will also influence your choices.

    I could write a novel on changes I have made as I learned....

    My original config is much different than my current one.....but

    I now use the following:

    1. PanWorld 250 ps pump
    2. Nu-clear canister model 533 for mech filtration.
    3. Nu-clear canister model 547 for bio filtration.
    4. Mazzei venturi model 584 for c02 mixing/misting.
    5. The mech is on one leg and the bio/c02 is on another parallel leg.
    6. All outputs are merged and sent to the twin returns.
    7. Outlets are split to 3 nozzles on each side using loc-line.

    No heater or UV. I live in FL so heater is not needed.

    Good luck and hope this helps......
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'd use a min of 2 ehiems that size..........
    And use 2 AM 1000's.......

    Also not sure why you'd want a Neptune controller........timers for lighting perhaps, but it's pretty pricy for that purpose.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. flymo7884

    flymo7884 Junior Poster

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    Thanks Gerry and Tom for your replies,

    1.
    Unfortunately the Nu Clear filters seem to be unavailable in Australia. They look like very effective filters though.

    I'm not keen on running multiple 2080's, just because I don't want to have to drill a hole in the tank for each of the intakes for the filters.

    To try and boost flow and filtration, I think I would be better off running 2 x Eheim 2260 classic filters. That would boost me up to approx 1266 GPH and I have the ability change the pumps to the Eheim 1262 universal pumps, which would give me approx 1794 GPH.

    2.
    I chose the AM1000 reactor because I'm completely new to CO2 and it seemed like a reactor that didn't need too much attention and was effective. CO2 via a Mazzaei sounds awesome, and I've tried to do a bit of research on this.

    However I was a bit put off by some people having a lot of trouble with them in terms of fine tuning and constant fiddling with them. I guess ideally I want a CO2 reactor that is effective, reliable, and not requiring too much maintenance. Maybe the DIY reactor would be the way to go.

    3.
    I selected the Neptune Aquacontroller Jr to monitor my pH and Temp as well as control CO2 injection into the tank (via solenoid). I was originally planning to use either the Sera or Aquamedic ph controller, I just figured the Aquacontroller offered more functionality and therefore better value.

    How do you guys monitor your CO2/pH?

    4.
    Lights - To be decided (Giesemann or Aquamedic seem to be the most available in Australia).

    Substrate - ADA Aqua Soil Amazonia II

    5.
    Fertilizers - not 100% sure yet, however I ideally want to set up a autodosing system, Aquamedic seems the most available for me)

    6.
    Plants & Fish

    My aquascape plan so far is to have a hardscape of rocks and driftwood. With java moss attached to the driftwood branches. The rocks will be placed to hide the drain/returns in the tank. I really want to have a thick carpet of HC as well, not sure what other plants I will have.

    Fish - Big group of tetras (Either Black neon tetra, neon tetra, Lemon Tetras or Rummynose tetras, not 100% decided yet). I also will have a few Cory's.

    What do you guys think of the plan to use 2 x Eheim 2260's with DIY external reactor for CO2?

    Thanks for reading,

    Cam
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hey Cam,

    1. Two filters are better than one....You can drill one intake hole on each side of the tank. These can then feed BOTH of the eheims...You just have to plumb it that way. Same with the outlets, both filters can feed into one or more...

    2. The am1000 is a good product, just do as Tom says and do 2. The PVC reactor though is MUCH less expensive. If you want HC you need c02 and for it to be stable as well.

    3. I just use a timer to shut c02 on and off. No longer use a ph controller to the solenoid. C02 is on when lights are on. Ph controllers will react to ANY change in ph, even if not caused by c02.. So they may switch on and off for an invalid condition.

    4. All sounds good. You may want to try the dry start method (DSM) to start the HC and get the ADA through it's cycle.

    http://www.barrreport.com/articles/3361-new-methoid-make-nice-rug-hc-before-you-add-water.html?highlight=dry+start+method

    5. I would use dry ferts K and P, along with GH booster, and some micro nutes. Check out these threads:

    http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-plant-fertilization/3205-fertilizer-routines-one.html

    and to buy:

    Welcome to Planted Aquarium Fertilizer

    and here is a very nice tank of Tom's where he uses the DSM on a 180......

    http://www.barrreport.com/general-plant-topics/3830-180-gallon-rimless-starfire-wood-scape-thus-far.html?highlight=starfire+180

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. flymo7884

    flymo7884 Junior Poster

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    Thanks Gerry,

    I'm a bit confused about what you were saying in regards to the drains and returns:

    Can I run both Eheim's off 1 drain from the tank? Or would it create issues?




    With using 2 x AM1000's, would I just split the CO2 line in two, to feed both?

    Or would you recommend trying a Mazzei?

    Cheers,

    Cam
     
  7. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Cam,

    Imagine if you had a drain on each side of the tank. Then connect these two drains together via a single PVC pipe. Then imagine 2 'T' couplers in the middle of this connector pipe. Each eheim INTAKE would then connect to each T.

    This way BOTH intakes feed BOTH filters. You can hook each filter to a drain if you want as well. Adding ball valves and such can facilitate maintenance and water changes.

    The outlets of the eheims can be done the same way either combined or single. If an outlet at each end, you can have more control over the direction of the flow.

    I would NOT use only 1 drain. This may prove limiting to the canisters.. You have a long tank and two drains are better than one anyway.

    Yes, just either get a c02 manifold that can direct to mult outlets or just split. If just a simple split, you will have less control over each unit. The manifold would allow for each c02 feed to be regulated. Don't forget a check valve on each line.

    I would try the reactors first. They are easy to use, connect, and work pretty well. If you find it insufficient, a mazzei may be better, but then you need a high pressure pump, so the eheims would not power it.

    I would still say build the reactors yourself and spend the money on something else......

    I know Tom posted a recent pic of a client's 450 gal. They used 6 eheims and 4 am1000 all plumbed together. Look for it, it is pretty cool...........

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    I also have a 180 ... and I would echo two key points from Gerry ...

    If possible get drilled tanks, it just makes everything easier from filtration, to water changes, and it simply is a cleaner look ...

    And I would especially echo the view that two canister filters are essential ... it allows you a lot more flexibility in terms of what filter media you want to use, and during special occasions, it allows you to use one type of media in one filter and a different type of media in the other filter ...

    If money is not an object ... I would also recommend a UV filter ... the bulbs have to be replaced relatively frequently and are not cheap, but it is an excellent tool to use when you need to stabilize a tank that is out of whack ...

    Between mechanical filtration and UV sterilizers, you can blunt the magnitude of a lot of algae episodes or outbreaks ...

    Greg
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The Classic 2260 are great filters, easier to service IME than the nu Clear or OC filters.............

    Gerry, the new ehiem pro's are 2 drains and 1 return, so you'd need 6 holes, with the classics, only 4 for 2 canisters.

    The older pro's are better priced for what you get and transfer less heat.
    They also hold a lot of media/more flow.

    I'd make a Tee off the main lines for each return for the AM 1000 reactors, with a ball valve to control the flow thru rate for each with the rest bypassing and returning to the tank.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. flymo7884

    flymo7884 Junior Poster

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    Hey guys,

    I've taken the feedback on board, and I've come up with a new diagram using this information:

    Overview:
    [​IMG]

    I have the tank draining from both ends, both Eheim's are connected to this main line.

    [​IMG]

    The Eheim's then connect to the CO2 reactors (I think I will go DIY, http://www.barrreport.com/articles/3444-dual-venturi-diy-external-co2-reactor.html?highlight=reactor is what i'm planning).

    Then the flow goes to the heaters, then ready to be returned back to the tank.

    [​IMG]

    Then this the part i'm stuck on, where to place the returns and what direction would be the most effective:

    [​IMG]


    Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Once I figure out the returns, I will incorporate this idea into the system, thank you for the idea.

    Cheers,

    Cam
     
  11. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Cam,

    All looks good.

    The returns I would drill just like the intakes.... Up to you where placed, but one at each end would be optimal...........this way they come up from the bottom and can be hidden better..........

    Just note that heated water contains LESS c02, so you may need to add more c02 to make up for this.

    I like the config then as you drain from both sides, and both sides return c02 enriched, filtered, and heated water.

    I think the DIY reactor would work great one on each side like that.

    Also think about maintenance, water changes, and such. You want to use true union valves or easy connections where possible in case of change..

    If you can plumb a system where the water drains with a few valves, it will save much time. Less work on maintenance usually results in more maintenance lol

    You may also want to research a hydor koralia powerhead. comes in many sizes and produce a nice flow/current.. I use a model IV at one end going across..
     
  12. flymo7884

    flymo7884 Junior Poster

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    Hey guys,

    Just a quick question,

    What are the disadvantages of only running one CO2 reactor for this system?

    Cheers,

    Cam
     
  13. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hey Cam,

    Insufficient and/or unstable c02 levels would be my main concerns........

    I found that a single AM1000 powered by a mag drive 500 gph pump was not enough for the type/amount of plants I wanted.

    It worked okay when my 180 was filled with Anubias, Java Fern, Moss, and some C. Wendti, but not when I went for the 'garden' look with many types.

    A DIY reactor larger than this model may be enough for what you need if powered by a corresponding sized pump.

    I have a mazzei now and would not trade it but if I do change it I will most likely go with 2 reactors myself..........

    I think having two gives you a little wiggle room. Plus you are then halving (in a sense) the amount of water the reactor has to service......

    Do they have the ocean clear filters by you? They are excellent canisters as well and have a model where there is a plug-in UV...

    Tom,

    Ahhh, got it. Did not know but think 2 drains are better than one. Thanks for the clarification...

    Hope this helps.
     
  14. flymo7884

    flymo7884 Junior Poster

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    Hey Gerry,

    Ocean clear filters are also unavailable in Aus :(

    I think the 2260's would be the best filters for my set up (I hope).

    When I get some spare time I will update my diagram.

    Cheers

    Cam
     
  15. flymo7884

    flymo7884 Junior Poster

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    Hi everyone,

    I've done a bit of research for what lighting I will be using for this tank.

    I really like the look of the Aqua Medic "Sunlight NG" systems.

    I had a look at the Aqua Medic operational manual:
    http://www.aqua-medic.de/en/service/pdfs/aquasunlight%20NG%20_85512_.pdf

    It gives the version options as:
    60cm
    120cm
    180cm

    But also the option of 90cm and 150cm versions.

    I know the 180cm version is the size for my tank (72"L x 24"W x 20"H), however I would prefer to have 2 of the smaller options, just to make positioning and moving a lot easier and flexible.

    Would I be better off with?
    2 x 60 cm units
    or
    2 x 90 cm units

    Has anyone had any experience with the Aquasunlight NG systems? I've read somewhere they can simulate Dawn/Dusk however it does not give a description on how they do this.

    Can anyone give me more information on how these units provide those effects?

    Thanks for reading,

    Cam
     
  16. flymo7884

    flymo7884 Junior Poster

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    Hi everyone,

    I've come up with a new layout for the equipment:

    [​IMG]

    I have 4 drilled holes in the tank (2 drains, 2 returns).

    Each Eheim 2260 will have it's own drain, that will then flow onto the CO2 reactor, Hydor 300W heater, then back to the tank.

    I will be using flexible pvc so there will not be as many 90 degree elbows as the diagram shows (my limited google sketch up skills).

    I've also included a bypass loop for both CO2 reactors, to control flow.

    The grey coloured parts are ball valves/unions.

    The returns in the tank will be split into 2 directions each:
    [​IMG]

    More photo's:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In terms of lighting, I think i'm going to build a custom fixture.

    Using GHL profilux light controllers and dimmable ballasts.

    At the moment, looking to have 8 x 39W T5HO on the system.

    Comments and feedback would be much appreciated,

    Thank you,

    Cam
     
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