Mazzei and UV placement

jeremy v

Guru Class Expert
Apr 17, 2008
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Gerry,

1. Is it optimal to keep the lengths of the intake pipes the same as much as possible?

It isn't a big deal at all in your type of application. With one pipe 3' long and the other 1' long under the tank the flows from the two legs leading to the pump intake will still be almost equal.

I want to power the following components and have heard much about running in parallel so as not to affect venturi pressure as the canisters clog.

1. Venturi.
2. Two NC canisters model 533.

What is the optimal setup here?

That depends on your priorities and what you personally want to achieve.

run in parallel- as the canisters clog more flow shifts to the venturi leg to maintain the total system pressure balance
run in series- as the canisters clog total flow is restricted so the venturi also receives less flow

Your pump has such a high head capacity, you could run the venturi in series after the canister filters and not lose much total flow, or you could run everything in parallel and be fine too. The main issue is that if you run things in series you will not be able to reduce the flow through the mazzei without cutting the flow through the entire system. If you set it all up in parallel you will have less system head and more total flow, but not all of your water will be getting filtered each time it goes through the plumbing system, because some will bypass the canister filters and just go through the mazzei and back to the tank.

Should I place the venturi on a separate leg from the canisters and combine at the end?

that would be the best setup for being able to adjust the flow levels through the mazzei without affecting the total system flow much.

Or, should I place the venturi in-line with one of the canisters but PRIOR to the OC?

No matter where you put the mazzei, you should probably have it after your OC canisters. If you have it before them it will be sending misted CO2 straight into the canister. That will most likely just create a large bubble of CO2 in the top of the canister very quickly. Also, since it would take time to push the mist through the canister filter element it might not actually still be mist by the time it gets back to the tank, it might all be fully dissolved instead.

It might be worth trying (just as an experiment at least) the mazzei before the canister, because exactly what the CO2 mist will do if it is pushed through the OC canister element is purely an educated guess on my part, I have never actually tried it. My guess is based on dealing with air bubbles in water only, not CO2 bubbles. Co2 bubbles do have some different properties when compared to air bubbles, so they might act differently. Who knows, maybe the filter element will actually break up the CO2 mist from the mazzei even further instead of just causing a large bubble of CO2 to build up in the top of the canister.

Any thought on whether 3 NC would be too much? Remember that the sump is large and has two towers full of mature bio-balls and some large mature sponges floating in the sump. This also serves as a mechanical filter with foam pads on top of the towers.

I can't answer that, it would only be speculation on my part if I did. I have never personally used OC canisters. As long as you are fine with the flow loss associated with pushing water through multiple canisters, having extra bio-media or filtration never hurt. I just don't know if it will be of enough actual benefit to warrant the cost of the extra canister. I might be wrong, but from your pictures, you don't seem to have a very high bio-load anyways.

I was thinking of going 3 NC powered by the 250 PS, and then buying a md40 or so to drive just the venturi. Then combine both of these flows.

Combining flows from two pumps into one works well as long as the two pumps are exactly the same or else have close to the same flow curves and head ratings. A Mag Drive 40 has a much smaller maximum head capacity (if I remember correctly) in comparison to your Pan World 250ps, so you might run into issues with that type of a setup. There are ways to get around those issues, but they will make everything in the whole system more complicated and sensitive to any adjustments later (smaller adjustments would change the flows in all other parts of the system making it harder to isolate or eliminate possible issues) and I don't know if that would be an attribute that you would want to have.

Just as a side question, can you get filter elements for the OC canisters with different filter ratings? For instance can you get a cartridge that filters down to 25 microns and another one that filters to 5 microns? If you can, you could put two canister's in series and then have two-step filtration. That would allow you to more finely polish the water without having the filter elements clog really fast like would happen if you only used the fine particulate filter cartridges. Running two of the exact same canister filter in parallel really only splits the system flow across twice the filter area, it doesn't make the water any cleaner. All that would change is that each of your 2 canisters would now take twice as long to get dirty because they would only be filtering half of the total flow versus only having one canister.

If the filter cartridges can only be found in one filtering rate (ie 25 microns for example) there is no real benefit to having two canisters one after the other in series either. The first canister will get 95% of the junk and clog pretty fast, and the second one will only get the 5% or so of the junk that the first canister missed so that second filter cartridge will take a long time to clog.

Have a good one, Jeremy
 

Gerryd

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Sep 23, 2007
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Initial switch to closed loop

Hey all,

Okay, latest swap update........lol

I bypassed my sump and wet/dry and went to a closed loop system.

I made it easy on myself by using PVC flex hose and the existing plumbing as this was just a quick test :)

If all goes well with the venturi loop tomorrow, I will keep it.

Each intake goes to it's own tower in the trickle filter.

I simply connected these together with a T, and then ran 1" flex PVC down to the pump intake.

I lowered the standpipes in each wier by about 3-4" to help the intake flow.

Filled the tank and ran it.

Works great!

1. No air bubbles or cavitation so far after 30-45 minutes.
2. No misting or heavier surges of bubbles.
3. No leaks!
4. Flow and operation seem no better in terms of flow, so I feel good that maybe I wasn't starving my pipe.

I will re-install the mazzei tomorrow as I want it to run overnight first.

I will keep an eye on the temp and hope it goes down some. I removed the 'cooling' fan I had trained on it, so let's see what happens.

Here is a link of the new config. The next pic is of a T with pressure guage that I will install PRIOR to the venturi. I will also install one AFTER the pump outlet.

Then I can guage the output of the pump, the pressure into the venturi, and since the NC has a guage already, I should be good to go as far as determining PSI at each point.

If the venturi and all works well, then I will remove the sump.

Then it is planning time for the new closed loop plumbing.

Since I will have my entire cabinet back, I should be able to do a nice job with PVC flex and regular pipe. I hope to run it along the walls and really get it out of the way if I can............Need to install new check and ball valves, Wyes, etc. A total redo most likely lol

Will post any developments.

Thanks for all the help.

Image of Latest and greatest config - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
 

Gerryd

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Sep 23, 2007
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Update

So I re-installed the venturi loop onto the main pump.

Observation: PH meter drop, better pearling, fish distress.

At the same c02 BPS rate as previously, my PH meter went down from a normal low of 6.04 to 5.71. Fish were visibly distressed at this point, so backed off the bubble rate ASAP, and pointed one of the powerheads at the surface for a while. They were soon at ease again, whew!

It still took awhile for the ph to get to this point, but was expecting it with the now closed loop. I planned on watching for this. Am now on a new readjustment path.............

I had always figured that my wet/dry sump was the single biggest sources of off-gassing, so now that it is out of the loop, the c02 is more efficient. I guess it was not sealed as well as I thought lol

I still have the weirs installed as they were and am still getting surface skimming this way. I may leave them like this, not sure.

Biggest issue going forward if I do, will be evaporation. Overnight, the level in the weirs feel 1/2" and would have soon been beneath the wall level and would have run my pump dry... :eek:

So, I think that lowering the wall may be a wise decision in my immediate future, and will most likely do in the next day or two.

Good news is that the flow in and out seems to be about the same as before. So, I think I did have a good system before, just had some air leaks.

Remaining 'issues':

1. Heat - temp is still higher without the fan, so I re-installed it. Still about 84 F at the end of the day, and I think this is too high. I would like to reduce this to 82 tops if possible.

2. Misting and bubbles without the c02 'on'. So, have come full circle..

Not as bad as before (thank goodness), but there for sure. As soon as I installed the venturi, no c02 on, and opened the valve, started to produce air bubbles and such.

Valve needs to be open only 15-20% for this to occur. But, opening the valve doesn't make it worse seemingly????

Good thing, is that if I close the valve completely, they disappear. At least I can produce this effect constantly to show it the is venturi portion and not the intake somewhere. So, I shut if completely for the last hour of lights on with no c02, for a perfect viewing experience!

It was MUCH more intermittent before.

So, will try the 584 model instead, and see if it makes a difference at all.

Will soon be reconfiguring once the sump is removed from the cabinet (a big job as it requires cabinet mod to remove it) and will be adding an OC bio-filter canister as well, so will see what happens then.

I also notice that the NC no longer drains of water, and the level is constant. This is more reinforement that I did have an intake leak somewhere.
Thanks again for tagging along............
 

helgymatt

Guru Class Expert
Sep 17, 2007
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Man, you must be tired of reconfiguring your system! All that work with the pump intake and then you decided to go with the closed system. I'm not surprised you still have mist with the CO2 off. It seems that there is no way to resolve that problem- at least for me. Keep us updated if you swap out the 384 for 584.
Matt
 

Gerryd

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Sep 23, 2007
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Matt,

Yeah, a little (lol) but I have learned a lot, and that alone has been worth it.

I was very attached to my sump and wet/dry, and have had it this way for over 5 years, so was determined to give it a good shot, before I took it out.

I knew I would be changing things around, so was kinda prepared for a lot of trial and error:)

I used to have a higher bio-load, so the wet/dry was nice.

I see no issues over the last 2 days with the sump out, so think I will keep the closed loop for a while.

Seems to be working fine. Just have to get used to daily evaporation top off again.

Yes, will swap the 584 in a day or so and will post results.

Overall, the tank and plants are doing better with these improvements. Better plant growth and much less algae of all types.

Just a little BBA left but am slowly winning that battle as well, as the c02 and flow are much better.
 

jeremy v

Guru Class Expert
Apr 17, 2008
166
2
18
Gerry,

Biggest issue going forward if I do, will be evaporation. Overnight, the level in the weirs feel 1/2" and would have soon been beneath the wall level and would have run my pump dry...

So, I think that lowering the wall may be a wise decision in my immediate future, and will most likely do in the next day or two.

I sort of remember you saying that you only dropped your standpipes 4" or so. Why don't you try knocking them down almost all the way to the bottom of the weir chamber before cutting into your weir walls and see if that is enough of a change? Then the entire water volume of the weir chambers will have to evaporate before you will need to add water and/or possibly run the pump dry. That might get you up to 2-3 days between water additions instead of needing it daily.

Another option would be if you were interested in leaving your sump under the tank and using it as a water reservoir for a display tank top-off system? Get a simple water top-off controller and put the top-off level sensor inside the weir chamber. Then it will pump water from the sump into the weir chamber in small amounts every so often to take care of evaporated water. With that system you wouldn't need to worry about topping off at all until the entire sump went dry (many many days, haha).

http://www.marinedepot.com- dosing and top-off pumps

In regards to your mazzei misting issue, have you thought about possibly hooking up something like an irrigation manifold or other large water flow solenoid on a timer before the mazzei? Then you could turn on and off the flow going to the mazzei so that when the CO2 is off the flow through the mazzei is shut off as well. Then you wouldn't have the bubbles when the CO2 is off, and you would get increased water filtration at night from all the water going through the OC instead of some of it bypassing the filter through the mazzei leg of the system.

Have a good one, Jeremy
 

bibbels

Prolific Poster
Aug 16, 2008
37
0
6
Will soon be reconfiguring once the sump is removed from the cabinet (a big job as it requires cabinet mod to remove it)

LOL, I'll either have to make a door on the end of my stand or take down the entire system to get my sump out. I used a stock 55gal glass aquarium for my sump. I had to put the sump in place then set the stand down over it. I'm hoping I can sort out my own mazzei issues before it comes to that.
 

Gerryd

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Sep 23, 2007
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Jeremy,

I could lower the intakes further down for sure. I understand this will help the pump drying out.

Real issue is that the tank water quickly falls BELOW the weir grates, so I need to lower these as well, or I won't get much filtration.

A good idea on keeping the sump as a reservoir..............but, I want the room back to add another NC bio-canister to the system.

I like the idea of the timer shutting off the venturi loop.

Two issues:

1. The ball valve prior to the OC is slightly closed to keep the NC pressure around 6-7 PSI as per mfg specs.

If I close the venturi loop, the NC pressure doesn't really change that much. The filter is starting to look dirty, so a change may be needed.

Aside from that, closing the venturi valve (it has it's own to control flow), will not fully open the NC valve, so would need BOTH to occur.

Or, I would want to bypass the venturi completely, and let the water flow past it into the tank, if the NC can't get it.

2. The misting/bubbles are not that bad and I can live with it for now.

Prior, you really couldn't notice anything BUT these symptoms lol

Bibbles,

I have to remove a support that holds one of the 3 cabinet doors. I remove 80-90% of the water, then use a 2x4 wedged in there while I remove the door and support. Only then can I remove the sump.

This is how I installed it, and it worked well.

I don't think the support really holds the tank, but better safe than sorry.

I would open the end of the cabinet if I were you.

I know they build them this way now, just for this reason.

Hope this helps.
 

JDowns

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Jul 27, 2007
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Gerry just to make things more fun. I think you should be the first to try and preorder Danner's new pumps with inline venturi and fractionating impellers.

:p
 

Gerryd

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Gerryd

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30 days later

after going closed loop:

1. I removed the sump from the cabinet. Nice to have the room again. Now I can plan the next config :)
2. Verified that the cabinet bottom is severely warped from an overflow accident or two over the years. Am thinking about replacing the cabinet, which gets me thinking about a bigger tank, which........well you know lol
3. C02 levels seem very stable now. Plant growth/color is excellent. DC colors and PH ranges are very stable as well.
4. BGA issues I used to get towards the end of the week are eliminated.
5. BBA issues on rocks, gravel, wood are no more. Some remaining but is minimal.
6. Cladorpha (?) species algae that used to cover ALL wood in my tank is GONE. It would grow only on my wood and got thick! Wood now stays clean.
7. EI dosing reduced by 50-60%. Am back to 3x a week dosing at 2 tsp of kn03 and
 

Gerryd

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Venturi Loop

Hey all,

Here is the venturi bypass loop I built. Flow is in from the left. Guages are for pentair lifeguard filters. One prior to the venturi, and one after the off leg. Unions are to disassemble more easily. I can always cap the guage T if the guages fail or leak....

Ball valve after the venturi is to apply backpressure if desired and to play around with things. I used 45 elbows instead of 90.

Unions at inlet and outlet will also facilitate changes..

Unions at the venturi will allow me to easily swap from the 584 3/4 model shown to the 384 1/2 model currently in use. Just use different reducing bushings on the mazzei........either 1" to 3/4" or 1" to 1/2" MPT to FPT on the bushings.......

Am thinking of going to all threaded connections, as they sell 1" threaded pipes in various lengths. Then I can disconnect anywhere, but this will work for now.

Also thinking about a guage after the mazzei and after the two are merged, but again, that can wait a bit..........

Plan to install tomorrow............

I appreciate any thoughts or comments.
 

Gerryd

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Sep 23, 2007
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Hey,

I finally added my NC 547 and new venturi bypass loop today!!!!!!

Took about 4-5 hours total.

Only had a couple leaks.

One was at the drain plug of the NC 547. I forgot to use teflon tape (only place I missed) and it dripped. So when removing it, I broke it and had to use some spare parts laying around till I get another one:eek:

Other was at the pump Union as I put it all together to fit but did not glue it and you guessed it, I forgot to glue the first elbow off the pump :eek:

So is working well now and will stay home tomorrow all day so I can play with my c02 and venturi loop. I turned the bubble rate down to ensure the new setup didn't gas the fish.............

So with the new config I will SLOWLY reset the c02 again over the next few days.

Can't tell if it will help the HIGH temp issues I was having as it is finally cooler weather here but the flow seems better.

I switched the 384 mazzei with my 584 and will see how that goes. I can swap the two models pretty easy with the unions :)

So couple days of experimentation with the c02 and I should be good to go.

Here is a link with a few pics.

Latest Config pictures by gerrydirish - Photobucket

I think my next project is to build a new deeper cabinet so things aren't so tight in there..............

Any and all thoughts are welcome...........