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Planning to build a 4000 L tank

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Haab, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Haab

    Haab Junior Poster

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    Hi, my name is Hartvig, and I live in Norway. I’m 30 years old, and I have had this hobby since I was ten. Lately I have had 3x250 L tanks and a 720 L tank.

    In the largest one , I have kept wild caught Discus and different types of plants. I have been using CO2 and PMDD in all my tanks. Despite the fact that I don’t know what I’m doing (!) the plant growth have been quite good. I have just added a dose of PMDD when I wanted to see more bobbles… :eek:

    Last week I sold all my tanks (!), and the last one (720L) will bee gone before Christmas. The reason for this is the fact that I need the space. I need the space to build my dream tank :)

    In May 2006 I will begin to build a 4-5000 L tank. The dimension will approximately bee between 4-500 x 100 x 100 cm.

    I will like the tank to be designed for Discus and plants. I have quite a lot of experience with Discus, but I’m note sure how to design the tank fore the better when it comes to plants. I would like to have it more or less automatic when it comes to fertilising, water changes, lights and adding CO2 etc. I would like to spend my time with the tank aquascaping and watching the result.

    My question is this – is it possible to do this within reasonable budget? And if it is, what kind of technical equipments/set up would you suggest? I realy need an :gw

    Thanks
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    Well, I am going to be doing a 1500 gal Discus tank in LA, CA soon.
    3.2 meters long x 1.22 meters tall and deep.

    If plan on getting inside and doing scaping, then you might consider 80cm instead of a 100cm height, unless you have very long arms, you will see why.

    The tank I am doing is 122cm high, I am getting around this by actually being inside the tank for the set up, but we have design things so that no mainteance will be needed on the lower reaches.

    I would also suggest some long reach tweezers, sicissors etc and get good ones, don't use cheap stuff.

    Water changes. You need to hard plumb the water changing into the home plumbing.

    This will save you large amounts of work.
    I use a simple valve to drain and another to fill.

    I can change 300 gal of water in about 1 hour.
    I run the tap water through a carbon filter and have a mix of warm and cold water to adjust the temp.

    I'm not sure how much $$$$ you might have, it will not be cheap to run it no matter how you approach things.

    Solar power, hydroelectric, wind etc perhaps, but that is not possible for many.

    This is really a public aquarium at this point in terms of size and design.

    The scaping part is fair easy, might not seem that way to most, but it's the same. Lots of ferns, Anubias and other slower growing easy to care plants.
    Lots of branchy driftwood to attach these plants to, this makes maintaining the design easy over time.

    I have 3 large pin wheel root stumps for the design for the large tank I am doing. They are turned on their sides and then covered with ferns/mosses etc.

    There are no foreground type plants really for the tank, wood and attached ferns take care of all that, white sand is used but nothing is planted in it.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. derekparr

    derekparr Junior Poster

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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    " but we have design things so that no mainteance will be needed on the lower reaches."

    How do you mean?

    -derek parr
     
  4. Haab

    Haab Junior Poster

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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    I will be able to handle the electricity bill ( I really hope so… :rolleyes: ). But I need to figure out what kind of lightning I will need in a tank like this. When it comes to water, I’m planning a system that automatically changes 5% every night. I also need to figure out what kind of automatic system I can use when it comes to fertilizing etc.

    I have never been able to avoid different kind of algae on my driftwood :eek: . What is the trick?
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    Use something other than Gloss!
    Rock, cobble, sand etc.

    Reagrds,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    Good CO2.

    I'd suggest 4 to 5 400W MH's. Every m^2 you will need one. Best light for the watt. so 2000w for 10 hours per day, x 365 days.....
    73000 kilowatts a year. We get charged about 13 cents a kilowatt, so that is 9500$ a year in lighting. That's about 2 w/gal at 100cm depth.
    But the light is very good with 400w MH's, better than any other light source.

    Peristalic dosing pumps are easy to set up on a timer.
    Aqua medic makes some with the timers built in etc.

    Just set them to run for 20 minutes etc at 30mls/hr and make whatever concentration of nutrients you want to add in 600mls of water.

    Main thing is the amount of work you will need to do to keep it up as far as pruning etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. derekparr

    derekparr Junior Poster

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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    i think some extra zeros slipped into that...
    does 1 kilowatt not equal 1000 watts?

    if so.. 2000 watts a day would be 730 kilowatts a year which would be $94.90 at the rate $0.13 per kilowatt.

    -derek
     
  8. brwaldbaum

    brwaldbaum Junior Poster

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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    I'm not sure I follow the math. Doesn't the electric company bill us for kiloWatt*hours, not kiloWatts?

    Brian
     
  9. FrankG

    FrankG Junior Poster

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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    I think you are both wrong.

    You have 2000 W of lighting, 10 hours a day means 20 kWh a day. That results in 7300 kWh per year, which will cost you $949 per year at .13c/kWh.

    Regards,
    Frank
     
  10. Tom Wood

    Tom Wood Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    One of the architecture firms I used to work for did a big project for 3M a few years back. One of the things they incorporated into the building was a new product they were developing. It was a tracking mirror solar lighting system that used the mirrors to capture sunlight and reflect it into the office space. I don't know if your roof/ceiling structure would allow it, but it's an option if someone is still making them. Note, these are NOT the 'solar tubes' which are just a skylight with a piece of duct. Those might work too as supplemental light.

    TW
     
  11. Haab

    Haab Junior Poster

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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    Hi FrankG

    Your math seems to be the right one. That’s how we do it in Norway anyway. I have 30 kWh a day in my budget.

    Thanks m8 :)
     
  12. Haab

    Haab Junior Poster

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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    Hi Tom

    The tank will be build in the basement. I guess that rules out that solution. There are no windows in the room either.

    Thanks anyway :)
     
  13. Haab

    Haab Junior Poster

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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    Do you mean that I will get rid of / avoid algae’s on my driftwood with a lot of CO2? :confused:

    Do you have a link to a good site/article on these two? I don’t know exactly what they are how to run them and where to by them. Sorry – but I’m a newbi at this level (when it comes to running a planted tank)… :eek:

    Thanks m8 :)
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    Yep. That is right.
    Still........80$ a month for just lighting, no heat, no pump etc.
    I'd figure no less than 100$ a month in electric.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. Haab

    Haab Junior Poster

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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    Hi Tom

    I have a electricity budget of $1500 a year. I hope I will be able to run it cheaper, but its better to be safe than sorry… :)

    Tanks m8
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    Yes, it will certainly help. It might take some time.

    Aquamedic makes them.

    You simply add whatever amount of KNO3 etc you want for say 4 weeks vs the amount of mls dosed per day is the amount of water that will last for 4 weeks at that flow rate.

    This sounds not so simple, but it's really up to the user.

    You could add 30mls min x 5min per day = 150mls dosed per day
    150mls x 4 weeks(28 days) = 4200mls or 4.2 liters total. Or 1.05 liters per week.

    If the tank is 4x1x1 meters this will equal 4000L.
    I'd dose this tank about 40x more than an 80 liter tank, this is less than normal EI, but you do not need to worry at this volume, with that fish load, with that water chaneg routine.

    So instead of a 3/4 teaspoon total per week of KNO3, you'd add about 10 table spoons(30 teaspoons) per liter(1.05).

    To fill the 4.2 liter dosing solution, you'd add 120 tsp, or 40 table spoons per month(28 day).

    This is just for the KNO3. I'd add about 8 tablespoons of KH2PO4.

    Traces: about 600mls per week of TMG, or 2.4 L per 28 days.

    You can set the dosing pump up to dose 2.4 liters of TMG and top off the reservior with DI water to 4.2 liters total.

    So this way the total dosing for both the traces and macro's are the same, you can use the same timer if you wanted too(TMG is much less influenced by PO4 that some other Trace brands)

    TMG per 5L runs about 50$ here in the USA. Should be close to the same there. So 24$ a month for traces, and maybe 2-5$ for the macros.
    You can use the CMS+B, but I would use TMG for the tank myself.

    I would also try 10% daily water changes, or else two weekly 30% water changes, or one 60% weekly change.

    So recap:
    Dosing pump:
    http://www.aqua-medic.de/cgi-bin/php/display_product.php3?p_id=193&cat_id=10&lang=en

    This will dose 150mls in 3 minutes(3L/h==> 3000mls/60= 50mls per minute)
    I think you cannot control the flow rate on this product, so you just dose the time in minutes x mls you need.

    Add the above ferts in the 4.2 liter volume.

    I'm not sure you will be able to dissolve all the KNO3/KH2PO4 into the 4.2 liter, so, you may need a larger volume of water, not an issue, double the timer length, you now can use 2x the water volume!

    You will still dose the total amount of ferts either way per unit day.

    This sounds weird and all, but I can assure you, it's not.
    It's very easy to fill up once you know what you are working with.
    After 1-2x's, it's very easy.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    Somewhat off topic:

    http://www.aqua-medic.de/cgi-bin/php/display_product.php3?cat_id=10&lang=en&pos=0
    But some folks might find a need for autoleveling for the tank without a sump.

    Spectrapure makes an electronic float switch that can be plugged into a a powerhead that will do the same thing, less accurate than this, but plenty good enough for about 1/2 or less the cost.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. Haab

    Haab Junior Poster

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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    Hi Tom

    Its unbelievable – but I think I understands it :) . I guess I will have a few ( :rolleyes: ) questions the first time I mix this. But after that – it will be routine. Thanks for putting in the budget for fertilizing costs.

    I will go for 10% daily water changes. Discus fish prefer frequent and small water changes. Would you recommend doing the automatically water changes during the day or night? If I can do it during the night, it will not effect our daily family routine.

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to help me out. I really appreciate it :)
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    Well, once you get everything set up, just ask me how much you have and I can tell you what to ad or double check your numbers, like Frank did my Electrical cost, haha

    Due to CA electric rate payers getting gouged here after deregulation in the state and our rates went up 500% for a few months/years. I know one thing, the private companies are crooks. I'm tried of getting the shaft from electric and oil companies. Electric is going to do it for me. I can charge my car and my home mostly and cut the cost way back to actually making $$$ on it. I'll still use some electric/gas etc, but the amount I make from the solar panels will be more than the cost of that.

    That's why my place is going to have lots of solar power and I can sell energy back to the companies at that same high gouging rate! CA is sunny most of the year, no need for the sun to go to waste. Norway? Haha! You likely don't have much light there right now, but the summer might be great.
    Still, might be useful part of the year.

    You might try a budget and see what can be done there.

    I think one friend makes/saves nearly 1000$ a month with his various tanks.
    The system will pay for itself in 2-3 years.

    We also have lots of wind which is also solar power(wind is driven by thermal fluxes). But solar power is most useful when the sun is up and that is also when demand is highest for tanks and the electrical grid.

    While this might seem over the top for the tank, over time and with respect to adding other items such as an electric car etc, you might find it worthwhile.

    It's not just an environmental approach, heck, it's economic and a business.
    Would you rather be the renter or the landlord?? ...sort of approach.

    Do the water changes at night.
    10% would be great. Right after that is done, add the ferts on the timer.
    Also, make sure you find a good use for the waste water. A small wetland is good in the summer(or winter here) and looks nice as garden/pond area, it'll convert a lot of the NO3 to N2 gas. Also, daily water changes in these will make a pond garden look great!

    Some folks use the pool and wetland garden as one functional unit, the pool is filtered with the wetland garden instead of chlorine.
    I saw one of these recently and was very impressed.

    For larger scale water changes, I'll typically use the water from the lake, tank etc as irrigation water for landscapes.

    I've done many Discus set ups over the years and know Dick Au, Bing etc here in the CA, a number of the folks here in the Discus clubs also are in the plant clubs locally.

    30%-50% 2x a week is common for water changes, I did 60-70% weekly and they always got huge and never had any disease related issues ever.
    The only live feed I ever use for FW is Brine, the rest is good quality frozen and dry.

    I have not had a fish die from diease is some 15 years, partly due to that and partly due to the focus on the plants.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. Haab

    Haab Junior Poster

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    Re: Planning to build a 4000 L tank

    Hi Tom

    You are right – solar panels will not work properly during the winter in Norway. Its dark, cold and snowing for 5 months every year. We have plenty of wind though. Maybe I will look op on that next year. The electricity in Norway are not that expensive jet, but the prises are rising every year. The electricity are made from waterfalls though.

    I live on a farm, so have plenty of projects where I can use the water during summertime. Its worse in the winter. I have a natural pond of 100 m x 25 m x 3 m where I'm planning to add a few fish. The pond will just be even greater with some added wather.

    I wish I knew people like Bing. In Norway there are not a singe professional Discus hatchery. We have to relay on import, and that is very expensive. And there are not many to choose from either.

    Cant wait till May when the building process will start. Its going to be a long winter… :rolleyes:
     
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