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Reef Ready Tank Conversion?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Gerryd, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi all,

    Does it sound insane to convert a 180 gallon 'reef ready' with twin overflows to a 'normal' tank.

    Basically, I would plug/cap the drilled holes in the bottom of the overflows and just keep the water level lower than the teeth of the overflows, assuming I couldn't block the overflow teeth completely (which I think I can).

    I would then remove the trickle filter and replace it with a canister filter or two.

    I really admire many of the tanks I see on this site and feel that my trickle filter/overflow setup is limiting to me in terms of c02 fert (see previous threads by me on this issue). While advice has been given (and taken) I was thinking that long term it may be worthwhile to convert.

    I bought the tank a long time ago and did not think at the time of a Amano or natural style tank, but am smitten with the beauty of those I have seen, and would like to emulate it if I can. At least I would like to try!

    I think it would be fairly simple to do (the conversion that is), unless I am crazy and am missing something?????

    I appreciate any/all of your thougts.

    Thanks in advance,
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'd use one and cut away the overflow box from the other, then plumb those two holes for the canister.
    I'd use the trickle as well, just seal it up good, and make sure the overflow leevl inside the box is 2-3" max from the tank's water level.

    Evaporation on a 180 g will leave lime marks etc and be a PITA.
    Sumps are great.

    I'd run a Ocean Clear canister, say a 40 sqft with about 800-1000gph at 3-4ft head.
    Then about 600-800gph for the overflow.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Tom,

    My overflows are what look like plastic forms curved outwards and siliconed around the bottom and up either side. Do you mean to completely remove one of them (meaning a little more corner tank space) and then continue to use the other with the trickle? Both sides have one intake hole and a smaller return to the tank. Not sure I follow, sorry.

    How/would the canister use any of the drilled holes?

    I have two 500 gph pumps in the sump now, can I reuse these in any way? I understand I need to buy the canister. Not sure what the difference between the 600-800 gph for the outflow and the 800-1000 gph numbers are.

    I agree the water line will be unsightly, I will just have to keep up on it.

    I appreciate all of your help.

    I can follow a plan, but need to have it spelled out sometimes :)

    Thanks again,

    BTW, covering the sump and using the larger reactor/pump on the c02 is working better. I am using less c02 with the same results. THKS.

    Also am familiarizing myself with EI and it's principles and think I would like to go this route with my tank.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You may use the same pumps (500gph) , I'd personally perfer more current myself.

    For the overflow, you can cut that one out for the canister intake/outflow etc, or, you can leave it in there and simply plumb that set of in/outs to the canister.

    My point is that it takes up space, you just put a screen on the bulkheads at the bottom so you have intake(as well as a nice drain if you add a tee and a ball valve) down at the bottom vs only two overflows surface skimming.

    So better intake of mulm waste, muck etc and more room in the tank.

    You do not need a lot of surface skimming so, the other one(overflow) can stay and be used.

    You can simply use the over flow+ canister also.
    Up to you. I like removing the overflow or having the bulk heads without any overflow so I can do easy water changes.

    You can plumb the drain water so that it goes through the canister filter each time you do a water change and it backflushed the filter.
    That will keep things pretty clean and reduce filter cleanings.

    All you do is turn a couple of valves.

    Sumps are super easy to clean. You can also use sock type filters in sumps, these clean well also.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Plan - review please?

    Okay, after noodling on this and other replies you have given me, plus reading other threads about this type of modification, here is the plan as I understand it along with a few questions:

    1. One overflow remains as is and continues to run to the trickle filter and sump (which I will most likely enlarge, as per previous advice).

    a. I have already modified this overflow (both actually, see previous thread) so that the water level in the overflow is only 2.5" from the water level in the tank.

    b. I will replace the 500 gph pump with a larger one in the range of 600-800 gph. I will go for the higher end as there is probably not a lot of difference in price comparatively speaking.

    2. Other overflow is removed.

    Question: HOW CAN THIS BE DONE SAFELY?

    The plumbing can be redone easily by shutting the pumps off and siphoning out the overflows. Then with a bucket underneath, the plumbing can be changed on the one set of pre-drilled holes. I have done this when replacing flexible hose, so I am not worried about having to empty the tank.

    Must I drain the tank to safely remove the overflow? It is siliconed well to the glass and I don't want to crack the glass (the horror, the horror!) by this removal! Any ideas?

    a. Plumbing is now routed from the trickle to a large Ocean Clear filter powered by a separate 800-1000-gph pump. Question: can/should this pump sit in the trickle sump, or does it need to sit in the tank?

    The Ocean Clear model 317 contains 177 sq ft of media. Does this sound sufficient?

    I assume the intake from the REMOVED overflow side now goes to the intake of the Ocean Clear and out from this filter to the pump and from the pump back to the overflow output plumbing and into the tank??? I am used to canister filters with internal pumps, so not sure on that flow.

    Sorry to go into so much detail, but a good plan will have better results.


    Thanks again for everything!
     
  6. FacePlanted

    FacePlanted Guru Class Expert

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    I'm not sure, but wouldn't you want to place the pump so that it PUSHES water through the filter, insted of pulling water through it? Some pumps work better this way, but I'm not familiar with higher gph pumps. Maybe its different.

    If this is so, it sounds like you should put the pump into the sump--regarding second question A.

    Intake from removed overflow side--->(inline)pump--->Ocean Clear filter--->Overflow output plumbing--->tank

    I use the rainbow lifeguard modular pressurized filters and I have to use an inline pump (QuietOne 3000--780gph & 10ft. max head) And I have mine setup:
    Intake plumbing from tank--->QuietOne Pump--->Mechanical Filter Module--->Outlet plumbing back into tank

    From your post, you said you have the sump plumbed to the ocean clear filter, but later you ask if the removed overflow intake should go to the intake of the oceanclear filter. I think you can either have 2 separate filter loops--one of the overflow inlets to the oceanclear and back to the tank. And the other overflow to the trickle/sump and back to the tank.
    OR
    You could make one big loop with both overflow inlets going into the trickle/sump and then route it to the ocean clear filter for water polishing and then back to the outflows.OR you could have the same big loop, but have one outlet from the oceanclear to the tank, and one outlet from the sump to the tank--with the sump and oceanclear still connected together.

    I guess the best setup would depend on the size and number of the pumps you have and your filtration goals. There are really TONS of setups with these kinds of filters.

    Good luck with your setup. To me, designing the plumbing and filter arrangement is kind of fun. :D

    -Mike B-
     
  7. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Ideas

    Mike,

    Thanks for the flow advice :)

    I think you are correct that I should push the water to the Ocean clear. I didn't think that one clearly, as I stated this type of setup is new..........

    I like some of your loop ideas, and will sketch a couple out on paper and see how it goes......Once I think about it, most of this stuff is a quick trip to the pvc aisle at HD since these are all just 1/2 to 3/4 to 1" connections going back and forth. The barbed/threaded adaptors work wonders :)

    Thanks again!
     
  8. FacePlanted

    FacePlanted Guru Class Expert

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    Yeah. I think planning out the plumbing for my filter system was fun. I drew many sketches and made a parts list, so I knew what I needed when I went to the store. Instead of trying to picture it in my head, and count all the types of fittings I would need.:D

    I found that Lowes had more of the barbed fittings and adapters than my Home Depot did. I'm not sure if you have them in your area, but here Lowes had a whole section of just the right kind of fittings I needed, and a wider selection of sizes and shapes. Just FYI.

    Good Luck

    -Mike B-
     
  9. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Progess so far - on the right track?

    I have decided on the following:

    1. Purchase an Ocean Clear model 340 which contains 40 sq ft of media.

    2. I have already purchased an 1800 gph Mag drive pump to replace the twin 500 gph. This new pump delivers 1200 gph at 5' and my height is about 4.5'.

    The old pumps together only pushed 500 gph (250 each) at this height, so I am at least doubling my flow output.....500 to 1200

    3. I will keep both overflows for now as I cannot figure out how best to remove the one :)

    4. I have also purchased a larger trickle filter/sump with twin trickle towers (as opposed to only one) which will double the size of my trickle's biological filter and increase the size of my sump by about 35%.

    The increase in biological media also will include the new Ocean clear media after it has been 'boken in'.

    Question: will the new pump be sufficient if the flow is as follows:

    Pump (in sump) to Ocean Clear to tank returns.......

    Without the canister (yet) the higher/better flow rate with the new pump is very noticeable, but not overwhelming. Fish seem to like it...... Very nice line of pumps BTW...........

    With the other advice I have received and taken, and the changes I have made and WILL continue to make, I feel that my tank will be healthier than ever.

    Thanks again for all of the suggestions and encouragement!!!!

    P.S. EI is my next big step...........now that filtration and c02 diffusion is as good as I can get it..........
     
  10. FacePlanted

    FacePlanted Guru Class Expert

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    Alright! Great! Glad to hear that things are coming along nicely.
    My experience with EI is great. It's not really as complicated as it may first look.
    And this is the best place to get help with it--straight from the horse's mouth.
    Read the stickies in the EI forum here. The EI Light thread is a great place to start.
    I think getting the appropriate ferts/measuring cup/scale is the hardest part, and even that isnt very hard. Check Aquarium Plant Food - hobbyist taking care of hobbyist … | Planted Aquarium Fertilizer for dry ferts.

    Good luck!

    -Mike B-
     
  11. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Mike B,

    Thks for the links. Have read the EI sticky many times already, but thanks for the other links! and the encouragement...
     
  12. David Hui

    David Hui Lifetime Charter Member
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    Gerry,

    I have a 140 RR Oceanic tank and the matching sump. The best way for me was to replace the sump with two canister filters. I just make sure to fill both overflows all the way up to match the waterline in the tank.; so, there is no waterfall effect.
     
  13. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi David,

    Thanks for your suggestion.

    What type of canisters do you use (size/model/etc) and did you simply connect the intake from the overflow to the intake of the canister and the output of the canister back to the original plumbing for the return? Or did you plug these and use 'over the back of the tank' plumbing?

    I am keeping the overflows for now as I switch over to EI.

    I have made many hardware improvements already with suggestions I have received on this and other threads.

    This one can wait, until I see how EI goes with the current new setup.

    I can always change it later as you did..........

    Thanks again,
     
  14. David Hui

    David Hui Lifetime Charter Member
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    Currently, two eheim 2128 are plumbed with hoses to the exist holes from the bottom. There is really nothing to modify. The overflows are great. I use them to float plants and put heater, CO2 reactor, and CO2 diffusor inside.
     
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