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Setting up my new tank

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by BHornsey, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thought I would continue this thread here (http://www.barrreport.com/off-topic-chat/2486-few-ideas-i-want-run-you-all-2.html#post13153)

    OK, my Mazzei Injector arrived today. I'm gonna set it up tomorrow and see what results I get.

    Tom, on your earlier post, did you really mean use a 600G pump to drive the injector or was it supposed to be 600L?
    I'm gonna use a 1000L pond pump to feed the injector, then pass the injector outlet into a T at the return pump inlet. That sound OK?
     
  2. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    Well, I've got it all the CO2 equipment set up but I'm having trouble keeping CO2 levels up. The Mazzei injector work fine. I get a nice mist of CO2 throughout the tank.
    Even with a continuous stream of bubbles I struggle to push pH below 7.0 (kH is around 7) and my test indicator only just turns green. If I turn off CO2 the levels fall rapidly whereas my corner tank takes hours for the level to drop.

    My suspicion is that the sump is gassing off in the return chamber. The weir has a minimal fall and I get little disturbance but it has about a four foot fall and I find the water foaming quite a bit. I just can't stop the return pipe sucking air down with the water. In the weir is a Durso style arrangement.
    The pipe is a 1¼" through the bottom of the weir and into the sump via two 45 elbows. At the sump water level I put an elbow in and run it along just under the surface for 10". I've tried several arrangements but can't minimise the disturbance. If I run the pipe to the bottom, the air bubbles up so wildly it drives water over the top of the sump. You guys have far more experience than I do and I like to hear your suggestions
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Have you sealed off the lower wet/dry biotower?

    You should, that's where the gas is leaving if the overflow is only 2-4".

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Tom,

    The water falls no more than 1½" in the weir.

    This sump doesn't have a bio-tower or wet/dry area, I got rid of all the gubbins and just run simple sponges. It's divided up by baffles into four chambers;
    1. Return area. This is where all the foaming is occurring.
    2. Poly filter area
    3. Course and Fine sponge area
    4. Return pump, heating and CO2 equipment

    I would just like to know how I can get water to fall 4 foot down a 1¼" pipe into the return chamber without inducing too much foaming as the return pipe seems to be dragging air down with it.
    Tomorrow I'll borrow a digi-camera and try and post a shot of the return pipe and sump.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    That inflow area is where you are losing the CO2.
    If you seal that to the air above, eg, add the Biotower back and plug up the air vents etc, this will solve the issue.

    The foam is actually fungi and lipid proteins.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    Forgive me for asking so many questions, but.... !
    The sump didn't have any kind of Bio-media tower.

    The plan for my sump is on a Word document attached (had to Zip it first to get it to upload). As you can see, water flows into area #1. If I seal it off and pass the water through a tank connector would this be sufficient?

    I assume that I'm looking to keep the gas contained so that it can still re-mix with the water? However, I don't think it's just CO2. The drain seems to pull atmospheric gas down with it as well. Does this tend to build up in the chamber? If so, how I dispose it?
     

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  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Let me offer you a much better design that will provide better bio and better mechical and be very easy to deal with.

    You'd figure after 30 years, I know what is practical and works and has built in redundancy:p

    I'll make a drawing and post it.

    In this drawing, the tower is a simple tube or box shape with a bulk here fitting at the top.

    So the top is sealed, but removal able. You add a rubber seal, much like those weather seals they use on doorways etc and on car doors etc.

    So it just slips on or off but is sealed from allowing gas in/out.

    The yellow is a large piece of open cell 30 pore/inch that's large reactangle shape etc. This will stay very clean over all and require a good qeeze maybe once every 2-4 months.

    The sock looking thing is the key to this design.
    That's a cheap bag filter. They use micron rated filter pads, sop 100, 50, 20, 5 and 1 micron ratings maybe used.

    Some add a sock in a sock. So add a 100mic inside and then and 5 micron on the outside of that to prevent rapid clogging.

    The dotted line is just some egg crate that allow the ring on the bag filter to remain stable and supported. You can glue some small piece of plastic to support the egg crate there.

    Now if you are really into things, this design allows you several neat options.
    The air gap inside the tower with the bag?

    You can add some air line to the and drill a hole and connect that air gap back into the return pump's suction side.

    This will produce a mist effect and will be a mix of both degassed CO2 and air that was sucked into the over flow. Note: the air may displace some, but not all the
    CO2 in solution. How much would tough to figure out I'd think.
    Still, some recycling would occur of the deegassed CO2 also. Hard to say if they trade off would help.
    Still, an interesting notion.

    The other thing is to simply leave air/CO2 degassed gap alone and allow the filter to slowly dissolve it in the sealed tube/box. You do not want to make the chamber too gas tight, other wise it can fill up with gas and block flow, some slight leaking out is fine in other words.

    Bag filters as they clog will simply over flow into the sump, so they are not an issue if you neglect things. I keep a pair handy so I can replace them fast. I just soak them in bleach for 1-2 hours and rinse and allow to dry till they are needed again.

    The other optioin is to add a sealed bioball tower right before the bag filter. Basically you add one more chamber, and the water from that flows out into the bag filter via pipe, then the rest of the system is the same, the bag filter section does not need to be sealed in that case.

    See other drawing for that. You can add the CO2 recirculation loop into several points also and fuse it with the venturi/reactor or add to the return pump suction side or feed into the CO2 reactor's pump's suction side as well.

    A UV loop may be added prior to the CO2 reactor pump or in line with the return pump(better) and adding a heater etc is a good idea for most tanks:)

    The other thing that can be added: a float switch to add replacement water for evaporation.

    Plumbing the line to the tap water works well as there's not much Chorine/chloramines per day etc. But adding a carbon filter to the tap water, will remove that issue and allow you to do water changes by draining the tank slowly with a solenoid/timer for an automated water changer.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     

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  8. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks Tom,

    I'll have a good read through this tonight.
    Who knows, maybe I won't have any questions :rolleyes:
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yea, ya will:D

    Just consider the models I've shown you there.
    The sealed, semi sealed cap as the tank water comes into the sump is the key.
    The bag filters solve the mechical filtration issue the best way
    Bioballs and/or a large sponge takes care of the biological side and you also will reduce both noise and evaporation by sealing the inflow to the sump.

    If you want, you can add Purigen or activated caron or zeolite etc for chemical filtration in the sump.

    You can add the CO2, the heater, the UV and have only the in/outlfows in the tank.

    If you glue cork bark to the overflow/pipes in the tank and cover it with plants, you will not even see that.

    My 90 gal from 15 years ago had that.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Tom,
    Thanks for the drawings, I now have plenty of ideas.

    I have the heating and CO2 equipment in the sump already (The Mazzei injector is pretty effective BTW)

    The sump is made from glass panels. If I can remove the end two that will leave me plenty of room to add filter bags and a cover. However..!
    Filter bags aren't something available in the UK (as usual :mad: ) All I can find are media bags.
    Is this what you mean > Filter Bags If so, do you know (or does anyone else know) of a supplier in the UK? :confused:

    For the moment I've just drained the tank so I can put in the substrate etc so I'll make any mods before I refill.
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    AquaticEco.com sells them here cheap and the shipping might be a bit, but given the added cost locally, it might not be that bad, buy a few and they do last a while BTW and are large.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi Tom, thanks for all your help with this, it's appreciated.

    With regard to the filter 'socks', which do you prefer? I see you can get nylon or felt, felt being about $10 and nylon about $45. Is there an advantage to the more expensive items? Do AquaticEco.com export to the UK BTW?
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, they send to UK

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi one and all, I'm back!

    I've now put in the substrate and I'm waiting for some filter bags to be delivered (I managed to find a UK distributor: TMC Ltd if any UK readers are interested)

    It now leaves the lights to consider.

    It's a 6' 3" tank, with a depth of 19" to the substrate, about 113 UK / 135 US gallons.

    I have a 150W 6500K metal halide pendant going spare now that I've reduced the lighting over my Juwel Trigon tank. I was thinking of getting another of these and having a pair of them over the tank or do you think that would be too much? (about 2 - 2½ WPG; do you calculate it in UK or US gallons?) Or I can get a 70W and convert my existing 150W to 70W as well.
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    With a tank that long you'd need 3x 150w.
    I used that on a 135 gal 6' ft tank.

    You can raise and lower them as needed.

    Up to you really, note, a pair of 39w x 2(4x39 w 36" T5 bulbs) would also work.

    I prefer even light coverage light for the tank

    Ideally having 4 x 70 w would be nicer.
    Just 1 MH every 2ft is a min

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks Tom,

    When I first took up this hobby I thought lighting was rather a simple subject. It wasn't until I started reading through your site that I started to learn more. Maybe I should have paid more attention all those years ago in school ;)

    When I had the 150W over my corner tank it drove really high growth rate from the plants, as well as some algae. This is why I've now reduced it to a pair of 24w T5s.

    Did you find that 3 x 150W over your 135G gave very fast growth? I found that the demands on me of a fast growth tank was too high. What little time I had off work was spent up to my armpits in fish tank! I think I might go with a bank of 70W. You said one every two foot?

    The tank is now taking shape. Once I get the filter bags and alter the sump as per your recommendations I should have the CO2 stable. Just the lighting and then it'll be time to plant! :D
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    With MH's you can raise them up or down to throttle the amount of light needed.

    I use them for open tops.
    Folks that complain about the light/want enclosed hoods should consider building them into the wall and putting a door over the tank for access rather than traditional hoods.

    This allows much better access.
    Use a car rear door shock arm gas strut for this. That allows easy opening and closing.

    You can build a large high hood(say 24" tall) for this if you want, but make sure the lid is front facing, and there is no lip on the front that you have to hop over to work inside the tank.

    Those are terrible designs and should never be suggested or added/bought etc.
    Always make access easiest.
    Same with water changes.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    That sounds like a good idea.

    For me though, I like open tops. I removed the covers from my Juwel Trigon and have no cover on my new 6'.

    Since changing my corner tank from the 150W 6500K MH to a pair of 24W T5 7800K I had a bit of a BGA attack. I've done a cover up and water changes which has knocked it back. I read somewhere that plants can take a temporary hit if there is a big change in lighting. Is that what I'm seeing here?
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Perhaps but generally they do fine with good nutrients/CO2.

    BGA and most algae are more related to poor CO2 than anything else.
    Folks change lighting, that obviously changes the CO2 uptake with the plants as well.

    Most adjust and tweak the CO2 a bit before settling in with a light system.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. BHornsey

    BHornsey Lifetime Charter Member
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    I don't think I can push any more CO2 into the tank!

    I built one of your internal reactors and it works well, putting out a nice fine mist.
    In the UK, we have access to a commercial CO2 test that works the same as your CO2 drop test indicators and it shows a nice light green / yellow indicating a high CO2 content. I also have a pH monitor which shows a pH of 6.1-6.5, depending on time of day, with a kH of around 130 mg/L (a Tetra kH drop test)
    If I try and push a little more in and the pH drops to 6.0 or less then the fish start looking very stressed and head gasping for the surface :(

    I can't think how I can improve it any. Nutrients you have noted before and seem fine.
     
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