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P4rker

Needing some advice

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Hi everybody (first post), been lurking on the forums trying to gauge it before posting. Gauging complete. Been keeping fish for 15 years, mainly African cichlids but also catfish (inc L no.), Australian native, yabbies and for a short period marine.

*Mods- i should have put this in "DIY/up coming projects" can't see how to move it, sorry.

Anyway, I recently bought an aquarium rack which was in pretty ordinary shape but I got it cheap. 15 tanks in total. The racks will probably be burned in the bonfire next week after various bits and pieces have been removed. Will be using existing shelving in shed after some modification.

I’ll throw some photos up of how I visualise is working. You’ll see a large 600Ltr esky that I’ll be using as a sump for 12x 100Ltr tanks. Pump is an onga 550 pool pump (supposed to pump 15,600L/H with 15m head). Assuming there is no issues with the pump, it should cycle the system 10x/H. (Note: sump won’t be completely full).

Plumbing is 40mm outlet from pump and 90mm overflow.

Water changes will be via rain tank. I realise this could create issues with disease contamination and water parameters. That’s rural living I guess. Still mulling over how to combat these issues. Possibly UV light and coral sand/limestone as a buffer. Thoughts on the UV and also sourcing an ideal substrate for tanganyikans? Obviously something calcium carbonate but cost effective.

Mechanical filter will be sponge/floss in a drain attached to the in overflow plumbing which will then flow into the biological filter - K1 in a drum in the sump. (yet to purchase K1)

Thinking about getting a Resun 70LPM air pump. It’s a 14 outlet so 1 per tank for extra water movement/oxygenation and 2 for K1 in drum.

Will grab 2-3x 300w Ehiem Jager heaters (never had a drama with current 300w ehiem) and tanks will be insulated with 35mm Styrofoam (assuming I can still get it for free). Tanks are in shed and it gets below 0 degrees here so insulation will be needed.

Want to get some 6500k LED strips. Suggestions? Was thinking about talking to electrical whole salers (cetnaj etc) rather than cheap international EBay products.

Constructive advice welcome :)

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Edited by P4rker
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Whats the wattage on the onga?

Gonna have enuf room to net and remove fish and float bags??, always brutal when not much gap to play with.

Coral sand man myself as it looks amazing and fish seem to enjoy mouthing it. But if ya looking for cheap cheap, maybe poultry grit?

I dunno tho, theres always one ritzy honeymoon tank that deserves some fiji pink coral sand :)

Oh and welcome aboard. Nice solid first post mate, you should have some fun here.

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Whats the wattage on the onga?

Gonna have enuf room to net and remove fish and float bags??, always brutal when not much gap to play with.

Coral sand man myself as it looks amazing and fish seem to enjoy mouthing it. But if ya looking for cheap cheap, maybe poultry grit?

I dunno tho, theres always one ritzy honeymoon tank that deserves some fiji pink coral sand :)

Oh and welcome aboard. Nice solid first post mate, you should have some fun here.

Thanks for the reply [MENTION=5455]Donny[/MENTION]

Only got 170mm from top of glass to bottom of shelf. Water won't be at top of glass though will 50-100mm below which will help slightly.

Pump is 559watt. Came with tank will see how it goes but wanted to get something different in the future.

Would love coral sand but its expensive to trasport. Will be sourcing around Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour area. I thought about poultry grit/oyter shell. not a big fan of the pink lol.

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Woah.... steady on there mate. Dont knock the pink until ya try it. Now dont get me wrong, I have friends who are west Caribbean white fans and I can deal with that...... but cant we all just get along?

Oystershell or grit will vary in appearance. Should be some local options to try. Just reccomend getting a single bag first.... its a bit like a box of chocolates.

As to shipping, some places are capped......

That pumps powerful yes, but a bit expensive to run. Will give you a good idea on the flow rates your system will handle tho.

That gap isnt as small as I first thought. Will require some getting used to with the nets tho.

The LP60 is a good idea, especially if you can also get an airstone in each tank. Good redundancy in case anything happens with return pump.

Edited by Donny@ageofaquariums
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haha, I actually looked up pink and it wasnt what i expected. More 'mild' if you will and looks really good. but price. I have found a few capped shipping places but their 20kg bags are still about $20 more per bag than i have had quoted (before shipping). Adds up quick. Thinking of getting 8x 20kg bags.

The wattage is definetly an issue and oneday i want to upgrade. I have a 2kw solar system which covers our pool when its running so it will be interesting to see how the electricity bill is effected with an extra pool pump.

Have any advice on LED light strips or the UV? I dont want to pump outlet to be restricted by the UV so i was thinknig maybe a UV globe in the sump inlet pipe. It's likely that i will keep some fish in the sump as there will be a massive void (which i planned for) so hopefully the light will not effect them if i do a few coverings over the pipe.

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Are you using UV for disease control or just to improve water aesthetics? A proper disease control is not going to be cheap if you want it to be reliable against all nasties. I wouldnt be too worried about rainwater causing problems that a UV could fix though.

Might be worth looking into ways to get KH, calcium and magnesium high, and then use the substrate in tanks as a safety net to prevent levels dropping on you.

The LED solution I am hopefully going to leave to someone who has more experience doing the strips. I aint an electrician so my experience is more around the standard bars we have in the trade. I guess the species of tangs you are keeping will decide the brightness you want. But yea the minimal profile possible will maximize the area left to catch fish and service tanks.

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[MENTION=9246]Donny@ageofaquariums[/MENTION]

Went for the coral sand got a price no one could beat. 20kg bags for $27 so i got the 160kgs. Pretty happy.

Still chasing the styrofoam for insulation before i can glue the pvc. Starting to think i need to find another source for the 40mm sheets

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So i got the 40mm sheets..finally. I ended up buying them from a place in newcastle for relatively cheap. Then the heating of 3" nails began lol. Was happy with how i managed to cut a section for the plumbing

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Bit too late but i would rack your tanks end side out. Instead of solar panels to generate electricity via inverter, have you considered solar to heat your water directly? I use thin flat plastic sheets about 1m square that equate to 1000 watts electricity each. Water is piped through slowly (low operating cost ) as an open system although you could have a closed (heat exchange) option. I have 4 in series that handle a 12 tonne outdoor tank through our short brissy winters. Does take space unless you roof mount.

Or look at solar evacuated tubes if you want fast heated water for smaller volumes.

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I thought of that to save space but i wanted the logest panel facing the front so i could maximise the enjoyment factor.

I also thought about running poly pipe on the shed roof BUT i feel that it might heat the system up too much abd cook the fish. Not sure how i would regulate it without a large chiller

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If you had used 80 or 100mm DWV pipe instead of 90mm SW you could have used tapping bands which have a female thread and reduced to any size to suit your connections. Maybe even a slightly smaller hole drilled through the 90mm and used a threaded nipple to screw in would have worked. If you use silicone rough the surface of pipe with sandpaper to help the silicone adhere and good luck. Just a thought maybe a grommet inserted into pipe and push adaptor into that, similar to some bulkhead connectors.

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So...silicone didnt work. Major leaks on 3 tanks. Will rip them all out and use a 2 part epoxy. I've decided to take a never say die approach to finishing this project. It'll have to be put on hold a little longer but it's already taken a long time, whats a little longer. Updates will come in time. I'll check my photos and see if i managed to take any in the fluster of leaking takes lol

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I would use a flat rubber washer (gasket) to seal your PVC fittings on tanks. You can buy them from irrigation stores but also quite easy to make.

The simplest most fool proof method to enter your storm pipe is to drop your horizontal stormpipe lower and drill a hole through top side of stormwater. Just have the pipe enter a couple of centimeters. No glue or fittings needed. I never fasten the drains to stormpipe so I can rip a tank out easily by lifting.

If you don't mind re-working your storm pipe drains, I wouldn't have any horizontal stormwater sections at all, just keep one vertical pipe per 4 tanks (regardless of tier height). Use 25mm black poly which is quite flexible to go from tank drain to stormwater.

But there are many ways to plumb up. I just use the most economical - practical method (for me) because I have a lot of tanks.

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Hi P4rker,I'm not sure if you have already or not but you will need to glue or staple those LEDs, the adhesive strip on them does not hold up once the LEDs heat up. They will fall in the water and burn out. If you staple make sure the staples are wider than the strip and only staple on the cut here(scissor pic) on the LEDs. As your shelves are wood if you accidentally hit one of the copper strips it shouldn't hurt. I would also pump some silicone on the BP connectors to stop corrosion, not a big deal I just hate having to redo joints.

Love the set up and I will be watching carefully for ideas to change mine.

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Thanks for all the replies. They're all appreciated!

I originally wanted to only use vertical stormwater and have some sort of 25mm flex pipe go into it but i thought it would not seal properly. Using a horizontal lower than i have now would have been a good idea! The lowest rack was restricted by shelf and sump height. I didn't have much fall. Hindsight is a wonderful thing lol. I would have ripped the timber shelf out and bought pallet racking.

Behind the tanks has 40mm styro for insulation. The sides on the takes will have the same the large esky will have the lid over it which should help maintain the temp. 2x 300w Ehiem heaters. But i will be interested to see the winter electricity bill.

My LEDs have a thick clear coating on the outside which prevents water entering. They have also been adheive sprayed onto the shelf. I'm unsure if i will have them on all day or purely for viewing purposes. They have 6000k so will grow basic plants. There is enough ambient light which comes through a whirlygig vent i installed for humidity.

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Edited by P4rker
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I don't want to harp on about it but I have had issues with LEDs dropping. I think I have the exact same LEDs 5050 chips waterproof, come as 5m strip and cost about $30 power supply included. I peeled the backing off and stuck them on with a bit of glue here and there. They heated up and the double sided tape that comes on them seperated from the strip and they fell in the water. And the water made its way in and burnt out some of the chips by the time I got home from work.

Since then I have glued some with silicon being sure that the bead overlaps the edge of the strip, and stapled others and have had no issues since.

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Behind the tanks has 40mm styro for insulation. The sides on the takes will have the same the large esky will have the lid over it which should help maintain the temp. 2x 300w Ehiem heaters. But i will be interested to see the winter electricity bill.

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Nowhere near enough dude. Spend the money, use bats on that roof and sides, all fish sheds/garages should have proper insulation. Otherwise you will be bleeding cash on lekky bills. Trust me.

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