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Alex

6x2x2.5' (2 Tier) Journal

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Spiesie - I just collected the second tank the Saturday just been. There was some damaging to the bracing that the store needed to fix.

So as it stands have both tanks sitting in my garage on the floor. Will get them painted this week and moved onto the stand this weekend and start the plumbing. So has been a pretty slow burn this project. Mainly due from the time it took from paying for the tanks to getting them home.

Should start seeing some progress now.

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Tanks are pretty much painted now - the blue looks mint (first time i've painted any colour other than black), one more lick of paint and they are done. Felt like the blue needed way more coats than black to prevent light from coming through (could have been the paint i used). Although it has been hot in Perth and I'm known to be a sweater at times, my sweat must have diluted the paint to a 50/50 mix.

Tanks will probably get lifted onto the stand this weekend. Then its time to get stuck into the plumbing.

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Hi Alex,

Any updates? Would love too see some photos of the plumbing and filtration.

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Sorry to disappoint but the tanks are still sitting painted on the floor of my garage. Have decided to put this on the back burner until August. I am going away on my honeymoon for 7 weeks, and will have a house sitter looking after the fish (knows fish) had the plan of spreading the fish out over more tanks to decrease bioload. Instead I sold some of the bass to decrease the bioload. So these will not be set up until August. Will update then.

Filtration will be very simple, top tank draining into the bottom tank then into a large k1 drum filter with a mechanical prefilter. Nothing fancy.

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Wow this project has been a slow burn. Finally got the tanks onto the stand over the weekend - looks pretty cool but also looks like a bit of a monstrosity! Really should have just gone 6x2x2 rather than 6x2x2.5.  

I ordered the return pump last week for the filter I am making - should arrive this week. Then I am out of excuses, hopefully have water in them this weekend. Hopefully the stand holds!

 

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Looks bloody Killa dude. Pretty damn jealous of this set up haha 

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Thanks mate.

Bottom tank is all plumbed up. I filled the bottom tank first and saw there were some bowing the in cross beams - not a massive amount but enough to make me think twice. The racking is weight rated at 2200Kg from memory and the tank/water weighs ~1,000kg. Cut out a couple pieces of wood and used them as supports in the middle of each beam, which seems to have eliminated any bowing in the cross beams. Not sure where the chance it with the top tank just yet or get a proper stand made.

 

Will whack up some pics when I've completed the filter. Making it with a large dangerous goods drum (from memory a couple hundred litres), will have a prefilter for mechanical filtration and the rest will be k1 media. Have already plumbed the tank to the drum - using a uniseal - never used one before and have heard horror stories or people having leaks. So far its been full of water for a week without any leaks. 

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That sucks to hear about the racking bowing on ya mate, shattered for ya as there's been quite a bit of effort put in already. Pretty crap that it's happening with less than half the weight it's rated for. I'd be spewin. 

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It's really no big deal, learnt not to sweat the little things. If it doesn't work out I have some nice black racking for storage in my garage. 

In reality the bowing is minimal and probably is what is to be expected, I'm guessing the foam and wood would counteract it anyway. May fill the top tank this weekend while I am home and see how it goes - bowing about 5mm in the very center compared to the joins on the uprights. The wife and I are looking at a couple of houses at the minute and a move could easily be on the cards at years end. Other option is just run the one tank for now and just get a proper stand made up when we move. Really bothered very little.  

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Don't sweat it man just get one up and goin there huge so you can still get plenty of fish that way when you move you not doin too much I just recently moved with multiple tanks not that big either and it was a massive head ache

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Yeah, I haven't moved fish tanks in many years. Not going to be fun moving two 6x2x2.5's whether they are set up or not, the 8x3x2.5 will also be a big pain in the behind. 

I may have something even bigger than the 8 footer that will be revealed in good time ;)

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Now you just tormenting me Alex hahah, somethin bigger?????   How big we talkin here? Lol. Was already jealous of the 8x3 and 6x2.5 rack and now you talkin about somethin bigger. Don't do it to me mate hahahahaha. 

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Have to wait and see about the 'something bigger' will do a journal when the time comes. 

 

Got around to finishing off the filtration - it's about time too, this has been a very slow burn this project. 

The filter is made out of a '55 gallon dangerous good drum' bought brand new for $110. The idea behind the filter/reactor is to have enormous biological capabilities. I am a big fan of k1 and have gone that way again. So far I have 50L of brand new K1 media tumbling away. Everything is plumbed in and the heaters have been turned on, am waiting for the water to get to the correct temperature and then I will add around 5-10L of mature K1 media from the sump of my 8x3 to seed the new filter. I have also already added about 100g of white bait to the system to act as am Ammonia source for cycling purposes. I also find that adding something like white bait (or another semi-oily fish) also helps speed up the bio-film on the k media and gets it tumbling properly quicker. I am using a Pond One 70L/min air pump to move the media. Instead of using air stones I have connected irrigation hosing straight to the air pump - and run a line straight to the bottom of the drum and created a closed loop. I then inserted some tiny sprinklers into the irrigation loop (see image below) - as air is pumped through these sprinkler it is chopped up into nice big coarse bubbles and tumbles the media well - 

 

50L of K1 media - you forget how white it starts off as when you have been looking at fully mature media for so long - 

The K1 is also moved a bit by the water coming into the drum - this is just being gravity fed from the overflows that have been installed in the tanks. There is a small area for mechanical filtration that the water first needs to pass through before getting to the k1 media. This is super simple just a suspended basket that is easy to access and change out filter wool. I may revise this later and make the area bigger, wait and see how regularly I am changing out the wool. 

 

I have also cut a piece of twin wall polycarbonate for a lid for the drum - to reduce noise, reduce humidity and trap heat. I just cut some holes for the intakes with a hole saw (will get a pic later). Also makes it look a bit neater. The filter and set up probably isn't going to win any beauty contests but it has a certain industrial type appeal that I like. 

The thing that I am interested to see is how much K1 media I can get effectively tumbling. I have already noticed that the 50L of K media in the drum is already tumbling great. It took my sump K chamber a good while to get going with biofilm (the drum and sump are both powered by the exact same type of air pump). I put this down to the shape of the barrel being much more suited to a K media situation than a square/rectangular chamber of an aquarium sump. Most people say 1L/min air per 1L of k media. So far I have 70L/min air for 50L and it is tumbling it straight out of the packet very well. Am thinking I could easily go with 100-120 - possibly 150L of k1 media. Will just keep adding more slowly over the next few weeks.

Destroyed my fish room getting the filter ready, will clean it up and get some better pics in the coming days.

 

Bonus pic - 

Male Monoc' lucky bloke shares the tank with 4 females and no other males. 

 

 

 

 

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That filter is a beast, bloody great idea imagine it will be able to support a huge bio load. Looking forward to seeing how the return to the top tank is set up. Lookin great mate

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The return to the top would be very simply. Instead of having the external return pump, pumping to the bottom tank i'd just extend it to the top tank and let the overflow flow into the tank below and then into the filter. Very easy but effective. Wouldn't require any more power or anymore equipment at all, just some extra plumbing.

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Have you drilled holes into the drum itself for plumbing yet? If so what did you use to seal? Just a bulk head fitting? Its bloody impressive. Being that big and so much media im guessing you could run the next "something bigger" off the exact some design and be more functional then a sump.

How will you clean the bottom of the drum of crud? I mean im sure a big siphon will get most of it and the wool will catch most of it.

If i ever get a large tank for rays id love to do something similar!

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Ah so the uni seal sits somewhere near the bottom of the drum and connects to a pump outside of drum. Sounds like a nice simple, effective set up. Did ya go with another Eco vectra pump?

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Alex - your air pump will work easier if you place the irrigation sprinklers on the underside of the polypipe loop. This allows the polypipe loop to fully fill with air (submerged air pocket) so it doesnt have to physically push water out so less back pressure on the diaphragm and get even air all around the ring. If you have lots of air to burn, it is only a small difference but it does make a difference. 

Also look at wedge wire if you get tired of cleaning or changing the dacron. Its a self cleaning wire screen. 

Edited by fishdance

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14 hours ago, Bradc said:

Have you drilled holes into the drum itself for plumbing yet? If so what did you use to seal? Just a bulk head fitting? Its bloody impressive. Being that big and so much media im guessing you could run the next "something bigger" off the exact some design and be more functional then a sump.

How will you clean the bottom of the drum of crud? I mean im sure a big siphon will get most of it and the wool will catch most of it.

If i ever get a large tank for rays id love to do something similar!

Yes, there is a hole drilled about 15cm from the base of the drum. I used a uniseal, being so close to the bottom of the drum the surface was fairly curved and I didn't like my chances of a bulkhead creating a tight seal. I also added a bit of silicone to the uniseal - don't know if this was necessary but it doesn't leak at all so happy days. 

Hopefully there isn't much crud to clean. The air loop sits right at the bottom creating uplift back into the K1 media and there is also the intake for the external filter at the bottom, hopefully whatever waste makes it past the wool/mechanical filtration is sucked back up and pumped into the tank rather than sitting at the bottom of the filter. In 6 months time I will put a siphon in there and see if much gets sucked. 

K1 media is great for rays. 

14 hours ago, benno said:

Ah so the uni seal sits somewhere near the bottom of the drum and connects to a pump outside of drum. Sounds like a nice simple, effective set up. Did ya go with another Eco vectra pump?

I have a vectra on my 8x3, and it is a great pump. I went for the DC Aqua Medic 9.1 this time, just to try something different really. So far can't fault is, seems to be well made, quiet and seems to pump the amount of water it claims. I have it on the lowest setting of 10 and is plenty! 

13 hours ago, fishdance said:

Alex - your air pump will work easier if you place the irrigation sprinklers on the underside of the polypipe loop. This allows the polypipe loop to fully fill with air (submerged air pocket) so it doesnt have to physically push water out so less back pressure on the diaphragm and get even air all around the ring. If you have lots of air to burn, it is only a small difference but it does make a difference. 

Also look at wedge wire if you get tired of cleaning or changing the dacron. Its a self cleaning wire screen. 

Yeah someone else suggested the sprinklers on the bottom to me. Will see how I go as more k1 is added, if it starts to struggle i'll get in there an young it around. The thought of sticking my head in that drum today is not a pleasant one. 

Will definitely look into the wedge wire - you had my at self cleaning. I'm sure the mech filtration will need to be revised at some point. Wedge wire is essentially like creating a drum filter yeah?

Thanks for the tips.

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No wedge wire is passive self cleaning. The wire is triangular in profile so  wedge opens out. This means whatever can squeeze through the initial gap opening cant get stuck. 

Google cetus seive for the concept but wedge wire can prefilter most things. A custom stormwater Tee for example sends cleaned water through but caught crap is pushed to waste.

Drum filters take quite a lot of water pressure and so many things can go wrong. They can work well but wouldn't be suitable for what your doing. A simple chamber of static K1 would prefilter fairly well in your situation. Just pour water through a chamber of dry K1. And flood / stir to waste when cleaning is needed (the water level rises). 

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Do you have a link to something similar? Not sure I am following as well as I should be.

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Sorry - I wrote in a hurry on a phone as I normally do. 

Instead of filter wool to mechanically pre filter, you can use a pre chamber of K1 media. Use it static - dry. Water will trickle through stationary K1 leaving the fine dirt behind. Surprisingly fine particles will drop out this way (change in water velocity) with some wet/ dry bio filtration as a bonus. When the K1 starts to get full/clog, the water cant trickle through as fast so water level will rise, lifting the K1 level and you know its time to clean. This could take a month or ten months depending.... To clean, just close the normal bottom drain, flood the static K1 chamber and stir the K1 clean. Then open another tap to drain to waste/ garden. It doesn't take long and this can be automated if you are super lazy. 

 

Another pre filter option is the wedge wire. 

Or your filter wool may do the job just fine. No need to complicate things if everything is working. 

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So pretty much a sediment trap? 

Would like to see how you have made 1 if you have a picture fishdance

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Not a sediment trap which is a deeper zone with an overflow placed higher up to remove heavier solids, but yes it's a mechanical filter. 

Because Alex is using a fluidised bio chamber, he can put his mechanical filter anywhere  (before or after the barrel ). 

I've got plenty of photos but all on photobucket. Essentially it's just another bucket/barrel filled with stationary K1. The media is easy to flush clean with a flood & stir . You can use the raw LDPE granules that K1 is made from in a similar fashion for about one tenth of the price as they have the same buoyancy but they are only 3mm and make a mess if you don't keep the lid shut. 

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