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My completed rack set up


Stuart86
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As most people would agree that once the addiction sets in one tank just isn't enough. I have been in the process of setting this up for about 6 months and have finally finished it about a month ago. It consists of 2 5foots equal divisions of three and 2 4foots. The sump is my old 4foot juvi tank.

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Now I'm currently keeping a few different colonies of malawi's and one victorian colony (thanks andrew!)

All are going great and getting lots of fry!

Will post more pics soon.

Stu

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As I'm currently in the process of setting up my own breeding room I would only comment on two aspects.

Firstly if I am correct in saying that your downpipes inside the tanks have slits in them around the bottom to

drain water you are going to run into major problems should a power outage occur because there is no way

your sump can handle the water volume...

Secondly, it seems like you have ball valves to control water being returned by the pump in each tank, but I'm

not sure if you have one attached to the drainage pipe of each tank. This means that should for whatever reason

you need to isolate a tank within the system you cannot so in the event of a disease outbreak the water will travel

through each tank spreading contagious conditions.

Thirdly, there is very little mechanical filtration to physically remove wastes before they hit your biomedia (matrix

and bioballs). This means that these media's will probably need a whole lot more cleaning (and in the case of the

bioballs, surface area reduced due to clogging.

Please don't take this as a harsh comment, just things that I have considered into my planned fish room. Your setup

does look great and I'm sure you will do fine with it, just may take more work to do things, which can at times reduce

ones passion of the hobby.

Cheers,

John

Edited by noxious_nasties
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As I'm currently in the process of setting up my own breeding room I would only comment on two aspects.

Firstly if I am correct in saying that your downpipes inside the tanks have slits in them around the bottom to

drain water you are going to run into major problems should a power outage occur because there is no way

your sump can handle the water volume...

Secondly, it seems like you have ball valves to control water being returned by the pump in each tank, but I'm

not sure if you have one attached to the drainage pipe of each tank. This means that should for whatever reason

you need to isolate a tank within the system you cannot so in the event of a disease outbreak the water will travel

through each tank spreading contagious conditions.

Thirdly, there is very little mechanical filtration to physically remove wastes before they hit your biomedia (matrix

and bioballs). This means that these media's will probably need a whole lot more cleaning (and in the case of the

bioballs, surface area reduced due to clogging.

Please don't take this as a harsh comment, just things that I have considered into my planned fish room. Your setup

does look great and I'm sure you will do fine with it, just may take more work to do things, which can at times reduce

ones passion of the hobby.

Cheers,

John

The slits you see are in the pvc pipe which over sleeves the drainage pipe, the system works awesome.

There is a control valve on each level, if i need to isolate a tank i just turn the inlet off.

I bought some bio mat/jap mesh today from my LFS and was thinking about putting some filter wool on top of the bio balls?

Cheers for the input i respect what everyone has to say good or bad as its all positive in the end.

Stu

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The slits you see are in the pvc pipe which over sleeves the

drainage pipe, the system works awesome.

There is a control valve on each level, if i need to isolate a tank i just turn

the inlet off.

I bought some bio mat/jap mesh today from my LFS and was thinking

about putting some filter wool on top of the bio balls?

Cheers for the input i respect what everyone has to say good or bad as

its all positive in the end.

Stu

My main concern with the design, which I'm not sure if I explained

correctly is that in the event of a power outage those slits that you have

in your downpipe will cause all of the water in the tanks to be drained i.e.

flooding the sump and wherever the tanks are + being so low in the tank

leaving little or no water left for fishes.

As for the biomat, any additional filtration is of course going to be

beneficial. I think it would be a good idea to put it somewhere before the

bioballs to further restict solid wastes clogging the balls.

HTH

John

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The slits you see are in the pvc pipe which over sleeves the

drainage pipe, the system works awesome.

There is a control valve on each level, if i need to isolate a tank i just turn

the inlet off.

I bought some bio mat/jap mesh today from my LFS and was thinking

about putting some filter wool on top of the bio balls?

Cheers for the input i respect what everyone has to say good or bad as

its all positive in the end.

Stu

My main concern with the design, which I'm not sure if I explained

correctly is that in the event of a power outage those slits that you have

in your downpipe will cause all of the water in the tanks to be drained i.e.

flooding the sump and wherever the tanks are + being so low in the tank

leaving little or no water left for fishes.

As for the biomat, any additional filtration is of course going to be

beneficial. I think it would be a good idea to put it somewhere before the

bioballs to further restict solid wastes clogging the balls.

HTH

John

I'm not sure how to explain this but the slits are not directly cut into the drainage pipe. The drainage pipe is sealed to the bottom of the tank and the pipe which has the cuts in it just loosly slips over the top and is slightly longer than the pipe that is sealed to the bottom. This makes the water only exit the tank through the slits.

I will take some photos today to try and explain how it works

cheers stu

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i take my hat off to you job well done

how did you drill your tanks?

I owe a big thanks to ctayler, he helped out every step of the way.

Lucky for me the tanks were already drilled all i needed to do was plumb it all together.

Although i have had to drill the holes in my 8x2.5x2.5. I just use a 8mm Glass and tile drill bit to center the hole, then i use a diamond tipped hole saw to drill the 40mm hole or which ever size you need. All drilling through glass should be done at lowest speed and use water only for the hole saw as the diamonds get blocked.

HTH

Stu

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Looks very nice Stu :clap

but John has raised a couple of good points

I understand that you have sleeves over the outlet pipes that are cut at water height

but there may be some that could have thought the sleeves were capped which would have

caused a syphon if power went off - well noted and answered guys :thumb

Bio balls in a full wet sump is contrary to how they are designed to function and you would be

better served using a porous media like Matrix or similar that is designed for full wet system

Bio balls need to be above water level so they are in a wet/dry enviroment

refer this thread in Technical just below yours BIO BALL THREAD

when using a bacteria culturing matrix in this type of system a pre filter is required so the media is

not clogged by waste and slime

with weirs most use a wrapping of poly mat around the drilled drain tube so as it gets dirty the water

level in the weir rises up the pre filter and you can see when it needs changing

with your full wet system you can use the inlet chamber with jap matting or nylon pot scourers for

larger waste and filter matting in the second chamber this should give waste free water running over

your bio media

I suggest you change the bio balls over for a full wet media

the other thing is location of the tanks, I'm guessing it's a garage take over ;) so thermal stability

is also a factor to keep power costs down with heating

so what have you done about draughts from roller doors and heat lose through windows

also tank backs can be cover by foam to help reduce thermal lose

Chris

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I'm not sure how to explain this but the slits are not directly cut into the drainage pipe. The drainage pipe is sealed to the bottom of the tank and the pipe which has the cuts in it just loosly slips over the top and is slightly longer than the pipe that is sealed to the bottom. This makes the water only exit the tank through the slits.

I will take some photos today to try and explain how it works

cheers stu

In case this is still not understood, a normal standpipe takes water from the water's surface. A standpipe with this sort of covering sleeve with slits at the bottom will case the water to be taken from the bottom of the tank rather than from the surface. This is what this design is for. The water flows in at the bottom, then must go up to enter the standpipe at the water's surface, and exit the tank at this point. Should there be a power stoppage, the lowest point is still the top of the "internal" standpipe that is at the water's surface.

I agree with comments made regarding the wet dry requirements of bio balls. However, in the two shots shown of the sump, the first looked as though the bio balls were mostly submerged, the second had a much lower water level in the right hand end of the sump, which left the bio balls out of the water (where they need to be). I assume there was a diffusion plate over the bio balls to spread the water flow over the bio balls beneath. The only problem with this, for the correct water level required for the bio balls, is that it will leave a smaller margin of error regarding evaporation rates - only a small amount of evaporation can see the water level at the right end fall low enough to potentially run the pump dry.

You might be surprised at how much water can evaporate on a hot summers day. Lids on the sump will fix a lot of this if they are tightly fitted (made harder with a submerged pumps tubing)

As a side point, one that could fix the above issue, is that it is better run system tank's pump in-line and not submerged. In the summer the extra heat the pump will put in the water (on top of a 45 degree day) could be enough to kill fish. If plumbed in-line the pump's heat will go to the air and not the water. You have enough room to the right of the sump to plumb the pump in-line.

I agree too that the bio section of a sump needs to be mechanically filtered before the water gets to it, but as best as I can ascertain from your photo, your water is flowing to the bio ball section from below, and must pass through the single layer of filter wool to get to it. I would put more mechanical media in this section, and be more inclined to have your heaters in the first chamber with, if it can be managed, the tops of the heaters out of the water (provided the heaters will not run dry when pump is off).

Otherwise a nice clean looking set-up. The garage will be nice and warm in winter too I'd think.

Edited by CThompson
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I'm not sure how to explain this but the slits are not directly cut into the drainage pipe. The drainage pipe is sealed to the bottom of the tank and the pipe which has the cuts in it just loosly slips over the top and is slightly longer than the pipe that is sealed to the bottom. This makes the water only exit the tank through the slits.

I will take some photos today to try and explain how it works

cheers stu

In case this is still not understood, a normal standpipe takes water from the water's surface. A standpipe with this sort of covering sleeve with slits at the bottom will case the water to be taken from the bottom of the tank rather than from the surface. This is what this design is for. The water flows in at the bottom, then must go up to enter the standpipe at the water's surface, and exit the tank at this point. Should there be a power stoppage, the lowest point is still the top of the "internal" standpipe that is at the water's surface.

I agree with comments made regarding the wet dry requirements of bio balls. However, in the two shots shown of the sump, the first looked as though the bio balls were mostly submerged, the second had a much lower water level in the right hand end of the sump, which left the bio balls out of the water (where they need to be). I assume there was a diffusion plate over the bio balls to spreded the water flow over the bio balls beneath. The only problem with this, for the correct water level required for the bio balls, is that it will leave a smaller margin of error regarding evaporation rates - only a small amount of evaporation can see the water level at the right end fall low enough to potentially run the pump dry.

You might be surprised at how much water can evaporate on a hot summers day. Lids on the sump will fix a lot of this if they are tightly fitted (made harder with a submerged pumps tubing)

As a side point, one that could fix the above issue, is that it is better run system tank's pump in-line and not submerged. In the summer the extra heat the pump will put in the water (on top of a 45 degree day) could be enough to kill fish. If plumbed in-line the pump's heat will go to the air and not the water. You have enough room to the right of the sump to plumb the pump in-line.

I agree too that the bio section of a sump needs to be mechanically filtered before the water gets to it, but as best as I can ascertain from your photo, your water is flowing to the bio ball section from below, and must pass through the single layer of filter wool to get to it. I would put more mechanical media in this section, and be more inclined to have your heaters in the first chamber with, if it can be managed, the tops of the heaters out of the water (provided the heaters will not run dry when pump is off).

Otherwise a nice clean looking set-up. The garage will be nice and warm in winter too I'd think.

Thank you Craig for helping explain how the PVC stand pipe works. If still not understood i can take photos to help make sense of it?

I have a perspex panel above the bio balls with holes drilled in it. Im not sure exactly how many bio balls i have in there but not one is submersed. I have fitted lids as tightly as possible to the sump so this should stop the evaporation which was happening. Although about 50mm of water would have to evaporate for the water level to even touch the top of the pump.

Question with running the pump in-line. Would that require drilling a hole in the side of the sump?

Stu

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the other thing is location of the tanks, I'm guessing it's a garage take over ;) so thermal stability

is also a factor to keep power costs down with heating

so what have you done about draughts from roller doors and heat lose through windows

also tank backs can be cover by foam to help reduce thermal lose

Chris

I was planing on covering as much of the tank with foam panels, i started to but ran out. It wasn't the warmest place to put them, but the only spot where it would fit. So foam insulation is my only option.

Thanks for reminding me I better get my act together and finish hey..

Stu

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bio mat should be what the water goes through first, then the filter wool. If water flow is from the top of the filter wool, through bio mat, then into bio/Matrix section, through from the bottom and going up, then you have the biomatt and filter wool in the wrong order.

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OK I can see the bio ball chamber better now (old persons eyes) as before the perspex

spreader plate looked like the water level :blink

I would have more filter wool matting in it, the same depth as the Jap matting

is thick and as mentioned coarse then fine +1 with Craig on this

I agree with Craig that the heaters should be moved to the first chamber rather

than laying on the bottom of the sump

:p always something else to do and then you change things around and find

more to do

all in all it's coming along well :thumbup:

Chris

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So the white filter wool/mat should be under the green jap mesh? Is that how you run your filtration?

Thanks for the advice guys I really appreciate it.

Stu

If you have the fine stuff first, all particulate matter will be screened and capture here, making the course stuff pointless as nothing will get through to it. It's not rocket science :lol1: .

I wouldn't have as much bio mat either (unless it is being used as a bio media, which it is not), as more than two pieces would be pointless, one is probably enough. More fine stuff would be keen :yes: .

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have had a growth/build up of a brown slime inside the inlet pipes. Not sure what it is but here is some pics, so if anyone knows what it is or experiences the same problem please help me out.

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

The slime covers the entire inside of the pipe

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most likely fish faeces,

as i recently cleaned out my filter and in pipes it was filled with it, a feaces build up all over the pipe wall but cleaned it all out with the rope method

Edited by LEG-IT
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It is just algae. You have used a clear tubing and the light gets in. It can potentially reduce the water flow by creating resistance.

it actually does reduce the water flow, keeps happening to me, and also sometimes the poo also clings onto the build up

if you take it out look inside the tubing you will see probably a 1-2mm build up of it, well that happened to me

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