In hiking there is a term called Dirtbagging. Dirtbagging is a style of gear selection based on cost, reuse, bang for the buck, and function. For example, a dirtbagger would eschew a SIGG or Nalgene bottle when a 99 cent gatorade bottle will do. It is lighter, more flexible and tough enough for the job and the price is right. A dirtbagger would buy wool dress pants at Goodwill for 3 bucks rather than buy the latest technical ripstop hiking clothes.
Given that I'm using powdered dirt for the substrate
and building as much of the tank as I can myself, it seems fitting to name this tank build after the dirtbagging pioneers of the Appalachian Trail.
I've already mineralized some topsoil and bought eco complete for the substrate. I have muriate of potash and dolomite as well for the under substrate layer.
Right now I am selecting components. The tank itself is a PetSmart store tank that was purchased during a store closing sale. I bought it from a guy off craigslist for $70. It is a 47.8 gallon SeaClear acrylic tank that is 48 x 15 x 15. It has predrilled holes with bulkheads in the back upper corners.:
I intend to make this a soft water tank with injected CO2 and LED lighting. Here are the parts I have so far, where I obtained them, and what I paid:
CO2 injection supplies
The following came from a colleague who was moving research labs.
two Victor 235a two stage regulators
Harris model # 92SS-15, which according to a guy there is a two stage
regulator which is made for precise psi readings.
Various oxygen regulators (one pictured above)
Hoke needle valve (details unknown)
various brass fittings
Some weird gauge thingy
The following came from my local scrapyard for the price of 9 bucks, give or take:
Broen bench mounted 2-valve fitting for air (http://www.broen.com/LAB/Produktinformation/~/media/LAB/Teknisk%20information/LAB/BOSS40.ashx
No idea if this will come in handy. If not, I spent about $3 to find out.
Water Saver L4200 Laboratory Ball Valve, Removable Hose End
No idea if this will come in handy. If not, I spent about $1 to find out.
two chromed reduction nipples... you know the drill by now.
So I still need a lot of stuff like a tank, solenoid, and needle valve (if none of the ones I have obtained will work out.) But for the price of 9 dollars thus far I'm in good shape.
Onto the lighting. I have about 200 CREE XPE white LEDs in a mix of cools and warms which I got from another acquaintance.
He's going to get me some of the newer LEDs and some blues/reds if I ask for them, but I want to prove the circuit first. He also gave me 40 heatsinks and a couple of 24V 60W open power supplies. I will likely use something else but nice to have them on hand for testing.
At the scrapyard I picked up a heavy aluminum tread for $12 which I plan to use as a heatsink:
It is 8 inches by 45 inches and somewhat heavy, say 4 pounds. I like it because 1) it has a flat back and 2) I hope the grooves will act as heat dispensers by increasing the surface area somewhat over flat aluminum sheet stock.
Here is a closeup of the heatsinks:
Soon I'll post pics of the driftwood I found in a stream shore which is really cool looking.