Tom's Bucket O' Mud (semi self-sustaining aquarium) - Page 16 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #226 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 05:09 PM
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Nice comparison pics. The Kessil does seem a bit brighter (better detail in the foreground substrate) and there seem to be much less spill light. Hope you can get the fan quiet. Fan noise will rot your brain!
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post #227 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Nice comparison pics. The Kessil does seem a bit brighter (better detail in the foreground substrate) and there seem to be much less spill light. Hope you can get the fan quiet. Fan noise will rot your brain!
Yeah the light spill is definitely less from the Kessil, with a much more defined edge. Not sure if I prefer that or not to be honest. It's a touch brighter visually, but not by much - I wouldn't imagine it'd match a 150w halide as marketed, but that's a good thing for me. I didn't want loads more light, just better aesthetics and cheaper running costs. PAR might be another matter of course.

New fan tomorrow, fingers crossed.
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post #228 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 08:36 PM
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Ahhh, I loved the video! I wonder how many people have been inspired by your tank. I know I have!

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post #229 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 03:38 AM
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+1 on being inspired by your tank. It motivated me to check out other species of fish. Also, to collect hardscape from the wild when I'm out walking.
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post #230 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 11:15 PM
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Bigtom:

The site you linked on page 9 talked about adding tubiflex to the biotope. Was wondering whether you considered doing so and what made you decide one way or the other.

My journals: 60F - 60P - Aquatop Cube
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post #231 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Bigtom:

The site you linked on page 9 talked about adding tubiflex to the biotope. Was wondering whether you considered doing so and what made you decide one way or the other.
I did think about using tubifex or blackworms, but the latter are rarely available in the UK and the tank seemed nicely populated with microfauna before I tracked down any tubifex.

I'd suggest they're definitely worth trying,but haven't done so myself.
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post #232 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 04:46 PM
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I did think about using tubifex or blackworms, but the latter are rarely available in the UK and the tank seemed nicely populated with microfauna before I tracked down any tubifex.

I'd suggest they're definitely worth trying,but haven't done so myself.
Thank you for your reply. Do you know what kind of microfauna that decided to make camp in your tank?

My journals: 60F - 60P - Aquatop Cube
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post #233 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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OK, some things I have learned about electronics (from a starting position of zilch a few days ago);

1. The fan in the Kessil is a fairly standard 40x40x20mm affair. Physically very easy to find a replacement.
2. However, it runs at 24v instead of 12v like most computer fans.
3. You can run the standard fan at half speed or a 12v fan if you wire in a LM7812 voltage regulator. This is very easy to do - ideally involves a spot of soldering or you can bodge it like me with electrical tape.
4. The half speed stock fan still pushes more air than the 12v northbridge fan I tried.
5. Doing the above will drastically reduce fan noise, and runs the unit cool enough not to cause any issue (short term at least). However, the unit does run considerably hotter so you're probably shortening the life span of the LEDs from the rated 13 years to...... who knows.
6. Running the unit without a fan at all causes it to switch off after about 10 minutes when it gets too hot. Good safety feature.
7. Accidentally crossing the red and black wires going to the fan whilst its switched on causes a burning smell and the death of a fuse on the circuit board, which renders the entire fan circuit kaput.
8. After a lot of swearing you can run a second power cable for the fan directly to that old mobile phone charger that's been sat in your drawer for about 8 years, because it just so happens to be 12v DC.

So in summary; if the terrible buzz from the Kessil fan is setting your teeth on edge, you can easily fix it by wiring in a 12v regulator as detailed here - AVForums.com - View Single Post - Behringer amps, x-over and parametric EQ units and hence running the stock fan half speed, or replacing with another fan of your choice. The downside is that the unit will be hotter, probably reducing its lifespan.

Can't help but feel Kessil should have made the case large enough to fit a 60mm fan and larger heatsink; would have made cooling much easier and quiter with only a minor increase in bulk.
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post #234 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply. Do you know what kind of microfauna that decided to make camp in your tank?
I added several different types of Daphnia; the larger free swimming ones didn't do well with water movement and were quickly picked off once fish were added, but there are a couple of small benthic types that are still about.

Also added Hyallela azteca which are perfect; small but very hardy and prolific.

Obviously baby shrimp also provide a good food source.

Then there was also the usual assortment of microfauna that arrive on their own; snails, cyclops, copepods, ostracods, freshwater limpets, nematodes, various other small worms, leeches, planaria, hydra (I got rid of the latter 2).
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post #235 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 12:50 AM
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I added several different types of Daphnia; the larger free swimming ones didn't do well with water movement and were quickly picked off once fish were added, but there are a couple of small benthic types that are still about.

Also added Hyallela azteca which are perfect; small but very hardy and prolific.

Obviously baby shrimp also provide a good food source.

Then there was also the usual assortment of microfauna that arrive on their own; snails, cyclops, copepods, ostracods, freshwater limpets, nematodes, various other small worms, leeches, planaria, hydra (I got rid of the latter 2).
Thank you for the suggestion of hyallela azteca. They certainly are easier to look at than bloodworms and tubiflex.

My journals: 60F - 60P - Aquatop Cube
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post #236 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-13-2013, 04:03 PM
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Love the changes.

I've heard of the very brown / black cherries to appear blue depending on water conditions.
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post #237 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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I recently moved a trio of Sawbwa out of the main tnak and into a 25l with a mesh bottom and dropped the temperature right down to 18 degrees to see if I could get them to spawn. Spotted a few eggs scattered around...

Freshly laid -



And a wee video of the first free swimming fry that I saw today (tiny!) -

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post #238 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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And one of the many freshwater limpets in my tanks -

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post #239 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Few more shots while I'm at it -






Last edited by BigTom; 04-22-2013 at 09:06 PM. Reason: updates url
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post #240 of 340 (permalink) Old 04-22-2013, 04:50 PM
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Very impressive photos, especially that egg. Awesome videos, too!

Congratulations on the spawn!

One of my favorite threads, for sure. Love that aquarium. Wish there was a higher res. version of that last shot - wallpaper material .

I like creepy things, vines included.

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