Welcome to the most recent installment of "How long after setting up the tank will it be before Phil has to move again?". After 5 months without a tank I finally broke down and put one together. Rather than work on a couple different builds for testing and experimentation at the same time, I decided to really focus on one system and go all out. I got really lucky and found all sorts of awesome hardware in storage when we moved and cherry picked the prime bits for use in this tank.
Overall design philosophy
: Over engineer, over engineer, over engineer, and cut no corners. Since the stand is open, all of the hardware and plumbing had to be both effective and visually pleasing. This meant sourcing manufactured items where needed rather than DIY. Also, everything had to be modular for easy maintenance, modification, and moving. This meant using lots of couplings and true union valves. If I've learned anything over the years when it comes to plumbing sumps/wet-drys it's that one can NEVER have too many unions. They make maintenance and removing hardware for pictures MUCH easier.
Before I get started, I want to give a big shout out to the folks at CPR Aquatic
; especially their sales guy Russ. He was very patient with all my questions, communicated regularly, and accommodated my OCD requests for sump customization. This was my first time not making my own wet-dry/sump filter since I started high tech tanks back in 2001 and I wanted to make sure everything was just right. I'm very, very pleased with the result.
*Stand- 1.5" steel frame with removable light hanging bracket.
*Tank- 60 gallon (48 x 24 x 13) effective volume
*Filter- CPR CR900 wet-dry with additional reservoir
*Overflow- CPR CS102
*Return pump- unknown brand, 3200 liters/hr (approx. 800 gph)
*Filtration media- 8.5 lbs Xport-NO3 (approx. 4000 gallons filtration capacity) with Poret foam for mechanical filtration
*Chemical filtration- Brightwell Aquatics OrganitR DOC adsorption resin in a CPR Mini Tumbler reactor with Fine Media Kit.
*Lighting- Aquatic Life 6x T5HO
*CO2- Mag Drive 2 running a mazzei injector into a 3-stage Cerges reactor
Ok, I think that's enough talking, on with the pics!
"A Room With A View, or Plumbing Porn"
Preparing to seal the wood, or The Most Expensive Magnets Ever. Yeah, I used the motors for two VorTech MP40s. Paint was two coats of standard Killz.
Boards laid and sump in place. The lefthand half of the reservoir is going to be a dedicated plant growing and shrimp keeping area so I wanted it in front for easy viewing. Plus, the side-by-side arrangement opens up a lot of usable space so it's a win-win.
Pump plumbing, expanded view
Mazzei adaptors. I went with mazzei style venturis for two reasons; 1) I had them already and 2) the flow through the tank is a lot lower than what the overflow is rated for. Russ told me that an Aqualifter would work, but it would wear out faster. Rather than have to worry about the priming pump dying at an inconvenient time, and save a little money on electricity, I figured it would be better to plumb a venturi right into the return line. Now I've got a self-priming system that injects a little air into the tank every now and then to boot. Even better, I can use the Aqualifter as a dosing pump now.
All put together and testing the lights. Sadly, I underestimated how high the bracket would need to be to accommodate the hanging kits for my light and it ended up being too close to the tank. A simple modification fixed that!
Soaking the wood while all of the plumbing joints cure. I found a couple pinhole leaks in the sump bulkheads (that's what I get for trusting rubber gaskets) that needed to be siliconed.
Detail shots coming in the next post.