I decided to move the computer controlled nano thread into DIY because it will be a while before it even gets water. I took a hiatus from the project while I worked on other shiny projects, but now I'm back and itching to bend/cut/glue/solder/program a desktop nano. I am bypassing the cooler unit for the time being, because it was hangups in the design of that unit that stalled me last time.
I am also switching from glass to acrylic so I can incorporate some filtering into the body of the tank, and am currently looking for some advice on layout. The basic design will be something like this:
I have this so far (sorry for the cell-phone pic):
I want to design an IRFUG (Integrated Reverse Flow Undergravel Filter) into the floor of the tank and at least a small overflow into the back. So here's my first question:
Should I make the rear or bottom areas large enough to contain the entire filtration system? Or should I push the floor all the way to the bottom, make a minimal overflow section in the back and go with an external canister in order to maximize display volume?
BTW, I am seriously considering trading this version on the S&S for some plants when I get it "done."
what did you use to make the bends like that for the front?
That one was done with a heatgun. Heat both sides slowly and carefully along the area to be bent, bend into shape and hold 'til it cools. Acrylic shows every flaw and you can see that the bend is not consistent from top to bottom. I think I may build an acrylic bender like the ones below this weekend.
Here is an awesome pico that was done in the oven (Note: Don't try this! The author of the post below states that he almost ruined his oven and others have mentioned that acrylic gives off explosive vapors when heated -->-->-->): http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/inde...1&st=0&start=0
The idea of a single power cord and no tubing coming from the tank is appealing, but the bent acrylic in my previous post is the largest I have so if I want to maximize display volume I'll need external filtering. I was thinking about putting everything under the desk (probably in a tub, just in case). Would a SunSun be way overkill for 3.6 gallons? They are rated for 265 GPH, so thats 73X turnover. Hmmm, with an IRFUG, it may end up as a substrate blender...
I cleaned up the edges with the table saw since the router wasn't doing the trick, then cut the back and bottom slightly oversized so that I can trim them with a flush cutter on the router (after they are glued on. Right now they are just set in place for the pic). I dont know if its visible, but i did nick a corner on the clear when i was cutting it (upper left corner in the pics). I will need to figure out what i am going to do about that.
Maybe tomorrow I will mill the IRFUG then glue and trim it.
For the overflow I plan to mill a pocket in a piece of 1/4" clear acrylic and this 1/4" black, then when I sandwich the two together I should have a .375" gap between the two. Water will flow into this gap through slots along the top edge. The back of the sandwich will be clear so I can see if anything is stuck in there.
Does that make any sense? Maybe I'll draw up a solid model tomorrow night and get some feedback before I start gluing or cutting anything...
A picture is worth 1k works so maybe this will make a bit more sense:
Note the gap behind the slots along the top back. That will be a small overflow. Here it is from the back:
There is a hole into the overflow area where I plan to thread a hose barb. The volume of the overflow (to the bottom of the slots) will be 7.25" X 8.5" X .35" = 21.5 cubic inches = .1 gallons. Will that be enough to keep from sucking air into a canister filter?
The IRFUG is also made from a piece of .25" clear and .25" black acrylic sandwiched together. A hole also goes through into the manifold area from the rear of the tank. You can see the array of holes for the IRFUG in this shot:
zoomed 501 canister filter, it does ~93GPH and may work much better, also quite a bit smaller too
I'm thinking of going DIY all the way and building a canister filter. I have a hunk of 4" diameter acrylic that might work. I also have a 100GPH submersible pump, (left over from the last incarnation of this project) so that sounds about right...
I dropped the IRFUG, it added complications and didn't really provide any benefits. I also changed my mind about the overflow on the back. I am making a larger overflow/filter (about 3" deep and half the width of the tank) and putting a small submersible pump, foam, and some bio-media in it. I cut some slots along the top back of the tank where water can flow into the filter area and plan to make an acrylic spraybar for the outflow.
As for the lighting, I am going to try something funky. I found this lamp at sciplus:
I am going to use the steel goosenecks to mount my 5w LEDs, so they will be easy to position.
I have my heart set on Flourite Black Sand as a substrate. Is there any way to buy smaller quantities of that, or something equivalent? I hate to pay $30 for a humongous bag when I'll only use 1/5 of it.
I spent quite a while gluing parts for the main tank area together today, and now I am waiting for the glue to dry. I will clean things up with the flush cutter tomorrow and post a few pics. After that I can start gluing up the filter and electronics areas.
I ran the flush cut bit around the edges tonight to clean it up. I've never used a flush cut bit before, it's pretty cool how nicely it works to make the edges look good.
Oh, yeah - No leaks! Yay!
I ordered the light and a couple more high-power LEDs today. They should be here by the end of the week. I am also planning to add one of those tiny disposable pressurized CO2 setups and I think 3 of the peristaltic pumps I am working on will fit.
Time to head back out to the lab and glue some more pieces on the back to build up the filter section.
Whoops. Almost forgot to drill for the spraybar before I built the filter: