Bulkhead/In-line Replenishment Snag... - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 126 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 10:29 PM
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Steve, it could be that I don't grasp the situation, but could you do something simple like this?:



The 'sump' tube would just be a 2" tube mounted out of site at the back of the tank, plumbed into the main tank.

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post #32 of 126 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Wow Matak. I feel bad that you went to all the trouble to draw a picture, and I've got to say that won't work for me at all. Sorry.

It would work. But I'm placing some rather ridiculous constraints on myself. I'm not going to do it if:

1) It introduces any more hardware in the tank.
2) It introduces any more hardware outside of the tank.

I know I could hide stuff in back, but I don't always use a background.

At the moment I've got two lily pipes coming over the side of the tank and they make me NUTS. If I could eliminate those, there would be no hardware visible in my tank at all. There are 5 bulkhead holes drilled in the bottom (not the back, though I know that is common), and all the outflow water pours down two of them. One more is plumbed, and I wanted to use to test water pressure. The final two are held in reserve for such time that I tackle some kind of undergravel manifold to provide my water return.

Maybe you can understand now why I'm knocking myself out trying to get these pressure switches to do the job. But thanks for going to the trouble of making the pic!

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #33 of 126 (permalink) Old 10-10-2005, 11:45 PM
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Thanks Steve, wasn't much of a problem to draw it out. What advantages do you see in drilling through the bottom rather than the sides? I want to know as I will probably drill about 5 holes in my DIY plywood tank this week.

BTW, have you ever seen a water level & how it works? Could you use that principle for a remote sensor? (remote as in a completely different room at tank level)

Steve

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post #34 of 126 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Matak - the only significant advantage I know about bottom vs. back bulkheads is the ability to plumb things and walk completely around the tank and see no equipment. That's not an objective for many people though.

And yes, thanks, I'm up on most techniques for water level detection. And almost all of them require either an over flow (translated - equipment in or on the tank) or equipment at water level somewhere else. Thus my problem.

That's OK though. If I figure out a unique solution then great! And if not, dragging that python across the room once a week is my sacrifice to aesthetic considerations.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #35 of 126 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 08:17 PM
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ok, why not just rig afloat switch wired to a manual shutoff to something that will clip on the glass holding it in place. flip the switch and walk away while it changes water for you and remove it and place it in the stand when done?
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post #36 of 126 (permalink) Old 10-11-2005, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumpyfunk
ok, why not just rig afloat switch wired to a manual shutoff to something that will clip on the glass holding it in place. flip the switch and walk away while it changes water for you and remove it and place it in the stand when done?
Excellent compromise - nothing permanently in view, just in view during maintenance. I certainly cannot argue that all my work to do everything in line has eliminated people having to seem me with my arms in the tank, scissors and tweezers in hand! IMO this is no different.

The only thing that hangs me up is that little word manual. I was hoping to create something fully automatic.

Good try though.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #37 of 126 (permalink) Old 10-12-2005, 06:52 PM
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have not come up with a good solution, but did come up with another problem

I would be tempted to use strait glass tubes (with holes on one side - like a spay bar), plumbed up from the bulhead for intake and exhaust of the filter - nothing over the side. Just imagine it would look very nice. A third tube could then maintain your water level - but that defeates your goals I know.

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post #38 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-24-2006, 08:50 AM
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I came across this interesting thread while looking for a solution for my own sump project. Why not turn the problem around and detect the waterlevel in the sump. Toilet cisterns regulate the inflow using a floater connected to a ball valve. By keeping the level constant in the sump, -by refilling the sump with water from the tank, you will also keep the level constant in the tank. The downside is that evaporation will show up in the tank and not in the sump, just like it does in a closed system.
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post #39 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-25-2006, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Wow. Been away from this thread for awhile, and have almost given up on the problem. But...

jgc - that's good thinking really IMO. And I have the problems with the 1st and 2nd tubes licked. Kind of. And the third tube is drilled. And the third tube, which is drilled could be used to add water. But the problem isn't getting the water in. The problem is about detecting when to add, and when to stop adding, without tossing in a bunch of visible equipment.

Garratt - my number of posts belies the fact that I'm really a newbie. Just barely about to begin my third year at this stuff and still learning. I say that because I've gone to great trouble and expense to create as sophisticated an in-line solution as possible. The one thing that remains elusive is in-line replenishment (and level detection).

But IMO you are right on target on the solution. The more I look at my complex plumbing (which has never failed BTW), and as I continue to struggle to deal with auto-replenishment in an in-line system, the more I begin to believe that sumps are the way to go. So rather than focusing on silly stuff like this, maybe I should be focusing on how to keep a bulkheaded overflow as inconspicuous as possible, and do as you suggest.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #40 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-26-2006, 11:16 AM
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Steve,

Is there an unused bulkhead on this tank? I can't remember how many holes you had drilled, and then plumbed. I might have an idea.

Sean

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It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #41 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-27-2006, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Sean I've got 5 drilled holes, each with a bulkhead. Unused bulkheads are capped off, under the substrate. Two holes are used as outflows, and one I have a tube sticking up a few inches above the substrate. I intended to use this as a "pressure detection" hole. But I can't get that to work, as documented here. And on top of that, there are two other unused, capped off bulkheads.

BTW - I never intended to use 5 at once, but by spreading them around I figured I could accommodate variety of possible aquascapes, and still hit a couple in plants... even a fully walk around tank.

So what's the idea?

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #42 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-27-2006, 03:20 AM
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Its how we monitor water levels in reservoirs at hydro electric projects. Have you ever heard of a stilling well?

I have a Tsunami auto topoff that I picked up on Reef Central. Using PVC you could make an exterior stilling well with one of your free bulkheads, put the sensor in it and detect the loss of water to evaporation. The pressure sensor reacts to falling water level, and turns on a pump or powerhead until the water level rises back up. If you feed the reservoir pump line into the PVC stilling well back to the opening in the tank and put a small strainer at the opening in the tank you will have a self cleaning system.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #43 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-27-2006, 03:56 AM
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This may sound silly but what about a toilet like flushing mechanism? The height of the stand pipe would determine how much water drained and once the water flow was reduced the flapper valve at the bottom of the stand pipe would, well, flap and close allowing the float switch to open the incoming supply of fresh water. This might sound even crazier but some of the toilets have a float on a long arm which would look a bit strange in your tank!! But others have a float that is donut like and goes over the toilet stand pipe. If you could pull of an inconspicuous version of that it might be OK. Then all you need is a time that opens your flapper valve at the appropriate interval. Heck you could even add a toilet flushing handle to the front of your hood! :P Just a thought...

Regards,
Sam
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post #44 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-27-2006, 08:28 AM
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A toilet flushing mechanism valve was what I had in mind, but a system with sensors will also work. The floater/ball valve is simple and proven technology, the KISS approach is usually the best way to go. My idea was to put the floater in the sump and couple the valve to the underside of a bulkhead. The point is that no standpipe or sensors are needed in the tank! An added benefit is that there will be no CO2 loss.

As a safety measure I think it is a good idea to have sensors in the sump connected to a shut off the return from the tank if the water level is either to low or to high in the sump. The pump should of course be shut of, or even better be redirected to the return side of the sump to keep the bioculture alive.
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post #45 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-27-2006, 12:04 PM
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You guys aren't making bad suggestions, but don't forget, Steve doesn't have a sump on this tank and he doesn't want ANY equipment in the tank, it is an open top, brace-less, tank. He's looking at putting a reservoir with top off water under the tank and wants it to automatically maintain the water level in the aquarium.

I, however, do have sumps and now I have to stop and consider what you are taking about for my own purposes.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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