Dan's ADA 45-C fitted with bulkheads
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:23 AM   #1
dantra
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Dan's ADA 45-C fitted with bulkheads


Hey all, I decided to start another journal now that I have some time for it. I purchased a second hand tank that just happens to be an ADA 25 gallon 45-C a while ago at a steal of a price.

I wanted to do things differently this time. I want a clean, clutter free looking tank just like in the pictures submitted to the aquascaping contests. You know, when all of the equipment is taken out of the tank. So I got to thinking and decided to go with bulkheads. Clearly inspired by Tom Barr's 60 Gallon Tank. You can see the bulkhead in the rear of the tank.

I followed some great advice and settled on a 3/4" bulkhead which meant drilling an 1 1/2" hole in the tank. Not one but two! Believe you me, I really thought about not doing it but my wanting a clutter free looking tank took precedent over any apprehension I had about screwing up.

So I ordered the Diamond Glass Drill Bit last week and it arrived this morning. Needless to say I got right to work. First things first though, I had to have my cup of coffee before I did anything to steady my nerves .

I did it but boy was that nerve-racking!!!. I got the holes drilled in the ADA 45-C :



It was a lot easier than I had anticipated. The key is not to put pressure on the drill but let the weight of the drill do the work for you. Also be very patient, do not rush through it, keep it slow and steady and don't forget to use lots of water. I know I did.

Now I'm just waiting for the other parts I ordered to arrive, bulkheads, loc-line, barbs and some other nick-nacks that I thought I might need. I also have to order a 9L bag of aquasoil. I think I attempted to drill the tank because I got it so cheap. Oh and yes, I know the tank needs a cleaning but thats a minor thing. I'll post pics of the stand once I'm done with it. I just need to adjust a few things first.

I think its going to be a pleasure not have a bunch of equipment hanging off the sides of the tank for once but thats just me, to each their own. I was actually inspired when I saw Tom's tanks and finally had an excuse to try it.

Dan
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:57 AM   #2
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Cool, I love the idea of a clean cube. It will be fun to see where this goes.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:17 AM   #3
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Thanks for being a guinea pig. I've been reading conflicting opinions on whether this method is safe or not with regular canister filters. The few pictures I saw using this method had Lifegard systems below, which are quite different in design.

Fluval makes its designer aquarium with bulkheads on the bottom for the canister. However, they do use tall stand pipes on both bulkheads. There has to be a reason for that. I'm guessing it's to relieve some of the water pressure? It's definitely not for cosmetic reasons..
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:05 AM   #4
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Here is a link to another drilled ada and another and one more for good measure and just one more

Reef people have been drilling their ADA tanks for a long time now, we're the ones who looks at a drilled ADA planted tank in mortal fear, well some do Believe me I had my reservations as well but what's life without taking a risk?

Seriously though, ADA sells tanks with pre-drilled holes in them and many others has successfully done the same. I didn't say it was going to be easy because all of this is a learning curve for me, from here on out its unchartered territory. However if I run into a brick wall I have you guys to help me out.

Dan
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:55 AM   #5
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You're correct about using a canister filter. I'll be using my 2217, we'll see how that goes. I don't foresee a problem having discussed this extensively with a few individuals however the concern with using a canister filter is oxygenating the water. I'm hoping the 2217 is strong enough to supply ample current. If that doesn't work I can always move the Loc-Lines around to help agitate the water.

I can also use a wye and split the flow coming into the tank with the Loc-Lines like Tom Barr has done on a number of occasions or I can just use a Vortech to help with the circulation.

Dan
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:26 AM   #6
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Maybe you misunderstood my concerns. Drilling the tank is fine, no problem there. All the links you provided were using a sump, again no problem there. That's a standard setup, works great.

The concern is using a canister filter, which is completely different in design when compared to a sump and return pump. Canisters weren't made to withstand the pressure of 18 inches of water. Think about the difference of running filter pipes over the wall vs having them under the aquarium. With standard over the wall installations the canister works on a siphon, there really is no pressure being exerted on the lines. When you move those lines to the bottom of the aquarium you now have water pressure fighting against both your inlet and outlet. I'm not confident that the canister seal will handle that for an extended period of time..
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:39 AM   #7
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Actually your concerns are legitimate because that was my very concerned before I drilled the tank but they were put to rest very quickly. Its been done many times before but if mine fail Iím blaming you!

When I get the bulkheads delivered Iím going to let it run for a week before I do anything to it just to see how things go. I know you are concerned with problems arising further down the road but I was told on several occasions that it will hold up just fine.

Hey, time will tell.

Dan
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:42 AM   #8
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That a nice job. What canister are you planning on using?
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:52 AM   #9
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Who put your concerns to rest? I have read where people say they've done it, yet never see one picture or journal of this setup in action. That makes me wonder..

The only ones I stumbled upon were either using a Lifegard filter (heavy duty pump and seals, PVC through out) or using stand pipes that rose nearly to the surface of the tank. (which reduces pressure, but looks ugly) Believe me, I really want this to work. I just see the potential for bad things. If I recall correctly I think Tom Barr was using a big Ocean Clear filter under his cube, which is a heavy duty in-line design like the Lifegard. Those aren't built like your standard hobbyist Eheim or Fluval canister.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:05 AM   #10
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I did it. You may not like the way it looks but it works like a charm lol
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seahunter View Post
I did it. You may not like the way it looks but it works like a charm lol

Just looked at your thread. You mentioned your canister crapped out within a week of hooking it up, can you elaborate on that? Perhaps the pressure caused additional strain on the motor causing it to fail?


---


Btw, I don't mean to junk up your thread with this. I'm just genuinely concerned.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prototyp3 View Post
Just looked at your thread. You mentioned your canister crapped out within a week of hooking it up, can you elaborate on that? Perhaps the pressure caused additional strain on the motor causing it to fail?


---


Btw, I don't mean to junk up your thread with this. I'm just genuinely concerned.
Naaa I took a chance hooking up the 405. This filter never worked well and I had repaired it about 5 or 6 times in the past. I used this on a goldfish tank I had at my business about 6 years prior and it had taken a very big fall. The canister itself had broken and I had stuck it back together using plastic I melted onto it. It did its hard time lol
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:04 AM   #13
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What do you mean who put my concerns to rest? I didn't think I needed your permission to get anything done... oh wait, I don't! Here's an idea, sit back and enjoy the ride and see what happens or ...

Moving right alone, The stand is finished. I will post photos of it tomorrow, too tired now. It's a shame my bulkheads won't arrive until next week. I knew what size hole to drill because I called the place I ordered the bulkheads from and they gave me the size needed for the bulkheads to fit.

I still have to make a decision about what light I'm going to use. My choices are:

1. 24" Tek- which I already own.
2. fishneedit- 70W Metal Halide Pendant Lights
3. ADA Solar I

The wife and I agree that the Tek just doesn't look right sticking out as much as it does. The Tek is 24" and the tank is 18", it may not sound like a huge difference but you can clearly see size discrepancy right away. I love my Tek but it just isn't the right size.

The fishneedit lights has me concerned about quality. I don't want to come home to find my place burned down because of the lights. I read it was hit and miss with their product.

The Solar l may just be too much light. My wife and son both said they like the way it looked the best but I'm not convinced. I don't want nor need pea soup.

Decisions, decisions...

I also got the Garden Mat for the tank to sit on. Pics will be up tomorrow.

Dan
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:34 PM   #14
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Hey, nice work on drilling the holes, I know I would have been nervous as well. I know gl[censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored][censored]s dot com sell the drilling kits which people use for drilling the reef tanks, which comes with some putty to put around the hole so you can put water near the hole your drilling and it is contained there until the hole is made obviously. I am looking forward to seeing more pics on this build. Oh and whatever you do, do not use the Power Sand stuff from ADA. It is so annoying and I can't get rid of it in my tank. Good luck.

P.S. If and only if you have the extra cash flow in hand I would shoot for the ADA Solar light. I would more uniform with the tank you have.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dantra View Post
What do you mean who put my concerns to rest? I didn't think I needed your permission to get anything done... oh wait, I don't! Here's an idea, sit back and enjoy the ride and see what happens or
Great attitude man...

*subscribed for fun*
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