Jeffrey's "Big Boy"---120g Planted: Updated 4/18/2014 w/ pictures - Page 2
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:23 PM   #16
jmhart
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Originally Posted by thrak76 View Post
I missed your last update earlier this month. That controller is very cool! What inspired your thoughts for putting that together?

This is most definitely a high-tech tank.
It's a Wasser-controller:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...ontroller.html
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Old 01-25-2010, 07:19 PM   #17
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Well, time to get moving on this thing. Local club auction is March 7, so I'd LOVE to have it cycled by then.

I'm putting the finishing touches on the plumbing design right at the moment, and I need a sanity check.



Look at my drawing. Will I get flow through both strainers? The part of me that has engineering experience can't reconcile the part of me that's like everybody else.

On the one hand, path of less resistance and all that, it seems like I'd get more flow through Strainer A. But ther other part of me says that, assuming that the tube is filled with water, I'll get flow from both equally(or at least approximately equally).

Sanity check please.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:52 PM   #18
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Ok, here we go.

Here's my first pass at a plumbing design.....ok, not my first pass, but my first "final draft". Image first"



To fill in some holes:
  1. T M means Top Macros, B m means Bottom Micros, T R is Top Refill, B CO2 is, well, you get the idea
  2. Spray bar is substrate level, and points up and slightly towards back glass

Now, to head off what I think will be a few questions/immediate thoughts:
  1. Tank is corner drilled. Intake/output must enter the tank in that corner
  2. Almost every ball valve is actually a ball valve/true union connection, except the pH probe
  3. Eheims don't have ball valves because they have their own disconnects
  4. Mag Drive 7, 700gph, is there for added circulation/co2 diffusion. Probably overkill at 700 gph, but I already have it, so no added expense. *Might* downgrade it to a Danner 5 @ 500 gph if necessary. Additionally, it runs the tank drain. Because of the design of my house, I need to pump the water up 7'. @ 7' of head, Danner 7 still gets 350 gph.
  5. The 700 gph is almost definitely an issue for the UV. I'm going to measure acutal flow, and if it is indeed an issue(as I beileve it will be) that will force the downgrade to the Danner 5

I really welcome all thoughts/suggestions because I'll be building soon.



Edit: Somebody suggested a drawing with flow direction, so, I've attached it below
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:45 PM   #19
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:25 AM   #20
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Hey Jeff,

I may have missed this but what size is your UV? With the plumbing scheme you have, you will have to match the flow to the UV as you suggested. Have you considered putting the two canisters on separate loops? You are pulling water for three pumps in the existing diagram - this will need a pretty big pipe to handle the flow and prevent cavitation. What diameter pipe are you going to use? If you just had the two canisters they would share an intake but one could return to your spray bar and the other to the top of the tank. If you plumbed the UV into one of those lines I would gues the flow would be appropriate for killing algae & bugs. For flow, you could add a power head internal to the tank and save some $$ on electricity. When your plants grow in they can hide the power head pretty well. I am sensitive to the electric cost as Califonia has a sliding rate scale ( $0.28/kWhr). With three pumps at 140 watts each, our bill jumped 60% over last year!

I would also suggest moving the ferts to a post pump position so you don't feed the filter sludge before the plants. You will have happy bacteria but could cause slime to build up quickly in your filter.

Looks like fun though, I think I need to another project!

Bill
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:30 AM   #21
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Bill, that's a very good comment about the pump. Ultimately, it does seem wasteful to add in that MD 700. Max flow rate for my UV is like 560(or around there), so if indeed the MD 700 is able to pump over 560, then my UV is hindered, or pointless. And, the energy concern is valid.

However, I *need* the MD 700 to drain the tank. I have to go up 7'10" to get to a drain, and the Eheim's won't do that.

Your comment makes me consider redesigning and putting solenoid A and the MD 700 inline together, and hooking them up to the controller together, so that MD 700 turns on when Solenoid A opens so it can drain the tank.

Serious consideration (and the full consequences of) will have to wait until tomorrow


By design, there will be no powerheads in the tank. I'm with you, normally, on plant growth covering up wires, but I'm not planning on this being that dense of a tank, so they won't be covered up. The decision to include an over the back loc-line was a big one. I also had to make a tremdeous sacrifice for my water change system, which will use an in tank micro float switch. It will be minimally invasive, but even that was a severe concession. The alternatives to the float switch were relatively cost prohibitive.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:21 PM   #22
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Maybe having a manifold would be better on the intake. That way you divide floe to the three pumps right away thoer wise the you are going to have to size up and down a lot.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:26 PM   #23
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Maybe having a manifold would be better on the intake. That way you divide floe to the three pumps right away thoer wise the you are going to have to size up and down a lot.

I think I understand what you are saying, but:

All of the pipe, except that immediately touching pumps, is 1", so I don't think the sizing is going to be an issue.

Also, since this utilizes the advantages of a gravity fed system, I don't think my intake will want for lack of water.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:37 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by billb View Post
Hey Jeff,

I may have missed this but what size is your UV? With the plumbing scheme you have, you will have to match the flow to the UV as you suggested. Have you considered putting the two canisters on separate loops? You are pulling water for three pumps in the existing diagram - this will need a pretty big pipe to handle the flow and prevent cavitation. What diameter pipe are you going to use? If you just had the two canisters they would share an intake but one could return to your spray bar and the other to the top of the tank. If you plumbed the UV into one of those lines I would gues the flow would be appropriate for killing algae & bugs. For flow, you could add a power head internal to the tank and save some $$ on electricity. When your plants grow in they can hide the power head pretty well. I am sensitive to the electric cost as Califonia has a sliding rate scale ( $0.28/kWhr). With three pumps at 140 watts each, our bill jumped 60% over last year!

I would also suggest moving the ferts to a post pump position so you don't feed the filter sludge before the plants. You will have happy bacteria but could cause slime to build up quickly in your filter.

Looks like fun though, I think I need to another project!

Bill

Bill, you got me thinking about energy cost in general, so I did a little work up:



That's my estimated energy cost for my 120g. I didn't include my DIY controller, pH controller, and co2 solenoid because they are comparatively insignificant energy consumers.

The MD 7 will cost me about $35/year to operate. If I downgraded to a MD 5, it would only save me $13/year, so that ultimately doesn't seem worth it to me.

However, it gave me the idea of setting up the MD7 so that it was only on when the co2 solenoid is open. Best estimate is total 3 hours a day in that situation, bringing operating cost of the MD7 down to just $4/year.

The downside I foresee is wearing out the pump by the many cycles on and off per day. A lot to consider.



Edit: After analysing a little more, what might be the most intersting thing is that the MD 7 would be the largest power consumer, if left on all day.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:31 PM   #25
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Bill, you got me thinking about energy cost in general, so I did a little work up:


.
i dont get it, why would it cost more in the summer? surely itll be less than winter as the heaters wont be needed as much?

but blimyyyyy, thats still alot of $$$
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:50 PM   #26
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Energy is cheap where you live... over here it's 12c in the first tier, and goes up to 24c after that.

Don't know about the plumbing... I tend to keep things as simple as possible, and when you connect that many things, they might start to work against each other. But I am not that knowledgeable with that sort of things.

Your controller setup looks good. Over here, the DIG controller is still sold for $33 at the HD. Keep in mind one limitation of the WC -- you can only have two things "on" at the same time.

I found that with light and pumps adding some heat to the water I don't need heaters at all... Might be different for a Discus tank though.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:51 PM   #27
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i dont get it, why would it cost more in the summer? surely itll be less than winter as the heaters wont be needed as much?

but blimyyyyy, thats still alot of $$$
Two things:

1)I forgot to mention, my rates in the summer about double at $.0787 per kwh. That's the highest tier, over 1000kwh per month. I'm didn't feel like pulling out my bill, so I'm not sure if I make it to that tier(or if I will with this tank). And that's Georgia, with some of the lowest power rates in the country

Check out your aquariums, you'll probably be surprised at the energy cost. Diana pointed out in another thread specifically about this that it seems like a decent estimate is that tanks will cost about $1 per gallon per year in energy cost, but that of course depends on your specific price per kwh and equipment used.

2)If you keep your house at approximately the same temperature year around, the amount of energy it takes to keep your tank warm will remain fairly constant. However, in my case, that probably won't quite the case. This tank is in my basement, which isn't heated as well as the rest of the house(not yet at least), so the heaters will have to work more.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:00 PM   #28
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Energy is cheap where you live... over here it's 12c in the first tier, and goes up to 24c after that.
Absolutely. We moved from Alameda, CA. We didn't have air conditioning there and lived in a 950 sqft 2bd/1bath apartment. Now we have central air, 2400 sqft, and our electric bill is less(only by a few bucks).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Don't know about the plumbing... I tend to keep things as simple as possible, and when you connect that many things, they might start to work against each other. But I am not that knowledgeable with that sort of things.
I left a job with big oil to move to Atlanta, so I kind of miss the plumbing and wanted to have some fun with it.

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Your controller setup looks good. Over here, the DIG controller is still sold for $33 at the HD. Keep in mind one limitation of the WC -- you can only have two things "on" at the same time.
Yeah, absolute bummer on the DIG Controller. I tried to get one through HD's website, but they don't have it(or at least didn't) on the website. I should have had a buddy buy one for me and mail it, would've saved me $30.

So far, I only need to have 2 relays on at one time, but that includes a light/co2 piggy back. I may have to pull the co2 off and put it on an outlet timer(I see that you ended up having to do that too).


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I found that with light and pumps adding some heat to the water I don't need heaters at all... Might be different for a Discus tank though.
In the summer that will probably be the case for me, but right now, being winter, our basement drops down around 60. It's only a semi-finished basement. Before the end of the year I'm giving it its own HVAC zone, but I'll still probably keep it in the mid 60s.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:10 PM   #29
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This is my current plumbing sketch. Basically, I moved ferts, H20 refill, and co2 downstream of the filter intakes. I then moved the UV over to the filter return line.

The max flowrate for the UV is 450 gph, and the flowrate of the eheims is stated at 270 gph each, 2x270 = 540....but with the filters full of media, and then all this plumbing, I'm gonna say the flow rate through the UV will be less than 450 gph.

This is what I'm going to go with, but if when it's all put together, the MD 7 is just WAY to much flow, I'll probably try to trade it out for an MD 5(45w instead of 70w for a savings of $13/year )
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:14 PM   #30
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Yeah, absolute bummer on the DIG Controller. I tried to get one through HD's website, but they don't have it(or at least didn't) on the website. I should have had a buddy buy one for me and mail it, would've saved me $30.
Yeah, you should have.

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So far, I only need to have 2 relays on at one time, but that includes a light/co2 piggy back. I may have to pull the co2 off and put it on an outlet timer(I see that you ended up having to do that too).
Exactly... If you have more than one bank of lights, and need (or want) to run CO2 independently from that, that's when you run into that problem.
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