Medicineman's 260 gal open top tank #1 (56k warning) Becoming lower maintenance - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-21-2005, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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Medicineman's 260 gal open top tank #1 (56k warning) Becoming lower maintenance

Hi folks!

As I promised.. I'm sparing some time to take some pics of my 260 gal open top tank. This tank used to be a reefer before it goes into dark ages of neglect on an empty state. Then I bump into planted tank and started to experiment whatever I learn on line into my 25 gal. After some time I decided to give it a go to my 260 gal ex reefer. As time goes I made some modifications and lots of DIY projects to get the tank into the current state. They seems to work and I save lots of money to build another tank. This tank has just undergone a pruning maintenace. Some plants just grow too fast to handle, they need to be cut down at least once a week (you can even measure them grow in a day ) While a minor others does not survive too well due to unapropriate conditions inside the tank.

Here is the front view



Front left part



Front right part



Side view



Back view



I'm using this tank as a room divider/centerpiece so I'm getting 3 sides to view. Scaping to look good from all directions proved to be difficult and currently I'm still trying to re-scape and replacing plants that are not suitable (dead of not thriving too well) refine the view.

Specifications:

180 x 80 x 80 cm (approx 260 gal)
Sump overflow filtration, wet type. Sump is Eheim 50W
lighting : 3 x 150W Billboard MH with 6000K daylight osram bulb + 4 x 40W T12 Hitachi and osram 6200K & 10,000K. Both suspended on a DIY aluminium bracket. 9 hours of photoperiod daily with 6 hours of full blast.
Substrate : 1,5" of JBL aquabasis and 3" of volcanic Malang black river sand.
Tank is kept at 25-26 C by DIY chiller from freezer components (see DIY section).
CO2 is a 1 meter tall bottle with N2 valves and accessories. A bubble counter and a one way valve. Reactor is a commercial vortech "rex" style moved by a powerhead.
30% WC every 10-14 days.

Last edited by medicineman; 02-01-2007 at 02:52 PM.
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post #2 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-21-2005, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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This is my CO2 tank, which is rather too big that it will not fits in the cabinet (silly me at first I thought that such size would last a mere 1-2 months). It is around 1 meter tall and it has a N2 (if I'm right) double main valve and a fine tuning valve. An inline bubble counter and a one way valve completes the set. A silicone tubing is used to deliver CO2 to a reactor inside the tank. Currently working 24/7 at around 4-6 BPS.



That CO2 goes into this reactor. The reactor works by churing atomized CO2 gas into a vortec spins. Then rich CO2 water is blown out from the bottom side, spilling into the tank in a soluble form as well as in a micronized CO2 form, which goes to all part of the tank and dissipates slowly. Atman powerhead is used as a source of strong current into the reactor, making sure the churning is done well.



On the bottom side inside the cabinet, I have a DIY chiller working to counter all the heat from lighting and equipment.



The overflown water is processed, filtered and cooled down and return via this pipe. I tried to hide it from direct view using ferns, vals and other plants.

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post #3 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-21-2005, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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This is a DIY aluminium bracket I made to hang all 3 MH pendants and 2 strips of T12 lighting. The bracket is made from aluminium square pipe, cut and fabricated, held by rivets to create such shape. I set aside all the ballast, components etc to a remote place inside the cabinet to minimize the weight burden on the whole structure and on the tank as well. There is a vine plant I purposely set right on the bracket to create a more natural look.



You can see the bracket's top structural bone where 3 MH sits underneath and another 2 JEBO T12 reflectors sit on an additional wing.



People, including me have some doubt of using MH other than those expensive ones fabricated special for aquaria purposes. I can tell for this far, I have a satisfactionary result out of these MH. These are billboard MH system I have talked abour earlier in the DIY section (although the pricing is much higher when done in USA) using fixtures for billboard lighting and ordinary osram daylight 6000K, non-plant specific bulb. See the pearling? It happens after less than 5 minutes every time I turned on the system.



Oh yeah forgot something. I use PMDD method as an additional fertilization using urea, liquid K or NPK, trace, fe and MgSO4. I hope things will get better with the additional chiller I recently added in last week.
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post #4 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-21-2005, 02:40 PM
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Good God that is amazing! Great work.
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post #5 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-21-2005, 02:47 PM
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Now I see why you go by Medicineman.
Nice tank....

Craig

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post #6 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-21-2005, 03:06 PM
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great tank
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post #7 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-21-2005, 04:01 PM
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WOW. That is outstanding
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post #8 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-21-2005, 04:33 PM
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That looks awesome.
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post #9 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-21-2005, 09:55 PM
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Thats awsome How is matinace?


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post #10 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thats awsome How is matinace?

Maintenace?

30-40% WC every 10-14 days. I hook up a hose and tie it up on a certain height, let gravity do the work and fill it back to line (which can take some time and adjustment).

I have my friend the tweezer to help me grab things from the bottom (usually I would do this on WC because no matter how tall you are, it is likely for you to use a chair/stool and dip your face and armpit if trying barehanded... lol)

Maintaining is one thing. Scaping is another thing which can be painful. There are hundreads of plants inside the tank and if you notice that scaping is on both sides. Some grows wild at an alarming rate per day, while some others didnt make it through the week (I suspect due to mis placement and high temp last time). Taking a trip to LFS, hunting for plants and get them back and re-scape in a day. Quite tiring.

Dont get fooled by the size. Growing plants in it is easier and looks better than in my 25gal (not the initial process though). This kind of tank is more stable than the small ones, due to extra water volume.

One thing for sure is that nobody will be glad enough to pay for my electrical bill

Thanks a lot to the forum I'm able to raise the tank like today. I learned alot and very lucky I managed to avoid algae problem from setup until now. It is still early at 1,5 months for a tank's life. I'll share the happiness with you all as this one will matures. I will take better pictures next time - I need to take some lesson in photography.
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post #11 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 06:53 AM
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nice equipment + nice skill = nice tank!!!

mind to share, how u diy the chiller?

48" X 18' X 18"
36W Philips FL 865 x 3
40W Azoo FL Super Light x 1
Total = 148W (8pm-2am)
JET 3388 2000L/H
2.5L CO2 Tank + Reactor 24H
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post #12 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 06:58 AM
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impressive!!!
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post #13 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-23-2005, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ching4ever
nice equipment + nice skill = nice tank!!!

mind to share, how u diy the chiller?
Check out this thread


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post #14 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-23-2005, 08:30 PM
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Great tank, I am excited to watch it as it evolves!!

And I love the chiller, how did long did it take to get in place?
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post #15 of 152 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumpyfunk
Great tank, I am excited to watch it as it evolves!!

And I love the chiller, how did long did it take to get in place?

Getting all the items : one day. except for the styrofoam which is an addition after I find that the condenser radiates heat to the filter tank and the air inside the filter is colder than outside. I decided to help insulate. The small radiator tank comes later with the stryrofoams. I ordered pieces of glass the size bigger than the radiator from workshop and siliconed myself using some elbows and lots of tape. This is after I finds out chiller using titanium condenser/radiator and the system is cooling the air inside the filter tank. confining the radiator to a smaller tank first make sure that cold conduction goes to the surrounding water better without any risk of non-titanium material.

Assembly : with wiring and positioning could take an hour by the same day. I have a refridgerator repair man from the shop where I get the freezer parts stop over to my house after work hour and he helped me to set it up properly with all joint stuff, making sure nothing leaks. I'm not jack of all trade even though I'm willing to learn... so no silly mistakes when you have the expert beside you

Running the system to pull the temp down : initially from 29,5 C to 25,5 C in a day or two. Faster cooling after some tweaking on the water levels, positioning, insulation and ventilation stuff.

Running the whole system like today : a couple of days within a week. Thinking logically about how the system could run better everytime I'm at the tank.
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