Repurposing my old reef tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2013, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Repurposing my old reef tank

So I want a spot to track what I'm doing and be able to (hopefully) get some help planting my old reef tank.

The tank; a 25g Marineland cube tank. I removed the overflow that was taking up a lot of space across the back of the tank.

What I'm left with is 2 holes in the back! I have 3/4" bulkheads to fit in there.

What I'm hoping is that I can connect the Eheim 2213 classic canister filter to them.

The bulkheads are threaded so I got 2 elbows that are threaded on one end and slip on the other. On the slip ends I reduced them to 1/2" threaded so I can put in 1/2" hose barb.

Quick pic of the tank and parts…..oh and I painted the back of the tank black.



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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2013, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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So does anyone have any thoughts on whether this will work with the Eheim filter? I'm familiar enough with this that it will be able to force the water through using the bulkheads…..

Anyone have any thoughts on that?
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2013, 01:41 AM
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Originally Posted by mache62 View Post
So does anyone have any thoughts on whether this will work with the Eheim filter? I'm familiar enough with this that it will be able to force the water through using the bulkheads…..

Anyone have any thoughts on that?
I don't personally have any thoughts as I have not done it myself. However, Have seen it done many times and never heard anyone say they had a problem. I have heard plenty of people say it can potentially fail in a power outage since water is being pushed in by gravity with nowhere to go. It's one of those things where it's not "advisable" but many people do it successfully. I would probably take the chance myself if I had a tank I loved and was already drilled but wouldn't drill a tank myself. Again, no experience.

-Matt

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2013, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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yea, back siphon is definitely a concern! I'm used to working with a sump where I have the room for a little extra water to go. I'd rather not seal up the hole but I could probably get a threaded plug and not use the holes?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-26-2013, 02:16 AM
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yea, back siphon is definitely a concern! I'm used to working with a sump where I have the room for a little extra water to go. I'd rather not seal up the hole but I could probably get a threaded plug and not use the holes?
I will let others inform you on a better way to do it but I think if it's drilled, you should take advantage of it. You could always do a sump. Another idea I have is just placing a canister in a 5 gallon bucket.

I may be missing something but if you used your lowest hole as your intake, it would be about where a normal intake would be, if not higher. I don't really get how it's different, maybe I am overlooking things but it should be the same problem if you plugged the holes and used an intake/canister or just plumbed it in. I believe the major concern is doing it at the bottom since if you have issues, it drains the entire tank.

Again, I don't know anything but I really don't see how it's different and many have done it the way you want to.

-Matt

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2013, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Holiday weekend and I had some time to work on the tank! Yay!

I connected the canister filter to the drilled holes in the back of the tank using 1/2" tubing….I was definitely nervous as the water started to fill. Found I needed to tighten up a couple fittings a bit but, Viola!

It's been running for 2 days now with no issues. And the flow looks pretty good too, I wasn't sure what I was going to see. Anyway, pics!

Front


Top Down


Back Side
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2013, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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So I have a strainer for the bottom hole but I'd like to find one that is more flush with the back wall. Also I will shorten the arm on the lock line, I just have it like that so I could see how much flow I was getting.

Next steps…..I have a box of slate with various size pieces in it and I was thinking I might break them up with a hammer to try and build a sort of waterfall from the back left corner down and out across the middle somewhere. After that I think I'm a little lost yet on what flora/fauna I want to focus on.

For lighting I was leaning towards some type of Par30/38 hanging pendant style from the back wall. The height of the tank is about 20" but with substrate I'm thinking I will be roughly 16-17" of water so I think that might put me at mid to low light?

Thoughts and opinions would be appreciated!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Ahh a snow day and time to update a little…

I built a small stacked kind of thingy with the slate and put that in the tank.


Last week I was able to go to a local aquarium meeting and got some plants….unfortunately my light was backordered another week so I just have them under a CFL bulb for right now…..I hope they can hold out.


The plan for today is to clean out the old 5g this is going to replace, transfer over a couple plants from there and the lonely fish too!
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 04:33 PM
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I have a Fluval 406 hooked up to the bulkheads on a 60 gallon cube and have had no issues so far. The holes are drilled in the bottom of mine.

I don't really understand the issue people continually bring up of the excessive pressure on the canister filter. Hydrostatic pressure is based on the height, the volume of water does not affect the pressure.

In a typical canister filter the tuning goes over the edge of an aquarium. After the siphon has broken the water pressure would be greater than a canister plumbed into a bulkhead as the height of the water column would be greater in the traditional canister setup.

I understand the concern of a failure and draining the water level down to the lowest bulkhead, but this would happen in a traditional setup to the siphon break point as well
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 06:16 PM
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I understand the concern of a failure and draining the water level down to the lowest bulkhead, but this would happen in a traditional setup to the siphon break point as well
I always wondered about that. In most my tanks, the intake is maybe 2 inches above the substrate anyway so it really wouldn't be much different at all than if I drilled the bottom.

-Matt

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 09:06 PM
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I always wondered about that. In most my tanks, the intake is maybe 2 inches above the substrate anyway so it really wouldn't be much different at all than if I drilled the bottom.

The outflow would also serve as a siphon break, so if that is higher than it would only drain to that level.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2013, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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I've had this running for what….2 weeks now I think and no problems. I have disconnected the canister twice for cleaning while I ran the cloudiness from the substrate out, hooks back up and runs the air right out.

I planted the tank this morning and added in the Eheim suggested media plus some floss from the old 5g that I am upgrading from for a bio spike but now the tank is a little cloudy. Should I just let it cycle or is there something I can add to get rid of the cloudiness?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-16-2013, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Cloudiness cleared up after a couple days.....all looks good. Nitrates have been high so I did a few 20% water changes over the last week. I'm hoping to get some fish in there this week if the cycle shows clear.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-18-2014, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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I wanted to post an update and maybe get some opinions on a couple things.

I received my light from Build My LED, a 18" original series 10k light planted light. The fixture is nice and I believe I am getting probably around a medium level of light….although without a par meter I guess I really don't know.

My plants held up pretty well waiting for the new light but now they seem to be losing their deep color so I'm not sure what that is. I started dosing Seachem Flourish but only when I do a water change, mostly because I don't understand how to use it.

Current inhabitants are 3 small pepper cores and 4 black line tetras. The cores stay on the bottom and the tetras stay at the top…..I kinda need something for the middle? Or trade the tetras for something else? I do like the koi angels but I'm not sure if the tank is big enough for 2 angel fish.

I would like to hear any ideas or opinions anyone has.

Pic from Dec 22nd or so…


and a close up of the leaves
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