Planning Statages of a 200+ Planted Build - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Planning Statages of a 200+ Planted Build

The past couple years I have been experimenting with small builds to learn about the do's and doníts of planted aquarium and am currently experimenting with CO2 Injection on a small tank. My goal is a roughly 220 gallon tank but make shrink some.


What I am planning:

1. 220 Gallon Planted tank, with large schools of small fish and invertebrates.

2. 3 Pipe Overflow:
http://www.beananimal.com/projects/s...ow-system.aspx

3. Around 55 Gallon refugium

4. Automatic Water Change and Top Off

5. Home Built LED Lights (Already have built smaller scale)

6. CO2 injection with PH Sensor

7. Mineralized Top Soil Substrate

8. Possibly and additional Canister Filter.

9. Home Build Stand that will hide all the hardware

10. Small LCD Display with various readouts and controls. (Self Built)




What I am not sure about:

1. I have seen some opinions that C02 injection is not very compatible with a refugium/sump and was wondering what others think/found with it.

2. For the refugium,
a. I have read about miracle mud in the past and how it is supposed to help keep nutrients in the water column for plants. I was thinking that basically sounded something like mineralized top soil so I was thinking that occasionally (6 months?) replacing half the MTS (possibly modified with more minerals) in the refugium would help keep the plants happy
b. I was thinking to keep most of the water column open therefore needing a second filter (Canister) to help out. That would allow me to more easily do automatic water changes, cycle out the substrate or use it to grow various plants and inverts (I love fresh water shrimp). My Point is I wouldnít be putting a lot of filter media in the refugium I donít think.
3. Adding a canister filter to a tank with a refugium: Where would be the best place to put the intake and outflow? Tank, Refugium, if Refugium what part?

4. Not married to the idea of Mineralized Top Soil I am open to suggestions.

5. How much and how often should water changes be? I assuming with the automatic water change I will need to shut down the refugium pump. (10 Gal Daily?)
a. Which would shut down the flow disturbing the main tank (Unless the Canister was still running), however I believe small more frequent changes are better than large infrequent would be and with automatic water change I could do it as often as I want.
b. Should I slowly draining the refugium and letting the auto top off replace the water while the refugium pump running. Problem with this is it would be harder to gauge how much water was cycled out and would rely on timers.


I am open to any and all suggestions and criticisms to the set up. This is an I idea I have been slowly building and will greatly appreciate any feedback.

I am currently drawing up a rough draft is Sketch up, after I get some feedback I can finish the first draft and will post some images.

Thanks for Reading!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 06:27 PM
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I think you are over-thinking your sump/refugium. You shouldn't need a canister filter to help with your sump. If you design your sump correctly, it will be more than sufficient in filtering your 220g so I do not quite understand you saying you plan on keeping your water column "open".

Having a separate pump for water changes is a good idea. I just use a simple siphon hose from the main tank.

I am currently setting up a MTS tank with sump. In the sump I will have a refugium that is planted with extra MTS. As a rule, MTS should not have to be replaced in six months. So you could theoretically leave it alone for years to come pending on other factors such as E.I. dosing and bio load to name a few.

Automatic top-offs are generally used to combat evaporation, not for water changes. There are a few builds on this site that use automatic water changes. But in my opinion, an automatic top-off is not adequate for water changes. Hope that helps some.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-29-2014, 08:15 PM
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1. Reduce surface adgitation as much as possible. I'm running a 75 gallon sump on my 190 gallon and I don't believe CO2 loss is a big issue. I'm sure I lose some but I'm ok with my levels.

2. I don't know much about refugiums so I won't comment.

3. You shouldn't need a canister filter if the flow is adaquate through your sump. If you want to add on a canister filter you could use it as a closed loop to help increase circulation in a large tank. Input/output could be through the back or bottom of the tank.

4. It's too messy for me but I'm lazy. ADA soil is a popular option.

5. When I do water changes I shut off the pumps and drain from the main tank. I guess it disrupts the tank but the fish and plants don't really seem to mind. I try for 30% weekly. This varies greatly by person and tank.

Other comments:

I'm not a fan of LED but you say you've experimented so do what appeals to you. I find most of the "most successful" tanks (highly subjective category) use t5ho.

Have you thought about how you are going to inject CO2? I use a Cerges reactor and like it quite a bit. I just built one for my 12 gallon and realized it's WAY overkill but it's perfect for my 190.

What are you going to use for the LCD display? You may look at the Neptune Apex line. Expensive but very nice.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForensicFish View Post
I think you are over-thinking your sump/refugium. You shouldn't need a canister filter to help with your sump. If you design your sump correctly, it will be more than sufficient in filtering your 220g so I do not quite understand you saying you plan on keeping your water column "open".

Having a separate pump for water changes is a good idea. I just use a simple siphon hose from the main tank.

I am currently setting up a MTS tank with sump. In the sump I will have a refugium that is planted with extra MTS. As a rule, MTS should not have to be replaced in six months. So you could theoretically leave it alone for years to come pending on other factors such as E.I. dosing and bio load to name a few.

Automatic top-offs are generally used to combat evaporation, not for water changes. There are a few builds on this site that use automatic water changes. But in my opinion, an automatic top-off is not adequate for water changes. Hope that helps some.
I was thinking I would like the refugium part as large as possible but I suppose that it doesn't need to be. Would you be able to take a picture of your sump I would like to see how you are setting it up.

For the MTS I was only thinking about cycling the refugium, once upon a time I thought I read that freshwater miracle mud recommending that time line and thought that maybe MTS would be similar. What are you capping the MTS in the refugium with? Thanks for pointing out that forum thread after reading through it, it has helped me firm up a better concept for the sump.

The system I want to create will have an automatic water change feature and I suppose I can build in a top off into it rather then have it as some sort of separate feature or just not at all.

I will probably set it up as a push button to drain a certain amount from the sump and refill it from a reservoir of prepared water. I am not sure I would trust it to run solo no mater how many safety features I try to add.

Thanks for the input
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-30-2014, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdmustang1 View Post
1. Reduce surface adgitation as much as possible. I'm running a 75 gallon sump on my 190 gallon and I don't believe CO2 loss is a big issue. I'm sure I lose some but I'm ok with my levels.

2. I don't know much about refugiums so I won't comment.

3. You shouldn't need a canister filter if the flow is adaquate through your sump. If you want to add on a canister filter you could use it as a closed loop to help increase circulation in a large tank. Input/output could be through the back or bottom of the tank.

4. It's too messy for me but I'm lazy. ADA soil is a popular option.

5. When I do water changes I shut off the pumps and drain from the main tank. I guess it disrupts the tank but the fish and plants don't really seem to mind. I try for 30% weekly. This varies greatly by person and tank.

Other comments:

I'm not a fan of LED but you say you've experimented so do what appeals to you. I find most of the "most successful" tanks (highly subjective category) use t5ho.

Have you thought about how you are going to inject CO2? I use a Cerges reactor and like it quite a bit. I just built one for my 12 gallon and realized it's WAY overkill but it's perfect for my 190.

What are you going to use for the LCD display? You may look at the Neptune Apex line. Expensive but very nice.


1. Is there a reason you chose a 75 gallon or is it what you had available, I guess I haven't really studied up about sizing up a sump, how many GPH is the pump rated for?

3. I kinda like your idea about having it in the main tank to increase circulation but after reading yours and ForensicFishes comments probably wont go with one.

4. I may make up another small tank to try out the ada soil to see what like the best, its a lot of MTS to make for a 190-220 gallon tank heh.

I am not 100% dedicated to the LED's, I depends on how well the plants do in my current experiment, I have at least a year to play with the lights before I have to decided on the big tank. I like the LED's because I custom built the LED controllers and it gives me a lot of control over intensity, such as I can slowly turn on channels to simulate sun rise and sun sets for example.

But if it comes down to it and the 6500k leds don't grown the plants well then I will swap then I may do a different system on the big tank.

For the LCD Display I was thinking either an arduino mega with a LCD shield and small display or go a little bigger with a raspberri pi and a small cheap lcd monitor. I plan on creating a system with 1 or more arduinos to control the various system. I use an arduino uno to control the led lights currently. and plan on adding CO2 control and PH sensor to the arduino as well.


For the CO2 reactor I hadn't got that far I will look into Cerges Thanks!

Thanks for the reply, this gives me some good thing to think about.
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