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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The rack will house (8) 10 Gallon tanks. Each tank will have an AquaClear 50 HOB filter with sponge on the intake. AquaClear's are awesome and allow you to have so much filtration, including the most important which is Biological filtration. I still have to order the remaining 7 tanks, 8 heaters, and 6 AC 50 filters. I will also be ordering different colored ADA Aquasoil substrate (colors which contrast the respective shrimp species the best).

This is Day 1 post. The project is about 10% complete. Everything is still in disorder. The water lines need to be secured to the wall, etc. In other words, this is just the bare foundation.

I decided to set up a fill/flush system which would only require flipping a switch or opening/closing a valve to remove water from the tanks and then add new water. The main reason for setting up this fill/flush system is so that I don't have to manually change the water in 8 tanks every week. That would be total hell for me. I also wanted to be able to filter the water as well. I thought briefly about using R/O filtration but I opted against it due to the fact that I feel it is better to just use ADA Aquasoil or Peat in order to bring the desired water parameters.

Since I live in a small condo unit I decided to put the rack in my walk-in closet. This is actually perfect for me for several reasons, including noise control, climate control, etc. It is a small closet so using a dehumidifier will be easier and more controlled. The quarters may be cramped when I am working on the tanks, but I will easily get used to it.

The rack is pictured below which I purchased at Home Depot. It was roughly $75. Unfortunately it uses particle board as the shelf bottoms. The particle board also is not reliable enough for me to be comfortable with 2 tanks per shelf. The structural integrity of the particle board will also drop dramatically once water soaks into it. I purchased some professional plastic wrap also in order to wrap each board, but may end up just getting 4 custom metal shelves made at a local metal shop. The bottom shelf is going to be for storage so I am not worried about that board.

I am going to be using incandescent hoods for each tank individually. (2) 14w 5500k CF screw-in bulbs in each hood. I opted out of using shop-lights because I want to cover the water as well as be able to view the tanks individually or all together with the closet light off. It will give me much better visibility of the shrimp. Sort of like a darkroom for photography.

I left roughly 24" of height for the second shelf, 17" of height for shelves 3 and 4, and shelf 5 (the top) has about 3ft to the ceiling. Some of you may say that 17" is not enough for a 10 gallon in order to work inside the tank. Without a hood a 10gallon tank is 12" in height. With the hood a 10gallon is 15" in height. It is enough room to fit the tank and hood into the 2 and 3 shelves, but it will be cramped. I have already tested my ability to work with such little room (removing the hood when necessary to work on the tank) and I will be just fine using the aquascaping tools and nets I have. Adaptation will be the key.

So that is about it for now. I will add more to this thread as time progresses. I promised to have a thorough journal, and here it is. There is a lot more information I would like to put, but I am tired right now and will put it in the next post.

-Ryan

UPDATED 7/7/07 click here to go to update post:
 

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If I were you, and I'm not, I'd buy two huge air pumps and power 8 sponge filters using a gang valve. A lot more economical than 8 AC filters. Also, and I'm not sure this is the reason, my shrimp population has EXPLODED in this new shrimp tank with a sponge filter compared to before when I had a powered filter w/ impeller...even with mesh/sponge over the intake.

Also, make sure the flush/fill system protects little shrimplets from being sucked in.

Looks like a great setup so far!
 

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If the shelves are made of particleboard, it would be a good idea to wrap them in contact paper to prevent water damage. Particleboard absorbs water quickly and swells, never returning to its original shape afterward.
 

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Nice project Wood! Can't wait to see how it winds up.

I'm with you on replacing the particle board with either some metal shelves or some 3/4-1" plywood. Plywood would defintely be cheaper but you may even want to shore that up a bit.

I'd steer clear of wrapping the particle board. If you don't get it perfectly or if the material you wrap it with gets damaged or isn't otherwise completely watertight, you'll still probably get it wet and it will swell. The last thing you need is a that top shelf collapsing and taking out everything underneath it. Trust me, water damage is no fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have already made the decision to go metal only. I will call around the metal shops sometime this week and get some prices. It should'nt cost that much. I will have to factor in the additional weight of the metal though...

I just don't want to have to worry all the time that the wood may give in at some point due to water damage.

-Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If I were you, and I'm not, I'd buy two huge air pumps and power 8 sponge filters using a gang valve. A lot more economical than 8 AC filters. Also, and I'm not sure this is the reason, my shrimp population has EXPLODED in this new shrimp tank with a sponge filter compared to before when I had a powered filter w/ impeller...even with mesh/sponge over the intake.

Also, make sure the flush/fill system protects little shrimplets from being sucked in.

Looks like a great setup so far!
There are many reasons why I want to go with the AquaClears. The main reason is filtration. With an AC50 on a 10 gallon there is a ton of circulation, plus a lot of bio-filtration. I want that water to be completely clear of all ammonia, etc. Using a sponge on the intake of the AC50 should definitely stop any and all shrimp babies from entering the filter. When it comes to filtration, the money is not the issue here.

As for the fill/flush system, the flush intake on each tank will also be covered with a sponge. The fill line will not be inside of the tank, but rather above it. There are going to be tons of check valves all over the place to prevent any type of contamination.

Please keep up the suggestions/recommendations.

Thanks guys,

Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
jus curious...but does having an all in one type of fill/flush drain at the same rate?
I will have valves for each tank that I will close when the appropriate amount has been flushed/filled as I am watching the tanks. All of the tanks will be shutting down at different times. The same with the fill process.

All of the fill/flush valves for each individual tank will be centrally located and labeled respectively. The flush valves probably wont be needed to use that much as the amount of water being removed can be more and less in each tank. The fill though is different, so I will have to watch each tank and shut off accordingly. It will probably take me about 5 minutes tops to flush and refill all the tanks at once. It sounds more complicated than it really is.

-Ryan
 

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Nice project Wood! Can't wait to see how it winds up.

I'm with you on replacing the particle board with either some metal shelves or some 3/4-1" plywood. Plywood would defintely be cheaper but you may even want to shore that up a bit.

I'd steer clear of wrapping the particle board. If you don't get it perfectly or if the material you wrap it with gets damaged or isn't otherwise completely watertight, you'll still probably get it wet and it will swell. The last thing you need is a that top shelf collapsing and taking out everything underneath it. Trust me, water damage is no fun.
You need to seal the MDF that the shelfs are made with. If you do not do so, water will damage them. Wrapping is not the solution.

Regarding the metal shelfs, make sure it does not compromise the structure of the base.

Plywood is going to bend, MDF as well, when you put the tanks, substrate and water in them. You have to find a way that works for you and what you are doing to eliminate the bending. The Bowing will not look nice at all.

Also, have you calculated the weight you are going to have in this rack and that your closet supports it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You need to seal the MDF that the shelfs are made with. If you do not do so, water will damage them. Wrapping is not the solution.

Regarding the metal shelfs, make sure it does not compromise the structure of the base.

Plywood is going to bend, MDF as well, when you put the tanks, substrate and water in them. You have to find a way that works for you and what you are doing to eliminate the bending. The Bowing will not look nice at all.

Also, have you calculated the weight you are going to have in this rack and that your closet supports it?
I already decided to use metal only as the shelfs. I will go to a metal shop and have 4 custom metal shelfs made the exact proportions as the particle board. I am only going to use particle board on the bottom shelf, which is only a storage site. I of course will be using very sturdy metal which will not bend. If I have to I will get 0.5" thick metal panels. I do not know which metal will be best, I will research that tonight. If you have any suggestions Pedro, let me know. Maybe instead of getting metal panels the exact dimensions as the particle board, I will instead get several metal slats to lay down on each shelf, basically leaving gaps. If the metal is sturdy enough I can get away with this. This will also lessen the weight on each shelf.

Haha, yes Pedro, I have definitely calculated the weight :) . I would not have purchased this rack if it could not hold enough. My closet floor is concrete so that is not an issue. Each shelf can hold at least 500lbs which is more than enough for (2) 10 gallon tanks on each shelf.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
since no one has asked yet that I saw....what kind of shrimp are you going to be raising in these tanks?
Great question.

Here they are:

Snowball Shrimp
Red Cherry Shrimp
Green Shrimp
Chinese Zebra Shrimp
Whitebanded Shrimp
Tiger Shrimp
Bee Shrimp
Bumblebee Shrimp
Crystal Red Shrimp S-Grade to start

Each one will have their own tank except for the Red Cherry Shrimp which I am going to keep in another 10 gallon tank that isnt going to be on this rack. I will have 10 Shrimp tanks up and running. 2 of them will not be on the rack, but are already setup and on tables.

-Ryan
 

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I recommend you install X-braces, it may handle the total weight but that type of shelving will rack if not properly braced. Use the sponge filters, take it from someone that has killed hundreds of shrimp, one overnight power failure will wipe you out. Connecting an air pump to a UPS will prevent that. HOBs do not have anywhere near the bio capability of good sponge filters. You should not need heaters, you might have problems keeping the top tanks cool enough for some of the shrimp you are stocking. Make sure you can get a net into the tank, getting access into the tank for your hand and using a net is two different animals. 3/4" plywood painted with outdoor paint is a better solution than custom steel IMO. I recommend you put styrofoam insulation under the tanks also, it will keep the water off the wood and prevent the tanks from cracking.......DC
 

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Wow, this is going to be cool. See first when I saw this, I thought you were setting up all these tanks for your Cherry Shrimp right now in the planted 10g. When I saw that list of shrimp, I couldn't wait for the tanks to be up and running:) Are you going to breed them for profit or just keep them for just having them lol???:D

Nice project and good luck, I will keep a lookout on this thread!

Smalltank
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I recommend you install X-braces, it may handle the total weight but that type of shelving will rack if not properly braced. Use the sponge filters, take it from someone that has killed hundreds of shrimp, one overnight power failure will wipe you out. Connecting an air pump to a UPS will prevent that. HOBs do not have anywhere near the bio capability of good sponge filters. You should not need heaters, you might have problems keeping the top tanks cool enough for some of the shrimp you are stocking. Make sure you can get a net into the tank, getting access into the tank for your hand and using a net is two different animals. 3/4" plywood painted with outdoor paint is a better solution than custom steel IMO. I recommend you put styrofoam insulation under the tanks also, it will keep the water off the wood and prevent the tanks from cracking.......DC
Wow, awesome advice. Looks like I may go with the Sponge Filters after all. Can you please explain the X-braces? What is a UPS? I was thinking that I may not need heaters.... Styrofoam will definitely be used under the tanks. So you think plywood? Should I use Thompson's Waterseal instead of outdoor paint?

-Ryan
 

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A UPS is an Uninterruptable Power Supply that's typically used for computers. You can get one at your local computer retailer. The long and short of it is that it's a battery that's charged while the power is on and if your power goes out, the battery kicks in keeping your air pumps running.

I don't see, however, why a single overnight power outage keeping the filter from working would necessarily result in shrimp deaths. Then again I've never used sponge filters before and don't know much about them.

I do definitely think that the styrofoam padding and the x-braces are excellent ideas.
 

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Wow, awesome advice. Looks like I may go with the Sponge Filters after all. Can you please explain the X-braces? What is a UPS? I was thinking that I may not need heaters.... Styrofoam will definitely be used under the tanks. So you think plywood? Should I use Thompson's Waterseal instead of outdoor paint?

-Ryan
UPS = a battery backup, it will run an air pump for many hours. A X-brace is a strapping system used to prevent racking. Look at the front of your rack, think about a strap that goes from the top right to the bottom left and from the top left to the bottom right, making a X. You want to do that to the back though, maybe the sides. I painted one rack and not the other. Actually, my wife painted it. I was too impatient to wait for her to paint the shelves on the other rack. I do not think you would need to go with the water seal. I am constantly spilling water on my rack shelves, do not think it is a problem. 3/4" plywood is very strong but may need supported, check my fish room link to see about cross braces. Look at JEHMCO.com for setup supplies, i.e., sponge filters, tubing, valves, etc.....DC
 
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