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Thread: 'Dreamtime' - the life and times of my 600l showpiece.

  1. #31
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    Heya Grubs,
    I'm needing to do the same thing on my setup as my stand is shorter than standard to make planting easier for me. I had a look about that tygon tubing and it seems to be available from computer shops as its used for water cooling. Its around $15 per meter. Looking into the copper tubing it does seem that it can have a toxic reaction from reading this diy project http://www.boneville.net/soda/install_setup.htm the same applies for brass. It does mention stainless or aluminum tubing as alternatives. Not sure where to source these from or if aluminum would be suitable, I'd assume it would be cheaper than stainless steel though. I need around 7 meters of tubing so if you can bulk buy an order of something I'd be glad to join in if it makes your purchase cheaper.

    Cheers,
    Cloudy
    If you kiss a fish, you'll both get practice

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Queensland, Brisbane
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    52

    Talking

    Fantastic. I particularly empathise with your fourth dot point on your reasoning about the tank; i.e., Mrs Grubs must think it is money worth spent. That is one of my personal ambitions.

  3. #33
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    Mar 2007
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    Tasmania, Launceston
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    maybe we should do a group buy of tygon tubing going? I need about 5 metres myself as atm my D size bottle is sitting next to the cabinet i have to go through a wall to outside on the veranda ...


    awesome set up so far Grubs.. that cabinet is a real treat and the industrial light setup looks gangsta' haha...cant wait to see it up and going...
    ... Cheers,
    Dylan.

    [sigpic][/sigpic]

  4. #34

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    Copper is out.

    The three choices IMHO are.

    1) CO2 Proof tubing - get from USA for $100 + delivery per 30m (100ft) roll. The commonly reported 1% loss rate bothers me - is that 1% per foot? - becuse I'm going 30-40ft!

    2) Tygon R3603 - 6.4mm OD, 1.6mm wall thickness - suspect ludicrously expensive. (Anecdotally better than silicon - but no information as to whether it is any better than the stuff sold as CO2-proof tubing)

    3) Nylon CO2 pressure tubing. A fellow at "The Purple Pig" (industrial hoses) suggested rigid nylon tube (as used in pubs) for the long run with a flexible piece on each end - e.g. using the CO2 Proof tubing. Dupla have a nylon high pressure hose also, and from a few snippets I've got from Google regarding CO2 measurement in blood - nylon tube may be the best thing apart from glass tubing. Hassle is only that its rigid so you need compression fittings to get around tight corners and for ends (i.e. installation is similar amount of work to copper). The Purple Pig sells it by the metre.

    Really it all comes down to price. The "CO2-Proof" tubing for 90c per foot is by far the cheapest and easiest installation - and frankly if you are only wasting $5 worth of CO2 through its wall each year then it isn't worth the added expense/hassle of going to Tygon or nylon.

    I'll get some pricing ASAP and report back.

  5. #35
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    Jul 2007
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    South Coast NSW
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    I've been looking at those lights you did again and I have to say they are almost marketable quality and you really did a terrific job with them. There is going to be a lot of people using that idea to cheaply get MH over their planted/reef tanks. They look as good as Euro pendants to me.

  6. #36
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    Victoria - Sth East
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    Well, if you go the co2 proof tubing I'd like to chip in if it makes things easier fiscally wise. I'd be happy with 1/3 or a bit less of that roll and I'd go you halvsies on price unless Dylan is joining in too, could be another group buyathon, but should work out cheaper for you.

    Cheers,
    Cloudy
    If you kiss a fish, you'll both get practice

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloudy View Post
    Well, if you go the co2 proof tubing I'd like to chip in if it makes things easier fiscally wise. I'd be happy with 1/3 or a bit less of that roll and I'd go you halvsies on price unless Dylan is joining in too, could be another group buyathon, but should work out cheaper for you.

    Cheers,
    Cloudy
    yeah id be in for about 10m or so... name a price..
    ... Cheers,
    Dylan.

    [sigpic][/sigpic]

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grubs View Post
    'Dreamtime'

    Goals:

    * I want this 6x2x2 planted tank to be a showpiece in the Grubs house.

    * I want it to be a conversation stopper and starter.

    * I want my kids to be enthralled by it.

    * I want Mrs Grubs to love it so much that she thinks it was money well spent!

    This is the biggest and best equipped tank I've ever had the fortune to own.

    This is my dream tank.



    g'day grubs,

    when will we be seeing more pics?? i'm anxiously waiting to see how this turns out, i'm sure it will look stunning, hows progress going with it?? and by the way- what kid wouldn't be enthralled by that mamouth tank you've got there!! i'm sure it will start and stop many conversations in your house just as it has done on this forum!! lol i hope mrs grubs loves it as much as we all do. Hope all goes well with this 'artistic masterpiece' with a tank that awesom i'd insure it lol

    cheers
    The Jay

  9. #39

    Default

    No worries guys. I dont want you to think that I over-analyse everything - but I found data on CO2 permeability for tubing.

    Summarising the ones I know (permeability measured as cc-mmsec-cm2-cm Hg x 10^-10)

    Silicon 20,123 (leaks like a parlimentary press room!)
    Tygon R3603 (lab; vacuum) 360
    Vinyl 360
    Polyethylene 280
    Polypropylene 90
    Nylon 20
    PVC 6.8

    so PVC is best.... but these rates are x 10^-10 so the differences are pretty damn small and I suspect anything other than silicon would do just fine.

    4mm Flexible irrigation hose for micro-sprays made from plasticised PVC (pPVC) is only $6 for 10m

    The stiffer polyethylene micro-spray hose is only $3 for 10m.

    I'm going to lay out $6 at my local sprinkler shop and do a little test. If I put a bubble-counter at each end of the 10m run and the rate is the same at each end with a little back-pressure applied then I'm not sure of any reason not to go this route. Alternatively I guess I could pressurise the whole length to 20psi and see if it holds pressure. Rex Griggs sells polyurethane CO2 tubing for 70c/foot and its a bit more flexible than the other stuff so it might be good too.
    Last edited by Grubs; 19-08-07 at 10:38 PM.

  10. #40
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    Victoria - Sth East
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    Thats a great bit of research you did there Grubs, Well done Its saved me heaps and anyone else who reads it will benefit too. Do you think electrical conduit would be pretty much ok as well, I think thats pvc isn't it? It will be interesting to see the results of your real world tests tho!

    Cloudy
    If you kiss a fish, you'll both get practice

  11. #41

    Default Plumbing!

    Nearly ready to plant out - but in the meantime its another $150+ down at the irrigation shop for plumbing.

    I want to minimise hardware in the tank as much as possible so CO2 reactor and heaters are all external under the tank.

    I'm using 2 x Eheim 2217's each with a 250W Jager heater in a DIY external enclosure. Each filter loop is independently plumbed and located at each end of the tank. One system can be taken off-line for maintentance or repairs. Redundancy is a good thing.

    Various taps and screw-up fittings allow me to dissassemble and remove any one component without breaking the siphon or flooding the floor. I've tried to keep the pipes all bigger than the standard for the Eheims (16mm ID inflow and 13mm ID outflow) so I used 20mm inflow and 15mm outflow. Bigger pipes = less flow resistance. The various hose barbs are 19mm irrigation fittings.

    All the plumbing is on the suction side of the filter - if any leaks did eventuate the filter would suck in air and I'd be alerted to the problem by the filter burps - this is a whole lot better than having a leak on the return side where water would spray out under pressure!




    The CO2 reactor is 450mm long 90mm stormwater pipe - I cut holes in the end-caps with a hole saw and glued in 3/4" tap spiggots. There is no media inside. CO2 bubbles will be injected into the inflowing water stream and they will be trapped in the top of the reactor and dissolve in due course. The filters are 1000l/h but with a 90mm diameter the flow downward in the reactor should be slow enough that all the CO2 bubbles stay trapped at the top. I'm using transparent hose between the CO2 injection point and the top of the CO2 reactor so this acts as the bubble counter. The reactor is oversize but I wanted to minimise the leakage of any gas into the canister filter to prevent "burps". If any CO2 did escape it will then have to get through the canister filter.


    The DIY heater enclosure is a design based on this thread on plantedtank.net but I've chosen bigger diameter pipe to keep the flow resistance low. The Heyco 1" Watertight Cordgrip carries an IP68 rating which in english means "allow for continuous submersion in up to 2m of water" - its a perfect fit on the Jager heater (and any other 25mm glass heater). I couldnt find white PVC bushes to go from the 25mm thread to the 50mm waterpipe so I had to use the black threaded poly "T" and reducing bushes which were more expensive. I think all-up each enclosure is around $40 in parts.



    My little improvement on the design is clear in the photo below - I added an optical prism to allow the heater light to be visible. This is just a short length of 5mm transparent acrylic rod pressed into a drilled hole using a vice. The acrylic rod cost me 45 minutes in the car for 1.8m at a whopping $1.30 and I have 1.75m left over! It was just luck that the heater light in the Jager heater lines up exactly with the hexagonal collar of the Heyco fitting. With a single heater it possibly isn't so critical - but I want to ballance the two heaters to ensure they are sharing the work equally so I wanted to know when the heaters are on or off. I must say I'm pretty happy with this.



    FWIW - you can buy Pentair brand external heater enclosures from aquasonic.com.au though I dont know the price. If they are only $20 then I'm a goose.

    I specifically chose 2 x 250W heaters because I wanted two heaters for redundancy but not too big so that if one heater ever gets stuck on permanently then hopefully it wont raise the tank temperature too high too fast. I think with modern electronic thermostat heaters the probablitly of one sticking on is actually pretty minimal (old/cheap heaters that use a bi-metalic strip for the thermostat are more prone to this). In our house 500W should be enough.

    I have the base layer of laterite "brew" in the tank and have played a bit with wood positioning but I'll save this for the next post. I need to complete the substrate, hardscape and planting in one step as I dont want the driftwood drying out - it is currently sunk in the bottom of our spa.
    Last edited by Grubs; 21-08-07 at 02:47 PM.

  12. #42
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    I think it would be better to send the water flow down the heaters. Their thermostats are in the upper section so if you are running the water 'up' it will put the heated water around the thermostat and potentially give it a false reading. I honestly don't think it will cause any problems, but for the sake of efficiency I would run the water downstream of the thermostats.

    Additionally, if you run it top to bottom you could put the heater chamber before the CO2 reactor and remove an extra section of piping

    I would also be inclined to set the temperature of one heater slightly above the other rather than trying to balance them, as I don't think this will work quite as smoothly as you hope. This way one will be doing the bulk of the heating and you will know when and how often the other is needed.

  13. #43
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    Okay my bad, upon closer examination of your photo it seems you do have them flowing the 'right' way

    However I think it would be better to have the heater & CO2 chambers after the filters. This keeps them cleaner and remove the chance of large debris getting in them and blocking the flow. It will also reduce the reduction in flow that they will have on the filter - these cannisters are designed to push water out and through any restrictions, rather than suck through them.

  14. #44

    Thumbs Up

    Wow now that's a lot of pipe work.

    Good job Grubs!!

  15. #45

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    Although everything would be cleaner after the filter, any leak would then be under pressue rather than suction and until I have more experience with the Hayco watertight fitting I'll feel happier if its under suction! I'm putting flyscreen over the inlet cages (the holes are too big and would suck up shrimp) so that should prevent anything blocking the pipes. Its a good point Holotype and one I have agonised over - Either way would work and I've just chosen the dirty-pipes + filter-burp leak detection for now.

    I have always read that electromagnetic pumps should not be restricted on the outlet side - this is why adjustable pond pumps have the regulation on the suction end and why canister filter media (that clogs over time) is on the suction side. I think relative to a canister full of media my pipework is a trivial additional resistance.

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