Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 32

Thread: Ben's lawn tank

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Terrigal, Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    95

    Thumbs Up Ben's lawn tank

    Hi Aquariumlife community! I've had the parts to put this tank together for almost a year (since our second child was born). Since then we've bought a place and expect not to move again for a while, so it's time to get it wet!

    Aquarium keeping history: I got my first tank 8 years ago in 2009, I think it was about 30cm long, had an undergravel filter and a collection of Corydoras, Tetras and a Bristlenose Pleco. Since then I've had a handful of low-tech community tanks (all with plants in them). After that I kept discus for a couple of years. Finally, (because we'd lived in seven different houses in our first six years of marriage) I downsized to my first reef tank, one that was small enough for my to move on my own from house to house. It's that tank that I'm using now for my first attempt at using CO2.

    System objectives: To learn, in order, 1. how to use CO2, 2. how to maintain fast-growing plants, 3. to get a feel for a nice Iwagumi layout along the way.

    Type of aquarium: High light, CO2 enriched, Estimative Index, Iwagumi.

    Display system: The rimless display tank has a rear, external coast-to-coast overflow plumbed with the Bean Animal setup. I'll have some fans sitting on the back of the display tank during warmer months hooked up to the ATC.

    Initial flood date: 12-13/10/2017

    Display tank dimensions: 60cm x 45cm x 45cm.

    Display Lighting: ATI Sunpower 8x24watt, running only 6 globes

    Stand: Oversized (150cm x 45cm x 90cm) steel stand, DIY skinned with removable magnetised plywood panels.

    Sump: Two chambers. The first chamber has the heater hooked up to the ATC and 3 different grades of poret foam acting as the tank's filter. The bubble trap between the first and second chamber also contains synfil water polisher fabric. The second chamber houses the return pump and ATO float valve.

    Return Pump: Eheim 2000 Compact+ which can give 1000-2000l/h circulation around the system minus head losses. That's 5.5-11x the tank volume per hour (minus head losses).

    Filter system: Poret foam.

    CO2 system: 2.6kg Kegking, an unidentified regulator, Process Systems B55-2-3-1V solenoid, SMC Needle Valve, Aluminium Bubble Counter, cheap green diffuser.

    Automatic Temperature Controller: STC-1000 connected to both the heater and the fans.

    Evaporation top up: The smaller Tunze ATO unit, connected to RO/DI water that I can make with the unit I still have from reefkeeping.

    Fertiliser: Estimative index. I've got ~165 litres / 43.5 gallons of water, so I'll be dosing:
    +/- 1/2 tsp KN03 3x a week
    +/- 1/8 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
    +/- 1/8 (10ml) Trace Elements 3x a week
    50% weekly water change with 2 teaspons of GH booster
    Last edited by benb; 13-10-17 at 11:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    11,671

    Default

    Hiya Ben, this sounds like a very nice tank!

    I am in envy of that SMC nv.

    My suggestions are only to use 4 tubes of that light (even 2 might be enough) and make sure your CO2 diffusion is the best you can have. It's no good having fancy CO2 stuff if the final step is flawed and your tank doesn't get enough CO2.

    Looking forward to pics.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Terrigal, Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    95

    Default

    Here are my current challenges.

    1. I bought my regulator a year ago and can't remember or work out what make/model it is. I can't find an email that tells me where I got it either... Here are some photos of it.







    2. How do I connect the solenoid to the regulator? Are the kind of parts you need for this sold somewhere specific?

    3. How do I connect the needle valve to the solenoid? Same issue with parts as above?

    4. Should I attach my diffuser to my return pump, or should I use a smaller pump that I have to run it independently in the sump?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Terrigal, Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    95

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    Hiya Ben, this sounds like a very nice tank!

    I am in envy of that SMC nv.

    My suggestions are only to use 4 tubes of that light (even 2 might be enough) and make sure your CO2 diffusion is the best you can have. It's no good having fancy CO2 stuff if the final step is flawed and your tank doesn't get enough CO2.

    Looking forward to pics.
    Thanks Rebel.
    Any suggestions on CO2 diffusion? Are you recommending using one of the glass diffusers?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    11,671

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by benb View Post
    Thanks Rebel.
    Any suggestions on CO2 diffusion? Are you recommending using one of the glass diffusers?
    With your sump, depending on space, perhaps consider a reactor? Easiest to manage. Glass diffusers would be my last choice.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,820

    Default

    My guess is that you have a Do Aqua! reg or perhaps an Aqua Medic.

    About a year ago I pieced together a Tunze reg with a Sera solenoid and SCM needle valve. Connecting them all was a nightmare. Things would have been easier had I kept the original Tunze needle valve – an inline solenoid would have been the solution – but the Tunze needle valve is a bit rubbish and I was keen to try the SCM.

    Before I go any further … do you already have the SCM? Is your intention to get rid of the big needle valve currently fitted? Or is there a chance you’ll use the current value? In which case you could run an inline solenoid.
    Your current value looks the business, it might be good.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Terrigal, Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    95

    Default

    Well my plants arrived this morning, so I've planted them. I'll clean up the glass and take a better photo over the weekend.


    I get a floater every few minutes, but it's happening less and less.
    I'm just running two bulbs at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dantrasy View Post
    My guess is that you have a Do Aqua! reg or perhaps an Aqua Medic.

    About a year ago I pieced together a Tunze reg with a Sera solenoid and SCM needle valve. Connecting them all was a nightmare. Things would have been easier had I kept the original Tunze needle valve – an inline solenoid would have been the solution – but the Tunze needle valve is a bit rubbish and I was keen to try the SCM.

    Before I go any further … do you already have the SCM? Is your intention to get rid of the big needle valve currently fitted? Or is there a chance you’ll use the current value? In which case you could run an inline solenoid.
    Your current value looks the business, it might be good.
    I already have the SCM. Should I just take them into a shop and find a piece while I've got them with me?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    11,671

    Default

    Looking good!

    Take your regulator and bits to a plumbing/valve shop and see whether they can put it together for you or at least provide the joining parts...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Terrigal, Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    95

    Default

    Thanks. First stop, plumbing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Perth, WA
    Posts
    1,211

    Default

    IMO now you have planted just get the co2 running 24/7 while you have no fish etc in there and sort out a solenoid later, getting co2 levels high now will help, no co2 at this stage is asking for trouble !

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Terrigal, Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    95

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    Looking good!

    Take your regulator and bits to a plumbing/valve shop and see whether they can put it together for you or at least provide the joining parts...
    I checked out a major plumbing shop but they didn't have anything small enough to pointed me to somewhere I'd never heard of. The guy there looked at my CO2 parts and was like, "if this doesn't fit, you're out of luck". Anyway, I bought 3 parts that all fit perfectly - it's joined. Now I can choose which of the two needle valves I'll use.


    Quote Originally Posted by doylecolmdoyle View Post
    IMO now you have planted just get the co2 running 24/7 while you have no fish etc in there and sort out a solenoid later, getting co2 levels high now will help, no co2 at this stage is asking for trouble !
    Thanks, I'm on it! Just need to plumb it all in. However, are you being serious about 24/7 CO2? I've got the lights set to be on for 6 hours a day at the moment, shouldn't the CO2 follow the same pattern (but start a couple of minutes earlier)?

    I'll go and try to work out how to start it up without blowing my needle valve to pieces.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Perth, WA
    Posts
    1,211

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by benb View Post
    Thanks, I'm on it! Just need to plumb it all in. However, are you being serious about 24/7 CO2? I've got the lights set to be on for 6 hours a day at the moment, shouldn't the CO2 follow the same pattern (but start a couple of minutes earlier)?

    I'll go and try to work out how to start it up without blowing my needle valve to pieces.
    To start it up, open the needle valve, open the bottle then power the solenoid (if you have that connected)

    You can run 24/7 co2 even with fish, obviously you need to keep surface agitation high so you dont gas the fish, probably not recommended when first starting with co2 but IMO its the best method to make sure you have decent co2 levels at all time during the lighting period.

    The usual method for injecting co2 is to make sure you have 30ppm of co2 in the water by the time lights come on (look into co2 ph/kh charts to measure ppm of co2). This may mean you have to start you co2 1, 2 or even 3 - 4 hours before your lights come on, usually at a high bubble rate (depending on tank size etc), then the Co2 goes off about 1 hr before lights off. Even with this method you want good surface movement / agitation so you have co2 / o2 gas exchange.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Terrigal, Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    95

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by doylecolmdoyle View Post
    To start it up, open the needle valve, open the bottle then power the solenoid (if you have that connected)

    You can run 24/7 co2 even with fish, obviously you need to keep surface agitation high so you dont gas the fish, probably not recommended when first starting with co2 but IMO its the best method to make sure you have decent co2 levels at all time during the lighting period.

    The usual method for injecting co2 is to make sure you have 30ppm of co2 in the water by the time lights come on (look into co2 ph/kh charts to measure ppm of co2). This may mean you have to start you co2 1, 2 or even 3 - 4 hours before your lights come on, usually at a high bubble rate (depending on tank size etc), then the Co2 goes off about 1 hr before lights off. Even with this method you want good surface movement / agitation so you have co2 / o2 gas exchange.
    Thanks for that, really helpful. I'll have it going today. I need a larger spanner to tighten the reactor connection. I have a coast to coast overflow, so that should facilitate enough gas exchange I imagine.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Terrigal, Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    95

    Default

    OK, CO2 is going in now.

    The little reactor/diffuser I have doesn't appear to be leaking any bubbles out the top, so I assume it's mixing in with the water.
    I've set it to somewhere between 1-2 drops / second.
    The solenoid's hum is quite loud, louder than my return pump.
    I think I can hear a slight gas leak as well, and I'm nervous to wrench the fittings much tighter, so I'll have a look into the different sealants you can use.

    But either way, it's wet, lit, and the right temperature. Let the growth begin!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Terrigal, Central Coast, NSW
    Posts
    95

    Default

    Does anyon know if the cerges diy reactors are the best option, or are there reactors you can buy that are better than them?

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •