Andre's first marine tank - 1.2m

Discussion in 'Medium Tanks' started by AndreM, 19 Mar 2011.

  1. AndreM

    AndreM

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    Hi there everyone.

    If you don't mind, I'll be posting my progress here, and maybe the more experienced members can give me some guidance and tips before I make any big mistakes :)

    I bought a second hand tank from @Zombie_CT, so after getting everything transported, here is what it all looks like (Please let me know if the images don't show up, I used Facebook to host them)

    [​IMG]

    Our Border Collie was very interested in all the new smells available :)

    [​IMG]

    DB board, Reeftek TS2 Skimmer, return flow pump, two heaters, lights, two powerheads, etc.

    [​IMG]

    Cabinet stand, beautifully crafted by Zombie_CT, some salt and plumbing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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  3. AndreM

    AndreM Thread Starter

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    My first task was to clean the tank. I decided to remove all the coralline algea so I can watch how it spreads myself once I have it all set up.

    So here is the before picture:

    [​IMG]

    And after some water, vinegar and elbow grease - here is what the sump, topup and display tank looks like. All the coralline algea scraped off. The bit at the bottom of the display tank is just loose pieces in the water.

    [​IMG]

    I also filled the sump to check for leaks and test the skimmer. Placed the return flow pump in the display tank to test it too, it's completely submerged and just pumps the water back into the tank for now.
     
  4. fly*

    fly* MASA Contributor

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    Nice dogfish :) I love border collies!

    Looking cool dude, cleaned up nicely !!!
     
  5. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    Looking good and welcome :)
     
  6. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Looks great. From here on out we're going to need photo's every step of the way. ;) That DB board with the timers is nice, I keep wanting to do one for my tank but I never seem to get around to doing it.
     
  7. AndreM

    AndreM Thread Starter

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    Hmm, there seems to be a problem with my return flow pump.

    The pump is a Life Tech AP5000.

    I filled the display tank with about 20cm of water and submerged the pump in it, with a short outlet house that was sticking out of the surface (as in the last picture above).

    I waited until the pump was filled with water (bubbles stopped) and turned it on.

    It ran for about a minute, pumping water with a very nice flow that was just splashing back into the tank - and then just stopped completely, didn't make any noise at all. I immediately switched it off.

    I could feel that the pump was quite hot in my hand in certain places. I unplugged it, removed the impeller and it looked fine, no damage that I can see and it turns freely.

    I reassembled the pump, waited 20 minutes and tried again. It pumped again for a minute, then stopped, again quite hot.

    Any ideas on what I could do or what could be wrong?
     
  8. robertkukla

    robertkukla

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    Welcome sorry i cant help with the pump
     
  9. Afsal

    Afsal

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    my pump does that sometimes . Its an aqua medic. Try switching off/on , off/on few times and see what happens.
    Sometimes the impellor gets "sticky"
     
  10. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    try running it in some vinegar water to clean it
     
  11. AndreM

    AndreM Thread Starter

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    The water that was in the tank was vinegar water. It only runs for a minute and then shuts off completely. It's not like it is struggling, it runs at full power and then nothing, not even any sound of it trying to turn the impeller.
     
  12. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    If its a new pump then return it
     
  13. AndreM

    AndreM Thread Starter

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    It's a second hand pump.

    I think I'll just get a new one. I tested it again, and it run for another minute before shutting off, this time it also made the water smell like burnt plastic. That can't be good, I'm sure it gave off some toxins. Going to have to rinse out the tank a few times now.

    A close-up picture of the pump after I removed it from the water. It's a LifeTech AP5000.

    [​IMG]

    I also have this pump, but it has no impeller. Think I can buy an impeller for it and use it as a return flow pump if I take off the airpipe? It's a Resun King 3.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    Welcome to the marine wonderland!
    Best investment I have made!

    Tank is looking great!
    Sticking around to see how it turns out!
     
  15. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Those lifetech pumps have a fairly decent reputation, but definitely sounds like your one is cooked, best to throw it away and get a new one. Keep the impeller though, it may come in handy.

    Just about any shop should be able to get you an impeller for the Resun pump, just make sure it's not a pin wheel or needle wheel impeller, you need the normal one, ummmm, forgotten what they are called. :p
     
  16. AndreM

    AndreM Thread Starter

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    Thanks, I agree, don't want to take any chances. I picked up a new LifeTech AP5000 pump and I'll try and get an impeller for the Resun pump at a later stage and keep it as a backup.

    I still have a bit of cleaning and testing to do before I assemble it all and fill the tank.

    - Need to reuild the overflow box, it was leaking so I removed the panels it was built with
    - Tested the skimmer with some viniger, looks like it ran quite nicely
    - Decide if I want to make some modifications to the sump as now is a good time to do it before I start filling the tank. I'll post some pictures of what the sump looks like now and get your opinions.
    - I tested the lights and timers. The moonlight LED and the two 54W actinics work, but the one set of 39W came on only once, and the other set of 39W didn't come on at all although I can hear the relays in the timers clicking on. I'll have to recheck all the wiring to make sure there isn't a loose connection somewhere.
     
    Last edited: 23 Mar 2011
  17. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Git rid of that metal clamp
     
  18. AndreM

    AndreM Thread Starter

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    Thanks RiaanP, I saw that it was already showing some rust, I'm getting rid of it along with the faulty pump.

    Here is a picture of the sump tank and dimensions.

    [​IMG]

    It has three chambers, first chamber for the skimmer, second chamber for a deep sand bed and a third chamber for a return pump.

    Now is a good time for me to make some modifications, before I connect everything up. Is there perhaps some suggestions anyone has? There is no baffle between the second and third chambers, is this ok, or should I put another pane of glass in there?
     
    Last edited: 23 Mar 2011
  19. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Baffles are not needed, in my opinion.

    Second divider could be higher, 10mm lower that the first.

    Also, your water level will be just above the DSB.

    I would remove (from left) the second and third pane. And the last divider. Will cut the second pane so that it can be used as last divider. So last divider should be 29cm high.
    That would give you 14cm water above the sand.

    That looks like a standard 90L Daro tank.
    here is my similar sump.
    [​IMG]

    My first chamber is smaller, 170mm. Running a TS1 in there. Also I lifted the skimmer on a 40mm pipe stand, so that my dividers can be 40mm higher.

    Also check out
    http://www.marineaquariumsa.com/showthread.php?t=23351
    might be other useful comment there.
     
    Last edited: 24 Mar 2011
    AndreM likes this.
  20. fly*

    fly* MASA Contributor

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    lol, that aint gonna last too long :p
     
  21. AndreM

    AndreM Thread Starter

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    Probably time for an update :)

    - Rebuilt the overflow box using glass instead of perspex. The silicone is bonding much stronger now and it's much more rigid
    - I took out the one-way valve on the return line, glued some new connectors in place so I can fit flexible tubing from the return flow pump to the pvc pipes.
    - Replaced some seals on the rest of the plumbing where it was leaking
    - Lifted the return flow outlet in the display tank to just below the water surface so less water siphons back when the pump is turned off
    - Tested what happens when the pumps are shut off, a few milimeters of water drains from the DT, and there was more than enough space in the sump to take up the volume.
    - Modified the pump/skimmer connection a bit so I could fit rubber feet to the bottom of the pump. The skimmer has to stand flush on the bottom of the sump to allow enough room to remove the skimmer cup.
    - I got some aragonite from Zombie_CT that he used in this tank before which I cleaned. There was some nasty dark green water coming off it! I stuck a hosepipe down into the bottom of the bucket it was in and rinsed it until the water was clear, stirring it slowly. Took a lot of water. I then spread it out on clean plastic and let it dry in the sun.

    There was probably a few other things I did, can't remember it all now :).

    Up to this point I was testing with tap water to make sure all the plumbing was working. I drained the tank again, and I'm currently filling it back up. This will take a few days because the RO/DI unit is a bit slow and I don't want to run it completely unsupervised.

    Once is filled up and the salt mixed properly I need to add the display tank substrate (aragonite I washed before), add sand to my DSB and get rocks so the bacteria has a place to live.

    At this point I'm not sure what type of sand to use for my DSB. I received so much conflicted advice. Some people say use beach sand, others say play sand, other say don't use beach sand or play sand because it's silica based and leaches silicates into your water. Others say that pH levels can drop at the bottom of your DSB and aragonite or calcium based substrate can slowly dissolve.

    Living close to the ocean I was considering getting some beach sand for the DSB, to add some life to the tank. I know most of it will die off, but won't some survive? And if I go and collect beach sand, can I just dump it straight into my DSB or should I wash/rinse it first? If so, won't that get rid of all the potential life in it?
     
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