My "Complex" system plans

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by lIghty, 16 Aug 2009.

  1. lIghty

    lIghty

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    Hi all

    So got my A into G this weekend and started to setup my reef tank after moving about 8 weeks ago:nono:, but as some of you may know I'm a lazy @ss and love feddling with electronics systems, mechanics and taking long walks on the beach....... I find a decent rock pool ofcause:lol:

    So I'll be setting up my system as follows, sorry for the bad scetch:whistling:

    [​IMG]

    Basically its a normal setup with a extra 1000L flow bin (plastic container) outside, Making total Vol. about 1600L. The flow bin's maximum water level will be above the the water level of the DT inside, so that water will be pumped up from the sump inside to the flow bin and OVERFLOW back into the DT, the reason: so that all the amphipods, copepods etc won't be shreaded by going through a pump. Water will still be pumped directly from the sump the the DT as well, as in a "normal" system.......

    You may've also noticed the "NSW Storage bin", this it where I will store my NSW and will let my controller to the water changes, which raises a bunch of questions....

    So I here is where I could use your advise / inside / crits.

    Notes:

    1. There will be syphon breaks where required.
    2. The controller will check levels as to not increase the SG by replacing evapouration with SW.
    3. Bins will be insulated using about 120mm thick polystyrene sheets
    Questions:

    1. If I had to store NSW in a realitively dark spot area with a small skimmer, would this be ok?
    2. How much water should I change and how often, was thinging of about 50 - 70 ltrs a day, everyday?
    3. Temperature - I will be monitoring the temps of the water on all the tanks and will shut down the circulation if the temp is out of spec, preventing it to cause the DT temp to swing. would a 1 deg C be ok for the limits or is this to much?
    4. The "overflow" pipe from Flow bin to the DT will be a 50mm pipe, what sort of flow do you thing I will require going through the flow bin, bearing in mind I'm probably going to place a power head in the the bin to increase circulation within the bin.
    5. As the bin will be insulated using polystyrene, there will be little light, I was thinking of using a 45W energy saver to provide some light for the cheato?
    If you have any comments please post. :wave2:
     
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  3. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    If you are going to have the luxury of an outside filter bin why don't you do a CSD (Carlson surge device) If you don't know what it is google Carlson surge device. There is Even a video on how it works.
     
  4. lIghty

    lIghty Thread Starter

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    Not a bad idea, would also help in "sucking" the pods to the DT, but would need to check if the tank plumbing would handle it.
     
  5. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Yes I am planning something in my future build. So this is what i envisage.

    The outside surge box will have my ATS scrubber submerged. So the water from the sump will be pumped over the screen as the level of the water rises and falls i will get surge on my ATS and my tank will do without "WATTS" of juice used for circulation pumps. Big Tunze pumps increase the mortgage somewhat. I figure that if i have a power out my UPS will be able to handle a return pump or two for a couple of hours.
     
  6. Falcon

    Falcon

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    well you'll have to check where the level drops first i'm thinking you'll have to have your level monitor in the bottom sump as the outside sump is higher i'm assuming.

    also why not just have one return running through both sumps first then into dt?
     
  7. lIghty

    lIghty Thread Starter

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    That correct, any water loss will be monitored in the last chamber of the lower sump.

    The reason for seperating the 2 sump circulations is to be able to "isolate" the exterior one should it become to cold due to weather......
     
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    If the outside tank becomes too cold, and you disconnect it. You will not be able to re-connect it during the day. Temp will always be lower. It will be colder in the morning to start with, and you are heating the DT with the lights during the day.
    How long will it take to heat up the 1000L outside to same level as inside. Say it dropped to 18, how long and how many heaters and wattage will it take to get it back to 25? The morning will be gone. Likely part of the afternoon.
    Maybe I'm wrong, but test it, time it and calculate wattage used.

    See you are around Durbs, maybe not that a big isue. But here in Gauteng the tank outside will drop so much, using a lot of electricity either to keep it warm during the night or to reheat it in the morning.
     
  9. lIghty

    lIghty Thread Starter

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    Not sure I understand you.... The outside Sump will be insulated with 120mm foam, therefore I doubt it would drop that far. I'm planning on using 3 or 4 x 300w heaters, but only to control slight drop in temp, say 0.3 deg C, therefore if it drops say 1 deg C below set temp it will shut down flow untill it reaches it set temp again. The tank will never get hotter with the lights as I can use the outside tank (if lower temp) or my chillers to maintain temps.
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I saw you are planning to insulate it. My point was just how much do you expect the outside tank could drop during the winter? 4 heaters in Durban/Pinetown should be able to maintain it. But this setup will not work up here in Gauteng. Especially when we do drop to close to 0 in the winter. Even if the tank is isolated it surely will drop here more than the heaters can maintain.

    My tank is in my outside enclosed Lapa, but not fully windproof and coldproof as a house. And I had 1*100W plus 1*300 heaters and they struggle to keep my 245L system stable, more than 5 degrees drop (lowest was 18). Even added another 100w, still about 2-3 degrees drop at night. Replaced the 2*100w with another 300w and that works. But I think my problem is because of my open scrubber. So it does depend on the setup.

    But if you ensure that all pipes to and from the outside tanks are also insulated, and being from a nicer part of the country in terms of minimum winter temperatures, your idea could work. Actually a nice idea. Pity I cannot do it.
     
  11. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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  12. lIghty

    lIghty Thread Starter

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    Sure, GP is much cooler than us here on the coast, it still get cold at time, but I'm sure with good insulation and heater or 2 I should be able to stablize the temp.

    An open scrubber would definately be a concern, would allow to much heat export....

    The outside sump and piping would al be insulated as the foam would form a small "room" around everything, almost like a dry wall partion:whistling:
     
  13. Dohn

    Dohn MASA Contributor

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    @ lIghty, I was running sort of similar system. My sump was at the bottom of the DT, I have 2 pumps in that sump, one pumping into my DT and one pumping into the top sump. The idea was to have the top sump overflow on a solenoid valve connected to a timer, every now and then surging my DT, closing the valve and letting the pump fill the top sump again until it reaches a timeout, killing the pump.

    I couldnt find a solenoid valve that didnt need pressure to keep it closed, so my plans went out the window. Instead i was the solenoid valve and timer for the pump. I would open a tap and let the water surge, close the tap, and switch the pump on until top tank was fill again.

    Problems i had
    was the top tank was evaporating faster than the DT and bottom sump together. So SG was never the same.
    Top tank has an ATS, so temp was never the same.
    If the surge wasnt turned off in time, i had thousands of bubbles entering my DT.

    Now im pumping through the top sump with the tap closed enough for the water to reach an emergency overflow enough to only just trickle down it.

    Problems i think you going to have is
    Your overflow from the big sump is going to cause micro bubbles in your DT.
    If the circuation is cut for long, you might have differences between system and big sump, PH, SG, etc.
    If you keep NSW in Dark spot, wont it kill the life in the water, causing mini cycles.
     
  14. lIghty

    lIghty Thread Starter

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    Very similar, pretty much the same really except for the valve idea.

    I'm going to test my design of a outlet baffle to reduce micro bubles, this along with flow control, I'm sure it could work:whistling:

    WRT different water parameters between sump and system when circulation is stopped, this would need to be looked at, doubt circ would be shut for longer than 12hrs max, but when circulation shuts, I would activate another pump inside the outside bin to ensure movement and O2 exchange?
     
  15. Raven

    Raven

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    Hi,
    My sump is outside...And I stay in Vereeniging, the temp drop below 0 (-5/-8) during winter...
    I've build a brick wall around the sump area, and used polystyrene to insulate the two sumps.
    Granted, my temp drop from 26 to 23.5/24 during winter month nights when it's extremely cold, and a bit more watts are being used:whistling:....
    I'm currently using 1 300W, and 2 200W heaters in this set-up.
    I'm sure if I replace the 200W heaters with a 300W it will work better as well.
    Also, I'm using "cheap" heaters -if you can use a Jager it will make a difference as well..

    So I reckon you won't experience a drop like this in Durbs...;)
     
  16. Andreas

    Andreas

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    So it seems as though the plans have been approved from "Higher" up:whistling:Now just to get down to the finer detail:)

    This sounds like one big setup that you're planning Justin. I would honestly enjoy a bigger viewing pane though:p
    What will be in the outside sump?I'm concerned that there will be die-off if the water column etc when the sump is not connected to the main tank.Good luck with filling the complex setup up:biggrin:
     
  17. lIghty

    lIghty Thread Starter

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    Thanks Raven, if you have such a little temp drop then doubt I've have any at all:)
     
  18. lIghty

    lIghty Thread Starter

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    Would love a bigger viewing pane too, but just not going to get right now, maybe next year?

    Would put LR and cheato in the flow bin (sump) outside, not sure what else.
     
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