New to Marine - Tank design help please!

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by leh, 4 Jan 2012.

  1. leh

    leh

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    Hello there!

    I've been lurking lots of forums and would like to build my own tank - love DIY :)

    Can you design experts please look at my sketchup pics and tell me what I should change?

    I would like a simple system that I can leave for a day or 2 without worrying about it too much

    I would also like a system with lots of natural food (pods?) because I would love to eventually keep my favorite fish: mandarin

    I have relatively limited space so I was thinking about a 1m x 1m x 500mm "cube" with a built-in refugium in the back which roughly measures 840mm x 270mm x 500mm, this leaves me with a "display" tank of roughly 1m x 700mm x 500mm

    The blue pipes are "from tank to sump" and the red pipes back to display

    The idea is for the refugium to overflow straight into the display and hopefully some of the "goggas" will flow with for my mandarin to chow ;)

    Here's the "pie in the sky" view:
    [​IMG]

    Left:
    [​IMG]

    Top:
    [​IMG]

    Bottom:
    [​IMG]

    Back:
    [​IMG]

    Right:
    [​IMG]

    Overflow:
    [​IMG]

    Refugium:
    [​IMG]

    Sump pics:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I've seen on some other forums that guys split their DSB's into compartments so that they can clean / replace portions of it without disturbing the rest, you think this is a good idea?

    Also as you can see the first sump chamber from the skimmer is just a big empty space, I was hoping this can act as a settlement chamber which I can syphon out? If anything I can also use this as a chamber for those new NP pellets and/or other filtration like carbon? And perhaps keep some frags on egg-crate in there?

    Plumbing!?:
    [​IMG]

    With regards to the plumbing, the whole setup needs to stand as close to the wall as possible due to space restrictions and I read here on MASA it's a good idea to have a bypass valve to control the flow through your skimmer? Not sure how I'm going to do the plumbing but will cross that bridge...

    Sheesh that's a mouth full! :blush:

    Please any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

    Regards
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2012
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  3. leh

    leh Thread Starter

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    Oh forgot to ask, what's the minimum glass thickness I should use for:

    1. The main display tank (1m x 1m x 500mm (H)) taking into account the refugium in the back and should I brace the top?

    2. The sump (700mm x 550mm x 400mm (H))

    3. The RO topup tank (700mm x 300mm x 700mm (H)) - bracing?

    And I was hoping to get away with building the stand out of 38mm x 3mm square tubing, would this be strong enough?

    Sorry about all the questions - I have so many of them :)
     
  4. LuckyFish

    LuckyFish MASA Contributor

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    ;)
     
  5. leh

    leh Thread Starter

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    Thanks LuckyFish!!! :)
     
  6. leh

    leh Thread Starter

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    Another question pretty please, this tank will be standing in my lounge next to the TV so it has to be as quite as possible - what can I change to do this?

    As you can see my skimmer and the emergency overflow drains into a little "box" first - I saw this design on some of the sumps here on MASA, is it mainly for noise reduction or just to get rid of those micro bubble?

    Thanks (again!) :thumbup:
     
  7. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    :welcometomasa2:to MASA...wow..sure could do with you'r help when trying to put my "limited idea" down on paper...:)
     
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Access to skimmer cup, in back corner of sump area?
    Rather have the return pump and other reactors in the front.
     
  9. leh

    leh Thread Starter

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    lol thanks for the welcome belindamotion! ;)

    I downloaded sketchup and checked out some of the tutorials and I must say I love the tool so far! I'm just struggling to draw plumbing parts, would like to do the plumbing exactly like it should be before I go buy unnecessary stuff - apparently plumbing spares are very expensive!
     
  10. leh

    leh Thread Starter

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    Thanks RiaanP! Damn I never thought about getting to the return pump / skimmer!

    I'll swap the whole sump 180 degrees - this just complicates the plumbing a bit :)
     
  11. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    @leh, the plumbing parts can be downloaded from the web and then you just import them... :thumbup:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  12. leh

    leh Thread Starter

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    Serias!?!? Even ball valves!? Thanks checking now... :)
    :peroni:
     
  13. leh

    leh Thread Starter

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    Ouch glass is expensive!!! :crying:

    Just got a quote from National Glass Distribution (normal cheap glass not polished):

    5mm – R200.00 per m2 excl. VAT
    6mm – R275.00 per m2 excl. VAT
    8mm – R350.00 per m2 excl. VAT
    10mm – R400.00 per m2 excl. VAT

    Seems this little tank of mine will cost an arm and a leg...

    Not to mention how much it will cost to make the front pane using that fancy low iron glass!?
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2012
  14. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Ask Idol Marine, When I built a big sump while ago, it was the cheapest option for me. Let them buy the glass from Rene Turk for me.

    Or ask Dorry Pets as well.

    Because they buy more frequently, its sometimes cheaper going through the LFS. Maybe while at it, ask either to give you a quote to build it, just as an option.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2012
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  15. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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  16. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    @leh, I know its kinda cool to build it u`r self... but I will go with RiaanP. I build my on tank only to end up wasting mony... My tank was leaking, needed to strip the silicone a few time... thats when I took it to " Die Visdam" remember the sponsors build tanks daily they know all the ins and outs... If I can go back in time I would have asked Ernst just to build my tank from the start... made a few ooops with mine, lucky he could fixed them... Sometimes the D.I.Y cost so much more due to Ooooops I did it again :lol:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  17. leh

    leh Thread Starter

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    Will do thanks for the advice, I was hoping to build it myself but perhaps it would be cheaper for them to build it - less school fees to pay :)
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2012
  18. leh

    leh Thread Starter

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  19. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Ok, some good ideas, some, not so good.

    The return line (RED) goes into a drilled hole in the bottom of tank. Into the refugium, and the refugium overflow back into display tank. The overflow back is nice idea. But why drill the return line. Rather just run flexible tube up the back of the tank, with hook over the rim. At least then you can move it as needed.

    And the reactors and open space should be in front. you will be grateful later.

    The sump, that first big open chamber. Is a waste of space. A DSB needs the biggest footprint that you can give it. At least a third of your display, but the bigger the better.

    Return chamber, needs to be able to hold at least 2 days of water evaporation, roughly 10% tank volume / 7 * 2.

    How will you fill up the RO chamber? not as if you can get to it easily?
     
  20. leh

    leh Thread Starter

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    Thanks RiaanP!

    I was hoping to get the tank as close to the wall as possible but I think your idea is more practical in the long run

    I'll definitely swap the sump around to move the skimmer, return pump and kalk reactor to the front

    The reason I have 2 smallish DSB's is because i read a thread on RC by Anthony Calfo (I think) called "DSB in a bucket", I reckoned I would have 2 bucket-sized DSB's which I can replace independently without loosing my DSB filter completely?

    Wow good point regarding the topping up of the RO chamber, I wanted to make it as big as possible so I can leave it for 2 days without worrying about it (it's about 140l) - guess I'll have to pump it using a pump and a hose? Or make it lower so I can use a bucket?

    Please keep these great suggestions flowing!

    Many thanks!

    :peroni:
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2012
  21. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    As suggested to another new reefer in Pretoria today.
    Go around to 2 or 3 other reefers. See what works on their systems. Get ideas.

    And your welcome if you want to see my tank.
     
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