Tank Design Question

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by HeleenRoos, 24 Feb 2014.

  1. HeleenRoos

    HeleenRoos

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    Hi All,

    So I have a tank that I want to use for my first marine tank (I'm a complete novice so I'm trying to take things slow).

    Tank size: 180cm(L) x 45cm(W) x 55cm(H).

    The guy I got the tank from used it as a marine tank.

    You can see the water overflows in the middle chamber and drains into the sump through a hole in the base. But the other two chambers on either side confuse me a little, he mentioned he had pumps in them to create circulation in the tank. But how did he manage it? Did the return from the sump fill up both those chambers? Or only one? If so, what do I use the other chamber for?

    Can I work with the tank like this or should I try and alter the design? I couldn't find a similar design on the internet, so I just wanted to find out from the experts :blush:

    Thanks!

    20140224_191055.jpg

    20140224_191115.jpg

    20140224_191246.jpg
     
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  3. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    He tried to run them as a wave box

    The length of the overflow box is a bit too short. I would cut out that box, and put in another overflow that is the full width of the tank.
     
  4. Evo R

    Evo R

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    Looks like he used the other 2 chambers as a closed loop system but its hard to tell from the pics.
     
  5. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    there is nothing wrong with that design, it will work 100%
    if you are not comfortable doing DIY them leave as is.

    it looks like a closed loop, so you would fit the pump intake to the bottom hole, and the return to the top hole and it would create flow my moving water through the tank

    like this
    [​IMG]
     
  6. regis

    regis

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    wow, nice graphic
     
  7. HeleenRoos

    HeleenRoos Thread Starter

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    Thank you for all the replies! Now I atleast know what its about.

    I noticed that the two boxes on the sides are not completely sealed - there is no silicone on the sides touching the front and back of the tank.
    So when I filled up the tank just to see if there were any leaks etc, the two side boxes also filled up with water.
    If I decide to keep the setup as is...I'm a little concerned that if I connect the intake of a pump to one hole and the return to another, the water inside the box will become stagnant. And I'm stuck with a very small overflow.
    I could seal the sides properly and keep those boxes dry and use them as a closed loop system, but what would you guys recommend I do about my overflow then? Can I manage with it being so small? Can I alter it a bit?

    Or I could remove all those boxes and install a single pane of glass, a little closer to the hole, and use it as an overflow? (hahaha I'm not too bad with DIY projects but a tank will be a first for me :p)

    I would really appreciate your experienced opinions on this, I really would like to do things right from the beginning and not make life harder for myself down the line.

    Thanks again!!!
     
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    that is what I would do.
     
  9. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I wouldn't remove them, I will reply tomorrow when both my eyes are open
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    The reason why I would remove the current boxes and replace that with one bigger overflow is because the linear length of the overflow box is too short.

    You got a 450L tank. and its width is only 450mm. The overflow lenght you got is only 150mm. For a sump turnover rate of 5 times your system volume, you are looking at pushing at least 2800L/h via the sump. The return pump should be a 3500L/h about, depending on head height losses.

    Anyway, with a 2800L/h you are looking at 20mm water head in the display. Than means that your sump have to be able to handle an extra 16.2L water when the power goes out. Almost an extra white drum. else you will flood your sump.

    And 20mm water head will flush all small fishes over. Adding a comb will help to keep the fish in the display. But that will increase the head height even more. Safe to go with double extra. So your sump buffer needs to increase to at least 32.4L

    Plus with the overflow on one side only, you will need extra powerheads to be able to keep things in suspension, until it eventually reach the overflow box. Still the same issue with either a small or bigger overflow, as both are on the side.

    Having a low water head will in the display and you will simply not be able to get the finer things swirling around in your display washed out to the sump.

    No point in having the best filtration, if you simply cannot get the water to be treated there.
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2014
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    What filtration option are you planning to use? My answer above is based on a DSB.
    Using a return pump that delivers 3000L/h into the display, after taking head loss and friction into account. So most likely a 4000L/h return pump.
     
  12. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    the tank design to me looks great, alot of big builds have that type of overflow, infact i would rather have that then my skinny overflow. the skinny is 80% of the tank width and skims the surface well but same issue with keeping stuff suspended, the downfall is a overflow like that takes space and makes for awkward scaping but with the closed loop panes the problem is negated.
     
  13. HeleenRoos

    HeleenRoos Thread Starter

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    Hi Riaan,

    Thank you for replying.
    Here is the sump that I got with the tank.

    I was planning on trying those Nitra-Guard Bio-Cubes. I read somewhere on the forum that the sump can be smaller if you use them? But I don't know if my sump is still too small as it is (especially with a power outage)- still need to do those calcs. :)

    The sump fits into one section of the cabinet. But I can brace the cabinet and remove one of the partitions to make space for a bigger sump if it is necessary.

    There was an old bag with pellets in the sump when I got it, so I assume the guy I got the tank from did not have a DSB.

    I also got a skimmer that I already know is way too small for the tank and a few pumps (also all too small from what I read).

    Thanks again!

    20140227_201404.jpg

    Sump Dimensions.jpg
     
  14. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    that sump is too small from a volume size from the overflow etc.
    i would remove the 1 baffle from the left so that a skimmer can fit there. otherwise no need to change anything else
     
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Jip, a bigger skimmer is needed.
    As mentioned, remove either the left or right panel in the sump to make space for a bigger skimmer.

    Those sumps used to have a glass roof. Does yours still have it? If yes, then just make sure the skimmer can go in, before installing everything. Might be needed to remove that roof as well.

    With cubes, they can then be in the next up flow chamber. and lastly the return.

    That sump will not be able to handle a big water turnover rate. Especially with a comb in place.

    That sump total buffer capability if you run the return chamber at normally 150mm deep, would be 18.48L.

    Last option is to remove the overflow box, and install a skinny down the back of the tank, one half of the tank. With the bottom leg part of the skinny overflow extending to go over the current hole. But that is a lot of work but will look neat. Pump placement not an issue anymore, can have a long total overflow length to decrease head height. Plus cheaper pumps on wattage can be used as the pumps for close loops do use more power.
     
  16. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    That is a rather small sump. Do you know what skimmer youll be running?
    Agree with Dallas about removing first baffle, but id be concerned that it leaves you with enough space to remove skimmer should you need to.
    I would consider drilling through the cabinet and adding a second sump. Then you could have more space for skimmmer/pellets in first sump and return pump/carbon/phos media in second sump. This should also then give you some room for an auto top up
     
  17. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    in the interest of your sanity and easy to get things done.
    instead of cutting and removing etc, i dont see the need to change the overflow, the height of the water is controlled but the speed of your return, water in vs water out. so adding a overflow comb with bigger gaps will be good enough to stop fish going ever., also since the sump is not too large, adding a filter sock will not be viable, so i would look at adding filter floss to the overflow which will help and keep "dirt" from entering the sump. this however will need to be changed every few days to keep it clean, maybe a week at best.

    so to remedy the overflow without cutting tc, just drill holes as show on the attached pic and use a fine plastic mesh, or sink strainer to cover the holes.

    water flow in blue, holes in black

    20140224_191115.jpg
     
  18. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Will you have access to get in there with the drill? That middle chamber is only about 150mm.
     
  19. HeleenRoos

    HeleenRoos Thread Starter

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    Wow you guys are really helpful, thank you for all the advice. :thumbup:

    The sump does not have a lid.

    The height inside the cabinet is 600mm - I'm sure I'll be able to get a skimmer in there without any hassles.

    I haven't really decided on a skimmer yet, but I've looked at prices from a few places and it seems I should go for either a Bubble Magnus Curve 7 or Reeftek skimmer.

    I'll remove the first baffle to make space for the skimmer. So I can use the sump as is? It's just a matter of making a plan in case of a power outage and the water from the overflow and return running into the sump?

    This might be a silly question - the water turnover rate can be increased if I just invest in a bigger return pump? Making sure that the water in vs water out is properly balanced? (And making sure the overflow comb has wider gaps)...but that will affect the skimming??...
    Eish, I don't know how easy it would be to drill those holes in the panels but I'll try to Macgyver my way around it :p
     
  20. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    yes.

    but note, that a bigger pump will give you more water head in the display. And the bigger the water head, the more water needs will drain when the power goes out.

    But yes, water pumped into the display is equal to the water leaving the display. It is just a question on how much water your overflow box can handle and the drain pipe. So there are a maximum discharge rate your tank can handle. Going over that and you can flood your display. Having combs in place will reduce the discharge rate and increase the water head.

    That is partly why I advised to have a bigger overflow.
     
  21. HeleenRoos

    HeleenRoos Thread Starter

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    Hey Riaan,

    I measured the overflow box, it's 180mm x 160mm (I didn't measure the height - will do that this afternoon after work).
    The drain pipe at the bottom has a diameter of 20mm with a valve underneath to regulate the flow.
    I'll spend some time on calculations and see what I can come up with.

    What is the recommended (or atleast minimum) turnover rate I should aim for per hour?

    Thanks for all the advice!
     
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