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250G Mazny Planted Tank Build

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by Consigliere, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. Consigliere

    Consigliere New Member

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    I'm looking at the dates on these posts and it seems like I get the itch to work on this project about this time every year. *What turned out to be the most difficult aspect of the entire project was completely overlooked by me when I designed this tank. *Moving it to my basement was an absolute nightmare. Professional movers turned down the job but in the end my two brother-in-laws, my dad and myself moved it from my garage to my basement.

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    Making the Plan

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    Not the most comfortable moment

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    Don't let go
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    Almost there



    Almost two years from delivery it finally makes it into my house.

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    Front view

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    Better lighting


    I can finally get started on all the setup. *The plumbing will be the first job. *The filter the second. *That will be the moment of truth on filling this thing with water and getting the pumps going. *I'll be posting the drainage plumbing design shortly.
     

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  2. Consigliere

    Consigliere New Member

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    It's time to finally move the design from paper to actual parts. The drain system is setup so that the water level in the tank is determined by the horizontal pipe at the top. The two capped ends will be used to vent any air by attaching some hosing. Ball valves provide full isolation for each drain. They also provide the capability for a quick 1/3 water change. The lowest drain in the tank will be used mainly for draining almost the whole tank if it's needed. Total output at maximum drainage will be two full 1.5" ABS pipes. The ball valves can potentially provide some more sophisticated flows but I don't think I will use it that way very often, if ever.

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    Drain plumbing

    A weakness of this system is all the threaded parts. The ball valve fittings to 1.5" straight pipe is threaded and the connection to the drain bulkheads to the tanks is threaded. Any recommendations for good teflon tape for ABS piping? The taping job will probably determine if I have any leaks when it starts up.

    Anyone see any fatal flaws in this setup?

    It will drain from the two down going 1.5" pipes into a 70G sump filter. At the end of the drain lines will be a DIY "muffler" installed inside the sump to try and minimize the noise of the whole system
     
  3. Gerrard

    Gerrard New Member

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    wow!!very neat and clean!!waiting for the full set-up!!
     
  4. parthapratim22

    parthapratim22 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Real hardwork...lovely...
     
  5. Scorpio

    Scorpio New Member

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    Your woods are really looking big in comparison of tank.
     
  6. Consigliere

    Consigliere New Member

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    The last few weeks I've been installing the drainage plumbing onto the bulkheads. A few design changes were necessary as I installed things to make sure there was room for the return plumbing. The isolation valves for the rightside upper drain bulkhead will be hard to get to so I think I'm going to drill a hole in the valve handles and put a threaded rod and nut through it so I can pull it open or closed from above. Here's a couple shots of the drainage plumbing installed.

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    The next step was to turn my old 70G tank into the filter. I'm doing a sump setup underneath the stand. The design is based on a bunch of nice saltwater sumps I've seen on the internet. I chose Lexan for the dividers. Glass would've been better but Lexan was easier to get and wasn't overly expensive. It took a little bit to figure out how best to cut it. There are a few chips out of some of the dividers that hopefully will be filled with silicone. You'll see I didn't spare any silicone when I installed the dividers. Before I installed each divider I sanded the surface that was going to be siliconed to the glass. Hopefully the extra surface area will make a strong enough bond to stand up to the flows in the sump. Here's the photos of the transformation of the 70G tank to the sump:

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    The pump mounts have some rubber grommets siliconed in below the screw heads. There will be 2 more rubber gromets sandwiching each pump mount with stainless washers and nuts to keep everything together and vibrating without hitting the glass.

    With everything installed here we are:

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    Overall the filter has 5 distinct features. A submerged return pump, a bubble trap before the return pump. 2 sections of bio filtration, sump pump with float switch connected to the house drain and a 15G or so refugium. The sump pump still needs to be installed but the plumbing is all in place.. The refugium will initially be used for keeping isolation from new fish while getting them exposed to tank conditions. After that I'll use it to grow some plants.

    The next part of the project is the plumbing for the return system. I have some check valves on order that I need to get that finished. There will be 3 of them for redundancy since check valves aren't as reliable as an above water siphon break. I decided to give up on doing a siphon break and spend some extra money on heavy duty check valves. The return system will include a 3" PVC CO2 reactor with injection via pressurized CO2 and regulator.

    Here's how everything looks together right now:

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  7. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Massive and magnificent! That is an amazing set up and will be worth the effort. It will be great to see it all working with critters, fish, and flora.
     
  8. arjundogra

    arjundogra New Member

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    That's a Mammoth of a project, I am sure it's going to be a stunner.allthe best
     
  9. Consigliere

    Consigliere New Member

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    Just had a brainstorm.

    Instead of having a CO2 reactor in the plumbing, why not just install the CO2 tubing into the center of the PVC fitting on the intake of the pump? Pump should chop up the gas quite a bit for quick diffusion into the water and simplifies the plumbing immensely. Also saves me about $120 in plumbing parts.

    Anyone tried this before? Thoughts?
     
  10. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    That's the way I like it:tea:
    I used a Rio 1000 with a needle wheel and the outflow goes right into the return pump.

    I only use a sponge set in my sumps.
    Typically a 20ppi and then a 30ppi. 10cm thick, bread knife works great to cut foam block, swisstropicals sells nice sizes of poret foam

    A bean animal overflow and a a simple U shaped return would likely have done simpler and better over all. But sometimes it's fun to go "plumb wild".
    Now you know where and why that term exist. :-"

    Needle wheeling(NW) is a good method, very blunt and direct.
    Well suited to sumps.

    I still like the Bioball section and that can used like a giant CO2 reactor if you seal the edges and vents up good. Then the water slowly enters the open part of the sump enriched and does not degas.

    Since O2 and CO2 are independent.........the O2 levels are also correspondingly high as well as the CO2 being stable and high and not degassed by the bioball dry section.
     
  11. Jurijs mit JS

    Jurijs mit JS Admin Staff Member

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    Location:
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    the tanks looks impressive :113:
    looking forward how it'll go on.
    As Tom said, NW method for co2 supply is great and you can solve lots of co2 this way.
     
  12. Consigliere

    Consigliere New Member

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    Thanks for the ideas. Checked out the needle wheel method and looks like it's the best setup for what I'm trying to achieve.

    I'm thinking of using a UV tube that I have connected up with a 1300L/h powerhead that will be independent of the return plumbing. I think I'll try your impeller mod I saw on some other post Google turned up plantbrain.

    I think best way to run it will be to have the intake side of the powerhead installed where my return pump is and have it run through the UV to the first section after the drain into the sump. I'm going to fill that section with some bio filter media.
     
  13. Orlando

    Orlando Supporting Member

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    Massive build! Looking forward to this.
     
  14. Consigliere

    Consigliere New Member

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    Been going pretty hard the last few nights on getting this tank going. *The check valves arrived Friday and I got to work on the return plumbing. *I had a last minute change of design and didn't go with a CO2 reactor out of PVC. *Instead I decided to use a 1300 L/h powerhead hooked up to a 36W UV tube. *The UV/powerhead setup will move water from the return pump chamber in the sump to the first chamber after the drainage chamber. *The CO2 will be bubbled into the inlet of the powerhead. *I modified the impeller based on a design I found by Tom Barr. *Should be similar to a needle wheel impeller, hopefully.

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    Here's a few photos of the finished plumbing setup. *Right now I'm two crimp rings short of being able to fire the tank up. *The water supply from the house system is piped in with pex and there is a termination end with an irrigation manifold for adding drippers. *The drippers aren't installed yet. *Here's the tap and drip supply:

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    There is also a tap at the top of the tank for directly filling there.

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    The return plumbing, UV tube and sump pump plumbing is pictured here. *The sump pump is hooked up to the house drain with a float switch for hopefully automatic water changes. *Also pictured is the Milwaukee CO2 controller.

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    I also got the first of 3 T5HO light fixtures installed. *Each fixture has two 80W bulbs installed. *The bulbs are Giesmann 4x Midday and 2x Aquaflora. *Total of 480W might be a bit much so I think I will start with mounting them as far from the tank as possible. *Each light will be run independently on timers with I think only about an hour per day will all 3 fixtures on. *The majority of the time I think I will run only 2 fixtures. *I will try and run something similar to a daylight cycle where only 1 light will be on to start and end a day and two on for a few hours. *All 3 on to simulate high noon.

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    The lights are held on with PVC coated aircraft cable hanging from brass hooks. *I'm going to add some hooks to be able to lower light easily but for now high up is all I need.

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    Tomorrow I'll finish of the pex water supply and we'll hopefully be able to have our first test run. *Crossing my fingers there are no leaks.
     
  15. elmagico82

    elmagico82 New Member

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    very cool
     
  16. stevo

    stevo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Man, that tank is a monster! :rock: Congrats buddy! Keep up good work!

    In my opinion for this height T5 or T8 lighting is very poor, if I were You I would take HQI/HQL above the tank, they will make amazing shimmering effect and realistic shadows in the tank, and your plants will say thank you for this changing. ;)
     
  17. Consigliere

    Consigliere New Member

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    Unfortunately these lights are bought and paid for and won't be spending anything anytime soon to try something different so the T5HO is what I have to stick with.
     
  18. Woo

    Woo New Member

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    I am always in awe when people take on projects of this size. Looking forward to seeing where it goes, and hoping there are no leaks
     
  19. Consigliere

    Consigliere New Member

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    So I started the tank up and there is good news and bad news. Good news is the tank and stand are good, filter works great. Pumps, sump pump all function as expected. But 3 leaks in the plumbing that need to be fixed.

    Decided to go ahead and cut out the leaking plumbing and start new. Seems to be no method for 100% long term no leaks without installing new fittings.

    I'll be simplifying a lot of the plumbing at the time too. Since the leaks were only drips I ran the tank for about 2 hours figuring out the different functionallty and to make sure everything was working well. Everything generally worked fine but I realized there is no need for some of the plumbing features. I'll take a bunch of that out and have a better setup in the end.

    I've also decided on substrate. I'm going to be getting 14 bags of Netlea black for the substrate.
     
  20. JEden8

    JEden8 New Member

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    Simply amazing! Can't wait to see it finished and running!
     

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