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ShadowMac's 90 cm Ultratech

Discussion in 'Aquascaping Journals' started by ShadowMac, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Valuable observations.
    It's very much the same in other hobbies/talents....it usually comes down to doing the basics really, really well.

    You'll have to post up a video demo of the new setup. Curious to see how it looks in action.
     
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  2. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I will try to do that wish I had a decent video from the previous setup for comparison. I've heard lots of estimations of flow loss in canister filters, anywhere from 30-60%. I bet its 60% easily, depending upon filter design.

    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
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  3. burr740

    burr740 New Member

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    This is such a nice journal, always interesting to read.

    Fun fact on canisters: Hydor Pro series are rated with media inside. What they say is what you get. I have a 600 that actually does 20-30 gph more than it's rated, although Im running fairly lean media.
     
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  4. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Is this the biggest scape you have running?
     
  5. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    technically the 55 gallon is the biggest, but that isn't much of a scape. Its a grow tank for the most part. I maintain it and keep it looking like a dutch. This is the biggest nature scape I have at the moment. One day I'll get a 120 H or 180 cm, but that day is probably 5-10 years away...kids and all.
     
  6. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Sorry for hijacking the thread, do you have any photos up of the big tank?
     
  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    It is in the thread called "The Wild Dutchman and the Fish room"
     
  8. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    sent from tapatalk on my phone so auto correct and other errors are bound to happen
     
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  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    A quick video shot on my phone of the scape now running the ADA super jet 1200.

     
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  10. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    First of all, scape looks great. Second, wow that's a lot of flow, but doesn't seem to adversely affect the plants or fish. With all that filter media and output, plus CO2, good lighting, etc....you've probably got a pretty darn close to perfect situation for optimal conditions.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016
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  11. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    are you noticing a reduction in CO2 efficiency with the increases surface movement?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  12. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    That's a good question J. Interestingly, as we talked about before the new upcoming podcast interview...I have not seen a big reduction. A couple things I'm considering. 1) since the first filter was way underpowered, the reactor was not working at its full potential, so I was experiencing more off gassing or what appeared to be off gassing...when in fact I was really having a hard time getting CO2 into the water via the reactor due to the low flow. 2) I dropped the reactor because I wanted to appreciate the full power of the Super Jet and simplify things...so I'm using a VIV glass diffuser and my drop checker is green..I can push to yellow with similar bubble rates as with the previous setup....but my surface ripple is much greater and I'm still skimming with a VUPPA now instead of the eheim. I had the Vuppa but stopped using it because it needed regular adjustment...but since I have the ATO it doesn't. With the good flow, the tank becomes an effective place to dissolve CO2. This thinking has led me to begin considering that in many cases we may over inject CO2 to compensate for bad flow. The problems manifest as low CO2, but could really be bad flow for many of us. I think some of us, myself included, may have a distorted view of what adequate flow looks like because we've never actually seen a really well functioning filter system with sufficient flow in action. Combine that with this bad concept of what 300 gph looks like because the ratings are SO FAR off it completely throws off our point of reference..and we don't have what we need a lot of times. Its so hard to pick it up from YouTube or other media what is really going on in the tank.

    Last thing, which is funny or at least ironic. I've come full circle on glass diffusers. I really like them it turns out. Not hard to clean, low working pressure, decorative piece of equipment, simple. Atomizers can get clogged up and make way too many really small bubbles that cloud the water. Reactors when not run on an independent loop are at the mercy of an underpowered filter and subject to fluctuation from that. The glass diffuser needs a little soak in bleach while you do the other maintenance a rinse and to be put back in the tank, it has a longer life span than atomizers as long as you don't break them, and they look nicer. Its glass diffusers for me. I should mention there is a big variation in the efficiency of them. ADA and DoAqua brands produce smaller bubbles than other types. I've compared VIV, NAG, ADA, and DoAqua. The verdict is out on the stainless steel ones with replaceable discs. So far, they've worked well and being able to replace the disc is nice. More durable and cheaper than glass, looks slick when combined with stainless steel filter pipes, which are also good investments for folks worried about breaking glass. I busted a lily pipe for my cube last week...lapse of attention and snap!
     
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  13. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Interesting thoughts. I was thinking of getting another atomizer to swap out, but maybe I'll follow your lead and try out a glass diffuser or stainless steel. When I move over to the Eheim canister, I'll likely go the stainless steel route. Glass looks awesome, but I'm sure the smallest amount of algae becomes very apparent and the fragility will very likely lead to me swearing a lot at one point or another when the bits end up everywhere due to my less than surgical handling skills.
     
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  14. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Have just been looking into getting a CO2 setup for my new tank 500litre 60"x24"x24" and reading around about the various ways of getting the CO2 diffusion into the water with max efficiency and less/no bubbles and the CO2 reactors do seem to do well from what I have read. So the points you mention ShadowMac I read with great interest. I Also what to try and keep the noise to as low as possible
    Plan to get a Fluval fx6 which has 20/24mm pipe (I think) and to keep the flow rate as little restricted as possible thinking of getting two CO2 Reactor/ Diffuser 16/22mm and 12/16mm run them in parallel.
    came across Aquarium CO2 Reactor Diffuser 16/22mm Ceramic External for Plants and checked the flow rate out here and the maths work out OK.
    Most reviews on the web are quite old so was after your thoughts on the CO2 Reactor Diffuser available ATM
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  15. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Plugging things inline with canisters leaves so many variables and variation over time. My conclusions on canisters can be summed up into a couple things 1) most if not all canisters are grossly over-rated for planted tank folks 2) they handle head pressure very poorly 3)the models with the intake entering the top have some design disadvantage. It seems they suffer more from flow loss

    I've had just as much success with a reactor and diffusers in line as I have with in tank diffusers. It is about your preference for the most part.

    I thought you were planning on a sump? If you do a sump there are a couple different ways to do CO2.

    For a canister I'd recommend an Eheim 2262. The FX6 is underpowered for your 132 gallon (500 litre) tank. I would say you'd need two of them.
     
  16. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Yes was thinking about doing an internal custom sump in the tank and a Fluval FX4. But would off gave me less tank to play with, plus wasn't able to get as much media in as a thought after my 'alpha' design, plus decided to not go for such a big a tank so was able to go for a higher cabinet so able to go for the FX6 and if one off them isnt enough could get another. Plus my local aquarium supplier has a great guy who is an aquascaper and marie biologist, very helpful had a great chat with him today about 90mins felt guilty as only spent £1.50 on getting my tap water tested. He thought one FX6 should do and if not get another.

    Not heared of that model ! specs look good only problem after a quick search £1200 to get one in the UK or US import and customs can pack a punch on imports

    Can pick up the Fluval FX6 for £225 lots for sale in UK.

    Have allowed enough holes in the bracing in the tank for two Canisters adding another should be a snip just mixed the new filter media with the stuff thats already been seasoned and it should kick in pretty quick.

    (Me thinks its time to start a journal here now my tanks been ordered)
     
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  17. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    1200!?:eek: It was priced nearly the same as the Fx6 here in the states. Might be an older Eheim model so someone is trying to sell it for a bunch.

    I would recommend two of the FX6 filters. One is fine on a fish only tank of that size or even a minimally planted tank...but a full on aquascape needs more. For comparison I'm running 330 gph from a pressure rated super jet on this 90 cm build which is half the volume of your planned build. The Fx6 is around 500 gph without the pressure rating so will get a loss of flow, general full of thumb in 10x flow...so two gets you about there.
     
  18. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    An external sump would of been the best option I have no doubt in that because of the amount of biological ceramic media not to mention some where to put heaters etc etc. I could of got in the 120 litre which would off come standard with the tank. But for aesthetics in the lounge it just wouldn't work :mad:

    I think the Fluval FX6 is lacking it the amount of ceramic media it can fit in, the mechanical filter media should be fine. So getting another I will end up with more mechanical filtration. When what I think I will need more of is biological filtration. Yes the foam does biological as well but the ceramic has a more higher surface area to volume ratio. So could get two FX6's connect in series ( rather than have them working independently )and in the second replace the foam filters with ceramic media and it should yield another 18 litres of media and two in series would have a better head of pressure if the filters was empty but in series the second would be receiving mechanically filtered water hence should offer slightly less resistance. So flow rate would be in the same order or slightly better as having one running, but there would be three to four times the ceramic media.
    your thoughts (y)
     
  19. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    It is my understanding you should not run canisters in series. I would also think that the resistance at any location in the series would impact any pump in the series. What is preventing you from ditching some of that mechanical media and replacing with biomedia? Sponges tend to clog easier, so I avoid using them. Also, when you run in series you get not additive effect on your flow from two filters, you still stay around the 500 gph, whereas running separate you get a cumulative effect and get near the 1000 gallons.
     
  20. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    I cant see why running them in series should be an issue, esp if they have the same rating it will just boost the head of pressure and its just the pipe diameter which would be the limiting factor mainly if no media was present. But with media in both yes flow about the same. So yes flow the same but Biological filtration surface area per pass will be double. So do I need the flow in the tank as diffusion in the tank should happen fast enough with water in at one end and out at the other it would be like a slow river.

    Yes could dump some of the foam but in series could dump more.
     

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