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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

Most of you have seen my threads of mostly just problems with my tank. Almost all the time its a problem with the hardware aspect of the tank. Whether it's bubble, debris, filtration, flow, etc.

I've had my tank running steady since sometime in June. Fish and coral are doing fine for the most part.

The problem I face EVERYDAY is that I just don't feel its complete. I'm always thinking that there's something left for me to do to finish it. Since, every time I take time to sit down and look, it doesn't seem like a finished/polished saltwater tank.

Some of the main issues that bother me which many here have helped me with but still persists are:

  • Bubbles
  • S*** load of algae
  • Bubbles
  • Debris
  • Bubbles
  • Water Clarity
  • Bubbles
  • Annnnnddd Algae

So, the conclusion that I'm coming with (which many have hinted towards) is it all comes down to the tanks plumbing (sump, filtration, flow, etc.). The aesthetic appeal of my tank is horrible in my opinion, that's why I've never posted a thread of my tank in the photography section :(

I can't take living with an "unfinished" tank which I've invested so much time and money into when I myself is not satisfied.

I've decided to strip out the plumbing and pretty much do a full remodel of the plumbing. So for the past few weeks or so I've been buying stuff to replace all my current plumbing with.

The most important being a new sump. Which I got off of Dave (wickedfrags). I won't be using his sump in the condition I got it in rather I will be stripping it down to just the glass panes and cutting and designing a custom one fit my specs.

This thread is mainly for me to get suggestions and opinions during each step of the process. Mainly, sump design, proper plumbing methods, and stuff to look out for and keep in mind while rebuilding.

I'm planning on completing the whole plumbing remodel in a week to 2 weeks max, since I'll have to keep my coral and fish in temporary tanks/buckets while the DT undergoes the remodel. Any important suggestions on keeping fish and coral safe for extended periods of time temporarily would be greatly appreciated.

To start it off here are a few pics of the current sump, Dave's sump, and algae issues.







With this, I'll just ask for you guys to let me know what to keep in mind and what to take into account when planning the remodel. Also, atm I'm looking for a sump design which specializes in bubble reduction :D links to good sump design or if you your self have something to share please post pics!!!!!! Everyone loves pictures!!! That's why I try to post pics in all my posts!!!

At the end of it all, I just want to sit down and enjoy a bubble free, debris free, "problem" free fish tank. Hopefully that's at the least doable?

I won't start the build till this weekend most likely, if I got time tomorrow I may start tomorrow. I'll document the process as best I can (With pics!!!).

Can't thank everyone enough for all the help you provide each other on a dailyyyy basis. Taking the time out of your day to help strangers is GREATLY appreciated. You guys make this hobby possible.

Thanks again!!!,
Vinoy
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Update 1:

Finished removing each individual pane from the sump.

Here they are waiting to be bathed in vinegar and acetone.



I managed to snap one of the side panes in half due to a slip of the hand :(

Luckily enough one of the glass baffles was a good candidate for replacement, but I'll be forced to make the entire sump 12" high....

Question:
Is that too low of a sump height??? What is a good level to keep the water at in the sump....on average?

Removing all the silicone is going to really need a lot of time and elbow grease. I'll probably get to that sometime Sunday....
 

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Pain-Staker
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For algae control as well as Ich infestation,try purchasing a UV Sterilizer.As for the recommended wattage it's 20-25 watts for 90 gallon tank but the bigger it is the better and faster things can be eradicated.As for the dreaded bubbles,try using foam before your return or install a 300 micron sock on the outlet to your sump.I'd recommend a mesh filter sock than the felt ones coz they tend to clog much longer.Also on the topic of algae,it would help if you decrease the duration of your lighting.I hope these helps.Btw Vinoy,I'm close to where you live.(I'm at Dixie/Sandalwood intersection).

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Ed,

Thanks for the reply!

I've already purchased a 36W uv sterilizer. I ran it for a few days but noticed no change in the clarity of my water. I put it away for the time being before I put in the new sump.

I did this since I believe the water clarity issue is mainly due to micro bubbles. When the lights are turned on it reflects off of all the bubbles thus making the water look cloudy.

I have a bunch of filter socks (100 micron) but I haven't used them regularly in my sump, because it is a PITA to replace them. My sump isn't designed for socks, it's WAYYY to congested and poorly designed.

Any sump designs other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again Ed for the reply!,
Vinoy


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Offishul GTAA Lolcat
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Good plan. A couple suggestions:

1. During the 1-2 week teardown, place your LR in a bucket and dose 2x per week with lanthanum chloride to pull any phosphates out of the rock. Don't bother changing the water during the time, but dump it all at the end of the teardown.

2. A proper bubble trap requires 3 panes of glass. 2 with a space on the bottom and 1 in the middle with a space at the top.

3. I had a problem in my 35G's sump with bubbles when the return flow from the overflow of the DT wasn't as straight and short as possible. I also had it flow directly into a chamber in the sump that was filled with LR rubble and the water flowed out a slot the bottom.
 

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Gadget Pymp
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If you can take the rocks out in manageable pieces Try this...get some 3% hydrogen peroxide (costco sells a four pack real cheap). Put the peroxide in a spray bottle and rocks in a container to contain run off. liberally spray the rocks and let it sit for about 10 min and then spray again and let it sit for half an hour (During that time you should see the peroxide bubble and froth).

After the time is up, you can rinse in some tank water or just put it back in without rinsing the choice is yours.

Now at first it won't look like it did any thing but in a few days the algae will begin to pale and dissolve and the rock comes out white. I notice that during this time the snails really go to town on the remaining algae. I've done this to many frag plugs and smaller rocks that i'm "planting" zoa gardens on. It doesn't appear to harm my zoas (other than irritate them and cause them to close for a day or so) but in the end the rock is bleached and free of algae.

Now there is a debate on if this kills the beneficial bacteria in the rocks but the same thing happens if you cook your rocks or dunk in acid no? Check out reefcentral for other threads on this method.
 

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first go and by good skimmer. ( in case it coralife SS in the pictures)

I would also trow out sand and chaeto from sump. have just LR on some kind of platform that you can clean debris under it and you do not need lights at all. Your light grows not just chaeto, but other bad algae also. You can perfectly be without chaeto. IMO. You could have a light for the maintenance and preview.

You do not need to change anything in the sump from Dave. I seen it and believe me he knew what he is doing and you will not be able to make it better

I do not know if you have strainer on the intake of the return pump. I had a strainer and was able to install some kind of cover with the bag on it. As result no debris were going to the tank

Also and most important - Many people tried to advice you in the beginning of your journey, but by some reason you followed advices from the guys with 1-2 weeks of experience.

Good luck this time

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good plan. A couple suggestions:

1. During the 1-2 week teardown, place your LR in a bucket and dose 2x per week with lanthanum chloride to pull any phosphates out of the rock. Don't bother changing the water during the time, but dump it all at the end of the teardown.

2. A proper bubble trap requires 3 panes of glass. 2 with a space on the bottom and 1 in the middle with a space at the top.

3. I had a problem in my 35G's sump with bubbles when the return flow from the overflow of the DT wasn't as straight and short as possible. I also had it flow directly into a chamber in the sump that was filled with LR rubble and the water flowed out a slot the bottom.
Hey Kevin,

1. I've been doing some research just to get some background information on LaCl. It's got mixed opinions from various people...Particularly what the long term effects of the binded precipitate on fish. I'm not sure about using it, I'll also have to get it from some pool supply store.

The thing is, I don't want a band-aid solution. If this can remove the algae initially that's great, but I need to know how to maintain the PO4 levels to prevent it from happening again. That's what I'd like know most importantly.

Taking your tank as an example, I've got no doubt that it works but I need to know how to maintain it's benefits...

2. Why isn't it the other way around??? I've seen quite a few sumps with the other way around design...

Thanks for the suggestions Kevin!

If you can take the rocks out in manageable pieces Try this...get some 3% hydrogen peroxide (costco sells a four pack real cheap). Put the peroxide in a spray bottle and rocks in a container to contain run off. liberally spray the rocks and let it sit for about 10 min and then spray again and let it sit for half an hour (During that time you should see the peroxide bubble and froth).

After the time is up, you can rinse in some tank water or just put it back in without rinsing the choice is yours.

Now at first it won't look like it did any thing but in a few days the algae will begin to pale and dissolve and the rock comes out white. I notice that during this time the snails really go to town on the remaining algae. I've done this to many frag plugs and smaller rocks that i'm "planting" zoa gardens on. It doesn't appear to harm my zoas (other than irritate them and cause them to close for a day or so) but in the end the rock is bleached and free of algae.

Now there is a debate on if this kills the beneficial bacteria in the rocks but the same thing happens if you cook your rocks or dunk in acid no? Check out reefcentral for other threads on this method.
Hey,

Thanks for the reply!

I've done some background research on this as well. Sounds pretty good to me. The problem is that it kills beneficial bacteria and the critters in the rock at the same time, from what people are saying...

I realllyyy don't to start the cycle on my tank again it's been running for more than 7 months now. I don't to let all that time go to waste!

LaCl doesn't seem to affect the bacteria and such so I'm guessing that may a better solution to get rid of the algae I have currently on my rock.

Issue on my mind is how will I maintain a somewhat algae-free live rock.

Thanks for the suggestion though!

I've been using the Aqueon Proflex Aquarium Sump for a couple of years now on my 110 gallon Miracles tank and I love it. I'm using it in the Wet/Dry configuration however you can also use it as a Refugium or Berlin configuration.

I bought mine at Big Al's in Mississauga for around the same price as J&L.

http://www.jlaquatics.com/product/aq-aqspf03/Aqueon+Proflex+Aquarium+Sump+(Model+3).html
--
Paul
Hey Paul,

The thing is I need to build a sump custom to my dimensions. That sump would be way to big for my stand unfortunately. Not to mention the price!!!! I'm trying to keep the cost minimal by going the DIY route :D

Also, I don't know where to stand with the refugium or going just standard berlin. Opinions on this are so mixed. Like refugium or not??? Sooo confused on that aspect.

Thanks for sharing your experience though!!

first go and by good skimmer. ( in case it coralife SS in the pictures)

I would also trow out sand and chaeto from sump. have just LR on some kind of platform that you can clean debris under it and you do not need lights at all. Your light grows not just chaeto, but other bad algae also. You can perfectly be without chaeto. IMO. You could have a light for the maintenance and preview.

You do not need to change anything in the sump from Dave. I seen it and believe me he knew what he is doing and you will not be able to make it better

I do not know if you have strainer on the intake of the return pump. I had a strainer and was able to install some kind of cover with the bag on it. As result no debris were going to the tank

Also and most important - Many people tried to advice you in the beginning of your journey, but by some reason you followed advices from the guys with 1-2 weeks of experience.

Good luck this time
Hey Sig,

I will buy a good skimmer soon, when I get money :D For now, I'll have to live with what I've got :p

The problem about keeping a refugium or not to me is that so many people use them on really successful systems and then there are those who don't who have equally stunning systems...

Like what are the reasons as not to keep it? I already know why it's good but why doesn't it matter??? And I'll take out the sand for sure, it's a PITA really.

I will try to put in a strainer and implement it into the sump so I can easily replace it. I hate having to go through great difficulty while replacing filter socks and the sort.

I may not be able to make it better but the thing is ITS WAY TOO BIG :( That's why I have to redesign it to match my available area. The area I have available is only 36" x 16.5" exactly.

I rushed it in the beginning and that's exactly why I'm paying for it now :D

Thanks everyone!,
Vinoy
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well F***** S*** I was cleaning out the sand in Dave's sump moments ago and noticed a friggin tempered glass label.

:mad::mad::mad::mad:

Like seriously, I always run into problems every time I do stuff. I don't even have the money to have problems like this any more :(

I thought the sump was custom built!!!!!

Anyways, I'll have to put it up for sale and buy a regular 40G breeder :( :( :(

Anyone who has a 40G NOT TEMPERED in Brampton or Mississauga or anywhere else who is willing to deliver that'll be great. I'll pay for delivery!!!!!!

Such a pain the a** this hobby. It's worth it though...to an extent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey Ed,

I'd love to do acrylic, but I just can't put in any more money on equipment and materials needed to build a acrylic tank. I already have the equipment for a glass tank.

I'm just looking for a non-tempered 40G tank so I can cut it to spec and make a sump with silicone :D

Trying to keep the price for the sump under $60 :D total!!! It's possible.

Thanks Ed for the suggestion though!,
Vinoy
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Hey Sig,

If the bottom is only tempered I might keep it for the glass of the sides. But I need to cut a piece of glass to fit on the bottom of the tank

I'm looking for a non-tempered tank with dimensions of at least 36" X 16.5" bottom pane !!!!!

Vinoy
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
what does it mean? "

"I'm just looking for a non-tempered 40G tank so I can cut it to spec and make a sump with silicone"
I need a tank with all sides non-tempered that has the dimensions of AT LEAST 36" X 16.5" so I can cut it to 36" X 16.5" which is the space available on my stand.

I want to maximize sump size so I'm building it custom to my stand.

Vinoy
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Change of Plans!!!!!!!!!!!

Alright, so I've been thinking.

The only reason why I'm not putting in Dave's sump is solely due to size restrictions, that being of my stand's.

Dave's sump is 36" X 18", my max dimensions for the bottom pane are merely 1.5 inches smaller than the width.

So what I've decided to do is not only remodel the plumbing but remodel the stand as well :cool: I'm just like it's going to be such a PITA to search for a new sump then try and sell this one and go through that whole process again. I already have plywood and all the wood materials to extend the stands width too.

It's a perfectly viable option and Sig would be proud, that I'm keeping Dave's sump intact :D Go big or go home!!!

I'm still going to have to reseal and cut Dave's tank. I need to reduce the height of it that is. My stand is not very tall. Won't be problem cause I was planning to reseal the whole thing anyways.

Questions:

1. What's a good height for the water level in a sump? Tailored to my situation...

2. There's a chip on the end of the sump's front pane. Will this be an issue? Crack goes end to end, no chance of it spreading.

3. Can I just silicone the trim of the sump back on when I'm done the glass panes?

4. Check this sump design out, I really like the design of this one. Similar to the proflex sump. Looks like it is pretty well designed and would prevent and microbubbles from entering the DT.

Opinions???



- Best sump design, Reef Central

Used in this system:


Rebuild as it stands right now:



Thanks again everyone!!!,
Vinoy
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Removed all the glass on the sump!! See the full update on the first page. If anyone could help answer those questions that'll be great!!!!


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