Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > General Aquarium Forums > DIY Projects
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 08-17-2009, 10:23 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
AdamHorton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 575
A couple of things I tried this weekend: any comments/advice?

I've been needing to set up a refugium for my 150 SW tank, so I took this weekend to do it. My girlfriend/roommate doesn't want anything visible next to the tank, so whatever I do, it has to fit underneath the aquarium stand. I was originally going to put a 20 gallon long tank down there, I bought it and I couldn't fit it through the doors to get it underneath the tank! Also, I had put the filter under there before the tank was on top of the stand, so it's down there for good (at least for a long while) and I can't turn it around. I ended up using a 10G tank because it was what fit under there, I figured it was better than nothing. Between the sump on the filter and what's in the refugium I'd say there's about 15G total, which I guess isn't terrible for a 150G tank, right? Here are a couple of pictures:

http://www.adamhorton.com/files/refugium1.jpg
http://www.adamhorton.com/files/refugium2.jpg

I drilled some holes into that U-tube and super-glued some airline tubes to the holes to make sucking air out easier. Once the superglue dried it seemed like there was a much more stable flow. After about a day the water level hasn't really changed. Should I bother trying to lift the bio-balls up above the new water level in the filter sump? Now that I think about it, I wonder if I could get a taller tank that would still fit under there. The pump is on a battery backup, but I'm thinking I might be in trouble if for some reason the power stays out long enough for even that to fail. I designed this myself so any advice for improvements or suggestions would be welcome as this is my first attempt at any DIY aquarium stuff.

Also, I have a bicolor pseudochromis who has taken to hiding behind the overflow cup in my tank. I've tried a couple of things, but here are some pictures of one of them:

http://www.adamhorton.com/files/newpump1.jpg
http://www.adamhorton.com/files/newpump2.jpg

In the second picture, he's trying to figure out a way in. All I did here was super-glued some mesh screen (like the kind that's on a screen door) to the overflow cup. It worked well for a day or so -- he was even starting to socialize with everybody else -- but he finally found a way back there. I'm thinking about just hot-gluing some hard plastic instead of the mesh, but I'd rather not do that unless nothing else will work. If there are any other suggestions or advice on this topic I'd like to hear that too.
__________________

__________________
-Adam Horton-
AdamHorton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2009, 02:10 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
jessicasmarine's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: MCRD PI, SC
Posts: 660
looks pretty good, if you wanted a bigger fuge the 15 gallon has the same footprint as the ten but is a little taller, eggcrate makes a good screen for an overflow box
__________________

__________________
-Zack
I blame Craig AND his stupid List.
jessicasmarine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2009, 08:52 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
AdamHorton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 575
I put the hard plastic on last night, the fish somehow managed to find a way back there, and then I realized what you meant by using egg crate. I'm going to try that tonight.

Turns out it's kind of tough to find a 15G tank anywhere close by, I might have to do a little bit of searching for that...
__________________
-Adam Horton-
AdamHorton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2009, 09:38 AM   #4
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
AdamHorton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 575
Round 4 of Adam vs. pseudochromis has concluded. It was an interesting one, and I'll be able to upload pictures tonight.

I took the filter off and hot-glued some egg crate to the back of the overflow cup. Once that was done, I tried to put it back on the aquarium, but in the process I actually ended up breaking part of the overflow cup. I taped it back together and had to make an emergency run to the hardware store but now that it's back together and working I consider it a feature that I've added to the overflow cup.

The fish can't get behind there anymore, and even if he could I doubt he would want to stay there anymore because of the egg crate. He spent most of last night looking around other places in the tank, and I actually saw him eat for the first time in a while. This morning before I left, though, I briefly looked for him and I couldn't find him. If he found some way to get back there and get comfortable I'm going to be very upset. This is a battle of wits between me and a fish, and I'm not going to lose. My brain is bigger than his entire body.
__________________
-Adam Horton-
AdamHorton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-2009, 11:28 AM   #5
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
AdamHorton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 575
I've heard of a 15G tank with those dimensions, but I can't find one to buy anywhere, not even online...

I've done some calculations, and I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to fit a 20G-high tank into the bottom of the stand. Since I'm an engineer (nerd), I'll include a generalized version of this problem and some details below. I'm pretty sure it's right but any other nerds like me are welcome to check my calculations.

Suppose I have a stand that is "a" inches deep, and where the doorway is "b" inches wide. After a couple quick calculations, I can get the most "footprint" area from a rectangular tank if I put the short end in first, then sort of curve it around until the whole thing is inside. Call the dimensions of the tank "x" and "y", with "x" being the shorter one, like in the picture. By my calculations, there are two requirements for the tank to fit through this doorway and under the stand:

1. x <= a , namely, that the tank isn't so wide that it wouldn't fit under the stand because the stand is not deep enough.

2. xy <= ab , this comes from my messy calculations.

So, I remember conservatively guessing the depth of the stand and the width of the doorway to be 17 inches each, and a 20H is 24"X12", giving:

xy <= ab
12*24 <= 17*17
288 <= 289 -- whew!

I think I'll check those measurements again, but it should work, and I can find 20G high tanks around.

NEXT THING:

I know that there are a lot of "what if"s when dealing with overflow cup/gravity/sump pump systems like I have. The pump is on a battery backup, and with a 20G high tank, I should be OK even if the power is out long enough for the pump to fail. But, there is one thing I worry about: what if, for some reason, the water level gets so low in the refugium that the pump could run dry? Maybe I screw up and let the water level get too low, or maybe the connecting tube that I added gets air in it and stops working? I know water won't spill anywhere but I don't want to break my pump, and I'd rather have a fail-safe that stops the pump when the water level gets too low. I've looked around for float switches and just about every kind I've found will shut your pump off if the water level in your display tank gets too high. I'd rather put the float switch in the refugium, since that's a more direct way to prevent the pump from running dry, and it's out of sight. That means that the switch has to turn off when the water level gets too low. I would think you could just mount the switch upside down to fix that but maybe I'm wrong. Does anybody have any experiences with using float switches like this? If not, I'll have to experiment and I'll post what I find here.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	picture.jpg
Views:	54
Size:	24.2 KB
ID:	20299  
__________________
-Adam Horton-
AdamHorton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2009, 09:04 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
AdamHorton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 575
Update: the measurements I took weren't what I thought I guess, because the 20H won't fit in there, so for added safety, I put the 10G I had in there on some 2X4s and with this setup, even if I turn the pump off there's enough room for the water that comes from the tank, so at least the system is safe, and a 15G refugium/sump is better than 5G. Here's a picture:

http://www.adamhorton.com/files/refugium3.jpg

Next, I have some pictures of all the stuff I've done to the overflow cup.

http://www.adamhorton.com/files/newpump3.jpg
http://www.adamhorton.com/files/newpump4.jpg
http://www.adamhorton.com/files/newpump5.jpg

There's hard plastic around the sides, egg crate around the back, and mesh screen around the front. After yesterday morning when I couldn't find the pseudochromis, I did some more looking around, and he was hiding inside the overflow cup! That wasn't safe at all, so I put the screen up. Also, you can see what I've done to patch the crack I made in the acrylic. The only thing I don't like about it is the fact that those "U" braces are metal, so I might try and coat those in plastic or something, or maybe try to find something else that works, but taking that whole setup off for maintenance is becoming a lot easier now. The pseudochromis is now out with the rest of the bunch and is eating, mainly because now he knows when feeding time is.
__________________
-Adam Horton-
AdamHorton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2009, 04:05 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
jessicasmarine's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: MCRD PI, SC
Posts: 660
sounds like your on top of your game
__________________

__________________
-Zack
I blame Craig AND his stupid List.
jessicasmarine is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Well here is PICS OF MY tank --- Look at a couple of things 75galsalt Saltwater Fish Only & FOWLR 4 07-03-2006 09:57 PM
Somewhat new to this hobby, looking for comments and advice LazySlacker Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 15 08-23-2005 12:57 PM
Couple of things i want to clarify scottd34 Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 3 03-05-2005 01:59 AM
A couple more things..... jhmuse Saltwater & Reef - Identification 3 04-24-2004 10:29 PM
Need ID on a couple things flamron Saltwater & Reef - Identification 6 01-23-2004 10:35 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.