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 04-18-2007, 08:14 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 458
Send a message via AIM to papa_bear_21
Looking for help and advice on a custom tank project

Hello all,

I am a new member here looking for some advice on building a custom tank, this will be the first tank I will have built, and I am going all out with it. I am looking to build 2 large tanks and connect them with a "bridge". My idea was to create a slight angle in the bridge and have a gentle current flowing between the 2 tanks. I have a few questions regarding this, and am looking for any help and advice anyone is willing to provide.

My first question is about filtering, what would the best way to filter such an aquarium? I am looking at a 3 foot wide by 3 foot deep by 4 foot tall tank on each side with a 1 foot wide by 1 foot tall by 2 feet long bridge connecting the 2. my calculations were roughly 555 gallons, for the whole package, causing my dilemma. Would it be better to have 2 filters, one in each tank? of one big filter? which style filter would be best, I was thinking gravel style, but what would you recommend?

My second question is regarding the thickness of the material used, and what material would be ideal for a project of this size? I was thinking half inch plexiglass, but would that be a good choice? I want something that I can work with easily, and something that would be destroyed if I drilled into it, as I likely will to accomplish the stream-like flow between the 2 tanks. Is there a material that is better than plexi, if so, what would you recommend?

My last question is in regards to the transfer of water between the 2 tanks to create the stream like effect. I have had the idea of using a water pump to create the flow between the 2 tanks, one with an adjustable flow rate, to allow for the adjustment of rate of flow through the stream chute. Does anyone have an aquarium like this, if so, how do you have yours setup?

I know this is a lot of questions, and I apologize for such a long first post, trying to get as much information as I can before I even start drawing this out.

Thanks in advance,

Bear
__________________

__________________
papa_bear_21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2007, 10:47 PM   #2
AA Team Emeritus
 
Ziggy953's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Owings Mills, Maryland
Posts: 9,101
1. What kind of tank is this going to be? FW, SW Reef?
2. What do you plan on housing in the tank?

I don't think your idea of a "stream" is going to work even if you have a sloped tunnel between the 2 tanks once the water is filled up past both points it will be stagnant. You will get circulation by pumping water with PHs. You are going to need serious filtration whether you are going to go SW FW and I don't recomend this setup as a reef. There is a tank setup like this in my area it is a 700+g tank made of 1" thick acrylic. Acrylic FF is an expensive material when purchased in that thickness and in those sizes. You are looking at a very expensive tank. I would not recomend using glass as it would be so heavy you wouldn't be able to move it. As for your tunnel idea it would be best to make it round as it would be able to handle the pressure of the water better then a square tunnel.

I don't remember if the tank I mentioned is shown on their website but it is

www.annandalesuperpets.com...

Good luck....
HTH
__________________

__________________
Ziggy953 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2007, 12:24 AM   #3
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 458
Send a message via AIM to papa_bear_21
Thank you for the reply and information, here is some additional information for you and others.

the tank is going to be a freshwater tank, and house tropical fish like platys and tetra's and the like. my plan for the stream idea was to pump water from one side of the tank to the other, in essence making one side fuller than the other, and causing the flow from one side to the other. I am not sure if that part was explained well, I can probably plumb in a PH to flow water from one tank to the other. I will agree on the round tunnel idea looking at it, never gave much thought to it until now. I have a friend who may be able to get me a deal on the material used, this project will likely go under many revisions before construction is started. My idea for filtration was a large cannister filter on each side, utilizing a gravel style filter, and having the return up top. I will likely build a smaller version before I build the bigger version, to test the idea out, possibly a 150 gallon version. I am not sure about having live plants in the aquarium at this moment, as I dont know that I will have that good of success with that. Lighting will be an issue, as I am not sure how to light such a tank, more than likely using LED lighting in the hood that I design for it.

Again, I appreciate the reply, and the help. I hope I'm not being a pesky newbie or anything, and please feel free to smack me into place if needed...LOL
__________________
papa_bear_21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2007, 02:52 PM   #4
AA Team Emeritus
 
Ziggy953's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Owings Mills, Maryland
Posts: 9,101
Water is self leveling so you aren't going to get a "stream" effect unless your tunnel is on top of the tank. If you go half way down the height of the tank and put your tunnel in there then the water level will always equalize it's self on either side of the tunnel. The only way to get flow through the tunnel is to have a power head push the water in that direction. You are going to need some good flow in that tank to keep from having dead or stagnant areas especailly with the tunnel idea.

****To make the tunnel thing work one tank would have to be higher then the other and then you would only get flow based on the pump you had moving the water from the lower tank to the higher tank.****
__________________
Ziggy953 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2007, 03:46 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 458
Send a message via AIM to papa_bear_21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy953
Water is self leveling so you aren't going to get a "stream" effect unless your tunnel is on top of the tank. If you go half way down the height of the tank and put your tunnel in there then the water level will always equalize it's self on either side of the tunnel. The only way to get flow through the tunnel is to have a power head push the water in that direction. You are going to need some good flow in that tank to keep from having dead or stagnant areas especailly with the tunnel idea.

****To make the tunnel thing work one tank would have to be higher then the other and then you would only get flow based on the pump you had moving the water from the lower tank to the higher tank.****
I'm not trying to argue, or anything, I just want to see if I understood you right.

I build the 2 tanks, with the bridge at the top, have a pump that is taking water from tank A and pumping it into tank B. Tank B now has more water than tank A, which will inturn equalize to tank A, right? With a constant flow of water from tank A to tank B, would there be some sort of current in the tunnel section as the water equalizes? I dont see how the 2 tanks could equalize without a current to transport the water between the 2. Dont get me wrong, I'm not trying to prove anyone right or wrong, just trying to make sure I understand the principals of my design before I build it and it not work. my theory is to drill a 1 inch hole into the lower section of each tank, plumb in tubing and use an inline pump to take water from tank A and pump into tank B. the way my theory is planned out, that will create a scenario where tank B has a higher water level than tank A, which will then flow through the tunnel to tank A. Using the pump to keep a constant flow of water from tank A to tank B keeping the water moving between the 2 tanks. Again, this is all theory, and is subject to being proven factually wrong. I dont want to upset anyone by seeming like I am arguing, or trying to prove them wrong, its more that I am trying to justify my thinking, and make sure that what I am trying to accomplish via theory will work once built in a real life situation.

I apologize if any of my posts make it seem as tho I am trying to prove anyone wrong other than myself, I hope to keep things kosher here so as to be a great member on this board, and pass on the knowledge I gain from being here.

Bear
__________________
papa_bear_21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2007, 06:43 PM   #6
AA Team Emeritus
 
roka64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,860
Send a message via AIM to roka64 Send a message via Yahoo to roka64
No offense taken. Ziggy's probably running from LFS to LFS and hasn't had a chance to respond...lol. That sounds like a theory to me, that may work. My concern would be having holes that low in the tank, in the event of something cracking or springing a leak, if you happen to be out of town. I would feel safer with the plumbing near the top so less water will end up on the floor, in the event of an accident. How far apart are you planning and are you using this as a swim way or just current?
Also, plumbing two tanks together poses a risk of one tank gets a diseas, the other one will too.
__________________
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

Vote for AA
Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
Need more help?
Articles
Acronym List

--Scott
roka64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2007, 10:03 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: perth australia
Posts: 1,599
Another thing is to consider power outs.
Obviously the top tank is going to flow into the bottom tank if there is no return pump.
You would be best keeping the "stream" up high so it acts as an overflow like you suggested, but doesn't overfill the lower tank.
__________________
Dimidiochromis compressiceps,
Astatotilapia latifasciata
Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos
Labidochromis caeruleus
Cynotilapia afra 'Cobue'
Pseudotropheus acei 'Msuli Point'
Aulunocara stuartgranti 'chipoka'
Labidochromis freibergi
Oreochromis mossambicus
Etroplus suratensis
DeFeKt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2007, 12:57 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 458
Send a message via AIM to papa_bear_21
Roka and DeFeKt:

Thank you for the responses, The 2 tanks will be no more than 2 feet apart, and I plan on the fish swimming through the tube. I'm not planning on a strong current, just something to keep water flowing from tank to tank, something the fish can swim through but keep the water fresh and moving. A way to keep the water flowing through each filter regularly. Not something that would keep the water seperate in the 2 tanks. the tunnel is going to be filled with water, to allow access for fish, in the event of a power outtage, the water level will equalize and there wont be a threat of one tank over flowing, even if there was a flow check valve in the pump line. As far as the lines go, I was thinking atleast one would be low, as to take the water from the bottom that may not easily get moved around. but the point is well taken, that the ports should more than likely be up higher so as to prevent accidental tank drainage. Maybe what I can do is install aerators in the lower parts of the tank to move the water up to the pump lines? Any thoughts on this?

I appreciate everyone's understanding and help, it means a lot to me for people to dive into a new persons questions, and help out like yall do. This forum is already helping me a lot, but giving me ideas that I didnt think of, and things that will be of great asset to the design. I appreciate that very much
__________________
papa_bear_21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2007, 01:37 AM   #9
AA Team Emeritus
 
Ziggy953's Avatar



POTM Champion
Tank of the Month Award
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Owings Mills, Maryland
Posts: 9,101
I see where you are going with this now. Yes what you are talking about will work however you probably wont really see a drop in water level from one tank to the other because as you are pumping water from one tank it will be flowing back into the same tank via your tunnel. Basically you will create a circular system through the 2 tanks and the tunnel. Make sense and is a good idea when creating a system like what you are talking about. I agree with what Roka said about the possiblilty of a leak...that would be a mess!!

I think Defekt that Papa is going ot have the tanks at the same height and just pump the water between them. I was the one that made the comment about a tank being higher or lower.....

I would suggest putting some drawings together that may help you get things going. If you could post them here that would be great! I'm getting more and more interested in this project!!!

Oh and I was not offended at all! I didn't fully understand what you were trying to do I kept seeing you wanting a stream...LOL
__________________
Ziggy953 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2007, 02:01 AM   #10
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 458
Send a message via AIM to papa_bear_21
I will see if I can get a drawing done, but I am not artistically inclined, so it may take some time to get mocked up on paper. I am glad that I was able to clear up the design, and want to thank everyone for the advise. I will do my best to keep everyone up to date on this project as it unfolds, but it is not going to be a fast paced project. it is likely going to take nigh on a year to complete, I hope that I dont lose the interest. I am wanting to make this project happen, and so does my fiance. Thank you all for the help, advice, and ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy953
I see where you are going with this now. Yes what you are talking about will work however you probably wont really see a drop in water level from one tank to the other because as you are pumping water from one tank it will be flowing back into the same tank via your tunnel. Basically you will create a circular system through the 2 tanks and the tunnel. Make sense and is a good idea when creating a system like what you are talking about. I agree with what Roka said about the possiblilty of a leak...that would be a mess!!

I think Defekt that Papa is going ot have the tanks at the same height and just pump the water between them. I was the one that made the comment about a tank being higher or lower.....

I would suggest putting some drawings together that may help you get things going. If you could post them here that would be great! I'm getting more and more interested in this project!!!

Oh and I was not offended at all! I didn't fully understand what you were trying to do I kept seeing you wanting a stream...LOL
__________________

__________________
papa_bear_21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
custom, custom tank, project, tan

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
Post your custom/project car or cycle pics MT79 Aquaria Off-Topic 10 09-17-2007 01:32 AM
new project -- need some advice lziarek Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 6 08-03-2006 11:55 PM
possible pond project...need advice crazyred Freshwater & Brackish - Coldwater, Native Fish & Ponds 4 05-13-2006 11:43 PM
Help wanted.. Need advice for a project philly Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 2 10-05-2004 06:16 PM
Possible project idea, throw me some advice! ambulocetus Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 8 09-10-2004 04:15 PM







» Photo Contest Winners








Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:27 PM.


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