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Old 03-02-2006, 03:30 AM   #1
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Review My "Tidal System" Plan

I'm working on a design for a Tidal System to be used on my 200G Brackish Mangrove Swamp tank for couple reasons. The first reason being that Red Mangrove trees will not grow prop roots unless stimulated by tidal changes. The second reason being that my mudskippers and fiddler crabs will really appreciate the changes in water level... hopefully my archers wont mind.

Here's the diagram:


The idea is that I'll have a constant drip coming from the Display tank into a Reservoir through an airline siphon, just like when you drip acclimate. The airline will be around 6" from the substrate just to be sure that all the water can't be drained out of the tank at any time if something should fail. The water would drip slowly for a 6 hour period hopefully dropping the water line maybe 6"+. Then a pump in the reservoir will fire up and return the water into the tank at a drip rate of 2x the siphon rate to replace the water that is driping out while adding water at the same time to bring the water level back up to it's original starting point. After the 6hr refill period the pump will shut down and the water will be able to siphon as usual without competing against the pump.

Things that I didn't do diagrams of is I think I might need to use a HOB filter in the reservoir to keep the water fresh, I don't know if it will get stale down there or not. The other thing is I want to use a ball valve on the return line to the Display Tank to keep the drip regulated and slow down the return but I wanted to know if it was safe to do that or if it would put too much strain on the pump. Oh, and will my reservoir need to be heated?

I could use some suggestions, any one have any ideas?
Thanks in Advance,
Dave
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Old 03-02-2006, 04:19 AM   #2
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I think it will be a challenge to balance the drain rate and pump on-time. How about a DIY float switch instead?

Remember back siphon after the pump turns off. Maybe instead of a siphon break, you could keep the exit of the return line above the high-tide water line by incorporating a waterfall or some such in the land feature, or by elevating a spray bar to simulate a gentle flow from a river or estuary (or rain effect).

Since you are constantly adding heated water, I do not think the reservoir will require a heater. If you decide to slow down the pump return rate, you could use a ball valve and tee it back to the reservoir to prevent strain on the pump. This and the drain line would presumably keep enough circulation to avoid stagnant water in the reservoir, should that matter.

Just thoughts and ideas. Love your current impressive and beautiful archer tank, btw. Excited to read progress on this one. Good luck!
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Old 03-02-2006, 11:30 PM   #3
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I've been getting some good responses and I've revised some of my plan. I think I'll try to track down a mechanically operated ball valve from a garden drip system to open the intake by a timer. When 35g of water have bled into the reservoir a float switch will close the intake flow and thus end the Low Tide Phase. I expect the Tide Changes to take about 2 hours and let the water sit in the reservoir for about 4 hours. This will make sure the tides are completed before they start a new cycle.

6 Hours after the Low Tide Phase begins a timer will start up a pump in the reservoir to begin the High Tide Phase. This will return water at maybe 15gph back into the Display tank until the water line has returned to about 14" the second float switch is triggered and the pump is shut off. Then the cycle starts over.

Here's a mock up of the schedule:

5:00am - Low Tide Phase begins/Intake Starts
7:00am - Low Tide Met/35G in Reservoir/Intake Stops/Steady Water Level for 2hrs
11:00am - Low Tide Ends/Return Pump Starts/High Tide Phase Begins
1:00pm - High Tide Met/35G Back in Display/Return Stops/Steady Water Level for 2hrs
4:00pm - High Tide Ends/Intake Starts/Low Tide Phase Begins
6:00pm - Low Tide Met/35G in Reservoir/Steady Water Level for 2hrs
10:00pm - Low Tide Ends/Return Pump Starts/High Tide Phase Begins
12:00am - High Tide Met/35G Back in Display/Return Stops/Steady Water Level for 2hrs
4:00am - High Tide Ends/Intake Starts/Low Tide Phase Begins

Now here's the trouble! I'm having a ton of trouble finding automatic ball valves to use with the intake feed from the display tank into the reservoir. Even if I did find them I wonder if the line would be able to hold the vacuum and continue to siphon after the valve had been closed. Might I need to have to pump operate the intake? Can a pump be used to suck rather than push?

Aquarium Systems makes a Micro Jet 320 Pump that has dimensions of 2" tall x 1.5" thick that can do 32, 49, or 73gph, with a max head of 15". What does Max Head mean? I'm building some land masses out of styrofoam and concrete that could have some sheer faces. I could cut a compartment into one of them and make a vent on the side of the embankment with a grate over it that would take in water and then pump the water up the tubing over the top and back down into the reservoir. The real issue then would be setting up the landmass and grating so that I could take out the pump and service it if nessesary.

Might this be a more logical way of doing this?

Thanks for the compliments and ideas. This new tank is actually an upgrade on my current 40G Breeder Archer Tank. This one has or will have:

* DIY 3D Background http://www.team-legacy.org/Legacy/20...ound_Front.jpg
* Landmasses large enough to accomidate mudskippers
* Extra tall canopy to allow Red Mangroves to grow up to 3ft Tall.
* Active Tidal System
* Moonlighting on a Lunar Cycle Controller
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Old 03-03-2006, 04:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
What does Max Head mean?
Max head heaight is the vertical height rating between the pump entry and pipe exit for given GPH. I believe flow rate can be further influenced by elbows and such in the line. 15" max head height would seem to indicate it is not powerfull enough to push water heigher than that height. FWIW I got something like 35gph from a Penguin 660 PH with ~2.5ft head height.

Quote:
I'm building some land masses out of styrofoam and concrete that could have some sheer faces. I could cut a compartment into one of them and make a vent on the side of the embankment with a grate over it that would take in water and then pump the water up the tubing over the top and back down into the reservoir. The real issue then would be setting up the landmass and grating so that I could take out the pump and service it if nessesary.

Might this be a more logical way of doing this?
I handled the intake exactly as you plan to with my concrete background. I made the hole very large and used non-metallic window screen as the grating and it lets large particles pass through fine. boundforobx suggested I try that stuff for crochet and thinks it will also work well, but I was too lazy to look for it.

On my structure I built up one end of the styrofoar and cut a hole big enough to reach into for the pump (pic). If I did it over again, I would put the pump in a shallow land mass area and cover it with a tray with land features. Something like Vic Teo's set-up. (His howto.)

Background looks good!
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Old 03-03-2006, 03:15 PM   #5
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simpler plan

What czcz said made sense and made me think of a simpler plan. Why
not get rid of the airline tubing and use just the pump with the corresponding tubing to put the water into the tank, and use the reverse syphon to bring the water back into the holding tank. Put the pump on a electrical timer, and put a ball valve on the tubing going from the pump to the tank. Adjust the ball valve so the flow of the reverse syphon and pump flow are nice and slow.
Set the tubing from the pump at the hieght of your low tide and you should be all set.
J
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Old 03-03-2006, 06:05 PM   #6
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Why not a searge tank?
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Old 03-03-2006, 10:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmaji
Why not a searge tank?
Surge Tanks are typically mounted above the Display Tank and I don't really want to put a 40-50G tank of water mounted to the wall above my Display. Also, a "Surge" or water is the opposite of what I'm trying to get out of this. When it comes down to it, wiether the reservoir is above or below the tank shoudn't matter because it will be the same process either way. The only good thing I can see about having a tank above the display is I could drill the tank where I really don't want to drill a hole in my 200G.

Currently, I'm thinking that I will start by trying out a Back Siphon System. A pump on a timer with pump water into the Display out of a Reservoir for 6 hours and when the pump turns off it will automatically siphon water out, hopefully at the same rate it was fed. This will probably be my first attempt since it's simple and inexpencive and all the parts used can roll over into a different system.
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Old 03-04-2006, 07:05 PM   #8
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From what I can tell.. what your trying to do would be accoplished by a serge tank..
and needeing a actuall tank? uhhh how about just something that can hold water, and in veiw? uhh how about pluming it remotely (above the display tank but far out of veiw)? I guess I think of things kind of creatively???
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Old 03-04-2006, 09:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmaji
From what I can tell.. what your trying to do would be accoplished by a serge tank..
and needeing a actuall tank? uhhh how about just something that can hold water, and in veiw? uhh how about pluming it remotely (above the display tank but far out of veiw)? I guess I think of things kind of creatively???
I guess I'd need to show you a pic of my living room to understand why I can't do this. This tank is 84"x24"x24" and there is only 4" of room on either side of the tank since it's next to a wrap-around desk.

As of right now I'm going to experiment with a Back Siphon System. A pump will feed the water into the Display for 6 hours and when it turns off it will return the water into the reservior. When the water hits the set low tide the siphon will break and thus the low tide phase will end. Maybe I'll use a float switch to start the pump back up at that point... I'll decide after I'm doing with the trial and error phases.

I'd like to keep equipment hidden if possible. I'm just not into having containers of water above the tank anywhere in the house. There is no reason I couldn't do this with a reservoir in the stand. But thanks for the insight, I've gathered enough info that I think I can start experimenting.
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Old 03-04-2006, 11:10 PM   #10
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ahh. thats cool.. not everyone wants to plumb stuff through there walls and such.. LOL
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