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Syn's 850g.t.v Deep Brain system

Discussion in 'Tank Builds' started by SynDen, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. Cherub

    Cherub Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    Wow sorry for your fish losses :/ That's never easy. i have a QT set up but I still fear getting ick. Keeping fish in a QT for 3 months seems like such a slow process but worth it. How was Japan? It's one of my bucket list destinations. Glass looks good.
  2. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Yep I am pretty sure you will beat me, but I will catch up soon enough ;)
    Glass is super easy to work with, snap cuts will do most of it, but plate glass can be cut on a tile saw too if need be. Doing the silicon is pretty easy too. The first 2 tanks I did, I tried clamping the sides a bit because I was afraid of not bonding the silicon well enough, but that led to some cracks in the glass and caused some of the glass to bow a bit.
    I found that the best was just to set the glass pane into the bead of silicon and press down firmly. Then use masking tape to hold it in position and just let it cure.

    Ya live and learn. I only QT'd him for 3 weeks because I didnt want to leave him in qt while we were gone. He was looking great, eating well and very active so I didnt see any reason not to. I gave him a freshwater dip before going into the dt too, and he was in for 2 weeks before we left, doing great the whole time. Came back to him and my engineer, just covered badly.

    Japan trip was awesome though. Always good to hang with my inlaws, who live in Tokyo. Tons of drinking and great food. We also took a side trip for a few days to Okinawa and did some diving, which was amazing! Saw the Okinawa aquarium while there too, which will blow your mind, as the big main tank houses two full grown whale sharks, manta rays and a ton of other sharks and fish. They hold a lot of "World firsts" in the aquarium industry, so was great to see this place in person and up close. If I hadnt had my daughter or inlaws with me, im sure I could have spent hours at each tank in that place.
    Cherub likes this.
  3. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    2 slowest builds ever!! Jk jk awesome work excited for water
  4. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Haha indeed. Originally I had planned for this build to take about 4yrs. Thought for a bit that I might get it done in 3, but just passed the 3rd year mark. So looking like my original estimate was more realistic then I thought.
  5. halmus

    halmus Cuttle Fish Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Secretary

    I resemble that remark!
    Balz3352 likes this.
  6. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Been trying to knock out as much as I can every weekend. As of yesterday the mixing and RO tanks are online, operational and filled. I made one batch of saltwater. Perfect 200g mixed, 1 box.
    On the mixing tank I ended up converting the large overflow in the tank into the mixing tube. I put the heater and a pump at the bottom of the overflow and cut a few holes in the side of it to difuse into the main tank.
    Worked great. I dumped the whole box in the overflow and it mixed it all in a few minutes. No more measuring :D Just dump it all and walk away
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
    Fourthwind likes this.
  7. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Been a while on the update as there is a ton going on around here lately, but I have been trying to devote a little bit of time each day to making progress on the tank.
    Just finished setting up the first of the QT tanks. Got one more to setup under the 85g tank, but that will wait till it has a need. 40g breeder on top of the shelf has been setup as I want to get a foxface soon to put in the 75g upstairs to combat some algae issues. Will also give me an opportunity to perfect my QT procedures before starting the stocking phase for the big tank.

    Additional I have been continuing work on the Sump, namely the evaporation hood that will cover half of the sump. This hood is primarily built of scrap wood, but will be spray painted black on the inside, white on the outside and then covered in clear pond armor to make it water proof. All the drain lines, dosing lines, heat exchange lines and ventilation will attach to this hood.
    The ventilation will be a 6" vent with an inline fan pushing air into it from the outside, with a 4" venting all the evap and air back out. Doing this will help me manage the humidity levels in the house better, but also will provide a constant source of fresh air and proper gas exchange, since this system will be skimmerless.
    The shape is so it will perfectly fit in under the stairs, and the front/top panels remove easily to access the sump and equipment inside.


    Also have started work on the heat exchange system for the tank. The blue line will be attached to a cold water faucet, and the red hot line will be attached to the hot water heater. Both will have a ranco attached to a sprinkler valve and will turn on and off according to the temp.
    The cold line will empty to my drip line in my front yard, to water the yard while cooling my tank. This way the water is not wasted or flush down the drain.
    The hot line will have recirculating pump attached to the hot water heater, again with a ranco and a sprinkler valve to turn it off and on. Hot water will circulate through the line to heat the tank and then be dumped back into the hot water heater.

  8. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Nice! Did you always plan on going skimmerless? What’s the rational behind that decision?
  9. BrianH

    BrianH Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member ex-officio

    I was wondering the same thing. Syn?
  10. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Ya its always been planned to be skimmerless, as the goal of the tank has been to keep it as natural as possible. Ideally I want to replicate as many of the natural filter elements already in nature, thus why it has a huge cryptic fuge and and an over sized macro fuge, and likely will also have a decent size ATS at some point too.
    Although I have built in enough space to fit a skimmer if the need arises. The height of the evap hood, and the size of the chamber directly under it, is specifically sized to give room enough to fit a skimmer in there if it become absolutely necessary. The heat exchange unit will be in the "skimmer" section of the sump as well, and a stand will go over it, for the skimmer to sit on, if I end up putting one in.
  11. Kayvon

    Kayvon Copepod

    Is there anything the skimmer filters that cannot be filtered by other means? I'm thinking of going skimmer-less myself.
  12. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    There has been several studies over the years about this, where people would setup identical systems, but one was minus a skimmer. In pretty much all cases they found that coral growth actually improved slightly or was the same as the system with the skimmer. One such experiment was done my some of the guys in our sister group SCMAS, where he setup 3 tanks with identical corals, lights and fish in each, and each had a different filter setup. I'd have to look it up to see exactly what the filter setup was for each, but I believe he had one with a sump and skimmer, one without any sump or extra filtration, and one with a sump but no skimmer.

    In the end he found that the control system without the sump and skimmer was stunted in growth, but the system with a sump but no skimmer seemed to grow corals at the same rate, if not a little faster, then the system with the skimmer. I've read a few articles too from some university studies and some other private studies that did about the same thing and got similar results, which in turn has encouraged me to try the experiment myself. Although at this point it is just that, an experiment and thus why I have included a chamber big enough to house a skimmer should I decide I need it.

    Overall a skimmer provides 2 main functions, first is obviously it skims off excess proteins in the water, and the second is oxygenation of the water, and yes, both can be handled elsewhere by other filtration methods. With the proteins you can mostly handle this with increased surface agitation in the tank and the sump, which will keep it from accumulating on the top of the water, which would begin to block gas exchange if that occurs. Filter socks and filter pads can help filter some of it out as it flows into the sump, as well as live rock, and macros can also help absorb some of the excess proteins and convert to fuel as well.

    My sump has a splash down chamber for the drain line. Basically the water will flow into the box at high speed, it will bubble and froth and the empty through a series of different micron filter socks before flowing into the large cryptic zone of the sump that is packed with rock, sponges, sea squirts and other filter feeders.

    Just above the splash down chamber will be the 6" vent that will have an inline fan that will be pumping tons of fresh air into the chamber. This combined with the splash down of the fast moving water will readily mix in and promote oxygenation and proper gas exchange.

    So a bit long winded but to answer your question, yes you can handle all the functions of the skimmer elsewhere in the setup, but you do need to compensate a bit to do so. As I see it the skimmer is kind of a convenience thing really, as it provides a few functions in one unit, where as with it, you need to handle those things through a series of other consideration.
    Kayvon likes this.
  13. quackenbush

    quackenbush Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    I'm not sure I'm following some of your logic here. A skimmer, to a certain extent, mirrors natural wave processes - sometimes you see a brown foam on the beach - that's basically skimmate. So the skimmer removes proteins from the water before they break down into, eventually, nitrate, and presumably nitrate.
    Filter socks and pads will collect some proteins, but they are only exported if you change the media....
  14. BrianH

    BrianH Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member ex-officio

    I'm pretty sure this is similar to the way Steve Tyree does it at ReefFarmers. He wrote a book (this is not a plug) on his research on a zonal method of filtration. I have not read it but I bet it is interesting. I'm excited to see this build in operation!!
  15. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Ya I have his books and have actual talked with him a bit about this, but most of the my cryptic setup and macro tank setup are based around some of his studies in these areas.

    Yep you do have to compensate. The purpose of the splash down is specifically to replicate a similar action as waves, or the skimmer. This creates a highly turbulent spot, that combined with the heavy amount of fresh air in from outside, should be more then enough to counter for the missing skimmer. Its also likely that the socks will be need to be changed more frequently, and I will be making my own socks so that I can have a bunch on hand to change out every other day or so.
  16. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    The new filter rollers look awesome for doing away with the filter sock maintenance. Maybe you could DIY one of those?

    I took my skimmer offline almost a year ago and completely unscientificly I have noticed better sps growth, but worse zoa growth. Again, that could be my imagination or any of a dozen other factors. Also, my system is nothing like yours!

    What is your water change regimen going to look like? I feel like we talked about you forgoing regular water changes?
  17. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Ya I looked at the roller, but would need to see a actual roll up close to see if its something I could make myself. Although with a few yard of dense felt cloth, acrylic sew rings and a sewing machine, I should be able to make 100 or so socks, that way I can just take them out, put in a new and once I have a pile of socks I can run in the washing machine twice, once with bleach and once just as an extra rinse.

    Ya, I have given consideration to attempting a 'no water change system', and ultimately its still a goal I would like to work toward, but you need to be able to compensate with a bunch of testing and then dosing. I will, for at least the first year, be doing regular water changes, but after that I will start looking at ways to reduce the need, if not eliminate it completely.
    In the mean time though, I did build the plumbing so that I can pretty easily change 100g-500g with just a few valves. The sump is setup so the last baffle in the return chamber can be removed and this will allow me to change out aprx. 100g in a very short amount of time. I also have one of the closed loop lines in the main setup so that I can also drain a varied amount out of the main tank. The drain for the loop is set so I can rotate it around to control how much water I want to drain and can be positioned so it will drain up to 80% of the main tank, should the need arise. (I hope it never does, but its there just in case.)
  18. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Haven't updated this in a bit
    Since last update I built most of the heating and cooling system. I put in a drip system in my front and back yard that are now hooked up to the cooling system. So every time the tank cools it will water the yard
    Heating system almost done, just need the hot water recirc pump to finish it up.
    Finally got around to making it to plasticare this week so finally made an over flow for 85g macro fuge, as well as an ato float switch bracket.
    Next up is to make all the flanges for the closed ports. Just need some Weldon 40 to finish that up

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using MASC mobile app
    MuralReef likes this.
  19. Dr.DiSilicate

    Dr.DiSilicate Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    So for cooling, cool tap water circulates slowly through a very long coil of pex pipe in the sump then goes directly to the yard’s drip system? And the heating is similar but hooked directly to the houses water heater in a closed loop?
  20. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Yep exactly. Two coils of pex pipe in the sump. I'd take a pic of it but it buried under all the rock that is currently in the sump. Each is attached a sprinkler solenoid valve and those will be hooked up to the Apex eventually for control. I may add in a backup ranco too, but will see how it does like that first.
    Cold water just hooked to the tap and hot water is closed loop to hot water heater.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using MASC mobile app
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.

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