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Floating Tank Design - For something a little bit different!

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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Sun 19 Dec, 2010 4:09 pm

mattgreen wrote:i love the fluval edge tanks will be an interesting build


Yeah - we were quite taken by them to, that's what started this whole thing.

I'm now talking to the missus about moving furniture around in the lounge room so that I can get a bigger tank in - it might extend to 60w x 16h x 15d if I can convince her.

Of course, I need to move the TV to the other side of the room and there is no antenna point there. I live in an old 1840's mansion that has been converted into apartments and I have triple brick walls, so it's not an easy job getting the point moved / a new one put in.

*sigh* - the cost for this build just seems to keep going up.... but that's the way these things go, isn't it?
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby mattgreen » Sun 19 Dec, 2010 4:16 pm

building the tank is the cheap part. its well worth it tho.
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Sun 19 Dec, 2010 4:19 pm

Here's a quick snap of the two tanks side by side.....

Image

I sure know which one I want :roflmao:

P.S. Matt - love the cube !
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby mattgreen » Sun 19 Dec, 2010 4:38 pm

the big one looks nice. hope its enough support for the tank tho. and wont cause stress cracks.
cheers its not realy a cube tho! haha wouldnt want a 3x3x3 could you imagine trying to reach the bottom??
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Sun 19 Dec, 2010 5:42 pm

mattgreen wrote:the big one looks nice. hope its enough support for the tank tho. and wont cause stress cracks.
cheers its not realy a cube tho! haha wouldnt want a 3x3x3 could you imagine trying to reach the bottom??


Yeah, well I think that it's just a case of getting the right thickness of glass. I suppose that the thing that is really going for it is that it's not very high and being that long, the load should be spread rather well.

It works pretty well for the fluval and the dimensions are consistant with that (just - loooonger !). Guess I'll just have to cross my fingers and hope :)

I'll be shattered if I have problems with it.

Yeah - it could be a bit difficult if it was 3ft deep ... :) How long are your arms?
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby mattgreen » Sun 19 Dec, 2010 6:36 pm

i can just easily access in the 2 foot depth. so i wouldnt have a change 2.5 or 3 haha. good luck with it
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby MG5 » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 8:01 am

looking at the design is it correct to say the top is fully enclosed?

If so you will have a heat problem or your chiller will run overtime. I'm not sure on those dimension for that hood but visually you may have a problem with light spread on either side and possibly the front. I reckon the rest of glass forming the top will also get dirty pretty quick and would be a pain to clean I'd imagine.

Good luck with the project though, it's good to see people doing something different.

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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby WarbyD » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 9:27 am

If you go with the bigger size I'd be pretty nervous having such a large section of the base glass unsupported... I know it wouldn't look *quite* as neat but personally I'd be running a piece of dressed up timber or marble underneath the tank to support the base.. I don't think it would detract too much and for the extra piece of mind would be worth it imo..
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby rnscross » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 10:32 am

the thing i'd be most worried about in the bigger one is ensuring that there would be enough disolved oxygen and gas exchange with it completely enclosed. might be completely off the mark but its a consideration
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby NiCd » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 10:36 am

Ill be following this one with interest, i took have a harsh financial controller that has an extreme prejudice against anything non aesthetically pleasing!

It always brings out some interesting designs though!
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby JacksonLee » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 10:43 am

there should be plenty of gas exchange happening due to the overflow and sump, skimmer etc. the fluval edges seem to do fine even with just a hang on back style filter on them so i dont think it will be a problem. The only real time you will have real problems is dueing a power outage as the tank will lose oxygen real quick, might pay to add a decent size battery backup/ups to run the return pump into your plans.
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 10:55 am

MG5 wrote:looking at the design is it correct to say the top is fully enclosed?

If so you will have a heat problem or your chiller will run overtime. I'm not sure on those dimension for that hood but visually you may have a problem with light spread on either side and possibly the front. I reckon the rest of glass forming the top will also get dirty pretty quick and would be a pain to clean I'd imagine.

Good luck with the project though, it's good to see people doing something different.

Marcus


Yes, it's fully enclosed. If you have a look at the exploded view, you will see that the once the water hits the glass top it can rise up into a section under the hood where it flows into the weir / overflow.

In regards to light spread, the Fluval Edge that I have at the moment is actually pretty amazing when it comes to light and it only uses a couple of MR11 Halogen bulbs (now changed to LEDs). We plan on using LEDs in the hood and because it's going to be a rather minimal scape I don't plan on having a lot of rock / corals that extend right the way up into the ends of the tank.

We have thought about it though - we may resort to including some directional LEDs. It also occured to me that there are some corals that I would like to get (Sun Corals etc) that are non-photosynthetic, so careful placement of these types of corals at the ends of the tank should reduce the need to get direct light to them. That being said, the ambient light throughout the Fluval Edge is pretty amazing, I'll see if I can get some snaps of my current tank and post them to show you all.

On the cleaning front, cleaning the top of the tank is actually the easiest because you just dip your fingers into the water and attach the magnet to the roof. Cleaning the front and sides is actually harder because the opening at the top is quite limited you have to reach through it and into the tank to attach the magnet. I've actually been amazed at how little cleaning I've had to do with my current tank (none actually!), it seems to just *not* get any algae on the glass at all. Although how that will fare with saltwater remains to be seen.

Thanks for your thoughts / feedback - it should be a pretty interesting build - certainly a learning experience.
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 11:00 am

WarbyD wrote:If you go with the bigger size I'd be pretty nervous having such a large section of the base glass unsupported... I know it wouldn't look *quite* as neat but personally I'd be running a piece of dressed up timber or marble underneath the tank to support the base.. I don't think it would detract too much and for the extra piece of mind would be worth it imo..


Completely hear you on this one. I'm a little concerned about it as well. It works for the fluval at a smaller scale (using 5m glass), so my thoughts were simply to ensure that the base is sufficiently thick (10-15mm).

I think that because it's such a shallow and long tank (15 inches high and 60 wide) I have the advantage of not having the weight of the water above pushing down on it. The weight should be pretty evenly distributed allong the length of the base.

Either way - there will be learnings taken into the next project!
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 11:06 am

rnscross wrote:the thing i'd be most worried about in the bigger one is ensuring that there would be enough disolved oxygen and gas exchange with it completely enclosed. might be completely off the mark but its a consideration


Yeah - it's something that I'm not too sure about either. My thoughts on this were that apart from the 50% of the surface area that will be exposes through the overflow / weir (the hood will have a perforated metal insert like the original fluval), the water will be pumped down to the sump and with enought agitation down there it should provide for ample gas exhange.

Reefers using the Fluval with a couple of small marine fish and corals (but without a sump) seem to be doing pretty well, so I'll cross my fingers and hope.

As is probably pretty obvious - this is very much an experimentation. In a worst case scenario, I'll have a very cool loking tropical tank :-s
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 11:09 am

NiCd wrote:Ill be following this one with interest, i took have a harsh financial controller that has an extreme prejudice against anything non aesthetically pleasing!

It always brings out some interesting designs though!


I feel for you - that's where all this started really. When I started talking bigger tanks and started showing the missus what I had in mind, she beat me around the head and told me it would never happen. :konk:

But she feels that the floating glass box look is a real show stopper (and in truth - everyone who comes over is immediately drawn to the Fluval and comments / praises it) and would therefore be acceptable. :crossfingers:
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby NiCd » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 11:27 am

you will end up with something very nice as a result of it, it does keep you in check but you will end up trawling tens of thousands of posts and websites to try and get all the hardware you need because something is "the wrong colour" :)

On the plus side you get an excuse to spend lots on money on it :)
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 11:38 am

NiCd wrote:On the plus side you get an excuse to spend lots on money on it :)


That last point hadn't skipped my mind :)
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 11:46 am

So here are some quick (read : crappy) shots showing my current edge and demonstrating the lighting.

This first one was taken with a flash (to provide some comparison) ;

Image

These were taken without a flash :

Image

As you can see, there is some shadow from rocks / plants, but nothing too serious. (Incidentally - my hood will extend further over the tank than the Fluval one does so that I can get more light under it).
Image

Image

These last two show the grill in the top of the hood, allowing for ventilation :

Image

Image
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 12:27 pm

I've decided that shopping online is not good for me.

I just saw this and the desire to own it was overwhelming. It's a pity that I have nowhere to put it.

Image
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby Kachau » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 12:43 pm

Do you need a chiller? I didn't include mine in my original design, and after deciding I need one, it has to sit outside of the tank...add the additional plumbing headaches - especially when your tank is full of water.

Also, I've seen a few tanks where the return blows water out over the top of the weir. Maybe you could have a T at the top of the weir and pump water out to the left and right to give you extra flow?

I like the idea of the sump on a tray, however, you will need to factor in how to easily remove the plumbing pipes (input/output) so that the tray can slide in and out. Don't forget, that if you change the center of gravity (by moving say 200kg of water), that the whole thing may potentially topple over.
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 7:58 pm

Kachau wrote:Do you need a chiller? I didn't include mine in my original design, and after deciding I need one, it has to sit outside of the tank...add the additional plumbing headaches - especially when your tank is full of water.


It's an interesting thought, but to be honest I don't think that I will need one. I live in an old mansion with triple brick walls and heating this place is generally my problem. During summer (even through a string of 40c days) the place stays ridiculously cool. I rarely if ever have to use the Air Con - and should the need arise, the room the tank will be in has a Daikin reverse cycle air con / heater, so I actually think that most of the time, keeping the tank heated is going to be my problem.

It's strage, in all those years my father kept marine tanks he never had a chiller (I think they are a relatively newish kind of thing) and we never had any problems throughout summer. Does anyone have experience with their tank overheating? Or is it more of a precautionary measure?

Kachau wrote:Also, I've seen a few tanks where the return blows water out over the top of the weir. Maybe you could have a T at the top of the weir and pump water out to the left and right to give you extra flow?


How would that affect the skimmer? The idea of the (almost) coast to coast overflow was to draw the water from the top (where oils / proteins tend to rise / form) into the sump / skimmer as efficiently as possible. Would adding something like that disrupt the process at all?

Kachau wrote:I like the idea of the sump on a tray, however, you will need to factor in how to easily remove the plumbing pipes (input/output) so that the tray can slide in and out. Don't forget, that if you change the center of gravity (by moving say 200kg of water), that the whole thing may potentially topple over.


Yeah - it's something that I'm going to have to do some serious experimentation with. The arms of the tray will have to be able to bear the weight properly. But it did occur to me that the display tank will be sitting on top of the cabinet and the 100kg or so of water will be forcing the weight down onto the stand. I'm kind of hoping that sliding another 100kg or so out from under it won't be an issue as the display tank weight should balance it.

I'm going to check with some engineering types and do some serious testing before I go down that route.

Why did you end up putting a chiller in? were you having heat problems? Incidentally, this should be LED lit, so I don't expect the type of heat that comes from MH or compact lighting to be an issue.
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby Kachau » Mon 20 Dec, 2010 10:24 pm

callummc1 wrote:How would that affect the skimmer? The idea of the (almost) coast to coast overflow was to draw the water from the top (where oils / proteins tend to rise / form) into the sump / skimmer as efficiently as possible. Would adding something like that disrupt the process at all?


It won't affect the skimming. Basically, weirs just keep the surface nice and clean - as opposed to pointing a pump at the surface to keep it nice and clear.


callummc1 wrote:Why did you end up putting a chiller in? were you having heat problems? Incidentally, this should be LED lit, so I don't expect the type of heat that comes from MH or compact lighting to be an issue.

Yeah, I was starting to hit 31 degrees celcius...and it's only just turned summer :( Can attribute some of the heat to the MH, but at the end of the day, it gets just plain hot :(

I've got some LED's on the horizon, however, that probably only means the chiller will be on less :)
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby mattgreen » Tue 21 Dec, 2010 12:28 am

before a chiller. try one of the cheap fans guppys sell. it lowered our 70L tank 5 degrees celcius!! at a constant temp. i actualy need to add a heater as it has the tank at a constant 22-23 degrees. i was extreamely supprised. but in saying that i also put on over my 3x3x2 500L tank and it only lowered the temp by around 1 degrees. still better then nothing!
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby WarbyD » Tue 21 Dec, 2010 9:46 am

Personally I say wait until the tank is up and running to see if you need to invest the money in a chiller or not ... I really don't think it would be difficult to plumb in later, and if your tank isn't reaching high temperatures then it is a waste of several hundred dollars that could have gone elsewhere..

I have no chiller or fan, but my tank doesn't get above 27 degrees.. It's on an internal wall in the house and we keep our house fairly cool for our own comfort. I run T5's & open top..

You will have plenty of time while the tank is cycling to monitor temperature and decide if you need a chiller before you put any livestock in there.

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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Tue 21 Dec, 2010 5:43 pm

mattgreen wrote:before a chiller. try one of the cheap fans guppys sell. it lowered our 70L tank 5 degrees celcius!! at a constant temp. i actualy need to add a heater as it has the tank at a constant 22-23 degrees. i was extreamely supprised. but in saying that i also put on over my 3x3x2 500L tank and it only lowered the temp by around 1 degrees. still better then nothing!


I don't think that a fan would work well for me, most of the top is going to be closed in !

(And the hood will be full of lights)
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Tue 21 Dec, 2010 5:46 pm

WarbyD wrote:Personally I say wait until the tank is up and running to see if you need to invest the money in a chiller or not ... I really don't think it would be difficult to plumb in later, and if your tank isn't reaching high temperatures then it is a waste of several hundred dollars that could have gone elsewhere..

I have no chiller or fan, but my tank doesn't get above 27 degrees.. It's on an internal wall in the house and we keep our house fairly cool for our own comfort. I run T5's & open top..

You will have plenty of time while the tank is cycling to monitor temperature and decide if you need a chiller before you put any livestock in there.

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Thanks Dave - I really don't think that chilling is going to be an issue for me, as I said in a previous post - with triple brick walls my problem is keeping the place warm. Summer is a complete breeze and I rarely even use the aircon.
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby JacksonLee » Tue 21 Dec, 2010 6:09 pm

if you need to you can run the fans over the sump for the same result. Very jealous that you wont need a chiller, very much a nessessity for most of us in the west and theyre ugly things to have sitting next to the tank.
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Wed 22 Dec, 2010 9:08 am

JacksonLee wrote:if you need to you can run the fans over the sump for the same result. Very jealous that you wont need a chiller, very much a nessessity for most of us in the west and theyre ugly things to have sitting next to the tank.


Running a fan over the sump is a great idea. In the unlikely event that I do have heat problems that will probably be my first attempt for cooling :)
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby Kachau » Wed 22 Dec, 2010 10:02 am

Wasn't saying that you should rush out and buy a chiller, just saying that you should consider where you would put it and consider your plumbing design accordingly.

I recently plumbed a chiller in and the original plumbing was much easier because the tank wasn't hard up against the wall.

Also, I think I could have gone a slightly smaller sump and I would have been able to fit my chiller under the cabinet (the back is completely open). Unfortunately, I hadn't planned for a chiller at all - doh!
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Wed 22 Dec, 2010 10:20 am

Kachau wrote:Wasn't saying that you should rush out and buy a chiller, just saying that you should consider where you would put it and consider your plumbing design accordingly.

I recently plumbed a chiller in and the original plumbing was much easier because the tank wasn't hard up against the wall.

Also, I think I could have gone a slightly smaller sump and I would have been able to fit my chiller under the cabinet (the back is completely open). Unfortunately, I hadn't planned for a chiller at all - doh!


Any idea of what type of chiller you would look at for a 100 - 200 litre tank? On the off chance that I do need one, I'd want something pretty small.
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