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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 » Thu 23 Dec, 2010 9:04 pm

mattgreen wrote:haha that sucks

leds could work get a rather good spready if positioned corectly. so has this got the go ahead? whens building start


Get the final nod from the missus next week when we move the furniture around (and put a cardboard mock up of the tank in place), I'm gonna try for a slightly higher stand while we are at it.

It will be a slow build, I was the design to be thoroughly thought through before I start.
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby new nano » Thu 23 Dec, 2010 9:12 pm

what about algae on the glass? especially on the "roof".... will it be possible to get there with a razor blade?
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Thu 23 Dec, 2010 9:42 pm

new nano wrote:what about algae on the glass? especially on the "roof".... will it be possible to get there with a razor blade?


Yes, it is possible to access all areas of the tank, it's just not as easy as a tank that is completely open at the top.
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby Steve Campbell » Sun 26 Dec, 2010 9:32 am

callummc1 wrote:That's great info, so using a display tank volume of 235 litres (no rock ect taken into account there) and an overflow like the one I have described I should be looking for a return pump from the sump that is around 2500 - 3000 L/H in order to achieve a sump flow of around 5x the display tank volume (I'm assuming that most pumps can be dialled back using a control valve).

I'm a little bit confused as to the difference you are referring to between flow in the DT and Sump. Are you saying that these should be a seperate mechanisim for generating additional flow in the DT (above and beyond the sump)? YES Is this the type of thing that might be addressed with a powerhead or are you suggesting a seperate closed loop system with a seperate pump that just sucks water from one location and pushes it out another?EITHER/OR


At 235L in the DT and a target flow of 5X that would be 1175L/h. Add another 25-50% to compensate for head pressure loses. So a pump in the range of ~1500- 1800L/h should work. Don’t bother getting to hung up on the numbers, anything close will do. There is no need to over do it. The bigger the pump the more noisy it will be. You can dial pumps back but they tend to run a little noisier. The better quality pumps tend to be a little quieter.

Flow through the sump is limited to around 5Xs to get the best contact or dwell time for ideal filtration. Too fast and everything simply passes strait through the sump and back to the tank. The greater the flow over the weir the noisier it will be also. But this flow is not enough for the animals in the display tank so power heads, propeller pumps or closed loops are added to move more water around the display tank. Some will think my estimate of 30X would be a bit conservative and generally the return pump flow is not added to the DT flow for calculation purposes.


callummc1 wrote:Assuming that I get the sump flow right as mentioned above, what would you recommend for keeping some hard corals. I should point out that I would expect that there are only a few and positioned in such a way as to make the most of the light (probably directly under the hood for example). Lighting thoughts at this stage are a custom CREE LED setup with some additional directional LED's to fit in the hood.


I think an LED system would work but they do produce a bit of heat and are normally cooled with fans than can be a bit noisy. At 300ml deep and limiting the live stock positioning you could probably use a 4 tube T5 unit too.

I think you could save some time and money here by buying a standard light unit and designing the hood to suit rather than the reverse.


callummc1 wrote:Lots and lots of testing (outside) before it comes inside. I'm considering 10mm glass (or thicker if required) for the 5ft design tank.


I’m not a tank builder but if it were mine I would start with 15mm for the base and 12mm for the sides. This would be a bit stronger but more importantly it also offers more contact area for adhesion.


callummc1 wrote: Gas Exchange - I'm aware of the limitations of the open hood and I think that I'm really experimenting somewhat on this one. Attempting to create as much turbulance on the surface water in the sump as possible. Hoping that this will address most of it. Will carefully space and watch livestock additions for signs of trouble.


When it comes to gas exchange you need to move water and air, a lot of people forget about the air. A few 3-4” computer fans can do the trick hear. I don’t think I would invest in an oxygen monitor. We always think of O2 when we talk about gas exchange but CO2 is just as important and if you don’t have enough air flow a layer of CO2 can starve the tank of O2 and kill the animals within. Excessive CO2 will also overwhelm the alkalinity and lead to pH swings – again, not good for the animals.

Gas exchange problems affecting CO2 will extend beyond the tank to the room and heating. This will be worse for rooms with poor ventilation where unflued gas heaters are used.
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Sat 01 Jan, 2011 10:30 pm

Hi all,

Thanks for the feedback so far. Steve, I've got a couple of questions for you, I'll PM you shortly.

For those that are interested, i've been making some progress on the design of the tank and stand, so I'll be posting some screenshots, tank renderings and design specs shortly.

Does anyone know of a service that can produce cheap moulded plastics? I've looked around in a few places but haven't found anything particularly useful. I need to find somewhere that can manufacture the base, chimney & hood for me - any thoughts, assistance or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby TUFHK8 » Mon 03 Jan, 2011 9:51 am

Looking forward to the Tank journal for this. Make sure you take lots of pictures..
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Mon 03 Jan, 2011 6:04 pm

Thanks.... Only 2 posts! Are you new around here... (I'm a masa newbie too :) )
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Thoughts and critique invited.

Postby callummc1 » Mon 03 Jan, 2011 6:13 pm

Here are a couple of teaser shots for the rendering that I did for Nick's tank....

Nick's tank is going to be a little over 3ft (1 Meter) - mine will be 5ft (a little over 50% larger).

The tank from the front....

Image

Alternate front view....

Image
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Renders on the way!

Postby callummc1 » Tue 04 Jan, 2011 10:48 pm

Ok - with a little time off from work I've had some additional time to continue working on the design....

So here is the full frontal....

Image
This show shows the base, chimney and hood and I think will be fairly representative of the final product (assuming that I can find some way to have the base, chimney and hood manufactured from plastic.

The next shot shows the tank from the front / side....

Image
As you can see, you will be able to look down into this from above to *great* effect.

The next shot is really just art for art's sake :)

Image

And a side shot....

Image

Finally - a quick flash of the rear end !

Image

Some updates on the design front. It seems likely that I'm going to use a closed loop system on this tank, with the inlets and the returns mounted in the chimney and base (allowing for artful rock cover) to keep the aesthetic appeal.

The tank shots here are for Nick's 3ft, and I'm going to recommend that he uses a SCWD unit for alternating flow. As mine's somewhat larger at 5ft, I'm contemplating a Oceans Motions Super Squirt.

I've also been doing a fair amount of digging into Zeovit and N/P biopellets - has anyone on these forums used both? I'd be interested in talking with people who have some experience in this area with both products.

Next up - renders with stand and sump !

As always, feedback, suggestions and recommendations are highly regarded !
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Renders on the way!

Postby callummc1 » Wed 05 Jan, 2011 12:31 am

As promised - some shots of the tank on the proposed stand (no doors so you can see the space that we will be working in.

Image

A shot with the closed stand (ADA Style)

Image

And a bit of a side shot to finish it off.....

Image

Finally - some perspective....

Image

:( :(
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby WarbyD » Wed 05 Jan, 2011 9:31 am

i love everything about it ... except the stand height haha... I personally would hate to have a tank as low as that.. looks like it's going to be a beautiful finished product though :)

As far as the base/chimney/hood goes I'm not sure I would be leaning towards plastic given the amount of weight that's going to be on that base, particularly given the unsupported area around it. Any flexing or warping of that plastic could spell disaster... Any reason you don't want to build it out of ply, mdf or even steel & skin it?

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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby callummc1 » Wed 05 Jan, 2011 11:08 am

WarbyD wrote:i love everything about it ... except the stand height haha... I personally would hate to have a tank as low as that. looks like it's going to be a beautiful finished product though :)


Believe it or not, the height of the stand is actually carefully calculated. Our living room has some very low couches and at this height the tank will be exactly at eye level when you are sitting down.

Having it at this height also means that you can enjoy looking down from the top of the tank. It provides a rather unique view as with most tanks surface movement would prevent you from getting a clear view downwards. The glass cealing on this means that you get to enjoy a crystal clear view from the top :)

The renders above are actually Nick's tank, mine is going to be a 5 footer :). So I'll have a lot more length.... I just wish I had somewhere to fit a 10ftx4ftx2.5ft monster :thumbsup:


WarbyD wrote:As far as the base/chimney/hood goes I'm not sure I would be leaning towards plastic given the amount of weight that's going to be on that base, particularly given the unsupported area around it. Any flexing or warping of that plastic could spell disaster... Any reason you don't want to build it out of ply, mdf or even steel & skin it?


It's going to be around 300kg by my calculations. Well designed and reinforced plastic using the appropriate materials should be more than sufficient for supporting the weight. We had actually considered using a slab of acrylic for the base, the problem with acrylic is painting it :wall:

Overall plastic is being considered because there is an aesthetic look that we are trying to achieve in terms of "clean lines". We don't want any visible joins on the corners etc (like you might get with laminex etc) and we are struggling to think of any other way to do it. I'd be seriously chuffed if someone could make some recommendations in this area.

I'll try to get a couple of shots of the existing Fluval hood posted today to show the effect we are looking for.

Thanks for the kind words! It's feedback like that that gives you the motivation to keep going with this type of thing (sometimes it all seems a little too complicated).
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby WarbyD » Wed 05 Jan, 2011 12:09 pm

Could a thin layer of vinyl/acrylic or similar be heated and bent around a solid base to achieve the same look? I get what you're going for I'm just concerned about the strength over an extended period with the weight on top of it...

Either way it's extremely well thought out and I'm sure you won't go ahead with any design unless you've been reassured that all is going to work.. you've not rushed in to anything else in this without adequate deliberation so I don't see this aspect being any different :)

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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby callummc1 » Thu 06 Jan, 2011 2:59 am

WarbyD wrote:Could a thin layer of vinyl/acrylic or similar be heated and bent around a solid base to achieve the same look? I get what you're going for I'm just concerned about the strength over an extended period with the weight on top of it...


I hear you, I'm fairly confident it would be ok, but I'm completely open to suggestion as my initial investigations have indicated it could cost some serious $$. I'd prefer to spend on livestock really :)

WarbyD wrote:Either way it's extremely well thought out and I'm sure you won't go ahead with any design unless you've been reassured that all is going to work.. you've not rushed in to anything else in this without adequate deliberation so I don't see this aspect being any different :)

-Dave


Thanks for the vote of confidence - I hope you are right :)
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby fightingfish » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 12:31 pm

I’m drooling with anticipation……… :-x
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby mattgreen » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 12:33 pm

i would realy like one of these tanks!. being able to look down through crystal clear water would be amazing
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby fightingfish » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 12:35 pm

mattgreen wrote:i would realy like one of these tanks!. being able to look down through crystal clear water would be amazing



As long as the glass is kept clean :crossfingers:
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby mattgreen » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 12:37 pm

fightingfish wrote:
mattgreen wrote:i would realy like one of these tanks!. being able to look down through crystal clear water would be amazing



As long as the glass is kept clean :crossfingers:


magnet scraper should be able to do that without an issue :thumbsup:
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby WarbyD » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 12:40 pm

I had lots of trouble keeping my glass lids (when I had them) free of algae with the water level reasonably high... personally I think it will be a bit of a nightmare keeping them clean (unless you don't mind pulling them off every day to clean)...

Have you ever tried to use a magnet cleaner on lids matt? Unless you've got some way to secure the lids it will drive you insane :P
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby mattgreen » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 12:44 pm

the top glass is secure its not lids. the waterlevel is up higher that glass your thinking off. have another look at the renders.

(its completly sealed except for a small opening thats taller in the middle)
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby callummc1 » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 12:49 pm

fightingfish wrote:I’m drooling with anticipation……… :-x


Me too :)
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby WarbyD » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 12:51 pm

mattgreen wrote:the top glass is secure its not lids. the waterlevel is up higher that glass your thinking off. have another look at the renders.

(its completly sealed except for a small opening thats taller in the middle)



Ah ok yup yup just had another look.. missed that :) Disregard my previous comment then heh
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby callummc1 » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 12:52 pm

mattgreen wrote:i would realy like one of these tanks!. being able to look down through crystal clear water would be amazing


Having seen the effect on the Fluval, I can confirm that it is amazing :)

It should be great for photos too - now all I have to do is work out how to *cough* borrow my brother's SLR For an extended period :thumbsup:
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby callummc1 » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 12:54 pm

fightingfish wrote:As long as the glass is kept clean :crossfingers:


It will be challenging to keep it clean, especially with the limited opening at the top, but I think that a minimal aquascape will help with maneuvering.
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby callummc1 » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 12:57 pm

mattgreen wrote: have another look at the renders.

(its completly sealed except for a small opening thats taller in the middle)


It's probably better to look at the sketchups on the first page as they show the overflow / weir as well.

Matt's right though... The water comes all the way up to the ceiling and spills out into the overflow.
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby callummc1 » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 1:08 pm

Ok....

Here are some pictures of the hood from my current Fluval - so this is essentially what I want to replicate for the base + chimney + hood.

I'm really struggling with how to do this at the moment. I'd made some tentative inquiries with plastic manufactures and it's very expensive (this stuff is usually done for the mass market, not for one off pieces and injection molds are expensive!).

The hood....
Image

A slighlty closer view of the corner and the type of join that I want (it dosen't even really look like a join - it's more on a "folded" look)....
Image

A real close up...
Image

Whatever material we end up using it has to be;

1. Waterproof (a lot of evaporation occurs through the hood)
2. Seamless like the photos above.

Any suggestions / thoughts would be seriously appreciated.
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby WarbyD » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 1:11 pm

i still think you could achieve a similar look by making it from wood and skinning it with vinyl or similar :)
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby callummc1 » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 1:14 pm

WarbyD wrote:i still think you could achieve a similar look by making it from wood and skinning it with vinyl or similar :)


Wouldn't that end up with joins similar to laminex?

Wood is probably not going to work for me without some serious waterproofing - lots of evaporation here.
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby WarbyD » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 1:35 pm

Nah I'm mean build the whole thing and then wrap a thin piece of signwriters vinyl (ie what alot of people put on the back of their tanks) in whatever colour you like around the whole thing.. would be a pain in the arse to get the corners right but I'm sure it'd be doable...

Alternatively, again with wood, build it & fill all joins with putty, sand to a smooth surface, prime & paint in a gloss finish paint.. again should leave you with a fairly seamless finish..
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Re: Floating Tank Design - Now with full tank shots / render

Postby fightingfish » Fri 07 Jan, 2011 1:56 pm

Honestly I don’t understand why fluval themselves aren’t making a larger version of there design. They would make a fortune from a larger version considering how many modifications and larger versions have been made by other people. There is a clear demand for it.

Also if they made an all in one marine version like your design it would sell much better than redsea and aquamedic tanks.
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