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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Default In Wall 55 Gallon - My first "Large" tank...


    1 Not allowed!
    I am partially finishing my basement and have decided to put a 55 Gallon tank in my office wall. I will have a 35 Gallon tank serving as a Sump / Filter System. I am going to be plumbing this tank so Water Changes are so easy my wife or kids could do it if I am out of town. Eventually, I plan to automate the Water Changes via a Raspberry Pi and some electric sensors / Valves, but first, I need to build it so I can do it all manually. I never trust technology 100%.

    I want a "clean" tank. A few pieces of Driftwood, maybe a simple plant or two, with white sand substrate. The only "equipment" that will be visible will be a heater and the water inlet. I am going to "hide" the overflow and drainage plumbing behind some black Acrylic. The tank will eventually hold Discus.

    I have decided to do a "Journal" to document my process, Ask questions, etc.

    So, here is my first item. Sump / Filter Design. I am going to build the Sump / Filter first so I can start Cycling the media. Hopefully by the time I get the remainder of the walls, tank cabinet, tank overflow, plumbing etc. built, the media will be well cycled and I can cut down on the time from tank setup to tank population.

    I am looking for constructive criticism of the design. Please point out any glaring flaws you see, and ask any questions, as these will help me do this better!!

    Please note... This drawing is not to scale!

    Sump Filter Plan.JPG

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Louisiana
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    Here's to fishkeeping (and beer)! - Slaphppy7   Congrats for FINALLY being cycled. - Slaphppy7   Here's a rummynose so you can look forward to getting them! Congrats on the cycle! - DebinWhitmore   Congrats on your first cycle and new fish! - Silbar   First fish in your cycled tank - RiversGirl   

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    This sounds awesome and will definitely be following!! Custom designed tanks are so cool to me. I won't be able to give much advice as I am no engineer, just wanted to say this sounds like a neat idea.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Thanks for the gift! I bow to your experience so i wanted to be sure that i did not give the OP wrong info. - Silbar   Tx for all the help for me and everyone else! - angelcraze2   Rocksor knows cichlids! - Brhino   Can''t give rep points, but great job on the diagnosis/treatment - Boundava   Sending you a geophagus to  tank you for your analytical powers! - discusluv   

    Default


    4 Not allowed!
    Bioballs work better when not submerged, and because you have water coming from underneath, they will float over the baffle. For your design, you either should use ceramic media, or change it so that the water will trickle down over the bioballs and not have it submerged. You can move the empty baffle area so that it is to the right of the bioballs. When you see pictures of bioball designs there are trays over the balls with lots of holes so that the water will trickle evenly over all the balls. The only time the balls are under water, is when the pump is off.

    Another media to consider is k1 kaldness.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Lewis Center, OH
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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocksor View Post
    Bioballs work better when not submerged, and because you have
    water coming from underneath, they will float over the baffle...
    I read that oxygen is very important with Bio Balls, thus the common "trickle down" wet/dry use. This is why I had planned to put several air wall stones under them. They will be very well oxygenated. If they float, I will add some egg crate above them as well and simply weigh them down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocksor View Post
    ... or change it so that the water will trickle down over the bioballs and not have it submerged. You can move the empty baffle area so that it is to the right of the bioballs.
    I will do some measuring and lay it out dry and see if I will have enough area to do this. The tank I have for the sump filter is not very tall, which is why I designed it this way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocksor View Post
    ... Another media to consider is k1 kaldness.
    I seriously considered K1, but everything I have read indicates this is a rather noisy media, and since this is in my office, I really don't want a bunch of noise...

    THANKS for the input!!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Thanks for the gift! I bow to your experience so i wanted to be sure that i did not give the OP wrong info. - Silbar   Tx for all the help for me and everyone else! - angelcraze2   Rocksor knows cichlids! - Brhino   Can''t give rep points, but great job on the diagnosis/treatment - Boundava   Sending you a geophagus to  tank you for your analytical powers! - discusluv   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Adding an airstone underneath will not provide more or the same amount of oxygen oxygen than a traditional trickle filter. Water slowly trickling over the bioballs that are not submerged, allows for bacterial colonies to grow on top of each other and have more access to air. You will see a slime develop, which cannot get that thick with the bioballs submerged.

    If you ca looking to save money with bioballs instead of ceramic media, you will save even more money using plastic pot scrubbies.

    If you are looking for minimal noise, a canister will be more silent than a sump pump.
    Last edited by Rocksor; 05-27-2016 at 02:07 AM.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocksor View Post
    ...Water slowly trickling over the bioballs that are not submerged, allows for bacterial colonies to grow on top of each other and have more access to air. You will see a slime develop, which cannot get that thick with the bioballs submerged.

    If you ca looking to save money with bioballs instead of ceramic media, you will save even more money using plastic pot scrubbies.

    If you are looking for minimal noise, a canister will be more silent than a sump pump.
    I have an API XP-L on one of my tanks, and it does a great job, but I really want more water volume for this tank. A canister only gives me an extra 2 gallons or so.

    Thanks for the explanation of why wet/dry will be better with the balls. I have seen the "slime" you refer to... I didn't realize that was due to the bacteria.

    I did some measuring and calculating, and I think I can do a wet/dry. I may have an inch or so at the bottom of the bio balls submerged, but most of them can be out of water.

    Here is a rough layout. One drawback is I lose about 10 gallons of total water capacity, but I am going to guess that the benefits will outweigh the lost capacity.

    Sump Filter Plan - Trickle.JPG

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Update... Construction has begun.

    The stand portion is complete. a portion of the wall is complete, but before I can complete the next portion of the wall, I need to run the incoming water lines and prepare the drain lines, so I can integrate both into the walls.

    2016-05-27 20.54.57.jpg

    And I have decided to do a wet/dry and not submerge my bio balls. I am working on a new design.
    Last edited by PaulPerger; 05-29-2016 at 01:23 AM.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Thanks for the gift! I bow to your experience so i wanted to be sure that i did not give the OP wrong info. - Silbar   Tx for all the help for me and everyone else! - angelcraze2   Rocksor knows cichlids! - Brhino   Can''t give rep points, but great job on the diagnosis/treatment - Boundava   Sending you a geophagus to  tank you for your analytical powers! - discusluv   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Look up DIY wet/dry trickle filter for aquariums, and you can see how some people made wet/dry. If you can find youtube videos, it might give you an idea of the noise level and see if it is fine with you.

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rocksor View Post
    Look up DIY wet/dry trickle filter for aquariums, and you can see how some people made wet/dry. If you can find youtube videos, it might give you an idea of the noise level and see if it is fine with you.
    I have done quite a bit of research. The noise of the moving bed filter is the noise I was indicating would be unacceptable. All that media clicking against the others would be too much.

    I don't mind the sound of trickling water. My issue with the Wet/Dry was height, not sound. The tank I will be using as the sump filter is a 20L so it is not very tall. I also want to use a filter sock for initial filtering of large detritus, which, with a 20L meant "overflowing" into wet/dry would be difficult.

    BUT, I had a brain storm last night and I now know how I am going to resolve my height issue and still allow myself to use the sock. I am going to use some large diameter pipes to house the sock and raise the inlet so I can drop water into a trickle down tower. I am thinking I might use the "Sterilite Drawer Method" for the tower, though I am slightly concerned about water splashing out of the tower, so I may build a "shield" around the drawers.

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Canada
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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    Are you sure you don't want a 75g? If I was going to the trouble to make it all. ..I'd want a more useful size.
    55 g Goldfish Tank - 3 Fancies, 2 Comets
    25 g Tropical Tank - Celestial Pearl Danio/Mixed

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