View Full Version : Here is ROUGH google sketch up pics of my breeder design

06-20-2010, 07:14 PM
I just downloaded google sketchup..not bad..but I'm not expert. The flow out of the screen area will be PVP pipe and possibly have a filter sock on it..not the square outlet that is drawn. The water flows out down..and the corners below are angled off to get a circular flow around and back to the pump. The brown area is where some live rock or DIY GARF rock will be places. since in a breeder/growout set up there isn't really much sand or rock to hold on to biology. I did not draw them but I was debating in the pump area putting 1 or two 2-litre bottles on end suspended at the right height for a ghetto ATO. The screen is 12x12 and the lights will be between 13 and 18w each 6 per side. I plan on making it out of thin acrylic. The portion with the light, pipe, and such that is above the rock area will be designed to pull out for cleaned and placing the rock area. The light housing area will either be white or reflective material will be lining it. I don't know if I forgot to elaborate on anything.


06-20-2010, 07:19 PM
You say lighting is "per side".
But I only see lighting on one side of the screen.

It is a bit hard to tell, but I do not see a lot of volume in the sump.
Also, when things shut off, will the water level rise and hit lights?

06-20-2010, 07:31 PM
Yeah I only drew lights on one side. They exist on both side but it just cluttered up the image considering I figured most of the people i'd show it to wouldn't have google sketch up.

the "sump area" is 18x16x4 high Its not a lot of area. I just wanted a bit of area to put some rock into to hold some bacteria and let the free swimming pods a place to potentially breed. But I'll be culturing them anyway. The screen will support the pods that do no freely swim in the water column.

The way it is designed are the lights are SEALED from the water on all sides except the top. the worst case senario is it would flood the screen area. I know its hard to tell since I only roughed it out and made some of the panes hidden to see other areas. sorry about that.

The entire unit is 18" long(screen wise) 16" wide and 17" tall.

I would have gone longer and shallower but I have a pump on hand that will support a 12" screen at 50gph per inch

06-21-2010, 01:30 PM
Ok, I think I get it.
Cool, but looks like a lot of things to build. Many small parts and pieces that have to go together just right.

One thought would be to have 2 separate boxes, side by side. Sump / ATS.
Connected by rigid pipe, so ATS is just above normal water level of sump.
Lighting outside, like normal.
But with a connection and ATS capable of slight pressure, so when pumps are off, sump backs up into ATS area.

06-21-2010, 04:40 PM
Yes, you are correct. There those pieces have to fit right. The problem is that the tank will be resting upon a table that leaves just enough room to fit that under it and under the overflow. Maybe I figure out how to make the table taller huh? Its a pretty sturdy table and the tank is a 48" long 33g so its not like It weighs 1000lbs.

06-21-2010, 04:48 PM
Well, you could do like I did:
Run long pipes along the baseboards, through the big hole in the living room wall, and into the garage.
I struggled like you for a long time. no more.
And amazingly enough, my wife did not leave me after that.

06-21-2010, 06:51 PM
Biggest problem? I live in southern wisconsin. It often gets down to -15 to -20 F in the winter. hehe

I redesigned the unit. I think you are probably right. It would be easier and I'd be better off If I built a simpler scrubber and drained it into a seperate sump with the rock. Ideally I'd like to find something round or rounded so I can have the water enter in such a way to keep the entire water mass in the sump moving. I havn't looked yet but I'm sure I'll find something fairly easily that will fit the bill.

It also cut down my acrylic cost by 50%. I also at the last minute opted to go with 5 bulbs per side it just made more sense give the screen is square and I think it will still provide good even coverage. either 13 or 18w not sure yet.

Here is a link to the 3D image if you wanna download free google sketchup. Its pretty easy to use. Far less hassle than solidworks or autocad for just rough sketching stuff.

http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/ ... 55249bb9f1 (http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/details?mid=efa86d43f81f4abb1afa3c55249bb9f1)


06-25-2010, 02:17 PM
1) Have 3 boxes.
* Box1 = large, holds everything. This is the sump, etc.
The pipe and screen hang on this.
Normal rectangular box.
* Box 2+3 = independent light boxes.
You drop them in to the main box, one on each side of the screen.
They fit just inside. Hang on top, like screen. Remove for easy cleaning.

2) Spend time on lighting.
If you are going to all the trouble of that fancy box, why not spend some effort on lights?
LED is my choice.
But T5 or CF with a good reflector would be good.
A standard CFL with no reflector is a waste.

06-25-2010, 04:46 PM
I agree LED is always my top choice cost not taken into consideration. This is actually on the cheap but isn't as ghetto or bulky as my walmart tote scrubber.
I've been having problems finding reflectors small enough so I was gunna just paint the box white. HOWEVER I just found some cheap plastic bowl/cup things that I'm going to use. I'm going to coat the inside with either chrome paint or aluminum tape.

The acrylic cost me 25$. I changed the design and its now 4 12x12 panels and 4 12x14 panels. Simple, easy, fast cuts I made with one of those scoring tools and a straight edge.

The more I think about I prefer the 2nd design I drew. I'm going to set it on top of a short(low depth) tote with a hole in the top for it to drain into where the return pump and rock will be. This makes it a bit easier to make and I could potentially use a rather large shallow tote if I wish for the "rock sump".

I'm not sure if I want to have my lights hanging. They really don't need to be removable for cleaning as they will be closed up and will stay clean.

06-25-2010, 05:26 PM
Sounds good. Waiting for pics.

06-29-2010, 03:01 PM
Well I've been really busy with work 65+hrs a week. Not to mention the fact that apparently no brick and mortar ANYWHERE in the area carries acrylic weld(weld-on or anything). SO I took a trip to the glue isle of the local homedepot and mendards(just like homedepot). I found Plastic epoxy stated acrylic right on the package. BULLSHIT. I glued that damn thing together and two days later I go to pick it up and the f'n thing just FELL APART. I tried several other methods. I used paintstripper that has the ingredient that is usually the main ingrident in acrylic weld. it didn't work so well..it did work..kinda. not good enough. I tried pvc cement..actually worked a little better..but still no go for water. Then I remembered I had used super glue. Now super glue is probably the only glue that actually forms a really nice solid bond to acrylic. The job doesn't need to be all that pretty..I don't feel like ordering weldon and waiting. So I picked up a couple tubes of this:

http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/4/3/sg ... ontrol.htm (http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/4/3/sg_ug_cntrl/overview/Loctite-Super-Glue-ULTRA-Gel-Control.htm)

This stuff is fantastic for glueing acrylic! Its not brittle like standard super glue..which is superglues major downfall. So I prepped each joint with alcohol and started to glue. Thus far its water tight and is bonded very well. I'm not finished. But here are some prelim pictures

The Glue holding the sockets in is still the "plastic/acrylic" epoxy...so its godda be redone. seriously after I took that picture. I grabbed the 12x12 pieces by one of the sockets and even gently picking it up the socket just came clean off.

07-04-2010, 09:48 PM
slow progress but its moving along when I get the time. I make the light panels removable.


07-12-2010, 02:10 PM
Looking good.

A standard 2 part epoxy (5 minute, or otherwise) works quite well, but the absolutely key trick is to rough up
the acrylic. Use 80 grit sandpaper, and scrape hard.
An epoxy bond is actually mechanical, not chemical, so you need tiny edges for the epoxy to grasp.
Once you do that, and wait a full day to harden, the acrylic will break before the bond will.

Never used "plastic epoxy" specifically though. Might be some specific problem with that and acrylic.

12-10-2010, 12:51 PM
Sorry if i'm bringing up a dead post, but I wanted to share the info with others and thought this would work since it was being discussed here.

If you are looking for a good adhesive for acrylic, buy some Dichloromethane (Methylene Chloride). It is a chemical bond and works great for me. Look around and you should be able to buy it easily from any chemical supply store. My place always asks what it's for (post 9/11 requirements), so i tell them acrylic work and everything is fine. Just be sure to wear good gloves (not latex) because the stuff is toxic.