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Thread: Miracles 144/125 Rimless

  1. #1
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    Miracles 144/125 Rimless

    I started my first scrubber on a tank for one of my clients, and ran this thread on it:

    viewtopic.php?f=3&t=743

    Went through the first design in a few months, the second is still running, but has been modified for the new tank. The old tank, a Tenecor 120 Long, developed a crack through the bottom and I had to remove everything and set it up at my house. The scrubber ran on top of the tank, which allowed me to come up with a few different ideas based on the way I had that set up. So without further adue, here is the new system:



    The tank is was made by Miracles in Glass (Canada) and is 66 L x 21 W x 24 H, all 5/8" glass except for the front which is 3/4" Starphire, rimless (except for trim on the bottom, which I wasn't expecting), with a notched and tempered left end and an external overflow box with a BeanAnimal Silent and Failsafe Overflow system



    And a custom acrylic sump that I made, specifically for being able to re-use the scrubber



    The return pump is a Reeflo Dart



    And I made a plenum return with 12 outlets and 20 jets, and a lot of Loc-Line



    I had a few problems: #1, the pump housing leaked due to a fabrication issue, which Reeflo quickly replaced, and #2 I had a leak in one of the PVC joints on the plenum, which I patched successfully.

    I put in most of the rock, gravel (special grade reef sand) and fish last weekend (12/10)



    Got the rest in a few days later



    Then started to modify the scrubber. I laminated a bunch of 1/8" black acrylic to the old box





    Made some covers to go over the reflector sections



    Modded the internal box; before I was using a male/female connector set on each corner which led to a drain pipe. This caused excessive noise (gurgling). When I took those off for the top-of-tank version, I noticed there was zero gurgling. So, I siliconed in a couple of 1" PVC plugs (1/2" length, roughly)





    And made this 1.5" PVC drain pipe that sits underneath the scrubber drains. This way there is an air gap and no gurgling/sucking/noise (and it worked wonderfully)



    I extended the bracket on the end that sits on the sump



    I added a stand-off for the other end (since it can't hang on the edge on one end)



    Added a strainer around the pump made from Plastic Canvas (the unsung wonder aquarium product)



    Here's the drain in action, you can see I added a second tee below the first one, pointed toward the back of the sump, and inserted a piece of plastic canvas into that section. I also have a small section of PVC pipe under the bottom tee, and then a small piece of foam under it. The canvas insert breaks the fall of the water out of the drain system, and helps direct the flow out the tee. The foam on the bottom of the pipe allows water to flow out but prevents bubbles from flowing out. There is a 'loop' of canvas attached to the tee that helps disperse the flow out of the pipe. Then, to finish it off, there is a cylinder of plastic canvas around the whole assembly that does an extremely excellent job of preventing bubbles from escaping, even with 3000 GPH blowing by it.



    I cut a new slot tube on my table saw (took a couple of practice runs, but I got it...)



    This slot is 14" long versus 20" long (previous build) which falls in line a little better with the new feeding-based sizing requirements. This screen should be able to handle 6-8 cubes per day (about 14 x 7, lit by 4 24W T5HO 3000K lamps). I noticed that the old screens had about 2" on each end that grew very little green, mainly red turf, so I just cut those out and centered the screen on the lamp.

    So here it is, all set up and running!



    I also added an auto top off system from Autotopoff.com and a Tom Aqualifter pump and pre-filter. The 5g bucket will eventually contain Kalkwasser, once I pin down evap and uptake rates. I sucked down about 2.5-3 gallons from Saturday night to Monday morning, so right now it looks like it's about 2 gallons per day.





    Electrical is pretty crowded. I've used all 4 outlets, and only have one more accessible plug on the 2 power strips in use



    light, timers in the distance



    Timers take up so much space on power strips. But oh well. Those Brinks timers from Wal-mart are the most reliable anywhere, and only $8 or so each. So they're worth it.

    Here's the overflow box, with an acrylic insert and nylon screen I added to help keep buddies/anemones/anything else large from the overflow box.



    Note the use of plastic canvas, again. This time it prevents bubbles from pushing into the siphon line by breaking the fall of the water into the box. Great, great product.

    Even with all of this, one of the clowns already made the trip down the pipe though. He was pretty tired when I was found.

    Oh, I can't forget, another use for Plastic Canvas, in the sump, with the high rate of flow I have an narrow space to cram everything, the flow in the intake section is very turbulent. This helped calm the top of the water down quite significantly, and I get no spray from popping bubbles when I crank up the flow now



    Of course I had to slice it up quite a bit once I put the scrubber and feed pump in there, but it still does the job very well.

    I also now use it in the lower left corner of this picture, where the filter pad and filter sock (with carbon in it) are shown



    There is a section of egg crate there on the last baffle (which is structural, but creates a nice barrier as well) and the plastic canvas is the 'line of defense' to prevent anything of significant size from getting to the pump intake.

    So far, so good. The Engineer Goby is having one hell of a time moving the sand around. So far I've sucked about 1/4 of what I put in the tank back out, and he keeps digging it out and putting it in the front. It's a darn good thing I put the base rock down first, THEN the sand!!

  2. #2
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    Re: Miracles 144/125 Rimless

    I love those guys (engineer gobies), even more fascinated by them after seeing a documentary and it showed how they live in the wild (never come out of the hole, their kids by the thousands go out and get food for the parents). I learned that lesson early on when I first got an engineer goby, caused a rock slide in the tank in no time. That fish was actually the reason I made a "floating reef" on my 75G, so all the rocks are floating above the sand so no possibility of a rock slide.

    Nice looking setup, only thing that would drive me nuts is all those loc-line adapters hanging in the tank. Doesn't seem much better than having powerheads/cords in the tank, still a lot of unsightly mess to look at, but to each their own, if the owner is happy that is all that matters.

    Dang, I just realized you made that sump yourself! WOW!!! That is such a super pro job! Well done! I could never make something that clean, especially without practicing on 20 sumps before hand.

  3. #3
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    Re: Miracles 144/125 Rimless

    Thanks, and would you believe that this sump is the very first thing I ever made all by myself? Of course, I have this router/gluing table



    and read the entire acrylic thread on RC!

    The goal was no power heads as the tank in this location has historically had temp issues. The temp was maintaining around 79 until I added the scrubber, now it's up to 80 midday. Summer is when it starts to be a concern, at times it would not cool below 82 overnight, and get up to 86 during the day. I will be installing some fans for active cooling on this system, mainly to pull the heat from the light fixture out of the cabinet system (it was all trapped heat before).

    With the upper doors closed, you hardly see the loc line. Those door cover the top 2" of the tank, so if you're sitting down you can see them, and if you're a kid...but kids could care less...

  4. #4
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    Re: Miracles 144/125 Rimless

    Very nice build. I use the same kalk topoff pump at about 1 gal a day; the pump will need cleaning in vinegar every few months.

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    Re: Miracles 144/125 Rimless

    nice job! that loc-line would drive me nuts too. maybe after they are encrusted they will blend...? Nice neat sump too!

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    Re: Miracles 144/125 Rimless

    Here's how it looks from a little bit more of a distance, standing up



    Most of the loc-line is out of view. Plus that big red cap draws your attention away from it

  7. #7
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    Re: Miracles 144/125 Rimless

    Real nice set-up you have going there!!! Looks great!!
    150G. Reef/Mix
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey
    75G. 20+ Africans
    40G. Fish/Reef. Algae Scrubbers on ALL my SW
    10G. SW Fish/Reef.
    10G. SW Hospital/new fish quarantine/pod breeder tank
    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

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    Re: Miracles 144/125 Rimless

    It's really great, nice job

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    Re: Miracles 144/125 Rimless

    So I installed the scrubber on 12/17 (Saturday) and cleaned it for the first time yesterday (12/26 Monday). I only have pics from my cell phone and when I download them, you'll be amazed! I got a solid handful of thick, bright green growth! It was so thick that it was difficult to scrape off the screen, which hasn't been the case in a while (the top-of-tank temporary setup was not ideal)

    The amount of algae harvested easily matched record growth for this system. What is interesting is that this was done on 30% less screen material (14.5" vs 20").

    Also, the most interesting part - PO4 tested 0.01. It's never been below 0.09 (due to Nitrate limitation), so time will tell if this is a trend!

  10. #10
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    Re: Miracles 144/125 Rimless

    Yes the smaller screen size, for a give amount of nutrients, causes the growth to grow "out" instead of "sideways" because it can't grow sideways because there is no more screen. So by growing "out" it gets closer to stronger light, and gets more 3D flow, which increases filtering even more.

    When there is endless screen available, it just grows sideways and never gets closer to the light (actually, it gets farther from the light), and it stays 2D. In the ocean this endless-area does not matter, because growing sideways does not reduce the light

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