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Thread: ATS for 120 Reef

  1. #1
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    ATS for 120 Reef

    Read the entire Reef Sanctuary thread. Jumping on the ATS bus.

    So it's been a little slow at work, and since I have AutoCAD and my dad makes acrylic items for antique dealers (display cabinets, holders, etc) I decided to design an ATS for a customer (or 2) of mine. These JPEGs are a little bug but I didn't want to lose resolution. Before I had my Dad start working on this bad boy, I figured I'd post it here and see if I missed anything.

    Here's the back panel and the interior framing



    The front access panel and assembly



    And the front and side assembly



    Here's the sump cabinet, 40G breeder, overflow plumbing, and ATS assembly.

    Front View



    End View



    The usable screen area is 20" x 6+" for 120 sq in. There are 4 F24T5HO lamps, 2 on each side, and I found the deal of the month on this one, from Avant Garde'n, which specializes in hydroponics. 4 pack of 3000K red/bloom lamps for $20, 8 pack for $32. Kick-a!! http://www.aghydroponics.com/T5-Fluores ... -s/379.htm. Incidentally, I discussed what I am designing with him and he was totally stoked about the idea, and mentioned a nearby university that was doing some kind of study on aquatic plants that had the ability to absorb heavy metals. This idea might get some heavyweight backing sometime soon!

    I am using a Fulham Workhorse 5 Ballast. I am using Ice Cap end caps and standoffs, and Sunlight Supply TEK II T5 Reflectors. I marked the distance from center of bulb on one side to center of bulb on the other side as just over 6", but they're HO and the TEK II reflectors are top notch, so I figure this should be OK.

    The overflow is designed with ease of maintenance in mind. From the bottom of the tank, there is a union to disconnect the entire assembly. Then it goes into a 90, and then into a series of 3 stacked tees. Under the first one is a shutoff valve that can be opened to allow the water to flow while cleaning the screen (ignore the placement, it's just representative at this point). The next tee up feeds the screen tube. The next tee will have an emergency clog overflow pipe running back into the sump, and the top end of the tee will remain open for a siphon break, so if for some reason the flow is enough to start going through the emergency flow, it wouldn't stop minimal flow from the screen. As I'm writing this, I'm thinking that might not be necessary since the screen itself would provide a siphon break. Hmmmm...

    Anyways, from the tee to the screen tube is another union to disconnect the screen. The front panel of the unit locks in place and is removeable- the lights mount to it, so you would just open the bypass shutoff and remove the front panel and set it aside, unscrew the union, and lift the screen out. At this point, you could swish it in the sump if you wanted the pods in your DT. Then you do your duty with the screen and replace, reconnect, cover, open the disconnect, and you're off and running again.

    So...any problems that anyone sees?

    EDIT: One of things that I have to verify are the current flow rate into the sump. Right now, the pump is on the far right side and has a 3 foot horizontal return component that will be eliminated with the new design, plus a little less head pressure from a higher sump level, so my flow reading I will get will probably be low, but will at least tell me if I my screen is correctly sized. Also, I have to verify all the dimensions of the PVC parts, I estimated based on prior builds for filter sock systems and some quick measurements.

  2. #2
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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    Looks all good. Will like to see it built.

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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    With low pressure drain and high pressure return I can imagine a problem. Flow back may require more than 3 feet of head pressure to be quick enough. Bypass can compensate by cracking and reducing flow to screen.

    A sure way to make this design succeed is to have an open return over a single sided screen that is pinned up reducing the need for a return pipe that may restrict flow and would also even out flow across the screen.

    Be careful if yo turn on for first time!!!!

  4. #4
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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    Quote Originally Posted by iggy
    With low pressure drain and high pressure return I can imagine a problem. Flow back may require more than 3 feet of head pressure to be quick enough. Bypass can compensate by cracking and reducing flow to screen.

    A sure way to make this design succeed is to have an open return over a single sided screen that is pinned up reducing the need for a return pipe that may restrict flow and would also even out flow across the screen.
    I don't quite understand what you're getting at. I've seen dozens of examples with low pressure drain feeding the screen and high pressure return. How is mine any different? CFM is CFM, high pressure through 1/2" pipe or low pressure through 1" pipe, it's still CFM. Cut open the slot in the pipe to the correct size and there will be no problem with flow rate over the screen because the pressure will drop given a larger slot width. Why would I need a single sided screen? This design pretty much mimics SM's black-box design, so that would mean his design would have a fundamental flaw.

    Am I missing something?

  5. #5
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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    Are you talking about the drain below the screen? That's a 1" bulkhead, meaning it needed a 1-3/4" hole drilled for it, so the inner diameter is large enough to screw in an adapter to a 1" pipe. So the inner diameter of the inner threading is well over 1".

    Also the incoming water pressure from the DT overflow is nowhere near enough for full 1" diameter column of water 100% of the time. I think I now see what you are talking about, you are referring to the fact that the overflow pipe from the DT has several feet of head pressure, while the outflow pipe from the ATS to the sump does not. I think I see what you mean now, if I am understanding you correctly. In this system, the overflow has a stand pipe in it about 10" high. Currently I run a 1" ID pipe and split that in 2 to 2 filter socks. Most of the time, only one of the pipes has water flowing, and the other just spits occasionally. It took me a while to figure out why, but one side is about 1/8" higher at the peak which results in a siphon effect - one pipe fills up most of the way and then strangely sucks all the water through that side. If I drilled anti-siphon holes, there would probably be even flow. The end result however is that the one side that always runs is never really running "full", so I don't worry too much about the lack of pressure in the ATS drain.

    But I'll definitely keep an eye on it!!!

    May need to add a second drain...if it becomes a problem.

    BTW, it's complete - my Dad made up 2 of these (for 2 different systems). I haven't put the end caps/standoffs on yet, and I have to dry-fit the PVC on the tank before doing the final glue. What sucks is that I have to drain & remove the sump, put the new one in and dry fit everything, then put the old system back in place so the glue can dry for 24 hours before firing it up for the official test run!! I'm thinking I might do a full wet run with the pipe dry-fitted to make sure the slot is right and everything.

  6. #6
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    ATS Completed Box



    With front cover removed



    How it goes on



    Edge support for sitting on the tank (40 breeder)



    The slot where the plumbing goes through



    Bulkhead to drain into the sump




    The next couple steps involve taking out the old sump so I can dry-fit the PVC with the new sump in place, then putting the old system back on, and then gluing the pipe. I have to attach the light fixtures to the acrylic, then wire up the lighting to the ballast and mount the ballast on a heat sink, and put it all together for a test-fire up. I might need to add some up/down baffles into the sump to take care of microbubbles also.

  7. #7
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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    You'll probably want another drain on the other end. If you get thick growth like mine, the rushing water to get to one end will detach some of the thick algae. Dividing the water into two slow flows will allow more algae to stay put.

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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    I wish I had known that when my Dad was here, he cut the holes. I can probably do it no problem, but wasn't planning on it. Thanks for the input. That reason for the second hole makes sense.

  9. #9

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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    Looks great.

    Either cut PVC slit in pipe with 1/8" kerf to make sure drain is low pressure and does not back up and second drain is a must. Just didn't want a flood.

  10. #10
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    Re: ATS for 120 Reef

    I have a couple screen related questions. I am going to use a double screen, I'm going to epoxy 2 screens together for double thickness. Each screen is about 1/16" thick so the finished product should be 1/8" thick. So I should probably cut the slot to 3/16", correct?

    Second - any special epoxy to use to adhere the screens? I was planning on using standard epoxy from the hardware store, and spreading a very thin layer on one side, then pressing them together between a couple boards or something with paper inbetween so they don't glue to the boards. Then whatever paper sticks would come off when I rough up the screen with the hole saw bit and rinse.

    Sound like the right idea?

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