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Thread: SM 100 style new build

  1. #1

    SM 100 style new build

    Here is my version of the ats. Instead of t5ho lights, I am using four t5 14w lights (2 bulb) , for a total of 112 watts. I kept basically the same dimensions, though sized for the four fixtures.

    So far, I have used it for a week, but didn't take any pictures of what I harvested. It was thin and brownish.

    I am using it above the tank in a 55g hex.




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  2. #2

    Re: SM 100 style new build

    Hmm other pic doesn't seem tube cooperating...

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  3. #3
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    Re: SM 100 style new build

    First wood one that I've seen.

  4. #4

    Re: SM 100 style new build

    It has acrylic laminated to the inside. It's water proof. So far. :-)

    I'll play some pictures of the inside when I have more daylight.

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  5. #5

    Re: SM 100 style new build

    I have struggled with low pH since I started the tank in January. It is almost always 7.8. So I was super excited to see it up to 8.1 on the fifth day of running the scrubber, only to be disappointed when it fell back to 7.8 on Monday, the day I cleaned the screens for the fist time.

    So I did the experiment of running an airstone in tank water outside. It registered at 8.4ish. Then I ran the stone for about an hour inside on different water and it was 7.6 ish! No wonder I feel 80 years old! We have no O2 in this place!

    Good news then, the scrubber was growing nice O2 producing algae, toward the end of the week. Now I just need to address the O2 quality in the house. I'm thinking houseplants. Or would those not be enough?

  6. #6

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    Re: SM 100 style new build

    Probably not really a lack of O2, but an excess of CO2. You probably need more exchange of air with the outside.

  7. #7

    Re: SM 100 style new build

    I'm starting to struggle with some leakage issues...sheesh! Long story short, I may need to rebuild the box. Basically I laminated the acrylic to the wood, then assembled and tried to silicone the joints, but it was a tight squeeze. The other issue was that I didn't have or understand how the bulkhead was supposed to fit, so I glued in a PVC 2" coupling. That is the main culprit I think. What I will probably have to do is build a new acrylic "inside" box, makes sure it has no leaks, then laminate it to new wood which includes the light brackets. That's the long version

    I am still getting the light brown algae, slimy stuff, with no green showing up yet, so I'm cleaning it every five days, as the FAQ stated. I'll upload some pictures Saturday when it will be due for its next cleaning.

  8. #8
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    Re: SM 100 style new build

    Let the brown grow more. It's black you want to clean off sooner.

  9. #9

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    Re: SM 100 style new build

    Hi m8 using silicone was your mistake m8 ,silicone doesn't bond or stick to acrylic you need solvent weld , like tensol 70 to bond ne weld the acrylic together if you put your hands at either side of your scrubber you will be able to pul it apart quite easy

  10. #10
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    Re: SM 100 style new build

    Acrylic won't bond to silicone, that is true, and if this were a structural bond then that might be the source of the leaking. But in his case it should work fine. If you laminate it to wood, which is the structural component, so that the joints are not providing and structure, then you can seal the joints where the acrylic meets with silicone and it will prevent water from leaking through pretty well. It when you try to make a watertight box out of acrylic using silicone when you get in trouble.

    Also, a method has been developed to prepare plastics so that they will bond with silicone. It is being used in the US to make glass tanks with PVC and acrylic bottoms and sides even. I know of tanks that were made with acrylic notched ends for weir-type overflows and bonded to the front and back glass. As far as I know, it's not something that's available to the public. But it promises to be the next generation of tank, once it proves itself and becomes widely accepted as durable. I myself won't be getting one anytime soon though, glass and acrylic tanks last decades if maintained and installed right, so I have a hard time putting all my livestock into a new tank design just yet!

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