My new R.O. filter is working well (rated at 75 gpd- I get 62gpd since my water pressure is just 50 psi). I ran a water line from the R.O. unit, which is under my kitchen sink, through the wall to the garage and then through the wall into the living room where the tanks are. It feeds into the storage tank below which has an air bubbler, a heater, and a submersible pump (Eheim 1262).
The Eheim pump in the storage tank goes to the back of the tank.
I also used someone's advise and got a light string (18 ft) from Home Depot to use for moon lights at night. They work pretty well if you line up the lights so that they all face downward.
The R.O. water line also goes to a small sink (about 6.5 inches diameter) that I made out of a mixing bowl my wife was willing to give up. The sink is very handy for rinsing test tubes after doing water tests.
The drain for the sink goes to the following drain that I installed last weekend (it is normally completely out of view behind the sofa).
The drain has the opening at the top for doing water changes.
After all the experimenting that I did with currents, I have arrived at a solution that I am happy with. I bought two Tunze Turbelle® nanostream 6045's. They are expensive at $96 apiece, but I think they work really well. The idea is that I wanted to go for a horizontal circular current. One 6045 is mounted by the magnet on the back of the tank on the left side, but aimed along the back of the tank. The other 6045 is on the right side of the tank in the middle of the side, but aimed across the front. With each one pushing 1189 gph (4500 l/h) they create a pretty strong current all the way around. By stirring up the sand (before I had fish in the tank) I could see just how it flowed. The Tunze pumps are also a lot quieter than my AC 802's were. Also, as Emma has pointed out, some of the Tunze pumps could be a threat to small fish. That, and the noise issue, is why I went with these smaller pumps that have 1/3 the flow rate that Emma's pump has. I think that these smaller pumps are fine for any fish that won't fit through the grating since the flow is not strong enough to hold a fish onto the grating. They would be a problem for fry so probably not good for a hillstream tank.
6045 on the back left.
6045 on the right side.
Finally, here is the 75g tank.
The white spot in the middle of the left piece of driftwood is not a hole, but hot melt glue that I used to fill all holes. I hope that algae will soon cover it so it won't show.
I also installed a UV filter. I have been doing 10% water changes every day for a week now. I use an AC 802 power head that I just drop into the tank and pump the water out to the drain (it takes 2 minutes). Then I just hit a switch that pumps the R.O. water into the tank (it takes 1 minute). I could automate this, but since it is so fast, I don't think I will. I would also rather be there to monitor it. I do think that I will put a float switch on the tank to shut off the input pump from the storage tank, in case I get interrupted don't get it turned off in time.
I have 4 Serpae Tetras in the tank now. 6 days ago I bought 6 Devario aequipinnatus (giant danios) that I had watched at the LFS for several weeks. They are thriving in the quarantine tank, starting to color up, and look very good. They are getting a levasimole treatment. I recommend ChefKeith's levamisole calculator at http://www.geocities.com/chefkeithallen/Levamisole.html
I used it to figure out that a 20 oz plastic soda bottle of water with 3/4 tsp of levamisole powder is a good mix that then requires 1 tablespoon of this liquid mix for every 10 gallons of tank water in order to get 2 ppm. In another week or so, if they are still looking good, I will move them to the 75g tank and then I can think about getting loaches.
I've been following your posts on your tank, and I've been impressed by your careful research, attention to detail, and your patience.
Best of luck with the new hillstreams you'll be getting.
That mixing bowl sink is brilliant. Your wife is a dear!!!
EDIT: Ok, not hillsteams, right? I went back and reread your first post.
Best of luck with your loaches!!
Graeme- I'll try for some of the night images tonight.
loachmom- My wife would laugh out loud if she heard me being described as patient. But I do enjoy the planning stages so that slows me down a lot.
Concerning hillstreams, I've decided that I do want to get hillstreams, but that they are going to have to wait a bit until after I get Kubotai, striata, sidthimunki, and clowns for this tank and the next large tank. (I just caught your edit)
Oldfish- Yes, I will try to get some pictures with residents.
I like the sink idea alot too.
In my 75 gallon tank I first set up a river manifold with two AC 802's on the left end of the tank. The current is mostly left to right across the bottom, and the opposite direction, right to left, but slower, across the top. As is to be expected there are little eddies at the right end of the tank in various directions. If you calculate the water moved by the pumps at 400 g/hr each, for 70 gallons of water, that means that the water moves across the tank at an average speed of 11.4 tank fulls per hour or .76 ft per minute (.23 meters/minute). This is really slow, which is why the fast moving output of the powerheads causes more complicated currents (than just left-to-right current) that is mostly a vertical circle that is fast across the bottom and then returns slowly across the top (with of course also water returning via the manifold).
Then I tried the two Tunze 6045's that you see above in the pictures. My reasoning was that if the flow from the river manifold is mostly in a vertical circle why not try for a horizontal circle and not have to have a return. The Tunze 6045's each pump 3 times the water that each AC 802 does and I had calculated that if they powered a circular flow in my 75 gallon tank that I could get roughly 3-6 times the average current (Note that with the unidirectional flow you are moving the entire tank cross-section from left to right and with horizontal circular flow you are just moving half of the tank cross-section; the front half one way and the back half the other way. Thus with the horizontal circular flow you are moving half the water, but moving it twice as far. That is why I suggest that pumps that pump 3 times the volume could potentially create average current that is 6 times as much. In practice you will not get this full effect unless you separate the water in the front from the back with an island-as chefkeith is doing). Stirring up the sand and watching the currents, shows that this does give the predicted circular flow with very few additional eddies. In practice, the flow seems quit a bit stronger than I had with the river manifold.
Pros and cons:
A major disadvantage of the Tunze horizontal circular flow is that if you are going to have fry in the tank, the Tunze pumps will be a danger to them since they could be sucked in. Thus, for hilstreams the Tunze pumps are not a good solution and the river manifold is the far better solution.
The Tunze circular flow method has the advantage that there is more flow, the pumps are quieter, and use only 7-8 watts of electricity each.
Dave_2133- Thanks. No secrets, but I am still deciding. Right now, I would like the following:
6 devario aequipinnatus (giant danios).
This is too much for the 75 gallon tank so I was thinking of doing all but two of the species until I get a planned larger tank next year.
All comments and suggestions about the above mix and numbers would be appreciated.
I already have the devario aequipinnatus in my quarantine tank and I was thinking to getting the SAE's next with the idea that they along with the danios will help establish a better tank cycle before finally introducing some loaches.
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