Composite shims; water drainage; the sump plan takes shape; Sybon salt
by, 12-27-2010 at 12:48 AM (3219 Views)
To assure that an aquarium is level, it is important to use a 4' level and check it all four directions. A tank out of level puts additional stress on the seams and can lead to leakage. A few weeks ago I leveled my new tank using aluminum shims, but Dion was kind enough to send me some composite shims that can handle getting wet and won't dissolve, rust or corrode. You can buy composite shims at your hardware store. They are usually tapered, and these would be used under the stand to level a tank and fill any voids.
In my case, I've got an enormous void. I guess DIY concrete work will do that, but then again had I hired a company to pour that section I might have had similar problems since we had to work around a lot of unique circumstances. It wasn't like we had a wide open area to work in - this was a remodel and with that comes all kinds of challenges. Here are the three shims.
These are solid blocks.
The tank was jacked up again, allowing me to slip out the aluminum strips and insert the new shims.
I'm still investigating some type of leveling material to encourage water to drain toward the french drain. Since the tank is up off the floor, I have room for some filler.
I'm also going to use pond liner inside the stand to encourage water to pour into the center of the room and not weep out into the living room or kitchen if something were to occur.
Now that I've had some time to think about the sump area, I've got a plan in mind. Nothing extraordinary, but it will do a good job. I want a full length refugium on the living room side, and the skimmer will be in the fishroom side closest to the (soon to be installed) sink area. The return pump and manifold pump will be on the end nearest the kitchen, as will a 45g RO/DI reservoir to top off the tank. The heaters and reactors will be in the return zone. I'm going to make a small stand to place over the plumbing leading to the two Dart pumps; this will be a good spot to put the CO2 tank for the calcium reactor.
This sump will be smaller than the last one, since it will fit within the stand and not stick out into the fishroom. 59" x 31.5" x 16" - roughly 124g to the top. The tank will drain about 13g per 1" when a power outage occurs. I'm going to use all five drains from the overflow, and am going to fabricate some type of support system for the PVC pipes to avoid undue pressure on the external glass overflow. Currently, I'm thinking three drains for the skimmer section and two for the refugium zone.
The ATO reservoir will be 22" x 15" x 32" and will hold about seven day's worth of top off water. It'll have a float valve to shut off the RO/DI system once full, and then I'll close the inline ball valve to avoid the system cycling on and off. It'll probably take 8 to 10 hours to fill up the reservoir once a week.
The saltwater I'm mixing up is finally just right. It took 6 bags (2 cases) of Sybon Reef Salt to mix up 250g of water to 35ppt. For those of you that prefer to know how much salt you actually have to use to mix up saltwater to 1.026 specific gravity, that's your answer. The bags state each one makes 50g worth of saltwater, but five mixed up to 1.021 sg in my poly tank. I added seven additional cups of salt three times over the past 48 hours, then finally the final four cups left in the bag to reach my goal. One bag of this salt holds 25 cups, in case you wanted to know that. If my math is correct, a bag of salt will make 41.7-gallons of 35ppt saltwater. The good news is now I know six bags makes one 250g batch - that's handy and easy to remember.