My Saltwater Mixing Station (Part 1)
by, 02-28-2011 at 07:43 AM (2205 Views)
I was recently inspired by a Reef Central thread, Salt Water Mixing Stations Let's See Them, to redo the way I mix saltwater. My goal was to make it easier to perform water changes by having a built in pump to send water upstairs to my tank rather than lugging buckets up and down the steps. Honestly that is my biggest deterrence to doing water changes, so if I can make them easier to perform, I will do them more frequently.
This is the design I wanted to make. It would allow me to easily add RO/DI water to the mixing barrel, mix the saltwater, and use a valve to pump the water upstairs using a hose.
The 55 gallon barrels were the first thing I acquired. I found a store in Hamilton, OH that sold them for $12. They had been used previously to hold what I believe to have been iced tea, so they would need a thorough cleaning. KGERBUS helped out with his pressure washer, but even at 3000 psi it did not help to remove some of the tannins. We found the best method to be Comet Cleanser and elbow grease. I rinsed the barrels several times using bleach and vinegar and my RO/DI waste water.
With 30mini's help, we came up with a solid design and cut list. I built a model using Google Sketchup.
Here is the material list for this design:
- 4 pcs 32" long 2x4
- 10 pcs 22" long 2x4
- 2 pcs 10.25" long 2x4
- 8 pcs 46.5" long 2x4
- 2 pcs 1/2" plywood 32" x 25"
- Pocket hole jig and screws
Another friend helped me assemble the stand. Here is all of the wood prior to assembly.
We used the pocket hole jig to join the pieces of wood together. It was one that I bought from Home Depot and I'm not entirely convinced it was designed for use with 2x4's because we ran into some situations where the screw broke the wood on the piece being joined, causing it to be unstable and able to pull apart by hand. So, we had to improvise reinforce a lot of the joints, particularly on the posts, which needed 7 screws. Maybe it was overkill, but I wanted to make sure this was very strong because I don't want 110 gallons spilling on my basement floor!
Here is the top part of the stand. It looks a bit crooked in the photo but we went back and corrected it.
Here is the finished stand!
The next step is to get the plumbing done. I will be using Uni-Seals from Marine Solutions to create the inlets and outlets because they adapt well to curved surfaces.
Regarding the hose for doing water changes, I have an old Python water changing system from my freshwater days that I was thinking of using. I like the flexibility of the vinyl tubing on that, so I'd like to get more. Problem is, the local hardware stores seem to have the really rigid vinyl tubing. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to use?