Back in the game - dual water ULM with a fishroom

MaxFlow

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Starting from the beginning
An IM 100 EXT is on the way. In the meantime, ........... knocking down walls. Old, open-frame photos of the house will come handy again :)

One outlet is already available, just needs to go higher.
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No pipes or wires here. Perfect. That's where the fishroom door will go.
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MaxFlow

MaxFlow

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ULM? That sounds like a lot of work already!
I guess low future maintenance is the enemy of low upfront investment :) I am shooting for
- auto top off
- auto water change
- filter roll or nothing at all
- easy access to equipment (hence fishroom instead of under the tank setup)
- reliable and easy to disassemble/service equipment

What's out
- sand or DSB
- non-photosynthetic and other hard to keep corals
- filter socks
- calc reactor
- algae scrubber

What's TBD:
- Chaeto based refugium
- Auto Kalk mixer (if cannot keep Ph high enough)
 
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MaxFlow

MaxFlow

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Since my current biocube is running biopellets, I will continue using this system. Right now I use biopellets without a reactor, just keep a thin layer of biopellets at the bottom of the sump. It is super easy and reliable (media does not go bad if a pump fails) but makes the sump difficult to clean.

I am still on the fence between keeping the same setup or using a reactor, but decided to do a bit of an experiment. I am going to give an automatic zeolith reactor with biopellets a go. Three main reasons for that:
- Super easy to top up biopellets or disassemble for maintenance
- Keeps sump clean. No pipes in our out.
- I am hoping that it will limit and almost eliminate media grinding. Unlike constant tumbling utilized by standard biopellet reactors, this zeolith reactor runs low/moderate flow most of the time and stirs the media only every few hours.


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MaxFlow

MaxFlow

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Not much time during the week to make progress with ventilation, so I have been thinking about plumbing.
It is going to be a three tank system (display, frag, breeder) with a single sump. Since my sump has only two inlets, and to reduce the number of pipes, I have been thinking about the following setup

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However, it will result in the main (1.5", black thick line) return not running a full siphon. My concern is that it will result in a significant noise.
 
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MaxFlow

MaxFlow

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I expect that all the 1" pipes above gate valves will be fully filled with water. No problem here.
However, I suspect that the part below gate valves (especially the horizontal 1.5" section) will always have a layer of air at the top what will cause gurgling. Unfortunately I have no idea how loud it may get.

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MaxFlow

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It has been a busy weekend. Got ventilation open running and most of the electrical is done. I ran two 15A lines to distribute the load, but, first of all, to split primary life support functions across two independent circuits. Just in case of one of the main fuses (GFCI) tripping. BRS had a tank crash due to GFCI tripping and I do not feel like joining the club :)

Sump also arrived. I went with the Trigger Platinum 39 with integrated roller. The second thing I hate the most (running with buckets of water being No.1] is changing filter socks. I am also very keen on the movable middle section divider.
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Sonja

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The integrated filter roller is going to be really handy! I think the roller is the thing I'm going to have to sacrifice on my new set up. The person helping me set up said it would invalidate the warranty to move things around to fit one in the red sea sump.
 
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MaxFlow

MaxFlow

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Just a quick update today. The skimmer arrived. I went with Maxspects Aeraqua Duo. It has features that made it a winner
- High performance to footprint ratio. I can put the skimmer just behind the zeo reactor and still have plenty of space left for a refugium
- Super easy to disassemble

Being a new design reliability is a question mark, hope I will not be disappointed.
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MaxFlow

MaxFlow

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Electrical and ventilation is fully done. Was hoping to run pipes for auto water change and top up, but LEDs on my biocube started blasting the tank at full power. My chalice is very close to water surface and was getting over 500 PAR. Fortunately it was only a voltage regulator. I was pushing it regulating from 20V to 5V and after few years it finally gave up on me. Fortunately I had a spare one and the LEDS are running again.

Ah, there is big news. I finally got my hands on a Trident. Needless to say I hooked it up to my existing biocube :). Yes, manually testing water parameters is very high on my maintenance hate list :mad:
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You may have noticed I have updated the thread name and added "dual water" o_Oo_Oo_Oo_Oo_O Let me explain what I mean ;) I like experimenting and trying new things. Having one tank always felt very constraining. At the same time maintaining multiple tanks without automation was way too time consuming.

There will be 4 tanks 40g, 25g.25g.100g and two sumps. Left sump - freshwater. Right sump - saltwater. The idea is to be able to quickly change configuration and have tanks connected to either saltwater or freshwater system.
I will probably start with 40g fresh breeder ( German Blue Rams ), 25g fresh display (low light, no CO2), 25g salt frag, 100g salt reef.

Hoping that this setup will give me plenty of flexibility and minimum maintenance.
 
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MaxFlow

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