Here is my possible Triton build so far + questions, please advise

Discussion in 'Triton Applied Reef Bioscience' started by jcl123, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. jcl123

    jcl123 Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Ok, as with others here, I have decided to go with the Triton method, and I want to go “all in”. I would especially like to be able to run a higher fish load.

    Thank you very much in advance.

    -JCL

    Here is what I have now:
    - 135G tank (72x18x24)
    - Two Kessil AP700’s for display lighting, should by slightly more than I need…
    - Lifereef VS3-24 skimmer (http://www.lifereef.com/venturi.html)

    Here is what I am planning to get so far:
    - Two Ecotech VorTech MP40 power heads
    - Full Apex setup
    - New circulation pump capable of the 1,400GPH I would need for 10x, currently considering Sicce AC or DC pumps
    - Dosing pumps
    - Planning to upgrade skimmer to VS3-36 or VS3-48 (locating behind tank instead of under stand), this is easy because you can just add extension modules to this skimmer and my pump is still big enough. Bigger to help with high load.
    - Custom sump for Triton (TBD, see below)
    - Lighting for sump (TBD, see below)
    - Reactors / method for implementing Carbon and Phosphate treatment recommended by Triton (see below)
    - ATO – probably going with Genesis Storm, maybe Apex

    General questons:
    - I would like to run a high fish load, does that mean I need to be closer to the 20% refugium size?
    - Is that 20% of the net volume minus live rock displacement or is that already factored in? And is that 20% of actual volume in the refugium, not including other chambers, and compensating for water level?
    - Dosing pumps, are the Apex one’s good enough, or do I need to go higher end than that?

    Refugium questions:
    - Refugium – 20% of 135 is 27, so I need a 30 gallon tank under my stand / or the refugium portion of the sump. Are there ideal dimensions for this? The space in my stand is 70” x 15.5” x 29”, so how about a refugium that is 36” x 15” x 16”, with a water level of 13”, that would be 30 gallons with 3” of space above it. OK? Larger?
    - Lighting – Would two 15W Kessil H80’s (http://www.kessil.com/horticulture/H80.php) be enough, or do I need to go bigger than that? The H150’s are 36W each, the H350 and H380’s are 90W each, is there a formula used for how much is needed, and I assume the area and depth are important, which is why I specify my proposed refugium above. Could use a recommendation here.

    Supplemental filtration:
    - Activated carbon – I have a Lifeguard aquatics F-93, so I could fill this with the activated carbon and run it off of the main pump or its own pump. http://www.lifegardaquatics.com/products/chemical-filter-modules/

    - Phosphate – there is the slow-flow for the Triton AL99, if I did that I could use a Lifereef media reactor (http://www.lifereef.com/cylinders.html) so that I could dial in the appropriate flow rate. In the instructions it says you might need “other methods” on the website, can someone point me to this?
     
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  2. Jimbo662

    Jimbo662 Valuable Member Partner Member 2018

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    Following to see how this progresses. I'm considering going Triton on my new setup.
     
  3. jcl123

    jcl123 Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Follow up question: Will the flow be too fast through the refugium and disturb the algae? One of my sump designers is thinking it will be way to fast.

    Do you need to have the baffles / diffusers before the refugium for this reason? Is that enough?
     
  4. QuixoticReefer

    QuixoticReefer Member R2R Supporter

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    my 2 cents...(worth a penny) I think that the h380 would be your best bet on the fuge. The h150 might work but no way for the h80's. I have a h380 on a 50 gallon cube DT with a sump with a 6gallon fuge area with cheato and marine pure balls. The output of the tank goes through fuge area and so does the output of my skimmer and my gfo/carbon reactor so flow shouldn't be a problem. I have a cheato farm going and the DT is algae free.
     
  5. jcl123

    jcl123 Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Wait, is the H380 on your DT or on your Triton fuge? Just seems to me that the H380 might be too big....

    -JCL
     
  6. QuixoticReefer

    QuixoticReefer Member R2R Supporter

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    fuge
     
  7. jcl123

    jcl123 Active Member R2R Supporter

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    OK, well, it would appear that you are correct. After watching the 3-part BRS videos on their refugium lighting experiment, the H380 seems to be the way to go.

    But then I thought, now we are dipping our toes into the horticulture/aquaculture/ hydroponics...or really more specifically aquaponics area. A well-studied field which I actually have some experience in. The only reason us reefers are really looking at Kessil is because (at least some of us) really like their LEDs for reef lighting. But, when you compare them in the horticulture space, while good, they are not necessarily the top choice.

    So, I started researching around, reading some reviews.... and sure enough, I think you can beat the Kessil and for less money. What helps is all the people buying these lights to grow marijuana has driven the price down considerably in that space, making it much more competitive compared to the reefkeeping use case.

    I think the main obstacle might be finding one small enough ;-) But I think I may have found one here:
    https://platinumgrowlights.com/products
    The first two models, the P150 and P300 ($229 and $300) are possibly right where you need it. Better yet, they are rectangular rather than spot, so they are a better fit for a typical sump situation.

    The P300 could be compared directly to a pair of Kessil H380's in output, but for the same cost as just one. The coverage for this one is 3' x 2', and for the P150 is is 3' x 1.5', but that is at a distance of 18" through air, we need to get closer because we are going through water (look how close people put the H380's to their sumps).

    So, let's say I build a sump that has a fuge area that is 30" long and 12" wide, and then put the model P150 above it maybe at 9"-12" above the sump. Not sure if that would directly equate to a single Kessil H380 or a pair of them.... still trying to compare them here.

    One thing that is interesting is that all these lights tend of have "veg mode" and "bloom mode".... and it would appear that in the refugium use case, we only ever need the veg mode. In that mode the P150 consumes 50 watts, and the P300 is 93 watts..... vs. 87W and 180W in "bloom". Since the Kessil H380 also has these two modes, maybe it uses allot less than 90W in that mode? Not sure, can't find a review that measures this.

    But, I am thinking this could be a really interesting way to go.

    Need to see how much heat these put out to see if it would go OK under the stand, or if it would be better to put it behind the stand.

    -JCL
     
  8. TonapahNorth

    TonapahNorth Reefed In R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    My only concern, and I don’t know the answer, is that the Platinum brand lights aren’t made for proximity to salt water. Kessil is tried and true with longevity in design. For example, I’ve tried Mars lights which were great at growing chaeto, seriously. But I’ve bought two in 18 months. They just rust, even at 14” above the sump. I don’t know how the Platinums would hold up but certainly something to consider.
     
  9. jcl123

    jcl123 Active Member R2R Supporter

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    It is a good point, definitely something to watch out for. I am actually really careful about exposure to salt water with everything, using all resistant materials. I really hate seeing setup, such as wood stands or canopies, that are basically destroyed by it.
     
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  10. jcl123

    jcl123 Active Member R2R Supporter

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    OK, so if I did stay with the Kessil's, I have come up with a possible design:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/VjISiDsKuqR7HIsW2

    Plumbing
    - Water comes down from the dual "herbie" overflows into two refugiums directly below them and extending behind the stand (by 12"). Since they are directly below, the siphons can use an almost straight pipe, and very little plumbing total, and easy to get to the valve to tune

    Lighting
    - The Kessil lights are far enough back to be behind the stand rather than under it, so they don't add heat to the tank and have better ventilation / heat dissipation
    - By extending behind the stand, I can fit sump(s) large enough to give me an 18" circle to fully utilize the output of the light(s). I think if you are going to pay this much ($300 each) for lights, you should make sure you can fully utilize their output
    - I will also surround the refugiums with white PVC to maximize light into the chamber, and reduce light wash into the room

    Flow
    - Water flow through the refugiums is distributed, The Triton system calls for 10x turnover, so in this case about 1,400 GPH, because I have also read that it is possible to have too much flow for the chaetomorpha and other algae types, but this design might even allow for higher

    Volume
    - Each of the two refugiums is 22 gallons (if 16" tall), and let's assume they run with a water level of 12", that would give you a working volume of 17 gallons each
    - The total of 34 gallons is 25% of the 135G display tank, I am hoping the extra size would allow for higher fish and feeding load
    - For total sump volume, each sump is 25G and the pump stage is 13, for a total of 63 gallons.
    - @ 9" in the pump chamber total working volume is 41.5 gallons
    - The current design has pipes connecting the two refugiums to the pump chamber, I *could* put another box back there for another 13G (7.5G working)
    - I could also extend the front box 3 more inches, making it 17 gallons (9.3 working)
    - So, at most I could get it up to about 80 gallons, 51 gallons working

    Sumps
    - Each of the sumps is a fairly simple acrylic box, and being modular they could be disassembled or modified without tearing the whole setup down
    - I like adding volume for extra displacement, and leaving plenty of room for ATO and other things, this is much bigger than I could fit if I were to go only in the stand, or only behind it

    Pump
    - The pump in this case is a submersible, and will only have about 7-9 feed of head pressure

    Skimmer
    - The skimmer would be on a shelf behind the tank and above the refugiums, fed by a dedicated pump either outside or in the 3rd sump with the circulation pump

    I will be interested to hear what people think of this idea.

    -JCL
     
  11. Tim@Triton

    Tim@Triton Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor

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    General questions:
    - I would like to run a high fish load, does that mean I need to be closer to the 20% refugium size?
    You will be able to run a higher fish load once the algae refugium is mature and comfortably able to handle the system nutrients.
    - Is that 20% of the net volume minus live rock displacement or is that already factored in? And is that 20% of actual volume in the refugium, not including other chambers, and compensating for water level?
    10-20% of the display tank volume, you don't have to be super accurate here, and that is only for the algae refugium volume not the entire sump.
    - Dosing pumps, are the Apex one’s good enough, or do I need to go higher end than that?
    Apex are fine, as are many others.

    Follow up question: Will the flow be too fast through the refugium and disturb the algae? One of my sump designers is thinking it will be way to fast.

    Do you need to have the baffles / diffusers before the refugium for this reason? Is that enough?
    The algae grows better in the high flow, there are many sumps set up this way.
     
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  12. jcl123

    jcl123 Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Thank your for your reply.

    Might you have any comments on my proposed design in my previous post?

    -JCL
     
  13. Tim@Triton

    Tim@Triton Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor

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    Design and equipment choices are really down to the individual aquarists needs and requirements and unfortunately I'm not to familiar with some of the equipment you guys have over there, as long as you can stick to our general recommendations as laid out in the guide and with the help of the community you can't go wrong :D

    The simpler you can keep it the better!
     
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  14. jcl123

    jcl123 Active Member R2R Supporter

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    OK, I understand.

    Is there anyone you could recommend who might be able to give me specific help on this sump design?

    Thanks.

    -JCL
     
  15. mcarroll

    mcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Everyone runs a high fish load....if you're setting out to break a record or something, I'd suggest stopping now. :)

    Consider @Paul B's example as one of the ultimate high-fish-load tanks. You would be well-served by substituting as much of his system for what you have planned as possible.

    Keeping the refugium is fine, as he runs an ATS (similar idea).

    Consider that he DOES NOT run low nutrients. I think his tank was already 30 years old when he added his scrubber.

    Don't do anything to remove nutrients from your system while it's still maturing.

    If you're planning to use dead rock, that maturing phase should be allowed to take it's sweet time – raise livestock and nutrient levels SLOWLY. Do not order in all your fish at once – not for maximum odds of success.

    I would consider other flow pumps for a 6' tank.....Tunze has several options that would give you more capability and bang/buck.

    If you're keeping the mp's, then I would upgrade the plan to 3x mp40's and plan to run them across the back wall. Their flow is very soft, so the middle of a 6' tank ends up being under-served for flow in a typical two-pump mp setup.

    It's great to think of all these details in advance, but remember to start small and start slow. This is behind the advice to keep it simple! :) :) :)

    Don't set up that whole system as described all at once. Take your time. Wait on the ATO. Wait on the doser. Wait on the controller if you can. Wait on everything that's non-essential. In most cases that even includes the refugium, but I don't want to contradict any specific advice Triton may have in that regard for their system. In most cases, you want the live rock in the main display to mature on it own, undisturbed, without competition for nutrients. You build your livestock and CUC simultaneously so algae never gets out of hand – and none of the other beneficial microbes have to suffer from starvation. :)

    Another dead rock tip: add CUC first, but instead of fish next add coral next. Then fish. Only 1-2 at a time for each. Give plenty of wait time in between each addition. Weeks after the smaller CUC additions, a month+ after the larger animals.
     
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  16. jcl123

    jcl123 Active Member R2R Supporter

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    First, I really appreciate the detailed and thoughtful response, thank you very much for the reply.

    No, certainly not trying to set any record. I have kept freshwater fish for many years, and especially African Cichlids. You can keep about five times as many fish in freshwater than you can in saltwater, on average (although this point may be a little out-dated now). And it is my opinion / observation that the berlin method is great, but might not be so great if you want to run a high fish load, unless you had a tremendous amount of live rock and some other measures. This is why I am excited about Triton, it looks to me like it is a method that could potentially stretch these boundaries, without resorting to overly extreme or complex methods, and obviously this is very subjective.

    When I say "high fish load", I really love feeding time at the public aquariums and there is a large gang of fish in a frenzy over the food, so I want to have 7-9 medium to large fish, or maybe more, so that I can have a similar effect at home. Or even a large number of smaller fish. I see many reef tanks where they purposely have few if any fish (freshwater planted aquariums as well), and they may have perfectly good reasons for doing so, it is just not what I am after.

    It is also part of my personality to go bigger / better / faster / whatever, push the limits of something. I have waiting many years to do a tank like this one, so I want it to have an impact, as I have seen many do here in these types of forums. Some of them doing things I would not have thought of or dared to do.

    I will start looking through his stuff for sure. Definitely a veteran / guru... Is there a build thread or something specific you refer to? I will probably find it eventually but I am curious as to specifically what you are thinking of.

    Preaching to the choir here. I have been keeping fish for almost 40 years, and worked in a fish store for around 10 years, so I have explained this to many myself.

    I am not a fan of dead rock, I find the idea of live rock and live sand appealing, especially sourced from multiple places. And I have a nearby aquarium servicing company who can cure / pre-screen it for me to help get started while hopefully avoiding some of the headaches.

    I have not yet purchased the mp's, and I am certainly not married to them, so I would consider other options. That being said, I find your idea appealing partially because it would hide the dry side behind the tank rather than on the sides like I often see. But, aside from that, do you have a specific Tunze recommendation? I really was only going with the mp's based on reputation and quality.

    We must be mentally linked ;-).... this is what I was going to do, if for no other reason that I can start the tank sooner and have it cycling while I figure all the other things out. Although you are suggesting going even further... almost like you are saying get a heater and some live rock, and off you go. But I was thinking I would actually have a FOWLR system, possibly for months before even getting any coral or fussy fish.

    The planning I want to do is at least try to avoid painting myself into a corner where I might have to tear the thing down because I didn't consider what the final result might look like. Keep my options open. And many configurations would require more space than my cabinet stand alone could provide.

    Really? This is interesting. Way back when they would cycle saltwater tanks with freshwater sail-fin mollies (which are actually nice in their own right). I did not consider CUC, and then coral. I am curious as to the reason for this, I would have probably done 1 or 2 very small clownfish to start.

    Going this route lends even more to going with live rock, because then in addition to the CUC you have all sorts of interesting critters to be surprised with.

    -JCL
     
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  17. mcarroll

    mcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Again you are in good company here....just don't go off a cliff with the idea. ;) (Plenty do!)

    Hidden dry side is definitely one of the benefits.

    Check out the Turbelle® stream 6105, Turbelle® stream 3, Turbelle® nanostream® 6055 and Turbelle® nanostream® 6040 for controllable pumps. For AC pumps, the Turbelle® nanostream® 6045 (which also comes in blue) and Turbelle® stream 6065 or 6085 would be the go-to's. Check out Tunze's videos.

    That's fine, but I'm not sure FOWLR is really any easier than corals, and there are real benefits to having corals first or at least at the same time.

    Using a plan like this isn't quite as necessary with real live rock, but if it sounds like a good idea you will still benefit from it. Essentially, corals will compete with your algae for nutrients. Which would you rather grow – corals or algae? :) In reality it will be both, but why go exclusively with algae??? Especially if you're running your reef lights to do it? :)
     
  18. mcarroll

    mcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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  19. jcl123

    jcl123 Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Yeah, I would say I definitely need guidance from time to time.

    Ok, I will check these out. You obviously lose the benefits of an externally magnetically coupled setup, so you have to manage the wires coming out of the tank, potential electrical leakage (which I often found with the old power heads used on undergravel filter long ago), and it takes up a bit more space. But on the other hand you can direct the flow where desired, which is a big advantage. And it looks like they also have more options for shaping the flow with different nozzles.

    I guess the best answer to this is that I am running under the assumption that overall coral is much more difficult to keep alive and happy than algae by itself. But, now that you say this it would seem like you are suggesting that there are coral options that are hardy enough that they are no more difficult than possibly even "nuisance" algae.... possibly? Or perhaps not enough harder given the level of equipment and knowledge I am starting with. There is also the chaeto in the refugium, depending on when you start to employ that in the process.

    -JCL
     
  20. jcl123

    jcl123 Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Nice, I had already started digging in but this is a good list, and I was especially looking for the book that I saw mentioned, thank you.

    I realized after a few hours of reading that this crazy ******* is my kind of scum ;-)

    I replied to one of this threads and he already replied. Good stuff.

    Thank you for putting me in this direction.

    -JCL
     
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