Pico Under Construction - looking for advice on installing an AIO chamber

Narideth

Fishaholic
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2023
Messages
460
Reaction score
818
Location
Florida
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
So, The pieces I have been waiting on have arrived - pump and outflow accessories - and I'm going to try my hand at rebuilding the AIO chamber of the tank I have.

The tank is a 3 gallon Marineland contour AIO that I ripped the back partition out of in order to give the tank a larger display space for a freshwater setup. I now want to rebuild a smaller AIO partition so I can keep the filtration inside the tank, and I want something a little more powerful than an airstone moving the water around.

MarinelandContour.jpg Marineland Contour_2.jpg

This is the tank pre-change. The black portion on the back is still there, and I'm trying to keep the new partition's depth within that space.

20230621_194958.jpg

The fittings are all half inch with 1/4 inch Y reducer on the loc-line. The pump is absolutely tiny at 2 inches x 1.875 inches, and should move somewhere around 90 GPH at max speed. It is adjustable. This will be the first time I've modified a tank in this way, so I'm looking for the experience of others. I'm likely going to build a basket for media inside, but I'm looking for opinions on the size of that chamber.

1687395753451.png


This is my initial draft, a 4 inch x 2.25 inch chamber with the long side as the weir and the short side providing the return port location. This is keeping the entire chamber within the black lining that the original AIO chamber resided, but giving me back some 5.5 x2.25 inches of tank space, which is important real estate in a pico as well as the amount of water. The weir slots are .75 inches tall, and the tank is 8.75 inches tall, so there's a .25 inch gap between the top of the chamber and the top of the tank to account for the lid.

I'm drafting this so I can get 1/8 inch black acrylic custom cut to make this build, but there's no real rush. My final goal is to fit the heater, pump and maybe a single or double stack of filtering options, like a fine mesh filter pad + some kind of media inside of this section.

My questions are:
Are there enough weir slits?
Should the chamber be shorter overall? (I'm thinking maybe it might require more space for airflow etc between the chamber and the glass lid)
Is the chamber large enough?
Could it be smaller? (Square was my original plan, but the rectangle provided more opportunity for filtering in my opinion.)
Even though it would run outside of the black lining, should I rotate the chamber so the outflow is facing forward and the weir on the side? (This is an option, just not the preferred one.)

I appreciate anyone who chimes in, I'm pretty handy with my hands, but this is completely new to me!
 

ElementReefer

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 20, 2022
Messages
313
Reaction score
375
Location
Cincinnati
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I have this tank. I feel like the original sump section is barely big enough for the pump, heater and media that I have in it. I could not imagine anything smaller lol.
 
OP
OP
Narideth

Narideth

Fishaholic
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2023
Messages
460
Reaction score
818
Location
Florida
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
When I had the original section still in the tank, the flow was very poor and it wasn't utilizing the space well in my opinion. If I still had that AIO attached or if I hadn't been a silly and for some reason thrown the acrylic piece away, I'd have just reused it and redirected the flow, but here we are!
 

19Mateo83

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 8, 2023
Messages
1,286
Reaction score
1,867
Location
Charlotte
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
I scratch built my AIO in my 14g. Check out the build thread for it, it may give you some ideas. Acrylic work starts at post #32
 
OP
OP
Narideth

Narideth

Fishaholic
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2023
Messages
460
Reaction score
818
Location
Florida
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I scratch built my AIO in my 14g. Check out the build thread for it, it may give you some ideas. Acrylic work starts at post #32
Oh yeah, that's a nice AIO addition. I'm looking at the picture and trying to figure out which part is the overflow safety that was mentioned? I'd like to keep my AIO small, but I do really like the way you've directed the flow in the wider setup.
 

19Mateo83

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 8, 2023
Messages
1,286
Reaction score
1,867
Location
Charlotte
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Oh yeah, that's a nice AIO addition. I'm looking at the picture and trying to figure out which part is the overflow safety that was mentioned? I'd like to keep my AIO small, but I do really like the way you've directed the flow in the wider setup.
The safeties are the cutout on the top and the height of the first partition. No matter what, if the weir clogs it will run over to the back chamber and if the filter media clogs it will run over into the pump chamber
IMG_9234.jpeg
 
OP
OP
Narideth

Narideth

Fishaholic
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2023
Messages
460
Reaction score
818
Location
Florida
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
The safeties are the cutout on the top and the height of the first partition. No matter what, if the weir clogs it will run over to the back chamber and if the filter media clogs it will run over into the pump chamber
IMG_9234.jpeg
Oh! Awesome, I see it now. I may fiddle around with adding something similar, what a great idea. Thanks for explaining.
 

ElementReefer

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 20, 2022
Messages
313
Reaction score
375
Location
Cincinnati
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
You’re right flow in the sump chamber is not great on that tank. It’s designed for a filter cartridge.

Looking at Mateos pic, what about doing exactly that? Two true chambers separated by a baffle. Chamber 1 could have a 3D printed media basket, chamber 2 could have heater and return pump?
 
OP
OP
Narideth

Narideth

Fishaholic
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2023
Messages
460
Reaction score
818
Location
Florida
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
You’re right flow in the sump chamber is not great on that tank. It’s designed for a filter cartridge.

Looking at Mateos pic, what about doing exactly that? Two true chambers separated by a baffle. Chamber 1 could have a 3D printed media basket, chamber 2 could have heater and return pump?

It is definitely an option, though I was trying to salvage as much space in my Tiny Tank as I could. If I went with the two chamber + baffle, it would simply reclaim the original AIO space, leaving me with a tank that is approx 9.5 inches wide x 7.25 inches deep x 8.75 inches tall with a display capacity of approximately 2.5 gallons.
 

19Mateo83

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 8, 2023
Messages
1,286
Reaction score
1,867
Location
Charlotte
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
You could do a single stage AIO where the weir (blue) flows in, the pump is on the right (green) with the return directly above it, the water comes in and hits hits a piece of filter floss or filter pad (orange) that is on a grate above the return pump. You could have bio rings under the filter pad. This, in theory should work and gives you room for your heater (purple) also.
IMG_9235.jpeg
 
OP
OP
Narideth

Narideth

Fishaholic
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2023
Messages
460
Reaction score
818
Location
Florida
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
You could do a single stage AIO where the weir (blue) flows in, the pump is on the right (green) with the return directly above it, the water comes in and hits hits a piece of filter floss or filter pad (orange) that is on a grate above the return pump. You could have bio rings under the filter pad. This, in theory should work and gives you room for your heater (purple) also.
IMG_9235.jpeg

Oh, I quite like that. It's similar to what I had in my head but laid out in a really nice way. With this configuration, I could also add about another .75 inches to equally half the tank, and give a smidge more space for the pump return to be on the same side as the weir.

I'm going to draft a couple more layouts tomorrow, these replies have given me a lot to think on, not the least of which is that I should go ahead and order some acrylic grates so I can make a basket for filter media.
 

ElementReefer

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 20, 2022
Messages
313
Reaction score
375
Location
Cincinnati
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
FWIW, I have a 50gph pico pump in mine and it’s almost as big as that orange box lol. At that scale, you’re going to be placing components with tweezers.

Good luck. Let us know how it turns out!
 
OP
OP
Narideth

Narideth

Fishaholic
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2023
Messages
460
Reaction score
818
Location
Florida
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Ok, so new plan, a bit more complicated, but might fit the bill for what I'm wanting to make.

1687471888756.png


This is still 4 inches in width, and 2.25 inches in depth. The pump is accurately sized within this mockup, and I've added two overflow protection areas. The interior panel would be connected to the large exterior panel, the grate(s) would be built into a simple media basket probably just with acrylic rods. The direction of the pump's intake is on the same side as the return, so I wanted that to not be pointed at the wall to keep it from becoming blocked.

It's a tight fit, but I think it would work, and it's not adding a whole lot in costs to my original acrylic order. Thoughts?

Thanks again for you guys chiming in to help me work through this build!
 

19Mateo83

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 8, 2023
Messages
1,286
Reaction score
1,867
Location
Charlotte
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Ok, so new plan, a bit more complicated, but might fit the bill for what I'm wanting to make.

1687471888756.png


This is still 4 inches in width, and 2.25 inches in depth. The pump is accurately sized within this mockup, and I've added two overflow protection areas. The interior panel would be connected to the large exterior panel, the grate(s) would be built into a simple media basket probably just with acrylic rods. The direction of the pump's intake is on the same side as the return, so I wanted that to not be pointed at the wall to keep it from becoming blocked.

It's a tight fit, but I think it would work, and it's not adding a whole lot in costs to my original acrylic order. Thoughts?

Thanks again for you guys chiming in to help me work through this build!
Looking good.
 

Managing real reef risks: Do you pay attention to the dangers in your tank?

  • I pay a lot of attention to reef risks.

    Votes: 92 43.4%
  • I pay a bit of attention to reef risks.

    Votes: 72 34.0%
  • I pay minimal attention to reef risks.

    Votes: 34 16.0%
  • I pay no attention to reef risks.

    Votes: 12 5.7%
  • Other.

    Votes: 2 0.9%
Back
Top