RFBF's Five Footer

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by redfishbluefish, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8,053
    Likes Received:
    11,459
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    Well that didn't last long. Noticed high water in the sump again....that is, the first float switch isn't working again on the ATO. Now when I go to pull it off, the tube that is supposed to keep the top of the float switch dry has about a 1/2 inch of water in it!!!

    [​IMG]


    That's it...off comes the ATO again and I decide to remove the top part of the snail guard because that is a potential point of entry for water, that doesn't have a seal on it. I'm not using the guard anyway....no snails in the return section of my sump. I also decide to put in a new float switch and now include an o-ring on either side of the bracket that holds the switch. In theory the two o-rings completely seal off the entry of any water into the tubing. Hope this does it!

    Here you can see the two o-riings before I screw the tube back into position.

    [​IMG]


    Fingers crossed!
     

  2. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8,053
    Likes Received:
    11,459
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    I wanted to post up my lighting schedule because every time I'm asked I need to go through my controller to figure out the times. I run 2, 120W Apollos (not controllable) and 1, 120W (165W) Mars Aqua with blues at 100% and whites about 33%. In addition I have 2, 4 foot IceCap LED nightlights that are part of the cycle. The cycle mimics equator lighting.....a 12 hour light period.

    Sunrise (Nightlights) ------------ 1 hr ------------ 10AM-11AM
    Morning (Blues only) ------------ 3 hr ------------ On at 11AM
    Mid-day (Blues and Whites) --- 4 hr ------------- 2PM - 6PM
    Afternoon (Blues) ----------------3 hr ------------- Off at 9PM
    Sunset (Nightlights) --------------1 hr ------------ 9PM-10PM

    So I know, Blues on Channel 2, Whites on Channel 3 and Nightlight on Channel 4
     
    melypr1985 likes this.
  3. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8,053
    Likes Received:
    11,459
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    With the recent issue with one of my MP40 controllers malfunctioning, I wanted to link the post here so if and when if happens again, it will be documented in my tank build, and I'll be able to find it.

    Ecotech Vortech Controller Malfunction

    [​IMG]




    On a separate note, with moving my dosing pumps, the tubing was no longer reaching the section of the sump, where I was dosing. I have BRS 1.1 ml dosing pumps and thought the tubing was simply 1/4" tubing readily available at HD. Well it's not! The best I could figure was that it measures about 7/32 OD, which calculated closest to 5.5 mm. In search for 5.5mm tubing, I found it, but it was costly, and now needed to be shipped. So instead of replacing all the tubing, I simply purchase 1/8" barbed splicers that I picked up from McMaster Carr and continued the tubing with regular old 1/4 inch tubing....both about 1/8 ID. I did use cyanoacrylate glue on the barb to make sure it stayed attached.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8,053
    Likes Received:
    11,459
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    Powerhead Controller Bracket

    I don't like Velcro, so I make little box brackets for what otherwise would be Velcro'ed in my equipment cabinet. Making these little things is actually therapy for me.......so last night was a therapy night in the shop, while I made a bracket to hold the recently purchased Jebao PP15 Controller. I use what us to be called 1/4 inch plywood.....but now it's more like 3/16. Here it is all done and painted flat black, hanging in the equipment cabinet.

    [​IMG]
     
    gettaReef and TheEngineer like this.
  5. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8,053
    Likes Received:
    11,459
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    I just had a great DOH! moment with my tank. I was drilling a 3 1/2 inch hole in the back wall of my canopy and trying to keep both hands on the drill, while I held the vacuum to catch the sawdust. I've used this bit a bunch of times and knew I'd get a kick once the teeth hit the wood. Well, I got the kick, and the drill was ripped from my hands, and right into the tank. I immediately unplugged the drill and then pulled it out. It appears the only loss was potentially a Dewalt drill and a candy cane larger than a softball auto-fragged into maybe 12 pieces.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. TheEngineer

    TheEngineer Formerly icecool2 R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Build Thread Contributor Delaware Reef Club

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,454
    Likes Received:
    5,662
    Location:
    PA
    Dang it!
     
    redfishbluefish likes this.
  7. Jose H

    Jose H Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2016
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    27
    That bracket is cool! I have a jecod cp40 and the controller is always falling ( it's attacked to my stand with Velcro) and I hate it. Wish you made those! I would buy it from you!
     
    redfishbluefish likes this.
  8. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8,053
    Likes Received:
    11,459
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    Well everything turned out well. Thanks @TheEngineer. And @Jose H , I'm selling the brackets for.....

    [​IMG]


    One million dollars!


    Thanks for the kind words, but I don't have time to complete the projects I need to complete, let alone accepting other outside projects. They are easy to make.....go for it!


    So the reason for that hole was so that I could get my hand into the left side of the back side of my tank. WIth the cabinet on the left, I can't access the left back side of my tank.

    [​IMG]


    So the hole now allows me to put powerheads on the back left side wall. I wanted a door that was easily opened without having to get out any tools. So the door simply slides up and out. Here's the door being opened:

    [​IMG]


    And here it is closed:

    [​IMG]
     
    TheEngineer likes this.
  9. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8,053
    Likes Received:
    11,459
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    It seems like I've had too much equipment crapping out on me lately. I guess it's the issue with having an old tank. Tonight a double wammy.

    ATO: I walk into the fish room and I see the water line on my sump is about an inch below the "line." My first though is the Tom's Aqualifter, in part, because I have two backups.....trying to be optimistic. Nope, it's not the pump. I notice that when I lift the float switch I don't hear the relay clicking on and off....it's a mechanical switch. So now I'm figuring it's the relay. The problem is that I need to be a contortionist to pull that stuff out. In the mean time I've pulled out an old JBJ and set that up to hold me over. The only thing I dont' like about JBJ is that there is no back-up float switch.....so only about four gallons in the ATO reservoir.

    Vortech Wetside: Well, I'm now down another wetside....already lost two about a year or so ago....and now only one old guy remaining. The magnets leak and swell, causing the entire wetside to spin. Looks like another $75 for another wetside. Maybe I should just order two, because that last one (all 2006 vintage) is probably close to crapping out as well.
     
  10. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8,053
    Likes Received:
    11,459
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    I had set up the JBJ ATO thinking it was going to be temporary....with the concern that it didn't have a backup float switch. As I was pulling out the original ATO, I remember that someone had mentioned that the single float switch "times out" after X number of minutes of pump run time....so I'm safe. So last night I decided to install the controller in the equipment stand:

    [​IMG]


    I come down to the fish room this morning and the water level in the sump is below that magic line.....the JBJ had timed out. Now realize I have a Tom's Aqualifter as my feed pump from the reservoir.....to put it another way, if you're not familiar with the pump.....it's slow. I look up how to adjust the time in the JBJ, and it turns out to be real easy. Take out the four phillips head screws in the back of the controller and turn the adjustment screw (circled in yellow) counterclockwise to increase the time.

    [​IMG]


    Supposedly the factory setting for timing out is three minutes of run time....with the maximum being seven minutes. I turn the screw all the way up to as far as it will go.....seven minutes of run time on a Tom's still isn't much water, so I'm safe.

    My original ATO (AquaHub Premium installed ca 2008) will be repaired and used on my QT tank. Although I thought the relay had crapped out, it was a float switch. First time I've had a float switch loose continuity when it failed.
     
  11. Maritimer

    Maritimer Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter CTARS Member R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Messages:
    6,828
    Likes Received:
    11,893
    Location:
    SouthWestern Connecticut
    This turned out to be a fascinating read, filled with the tiny details of successful DIY. Makes me wish I had those skills . . . ! (>__<)

    ~Bruce
     
    redfishbluefish likes this.
  12. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8,053
    Likes Received:
    11,459
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    As I continued to ponder the addition of the JBJ ATO and the safety of the "time out" feature, I was now bothered by this feature being used when I was away on vacation. You know that's when equipment decides to crap out. So in this scenario, the float switch fails, the pump runs until it times out, and then that's it, no more water....for that two week vacation to Ireland!!! Can't have that.

    I need to install a dual float switch arrangement with this JBJ. This way I'll have double protection....second float switch, and if that now fails, the "time out." I can live with that. What's the chances that both float switches would fail at the same time.

    The first thing I wanted to test was how high the water level went up if the switch failed, and the pump ran until "time out." This would help me determine the offset of the two float switches. According to what I was told (or read) the timer switch turned all the way up runs for seven minutes. I marked the location of the water level for the current JBJ:

    [​IMG]


    The float switch was removed and the pump allowed to run. I didn't start a stopwatch but simply looked at the time. It didn't stop after seven minutes....actually ran about 13 minutes. Still not much water for a Tom's. Here's the level after the pump "timed out," about 7/8 of a inch up.

    [​IMG]


    Knowing the dimensions of this return section of the sump, that equates to less than 3/4 or a gallon.


    I've just ordered more float switches.....now have to wait for them coming from China. While I wait, I'm working on a way to keep the tops of the float switches dry....that's what has been killing the current switches I have.
     
    Maritimer likes this.
  13. TheEngineer

    TheEngineer Formerly icecool2 R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Build Thread Contributor Delaware Reef Club

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,454
    Likes Received:
    5,662
    Location:
    PA
    That's one of the reasons I like having my ATO run by my controller. I can see its status and reset it from my phone if I need to. It also texts me when it times out.
     
  14. gettaReef

    gettaReef Valuable Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,012
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Coralville, IA
    Wow, glad you posted this info. I've used the JBJ ATO for years and didn't know it even had a timed out feature, let alone the ability to adjust the run time. That's awesome! Will have to test that. I also run my JBJ on the setting with x2 floats in the sump (as opposed to one float in the sump and one float in the ATO reservoir). The JBJ controller and the floats that it came with have been super reliable for me (used 6 years continously); I've never a had any issues with the floats (even when I went too long without cleaning them) and have had both floats submerged in saltwater (when return pump turned off) for relatively long periods of time (and I haven't done anything to keep the top part of the float dry) with no issues at all. Although I do look forward to seeing what mod you come up with to seal the top of the float as I'd like to copy it ;) You can never be too safe! BTW I love your thread, diy projects/mods, and system!
     
    redfishbluefish likes this.
  15. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8,053
    Likes Received:
    11,459
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    Thank you for the kind words.

    JBJ float switches are top notch. They do last a pretty long time. They were made to be submerged in water, and do a pretty good job. Unfortunately after market float switches (and especially the inexpensive ones) do not hold up well when wet. You would think a float switch is something used around fluids and should be water tight......not.

    My original ATO was an AquaHub Premium kit that you had to assemble.....semi DIY. They specifically stated that you had to include tubing to protect the tops of the float switches. Here are the float switches I just removed from my tank.....note the primary switch had been changed, maybe three times.

    [​IMG]


    Now even though these had the tubing to keep water off the top of the switch, when these were removed, water was found in that primary switch tubing. Looking closely, I also put two mini zip ties on the tubing to attempt to seal off the tubing to fitting connection. I also included two o-rings between the switch and bracket (on either side). But water still found it's way into the top of the switch.

    I even though that the water might be coming from the proximity to the filter sock (drain line) and the micro bubbles popping at or near the top of the tubing, sending water down the tubing. You could actually see salt deposits on the inside of the tubing. Here's the location of the tubing to the filter sock....top of tubing circled in yellow with the filter sock just to the left.

    [​IMG]


    I dismissed this theory because I would only find water in the primary float switch tubing, and not the secondary switch. If bubbles are popping at the tops of these tubings, you'd find water in both. I didn't. So the leaking had to be some place in or around the float switch.

    Anyway, this entire setup is now out, and I'm using the JBJ. I will add a dual float switch assembly to be used with the JBJ head unit. To "waterproof" the tops of the float switches, they will be in CPVC tubing. Only one o-ring will be necessary to seal off the water from entering.

    Just as an FYI, I did a DIY on another float switch setup HERE, and this was for a kill switch for my skimmate container. The primary should be water proof with the o-ring right up against that hard tubing piece. The secondary switch is hanging out there, but should never see fluids.

    [​IMG]
     
    gettaReef and Maritimer like this.
  16. gettaReef

    gettaReef Valuable Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,012
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Coralville, IA
    Thanks for the detailed info, it is super helpful. Waterproofing the JBJ floats using CPVC and one o-ring sounds simple enough. If you wouldn't mind, when you finish could you post a pic or 2 and list the CPVC pipe and o-ring sizes? Thank you so much
     
    redfishbluefish likes this.
  17. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8,053
    Likes Received:
    11,459
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    Curse of the Vermetids :mad:

    I have Vermetid snails....there, I said it. In my DT, it really hasn't been an issue, and I'm guessing it's because of my melanurus wrasse sucking those little sessile snails out of their tubes like he's sipping on a straw of a nice cold Mojito in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Although I've never seen him eat one, that's what I envision. :D Now, where the wrasse can't get, I grow them big. This is the down spout in my filter sock....a 1 1/2 inch pipe, to give you perspective.

    b8a6c8e2-afa6-4d99-b011-f0e63d6a9667_zps87cb4167.jpg


    My tank has been running for 10 years. I have a 1500 Glass-Holes overflow and also run a BRS dual reactor. I first noticed an issue with this reactor. It was originally set up with a Cobalt MJ1200 pump that was throttled back. Eventually I installed a manifold and ran the reactor off of that. Shortly after hooking up the manifold, I noticed I had to open the valve more and more, to the point the reactor was only dribbling water back into the sump. I blamed this on the manifold not producing enough back pressure. Eventually I went back to the Cobalt and surprise, I was still only getting dripping out of the return.

    I started with the tubing and pulled that off. I first tried to run a wooden dowel down the tube and it didn't have the strength to break through the blockage. I went with a long metal rod, and I was able to break out the blockage.....vermitids! I went back to the manifold and had more than enough pressure to run the reactor. :p

    With my overflow, I first noticed the water level was higher on the saw-teeth. I thought it was just dirty saw-teeth, so I started cleaning them with frequency....with a soft brush to get the algae off, and a scalpel to scrape deposits off each individual tooth. Eventually that wasn't enough, so I pulled the cover off the overflow and noticed that the water wasn't cascading / waterfalling over the inner sides, down into the lower chamber. The overflow was totally filled to just under the saw-teeth...all the way across.

    I can not see down into the overflow because of my canopy, but I still pulled the cover off the lower chamber, and stuck my hand down into this chamber, to only find that I've hit something hard and lumpy, blocking both 1 1/2 inch return pipes. Using a spatula, I chipped and scrapped everything off the inside of the overflow. A good portion went down the pipes and was caught by the filter sock. The remaining pieces in the overflow were picked out. Success!

    So now I guess I'll have to put scrapping down the inside of the overflow and cleaning the reactor tubing on some maintenance schedule!
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  18. Charterreefer

    Charterreefer Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Central NJ
    Hi Paul,
    Did you ever try coral snow? My wife and I noticed a decrease in the vermitids when I was using it 3x a week. It seems to get caught in their nets and seems to irritate them. It also removes the suspended particles in the water column that they feed on.
     
    redfishbluefish likes this.
  19. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    8,053
    Likes Received:
    11,459
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    Thanks for the reply......NO, I have never tried Coral Snow.

    Again, in my DT, they are really not an issue. Now knowing that they are potential problems in tubing and overflows, I have no problem cleaning them out.....maybe yearly or ever other year. I went ten years for the first cleanout! :eek:

    Maybe because I'm old-fashion (or just old, or a chemist), but I'm not crazy putting stuff in my tank that has flashy marketing names, not knowing what it is. I've actually gotten a kick out of some of the marketing names they've come up with for plain old sodium carbonate solution (Alkalinity solution). And with Zeovit, all of their stuff has flashy marketing names.......I say, tell me what it is and I'll consider using it.

    But good info to know.....and if I didn't have a hungry melanurus wrasse, I'd consider giving it a try.

    Now, do they have anything for Aiptasia? I'm loaded, and can't wait to get another hungry butterfly. :D
     
    WWIII likes this.
  20. Charterreefer

    Charterreefer Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2016
    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    Central NJ
     
    LadyMac likes this.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
Loading...