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Another flowing idea..
Posted By: BB <email@example.com>
Date: Tuesday, 16 March 1999, at 1:51 a.m.
Martin's "A River Runs Through It" intrigued me from the moment I read it. If you haven't already checked this out...what are you waiting for? (See the main page) At that time I was also pondering a stream-type setup for hillstream species. I had toyed with cementing a piece of glass in the middle of a 40 gallon (US)BR that would divide the tank into two sections lengthwise but leaving 4 inches open on either end so water could flow around the divider. Powerheads would be used to direct the water flow. I loved Martin's idea but still had an idea that I wanted the fish to be able to constantly have the ability to swim with or against the current of water without having to turn around or return to the source of the current. Mother nature dumped some snow on us last night and whilst shoveling the slush my mind wandered again to a setup for hillstream loachs. I share my thoughts in hopes that folks here can point out any shortsightedness in the functionality or anything else I have fialed to address.
For starters, I still planed to use a 40 gallon breeder. Now for the weird part:) I can take a 10 gallon tank and remove the bottom frame easily. When this is done I could affix small red bricks (the kind houses are built of) to the bottom of the ten gallon tank (one in each corner). They appear to be aquarium safe..as I know of a discus breeder who use them as spawing sites. I would remove one of the small sides of the ten gallon and replace it with plexiglass. I am doing this so I can notch the top with groves (on a table saw) just like you see in a wet/dry prefilter. Can you see where I'm going with this? The ten gallon is to be set right in the middle of the 40 gallon tank and will be an internal wet/dry filter. The constraction inside the 10 gallon of the wet/dry is straight forward from this point on. Four pieces of plexiglass cut into strips and affixed to the inside front and back using sealent. The two upper strips would form a small lip to hold the drip try (nothing more then a plexiglagss tray with many holes drilled into it to allow water to pass) and the lower strips would hold an egg crate shelf to house the bioballs. Another piece would have to be sealed verticaly to seperate the sump area where the pump was from the rest of the filter. This piece starts at the inside top of the 10 gallon (extending the width of the tank) but is only long enought to meet the eggcrate. This would keep the bioballs confined to a chamber but also allow the water that runs through to get to the pump. The return of water to the tank could be driven through the pump through 5/8 inch tubing through an elbow used by a magnug canister filter. This elbow would hang insde the ten gallon but the flow would be directed down the back of the 40 gallon tank. A powerhead would be used on the other side to move water down the front of the 40 gallon. The bricks on the bottom of the 10 gallon are to keep it submerged and raise the ten gallon high enough so that the notches in the end meet the water level of the 40 gallon.
So to recap; I have a 40 gallon breeder with a 10 gallon wet/dry placed righ in the middle. The height of the wet/dry is achived through placing bricks until the frame of the 10 gallon is slightly above that of the 40. The water enters the notched end (I screen this so the loaches cant get in) of the ten and is distributed onto a drip tray. The drip try is lined with the same comercialy available micron screening material that adsorbes the water and distributes it evenly. If needed The drip trp could be on a slight angle to help water reach the entire sufrace. The water drips down to the bioballs below (that are suspeneded by eggcrate) and then to the bottom of 10 gallon. The water is returned to the tank by a submersable pump and is chaneled between the 10 and 40 gallon tank. The narrow space between the two tanks width would help to move water faster. A powerhead would fore water down the of side. Nice circular flow:)
I plan to keep the tank somewhat eyepleasing by applying a grey aquarium sealent to the entire outside surface of the internal 10 gallon wet/dry. This is the same stuff some breeders use to cut back on the reflective nature of all glass tanks. Secure fish are more apt to breed, and in cutting glare you add security. That's the theory anyway. I have used this as a tank backround and invariably algae grows over the sealent, and because you can not scrape it for fear of damaging the seals it turns green. So sooner or later I would have a green wall not a gray one. Algae here is a good thing:) Additionally I want to drill two holes in the bottom of the 40 gallon. I'll add bulkheads and attach 2 inch pvc pipe and run thins upwards from the bottom until it is just higher then the frame of the 40. Water can not get in and I can thread the cords of the powerhead and sump pump down through these tubes. I'll cover the tubes in a layer of gray sealent also. The stand I will have to build myself, and this would also be drilled in the same place as the tank. I may just be able to use the heat generated from the sump pump to heat the aquarium. If I had to I could always add submersable heaters to the sump and run the power cords through the same pvc tubing. No hood, suspended lighting here. I hope hillstream loaches never decide to jump. Ther would be a cave created under the 10 gallon tank because the four corners are suspending the filter. A place for the loach who just wants to get away from it all for awhile. I would also contrive some type of smoked plexiglass lid for the 10 gallon so you wouldn't be looking inside the filter every time you viewed the tank. Because there is no frame on the bottom of the 10 gallon air should not be able to build up under it. I think I finally found a tank I can put in the middle of the room:)
What have I not thought of. BB
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