BC29 Chamber 2 Refugium Build

Discussion in 'Nano Reefs' started by zigginit, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. zigginit

    zigginit New Member

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    Ok so in order to better cut down on hair algae, I decided to look into options like building a refugium. I saw some fuge baskets that will fit into the 2nd chamber once all bioballs and grates are removed. I liked the idea of being able to remove them to trim or add micro algae and then simply slide them back into place. Instead of buying the product I saw I decided to build my own with its own twist. I measured the chamber with the bio balls out and I found it to be 9x4x13 inches. So I will build the rack to be a little smaller then that so it will fit nice and be able to come out easy. I don’t have the dimensions figured out exactly yet but It will be two parts. The first side will be smaller and will have filtration items in it. The second side will be larger side and house chaeto algae with 1 or 2 small live rocks at the bottom. This will give a place for pods to grow as well. I am undecided about using an underwater light I found on a site or an over head LED to grow out the micro algae. Here is the site I got my idea from as well as the underwater light I may by. BioCube 29 - inTank, LLC so here is how I think I will build this with acrylic and silicone. What do you think of the layout? Any suggestions or ideas for better flow or growth. remeber this whole thing will slide into the chamber 2 and tank up most of the space. i will put small feet on the bottom just to keep it off the groung a little. maybe 1/4". and i will somehow make the filter side open to change the carbon or whatever. i need to think that one out, maybe a sliding wall or something.
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  2. zigginit

    zigginit New Member

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    has anyone done anything like this and what were your results?
     
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  3. zigginit

    zigginit New Member

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    ok well im going ahead with the plan. i got the acrilic sheet and marked it for cutting which i will do in a day or two, i need to find someone with a table saw. i will post pics after i cut and glue too.
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. StevieT

    StevieT RS Sponsor

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    Acrylic and silicone do not bond. I don't know why you are having water flow back up before it gets to the fuge area. Seems to me like it will block flow and may cause a mess as your filter floss clogs up.

    Do not put filter floss on the bottom shelf of your rack. Keep it on the top.
     
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  5. zigginit

    zigginit New Member

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    Sorry its plexiglass not acrylic, my bad. and this bonds i already used it in the past and it held up. I am having the flow go back to the top so the flow goes through the chaeto instead of under it. I dont think it would cause a flow problem because the gap will be big enough to let it flow. i got that idea from "bubble traps" in peoples sumps and that seems to work fine for them. you are right i will not put floss on the bottom i will put something else but dont know what yet. maybe chemi-clean. and i would change the top filter floss as needed, i already use filter floss on the top of the bioball rack so im use to cleaning that out.

    do you work for In Tank? im not trying to out do you guys or anything, but im just poor right now and DIY is fun for me. the sheet only cost me $12 so if it dont work its not that big of a deal. i guess i would be hitting you guys up after that:bow: besides i really do owe you guys credit for giving me the idea anyways. i never thought of a removable basket.

    can you tell me about your double light you sell? does it really grow well? i think i would still buy that. do the bulbs last long? does algae grow on the light reducing its brightness?
     
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  6. StevieT

    StevieT RS Sponsor

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    Plexiglass is just a brand name for acrylic, they are one manufacture of it. I am inTank so yes I work for them :lol:

    The double lights are awesome, wouldn't sell them if they weren't. They grow chaeto very well and no algae does not grow on the glass covers. Bulb life depends on how long you run them. Say if you have them on for 24 hrs then they can last 6-9 months. Probably best to change them at the 6-7 month mark to keep the brightness up.

    DIY is a great option if you are short on cash. Your best bet it to use weldon, like I said the silicone bond will not last long.


    The entire chamber will be full of water, the chaeto will get the flow it needs, but run with what you think will work best.
     
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  7. zigginit

    zigginit New Member

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    ok i got the parts cut and now i need to find the weld-on to glue it all together. i though about just using superglue and then putting silicon over it for a good seal. anyways i think i will not be albe to glue it all toghter for a few days as i got class this first half of the week.
     
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  8. 1ofManyNguyens

    1ofManyNguyens New Member

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    so hows the build going?
     
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  9. zigginit

    zigginit New Member

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    well i started gluing everyhting together and at the last moment realized i measured the width wrong.:cursin: i had to trim off the tabs on the tank that hold the old bioball rack up. even with those gone it still wont fit, but just by a hair. so im on my way right now to go back to the table saw and trim off about 3/8 inch from the side of the unit. its kinda hard to do because it is half way glued already. ill have to be carefull or ill break the whole thing.:look: here goes nothing...
     
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  10. zigginit

    zigginit New Member

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    ok update time. i did get what i needed trimed up and all is well. i did the gluing with good old superglue gel and it worked really good. it held fast and strong. then i used silicone over that for the added seal and support. the super glue gel bonded the acrilic like no other. i think it even chemicly bonded them. it had a water tight seal even with out the silicone. well the last bit of silicone is drying now so ill shot some pics later and put them up.

    and i did change the water flow from my plan posted before. i no longer have the water flow back up. it just flows under the divider wall and the it will have to flow up to get out. im going to drill the exit on the top instead of the bottom side.
     
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  11. zigginit

    zigginit New Member

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    ok the refugium is done and i have put it in the tank. it works good. it getts the flow i want over my filter media as well as a current in the chaeto chamber. i had a few small set backs while making it but in the end it only cost me $12 for the plexiglass and $6 for the silicon i used to seal it. the superglue i already had so good deal. i dont have the light for it yet but i dont have any chaeto in there yet as well. will be getting those soon. i put a couple of small rock rubble down in the bottom to help keep the filtration i want as well as a home for the pods. im currently running a bag of phose-zorb, and a bag of carbon in two of the chambers i made. i may put something in the third chamber later. i even have a smaller forth chamber if i want to use the very bottom as one. so all in all it works for me. i know that it is not as clean looking as some but hey its in the back and its out of sight. and i made it so its worth something to me. :dance:

    here it is drying after gluing the main body.
    [​IMG]

    Finished everything with removable rack in
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    removalbe rack out
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    in the tank doing its job. (no chaeto yet)
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Morganrules

    Morganrules New Member

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    Looks Awesome!!!!!!!
     
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  13. Eric

    Eric Google Warrior
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    Very nice DIY!
     
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  14. zigginit

    zigginit New Member

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    thanks, i still need to find some chaeto for it though. i was going to run to the LFS today to see if i can talk him into selling me some from his sump but i cant go today. not sure when i can go. i also have not decided on a light to put back there. i though of going to radioshack and getting some leds and making a led lamp over it using a cell phone charger as the power supply but not sure about it yet. it would only cost a few buck i think. or i could buy the $20 light from inTank, LLC
     
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  15. redsea reefer

    redsea reefer New Member

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    Nice DIY job! :thumbup:
     
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  16. zigginit

    zigginit New Member

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    thanks, hope it will grow some pods for me in the long run.
     
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  17. Thespivster

    Thespivster New Member

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    Hey new guy here...(yes I haven't posted an intro yet :( )...

    I read you post and I'm inspired to try building a setup like that myself. One thing concerned my however with your build. You used super glue...cyanoacrylate adhesives like super glue were developed in the 50's as a replacement for sutures in surgery. They are water soluble and will slowly disolve over a few weeks or so. Make sure you have plenty of silcone covering it...God knows what type of chemicals could leech into your water.
     
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  18. StevieT

    StevieT RS Sponsor

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    Super glue is the #1 tool to the reefer. We use it to attach corals to live rock. It does fine in saltwater long term.
     
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  19. zigginit

    zigginit New Member

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    +1. used it long time ago and still no problems.
     
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  20. zigginit

    zigginit New Member

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    so i put the chaeto in and made a simple light, but not LED. i used a power cord and cut the end off it. then i attached the wires to one of the small low power light sockets. then i added a small 6w light. i then made a little mount that slides on the divider wall and has the light over hang the refugium side. it works great but i think im going to go out and look for maybe a 10w or 20w buld instead. i think i even saw a LED type mini flood light that will fit this socket. i dont want too much heat at the same time. i hooked it all to a timer and have it run about 15 hours a day over night. its only been running for 1 day so to soon to tell anything yet. this light only cost me less then $10 to make at Ace Hardware.
     
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