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Thread: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

  1. #106
    Silver Member Iminit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    I always get it on hoses. Canisters and wet/dry. I just take it for bio-film build up. Don’t think it’s harmful just ugly looking.

    Got to say your system is pretty complicated . So the momentary drop out is shutting off the pumps every few hours. That being what it is that’s a lot of build up coming out of your hoses. How long has it been building up in your tank like that. Is that a few days worth? Is that in all tanks.

  2. #107
    Gold Member FischAutoTechGarten's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    System is actually quite simple.

    4 tanks in parallel...
    All drain via overflows (basically the twin 3/4" bulkheads at the top of each aquarium are just simple overflows)
    The effluent lands in 2 x 4" 400micron coarse mesh socks (just big enough to catch large debris, fish, shrimp)
    The effluent then passes horizontally through three grades of 2" poret foam (6 pieces).
    Treated water passes from chamber 1 to chamber 2.
    Submerged sump pump picks up water and sends it down a 3/4" line.
    Water has 3 parallel paths.
    1. through the UV Filter (25W) or 2. through the CO2 Reactor or 3. through a Flow Meter (exist just to register that water is actually moving.. a simple Flow Switch could do the same).
    Water comes backtogether into one 3/4" line... Travels down a trunk and then goes off to 4 parallel paths (each leading to one of the display tanks).

    I never see any bio-film in the sump, so it doesn't slough off of the 3/4" effluent lines. I only see it in the display tanks.... Tanks.

    My system seems complicated... however, if it were four standalone tanks there would be:
    3 more pumps, 3 more discharge solenoid valves, 3 more CO2 reactors, 3 more UV filters, 3 more surface skimmers, 3 more Sumps, 3 more auto-top arrangements.

    I'm glad to hear you get it on the hoses. It might be the intial seed bacteria that was added to the water column in the sump to promote colony growth in the poret foam. Perhaps some colonizing bacteria has taken hold in the lines as well.

    The cut outs seem to happen about 2 to 3 times every 24 hours (I record the number of times the relay has cut out... I see when it happens on a little graph). There is a combined 16' feet of line from the Sump Pump to the Display. Overall, the system has 5' of head.. .so that's allot of back pressure. I think the check valve is my best bet to cut back on the bio-film getting back flushed and then shot out.
    Last edited by FischAutoTechGarten; 01-05-2021 at 10:09 PM. Reason: spelling
    Peter
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  3. #108
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    That does look like 'bio slime ' to me .
    I have different hoses and tubing in my tanks and some do slime more then others ..I have no clue why ?
    I am told that shrimp love that stuff ... Maybe a shrimp tank and some 'organic' food could yield interesting results ..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhFp68wjRUU
    ^^ My fish room tour by Richsfishes ^^
    Got rams ?

  4. #109
    Gold Member FischAutoTechGarten's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    Thanks Tom for relating your experience.

    I ordered a check valve.. should be here by next week. I will install that and see if it cuts down on the back flushing when the pump stops and eliminates most of the biofilm from escaping. I have shrimp (amanos and neos) in each of the display tanks... I'm actually seeing some growth out of the shrimps... the red rillis are much larger than they were when purchased.

    I'm not afraid of the slime... I just hate to see it hanging from plants all over the tanks. it reminds me of plastic OXXO bags that would get blown about and stuck in Cactus on the beaches of San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico. (used to drive me crazy that no one seemed to mind massive amounts of trash constantly getting stuck in plants along the beaches and in the desert... so nice once we moved to a nice mountain pueblo and no longer dealt with that...).

    The manufacturer asked me to send photos of the slime that is ejected 3 times a day. Just want to make sure it's in line with what they would normally see...
    Last edited by FischAutoTechGarten; 01-07-2021 at 12:09 PM.
    Peter
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  5. #110
    Gold Member FischAutoTechGarten's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    Quick follow-up... The manufacture felt that the amount of sloughing of bio-slime that I am seeing is 'definitely abnormal'. I was surprised they got back to me so soon. Anyway, they are communicating. I just want to make sure that I didn't buy the wrong stuff.... I've shared with them the fertilizing regimen, and water parameters. I need another 30' of tubing, so I don't want to buy the wrong thing twice if that's the issue.

    I'm seeing less film today (maybe it will take a week or so for more bacteria to colonize in the tubing.... who knows?).

    I took some out about the size of a pea when rolled together and set it on my desk to dry.... It's brown (oxydized/died)... here's a photo...

    DriedBioFilm.jpg
    Peter
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  6. #111
    Gold Member FischAutoTechGarten's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    Film has been reduced, but saw a little today. Did a wipe down of the tanks and rinsed out the 400micron socks in the sump. Decided to rescue two shrimp (a blue and a crystal red) from the sump. I can still see a few others in the poret, but I can't get to them..

    I happened upon this... the guppies had babies and at least three managed to escape being eaten and headed down to the sump and fed in the filter socks for a while. We'll see what they are as they grow (I suspect that they are Panda Guppies as that female has been ready to burst for weeks)... I never wanted guppies, but wife likes them.

    BabyGuppiesLOL.jpg

    Also received a fun piece of kit in the mail today. A digital i/o expansion board for tying in the level sensors from the R.O. storage unit and the Sump Chamber 2. This will permit additional control and afford a measure of safety.

    NCDDigitalIOExpansionBoard.jpg
    Peter
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  7. #112
    Gold Member FischAutoTechGarten's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    Late last night, I worked on configuring the new 8-channel digital I/O board. It will have 8 level sensors attached. Presently, I am testing with two and am very pleased with the reliability and performance (it's fast). It's also from NCD and communicates with the Raspberry Pi 4B / Node-RED over i2c.

    Still struggling with the new Flow meter that I installed... just not registering pulses properly to the Atlas-Scientific EZO-FLO circuit. It's a configuration issue... I'm using a 3rd part flow meter because I just don't want to buy one from Atlas-Scientific as their 3/4" flow meter is quite expensive. Hence in the attached photo you see that the Pump is turned on, but the flow is ZERO.

    You can see the screen I've built a screen in Node-RED to monitor the water level/flow activity. I need to add the RO Pump command / status as well as the Water Change Discharge Valve command / status to this graphic as well.

    ControllerHardware.jpg

    Fun stuff. Today, I hope to finish working with the small sheet of Lexan that I am using to permanently install the level sensors in the 2nd Sump Chamber... Hoping I don't crack and chip everything with the router and cutter...
    Peter
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  8. #113
    Gold Member FischAutoTechGarten's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    Sump Flow is working. What I found was 3 things:
    1. The transmitter circuit had a loose connection (my fault.. I did the soldering).
    2. Some of the solder points were a bit sloppy with flux and needed to be cleaned up with Acetone. (again, my fault.. I did the soldering).
    3. The Flow Meter was configured improperly in my code... as I misread the spec sheets for the scaling.

    SumpFlowWorks.png

    This is a relative flow measure, as it is installed in a parallel branch due to it being only 1/2" in diameter (it just choked off too much flow being installed directly after the pump). Therefore, it's measuring partial system flow. It is still better than nothing as it does let me know that water is moving. When I upgrade to a 3/4" or 1" flow meter, I will put it in series and it will measure total system flow.

    I also wired in the flow switches in the sump that act as pump permissives, so that the pump never runs dry... Anyway, that is indicated on the graphic now too. Presence of two switches set very close gives me a bit of hysterisis to prevent constant pump cycling when there are issues.
    Peter
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  9. #114
    Gold Member FischAutoTechGarten's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    I took a neat little video today.. I relocated the Flow Transmitter (Atlas-Sci EZO-FLO circuit) closer to the Aquarium Controller. In this short 5 second video, you can see the concentric LEDs dancing as the Flow Transmitter receives pulses from the attached Flow Meter as it spins. Neat little detail... tells me the transmitter and meter are cooperating... I can push a command from Node-RED to the transmitter to turn the dancing leds off, but I like seeing them 'spin'...

    Peter
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  10. #115
    Gold Member FischAutoTechGarten's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    new goal for the Fish Nook...

    6 x 20L + Sump.jpg

    Top left tank is staged...

    TopLeftTankStaged.jpg
    Last edited by FischAutoTechGarten; 01-14-2021 at 02:36 PM. Reason: another foto...
    Peter
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    learning never stops

  11. #116
    Gold Member FischAutoTechGarten's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    Small deviaiton today.

    I was long overdue to calibrate my pH, ORP, Conductivity and Dissolved Oxygen probes. (Actually, the dissolved oxygen probes needed to be rebuilt... and the pH probe needed to be reconditioned).

    Started with Dissolved Oxygen. Performed the procedure for the rebuild (solution and membrane replacement). Did the Dry and ZERO mg/L calibrations. Worked good. Saw nice data that reflected what I should be seeing at 27degC for about an hour.... Then.. the probe stopped working... It is 5 years old. More on this.

    Moved on to Conductivity. This thing is a lottery number generator. Thought I would try calibrating. Unfortunately, I only had 1 solution.. so it was going to be a 1point calibration... at 3,000uS. I got it stable enough for the calibration. Introduced to the sump.... random number generator again... The probe is about 5 years old. Then it stopped working. When I pulled out the dissolved oxygen probe... the conductivity probe began working again... but still a lottery number generator. Either noise from the pump... or something with the termination board. The terminaiton board has galvanic isolation between the inputs for the two devices. I'll do some testing by relocating the hardware to another raspberry pi.

    So for now... Conductivity and Dissolved Oxygen are disabled in my homemade aquarium controller.

    Moved on to ORP. Did a 1 point calibration at 225mV... all good. Seeing nice data at 375mV. Not bad for 5 years old.

    Moved on to pH. First, I did a reconditioning.. which is a series of soaks in 3 solutions for 15 seconds. Moved on to calibration... the steps with this transmitter are to start with 7.0, move to 4.0 and then finish with 10.0. 7 read.. 7.2.. not bad... calibrated it... 4.0 read 4.3.. but was still falling... but very, very slow (like a 1000th of a decimal point every 3 seconds... way to little to wait).... so calibrated it... 10.0 solution read 8.2 .... waited to stablize.. it did... calibrated it... Stuck in the water. Read a pH of 5.9.. Verified with test kit... 6.6-6.7. So off. My calibrations solutions are old (about 3 years... and yeah they were opened)... I've decided I made things allot worse by attempting to calibrate with them... So, I'm ordering new ones. My probe is 5 years old.... So, I will turn pH/CO2 control off until I complete a successful calibration on Tuesday.

    So yeah... what an adventure... 1 out 4 success rate... like a baseball player.... bummer.. Might just have to just bite the bullet and get new probes. Atlas-Scientific sells some nice compact ones that are fully submersible and inexpensive ($40 to $50 range).. I'm also considering installing the dissolved oxygen and conductivity sensors in wells instead of in the sump with the pump. (I own the wells are already.. so it's just a matter of plumbing them in).
    Peter
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  12. #117
    Gold Member FischAutoTechGarten's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    https://youtu.be/ppGV_rkaAV8All of the display tanks on the mini-rack are 20 gallon longs that have a common arrangement. The water enters one end near the top via a fluted inlet... and exists the other end along the top. My concern is that I didn't have much movement in the lower layers, possible lot's of dead spots, due to stratification of the current.

    So, I'm testing a Hydor Koralia 240 wave pump at the lower depth (about 3 1/2" off of the substrate), flowing somewhat diagonally accross the 30" length of the tank. I shot a very brief video and I'd like a few folks to look at it and offer an opinion about the strength of the water movement it's creating.. Is it too much? An suggestions on lowering it on thse Koralia 240 pumps (it's a 120V ac pump) if it is too much?

    My idea is to add one of these to each of the 20 gallon long display tanks (currently four, very soon to be five, and then later 6).

    Here's the link to the video:
    https://youtu.be/ppGV_rkaAV8
    Last edited by FischAutoTechGarten; 01-23-2021 at 10:58 PM. Reason: added better video link
    Peter
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  13. #118
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    Have you considered using lock line to create a Y for water in and aiming some towards bottom of tanks ?
    No more equipment will ne needed and it will never suck in a little fish or use electricity..
    When you turned the hydor on did it stir up a bunch of muck ? If not then maybe you don't have trouble dead spots .
    You could also try running the hydor on a timer for a short period every day or several times a day instead of constant ?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhFp68wjRUU
    ^^ My fish room tour by Richsfishes ^^
    Got rams ?

  14. #119
    Gold Member FischAutoTechGarten's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    Tom,

    Yeah, it did stir up a little much. the dead spots were kind of where I thought they would be. I too had considered the idea of just turning on the wave pumps for short periods several times a day (maybe 15 minutes every 6 hours for 4 times a day and also just before a scheduled water change).... I would put all 6 of them on one power strip... and then have that powerstrip plugged into one of the relay controlled outlets... Then I'd have control throught a scheduler... just like my lighting and UV filter. I'm going to be developing a feed mode which will kill the pump for 10 minutes while I feed the fish in the morning and evening (they aren't discus, so they just eat twice a day). So, I'd also make sure to have those wave pumps interrupted as well.

    The Hydor's are cheap at ~ $20 a piece and only consume 3.5watts.

    I had considered lock line with a y to give flow along the top and bottom layers... But I'd have to test that the top inlet would provide the suction break necessary in the event the pump's check valve fails... Wouldn't want all 6 tanks (4 now, but 2 more soon) to back drain 7 gallons of water a piece from the lower inlets into the sump if the pump shut off and the check valve failed. (I have a 1/2" emergency overflow to drain installed in the sump, but that wouldn't keep up and I'd hate to waste 42 gallons of water and dislodge everything from my Poret foam in the sump in the process as well.)

    A poster on the Planted Tank dot Net site recommended the Fluval U2 as a corner mounted secondary circulation device that could move some tank water a multiple levels. They are lower powered... at about 120gph (so 1/2 the Hydor theoretical). Only issue with the Fluvals would be the sponges X 6 that no doubt would get dirty and require frequent cleaning. They are also about $35 a piece and consume 5watts a piece.

    I'm going to test this Hydor in each of the other 3 tanks that have fish and plants at the moment.. Just to see how those populations respond..

    Tom, did you look at the video? Did it seem to be too much flow for a planted aquarium with cories, tetras, ottos, shrimps and rams?
    Last edited by FischAutoTechGarten; 01-24-2021 at 04:33 PM.
    Peter
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  15. #120
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    Default Re: Sonora Desert Fish Nook (mini fishroom)

    The fish seemed to handle the flow ok IMO .
    I just know that the hydors can suck in a fish ..
    The fluval idea can be made easier by just removing the sponges ?
    I use the lock line with a Y and with one line pointed down 6 inches into tank and one at surface the suction is always broken when power is interrupted ..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhFp68wjRUU
    ^^ My fish room tour by Richsfishes ^^
    Got rams ?

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