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Don't disturb the occupants

Saltwater Transfer and Reef Lighting -- 11/27/09
I enjoy all that your website has to offer and have read many helpful articles. Fantastic website!
<<Thank you'¦ We are happy to know you find the collective efforts here of benefit>>
But, after hours of research I am coming up short on a few questions.
Hope you can help.
<<I have my moments [grin]>>
I've got a question on saltwater transfer pumps.
I am trying to transfer saltwater from my Brute trash can in the basement to my 90 gallon display tank.
<<I see>>
I have 12 ft of vertical and 15ft of horizontal piping all in 3/4'' ID vinyl tubing.
<<Mmm'¦ The diameter used, and tendency of this material to 'collapse' just from the weight of gravity, makes your project more difficult. I suggest re-plumbing with PVC pipe (the 'flexible variety is fine if you wish, as it will not collapse like the vinyl tubing) with an inside diameter of 1', preferably>>
I tried my Rio 3100 submersible pump which will get it upstairs but will only trickle into my sump.
<<Indeed'¦ These pumps don't handle head-pressure well at all>>
Are there any pumps or methods that you could recommend to get my pre-made water up to my tank so I don't have to carry buckets?
<<Yep'¦ I use two very similar systems to transport both pre-made saltwater to my display, as well as filtered freshwater to my top-off reservoir. I have a vertical lift of about 10' with a horizontal run of about 25' and use Mag-Drive 18 submersible pumps plumbed to 1' flexible PVC. This make/size pump works very well for me and one would probably serve your situation too, especially if you upgrade the plumbing. I would also very strongly suggest you install a contact-switch to operate the pump at the point where the water terminates. This is a simple spring-loaded push-button switch that must be 'pressed and held' to operate the pump. This is a bit of extra electrical work (extending and routing the pump cord along the plumbing route), but doing so is the absolute best way to NOT flood your floor with this 'automated' water transport system. Installing such a switch means you have to stand and watch the vessel/tank fill while pressing the button and activating the pump. Once the desired amount of water is transferred, you release the button and the pumps 'stops.' This also happens should the phone ring, someone knocks at the door, or some other distraction occurs, and you walk away'¦get the picture?>>
Also while I'm asking, I have a problem with lighting. My tank is made out of acrylic and the tank hood measures 47 1/2'' wide which makes finding a suitable light to fit very difficult. To make matters worse my hood is about 6"deep.
<<Mmm, yes'¦not easy to work with aside from maybe a DIY T-5 system>>
I like the looks of my oak top and would like to keep it in addition to reef lighting. I am currently using a cheap 2 lamp 36" Coralife fixture until I find an upgrade. I would like to try fluorescent lighting due to heat and space confinements.
<<Fluorescents get hot too, especially high-output units'¦you will still need adequate ventilation>>
I am very new to reef keeping and would be happy to have an anemone for my clowns as well as some very beginner corals.
<<Do research WWM re our cautions and reservations with such systems (water quality issues, mixing sessile and motile inverts, etc.)>>
The tank measurements are 48"x18"x24" but like I said the hood only allows a 47 1/2" work space.
Any Info would be a huge help.
<<Do check out online the available 'retro-fit' T-5 HO lighting gear available. You should be able to find something you can 'make fit'>>
Thanks in advance,
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>

Re: Saltwater Transfer and Reef Lighting -- 12/04/09
Thanks for all the helpful info.
<<Quite welcome>>
I'm taking your advice on the Mag 18 pump, piping, and switching.
<<Excellent'¦ You will find the Mag-Drive pump to be a big improvement over the Rio unit>>
I'm glad you shared your experience on how to transfer saltwater.
<<Was my pleasure>>
I'm sure it will prove to be a real money/time saver.
<<Ah yes! I do 50g water changes at a time and have even semi-automated draining of the display (I turn a valve and the water drains to the sewer system)'¦hauling buckets to drain and refill was not a long-term option [grin]>>
As far as the lighting is concerned, I think I will try a 36" 6-lamp T5 HO fixture made by Current, the Nova Extreme Pro.
<<Okay'¦should serve fine>>
I have an open back on my aquarium top combined with the fans on the fixture and maybe some additional fans should keep it cool enough (I hope).
I will do more research on your site before putting in corals.
<<Very good>>
Once again, thanks for taking time to assist me in my reef adventures.
<<Any time my friend'¦ Eric Russell>>

Filling a new 150 gallon tank with RO water--what pump should I use?  10/15/09
Hello everyone,
<Hiya Shannon>
I'm hoping you guys can help me out.
<I often wonder that myself>
I'm getting ready to fill my 150 gallon tank and I'm not sure how to get the water in it!
<Easy .. you pour the water in through the top! .. oh wait ... there's more ... lemme read ....>
My situation is this: I have an RO/DI unit mounted on the wall in my laundry room, which is run off the washing machine. I'm planning on filling two Brute trash cans that are stored in the laundry room with the RO/DI water, and since the cans are on wheels, rolling them into the living room where my tank is located.
<OK. Stop right there. Those trash cans are strong, but they're designed for trash. 40 gallons of salt water weighs more than 350 pounds -- and the wheels and axles of those trash cans aren't designed for anywhere NEAR that weight. In other words, Shannon, once you fill those suckers with water and make your mix, think of them like concrete pillars -- not going anywhere until close to empty.>
<Now, as it turns out, this is a good thing(tm) because water in any container sloshes as it's moved ... and the more it's moved, the bigger the waves get. More to the point, once salt water starts to sloshing, it finds a way to escape from it's container ... ANY container ... although this does not sound possible, trust me when I tell that once salt water is spilt, it will FIND the most valuable or most easily damaged thing in the room and saturate it. Most old timers will tell you stories of a spilled gallon of salt water that went UP a set of stairs, picked the lock of a door and saturated some memorable keepsake of some family member. Don't try to move the container and you and your entire family will thank us later!>
I'm not sure what the best way to pump the water from the Brute trash cans up into the tank would be.
<After your mix is made and aerated, aged (at least a day, 2 is probably better), heated and pH balanced ...>
Would I use some type of submersible pump?
If so, what kind would you recommend?
<The brand isn't that important, Shannon. 1) It needs to be submersible 2) that it be magnetic drive 3) It needs to have enough lifting capacity to pump from the bottom of the trash can to the top of the aquarium. This distance is known as "Head" and it's measured typically in feet. My suggestion is that you pick a pump that is at least 2-3 feet higher that your maximum distance.>
<Here's what I do, Shannon: I have a pump that is rated approximately 120 Gallons per hour - a relatively small pump. I have a roll of 1/2 inch ID (Inside Diameter) vinyl tubing from my local building supply store that is long enough to reach and at the "tank" end, I run the tubing into a 1/2 plastic ball valve (from the same building supply store & they'll have plastic thread to barb fittings & clamps to construct this, as well) and then out of the valve and into a piece of "U" shaped tubing (from an old canister filter) to hang over the lip of the tank.>
<Water changes are easy: close the valve, hang the tubing into the tank, run the other end to a drain, open the valve, start a suction and go watch TV. I have the INSIDE length of the U tube cut right at 10% so when I start the drain, it runs dry at 10% of my tank volume. Once it runs dry, I take the open end of the tube, attach it to the out let of the pump, drop the pump into the vat of new water and plug it in.>
<Now this is an important part: Because I use only 1/2 inch tubing and fairly weak pump .. the water flow back IN takes about 15 minutes which is a nice, slow addition of the new water. When I reach the desired level, I just close the valve at the tank, which gives me plenty of time to get to the reserve water tank and turn everything off.>
<My last step is to run some hot, fresh water into a bucket and drop the pump and both ends of the tubing into it and turn it on. The fresh water circulates and cleans everything AND it makes the vinyl tubing extremely flexible .. so when I'm rolling it up, it's easier to roll up without kinks. But that's just me.>
Any help on this matter will be very much appreciated.
Thanks in advance,
<Yer welcome afterwards!>
Shannon O'Rourke
Old Bridge, NJ

Re: Filling a new 150 gallon tank with RO water--what pump should I use? 10/17/09
Thanks so much for the info! You guys are THE BEST help as always!
<Yes we are! Go Team!>
One thing I definitely have enough of are ball valves and vinyl tubing!
<hmmmm ...>
This will give me a project for the weekend.
Thanks again,
<Yer welcome!>

Water Change Tactics, SW  7/7/08 I have not been able to find out much about this, maybe I'm not searching correctly. What is the fastest way to do a water change? I have a tall 300 gallon tank, and draining is the easy part. <Heee!> To replace the water, I climb up a stepladder with a five gallon plastic bottle containing water from Rubbermaid trash cans that have the salt mix. Difficult and messy. Is there an easier way? <Sure there is, a few. Perhaps the easiest in my opinion (my method) is to get a dedicated hose ( a garden hose with the ends cut off to fit hose barbs is cheap) and small, large, whatever you want pump. A ball valve on the aquarium end will let you control the flow. Put the pump in your mixing tank, run to the display tank and filler up. If running a hose through your house is not practical or appealing, the same can be done out of each individual 5 gal. next to the tank. It sounds like a pain, but after a while it is nice to just set the bucket next to the tank and pump it in rather than lifting bucket after bucket. There are a few, albeit pricey, automated/semi automated water change systems out there. I just don't trust automation to this extent!> Anything you can tell me will greatly appreciated! <I hope this helps out, Scott V.>

Re: Water Change Tactics 7/10/08 Thanks for the info, Scott. If that garden hose idea works out, I owe you one! Terri <Very welcome. One of the key overlooked components to water changes is making them as easy as possible. This way water changes are more likely to happen routinely. I hope this works out for you, Scott V.>

Moving useful aquarium water in volume - 01/09/2006 Hey Bob, How's it goin?  Hope all is well. <Yes, fine my friend. Returning today from Dizzyworld, the marathon here> I was wondering if you had any info on where to get large water transporting containers, like those big plastic 50gal drums. <Mmm, we used to buy these spiffy polyethylene drums from a soda pop syrup/distributor in San Diego... I would call/contact one of these "bottlers" in your area... likely to be cheap/er, easy to clean...>   I am picking up a 135gallon reef tank that some guy is tired of and want to move a lot of the old tank water too.  I am stressed about the move and have been reading over our tank moving FAQs, but a free system is too good to pass up.  here are some pics if you are curious. <Mmm, a few thicknesses of trashcan bags can/will do to line sturdy/dirty trash bins...> http://happyfishy.net/reef.html Thanks, Gage <Ahh, back  

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