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Auto water systems?


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Anyone have any links/info/pics to automatic water systems on racks?

Do you mean auto-water change? Or auto top off?

 

This is the auto top off that I use on my Sulawesi tanks to keep the hardness constant if I am gone for a few days.

 

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=27484

 

Auto water change never has seemed necessary to me for shrimp tanks.

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Anyone have any links/info/pics to automatic water systems on racks?

Sounds interesting, I am in the process of building a 20L rack with drilled drains and drip system for WC. I actually consolidated all my tanks.

Do you mean auto-water change? Or auto top off?

This is the auto top off that I use on my Sulawesi tanks to keep the hardness constant if I am gone for a few days.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=27484

Auto water change never has seemed necessary to me for shrimp tanks.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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Have a couple of questions first before I can help you with this. First how many tanks will be in the rack you are planning and what size and types of aquriums will be on the rack?   Do you have a reserve tank for your RO water and if so how many gallons is it?  Are you planning to pre heat the water in the reserve tank or will you use slow drip for the water change?  Are you willing to drill the glass in your tanks for bulkheads?  Can this system be on Central filtration and heat or do they need to be isolated?  How are your plumbing skills?   And last but not least do you have a budget in mind?  Sorry for so many questions but these systems all have various requirements, and it is best to plan from the ground up based on what you need.

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Sorry didn't mean to scare you at all. This really is easy. So let's start with, is the system going to be on a rack? We can just take this one step at a time. I can be a bit overwhelming because this relates to everything I do for a living. Happy to help for sure.

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Ok, so it sounds like to me that all the tanks have thier own filters and heaters. Are there any tanks in the rack that are smaller than 15 gallons? The reason I ask is tanks smaller than that have thin glass that is tough to drill without cracking it. This is assuming you have glass tanks of course.

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SS,

 

Is your rack on cement or another floor that can take an occasional drip?  All of my tanks are drilled and I fill from the city main, mixing hot and cold.  We have chlorine gas water treatment rather than Chloromine, so a WC under 25% doesn't need treatment.  I've been adding tap water this way for 20 years - no problem (knock on wood).  If your water chemistry is stable, this can work great.  I drilled my tanks starting about 8 years ago.  The first set was drilled thru the front, all the rest are drilled thru the back.  I am much happier with the tanks drilled thru the back.  If you are looking for supplies, I recommend JEHMCO.  John is really knowledgable about drilled racks of any sort and can help with parts and tech support.  Most of my supplies come from them.  My preference is the 1/2 inch bulkhead fittings with elbow and strainer.  The strainer can take a small intake sponge to really prevent anything from heading down the drain.  Then into a slip elbow with a barb into 1/2" vinyl tubing.  Depending on your flow, you may want to go into a pvc drain to a floor or other drain.  Some people drain into a sump and empty that via a pump either to a drain or out into the yard. 

 

I've drilled everything from 2.5 gallon tanks thru 50 breeders.  Mainly, it's 10 gallon tanks.  Lately, I've been using an inexpensive bit from Amazon, it's currently out of stock, but I've seen it come and go before.  The drill does the work and you just hold it steady.  Have a helper slowly pour water onto the drilling surface to work in a wet 'puddle' and have something to prop your arm/elbow against.  I am perfectly happy to take 5-7 minutes to drill a hole, broken tanks create more work than just going slow.  Also, I've cracked more tanks with tightening the bulkhead fitting than I have drilling.  Now I use aquarium silicone on the bulkhead fitting side and hand tighten with the gasket on the outside of the tank.  Then hand grip the bulkhead fitting and spin the nut with channel locks until the bulkhead fitting starts to spin inspite of you holding it.  Done and let it sit overnight to cure.  I have a rack in process and will try to post some pictures to my thread about a new rack.

 

Regards,

 

Chris

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Looks like Chris has this handled. So I'll step out here. One thing to consider if you want full auto is a sprinkler system timer with a remote send out to turn on a 110V pump if you want to use it with a reserve tank filled with ro water. You can use an inline valve 24V, to turn the water on and off based on what you set the sprinkler timer to. Additionally you can use drip emitters made for sprinkler systems to drip direct into the tanks. If you use 2 gallons per hour emitters preheating is not important. They can cycle on and off with most timers up to 4 times per day. Drilling the tanks is the way to go because siphon based drains can lose siphon and water will pour on the floor.

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I think the next step here would be to decide if you want to drill. There are some vids on you tube, just search for drill glass aquriums. If we can establish how to drain the aquriums the rest is easy. There are setups for fairly reliable siphon drains all diy that you can build out of pvc that will allow you to do what you want without drilling the tanks, but drilling and installing bulkheads is by far the best.  The best reasonable glass drilling bits I have found are on glassholes.com.   

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Soothing, It is a gut check and a strange feeling when you do decide to put the bit on the glass.  I did break the first 10 gallon tank I drilled.  The good news is that if you break one, you can flip it over 4 more times to practice.  (grin)  Seriously, depending on the amount of cracking, you can repair a tank by cutting a large piece of glass that covers the hole and/or crack, then use silicone over the entire surface of the cut glass and apply the band aid. These can take a long time to cure, like weeks.  Often you can cut the 'virgin' glass and put your bulkhead fitting in.  My problem with this is, you get to see your 'failure' everyday. 

 

I had a problem with the 'set the bit down at a steep angle then slowly move to perpendicular.  I cut a hole into a half gallon juice bottle plastic cap.  I used a similar sized hole saw for wood and made the hole off center so that the 'fat' side was bigger than the bulkhead nut.  I leave the juice cap on the drill bit all the time and drill wet, in a puddle.  The fat side of the cap goes against the plastic tank rim, my helper grips the plastic cap and pins it to the glass, I stay perpendicular at all times - the cap holds the bit firmly so it can't walk and scratch up the glass.  I get the bit spinning when hovering about 1/8" above the glass, then move the bit down onto the glass.  I let it spin for 45-60 seconds then I stop the bit to squirt water inside the bit, then it gets another 45-60 seconds.  At this point, the cut is deep enough to hold the bit, so the cap gets pushed up the bit and just spins in the air while I go back to cutting int he puddle. 

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That drill guide is pretty sweet.  I wonder if you can get it cut up near the plastic rim.  I never liked the idea of drilling low and turning a 10 gallon tank into an 8 gallon tank.  I know some folks drill lower on purpose because they over fill and let it drain back to normal. 

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