The Patchin 100

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by patchin, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. patchin

    patchin Facilities / Event Coordinator

    Months ago we bought a used 100 ga acrylic tank, stand, lights, sump and plumbing. My goal is to have a mixed tank being as energy efficient as possible. I'm totally open to any ideas.

    The system originally belonged to Mr Tubbs I'm told. Consists of a 48x20x24 acrylic tank that looks pretty scratch free now that I've put water in it. I really like these dimensions. Internal overflow on right side. Circulation is provided by 2 GenX 55 watt circulation pumps. One of which is noisey, the other one hums but doesn't turn so far. One is the sump return, the other is on a closed loop with 4 outlets about 6 inches above the bottom. There is an additional drain line to the sump from the level of the closed loop intakes. I'll take pictures soon. 2 Seio 620 powerheads also included.

    Lighting: 2 250 MH with magnetic ballasts and ultra cheap reflectors. 2 VHO actinics with Advance ballast that were never installed (so far I haven't found any end caps).

    Sump is a 29 ga acrylic that is undivided. Previously just used for a skimmer. I'm open to a larger sump or dividing this one or ? Have a sulphur denitrator to add to the sump and should probably get a phosphate reactor (right word?)? This sump probably isn't big enough for a refugium? My present skimmer is an ASM 1, I believe. Phong, is that right?

    Other equipment I have consists of 2 Tunze Nanostreams, 2 175 Combo fixtures with PCs, 2 seio 620s.

    I'm open to change almost anything. Would T5s be more efficient? 175 or 250 on a light rail? Ditch the closed loop and use Tunzes or other powerheads? Better return pump? I want this tank successful and as energy efficient as possible.
    Thanks for your help.
  2. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    If you aren't growing SPS at the bottom of the tank, T5 will be the way to go as far as efficiency. if you assume MH on for 8hrs and VHO on for 1hr extra on each side (1+1), then you are looking at 6200 watt*hrs.

    replace that with an 6x T5HO with good reflectors running for 10hrs a day, and you are looking at 3240watt*hrs.
    Doubt you can fit an 8x t5 setup (minimally 20" wide), but if you feel that isn't enough power, you can overdrive with Icecaps.
  3. patchin

    patchin Facilities / Event Coordinator

    That's what I thought. When I mentioned T5s at OTA, he kinda laughed and told me to stick with MHs.
  4. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    [quote author=Gomer link=topic=5805.msg72633#msg72633 date=1231045806]
    If you aren't growing SPS at the bottom of the tank, T5 will be the way to go as far as efficiency. if you assume MH on for 8hrs and VHO on for 1hr extra on each side (1+1), then you are looking at 6200 watt*hrs.
    Could go with MH for 4 hours a day, then a couple Blue+ T5s for 10hrs, which is on par with 6 HO T5s.
  5. that's what I have, 2x250w SE 14k Reflux for 4 - 5 hrs, then vho actinic comes on for 4hrs before MHs and two hrs after MHs. I actually turn off the vho actinics because the reflux is already blue enough.
  6. alve

    alve Guest

    I also believe that the best place to save some energy is using T5's instead of the MH. I have no experience with T5's but looking at a lot of beautiful T5 only tanks on RC it definitely seems to do a good job in keeping SPS.

    Whenever you have a chance please post some pictures of your progress setting up this system. I like following and reading about people's setups. ;D
  7. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    The best place to save is to realize you don't need all your lights on 8 hours a day :D
  8. patchin

    patchin Facilities / Event Coordinator

    If I stick with MH, any thoughts on 175 vs 250? There will be 18 to 19 inches of water. Un fortunately I haven't really found a 175 bulb that has good color and par that doesn't need supplementation. I like a little blue.
  9. Raddogz

    Raddogz Guest

    250w would be perfect. Lumenarcs if possible.
  10. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    [quote author=Gomer link=topic=5805.msg72633#msg72633 date=1231045806]
    T5 will be the way to go as far as efficiency.

    Do you have any hard data on that? I mean sure, if you use fewer watts it will consume less energy, but I can't find anything that definitively says that for a given amount of light T5s consume less energy than metal halides.

    Wikipedia indicates that there's a great deal of overlap in luminous efficiency between the two types of bulbs, with metal halides being slightly ahead.

    Of course, if you really want to be efficient, Steve, light your tank with tubular skylights!
  11. Raddogz

    Raddogz Guest

    Put a kill-o-watt meter on and you make your choice. This is assuming one is running T-5's on workhorse or equivalent ballast vs. over-driving the T-5's on an IceCap ballast.

    As far as the almighty par goes I can't tell you as I have yet to do comparison yet (I have yet to do anything with my par meter yet)
  12. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    Stick with the halides, it's alarming how many bulbs I throw out on my setups with T5s, its starting to bug me.
  13. patchin

    patchin Facilities / Event Coordinator

    Are you running a 175 on your tank? If so, are you happy? Boy, is that a leading question!
  14. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    I'm back to 250w, my tank hated the 175w Iwasaki, everything bleached. Much to my dismay I'm using higher kelvin bulbs as my corals seem to like 20k bulbs...
  15. patchin

    patchin Facilities / Event Coordinator

    Our tank has two GenX 40 that put out a lot of water but are very noisy. Is this typical? Is there a way to quiet them? They are already on foam pads. What's an efficient, quiet pump. if I decide to dump these?
  16. patchin

    patchin Facilities / Event Coordinator

    Here's a picture of the tank's plumbing:
    The GenX return pump puts out more water than the overflow will handle, so another drain was installed (pipe on the left). It just drains from a bulkhead. Noisy as could be. The drain line tees into the bulkhead and is open at the top. I can't imagine the last owner put up with the noise (along with the noisy pumps). Between the penductors on the return and the closed loop, there's pretty darn good flow.

    Picture of front of tank, showing closed loop bulkheads, outputs, and penductors.
  17. Raddogz

    Raddogz Guest

    Sorry Steve the first pic is a little well small.

    I can't tell where the drain lines are drawing from which bulkheads. Why do you have (2) Gen-x pumps running?

    Internal pumps tend to be a little quieter for the most part. I tend to recommend Eheim pumps (can be used internal/external), but they are pricey. I currently use a Quiet One 4000 which is quiet for me, but the general consensus is they are hit or miss with how quiet they really are.
  18. patchin

    patchin Facilities / Event Coordinator

    Sorry about the, eh, size. Of the 3 upper bulkheads, the left is the extra drain and the two right bulkheads are for the closed loop. One genx is for the sump return and one is for the closed loop. I'll try to resize the picture.
  19. kurplunk

    kurplunk Guest

    Any decision on the light set up Steve? For what it's worth i've run a 8 bulb T5 setup for going on 3 years now. I've had clams and sps stay colored up all the way to the bottom. I alternate changing the bulbs 4 at a time every 9 to 12 months. Something to consider.
  20. cwolfus

    cwolfus Past President


    I had many of the same concerns as you when I set up my tank. I planned for a mixed reef that would be energy efficient at a reasonable cost.

    I ended up with 4 x t5 bulbs. Based on my research the t5s generate the least heat and the most usable light per watt (I'll try to dig up sources, Pixie). Because they generate less heat, and because of my location, I have no need for a chiller. In the hot summer months I have a fan over my sump that is hooked up to a controller with temp sensor.

    Consider running your lights opposite to regular daylight hours to capture the passive heat that the lights do produce.

    If you decide to use powerheads, check out some of the new more efficient (lower watt) designs like Koralias. They may be more efficient and quieter than a CL.

    As for sound issues, I too had load pump issues. I changed to an eheim in my sump and it has been silent ever since.

    You mentioned one Genx pump "hums but does not turn"... Maybe the impeller was destroyed? I had that happen on my old Iwaki when a snail figured out how to get into the intake.

    As for your loud drain... I don't think it should be "open at the top" above the T. Most people put a cap on top and drill successively larger holes in the cap to tune for the least amount of sound. I added a ball valve instead, but the idea is the same. Try covering it with your hand to see if it is quieter when not completely "open at the top".

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