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Thread: Show Tank

  1. #1
    Tosai
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    Oct 2008
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    Show Tank

    Hey guys,

    I just bought a 6' x 30' koi show tank for my 3 Japanese fish that my girlfriend from a dealer in Florida. I am looking for advice of getting a external filter and pump for this temp tank or quarantine tank until I find someone to build my true koi pond sometime this year or next year.

    Please give me some advice of picking a filter and and pump and oxygenation for the fish as well.

    Thank you,

    ken

  2. #2
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    Davenport, Oklahoma
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    6,726
    Grant (gcuss) and a few others have put together some good and easy diy filters for qt tanks with simple instructions. You might pop a pm or two around to get some pointers. Birdman (Steve Jonelli) also has some handy diy info on filters that would work well for your application.

  3. #3
    Sansai
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    249

    Filters for QT Tank

    Both Birdman(Steve Jonelli) and Kent Wallace have very good Bakki stackable trays and media , also pumps, they can both give you good advice, better then good, even gooder , they get top points from everyone here.

    I am in a similar situation, and looking at a couple of Bakki trays on the small tank, and whatever else it takes for good water.

    Jake Levi

    Oswego, NY
    We are all in this together.

  4. #4
    Oyagoi gcuss's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Maple Falls, WA
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    1,620
    Hey Ken,

    I guess I should have checked the construction board before asking a bunch of questions...

    Anyway. So a 6' show tank with 3 koi in it. Probably tosai? Assuming you fill it to about 24" you're playing with approx 750 gallons.

    Depending on your intentions once your pond is built you can go a couple different ways... Is it going to be outside exposed to the environment? ie. leaves, debris, etc falling into it? If so you can either put a skimmer on it or just keep a skimming net handy. The problem with a net is it won't pull the proteins/pollen sort of size stuff off the surface. If it's inside or covered it helps a bit. I'm not sure if I'd invest a bunch of construction into a show tank as I wouldn't trust it over the long haul. Mind you I'm a paranoid freak. Having said that, I'm sure you could install a swimming pool type of skimmer into the sides of it or a no niche type of skimmer...

    I opted for a plywood box with a welded liner for my over winter/quarantine set up after toying a while with using a show tank...

    Anyway, if the show tank is the way you want to go, here's what I had come up with.

    Build a floor to put it on first off. Make sure it's level, and use wood to allow plumbing to be run in the joist spaces. Use at least 2"X10"s for sufficient depth for plumbing. Then sheet it with 3/4" plywood for strength. Now the fun part ( I love tinkering)

    Install 4" piping and a bottom drain into the floor you built. If possible, use a bottom drain with an air diffuser built in and plumb your airline as well. Once your drain is seated and all hooked up drop the show tank onto the floor to line up and cut the bottom of the show tank. I'm not sure of the best material to use, but I really like the "Gold Label Underwater Sealer" series of silicone for sealing up joints. I've tried the 5200 water sealant, but it doesn't hold a candle to the "gold". It's kind of pricey but can be applied to wet surfaces (tried it, and it even worked) and it seems bomb proof. Had some at some crucial junctions in my pond for 2 years now with no problems.

    Anyway.... ok. So the tank is cut, and the drain is sealed and clamped down. Make sure the tank is sitting just right before you clamp and seal. You don't want anything shifting after it's buttoned up.

    Now I'd install a 2" TPR (google it if unsure) onto the side of the tank approx 10" below the water line to avoid a bunch of splashing. If you're really fussy, install 2 of these pointing in different directions allowing you to adjust/change the current if needed. I would put them in angling slightly downwards as well to avoid creating a whirlpool. You'll have to support the TPR's separate from the show tank wall as I don't think I'd trust the poly of the wall to bear the weight of the plumbing over time.

    Then it's easy... connect the 4" bottom drain line to a sieve or some fashion of a solids separator. Connect your solids separator to a biological filter of some sort. If the noise/temp. isn't an issue I'd definitely use a bakki shower. You would see the added benefit of additional water by using an open submerged filter for bio, but I'm just in love with the bakkis.

    Then return the water to the pond.

    Make sure you connect sump/drain lines from solids separator/bio filter to go somewhere besides the ground beside the tank. The stuff can get stinky.

    So in a nutshell:

    Bottom drain > Solids Removal > Pump > Bakki > Gravity feed back to pond above the surface for simplicity, or through a bulkhead near the top for reduced noise/splashing.

    Tossing in some brands here, with money no object I'd use an aerated bottom drain (rhino or similar), a sieve (cetus or similar), a "Tiny Might" external pump, and then to a bakki shower. I'd run a dolphin 50 air pump for your bottom drain, and if you go with an aerated media for your bio get either a bigger air pump, or more to supply the air for it. A money saver would be to use the plastic crates from US Plastics I think that are quite popular. A little search function will lead you to a great thread on how to build them.

    This may seem excessive for temporary set up but you could use it as a permanent QT tank and if the show tank ever get's on your nerves you could use all the same components on a QT built from wood/concrete. IMO this would make a "kick ass" QT and you should enjoy great water for your koi and won't be limited in feeding due to the system's shortcomings.

    Buy the right stuff once or do what I did and end up with 3 shelves in your shed filled with bunch of "Seemed like a good idea at the time" products...

    Best wishes,

    Grant

    Oh, and plan on daily water changes. Not much though. I would change out whatever is consumed when dumping the settlement each day, and then a weekly change out of 10%. (evaporation doesn't count as a change either... dump water into the lawn/flower beds and add fresh stuff)

  5. #5
    eds
    eds is offline
    Sansai
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Nottingham, UK
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    179
    Just to say Grant's ideas are almost exactly the plan for my QT that I'm moving, improving and enlarging in a few weeks.

    At present my QT is a 2ft deep rectangular paddling pool lined with a PVC liner and it's worked great. Filtration is simply a 12,000lph pump pumping straight over a DIY shower filled with BHM. I do about 50% water changes each week to remove the fine solids that are constantly kept in suspension by the water currents and extra aeration present. The fish grow brilliantly (at around 1cm a week in the summer). Not bad for 400g (1,800 litres)!

    When I'm moving it though I'm going to use the paddling pool frame but then cut the base out and dig out an extra couple of feet down. As it's rectangular, mine will be set up like a swimming pool with a deep and shallow end with the bottom drain in the deep end and the bakki shower dumping in the shallow end to create the streamflow current. It'll be a standard bottom drain (as I'm putting an air bar at the deep end to increase the circular current) feeding to a cetus with a 12,00lph pump pumping from the cetus over the shower. Just need to fit an overflow and then I'll have a constant drip feed of new water into the pool so my only maintenance will be flushing the gunk off the cetus! Oh and lots of feeding!

  6. #6
    Sansai
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    249

    show tank

    Hi Ed

    More food for thought , thanks,

    helps me get my own project squared away more in my own mind. Planning a few more gallons, a Bakki type filter, probably more air. Seems doable. Someday when I grow up want to do a bigger in ground one as you describe.

    Jake

    Oswego, NY
    we are all in this together.

  7. #7
    Jumbo
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Crooked River Ranch, OR.
    Posts
    998
    I have a 600 gallon wood framed QT tank with a drop in liner. I take BD water and run it through my pump, then through a 1.5 KW Coates heater, then to my shower with feather rock. I also have a over flow that acts like a skimmer, but just goes to waste. I have a constant trickle of well water always coming in and then it just over flows out the other end, giving me a constant flow through.
    My tank is inside so I don't have to worry about anything like leaves getting in it. The heater is a must for heat cycling new purchases. And I always keep some sacrificial fish in it for QTing new fish, and to keep the filter active.

  8. #8
    Tosai
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    11

    Show Tank

    Quote Originally Posted by gcuss View Post
    Hey Ken,

    I guess I should have checked the construction board before asking a bunch of questions...

    Anyway. So a 6' show tank with 3 koi in it. Probably tosai? Assuming you fill it to about 24" you're playing with approx 750 gallons.

    Depending on your intentions once your pond is built you can go a couple different ways... Is it going to be outside exposed to the environment? ie. leaves, debris, etc falling into it? If so you can either put a skimmer on it or just keep a skimming net handy. The problem with a net is it won't pull the proteins/pollen sort of size stuff off the surface. If it's inside or covered it helps a bit. I'm not sure if I'd invest a bunch of construction into a show tank as I wouldn't trust it over the long haul. Mind you I'm a paranoid freak. Having said that, I'm sure you could install a swimming pool type of skimmer into the sides of it or a no niche type of skimmer...

    I opted for a plywood box with a welded liner for my over winter/quarantine set up after toying a while with using a show tank...

    Anyway, if the show tank is the way you want to go, here's what I had come up with.

    Build a floor to put it on first off. Make sure it's level, and use wood to allow plumbing to be run in the joist spaces. Use at least 2"X10"s for sufficient depth for plumbing. Then sheet it with 3/4" plywood for strength. Now the fun part ( I love tinkering)

    Install 4" piping and a bottom drain into the floor you built. If possible, use a bottom drain with an air diffuser built in and plumb your airline as well. Once your drain is seated and all hooked up drop the show tank onto the floor to line up and cut the bottom of the show tank. I'm not sure of the best material to use, but I really like the "Gold Label Underwater Sealer" series of silicone for sealing up joints. I've tried the 5200 water sealant, but it doesn't hold a candle to the "gold". It's kind of pricey but can be applied to wet surfaces (tried it, and it even worked) and it seems bomb proof. Had some at some crucial junctions in my pond for 2 years now with no problems.

    Anyway.... ok. So the tank is cut, and the drain is sealed and clamped down. Make sure the tank is sitting just right before you clamp and seal. You don't want anything shifting after it's buttoned up.

    Now I'd install a 2" TPR (google it if unsure) onto the side of the tank approx 10" below the water line to avoid a bunch of splashing. If you're really fussy, install 2 of these pointing in different directions allowing you to adjust/change the current if needed. I would put them in angling slightly downwards as well to avoid creating a whirlpool. You'll have to support the TPR's separate from the show tank wall as I don't think I'd trust the poly of the wall to bear the weight of the plumbing over time.

    Then it's easy... connect the 4" bottom drain line to a sieve or some fashion of a solids separator. Connect your solids separator to a biological filter of some sort. If the noise/temp. isn't an issue I'd definitely use a bakki shower. You would see the added benefit of additional water by using an open submerged filter for bio, but I'm just in love with the bakkis.

    Then return the water to the pond.

    Make sure you connect sump/drain lines from solids separator/bio filter to go somewhere besides the ground beside the tank. The stuff can get stinky.

    So in a nutshell:

    Bottom drain > Solids Removal > Pump > Bakki > Gravity feed back to pond above the surface for simplicity, or through a bulkhead near the top for reduced noise/splashing.

    Tossing in some brands here, with money no object I'd use an aerated bottom drain (rhino or similar), a sieve (cetus or similar), a "Tiny Might" external pump, and then to a bakki shower. I'd run a dolphin 50 air pump for your bottom drain, and if you go with an aerated media for your bio get either a bigger air pump, or more to supply the air for it. A money saver would be to use the plastic crates from US Plastics I think that are quite popular. A little search function will lead you to a great thread on how to build them.

    This may seem excessive for temporary set up but you could use it as a permanent QT tank and if the show tank ever get's on your nerves you could use all the same components on a QT built from wood/concrete. IMO this would make a "kick ass" QT and you should enjoy great water for your koi and won't be limited in feeding due to the system's shortcomings.

    Buy the right stuff once or do what I did and end up with 3 shelves in your shed filled with bunch of "Seemed like a good idea at the time" products...

    Best wishes,

    Grant

    Oh, and plan on daily water changes. Not much though. I would change out whatever is consumed when dumping the settlement each day, and then a weekly change out of 10%. (evaporation doesn't count as a change either... dump water into the lawn/flower beds and add fresh stuff)
    Thank you Grant for giving such a usefull info for me for references. Since this is my first time setting up show 6' x 30" under my basement without much response from the forum other than yourself. Hopefully, it is temporary because I can't find any reliable contractors in my area due to the lack of experience true koi pond with bead filters, external pump, bottom drains, and side jets stuff. I am affraid to cut the bottom of the show tank or create DIY bio filter at this moment since my very new to this stuff, so I ended up buying all this stuff and hopefully you can help me out to hook up the pump connection. I may use the purchased filter as template so I can build my DIY filter in the future and connect it to te existing purchased one. Here are the stuffs:

    6' x 30" show tank w/ net
    Hakari Ultimate Water Conditioner
    Super Luft Air Pump Model SL-38
    Biosteps 10 Progressive Filters Biosteps 10 w/9W UV Clarifier
    Air Stone Diffusers for Professional Aeration Pumps Single Stone Diffuser (Round - 0.71 cfm)
    (ES3500) Evolution ES Series 3500GPH Pump
    (The ES series pumps are not self-priming so a swing check valve (line sized) will need to be added below water level within or at the end of the suction line to maintain system/pump prime. We recommend using 2" diameter suction line for the ES1500 - ES4500 and 2 - 2" or 1 - 3" diameter suction line for the ES5500/ES8500.) Could you please explain to me what it means here for pump connection with suction line stuff.

    I thought that I can just hook the bulk head from show tank directly to pump inlet and outlet to bio filter line and then bio filter water falls as gravity from setting up bio filter higher than water level or tank. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    I may just use wet/dry vac to suck some of fish or debris from the bottom of the tank for temparary but I haven't set up yet because I haven't received any purchased products.

    Please give advice and suggestion.

    Thank you for your help and time.

    Ken

  9. #9
    Oyagoi gcuss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Maple Falls, WA
    Posts
    1,620
    Quote Originally Posted by knunhackable View Post
    Thank you Grant for giving such a usefull info for me for references. Since this is my first time setting up show 6' x 30" under my basement without much response from the forum other than yourself. Hopefully, it is temporary because I can't find any reliable contractors in my area due to the lack of experience true koi pond with bead filters, external pump, bottom drains, and side jets stuff. I am affraid to cut the bottom of the show tank or create DIY bio filter at this moment since my very new to this stuff, so I ended up buying all this stuff and hopefully you can help me out to hook up the pump connection. I may use the purchased filter as template so I can build my DIY filter in the future and connect it to te existing purchased one. Here are the stuffs:

    6' x 30" show tank w/ net
    Hakari Ultimate Water Conditioner
    Super Luft Air Pump Model SL-38
    Biosteps 10 Progressive Filters Biosteps 10 w/9W UV Clarifier
    Air Stone Diffusers for Professional Aeration Pumps Single Stone Diffuser (Round - 0.71 cfm)
    (ES3500) Evolution ES Series 3500GPH Pump
    (The ES series pumps are not self-priming so a swing check valve (line sized) will need to be added below water level within or at the end of the suction line to maintain system/pump prime. We recommend using 2" diameter suction line for the ES1500 - ES4500 and 2 - 2" or 1 - 3" diameter suction line for the ES5500/ES8500.) Could you please explain to me what it means here for pump connection with suction line stuff.

    I thought that I can just hook the bulk head from show tank directly to pump inlet and outlet to bio filter line and then bio filter water falls as gravity from setting up bio filter higher than water level or tank. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    I may just use wet/dry vac to suck some of fish or debris from the bottom of the tank for temparary but I haven't set up yet because I haven't received any purchased products.

    Please give advice and suggestion.

    Thank you for your help and time.

    Ken
    Hi Ken,

    Ok... so basically you've got a bio steps filter thing, a pump, an air pump w/stones and some water conditioner ...

    So first off, the bad news...

    If you indeed ordered the 3500 GPH pump, you're wayyyyyyy too big for the filter and U/V you have coming. A 9W UV won't do anything when the flow rate is that high, plus, the flow rate exceeds what the filter will handle as well. Keep that bigger pump for later or return it and I would suggest this pump - Tiny Might Pump - Tiny Might Also, get a strainer basket to keep the gnarlies out of the pump if possible. I think this one will work - Leaf Traps - External Pond Pumps You'll have to bump up the fitting on the pump from 1" to 1 1/2" but that's easy with a bushing.

    This will still put you at the top end for flow rate but you'll probably be achieving a turnover rate for your pond of 1 per hour which is OK as long as you don't get carried away with feeding...

    Now... the rest of it. Knowing where you're at and what you've got I would do the following:

    Get a piece of 2" pvc pipe about 5' long. Cut a slot length wise through it but don't cut to the end of the pipe. This slot will be the intake of the pump. My best guess would be to start at about a 2' slot in the middle of the pipe. What you're trying to do is match the amount of water the slot can provide to the pump without cutting too much so that it only pulls from one end of the slot. (if that makes any sense) You want the slot in the middle and your suction to run the length of it. Use a reasonable thick blade so you have about a 1/4" slot. One end will go into the bulkhead (with appropriate fitting installed) and the other end gets a 90 degree elbow that is plugged and cut down some so that the pipe sits slot side down and slightly off the bottom of the pond... about 1/2" off the bottom would be good. This will give the pump the best chance at pulling the crap from the pond bottom.

    Then on the dry side connect the pump w/leaf basket to the bulk head and from the pump into the filter, then return to pond. Try and place the water fall so that it creates a circular current in the pond, this will aid in moving the poop to the middle to get picked up by the slot.

    Your filter will get filthy quick because you're emulsifying the fish poop with your pump so you'll have to clean it out very regularly. (again, feeding will dictate your schedule but plan on a daily cleaning of the mats in the filter). You'll get a good idea real quick of how often this is required after a short time.

    Put the airstones in the tank with the pump connected but keep in mind where you put these things. They will draw poop to them and your goal is to have the PVC pulling in all the poop. Don't put them by the PVC pipe though as you will end with cavitation in your pump more than likely with all the air it will suck. If there is a spot in the filter you can put these airstones, that would be better. Ideally I would try and get them into the filter as your bacteria will have a greater air demand than your koi. Try stuffing them down between the mats at about the middle. The first few mats will just bung up with crap and any bio you get will do better towards the last few mats. Give these ones the additional air if possible.

    Your water fall will provide sufficient O2 to the water provided temps don't get too high. (say.... 75 degrees or less and you should be fine)

    Oh, and all the check valve stuff... Basically, these pumps can't pump air. So if you were to install the pump above the water line it would require a pump that could "lift" the water up and then into circulation. Since you'll be installing the pump on the ground below the water level, you won't need a check valve for it. With the plumbing and pump below the water line your pump will always be filled with water; "primed".

    I hope this helps,

    Grant

  10. #10
    Tosai
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by gcuss View Post
    Hi Ken,

    Ok... so basically you've got a bio steps filter thing, a pump, an air pump w/stones and some water conditioner ...

    So first off, the bad news...

    If you indeed ordered the 3500 GPH pump, you're wayyyyyyy too big for the filter and U/V you have coming. A 9W UV won't do anything when the flow rate is that high, plus, the flow rate exceeds what the filter will handle as well. Keep that bigger pump for later or return it and I would suggest this pump - Tiny Might Pump - Tiny Might Also, get a strainer basket to keep the gnarlies out of the pump if possible. I think this one will work - Leaf Traps - External Pond Pumps You'll have to bump up the fitting on the pump from 1" to 1 1/2" but that's easy with a bushing.

    This will still put you at the top end for flow rate but you'll probably be achieving a turnover rate for your pond of 1 per hour which is OK as long as you don't get carried away with feeding...

    Now... the rest of it. Knowing where you're at and what you've got I would do the following:

    Get a piece of 2" pvc pipe about 5' long. Cut a slot length wise through it but don't cut to the end of the pipe. This slot will be the intake of the pump. My best guess would be to start at about a 2' slot in the middle of the pipe. What you're trying to do is match the amount of water the slot can provide to the pump without cutting too much so that it only pulls from one end of the slot. (if that makes any sense) You want the slot in the middle and your suction to run the length of it. Use a reasonable thick blade so you have about a 1/4" slot. One end will go into the bulkhead (with appropriate fitting installed) and the other end gets a 90 degree elbow that is plugged and cut down some so that the pipe sits slot side down and slightly off the bottom of the pond... about 1/2" off the bottom would be good. This will give the pump the best chance at pulling the crap from the pond bottom.

    Then on the dry side connect the pump w/leaf basket to the bulk head and from the pump into the filter, then return to pond. Try and place the water fall so that it creates a circular current in the pond, this will aid in moving the poop to the middle to get picked up by the slot.

    Your filter will get filthy quick because you're emulsifying the fish poop with your pump so you'll have to clean it out very regularly. (again, feeding will dictate your schedule but plan on a daily cleaning of the mats in the filter). You'll get a good idea real quick of how often this is required after a short time.

    Put the airstones in the tank with the pump connected but keep in mind where you put these things. They will draw poop to them and your goal is to have the PVC pulling in all the poop. Don't put them by the PVC pipe though as you will end with cavitation in your pump more than likely with all the air it will suck. If there is a spot in the filter you can put these airstones, that would be better. Ideally I would try and get them into the filter as your bacteria will have a greater air demand than your koi. Try stuffing them down between the mats at about the middle. The first few mats will just bung up with crap and any bio you get will do better towards the last few mats. Give these ones the additional air if possible.

    Your water fall will provide sufficient O2 to the water provided temps don't get too high. (say.... 75 degrees or less and you should be fine)

    Oh, and all the check valve stuff... Basically, these pumps can't pump air. So if you were to install the pump above the water line it would require a pump that could "lift" the water up and then into circulation. Since you'll be installing the pump on the ground below the water level, you won't need a check valve for it. With the plumbing and pump below the water line your pump will always be filled with water; "primed".

    I hope this helps,

    Grant

    Thanks again Grant for the useful info. I did call and cancelled ES3500 pump and ordered lower end one as ES1500 Evolution Series 1500GPhH w/priming pot. I didn't take your advice on Tiny Might Pump with leaf traps that you recommended due to price differences. Hopefully, you will agree with me with my selection.

    As far as cutting 1/4" slot in the middle of the 2" PVC pipe with 5' long, cutting down the 90° elbow might be a challenge because to reach 1/2" above the tank to compensate to the other end of the bulk head from the tank which will require elbow or others for even 1/2" height. I am wondering if I can use some ideas from this forum such as "plus or cross" design for my design to get more suction from the pump with 1/4" slots in 4 different pieces. By the way, do I need any glue for between pvc pipes, connectors, pump, and bulk head areas.

    Also, I would like to build one of those DIY Bio filters with K1 or Nylon Pot Scrubber media by myself and of course with your or others help. Do you think this pump can handle it with two different filters. I know that this is only for temporary but I still would like to build better for future proof or quarantine purposes. If so, please advice with pictures and direction would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Ken

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