Magnetic stirrers are one of the simplest ways to build a DIY Kalk stirrer. I used an old reactor with a missing lid for the tube. You could also just use PVC or an acrylic tube. For the used a hole saw and made a hole in the centre of a square of acrylic and bonded it to the tube. I sandwiches some rubber beteeeen a second price and drilled holes for nylon wing nuts The rubber in the middle seals the lid
The base is a square of acrylic to hold a 120mm PC fan. I did have to shave a few mm off the side of the fan to make it fit. I glued a rare earth magnet to the centr of the fan and aligned it a few mm below the top of the frame to ensure it can spin freely
Inside the reactor be sure to put a piece of glass on the bottom to prevent the internal stir bar from wearing through the acrylic over time
Having a steel stand makes it a little hard to add on.. Well that is if you don’t use magnets! I have been using strong magnets to mount all kinds of stuff inside my stand including my Jabeo doser
I vent a price of acrylic by claiming it beteeeen 2 prices of wood and going over the edge with a heat Gun. I then used drywall plugs into the space between magnets in a magnetic strip bar and used screws to attach the two together
The magnetic strip came from princess auto and was about $15. The acrylic I had laying around so all in all it was a pretty cheap project and looks great
Something magical happneed… I got a call saying my tank was done! After planning this upgrade for close to six months i was extatic to see my project coming to life.
A few buddies showed up to help with the move (thanks guys!). It showed in a big wodden crate with the stand bolted to the top.. The tank it self was sealted tight like a mummy in a vault.. There must have been 600 nails on that crate…. Opening it was another challenage. The first half to process involved hammers and pry bars trying to seperate the wood…. after slow progress i busted out the reciprocating saw and begun cutting the support posts… eventually we were in!
The tank was faily heavy but manageable. I pre cut carpet to put under the stand which made it moveable (prior to filling).. this was great as it allowed me to tweak its position, slide it out to put black vinyl on the back and make sure it was perfectly level
The tank it self is 3 sides starfire… it will eventually turn into a peninsula uptop the stairs but for the next year or two it will be down here against the wall.
With the tank in its temporary home I picked up some 3/4 plywood to build a sump stand and build my sump space.
Dry sand can be full of dust and cloud your tank for days. Used sand can be full of detritus and bad stuff that you probably don’t want to add into your tank. If you are using either of theses sands its best to give them a real good rinse prior to use. The easiest way is to pour your sand into a 5g bucket and push the garden hose all the way down to the bottom. Turn your hose on full and let the water work its way and and bring the little particles with it. You can swish it around and mix it up or just let it run. I any take a good 20 minutes with the water running so you mind as well do it in the middle of your lawn so it gets a good watering!
Once the water runs clear you will want to ensue the sand is fully dried prior to adding to your tank.
Spread your sand out on a tarp and let it bask in the sun until dry and your good to go.
A few updates photos of my planted innovative Marie fusion 16 crystal shrimp tank. The tank used is actually a marine tank. I used stainless mesh on the overflows to help keep the shrimp out. The beauty of a marine tank is you can hide your filers and heaters in the rear sump and keep the display clutter free
For a couple hours and $30 you can build your self a custom GFO, carbon, or bio pellet reactor! After searching for reactors and being shocked how they can cost upwaords of 150-200$ for a tube i decided to try and build my own.. while in the dollar store i noticed a $3 glass pasta jar that was the perfect size for a reactor. The hardest part was finding the little bulkhead style pipe.. I found these lovely little bits at home hardware. The circular mesh came from michales. The red pvc i already had laying around.
One word of warning. The lids tend to be a bit thinner so be careful not to force and fittings as it may crack the lid. I remedied this buy laying down a layer of epoxy (poly urathane) overtop of the lid to bond the cracsks and seal it all together.. If you drill it successffuly with out cracking it then i’m sure you can skip this step unless you want to strengthen the lid. Either way its fairly low pressure inside and should not be an issue.
If using this as a diy carbon reactor I would use the sponges above and below to hold the carbon tightly and prevent tumbling.
If doing a DIY GFO reactor leave space above the gfo and adjust your flow so that the top just simmers.. you want some movement in the gfo doesnt bond together.
for DIY Bio pellet reactors just use the mesh screen and have high flow so the bio pellets are continuously churning in the chamber.
1x Glass Pasta Jar with plastic lid ($3 at dollarrama)
2x 1/2″ Flexible Elbow Conduit ($4.99 Item #3622-681 at home hardware)
1x Water Filter Head Seal Gasket ($6.20 Item #3115-809 at home hardware) part may vary depending on jar
1x Schedule 40 1/2″ Slip PVC Cap (0.79 cents at home hardware Item #3262-631)
1x Schedule 40 1/2″ Slip x Female Imperial Pipe PVC Adapter ($0.99 at home hardware Item #3262-301)
1x pack of 4.5″ mesh circles ($2.99 at Michaels crafts)
1x length of PVC – size depends on your juar
1x can of krylon fusion in your color of choice to make it look pretty. ($6.99 at Canadian tire)
1x epoxy of choice… if you happen to crack the lid while drilling 😉 … Pro tip! make sure the hole is big enough (5/8″ i believe…) my step drill bit only wen to 1/2″ ish which was a tad small.. i tired to force screw it in which caused the thinner lid to crack.
After countless hours playing with rocks (Big kid lego?) I think i finally have a structure im happy with. This big structes will be on the 2/3 of the tank and i will be re-using the structures out of my IM Fusion 30 for the other half. To glue the rocks together I have been using a product called Fijicrete. I also made sure no attach no more than 2 rocks together so its still easy enough to take apart and move it around…. It would be extremely heave as one solid piece! Let me know if you have any feedback so far.
Coralline algae looked awesome on rocks but can become an issue when it covers your aquarium equipment.
With enough buildup Power heads can slow down or even stop… This could lead to disaster if they are unable to turn on after a power outage and should be cleaned every few months. Heaters and other equipment can also loose efficiently as they they get coated im coralline.
But don’t worry there is a very easy fix! The secret to dissolving it is a very common household acid.. Vinegar! Just soak your equipment in vinegar for a few hours and the coralline will dislike and turn to mush. A quick rinse/wipe and your equipment will look like new!
Before the soak
After a couple hours in a vinegar bath.. And it’s like new!
I’m far to overdue for an update! Its been about 5-6 months and the reef is flourishing. Far to good.. infact the tank is overrun with coral (mostly because i keep adding them). Next summer i’m planning on doing a 5.5-6′ shallow reef.. so i’m slowly stockpiling!
Here is a video update of the tank:
And for fun I also made a video at night with the Blue UV lights. the UV coral really pops.. kind of like a black light party!