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Old 05/28/2005, 07:40 AM   #1
Sugar Magnolia
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How to DIY an AC 70 fuge

This will be ongoing as I finish up the project, but here's what I started yesterday.

Your first step will be to remove the media basket and cut off the sides. Regular scissors worked fine. I then trimmed the two longer edges of the bottom portion to get rid of the ridge. Not necessary, but I did it anyway.



Next, apply a bead of Aquarium silicone to the two short edges of the grey mesh grid.



Place the grid on the inside edge of the main chamber of the filter. This will keep the chaeto or whatever macro you'll be using from spilling out into the tank.



Front shot. Yeah it's crooked. I don't really care.



My next step was to use the two sides of the media basket as a shelf to prop my Jali 13 watt light strip over the fuge. I cut them down and am going to use the upper portion.



Yesterday I used some silicone to attach them, but this morning, the hold wasn't what I'm happy with so I pulled them off and used some gorilla glue and reclamped them.



You can skip the light shelf thing if you are using a clamp on lamp. These are great for mini fuges - http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...032+2146963258

Next step is to cut a piece of acrylic to create a baffle. This will separate the main chamber from the intake and impeller area. I clamped a small piece of plexi to the side and marked where I need to cut.



Lowe's or Home Depot will have thin plexi along with the plexi cutter to score the plexi and then you can snap it. Easy to do.



The shape of the Aqua Clear isn't a perfect rectangle. There's a bit of an angle to one side. My first piece didn't fit - I cut it too small. Second try worked great. You'll have to round the lower corners of the plexi. Dremel works well for this.

This morning I siliconed the baffle in place.



Once that dries, I'll add some more to the thread.


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Old 05/28/2005, 10:17 AM   #2
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This is so awesome!!! Thank you so much!!

Are you going to put a heater in the first intake section? That is what I wanted to do with mine. Also, are you goign to buy an AQ mini impeller or shave it down? Could you give us a link to the light you bought?

Thanks.


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Old 05/28/2005, 11:14 AM   #3
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this is GREAT sugar! very comprehensive. I cant wait to see the rest of the project and maybe set one of these up in my wife's 20L


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Old 05/28/2005, 02:20 PM   #4
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For people who have done this stuff it seems so simple but if you have never done it, they don't know where to start.

Great job Sugar. I wish we could index some of these basic how to's.

CArl


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Old 05/29/2005, 09:07 AM   #5
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Thanks Carl!

More...

You'll need to cut down the U-tube to fit in the tank. DO NOT cut the lower portion of the intake tube, cut the U-tube on the opposite side of the adjustment knob. Cut it to fit whatever size tank you'll be running the fuge on.



I swap out the impeller that comes with the AC 70 with an impeller from and AC 20 (mini). It slows the flow down. If you'd prefer more flow, then leave the impeller. (You could also use the impeller for any of the other smaller Aqua Clears) To take out the impeller lift up the grey piece of plastic where the U-tube rests inside the filter. It pulls right out.



Ac 70 impeller on the right, the AC 20 impeller on the left.



This is the filter pad I use. It fits perfectly in the baffled area that I created. A replacment pad for an Eclipse Six will work too , but you'd have to make your baffled area wider.



Filter pad in place.



A shot from the back. Notice the pad doesn't go all the way down. It doesn't need to. If you shove it all the way down it defeats the purpose of running it - the water will flow right over the top of it rather than through it.




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Old 05/29/2005, 09:11 AM   #6
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The fuge is in place on the tank, and I tossed in some LR rubble that I keep in there. (great to have on hand for mounting frags.)



Chaeto and some miscellaneous macro that I pulled out of my 30 cube. It seems to be growing well in my fuge.



And finally, the Jali light strip over the top and the fuge is done.




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Old 05/29/2005, 10:54 AM   #7
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Great thread! Thank you so much!


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Old 05/29/2005, 02:48 PM   #8
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Looks great! It is always fun making a little project.

I could have rounded the edges of the plexi glass.... but instead I just placed a piece laying down... then the piece going up.... it works just as well.... but a little more time and plexi glass.

What size tank is it on?


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Old 05/29/2005, 05:52 PM   #9
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this might seem like it is a silly question, but how tall do you leave the plexi glass you cut to hold the filter in there?

how much room from the top of the plexiglass to the top of the filter?

also what is the model of that hang on back filter? i have a whisper on my 20 reef but i would like to do something like this but am unfamiliar with your abbreviations


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Old 06/01/2005, 01:40 PM   #10
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Sugar I cant thank you enough ! This is exactly what I was looking for. I will try to do this myself very soon. I will post my results after. Where did you buy the light? Do you have any light getting in the tank at night ? Again thanks alot.


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Old 06/01/2005, 01:50 PM   #11
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The plexi is about 1" down from the water line - basically 1" below where the water would flow out of the tank. AC is simply an abbreviation of the filter's manufacturer, Aqua Clear.

Since chaeto doesn't go sexual, I only run my fuge light during the day while my tank lights are on. I'm sure if I left the lights on 24 hours a day, the chaeto would grow twice as fast as it does, which is pretty darn fast already. I have to prune it back every three to four weeks because it fills the whole chamber.

The Jali light came from here. http://www.petsolutions.com/Jalli+11...I-C-33-C-.aspx


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Old 06/01/2005, 09:31 PM   #12
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Sugar,
Good post. I'm running a similar setup on my 2.5g nano also, the back is just wide enough to fit a spare Remora skimmer waste cup I had, so I'm using it as a basic skimmer driven off a limewood airstone and azoo air pump. I was also able to fit a small heater in the back along with the macro for the fuge - but recently removed the heater and replaced it with a small stealth heater in tank.

-Mike


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Old 06/02/2005, 09:21 PM   #13
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Why did you glue the supports for your lights inside the fuge? Why not on the outside of the filter?


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Old 06/03/2005, 06:19 AM   #14
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Sugar wouldnt you get more from your fuge if you left the light on 24/7? I thought you are supposed to leave it on.


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Old 06/03/2005, 09:25 AM   #15
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You certainly can leave the lights on 24/7 but then you may be dealing with light spilling over into the main tank. Also, chaeto won't go sexual if not lit 24/7, plus it would grow just that much quicker than it already does, so I choose to light mine only while the tank lights are running.

Ben, I didn't mount the brackets on the outside, because the sides of the media basket have tabs on them. I cut the tabs off, but it wasn't a flush cut and I wanted to be sure I got a good bond between the brackets and the sides of the filter. You can modify it anyway you see fit.


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Old 06/03/2005, 12:04 PM   #16
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But doesnt that defeat the purpose of the fuge??? I thought that by keeping it lit , it keeps the ph stable thru the night???? I am confused


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Old 06/03/2005, 12:10 PM   #17
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the ph stability comes from alternating lighting cycles.


CArl


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Old 06/03/2005, 12:42 PM   #18
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So that means the light in the fuge should be on when the display light is off??? If it isnt on, does that defeat the purpose of the fuge ??


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Old 06/03/2005, 01:35 PM   #19
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Thanks for the detailed information. I'm building a 5.5 for the buildoff at reefmonkey and wanted to add a fuge, this should do nicely.

I have a CPR aquafuge on my 15L and have never had any nitrate readings.

Also, I run my lights on alternating cycles to provide PH stability.

Al


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Old 06/03/2005, 03:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by CrazyBeagle
So that means the light in the fuge should be on when the display light is off???
Yes, if you want to use your refugium to attempt to control pH swings.

Quote:
If it isnt on, does that defeat the purpose of the fuge ??
No, because pH stability isn't the one purpose of a refugium. Macroalgaes also provide phosphate scrubbing, and allow microorganisms a peaceful, seperage "refuge" to grow and mature before entering the main tank and becoming food.


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Old 07/26/2005, 12:23 AM   #21
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Please stickey this moderator!!


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Old 07/30/2005, 05:35 AM   #22
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Thanks for the info. I'm going to build one as soon as I get home from vacation...


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Old 07/30/2005, 12:25 PM   #23
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Excellent DIY.....I wish it was easy to do on the 24G NC...you'd have to cut a massive hole in the back of the hood. I bookmarked this. Kudos. SH


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Old 07/30/2005, 10:02 PM   #24
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Fantastic thread, wish one this easy to follow had been available when I made mine!
I'm using my AC70 fuge on a 14g and want quite a bit of flow, so I use an AC50 impeller. I initially tried the AC30, but found it wasn't quite enough - so glad I chose to mod the 70 rather than the 110, which only fits one size of impeller.


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Old 08/12/2005, 07:00 PM   #25
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I actually just sold the AC300 fuge I modded. I did things differently though..

I used one end of the media basket as my barrier..I made a little extra room for a heater. I did the exact same thing with the grill in the front and the mini impeller.

all you have to do is buy the coralife mini aqualight. It fits perfectly over the Ac300. I kept the top on mine and cut a square out of the top..i then siliconed clear plexi for the light to shine through. the pics I have rean't that great, but they show my mod..it is a bit diferent then magnolias...doesn't require quite as much work..and you will have the top intact also..so no openings.

fuge:




Top:




Just buy a 6700k bulb and you are done..a similar alternative to

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