P.I.M.P my hob - Refugium Conversion
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Thread: P.I.M.P my hob - Refugium Conversion

  1. #1
    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Exclamation P.I.M.P my hob - Refugium Conversion

    CONVERTING THE AVHO600 INTO A REFUGIUM

    This is a step by step guide of how I converted a hob aqua vital into a refugium. This was a bodge job, it looks ugly but it does the job.

    PARTS
    1. Aqua VitalHang On Back 600
    2. MDF
    3. 1 Brass Hinge
    4. 1 Brass Latch
    5. 3 Nails
    6. Tin Foil
    7. 11W PL Light
    8. 50mm PC cooling fan
    9. Acrylic


    TOOLS
    1. Coping Saw
    2. Sharp knife
    3. Sand Paper
    4. Wet and Dry
    5. Araldite
    6. Aquarium Silicone
    7. Wood Glue


    Thanks,
    Chris
    "My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time; and anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and... kiss my ass." - Christopher Hitchens

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  3. #2
    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Step 1 - The parts
    It all starts of with a box. This box was bought from Aquatics Online and cost me £16.99.



    Take the filter out the box.



    At this point I did a freshwater test, although this is unecessary.

    Thanks,
    Chris
    "My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time; and anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and... kiss my ass." - Christopher Hitchens

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    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Step 2 - The Surface Skimmer

    This step covers the conversion of the intake into a full surface skimmer. First, remove the inlet pipe from the filter and take the surface skimmer attachment. Lay these out.



    You will notice the surface skimmer attachment is made of two parts. Seperate these.



    Take the inner tube of the surface skimmer, which looks like this.



    Using a small drill bit, drill lots of holes in the centre section of the pipe. This is to reduce the strain on the inlet slats in the lower half of the pipe.

    For neatness, I also decided to remove the excess pipe from the surface skimmer inner tube. This will reduce the amount of pipe in the tank. First, assemble the filter with the surface skimmer attachment. Now, hang this off the back of the tank you intend to use it on and adjust the height of the surface skimmer attachment as necessary until you have it so that the skimmer strainer is the same or slightly more than this height in the water level:



    When you have it happy, remove the filter from the water and mark or score on the how much excess pipe there is below the surface skimmer attachment. Remove the inner tube and cut the pipe off at 1/2” below the point scored, as in this picture:



    Now reassemble the surface skimmer attachment.

    Thanks,
    Chris
    "My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time; and anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and... kiss my ass." - Christopher Hitchens

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    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Step 3 - Blocking the intake tube.

    If you assemble the filter with the surface skimmer attachment, you will notice that the pump is still sucking up water from the bottom of the inner tube of the surface skimmer. (the bottom of the pipe in the below picture)



    As I wanted this refugium to only take water from the surface, I wanted to block the bottom of the surface skimmer. To do this, I first took the strainer attachment which is supplied with the filter.



    Then, with a sharp knife, I cut off the end cap of this attachment, going around each support until it came off.



    This end cap is sanded down and kept to the side. The rest of the strainer can be discarded.

    Thanks,
    Chris
    "My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time; and anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and... kiss my ass." - Christopher Hitchens

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    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Step 4 - Completing the surface skimmer

    Now we have a collection of pipes remaining. From left to right:



    1) Main intake
    2) Strainer - don't know why I included this in the photo as this is discarded a the end of the last step
    3) End cap
    4) Surface Skimmer inner tube
    5) Surface Skimmer

    Now we need to concentrate on the main intake tube.



    Reassemble the filter as in the end of step 2, and ajust as neccessary until you get the correct height for the surface skimmer. Now, if you follow the main intake tube down with your eye from the top, you'll see some of it overhangs the holes you drilled earlier in the surface skimmer inner tube. We don't want this as the inner tube holes need to be unblocked and free of obstructions. Make a mental note of how far the tube gets down the surface skimmer inner tube and take the filter out of the water. Work out how much of the intake pipe will need to be removed as to prevent it blocking the inner tube holes and cut there.

    Now disassemble the surface skimmer atttachment. Make one last double check that everything is ok then apply silicone to the inside of the connector between the surface skimmer and inner tube and reassemble. The silicone will just make sure there is no leaks anywhere.

    Now, you should still have the end cap lying around from earlier, now is where it's needed. Invert the surface skimmer attachment so that the intake grates (the widest part) are at the bottom. You are now presented with the very bottom of the intake tube. Place a small beed of silicone on the lip of it and push the end cap onto it. It should make a butt joint. Now leave the skimmer for 48 hours to dry and cure. It's now complete.



    Thanks,
    Chris
    "My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time; and anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and... kiss my ass." - Christopher Hitchens

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    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Step 5 - Creating the pre-filter
    As the whole of the filter compartment is going to be used as the refugium, we cannot use any of the slot in filter media that is supplied. However, we still need a small amount of pre-filtering, just to prevent debris cloggin it up.

    Cut a small peice of acrylic (my acrylic was from an old hood splash cover), the width of the gap that the water flows through after the pump. Cut this to a desired length as so it prevents water travelling straight from pump to refugium, but forces it to travel up over the acrylic. Silicone this acrylic in place.



    Notice now that as the water is pumped out of the pump outlet, it will flow up and over the acrylic into the refugium. This creates a perfect place to put some filter wool in, as the water will be forced to pass through it.

    Thanks,
    Chris
    "My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time; and anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and... kiss my ass." - Christopher Hitchens

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    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Step 6 - Creating the grate

    To stop the macro algae from flowing straight out of the filter into the tank, a small grate must be created. Cut a peice of acrylic the width of the water outlet and around 30-35mm tall. Drill many little holes in it and silicone it in place.



    Thanks,
    Chris

    P.S: My knowledge of plastic is equal to that of a common snail's, so I messed this stage up completely and cracked the acrylic in a few places.
    "My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time; and anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and... kiss my ass." - Christopher Hitchens

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    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Step 7 - Creating the Hood

    The filter comes with a splash cover, however, being opaque, this is useless for letting the light in as I require for my refugium. So, I chopped the hood at the top, and cut a peice the same size as the one I'd just chopped off in acrylic and siliconed it back together.



    Thanks,
    Chris
    "My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time; and anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and... kiss my ass." - Christopher Hitchens

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    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Step 8 - making the lighting fixture

    This is the one section I wish I had spent alot more time and care on, as bodging it will produce poor, unaesthetically pleasing results.

    The 11W PL Light is too long, and creates an overhang. The reflector I made for it is made out of MDF. Make a box 260mm x 50mm x 60mm for the light from MDF. I wanted it to be hinged so I could see into the fuge for quick inspections. Here is it after it's first undercoat, done with some old grey wall paint lying around.



    And here it during it's first coat of black spray paint:



    To create the reflector, all of the sides which would be facing inwards towards the bulb were coated with a thin layer of PVA, then a sheet of aluminium foil was pressed to them, and the sides trimmed and left to dry. This is far from perfect but better than nothing.



    Thanks,
    Chris
    "My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time; and anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and... kiss my ass." - Christopher Hitchens

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    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Step 9 - Finishing the Hood

    To finish the hood, 3 nails were driven into the inside side of the hood, onto this, the light sits. Hinges are araldited in place and a 50mm cooling fan is added.

    The light fixture can now be araldited in place on the top of the hood.

    Thanks,
    Chris
    "My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time; and anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and... kiss my ass." - Christopher Hitchens

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    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Step 10 - The finishing touches
    It's finished. Switch all the power on, test the water level, get 'er filled up and we're off!

    I went to the lfs to get a bit of live sand and live rock rubble. I ended up leaving with half a bag of live sand, 3 chunks of live rock and a handful of macroalgae for £2.15

    Please post comments, suggestions, questions and feedback!

    Thanks,
    Chris
    "My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time; and anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and... kiss my ass." - Christopher Hitchens

  14. #12
    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    PICTURES









    Thanks,
    Chris
    "My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time; and anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and... kiss my ass." - Christopher Hitchens

  15. #13
    to destruction & beyond ! davethetester's Avatar
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    Top pimping

  16. #14
    design for life Andy W's Avatar
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    OMG you've got Claude disease

    Well done - there's nothing like the feeling of taking something brand new and then cutting it up!
    Hidden Content
    Tank1 - Rio 240
    1 Bristlenose, 1 black neon tetra.

    Tank2 - 28 litre Aqua One
    1 fairground goldfish - my son's tank

    48L Heto Q Tank
    nothing!

  17. #15
    Been here a long time kingborris's Avatar
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    *KB wonders if there is any fish keeping equipment Chris wont massacre*


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