View Full Version : fluval edge mod

02-20-2011, 08:05 PM
i was thinking about drilling two holes in the bottom of a fluval edge, to act as returns and hid them with rock, do an led mod for lighting and notch the top, and add plumbing for an overflow. is there any structural issues i should be concerned about? can i get the proper spread of light if i keep the led under the hood?

02-20-2011, 09:15 PM
I've seen quite a few mods done for lighting the fluval edge. Some people swap out the MR11 endcaps for MR16's and put in 2 MR16 multi-led spotlights in place of the stock halogens.

Others I've seen put a ~5x6" heatsink with 6 - 9 LED pucks on it driven by a buck puck or meanwell driver. This is what I'm planning on doing with my fluval edge as the lightspread seems to be a bit better than with just 2 LED spotlights, however it's the more expensive route to take.

I'd be a bit hesitant to drill this tank though. The glass is so thin that I'd be worried about shattering a pane. Since the tank is so small though, I'm guessing you could do it with a drill press as opposed to a hand drill which would greatly reduce the chance of cracking/chipping the glass as it was being drilled.

02-20-2011, 09:20 PM
ya i was thinking that a heat sink would be best also, saw a good video on assembling a led fixture from rapid led,

ya that glass is thin, still think im gonna try it though (fingers crossed)

03-01-2011, 05:23 PM
I just built an over flow with acylic and drilled the top rim (plastic) instead of the glass...the overflow is hidden in the back portion on the edge stand and plumbed right out the bottom to the sump (very stealthy and OEM looking) the return comes up the same route...

03-01-2011, 05:36 PM
ya that is definitely a safer rout but i would like to try through the bottom as this tank will be a precursor to a more custom tank in the future. ya that overflow sounds sharp, i think ill do mine the same :razz:

03-01-2011, 06:33 PM
With all the mods you're talking about have you considered building your own edge style tank from scratch? Might be easier and would be better since you can customize the size and make it larger as well and incorporate a larger overflow for higher flow.

03-02-2011, 03:40 AM
yes i plan on it, but bigger! but its gotta wait until im not poor lol, this tank is goin to be sort of a guinea pig for the meantime

03-02-2011, 02:02 PM
So you've already got an edge? I figured you where going to buy one and since they retail for close to $200 you could easily make a bigger one for half that.

03-02-2011, 02:26 PM
I bought mine when they first came out and they were slightly over priced IMHO @ $179.99...a couple weeks later the priced dropped off to around $139.99 which was more realistic based on what they are... Now I've seen them retail as low as $99.99 which is OK but you still have to spend more to make them a complete system (as advertised) IMO...

On another Local FW forum I've seen them go used in about the $25-75 range.

Aesthetically I think they are awesome looking little systems and I considered make a larger version (45gal'ish) until I talked to a few custom tank builders ($$$)...In the end based on the price and other issue (gas exchange etc.) I figured a cube was more sustainable for my purposes.

Modifying & maintaining them though is a real exciting challenge, I love checking out what people (more on the hitec planted side) have done with them.

03-02-2011, 04:24 PM
Yes $100 would be a good price for the edge as you couldn't really duplicate the whole thing for less but if you're replacing the lights and filtration you're really only using the glass which I'm pretty sure you can get for less than $100. The stand isn't ideal either if you're planing an overflow so IMO you should start from scratch if you're planning a heavy mod project. I wish I started from scratch on mine but I did get the setup for $60 used so it wasn't too bad.

03-03-2011, 03:19 AM
yeah i found mine on kijiji, the person mentioned that they had started a SW tank, and i offered some live rock and away we went, glad i could help out another reefer

03-03-2011, 04:14 AM
i got a pretty good price from conceptaquariums, for a 120 edge style tank, still not rich enough though, i should focus on one tank at a time lol.

on the note of gas exchange, doesnt a skimmer just plow O2 into the tank? or is the problem CO2, which i could understand being a little more difficult.

The Grizz
03-03-2011, 04:17 AM
Skimmers need O2 in order to create the flanking action which put O2 into the water returning to the tank.

03-03-2011, 04:23 AM
i dont fully follow, are you saying that all the o2 that the skimmer sucks in with the air usually gets bound to the organic compounds and doesn't end up entering the system at all?

The Grizz
03-03-2011, 04:29 AM
No a skimmer should put a potion of O2 back into the tank, this is the reason you want a bubble trap after your skimmer to break up any micro bubbles that make it threw you skimmer. Bubble = air pocket, popped air pocket = O2 into water column.

03-03-2011, 04:34 AM
oh yeah of course that makes sense. so what about CO2? i understand it can lower ph if it gets too high, does a skimmer help reduce this, or is the only option for CO2 removal surface exchange. and how much does macro-algae in fuge help with this?

The Grizz
03-03-2011, 04:39 AM
oh yeah of course that makes sense. so what about CO2? i understand it can lower ph if it gets too high, does a skimmer help reduce this, or is the only option for CO2 removal surface exchange. and how much does macro-algae in fuge help with this?

Best way to remove co2 is by water agitation, surface movement, sump water falls and so on. Any thing to churn up the water helps remove co2.

03-03-2011, 04:41 AM
allright, ill write that down, now how do you keep it quiet? the sump waterfalls that is.

The Grizz
03-03-2011, 04:56 AM
Sump drop don't have to be big to be affective. If you look at my sump on my 165 each baffle is only 1" lower the the previous.

03-03-2011, 05:00 AM
you see? if it wasnt for you guys i wouldnt have the slightest clue, thanks for the input dudes.

now hopefully this thread can get back on track

The Grizz
03-03-2011, 05:02 AM
I forget, what was the origin of this thread :lol:

03-03-2011, 05:08 AM
you're supposed to be bashing my ideas!
jokes jokes

but i think i am going to go with a single return instead of 2, less holes, less plumbing less pumps less chance of failure, and probably cheaper.

The Grizz
03-03-2011, 05:12 AM
That should be all you need on that small a tank.

03-03-2011, 05:40 AM
now more questions:
1 the tank is 6.6 gallons i want around 40x turnaround, thats 264gph. is a custom overflow gonna be able to handle that? i guess f its custom, than well i can just customize it?
but mainly what im asking is would it have to be big, too big.
2. to achieve 264gph what are my options for pumps/powerheads, since im just going with a single pump, i would like to be able to throttle it down, or even be able to use a simple controller with it. options?

3. plumbing, what size am i looking at to accommodate this flow 3/4? and should i go rigid or flexy? herbie or durso?

03-03-2011, 01:57 PM
If you build an actual external overflow on the back of the edge and notch the acrylic on the back basically all the way down it should be able to handle the flow but to get the edge effect the water level has to be above the glass top which limits you to a very small surface area so you don't have much tolerance so using a fine mesh screen is probably not a good idea making it difficult to keep smaller fish or shrimp. For that flow rate a 1/2" return and a 3/4" drain will be sufficient.

Like I mentioned before though I think you're heading down the hardcore overkill road but it's up to you. My LPS and soft corals do great with only 50-60gph. SPS have their place but I've never seen a pico tank with SPS look as good as one with LPS and soft corals. Often we get the idea that the uncommon is cool and impressive however sometimes the more common approach results in a more impressive tank.

03-03-2011, 02:38 PM
Also I suggest you do a simple test to determine if the tank can handle the flow appropriately. Fill the tank will water and place the desired substrate in it. Use a maxi-jet 1200 or equivalent power head placed in the tank and see if you can direct the flow in such a manner so the substrate doesn't get too disturbed and remains level and evenly distributed.

03-03-2011, 07:06 PM
yes i will definitely check and make sure that the substrate stays put, i dont think it would take too much to turn that little tank into a giant cloud of dust, ive read up a tiny bit on substrates, no one seems too crazy about the crushed coral substrate, mostly cause of the lack of surface area compared to fine sand, and there were some complaints about debris being trapped in there, should i rule the option out? is it really much worse than sugar sized aragonite etc?

and im not a crazy flow monster, im just an amateur reefer who doesnt understand limits :mrgreen:

03-03-2011, 07:33 PM
I use crushed coral in the edge and prefer it to fine sand but it's personal preferance but it is obviously better for higher flow tanks.

03-03-2011, 07:51 PM
how do you do with nutrient export on yours? do you run a large skimmer, massive water changes, or run a nice fuge? or a combination of these things.

03-03-2011, 08:00 PM
No skimmer or fuge. I use a wet-dry system in a modified canister filter and do monthly water changes of around 25%. I only have one goby and a ribbon eel with the corals so I don't feed that often, around 2-3 times a week. Tank is too small IMO for stuff like skimmers and refugiums.

03-03-2011, 08:50 PM
well that sounds rather low maintenance! i was on the fence about a skimmer. my bio load will be a damsel, clown, a hermit and a mexican turbo snail, im hoping it wont be too much bioload.

but those ribbon eels are too scary, im not getting one

03-03-2011, 08:57 PM
Yeap super low maintenance and everything is doing well. Your bio-load sounds fine but I would recommend a wet-dry system as well as they are probably the most effective filtration. They don't work for larger setups due to nitrate build up but nitrate is easily managed in such a small tank. If you go SPS you'll have to kick up the water changes to weekly.

03-03-2011, 09:10 PM
would my turbo go hungry?