The 3d printer kit I ordered can print several types of plastic. The 2 that are currently frequently used are ABS and PLA. PLA is a biodegradable plastic made from corn starch (http://www.cupdepot.com/PLA-FAQ.htm). ABS is a plastic that is food safe and ok to use in aquariums and such. PLA is also food safe but being biodegradable I am unsure about its suitability in an aquarium.
Being that I have the laBOREtory I think it’s only suiting that I do an experiment. I’m going to test ABS and PLA with the liquids in the list below. I am unsure if I want to do this by printing small cups or by placing pieces of filaments in glass jars. Either way I’m going to test each of the following for compatibility with plastic and see how long it takes to dissolve.
Yes, I made an indoor windmill. Stop laughing. Please. No, really, stop laughing!
I am using the air coming out of a heat vent to test the concept as it’s a bit cold outside.
The air pump isn’t getting enough power to actually work, but it does prove that the concept should be able to be made. I blame the flimsy soda bottle. I had a hard time to get the curved bits to flare evenly. I used a lighter to heat the plastic a bit while I had positioned it where I wanted it. One half would work, the other doesn’t. Weirdness. I also used a bit of excess cat5 wire to hold the thing together. Not quite baling wire, but the tech-age equivalent.
The pictures are kinda hard to see what’s going on. so I made a video too.
It all started with a chat on the homepage of aquaponicscommunity.com with Johnny and Paul. Johnny said he was trying to figure out how to make a solids lifting siphon overflow box. Now, at first I didn’t think it could be done – having built a weir siphon overflow box in the past. But than I got to thinking… Which lead to a drawing…
Which lead to a construction project… using only stuff I had laying around.
You see, I had been wanting to add a sump – a smaller tank under a big fish tank that holds water – to my 75 gallon aquaponics system so that the water level in the main tank stays the same level (and to push the water over 100 gallons and the bragging rights that go with it). But to do that, I would need to build an overflow box. This would tank a fair amount of time and work, and more silicone that I have on hand to finish, using the methods I had already tried...
But not my Fountain Soda Solids Lifting Siphon Overflow Box.
A solids lifting siphon overflow box will pull water from the bottom of the tank, where all the fish poo settles. This is a big deal for large aquaponics systems. Not so much a big deal for me right now, as there is only 2 fish in this particular aquarium.
But, I digress… what happens in a Siphon Overflow Box is that the water level rises in an aquarium to a certain height where the water flows out of the overflow box into the sump.
What makes mine unique, is that I made it out of a leftover fountain soda cup. It’s what I had for a water holding container. I would have made a plexi box, but I was lazy and don’t have enough silicone on hand to make it. So I drilled a hole in the bottom of a cup that is just a smidgeon too small for the tubing and pushed hard. This gave me nearly a water tight seal, so a dab of silicone finished the job.
The tube that goes through the bottom of the cup (overflow box) is the stand pipe, which sets the height of the water in the aquarium.
Just trim the tube to the right hight, and you can control the water level in the aquarium. I’ve got it set so it’s just above the bottom of the plastic trim on the top of the tank. The water level rises a bit as the grow bed drains into the aquarium, so I wanted it to be as low as I could and still have the aquarium look full.
So, with the addition of my super-fancy soda cup aquarium siphon, I now have 1 more thing in my Aquaponics system to go wrong and leak water all over the place. Being an expert in making leaks. I have held up the pickup tube for the water pump so it won’t pump all 30 gallons of water onto my basement floor. It should only be about 10 gallons!
I put the siphon out where I can futz with it and it looks tacky as all get out. When I get the bugs all sorted out, it’s going against the wall side of the tank so it’s less visible.