atlasstone

Benchtop Test Tank

144 posts in this topic

I have been searching for a small test tank design so that I can check the action of my baits prior to going out to the lake etc.  I have limited room and often move things around so it is not very prudent for me to build a large static tank.  I've not been able to find anything, so after a few failed attempts, I ended up with the design below.  I'm sure it can be improved on, but I figured there would be others in my situation that might find this useful, so I figured I would share.

 

Materials:

1 20 gallon long aquarium (they sell these in regular, tall and long... get the long)

1 roll of 10' X 10" aluminum flashing (found at Lowes)

1' (2x6") 6" sewer pipe

1 7" section of 1.5" x 3/4" PVC (I know you have some of that crankbait PVC laying around right)

4 3" 95 pound pull magnets from Harbor Freight

1 1200 GPH bilge pump (walmart)

1 6" section of 1" PVC pipe

1 el-cheapo 2" brush

1 tube of clear silicone

 

Start with the tank:

Tank

 

Just make sure it's clean and hold water

 

Next layout the aluminum flashing.  You will need two sections cut at 17" long.

Then mark a line 1/2" in from each end and 2" from the top and bottom.  We are going to fold and crease these to make the final 6" x 16" piece a little more rigid.

Flashing

 

curve_zps43d6670d.jpg

 

Make your folds as straight as possible, folding the long side first.  Otherwise it you will have open sections on the final sheet.

folds_zpsf168f642.jpg

 

Make sure to hammer the creases to get it nice and clean.

 

One one of the two sections, You will need to cut a notch on the side for the pump nozzle and a notch on the bottom to let water in.

the side notch starts about 1.25" from the bottom and is 2" tall and 1.5 inches deep

nozzlecut_zpse28d3e9d.jpg

 

The notch for the water will go on the bottom and is 3/4" tall and 4" long

waterinlet_zpsd23e7a4b.jpg

 

Next, make the nozzle for the bilge pump.

The nozzle will need to be about 5.25" long when complete.  Cut a section of the 1" Pipe and use a heat gun to soften the PVC.

Once it is flexible, push the PVC onto the handle of the brush and press it until it cool.  I used one of my wife's oven mits so i wouldn't burn myself (shhhh don't tell her)

 

brush_zpsdf218275.jpg

 

Next, heat the other end and push it onto the bilge pump to get a tight fit.  Make sure that your nozzle is vertical when doing this and try not to get too over zealous with the heat gun like I did.

Close up Pump Side

 

Yours should be a little longer than this picture.  this from from an earlier attempt, but you get the idea.

finalnozzle_zps5ebe1b4d.jpg

 

Now plaxe the pump in the corner and make sure it will line up with the notch in your aluminum sheet.  Assuming it looks like it will fit pretty good, silicone the aluminum sheets in.

One of the aluminum sheets should be about 4" from the end of the aquarium (using the inside glass to measure) assuming the sheet is centered on the glass. The other sheet will be about 8" from the end of the aquarium to allow for room to block off the pump and reservoir. I put a mark in the center of the sheet and on the center of the glass, duct taped it on and then pushed the ends into place. The end result should give you some curved ends in the aquarium.

silicone_zps8391fc21.jpg

 

Next, Build the center section.

Cut a piece of aluminum about 45.5" long.  Mark 2" in the top and bottom and fold it like the other sections.  Use some self tapping screw to screw the aluminum into one of the 6" sections of sewer pipe.

center_zpsc605ef14.jpg

 

Place the other 6" section inside the aluminum and then concave the ends of your PVC trim.  the inside of the PVC trim should be about 6.5".  Next, wedge the PVC in between the pipes to make a tight fit.

Centerpiece_zps57b96c44.jpg

 

Next take two of the magnets and put a knotted lop through the center and put some duct tape on the bottom of the magnet to help protect the glass.

Magnets

 

Use a screwdriver to pry the magnet out of the metal part for the other two magnets and put a piece of duct tape on them also to protect the glass.  You will use these to help hold the center section of the tank but also allow you to adjust your flow.

Magnets Installed

 

This next section is optional, but I got a Pulse Wave modulator from amazon for about $7 and I use it to control the speed of the motor to test swim baits.  i like the current a little slower for those.

I put the PWM in a little plastic case and stuck it to the side of the tank with carpet tape.

PWM

PWM in Case

 

and here she is...  all done.  Compact, portable, easy to fill and empy and you can put it away nicely with very little cost of real estate.

done_zps4f4773bd.jpg

 

Here is a short video of it in action.  One word of warning, when you move the center piece to adjust your flow, you may need to hold it for a second until the current gets established so that your center doesn't move.  The magnets help to hold it in place if you move then around.  since the metal part is gone from the magnets on the bottom, they fit under the aquarium and can move if on a table surface.

 

 

Well, I hope this helps someone!  It's not perfect but it's gives you a good idea of how the bait will act.

Edited by atlasstone
4 people like this

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Now this is handy as 2 pockets on a shirt.  Nice build.  Thanks for sharing all the details.

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Brilliant!

 

This is something that has been discussed at length, but no one got around to building anything.

 

Congratulations on a very successful build.

 

DAve

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LOL, I have spent hours looking into laminar flow systems and you solve the problem in no time at all.

 

GREAT WORK, AND WHERE WERE YOU A YEAR AGO? 8O  :D  :worship:

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.. WHERE WERE YOU A YEAR AGO?

Prolly fishin'  8O

 

Thanks for all the feedback.  I went through several designs before settling on this one. I'm just glad to be able to give something back for all the info I've gained here.  Great resource!

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As everyone has mentioned, grerat work and thanks for sharing. Next time Petco has their $1 per gallon tank sale, I know exactly what I am getting!

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As everyone has mentioned, grerat work and thanks for sharing. Next time Petco has their $1 per gallon tank sale, I know exactly what I am getting!

 

LOL - I have a 30 gallon long tank that I got last year, at a yard sale, for just $5. It came with 2 air pumps which I am sure will work for my future fluid bed, it came with a water pump for the undergravel filter which might work for other projects, it came with ........

 

Better check out those yard sales. :lolhuh:

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atlasstone, do I understand correctly that with this design as given you have three inches in width for the lure to work?

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We were talking about this a few years back, after weeks of theory and when the maths were done I was thinking only an outboard prop on a 1 - 2 H.P electric motor could do the trick-- water flow rates were thought to be the major problem--

 

BUT looks like you have solved all this with a miniscule 2 Amp X 1200 GPH pump :?

Fantastic outcome mate, and thanks for all your work and post--you can guarntee there will be a heap of testing going on in the background, with a lot of questions and  maybe a few improvements to follow.

Thanks .

Pete

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atlasstone, do I understand correctly that with this design as given you have three inches in width for the lure to work?

It depends. The reason I use the magnets to hold the center section in place, as opposed to having it fixed, is to allow me to change the flow of the current.  I can push it over to wards the pump side to give me more room, but less speed or vice versa.  You also don't need to have it evenly spaced.  For some lures that have a wider wobble, I will push the back end closer to the wall and leave a little more room on the other end.

 

We were talking about this a few years back, after weeks of theory and when the maths were done I was thinking only an outboard prop on a 1 - 2 H.P electric motor could do the trick-- water flow rates were thought to be the major problem--

 

BUT looks like you have solved all this with a miniscule 2 Amp X 1200 GPH pump :?

Fantastic outcome mate, and thanks for all your work and post--you can guarntee there will be a heap of testing going on in the background, with a lot of questions and  maybe a few improvements to follow.

Thanks .

Pete

Thanks.  My first designs used a prop..  I tried it in plastic piping and in aquarium style tanks but what I found was the flow was really unstable.  My guess is that since the prop is designed for thrust  it creates a vortex behind it that churns the water. The bilge pumps are centrifugal  so the vortex is contained in the housing.  Again... just a guess.

 

There are certainly some trade offs with it for what you get in the size so I'm looking forward to seeing what others can do with it.  I'm sure it will be improved on, and to be honest, that's half the reason I wanted to post it here.  A lot of great minds here and I'd love to see it refined.  I'm experimenting now with putting a "roof" on the back end to keep the water from climbing on the bend to see if I can contain enough of the current to make the center piece a little smaller to allow for more room in the "lane".

 

The design I really wanted to work with involved the use of a rim-driven or ring thruster, but I could not find a good source for them.

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let me know how the tank does testing the swimbait when you get one made.

:wink:

great job! I might have to make one also.

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Very cool.  Anxious to see a video too of this desing.

There is a link to a video that shows it running in the original post.  I had some difficulty embeding a video and getting the post down to 10 pictures so it's not very obvious.  Is that what you are looking for?

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Nicely done, that took a lot of thought and to make it work, even more impressive. Not all ideas work the first time. Congrats!!

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 Here is another design which I found on youtube, a totally different approach but does the job well. 

 

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