Mounting the Reservoirs - Aquacomputer Aqualis XT 880ml Pros and Cons
The main reason I choose to use Aquacomputer Aqualis reservoirs is because they are 80mm in diameter, while most
other reservoirs are 60mm across. Since this is a big case, I think the larger diameter will look much better. Secondly was the fact that it's made out of borosilicate glass, which should look incredible with colored coolant in it.
It also comes with a fill level sensor which will incorporate into my Aquaero 6 via the aquabus. There are six holes with an acrylic window in the base for LEDs that I will be using to illuminate the reservoirs. Also this reservoir has a "fountain effect" if you choose to plumb it that way. I will not be using the fountain effect. I've read several places that the fountain effect isn't that great, but I have not tested it.
This is the first time I've used the Aqualis reservoirs, and I must say that after unpacking them, I was blown away how nice they are! The borosilicate glass is very thick, the reservoir is heavy and just seemed to say "quality" holding in your hands!
There is one pretty big con with this reservoir though, and that's the mounting brackets. The bottom bracket is a nice bracket, but it's flimsy. The reservoir does not come with an upper bracket, but you can buy one optionally. Even if you were to use the shorter version of this reservoir with just the lower bracket, it would not be strong enough to make me feel good about using just the lower mount. With this tall reservoir, even without fluid in it, any movement of the case and the reservoir is shaking back and forth.
I also do not like how the optional upper bracket looks, it's just a black plastic ring, and it doesn't even fit very well. It is total loose around the reservoir, and will not hold it tightly in place as you can see here. I found a way to secure the top of the reservoirs without using the upper bracket that you'll see shortly.
The other con is that the glass tube is not cut perfectly square. If you are holding the reservoir tube in your hands you can see it's crooked. Both reservoirs are the same, so either their jig is set up crooked, the cutting blade is crooked, something is not right in the cutting process. Here you can really see it with the square next to the reservoir.
I can line up the tube so you won't really be able to see it, but I would sure rather it was cut straight! I saw a review where someone was upset because the reservoirs were different heights and they did match being next to each other. I'm not mounting mine side by side, so I wasn't worried about it. Here you can see my two reservoirs are about 1mm different it height.
To recap the Aqualis XT reservoir Pros and Cons:Pros
High quality feel
80mm wide borosilicate glass tube with nano coating
Fill level sensor with Aquaero 6 integration
Option to illuminate with up to 6 LEDs
Optional water fall effectCons
Glass tube not cut square
Mounting system is not the best
I'll be using two of these reservoirs in this build, but not in the classic side be side that you usually see. One of my goals for this build is to make the "back side" or "second side" of the build just as magnificent looking as the main side. So I thought why not put a second reservoir on the back side. It will look great, plus it will fill up that area of the second side. I'm going to have one big loop so these two reservoirs will be connected together and act as one big reservoir.
I have never seen this done before, two reservoirs back to back on two different sides. It will be something different anyway
When I ordered my case I ordered it with two single reservoir mounts from Caselabs, like this one shown here from the Caselabs store. I was going to mount one on each side, however they are too short for these tall reservoirs, so I'll be mounting them directly to the center divider.
Now the threaded inserts for the Caselabs reservoir mounts on the center divider are just getting in my way. I would have mounted these reservoirs slightly higher if I could have, or drilled out the threaded inserts on the center divider. If I drilled out the threaded inserts then it would have left a shinny part that would have showed on the outside edges of the lower reservoir mount. So I'll hold the bracket up to the bottom edge of the threaded inserts.
Here's a mock up of one of the tubing runs using a bunch of extensions. I wanted to be sure the reservoir is high enough to get this tubing run through that pass through hole in the center divider while being level.
Holes laid out.
Drill the holes.
The drill moved on me a little bit on the right lower hole. Still works ok though.
I actually purchased an Aqualis XT reservoir, and an Aqualis Pro reservoir. The only difference between them is the XT version has the fill level sensor on the left, the Pro version on the right does not have the fill level sensor, but you can add it later if you want. Since these two reservoirs will be connected, one sensor should work fine.
The left shows how the reservoirs come, set up to use with the "fountain effect". If you don't use the fountain effect via the middle port on the bottom, you have to put the deflector plate on as shown on the right.
Looking through the back without the motherboard tray in.
Making sure it's nice and level.
Since these two reservoirs are going to be connected, I was already planning on putting a balance tube between them. By connecting the reservoirs on top it will keep the water level the same between the two. So I am putting a pass through in the center divider to serve a dual purpose. One is to serve as the balance tube, and also to secure the top of both reservoirs so that I don't have to use that ugly top mount that I don't like. Super pumped about this idea
I'll be putting another pass through in here for another tubing run. I'll have just enough room next the that threaded insert.
Holes laid out.
A lot of people use step drills. I prefer a hole saw, 25/32" is what I'm using. A 3/4" will work if you file it out a little or a 20mm will work too.
Drill a pilot hole first, then use the hole saw.
If you use a file to clean up the hole, sometimes it take out too much metal and makes the pass through loose. I prefer just a piece of sandpaper to smooth it out.
Pass through installed. I'm using a 90 degree fitting with a male rotary on both sides with an extension to the pass through. These reservoirs are nice and solidly mounted now!
Here's the second side. That black thing on top of the reservoir is a pressure equalizing membrane necessary when using the fill level sensor.
Here's with the radiators and fans back in.
With the outer panels back on.
Hope you enjoyed this update!