Oct 18, 2015 - Custom Filtration System For The Zen Float tent

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I’ve recently written a blog post about my initial thoughts of the Zen Float Tent here. Like I have mentioned in this post I setup a custom filtration system to support the pump that came with the tent. This post is dedicated to help you setup your own custom filtration system for the Zen Float Tent.

Parts list

For a complete list of the parts needed for this tutorial please fill out the form below (which will allow you to sign up for the newsletter and receive the parts document)

Click photo to enlarge


Type of filter

For this specific setup I used an Intex pump which can be purchased from Amazon.

Setting the piping up

All of these parts can be purchased from Lowe’s for under $100 (not including the pump). Once you have all of the parts it is best to start with the tubing that came with the Intex pump and hook in the adapter which will screw on snugly (Image 3-4). You will need a rubber grommet to seal the gap between the adapter and the Intex tube(Image 3). This will prevent the water from leaking out. Once that connection is secure you can figure out where you would like your tubes to enter the tent. For my setup I had the PVC tubes enter the tent from the back close to the pump that came with the tent. This makes it easy to access since it is near a corner of the tent.

You will need to calculate how long you would like the PVC tubes to be in order to go inside of the tent and what angles you would like. Depending on how you want the tubes to enter the tent and if you are using a spill berm or not this may vary. I would recommend using a tape measure before you start cutting to get a sense of how long the tubes will need to be. The images above will give you a good idea of how I decided to get my PVC piping into the tent and notice the multiple angles (to prevent light leaks).


Keep in mind that you may want to put a small angle in the tube that pumps the water back into the tent (see image above). This will make the water ripple which can help prevent biofilm from building up on the surface of the water. Also make sure that your intake tube is not touching the tents bottom and also submerged under water.

After you have laid out how long you want the PVC pipes to be you can use the PVC primer and glue to glue the pieces together (careful not to inhale or touch the glue/primer).
It might be useful to put the Intex pump inside of a rubber container to help catch salt water in the event that some leaks when changing the filter (highly recommended). Then make sure that the PVC pipes are in place and hook the hose into the pump.

This specific pump requires you to prime it before using. There are more instructions in the Intex manual about this, but essentially you need to make sure the pump is filled with water before you start it for the first time. Also you will need to open the air valve on the top while filling it until some water leaks out. Once the water leaks out screw the air valve tight and turn the pump on. If it doesn’t start pumping water you may have to open the air valve when it is running (note water may splash, use a towel to open air valve). Once you hear the pump working and see water moving through it you can close the air value.

You should be all set!

Good luck customizing your Zen Float Tent! Leave comments below if you have any questions!

Sep 12, 2015 - Thoughts About the Zen Float Tent

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Zen Float Tent

The journey to getting a Zen Float Tent

I’ve recently purchased a Zen Float Tent. Like I have mentioned in my previous post there has been much contemplation about getting this tent. When I first heard about the Kickstarter I was a bit skeptical of the quality and design of the tent. I was familiar with the Samadhi Tank, Escape Pod, various pods and rooms all of which are of high build quality. I decided that I was going to wait until the tent had been used and reviewed before I would purchase one. This Summer I decided that the Zen Float Tent was right for me and when I was on a drive from Florida to St. Louis while looking on Facebook I noticed a post from Jeremy at Escape Pod Tank saying he had one for sale. Naturally this was the perfect opportunity so I ended up purchasing the tent from him.

Installation of the Zen Float Tent

Surprisingly the Zen Float Tent was not terribly difficult to setup. My situation was a bit unique because I custom build a base and a filtration system for the tent but overall it took about a weekend to get it all up and running. There are some great YouTube videos online that show you how to set it up and the instruction manual was informative.

Click photo to enlarge


Platform

The process started with the base which consisted of six 12”x2” pieces of wood from Lowe’s. This would help with absorbing some sound and distribute the weight across the floor. On top of the wood platform there is a thin piece of plywood to make a smooth surface. On top of the plywood are three 6’x4’ pieces of sound absorbing rubber purchased from Acoustical Surfaces. This is to ensure that the tent is completely soundproof especially from vibrations traveling through the floor. The main sounds that seem to travel into the tank are vibrational such as door slams and people walking. When the base was complete it covered 12 feet by 6 feet which fits perfectly in the room (even allowing space for a yoga mat).

Spill Berm

Then the spill berm was setup on top of this platform. The spill berm was designed for industrial spills including harmful chemical spills. This seemed to be the perfect device to catch any excess water or if the tent leaked. I had a white (epsom salt is harder to see on white) custom made spill berm that was 11’x5’ that will ensure plenty of space for the 8’x4’ tent. Also having this much space allowed me to make the tent go across the wood beams diagonally to keep the weight distributed across multiple beams (5-6 beams instead of 4).

Water

After the berm was setup it was time to install the tent which you can see the process in the photos above. This was a fairly easy process which consisted of placing metal rods into the vinyl and then connecting the pieces. After all the rods were in place I started filling the tent with reverse osmosis water. You might wonder why I filled the tent with reverse osmosis water and not just tap water. I did this because there can be some heavy metals such as iron in the water supply and also chlorine and other chemicals which I don’t want in the tent.

Epsom Salt

Finally it was time for the Epsom salt which I purchased from Sf Salt Co. They have really good prices on bulk Epsom salt and they also were at the Float Conference this year. I ended up purchasing 1,100 lbs from them which arrived on a pallet in individual 50lb bags. As of this blog post I have around 635lbs of Epsom salt and about 115 gallons of water in the tent.

Custom Filtration System

I also decided to make a custom filtration system that would supplement the tent’s standard filter system. I purchased an Intex pool pump from Amazon and bought some PVC piping that would fit into the Intex system. When it was all said and done the pump worked great and is run for 30+ minutes after each float. This is to help ensure the water stays clean and can help speed up the time it takes to heat up the water.

Summary

I’m extremely satisfied with the Zen Float Tent thus far. I would recommend it to anyone looking to buy a float tank for their home. The material quality is top notch and it does a pretty good job of light proofing. Also I would recommend purchasing 35% hydrogen peroxide and a shammy to wipe down the tent before getting into it. The base I made is not a necessity but it seems to make sense especially if you are not putting this in a basement of a quiet home. If you have any questions please leave a comment below. Also there is a form now to sign up for the newsletter, check it out!!

Aug 16, 2015 - Highlights From the 2015 Float Conference

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What is the Float Conference?

The 2015 Float Conference took place last weekend in Portland Oregon. This event is a conference where people interested in float tanks go including: researchers, float tank manufactures, salt companies, float center employees/owners, float enthusiasts, NSF employees, health department regulators, and more. The conference is a place for everyone in the industry to get together and to have meaningful discussions about the direction we want the floating industry to move. Also the conference has been a place for researchers to discuss their past research on the benefits of floating and Justin Feinstein and his team from LIBR (Loretta Institute for Brain Research) have recently started sharing their findings of their new research. We are in exciting times for the float industry as more and more tank manufactures pop up, new float centers open every year, and more people know about floating than ever before.

Important talks at the conference:

It’s difficult to pick out certain talks that will be mentioned here because every talk at the conference was really phenomenal and informative. Ashkahn from Float On really has done a great job getting these speakers together and lined up. The amount of hours put into this conference was tremendous and Ashkahn showed that himself alone spent over 1,000 hours working on the conference and in total it was closer to 2,000 for everyone involved. I cannot say thank you enough to the team at Float On for organizaing this conference because without them it would not have been possible.

LIBR research


(This study was referenced in a talk by Justin Feinstein. Those who have floated clearly know this is not the case in the tank)

One speaker that really stood out was the neuropsychologist Justin Feinstein. The work he and his team are doing at LIBR is truly amazing, they are taking fMRI images of the brain before and after 3 floats to see how it changes with these floats. They are doing RCTs (randomized controlled studies) in order to validate that their findings are scientifically accurate. Currently the research is preliminary but we will soon have research that has solid conclusions on how floating can change the brain. He and his team want to study the effects of floating on PTSD, addictions, anxiety, and eating disorders such as anorexia. I won’t go over specifically what the results were from the fMRI scans but his team is very fascinated in interoception (being aware of your physical sensations such as heart beat or breath) and it seems like the float tank can enhance this, based on my own experience. This is interesting because in Vipassana meditation there is a heavy emphasis on focusing on physical sensations such as feeling hot, cold, tingling, numbness, etc.

Emily Noren

Another great talk was by Emily Noren, a young woman that had anorexia, who discovered floating about a year ago in search to help with this disease. Emily got on the stage, with such an open heart, started talking about her battle with anorexia from a young teenager until an adult. She had a great analogy about how this voice in her head she called “Ed” would aggravate her eating disorder and make her think about counting calories, weight, body image etc. She started using the tank because a friend of hers, Sandra Calm, was a co-owner of the Float Shoppe and suggested she give floating a shot. She started floating and it wasn’t easy at first but she made an effort to keep coming back and with time this voice “Ed” started fading away. A new voice took place of “Ed” which stopped caring about the calories and what she ate. After floating for about a year she has seen a noticeable diminish in the eating disorder. Her speech was so touching it brought me to tears and her talk was met by a standing ovation at the end. She has written a book called Unsinkable about it which she has posted on her website (for free) at emilykatenoren.com and can also be purchased on Amazon.

Entreprenuer talk


There was a great talk by Nick from True REST and Andy from Float House which are two large franchises the former started in Arizona and the latter Canada. They were explaining how float centers shouldn’t devalue the floats by continuously offering discounts like Groupon, Social Shopper, and Living Social. They were explaining how the industry is taking off and float centers are popping up rapidly. For example in 2009 in the USA there were around 15-20 float centers with 3+ tanks and in Canada there was just 1 center. In 2015 there are now 271 active float centers in the USA and in Canada there are 56 active float centers. Floating seems to be spreading faster than ever and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. Especially based on the fact that there were about 500 people at the conference this year.

Glenn and Lee Perry


Glenn and Lee Perry were at this years conference again. Glenn and Lee were two of the first residential float tank manufactures back in the 1970s with John Lilly creating the first tank outside of the research labs. They have a company called Samadhi Tank Co where they sell durable float tanks some of which have lasted over 25 years. Their talk was mostly focused on why float centers should start selling float tanks. The reason behind this is that not everyone who wants to float will want to do it in a public place. As always the Perry’s talk was very inspirational and you can really see how much passion they have to keep this industry moving forward.

Float On


Graham and Ashkahn from Float On always seem to have an incredibly energetic talk that seems to keep everyone engaged. This year they talked about how the Washington monument took over 100 years to be built and how there was a lot of planning involved instead of work actually being done. I think the purpose of this talk was to really inspire future float tank manufactures and center founders to stop worrying and planning and start doing. Kind of like the saying goes “one in the hand two in the bush”. You can always correct mistakes later on and it is impossible to predict everything that will go wrong, especially with a float center.

Kevin Johnson from Zero Gravity Institue


Kevin Johnson had an amazing talk last year about how to market your float business to early adopters. This year’s talk by him also was outstanding. He first explained how Zero Gravity Institute is going to partner up with Onnit to create even better float rooms. He then talked about how as an industry we need to band together and cooperate with one another. This was really refreshing as the industry is getting larger we are starting to see more people getting into the industry for various motivations. Kevin also explained how he would be happy to help any float tank center who is planning on opening for free. This is really great to hear especially because he is setting an example for other float centers to help one another out.

Crash from Float Labs


Last but not least Crash from Float Labs spoke this year about why we need to protect our industry with getting our float tanks NSF certified. Last year was a bit controversial because some people misunderstood and thought that because he initiated the NSF standard for float tanks that he was trying to flush out competition by getting expensive tests done. I’ve come to think this is not the case but instead he just wants this industry to be safe and to not have to worry about health departments shutting down float tank centers from the lack of NSF certifications. Crash really seems to care about this industry and doesn’t care what other people think of him especially if he is doing what he thinks is best.

Summary

Both years I’ve been the float conference have been amazing experiences. I would recommend this conference for anyone who likes floating or the float culture. I plan on going back next year August 20th-21st 2016 and would love to see more people out there (leave a comment below if you are going to attend)! Every year it seems like more and more people attend and it’s really great to see the same people each year. There is really something special about this industry that revolves around a sense of community and good will for others. More info can be found on the float conference’s website here.