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sump return Q
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Mickle
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Location: U.K.

PostPosted: 2005.09.22(Thu)14:15    Post subject: sump return Q Reply with quote

Hi guys Smile
Later on this year I hope to be constructing a mini-multistory-tank-setup.
The plan is to build a two tank system one ontop of the other with sump concealed below. The tanks will be small (no more than 10 gallons).
I was just wondering, if I was to have the outflow from one tank flowing to the other tank, then returning to the sump effectively in one big chain, shown in fig.1, would the second tank (the lower one) be okay?

As for stands, I'm in the thinking that the total combined wieght of all three tanks assuming all glass construction and fully filled with fresh water and sand substrate will be aproximately 350 pounds. Would I be able to fasion this thing out of wood or am I going to need to brush up on my metal work?
These plans are still subject to major change Wink

Cheers,
Mick.
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Irons
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Joined: 27 Feb 2003
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: 2005.09.23(Fri)0:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only issue I see with this setup is if you get an infection out break. It's almost like having a 20 tall. You are just making sperate bodies into 1 system. My biggest concern would be if you get a blockage anywhere in the system. You'll have to account for that. As well as the pump failing or a loss of power. I'm sure you don't want to drain your tanks into the sump or on to the floor.

As for the frame. That should be a problem. I made a 75gallon stand. I figured that wieghts arounds 1200lbs filled. You just have to make it astedically pleasing.. =) that's the tough part.
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Mickle
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Location: U.K.

PostPosted: 2005.09.23(Fri)9:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK a few modifications, Instead of the sirty top water from the top tank going into the bottom one, filtered water enters it, the tap is to ensure that I can get flow into the top tank. I think this option is the better one but I think I will need a stronger pump. lol

I also added some bloackage protection into the design, any thoughts?
Smile
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Irons
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PostPosted: 2005.09.23(Fri)14:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

The device that I see pro tanks use is just an over flow chamber in the corner. The top of the water pours through slits and down to the bottom. A tap in the glass allows this chamber to drain. (in your case the 2nd tank). Then again from tank 2 to the sump. This way you can't over drain a tank. If you add a float valve you can prevent over filling the tank (in case of a plug).

I wouldn't add the middle valve. Keep it as simple as possible. More items means more possible points of failure you have to be prepared for.
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dale
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Abbotsford Canada

PostPosted: 2005.09.23(Fri)22:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi mickle,
The first design is a much better and safer idea (IMO). The simpler, the better. I am assuming that the outflows are drilled, if not you would have to use HOB syphons. As irons said, the biggest concern is with blockage of your outflows. There are two ways to solve this:
A. use a wide diameter pipe for your outflow, with mesh over it, or a large perimeter skimmer box (this will allow some flow with a partial blockage). The main cause of blockage will be leaves and such from plants or dead fish.
B. mount your pump intake near the top of the sump. If your outflows plug the pump will only suck so much out of the sump before running dry.
You should test the system to see what levels are optimal
ie. (assuming all tanks are the same size) If there is one inch of space between the out flow opening and the rim in either the top or mid tanks they can each absorb one inch of water before overflowing. You should, in that case, mount the pump intake one inch below the water level in the sump. That way if you have a plugged outflow in either tank the pump will run dry after pumping one inch and the top tank can absorb one inch without overflowing. Of course you will probably burn out the pump but you have to weigh that against a water spill I suppose.
To find the sump water line fill the top and mid tanks to just draining, fill the sump to the desired level and turn it on. You will have to add a bit to compensate for the water volume lost inside the various lines. When everything is running smooth mark the water level in the sump with tape or paint or something. That way you will always know how much to top off your sump with due to evaporation, water changes etc...
To counter disease spread to multiple tanks you can install a U.V. (damn this auto spell checker!) sterilizer in your return line.
It's an interesting project but you can see that it may cost a lot to set up. For the investment you might want to consider going to thirty gallon tanks.. anyways
Good luck!
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Mickle
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Location: U.K.

PostPosted: 2005.09.24(Sat)11:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replys guys, its actually for an A-level Design and technology course. I thought I'd check my peliminary ideas here before getting to serious, Hence the small tanks, Its basically going to be a prototype mock up of what could be done on a bigger scale... as I get to take it home after marking I would like it to actually work Wink
The tanks will be drilled, not sure if I'm going to make them from scratch or get a couple of clear-seal ones, but at 24.99 a pop I don't know.
the U.V would be a great addition, and I will fit all the mountings for an addition in the futre me thinks, but budget is already tight for a guy who works weekends in a fish shop, with an expensive hobby... from working in the fish shop mainly, and learning to drive, drink and well generally be a teenager Wink
Expect to see more as I develoope the project further, any other sujestions on avenues to resarch/ consider would be great, just wish I'd pick the project a freind has... Instead of sitting at home writting in forums he goes to theme parks and chats to the guys there Rolling Eyes
Thanks again Smile
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dale
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Abbotsford Canada

PostPosted: 2005.09.24(Sat)20:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing You're not alone!
Even when you're an old guy you still have to balance your wants with your reality but instead of drinking and and fun it's kids and bills.
IMO the u.V. is not a neccesity. Most disease outbreaks occur from new additions to the population and/or stress. If you buy from a reliable source, quarentine, maintain good water parameters and don't over populate you shouldn't experience most problems (Famous last words).
look forward to seeing your project develop in the future.
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