Ok, now for the filtration setup. As I mentioned before, I think it's pretty straightforward compared to some of the crazy plumbing I've seen on here.
Here's a shot of my plumbing weaponry. The part on the bottom is the section that drains the tank and the part on top is my return manifold.
Water exits the tank through two 3/4" bulkheads positioned midway down on the right side of the tank which combine into a 1" line. I drilled an extra hole into the center of the strainers to increase flow, and stuck some pre-filter sponges on there.
The 1" drain line enters a Blueline Velocity T3 pressure-rated pump. I built a little pump platform out plywood lined with foam mat to absorb any vibration but it probably wasn't necessary (I was shocked at how quietly this pump runs!). I placed a union ball valve in front of the pump and a union after it so that I can easily remove it for maintenance without draining the tank.
The Blueline feeds into a pair of Nu-Clear canisters. These filters are very well constructed and I like them a lot. The first one has a 100micron cartridge and the second is filled with bioballs. The media capacity on these things is ridiculous - I stuck in all the bioballs from my old W/D filter and it was only half full!
The filters then lead to my return manifold. The 45-degree outlets closest to you are 1/2" lines that lead up the back and side dripwalls, respectively. The lower outlet is 3/4" and is plumbed into a Hydor ETH 300W and then returns to the submerged part of the tank. The ball valves let me regulate the relative amounts of flow to the dripwalls and the aquatic portion.
The aquatic return enters the tank via a 3/4" bulkhead plumbed to twin 1/2" loc-lines with flare nozzles. It's obscured by my fake tree roots and not particularly visible from the front. The other returns lead to 3/4" PVC pipe spraybars (holes drilled every 1" or so) at the top of the Ecoweb dripwall.
It was a bit of pain to get all the plumbing set up and leak-free. Threaded PVC fittings suck
. I had a particularly persistent leak from the union right after the pump. Re-assembling all the threaded joints with liberal amounts of Great White pipe compound and not over-tightening them mostly took care of the problems. Now that I have everything set up I'm pretty happy with it. The flow rate and media capacity kicks the pants off any other canister I've used before.