Linking Two Planted Tanks (Away With Inline Hardware) Sump Method - The Planted Tank Forum
 6Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Teebo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,082
Lightbulb Linking Two Planted Tanks (Away With Inline Hardware) Sump Method

I had recently built an elaborate inline filter system for one of my tanks, which ran into a small canister with sponges and Purigen > oversized pump > Cergas CO2 reactor > UV > syphon valve for vacuuming tank > inline Hydor heater > return to tank. While this was an okay setup I did not need the UV, neither did I use the syphon valve, the canister was a PITA to change the Purigen and the heater was prone to malfunctioning and they are expensive to keep on hand. After researching so much into saltwater sump systems I decided to elaborate my planted system in a similar fashion. I also have an ATO with its reservoir in the back left corner using a PetCo blue 5G bucket.



If I was to use a sump I could eliminate the ATO, the inline heater (I could use two regular off the shelf heaters, one set to a lower temp for redundancy here in the north), I could eliminate the canister by using a floss pad in the sump, not use the UV, and the only thing I need to solve is the CO2. I am not a fan of the diffuser in my display method and the reactor works much more efficiently so I may have to just run the reactor after the return pump on its way back to the main display. I am wondering what this will do to critters such as pods, they may make it through the pump okay but what about blasting them with CO2 in the reactor?? Not a huge deal, but they are consumed by my Gourami and Tetra as a snack. Also the CO2 reactor acts as a bubble trap.

This is my setup and I want the community's thoughts, they are both cornerless bowfronts. The main display is a 15.8G and the sump is an 8.5G, this is where it gets interesting though. Not only will the bottom be a sump, but I want it to be a display sump also with minimal hardware...completely planted and this is where I will selectively breed my RCS, I will throw my low quality hulls into the display for the Gourami to eat. This means building an overflow tower in the sump tank to house my return pump and heaters, the only thing I have not figured out yet is where to put my filter floss. I would want the floss after the main display on its way down to the sump because my main display gets heavily fed...however I COULD just allow the particulate to enter the RCS sump and be consumed there, then floss the water in the overflow tower on its way back to the display. RCS are messy anyway so I need to floss the water out before it gums up my pump and reactor, it will keep the main display polished while providing natural food for the RCS. Yay or nay?


Last edited by Teebo; 01-06-2017 at 07:37 PM. Reason: .
Teebo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 09:01 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 574
I do something similar in my tanks and it works quite well:





If you let a bunch of junk get into the planted section it will settle and catch on the plants which is annoying so I'd recommend at least foam on both sides. Make sure there is room for biomedia as well.
Teebo likes this.
691175002 is online now  
post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Teebo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,082
Interesting setup! Can I get more info on this? Videos or a thread? I am not very worried about additional biological media, I have never had a problem with that. I used to add ceramic media but realized my substrate, plants and floss hold enough. I only change my floss during off-weeks when I do not do a water change.

I can see the filter on both sides however, do you have shrimp in your sump to clean it up?? My shrimp can demolish dirty plants within 24 hours.

Are the three tanks above this non-planted? I want to see and learn more about your setup!

Last edited by Teebo; 01-07-2017 at 02:44 AM. Reason: .
Teebo is offline  
post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 04:36 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 574
The full thread is here: Bookshelf of Aquariums

Its become a bit of a long read, but it has detail on the entire process. Page 19 has recent pictures.
Teebo likes this.
691175002 is online now  
post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Teebo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,082
Thank you I will be reading up on it!

How many GPH do you think I will need for a return pump? I was using the Eco396 on the 15 gallon when I had everything in-line but I don't think I need 400gph without all the inline hardware. Whatever I use I will use a T in the return line to distribute it between two return nozzles so that the flow is distributed more evenly and a bit more gentle.
Teebo is offline  
post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 03:15 PM
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 89
If you keep the lower tank full, you are asking for a flood. Your lower tank should be able to hold whatever would drain down from the top in the event of a pump outage. Your top tank should be able to hold whatever should pump up in the event of a siphon break.

Current Tank: 125g reef ready with 40 gallon sump. ATI 4x80 watt T5 with 2x Super Flora T5 Giesemann, 1x ATI Purple Plus, 1x ATI AquaBlue Special. GLA CO2 system, Flourite substrate, Digital Aquatics Controller.
PlantGate is online now  
post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Teebo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,082
Well yeah obviously, that is why sumps are not topped off. Simple, place bulkhead high and use a weir. This should only require me to reserve 1/8 of my sump for overflow, I am not worried about a syphon break I am not using a siphon I am using a herbie style overflow with a backup.
Teebo is offline  
post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 05:00 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teebo View Post
How many GPH do you think I will need for a return pump? I was using the Eco396 on the 15 gallon when I had everything in-line but I don't think I need 400gph without all the inline hardware. Whatever I use I will use a T in the return line to distribute it between two return nozzles so that the flow is distributed more evenly and a bit more gentle.
You have less inline restrictions, but you will have to lift the water several feet instead which could reduce flow even more.

The eco396 has 6' of head pressure so if the water levels in the tanks are 3' apart you will already be cut down to 200gph. You will lose a little more flow to plumbing losses, and the manufacturer has probably exagerated the pump specs as well. I'd guess the eco396 will push 100-150gph alltogether, which is reasonable turnover for a 15g display.
691175002 is online now  
post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 05:22 PM
Pixel Prestidigitator
 
GraphicGr8s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: West coast of the east coast of the USA.
Posts: 3,905
I wouldn't get rid of the auto top off. Wish I had it on my sumps.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
If you agreed with me we'd both be right.
GraphicGr8s is offline  
post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Teebo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,082
The height I am lifting the water is the same height as when I had all the extra equipment on it. I will look for a 400gph pump to replace the Eco, one of the tabs broke off so the impeller cover no longer stays on it. I was amazed how easily it broke off, and they never returned my email about replacement parts so I will never buy another Eco product again. Cheap parts with no customer service no thank you. This time I thought I would try an external pump to save room in my sumps overflow weir tower, it also keeps heat outside the tank (not a big deal in the north our summers never get hot enough for a chiller).

The ATO requires a reservoir, and I don't have much room under the bottom shelf for one. I suppose I could find a custom box, I could probably fit 5 gallons of water under that shelf because I know 2-3 2.5 gallon aquariums will fit under there. Now I think of it, the only place in the whole system that will drop is my overflow weir tower which has a very small volume of water! This will be the lowest point in my system, so that tower will need to be topped off daily. I never thought of this, now the ATO is absolutely necessary grr.

Edit: I thought about this more, the overflow tower does not have to be my only source of water that drops, I am thinking I could have extra tall weir fingers so that the level in the sump can rise and fall, however the higher the water rises on the weirs the faster the water flows so this may not work either...or at least I will loose my surface skimming function when the water is high? If the water rises too high it will allow the overflow tower to catch up with the sump level and then the surface skimming will not be as drastic.

I don't know if anyone has seen this video, but when I someday have the room I do plan on consolidating all my tanks into just two large long tanks...one simplistic open tank with lots of carpeting and the other would be jungly with a large variety of stem plants etc. The thing is if I went this far as to having two large tanks like this guy both at the same viewing height, I would link them with extremely large bulkheads and flexible hose. I would also light them on separate cycles so that the single body of water never has a nighttime photosynthesis shutdown period which causes the pH to swing. This is what they commonly do on reef tanks lighting the refugium at night, I am not sure however if this would require a closed loop pump between two large tanks. My thought was if you were using an external filtration system you could place the return on one tank and the export tube on the other tank, and as long as you use two extremely large bulkheads between the two tanks the flow should be equal between them without the need for a closed loop pump. Right?


Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-10-2017 at 11:10 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
Teebo is offline  
post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 07:12 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 574
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teebo View Post
The height I am lifting the water is the same height as when I had all the extra equipment on it.
A closed loop like a canister filter does not need to lift water, because gravity is pushing water down on the inlet side. (Equivalently, the siphon on the intake offsets the pressure of the return.)
Teebo and PlantGate like this.
691175002 is online now  
post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 07:35 PM
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teebo View Post
The height I am lifting the water is the same height as when I had all the extra equipment on it. I will look for a 400gph pump to replace the Eco, one of the tabs broke off so the impeller cover no longer stays on it. I was amazed how easily it broke off, and they never returned my email about replacement parts so I will never buy another Eco product again. Cheap parts with no customer service no thank you. This time I thought I would try an external pump to save room in my sumps overflow weir tower, it also keeps heat outside the tank (not a big deal in the north our summers never get hot enough for a chiller).

The ATO requires a reservoir, and I don't have much room under the bottom shelf for one. I suppose I could find a custom box, I could probably fit 5 gallons of water under that shelf because I know 2-3 2.5 gallon aquariums will fit under there. Now I think of it, the only place in the whole system that will drop is my overflow weir tower which has a very small volume of water! This will be the lowest point in my system, so that tower will need to be topped off daily. I never thought of this, now the ATO is absolutely necessary grr.

Edit: I thought about this more, the overflow tower does not have to be my only source of water that drops, I am thinking I could have extra tall weir fingers so that the level in the sump can rise and fall, however the higher the water rises on the weirs the faster the water flows so this may not work either...or at least I will loose my surface skimming function when the water is high? If the water rises too high it will allow the overflow tower to catch up with the sump level and then the surface skimming will not be as drastic.
Is the "overflow weir tower" your return chamber in the sump? That is the only compartment that fluctuates in a sump system. If you plan on using a "herbie style overflow with a backup" (aka Bean Animal) then you will most likely need a much stronger pump to keep up with the full siphon drain. I don't think a 400gph pump and the head you are going to have is going to cut it.

Current Tank: 125g reef ready with 40 gallon sump. ATI 4x80 watt T5 with 2x Super Flora T5 Giesemann, 1x ATI Purple Plus, 1x ATI AquaBlue Special. GLA CO2 system, Flourite substrate, Digital Aquatics Controller.
PlantGate is online now  
post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Teebo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,082
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantGate View Post
Is the "overflow weir tower" your return chamber in the sump? That is the only compartment that fluctuates in a sump system. If you plan on using a "herbie style overflow with a backup" (aka Bean Animal) then you will most likely need a much stronger pump to keep up with the full siphon drain. I don't think a 400gph pump and the head you are going to have is going to cut it.
Yes it is, how many GPH are you thinking? What if I use just a 1/2" or smaller pipe on the display tanks overflow to slow down the siphon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teebo View Post
I don't know if anyone has seen this video, but when I someday have the room I do plan on consolidating all my tanks into just two large long tanks...one simplistic open tank with lots of carpeting and the other would be jungly with a large variety of stem plants etc. The thing is if I went this far as to having two large tanks like this guy both at the same viewing height, I would link them with extremely large bulkheads and flexible hose. I would also light them on separate cycles so that the single body of water never has a nighttime photosynthesis shutdown period which causes the pH to swing. This is what they commonly do on reef tanks lighting the refugium at night, I am not sure however if this would require a closed loop pump between two large tanks. My thought was if you were using an external filtration system you could place the return on one tank and the export tube on the other tank, and as long as you use two extremely large bulkheads between the two tanks the flow should be equal between them without the need for a closed loop pump. Right?
This guy here seems to have no problem pulling water from one tank and returning it to the other: https://youtu.be/E2MllLs8iAA

Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-10-2017 at 11:10 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
Teebo is offline  
post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 02:28 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 574
You need a gate valve on the siphon line anyways so you can reduce the flow quite a bit if necessary. I use 1/2" pipe in my 6g overflows. The challenge with low-flow siphons is acheiving enough flow to initially purge air from the siphon drain.

If you are buying a new pump you could always get something adjustable in the 600-800gph range. Jebao's are pretty cheap but are internal only.

You can connect two tanks side-by-side very easily, but I would recommend structuring it to ensure that no spillage can occur even if it were to get blocked. Either use multiple return/emergency bulkheads or leave enough free space to hold whatever additional water can get pumped into the tank.
Teebo likes this.
691175002 is online now  
post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
 
Teebo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,082
What are your recommendations on drain size? If my returns are 1/2" should the drain be 3/4" so I have room for gating?
Teebo is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome