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Old 07-20-2010, 08:59 AM   #1
soundgy
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New Tank and Filter Design


Hey Guys,

Not sure if this is the correct spot to be posting this in, but I thought I would show you guys what I am working on. I have been trying to design a filter system to tie multiple tanks together, safely. I am frequently away from my house, so I do not have the luxury of lengthy water changes and maintenance. I still want to enjoy my fish though. I have designed a plan to circulate water between two tanks, a 30 G barrel, and a wet/dry filter. Please pick this to pieces, chew it up and spit it out. I would love to hear your thoughts on this design. I will say, most of this is a repeat design from various other tanks. I have yet to see a system like this though. Not saying there isn't one. Tell me if you see any catastrophic flaws or holes in my design. I will explain as best as I can. For those of you who know the technologies I am using, the diagram should be pretty good. I would really appreciate this forums insight. You guys rock!

About the Diagram:
This is not an automated system. Only a few of the pumps run 24x7. The RO/DI water does not auto feed into the Live Water barrel. The live water barrel does not auto drain into the toilet. I will have some switches that will turn the pumps on and off. Only "Real" purpose for the barrels is quick water changes, not really for over stock per say. Although, this much water would allow me to do that. The one part of this that is auto is the RO/DI barrel. This barrel will stay filled 24x7 using a toilet float valve on the high pressure line. By doing this, I alleviate pressure build up within the RO/DI system. The RO/DI pump is to "Dump" water into the Live Water barrel after the live barrel has been emptied. I will does ferts and supplements into the live water and run the filters and heater prior to turning back on the tank pumps. Let me know if there is anything else I didn't explain, or explain very well.
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Last edited by soundgy; 07-22-2010 at 10:01 AM.. Reason: Uploaded newly revised diagram!
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:33 AM   #2
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I'm by all means no expert but the biggest flaw I see is bypass. With your tanks emptying into the live water barrel, there's a good chance that your pump will just direct that water back to your tank. I think it would be a better idea to have the incoming water from your tank go into your wet/dry filter. I probably would get rid of your live water tank and canister. Just build a bigger wet/dry and still use your ro/di tank for top offs. Your wet/dry will have all your filtering media. The hardest part is going to be balancing all your waterflow so that output is the same as the incoming water. This will become worse whenever your filter media gets clogged from gunk thus decreasing water flow.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:39 AM   #3
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Just thought about this option. You can keep the live water barrel but have that drain into your wer/dry and have your tank return pumps pulling water after the filter. I still would get rid of the cannister since I don't think it will do much in this sytem.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:26 AM   #4
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Wow.. I spent a while staring at that.

I'm not an expert either, but it seems that dropping the high flow pumps to the bottom of the "live water" tank would help with bypass. Also, this reduces the chance of those pumps getting airlocked if the water level in the "live water" tank drops, due to evaporation or failure to fully refill the system.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:57 AM   #5
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nokturnalkid, the reason for not connecting the sump inline is overflow potential in the barrel. A pump leading to another pump is a very bad idea with a high chance of overflow. The issue with bypass shouldn't really be an issue though. The barrel is always going to have churning water, with churning water it will always spread out nutrients and contaminants. The water will naturally find equilibrium. Plus, so much water will be moving through there, I don't really see an issue. The barrel must be there for the quick water change to happen. That is an integral component to rapidly flush a large amount of water. The canister is for recycling, literally, I already have it, might as well move some water with it. Also, it fixes my problem of how to integrate my inline water heater. This way I can keep water temps equal across the board. Does that make since? I'm not sure how well I explained that. Let me know if you have any more questions.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:00 PM   #6
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Dark, good to hear from you again. The reason for the pumps being at the top and not at the bottom is an overflow concern. If syphon was lost at the tanks, then water would not return to the bucket. The water would continue to pump out back into the tanks, which would then overflow. By having the pumps at the top of the barrel, only a small amount of water can be pumped back into the tanks. This would not be enough water to overflow either tank. I would much rather have a pump burn out, not likely, then have a flood across an apartment floor. Know what I mean? Pumps are cheap, but flooding can cost countless amounts of money. Same reason the pump is not at the bottom of the wet/dry filter. Let me know if that does/doesn't make since.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:09 PM   #7
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Is there a reason for the wet dry system?
If you went with drip emitters and over flow drains, you could do up to a 25% water change on both tanks each day and skip a lot of plumbing and pumping.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:14 PM   #8
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That is a pretty good idea. I like the though of simplicity. Unfortunately, being in an apartment, having a constant drain is not possible. Now, I could do a constant drain to a bucket, then throw out the bucket. But, that is so close to what I have now, I might as well reuse the water for as long as possible. If I end up dosing ferts into the water, I would not have a good fert drip system. The only way to have a fert drip system would be to have a premixed bucket of ferts dripping in. Then we come back to the same setup again. Hopefully that made some since.
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:44 PM   #9
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Like nokturnalkid said, I'd look into putting the live water barrel and the sump inline. You said you're worried about overflow potential, but you could leave the sump siphon point up high, like you currently have it, and then go tanks--->live water brl--->sump--->tanks

It would be more efficient. It would work as is described in your original design, but it would be constantly sending contaminates back to the tank, albeit in a smaller quantity....well, so, that's oversimplying it. The tank and 30g live water brl would be in equilibrium, but you wouldn't be using your sump to it's full potential. If you sent all water through a filter before going back to the tank, you would make better use of your filters.

One question I had, but, why the chiller and heater? I'm guessing heater in the winter, chiller in the summer?
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundgy View Post
nokturnalkid, the reason for not connecting the sump inline is overflow potential in the barrel. A pump leading to another pump is a very bad idea with a high chance of overflow. The issue with bypass shouldn't really be an issue though. The barrel is always going to have churning water, with churning water it will always spread out nutrients and contaminants. The water will naturally find equilibrium. Plus, so much water will be moving through there, I don't really see an issue. The barrel must be there for the quick water change to happen. That is an integral component to rapidly flush a large amount of water. The canister is for recycling, literally, I already have it, might as well move some water with it. Also, it fixes my problem of how to integrate my inline water heater. This way I can keep water temps equal across the board. Does that make since? I'm not sure how well I explained that. Let me know if you have any more questions.
I was thinking of letting the barrel "overflow" into your sump. Then you would have the return pumps after your filter. That would eliminate one pump. Just have the waterlevel in your barrel low enough that in case you lose a siphon from one of the tanks, the barrel will still have enough room to catch water before the overflow in your tank kicks in. You would have to make a continuous siphon overflow in your tank since there would be nothing to shut off your return. If you go with a continuous overflow, then you still give your tank to regain the siphon once the pump puts a certain amount of water back in.

Since you already have the cannister, then you can leave it as is. I would just pack it with mehanical media since the wet/dry and plants will take care of your bio.

For your dosing, probably the easiest is to do a drip system, think i.v. drip. Are you going to suppliment co2? If you are, then the wet/dry will outgass quite a bit.
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:33 PM   #11
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Looks like a lot of things that could fail all tied together...
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:35 PM   #12
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jmhart, I see what your saying. This system is complicated, so it's hard for me to understand sometimes. So I would have syphons on each tank gravity feeding the live water barrel, live water barrel syphoning and gravity feeding the sump, the the sump having two independent return pumps to each tank. Sorry nokturnalkid if that was what you were trying to describe. This system would absolutely work, and yes it would be more efficient use of the sump. I will have to think about it. Part of the reason I had the sump on a separate loop was to be able to run it without the tanks connected, after adding new water. This way I could heat/cool the RO/DI and dose it, prior to being added back to the tank system. I am ok with loosing some efficiency since most of the filtering is overkill for my setup (which I am aware of).

The reason for the chiller/heater is exactly what you said. My room that the tanks are in fluctuate wildly during the year. Unfortunately it is also my bedroom. Right now it is 80+ degrees in my room, so the water is the same. I wanted my water to be closer to 70-75 degrees. More control really. If yall are worried about cost, that isn't an issue. I am just worrying about safety and design.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:44 PM   #13
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nokturnalkid, I understand what you mean about overflowing, but what you are describing is a recipe for water flood. Correct me if I am misunderstanding you. You are essentially relying on the pumps to prevent flooding. If a single pump dies, there will definitely be flooding. Also, once a syphon looses its....syphon....lol...it does not regain it back without your help. The water level would just rise over the tank line and spill. As far as the canister goes, I am just filling it with some bio rings, and bio stars, it will be pretty much completely empty. It's really only there for the free pump to move water from barrel, across heating/cooling, then back to the barrel. As far as dosing, I want as little automated as possible. Gives me more control. It also prevents a dump or a lack of supply and I would have to keep a 3rd barrel to have premixed ferts in it.

All good ideas though. I am not trying to bash anyone at all. Some of this I have thought about, others I have not. I do understand the way the physics of water works though. The reason my diagram is, the way it is, right now, is because it can survive a single or complete pump failure and not overflow a single point. I could also loose all syphons and not flood anywhere.

xmas_one please expain, that is not very constructive or helpful.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundgy View Post
The reason for the pumps being at the top and not at the bottom is an overflow concern. If syphon was lost at the tanks, then water would not return to the bucket. The water would continue to pump out back into the tanks, which would then overflow. By having the pumps at the top of the barrel, only a small amount of water can be pumped back into the tanks. This would not be enough water to overflow either tank.
That leaves a small margin between the amount of water in the system that would allow an overflow, and the amount that would cause an unnecessary shutdown. Going through all this trouble to build a system that ultimately proves overly sensitive would be disappointing.

I'd rather allow the pumps access to a greater portion of water in the "live water" tank, and rely on mechanical float valves, or electrical float switches controlling the pumps, to prevent a pump overflowing a tank if the siphon failed. It would still be able to overflow a tank, but only if two failures simultaneously occurred - a float valve/switch and a siphon.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundgy View Post
nokturnalkid, I understand what you mean about overflowing, but what you are describing is a recipe for water flood. Correct me if I am misunderstanding you. You are essentially relying on the pumps to prevent flooding. If a single pump dies, there will definitely be flooding. Also, once a syphon looses its....syphon....lol...it does not regain it back without your help. The water level would just rise over the tank line and spill. As far as the canister goes, I am just filling it with some bio rings, and bio stars, it will be pretty much completely empty. It's really only there for the free pump to move water from barrel, across heating/cooling, then back to the barrel. As far as dosing, I want as little automated as possible. Gives me more control. It also prevents a dump or a lack of supply and I would have to keep a 3rd barrel to have premixed ferts in it.

All good ideas though. I am not trying to bash anyone at all. Some of this I have thought about, others I have not. I do understand the way the physics of water works though. The reason my diagram is, the way it is, right now, is because it can survive a single or complete pump failure and not overflow a single point. I could also loose all syphons and not flood anywhere.

xmas_one please expain, that is not very constructive or helpful.

Check this link out.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...ge-system.html

A siphon like this will work. In case your water level drops and breaks the siphon, there should be enough water in your live barrel for the return pump to get the water level back up to the point where the siphon can restart itself. A siphon like this does work but it takes alot of tweaking.

If my thinking is wrong, please let me know. When I first seen this post, it just looked like something I would do.
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