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Old 07-21-2010, 04:27 AM   #16
soundgy
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Dark, I agree with you, it leaves a very small margin for water to fluctuate. I have been toying with a float kill switch system also. Of course, you already know about my electricity kill switch that I am working on. I also agree about going through all of this trouble for a super sensitive system. I think what I need to do is build my diagram in real life. The see just how sensitive it is. Luckily if I do need to add an electronic float switch to stop pumps, then I don't need to change any of the setup, just add a float switch. I definitely am considering going down that route.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:33 AM   #17
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nokturnalkid, That siphon is a very good idea. I was considering that one too. Maybe even using acrylic pipes to make it look transparent under water. However, it relies on the exact same physics the overflow box uses. The swoop inside the tank maintains the tank water level and prevents the siphon from draining if the water level drops. The swoop at the other end evactuates the water and also holds onto the siphon that is formed by the loop that goes over the glass wall. However, over time (with many other variables) air bubbles can/will form in the siphon. If too much air forms a large bubble, it will drop the siphon. That siphon cannot be reformed without manual intervention. Some say by making the tube smaller you can increase velocity of water and have air constantly pushed out of the tube. This does work, but is the same technique as the overflow box too. The other idea is to prevent air build up within the syphon by having a pump at the peak. This is a good idea in the since that it will never allow air build up. If the pump fails though, it will allow air into the peak and drop the siphon. Part of the reason my build is so complex is to prevent single points of failure. Short of having a tube leak or glass break. The system cannot put water onto the floor. Unless physics are defied.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundgy View Post
nokturnalkid, That siphon is a very good idea. I was considering that one too. Maybe even using acrylic pipes to make it look transparent under water. However, it relies on the exact same physics the overflow box uses. The swoop inside the tank maintains the tank water level and prevents the siphon from draining if the water level drops. The swoop at the other end evactuates the water and also holds onto the siphon that is formed by the loop that goes over the glass wall. However, over time (with many other variables) air bubbles can/will form in the siphon. If too much air forms a large bubble, it will drop the siphon. That siphon cannot be reformed without manual intervention. Some say by making the tube smaller you can increase velocity of water and have air constantly pushed out of the tube. This does work, but is the same technique as the overflow box too. The other idea is to prevent air build up within the syphon by having a pump at the peak. This is a good idea in the since that it will never allow air build up. If the pump fails though, it will allow air into the peak and drop the siphon. Part of the reason my build is so complex is to prevent single points of failure. Short of having a tube leak or glass break. The system cannot put water onto the floor. Unless physics are defied.


Yeah that's just one example of something that would work. I actually made a siphon based on some that you can find on the net. These claimed to regain it's siphon once the water level in thetank reaches a certain point. I must say, they worked like a charm. Worked better than overflow box that I had tried. We had an island wide black out a few years back that lasted almost a whole day. As soon as power went back on, system was running like a champ. With a system that uses that sort of syphon, with properly set water levels in your live tank and wet/dry, I don't see where there would be a leak. I would have the water level in the live tank about half way or so. Just below the water level of the live tank is where I would place the feed to the wet/dry. Your wet/dry level would have to be able to handle the extra water in the live tank in case of some kind of failure. As long as the outflow from your return pumps are pretty high in the tank, then there should be know problems. Just add a check valve on the outflow for safety if you want. You can still have the cannister/chiller/heater loop just circulating the water in your live tank. You can also use a product like tom's aqualifter on a timer to purge some of the air buildup, if any, in your overflow tube.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:39 PM   #19
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drill the tank for the overflow and use a bulkhead instead of using a siphon. Problem solved.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:16 AM   #20
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So I thought I would provide an update for you guys. I am not trying to take your ideas and slap them down by the way. Sometimes you can come off sounding harsh in a forum. I am very open to all of your suggestions. Some of them I am considering to implement in a new design.

Some changes are taking place with the design. I can't easily acquire inexpensive 30 gal barrels, but I can get 55 gal barrels for pretty cheap. That will be the first change to my design. I didn't really want 55 gal barrels in my closet, but when I found out how they are not much bigger than 30, I decided to go for it.

jargonchipmunk, I am reallllly considering that idea. I didn't even think glass drilling was possible till I researched it after your post. Looks pretty common around here. I do have a few questions about drilling though. What are the risks involved? Do holes weaken the structure? How many holes are safe to have in the same wall? If anyone can answer these, that would be much appreciated.

After my tank finishes cycling and settles down, I may drain it and remove it off my stand. I have been wanting to change my background away from a cheap plastic back to window tinting. I have seen this in person and it looks much better. At this time, I could also drill holes and put bulk heads in the tank. Let me know what you guys think. I really like the idea of not even worrying about syphons. With my design, I really wouldn't have to worry much about sucking things down the hole either. The only thing I would have to worry about is plants getting it clogged at the top; this is why I was wondering if I could have a few holes in the top.

Thanks in advance!

Matt
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:25 AM   #21
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Seems like a TON of spots for failure. Simple is better, I would put the barrel and ro alone, with a pump to the tank. I would then put the canisters on tank. And with a Y valve and a few on/offs you could use the same pump from the barrel to drain the tank, though you will find once siphon is started no need for a pump to drain if level or below tank level.

Don't over complicate this. I promise you that the worst CAN happen....
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:28 AM   #22
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Let me just say this again, to be clear. The way designed, it will not work. You will have entirely too many pumps to get to work together. Make this simple. If you want a central system, I recommend you look into them. If you just want to make water changes easier, there are much easier and safer ways to do it...

Not trying to crush your dreams. But I am trying to save you money up front and down the road when you are replacing floors, drywall, and paying intek for a mold removal...
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:33 AM   #23
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I see what you are saying. That's something to think about. Just use the barrels to store the water and pump in only after the actual tanks have been drained. That is a way easier system than what I have in the design.

Part of the reason I wanted to have the barrels connected this way, was to have all the water parameters 100% identical between the two tanks. Also, by having the canisters connected to the barrel, I could heat and treat the water before it ever enters either tank.

When you say the worst can happen, I do not see what could happen with this design. Maybe I am just naive, but I do not see what could go wrong in this setup. I would like to hear your thoughts on what could go wrong if you see something that sticks out. Obviously things like the tank breaking a seal on the glass or a tube getting punctured could happen. Other than that, though, I do not see what could go wrong. Please enlighten me.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:46 AM   #24
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over_stocked, I really appreciate your input. I am not trying to come off like an ignorant child here, but I won't accept "it will not work." I am a curious person and really want to know what would not work in here. It's not that I disagree with you. This is a very complicated setup, many points for failure, and pretty expensive. As far as I can tell though, there is absolutely no chance for flooding. This is the part I am confused on. If you don't want to explain, that is ok, but I would really like to know your thoughts on this.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:47 AM   #25
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I see what you are saying. That's something to think about. Just use the barrels to store the water and pump in only after the actual tanks have been drained. That is a way easier system than what I have in the design.
I promise, easier is better
Quote:

Part of the reason I wanted to have the barrels connected this way, was to have all the water parameters 100% identical between the two tanks. Also, by having the canisters connected to the barrel, I could heat and treat the water before it ever enters either tank.
Why do they need to be 100% identical? If you are using RO/DI water, you are going to need to reconstitute it somehow before putting fish in with it. You cannot use just pure RO/DI water. You need SOMETHING in your water... YOu can put a heater and airstone in the RO/DI tank, then use a simple formula to add the same amount of seachem equilibrium or whatever you use and it will be the same for both tanks. The tank that concerns me is the "live" tank. If what you want is a central system with connected tanks, research that. This is not the right way to do it. Pumps fail, people mess up, and there are a lot of failure points here. 4 active pumps(including canister) is asking for trouble. YOu prob wouldn't even need a chiller if you removed some of the electronics from your system...
Further, long runs for most pumps means crappy output and more stress on them. You'll either spend too much or get subpar performance.

You could likely outfit each tank with cannister filters, inline heaters, etc on EACH tank for less than this, and end up with better filtration.

Think "quality" not "quantity".
Quote:

When you say the worst can happen, I do not see what could happen with this design. Maybe I am just naive, but I do not see what could go wrong in this setup. I would like to hear your thoughts on what could go wrong if you see something that sticks out. Obviously things like the tank breaking a seal on the glass or a tube getting punctured could happen. Other than that, though, I do not see what could go wrong. Please enlighten me.
The trouble is you have added extra points of failure. Pumps are the most likely, hose connections, switches you have to remember to turn on and off. Overflows that can fail, etc, etc, etc.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:01 AM   #26
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When using a "sump" style setup, which you basically have 2 sumps plus a canister filter... you have several points of failure. A point of failure is a chance of flooding.

If the power goes out the main barrel has to have room for the reserve volume of TWO tanks, not one.

If what you want is a barrel to be central, run ONE sump with all filtration with both tanks coming to it. Not a barrel hooked to a sump with a canister filter as a red headed step child in between.

There are lots of ways to run multiple tanks on one filtration system, this is basically a few things thrown together hoping they work.

Not trying to be rude, just think it is silly to spend so much money to do something that could actually be done better for less.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:04 AM   #27
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I am by no means trying to argue with you here. More like have a conversation.

Quote:
If you are using RO/DI water, you are going to need to reconstitute it somehow before putting fish in with it.
I will be dosing water with supplements that I already have. This aspect is covered. I am aware of the issues with RO/DI. The reason I am using it is the same reason as dosing CO2, more control and consistency. I may have to dose the water to make it acceptable, but I can always guarantee the exact same content.

Quote:
Pumps fail, people mess up, and there are a lot of failure points here. 4 active pumps(including canister) is asking for trouble.
The way I have designed this. If any and all pumps fail, then water is drained out of the siphon, eventually the siphons will come to equilibrium. You can't drain water below the siphon level. Both the barrels and the sump can handle this back drain. If I lost every one of the siphons, the the pumps would continue to run with no water to replace it, until there is no water for the pumps to push out any more and they run dry. At this point the pumps may or may not burn out, but the tanks will have enough clearance that they cannot overflow from this.

Quote:
Further, long runs for most pumps means crappy output and more stress on them.
Totally agree on this, but the tanks are within 5 feet of all of this. The barrels are on the opposite side of the wall as the tanks are. No hose would be more than 10 feet long. Majority of which would be closer to about 4 feet. I would also be sizing the pumps accordingly.

Quote:
YOu prob wouldn't even need a chiller if [...]
If I took every single thing out of the line, every pump, filter, light, you name it; my water would be sitting at 80+ degrees. That is the sole reason why I want a chiller, not to compensate for the equipment.

Quote:
Pumps are the most likely, hose connections, switches you have to remember to turn on and off. Overflows that can fail, etc, etc, etc.
Agreed, I already explained the pumps. Hose connections, tubing, silcone seals, all of these are points of failure. None of which I can truly control, but I could limit the amount of them. I am not that concerned for a hose connection breaking randomly though. As for a seal break, well, that would just suck regardless lol. There is no issue with remebering to turn off switches as there are only 2 important ones, RODI and drain. Every thing else is 24x7. BTW, majority of hose connections are inside of buckets, so even if they did leak, they are leaking into buckets.

This was the easiest way to explain some of these. Let me know if I missed or overlooked any concerns.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:09 AM   #28
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If what you want is a barrel to be central, run ONE sump with all filtration with both tanks coming to it. Not a barrel hooked to a sump with a canister filter as a red headed step child in between.
I do not undertand this. This is not in the diagram. The canister is not "inline" with anything other than a chiller and a heater. The only reason for this is reuse/recyle; just for the pump inside. Not filtration. I only have one sump in this diagram, unless you are refering to two pumps one going to each tank. Also, all filtration is in the barrel with both tanks leading to it. I guess I don't understand what you are saying.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:18 AM   #29
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I do not undertand this. This is not in the diagram. The canister is not "inline" with anything other than a chiller and a heater. The only reason for this is reuse/recyle; just for the pump inside. Not filtration. I only have one sump in this diagram, unless you are refering to two pumps one going to each tank. Also, all filtration is in the barrel with both tanks leading to it. I guess I don't understand what you are saying.
Obviously you missed the tongue in cheek reference. My bad.

You have a barrel and a sump, essentially two sumps. Why not just use a barrel as a sump, or a sump as a sump... Not both.

Simple, take line from tank A and tank B and run them into the SAME line, then run to sump. Then run your two pumps back to the tank. Put chiller on the output side of one of the tanks, which will in turn cool both tanks.

Search for "sump for multiple tank" or "central aquarium filtration".

I just designed all of that with 2 pumps for the filtration and 1 for the water changer. This will 1) allow you less pumps(save money up front, on energy, on chiller, and on replacement). 2) allow less failure points(it isn't about not being able to do anythign about them... you can... make LESS points of failure). 3) created more effecient, higher quality filtration with LESS BYPASS.

The way you have it designed, a huge portion of the water could come in and go right back to the tank without ever being filtered. This will mean your chiller will be really inefficient, your filtration will be inefficient, and your energy bill will be inefficient.

It seems you have your mind up, so I won't go on and on. Just understand that many of us have ran multiple tanks on one filtration system before. There is no need to make something so hodge-podge thrown together when for less money you could do it and have likely better results.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:28 AM   #30
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I agree with you. I am redesigning this pretty much like you described. I have not maid up my mind btw. I am not easily swayed though without proof or evidence. You do present a compelling argument and I understand exactly what you are saying. I think you may be missing some of my points, but that is ok too. Good point on the chiller, that is a smart design, using equilibrium in my favor.

I comprehend the bypass issue. I didn't think it was really going to be an issue with that much water movement. All water would eventually go through the filter anyways, thanks to the water contaminants want to spread out across the water and dilute.

I will put a revised diagram with these thoughts in mind on here.
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