Side by Side Tanks w/shared sump/diy stands, lights UPDATE
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:01 AM   #1
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Side by Side Tanks w/shared sump/diy stands, lights UPDATE


Updates down the bottom....

======================

Hey Everyone, I've been reading about stand making since I have an idea and want to boost my information about the subject.

My idea is to build a large single stand for two tanks of two sizes, one a 55g and the other a 40b. The purpose is to connect the tanks via an overflow and use the 40b as a refugium/sump/display. I don't have a lot of money to work with so I need to do this as cheap as possible. I figure that if I create a connected system I can avoid purchasing a new filter for the newly acquired 55 since the 55 stand is far too small for a diy sump and commercial sumps are way too expensive. The 40 is already sufficiently filtered with a canister, diy bio reactor and sponge filters. ]\

I drew up a diagram of the tank layout as I envisioned it but wanted some opinions on that as well as if it's possible to build a 7 foot stand to support this weight. The tank bottoms will be level leaving a little more than a 4 inch difference in height between the two.


Shown in the diagram, I plan to run an overflow box from the 55 to the 40, and return water to the 55 via a return pump and rigid plumbing behind the tank.



So, assuming this design will work and is safe, is it possible to modify any of the popular diy stand designs so that a 55 can sit in the middle of the stand while the 40 takes up the full width. I'm not much of a carpenter though I've built basic stuff in the past and I'm moving close to my father soon who has a lot of building experience, I was just concerned about the 55 not being supported enough in the center of the stand.

Is it possible to build a continuous stand of this length or should I consider building a stand for each and connecting them. I wouldn't even be doing this but the wife wants everything to look coherent so the two stands I have pushed together just isn't good enough.:

When I have the money, I will create a large sump underneath the tanks and filter that way but I've estimated costs and that's way out of my price range for a long time, I figure I could do this.

Thanks!

=================================================

Update!

Finally got everything complete a couple weeks ago and it's all fine tuned now.

The complete setup is:

-Two DIY stands with treated 2x4's and oak plywood stained black cherry, with driftwood stained doors.
-One 55 gallon and one 40 gallon tank
-A single overflow connecting the tanks and a dual overflow feeding the sump (with only one overflow running.)
-Reeflo Blowhole 1100 adjustable external pump, set in the middle around 800 gph
-DIY lights, sockets and plugs bought from e b a a y, shades bought and painted high gloss white inside and textured black outside. Each light running 42w Daylight CFL

55 gallon:
- 5 goldfish (an oranda, two comets, a ryukin and a telescope)
- 3 skunk cories
- two loaches playing clean up on my snail population
- Large crypts

40 gallon:
- 3 African Clawed Frogs
- Feeders
- A few swords (Radica, rosette), some water sprite, anubias, and dwarf sag. Wanted to go all fast growing in this tank.

29 Gallon Sump filled with lava rock, bioballs and foam, coarse and fine.

I need to take some better pictures, just got these so far.
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Last edited by le0p; 07-20-2013 at 03:19 AM.. Reason: Update
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:08 AM   #2
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What I might do in this situation is to actually build one stand for each tank. Bolt them together. Doing this will be easier to move or if you decide to separate them later it's easy. To hide the seam put a facade on the front. Maybe a board and batten type design? Or a wainscot? Just make sure you don't nail the piece that spans the 2 stands to both stands. Just nail it to one.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:29 PM   #3
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food for thought

look on cragislist for a 40 gallon tank cheap or wait for petco to have a $1 per gallon sale
and have a DIY sump. you can save a lot of money this way and get to your end result faster
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD Blazingwolf View Post
food for thought

look on cragislist for a 40 gallon tank cheap or wait for petco to have a $1 per gallon sale
and have a DIY sump. you can save a lot of money this way and get to your end result faster
sale is going on now
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:50 PM   #5
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Another option is to level the tops by off setting the base.
My desk group, one canister, heater, UV unit and two powerheads.
This breeder / refugium setup has worked great for years based on what I needed. Two breeding angelfish tanks and a shrimp tank on the end all with common water.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Side by Side sump, with custom stans

Mistaken post. Please delete.

Last edited by Adrand; 04-10-2013 at 06:22 PM..
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
Another option is to level the tops by off setting the base.
My desk group, one canister, heater, UV unit and two powerheads.
This breeder / refugium setup has worked great for years based on what I needed. Two breeding angelfish tanks and a shrimp tank on the end all with common water.
Can you explain a bit how you keep flow between the three aquariums? Or point me to a link on it? Thanks! That looks great. The two stands I have now actually keep the aquariums perfectly equal but my wife wants a unified stand for aesthetic reason.

@HD Blazing Wolf, You know, you're probably right here, If I could share the sump between the two it might work more efficiently, however, I'd need to buy two overflow boxes (or drill tanks that are currently inhabited).

Edit: Also, I still need to build a stand to hold 7' of tanks and have enough space underneath for a sump. My 55 gallon stand has enough width for two 10" tanks separated by a divider.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by le0p View Post
Can you explain a bit how you keep flow between the three aquariums? Or point me to a link on it? Thanks! That looks great. The two stands I have now actually keep the aquariums perfectly equal but my wife wants a unified stand for aesthetic reason.

@HD Blazing Wolf, You know, you're probably right here, If I could share the sump between the two it might work more efficiently, however, I'd need to buy two overflow boxes (or drill tanks that are currently inhabited).

Edit: Also, I still need to build a stand to hold 7' of tanks and have enough space underneath for a sump. My 55 gallon stand has enough width for two 10" tanks separated by a divider.

yes you can build a stand to support weight,there are quiet a few decent wood workers here that can give you an idea how to build such a stand. my 4 foot stand was an easy build and its far more structurally sound that the one i would have bought at the store and i went with relatively few 2x4's considering it was DIY

eaby has some cheap CPR style overflows. i've had great success with mine and no overflow issues. just a little maintenance weekly prevents that part.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:21 PM   #9
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The setup is basically all add on to the existing 55g that was already in place.
The canister, UV and inline heater were already in place on the 55g.
Sponged U-tube siphon from the 55 to the 20T and again from the 20T to the 10g.
Sponged power head in the 10g returns water to the 55g via 1/2" line into a spray bar creating the circulation loop without any possibility of flooding that I've seen in 4 yrs.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
The setup is basically all add on to the existing 55g that was already in place.
The canister, UV and inline heater were already in place on the 55g.
Sponged U-tube siphon from the 55 to the 20T and again from the 20T to the 10g.
Sponged power head in the 10g returns water to the 55g via 1/2" line into a spray bar creating the circulation loop without any possibility of flooding that I've seen in 4 yrs.
Cool, that's basically the idea I started with but got concerned about flooding. I'm still in the planning phase here so I throwing around any idea. I'll be building the stand in two weeks, so from there I just have to decide on the flow pattern.
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Old 04-11-2013, 01:22 PM   #11
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Just a thought here, when I eventually get a sump running underneath the tank, would it be better to run overflows directly to the sump from both tanks or keep the continuous flow and run to the sump from the last tank, i.e.

55 -> 40 -> sump ->return to 55.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:42 PM   #12
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Whether you drain each to the sump or retain the cross flow piping is all about choice and the circulation needed. If you return each tank free standing that requires pumps capable of returning the water back UP to the tanks (more power used). Retaining the cross flow and drain as I did on my rack all three tanks use cross flow with a single return pump and opposing drain weir,,, one single return pump. Want more in tank circulation add a small 5w power head.

Either way the water column is common to all tanks only the power demand is increased with doubling the returns, hope that make sense.

This is one of my systems using a sponge panel sump.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=148380
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
Whether you drain each to the sump or retain the cross flow piping is all about choice and the circulation needed. If you return each tank free standing that requires pumps capable of returning the water back UP to the tanks (more power used). Retaining the cross flow and drain as I did on my rack all three tanks use cross flow with a single return pump and opposing drain weir,,, one single return pump. Want more in tank circulation add a small 5w power head.

Either way the water column is common to all tanks only the power demand is increased with doubling the returns, hope that make sense.

This is one of my systems using a sponge panel sump.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=148380
That's great stuff, I'd actually seen that thread a while ago and thought it was really interesting.

I think I'll be going with a cross flow system to start due to costs and then adding a sump later while still keeping the flow as is, just using the sump as the final piece.

Thanks for the insight!
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:20 AM   #14
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Updated with tank build.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:55 PM   #15
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I think the weakness of any system like this, that interconnects multiple tanks, is the overflow set-up. Any loss of siphon in the overflow means you dump water over the sides of the tank getting return flow from the other tank. If you were to drill the tanks, and run a large pipe to connect to the other tank, with a sponge between the tanks to stop critters from swimming through, there should be less potential for disasters. Then you just need to keep the sponge from clogging up. The tanks would also need to be level at the top, not the bottom, as wkndracer did. I don't think I would ever trust an overflow enough to try it the way you have sketched.

Of course you can also stop disasters by having the inlet to the return pump be near the top of the lower tank, so it limits how much water can be pumped from low tank to high tank - an overflow fed inlet. If that's how you have it set up, that does seem disaster proof.
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