NEED FEEDBACK for breeding setup - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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NEED FEEDBACK for breeding setup

I got myself 12 "20l" aquaria. I intend to make a breeding setup for shrimp/nano fish.

I realize i only have 1 sump for all 12 tanks, however i did that on purpose.

I need feedback on everything(except the fact that all the water is connected), especially the plumbing, i'm rather new to this, previous projects havent turned out so great so i figured i'd try and draw it out this time.

missing on the drawing are large LED shop lights fixed to the top of each shelf, maily to keep the moss in there alive, but i didn't see that as very useful in this drawing
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 03:13 PM
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I dont know if your diagram has enough detail. How big of a sump are you planning on using and what happens when the power goes out? 1 sump might not be a bad idea but it beter be sized properly for the 240 gallons of tank you'll have on the system.

Is each level of tanks overflowing into the sump or does it overflow into the mid level and so on?

You might want to center the sump a bit more; and you might want to use the 32 mm pvc from each tank and then take those 4 lines (from each level) into a bigger pvc pipe leading to the sump (unless you're overflowing into the next level of tanks). 4 pvc pipes of the same size that all connect into one drain might cause a back up; 12 drains leading to one same sized drain will probably cause a bigger problem!

You may also want to use smaller pipe/tube from the sump through the pump back up into the tanks. Not sure exactly what size but you want the ability to move more water away than what your putting back in so to say. Depending on what pump you use, you may also want one more ball valve before it reaches any tanks in case you need to slow the flow entirely.

Rich's Fishes
Curator of an ever growing fishroom that currently houses 30 different tanks. Most full of at least water....some even have fish!
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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I dont know if your diagram has enough detail. How big of a sump are you planning on using and what happens when the power goes out? 1 sump might not be a bad idea but it beter be sized properly for the 240 gallons of tank you'll have on the system.
its cm's, not inches, so the entire system would be a lot smaller than 240 gallons. There are overflows, the sump is about half the total size of all the tanks. the overflow is at the top of the tank so the content wont be able to drain completely

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Is each level of tanks overflowing into the sump or does it overflow into the mid level and so on?
its all overflowing into the sump. there shouldn't be anything going back into the tanks witouth going trough the sump first

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You might want to center the sump a bit more; and you might want to use the 32 mm pvc from each tank and then take those 4 lines (from each level) into a bigger pvc pipe leading to the sump (unless you're overflowing into the next level of tanks). 4 pvc pipes of the same size that all connect into one drain might cause a back up; 12 drains leading to one same sized drain will probably cause a bigger problem!
Thats actually a very good idea, i'll look around if i can find something thicker that goes into 32mm with a T fitting. I doubt 32mm's can't handle the flow though.

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You may also want to use smaller pipe/tube from the sump through the pump back up into the tanks. Not sure exactly what size but you want the ability to move more water away than what your putting back in so to say. Depending on what pump you use, you may also want one more ball valve before it reaches any tanks in case you need to slow the flow entirely.
hmmn maybe.. I am using a 4000l/h pump(wich is about 1000 galons/h. The ball valves are there to regulate the flow, so it should be right, no?

and the ball valve, you're right, i was planning on that but forgot to add it to the picture :P
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 04:20 PM
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You can simply your plumbing substaintally if you have each tier of tank over flow into the one below them, then the last row into the sump... that way you only need 1 return line with 4 ball valves on it, instead of 3 and 12, only change is you can't adjust flow through each tank individually


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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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You can simply your plumbing substaintally if you have each tier of tank over flow into the one below them, then the last row into the sump... that way you only need 1 return line with 4 ball valves on it, instead of 3 and 12, only change is you can't adjust flow through each tank individually
I agree, but that'd also mean i cant do maintenance on each tank seperately witouth having to stop the entire system, wouldn't that be a huge drawback?

I am mainly going to focus on Danio margaritatus and Neocaridina. When the danio's spawn, i need to be able to turn off the flow completely or a a very minimal amount.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 04:56 PM
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its cm's, not inches, so the entire system would be a lot smaller than 240 gallons. There are overflows, the sump is about half the total size of all the tanks. the overflow is at the top of the tank so the content wont be able to drain completely


its all overflowing into the sump. there shouldn't be anything going back into the tanks witouth going trough the sump first


Thats actually a very good idea, i'll look around if i can find something thicker that goes into 32mm with a T fitting. I doubt 32mm's can't handle the flow though.


hmmn maybe.. I am using a 4000l/h pump(wich is about 1000 galons/h. The ball valves are there to regulate the flow, so it should be right, no?

and the ball valve, you're right, i was planning on that but forgot to add it to the picture
I wouldn't regulate flow with a ball valve, they're just not designed for it, they're an on off valve. If you can spring the extra 4 or 5 bucks for the gate valves or globe valves they're meant for flow control. Otherwise your system looks like it will work. My only other idea would be to do 2 sumps and split the tanks in 2

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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I wouldn't regulate flow with a ball valve, they're just not designed for it, they're an on off valve. If you can spring the extra 4 or 5 bucks for the gate valves or globe valves they're meant for flow control. Otherwise your system looks like it will work. My only other idea would be to do 2 sumps and split the tanks in 2

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okay, i just looked into that, cant find them even close to the cost of a ball valve here, maybe one gate valve before the first ball valve? would that work? Whats the benefit if having 2 sumps over one?
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 05:21 PM
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okay, i will look into that. Whats the benefit if having 2 sumps over one?
Having 1 tank get a nasty will spread to the whole system, also ease of plumbing, have each tank drain separately into the main riser as apposed to have 2 tanks in line to the riser. Also consider doing an herbie style overflow. There is a bookshelf journal going on that has a perfect system going for your setup just on a smaller scale. I don't mean to complicate things for you but there are pretty big disasters that can happen when running what is in your drawing.

So although the concept remains the same I would do 2 systems and 2 drains per tank with separate drain lines, 1 being a full siphon which you can run in 1/2" pipe and the other being an open drain at 1 or 1 1/4" for any water the siphon can't handle. This gives you a much safer system incase a pipe clogs which has happened to me several times. It will also be dead silent this way.

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 05:24 PM
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Forgot one point, your return line is a pretty good configuration pumping up to the top and letting gravity do its thing is very efficient you'll just need a pump that can get it there.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Having 1 tank get a nasty will spread to the whole system, also ease of plumbing, have each tank drain separately into the main riser as apposed to have 2 tanks in line to the riser. Also consider doing an herbie style overflow. There is a bookshelf journal going on that has a perfect system going for your setup just on a smaller scale. I don't mean to complicate things for you but there are pretty big disasters that can happen when running what is in your drawing.

So although the concept remains the same I would do 2 systems and 2 drains per tank with separate drain lines, 1 being a full siphon which you can run in 1/2" pipe and the other being an open drain at 1 or 1 1/4" for any water the siphon can't handle. This gives you a much safer system incase a pipe clogs which has happened to me several times. It will also be dead silent this way.

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alright, I'm not sure about the second sump, it would need seperate heating and more filtration material too, though i'll think some about it, your points are very valid. i'll go take a look at the bookshelve system. What would clog a 1.25 inch PVC tube though?
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 05:42 PM
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alright, I'm not sure about the second sump, it would need seperate heating and more filtration material too, though i'll think some about it, your points are very valid. i'll go take a look at the bookshelve system. What would clog a 1.25 inch PVC tube though?
On a horizontal line that is constantly flowing nutrient rich water the waste builds up, and then all it takes after that is a small piece of moss to grab on and then it's a matter of time. If cost is the issue for filter media pot scrubbers at the dollar store or amazon are really cheap for bio. And for mechanical in a sump there is no replacement for filter socks, assuming you do weekly maintenance you just swap out the sock and let the dirty one sit in 1/10 bleach to water solution and then run it under the faucet. As for the heaters it would basically be the same, the volume wouldn't be much higher and you aren't going to find a single heater that is good enough for the whole system anyway, so multiple heaters is a necessity in either system, some would argue it is also better/safer to have 2 medium heaters over 1 large.

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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On a horizontal line that is constantly flowing nutrient rich water the waste builds up, and then all it takes after that is a small piece of moss to grab on and then it's a matter of time. If cost is the issue for filter media pot scrubbers at the dollar store or amazon are really cheap for bio. And for mechanical in a sump there is no replacement for filter socks, assuming you do weekly maintenance you just swap out the sock and let the dirty one sit in 1/10 bleach to water solution and then run it under the faucet. As for the heaters it would basically be the same, the volume wouldn't be much higher and you aren't going to find a single heater that is good enough for the whole system anyway, so multiple heaters is a necessity in either system, some would argue it is also better/safer to have 2 medium heaters over 1 large.

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okay next question, what if the clog is in the middle of my system? how do i de-clog it? unless i'm gnne work with watertight pvc connections, wich would cost me lots of money, i don't think I can take it appart after its glued
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 06:01 PM
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okay next question, what if the clog is in the middle of my system? how do i de-clog it? unless i'm gnne work with watertight pvc connections, wich would cost me lots of money, i don't think I can take it appart after its glued
What I do is include what they call a clean out unless you can get a long wire brush through the bulkhead. I install a tee with a fip and then plug it qith a threaded plug. Then all you do is insert the long wire brush to clean the pipes. I do this in my system once every couple of months. That said most people don't run into this problem if they're flowing a ton of water through the pipes, your risers will likely be fine but at 1000 gph cut by how many tanks you'll be running then I'd worry about the sections that are horizontal from tank to riser with such low flow.

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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What I do is include what they call a clean out unless you can get a long wire brush through the bulkhead. I install a tee with a fip and then plug it qith a threaded plug. Then all you do is insert the long wire brush to clean the pipes. I do this in my system once every couple of months. That said most people don't run into this problem if they're flowing a ton of water through the pipes, your risers will likely be fine but at 1000 gph cut by how many tanks you'll be running then I'd worry about the sections that are horizontal from tank to riser with such low flow.

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thank you for all the info, its been veryy helpful!
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2016, 06:27 PM
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The question of ball valves vs gate is something that can be debated on this type system. I find ball valves are fine for me. the difference is the way the water is shut off. In a water line for house where there is fair pressure and volume of water, the ball valve should not be used to cut flow due to the way it is done. When the ball is only partly closed, the edge of the ball is prone to eroding but to the flow. But then it does take years, even in public water lines. A gate valve is the more accepted tool but it is also much more expensive. At the pressure and volume we deal with, the expense may not be worth it for the relatively short time we are likely to use the system.
Brass gates are nice but they are expensive and I don't see the need when PVC is so much cheaper. If you were depending on the ball valve to fully shut down flow, it might be a bigger issue but in your case, if/when the edge does erode, you can just close it a bit further to maintain the same flow. Use for ten years or use for forty?
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