Opinion needed on my plumbing design. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-22-2017, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Opinion needed on my plumbing design.

I want to make it easier to do water change and fail safe.
Here is the diagram.

Valve D is used to adjust water flow back to the tank. It's open close is most case.
During normal operation, valve A & B are closed. C is open.
Water change procedure:
Close valve C and D (if not closed already).
Turn on WC pump until empty. Turn off WC pump.
Open valve A and/or B. Add water conditioner.
Open valve C when temperature is close to tank water.
Open valve D and C (slowly circulating water back to tank).
Close valve D.

What do you think?

Last edited by viodea; 07-23-2017 at 09:36 PM. Reason: typo
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 06:33 AM
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My brain cannot encapsulate this setup. I'm not a logical thinker, but this seems to be way over-engineered. Are you trying to completely automate the process? Looking at this chart, it seems to me that it would be easier to bucket off the waste and refill with a hose after adding conditioner.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 03:31 PM
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I only have experience with sumps on reef tanks, but I don't understand why you have 2 drains from the main tank into separate parts of your sump. It seems to me you are bypassing the filter sections, which is basically the same thing as cutting your effective gallons per hour in half. Typically, you would have all your drain come in on 1 side and then your return pump goes on the other side.

Do you mean D is usually closed? If you meant open, then obviously you are again reducing your GPH for filtering. But I think you meant closed, so water wouldn't generally be recycled, except in water changes - and you would be using the pump to mix your water in your sump? On my reef tank, I had a T on the return similar, but mine went to reactors - aka more filtering.

If you are using it to mix while putting in dechlorination, then I would add another valve after the first T to prevent it from going back in the tank. Open the D, close the new valve. Close the D, open the other for normal. If you don't put the 2nd valve in, then some of your water is going to go into the tank. And when it comes to dechlorination, you have to base the dosage on the amount of water you are treating in total, not just the amount of tap water you put in. Thus, if you dechlorinate with the new valve closed, you only treat your sump base. If you allow it to be open, then you will need to treat for the entire volume of your system.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-23-2017, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moze229 View Post
My brain cannot encapsulate this setup. I'm not a logical thinker, but this seems to be way over-engineered. Are you trying to completely automate the process? Looking at this chart, it seems to me that it would be easier to bucket off the waste and refill with a hose after adding conditioner.
It's a 120G tank. Even 10% change is too much hassle to do bucket and hose. Also, Since I have no stored water, the water temp is too much different to add straight to main tank during winter time.

Bump: It looks overly complicated. I'm hoping someone can help me simplify the design. That's why I created this thread in first place.
Most of my knownledge is from saltwater 8 years ago. Some may not make sense at all these day or apply to freshwater.
First of all, understanding my goal may explain why it was disigned this way.
My goal:
1. No water storage. That's one of the reason I moved from reef to planted tank because I just don't have room to store mixed water.
2. No user error can cause flood.
3. No single point of blockage can cause flood, except for drain pipe (can't do much about this).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TormentedFishTank View Post
Do you mean D is usually closed?
Yes, I mean D is usually closed. The only time it's open is when I want to reduce flow to the main tank, such as slowly mix in new water (dechlorinated) to main tank or special feeding that may want to reduce flow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TormentedFishTank View Post
I only have experience with sumps on reef tanks, but I don't understand why you have 2 drains from the main tank into separate parts of your sump. It seems to me you are bypassing the filter sections, which is basically the same thing as cutting your effective gallons per hour in half. Typically, you would have all your drain come in on 1 side and then your return pump goes on the other side.
There are two reasons for having 2 drains to the sump.
Reason one is prevent single point of failure (block pipe). No single drain block will cause flooding. Not sure if it's a likely issue at all but I always play safe.

Reason two is keeping water moving during water change. When the water is filling on the mid and right compartment of the sump, I want to keep water circulation.
When I shutoff valve C, water drain to the left compartment of the sump through the filter element and return back to main tank.
Depends on how much RO water to be used, it may take a long time to fill. Also, it may take some time for water to warm up during winter time before circulating back to main tank.
I can put a power head in the main tank and shutdown the return pump during water change. It's not much better solution than this.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 03:40 PM
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I see a flood in your future.

For the short time you're changing water not running your circ pump is not a problem.

This needs some automation. And float valves.

Have a sprinkler timer turn off the circ pump and start the WC pump. Let it drain for "X" time period. Float valves allow water to enter.

Do a small amount per day and you may be able to forgo the water treatment additions totally depending if you're chlorine or chloramine. Even then a filter can handle that.

If you're worried about temps run the circ pump closed loop, ie it runs but pumps water from one end to the other of the sump with nothing to tank. You can even set that up so it won't go back to open loop without reaching a set temperature. However if you're doing the small changes I indicated above even the temperature won't be a problem.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2017, 07:52 PM
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FWIW I think it's way over the top (and the water might be too!)
I think I'd go for a simple overflow and a constant trickle feed (think drip irrigation) of fresh water. Check out UaruJoey's (king of DIY) youtube videos for details.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrJ3eAE4qQE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrJ3eAE4qQE

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
FWIW I think it's way over the top (and the water might be too!)
I think I'd go for a simple overflow and a constant trickle feed (think drip irrigation) of fresh water. Check out UaruJoey's (king of DIY) youtube videos for details.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrJ3eAE4qQE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrJ3eAE4qQE
Would this still work if you were EI dosing?

I know that overall if you change 20 gallons of water during the week, it's no different than if you had done a 20 gallon water change at once.

However, it seems to me that when it comes to EI dosing, this would be a bad idea. I don't see how it can get that weekly reset even if you are doing the "reset" over the course of the week. But I can't be certain because it doesn't seem like overtime water changes would have the same effect in general, but they do.

Anyone know about this?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 04:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
I see a flood in your future.
I can't read your tone on the internet. Do you mean I'll get a flood because the nature of this hobby or you see a flaw in the sump design?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Do a small amount per day and you may be able to forgo the water treatment additions totally depending if you're chlorine or chloramine. Even then a filter can handle that.
From what I've read, mine tap has chloramine. What kind of filter can I use for that?

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
FWIW I think it's way over the top (and the water might be too!)
I think I'd go for a simple overflow and a constant trickle feed (think drip irrigation) of fresh water.
I was thinking about doing constant trickle until I did further research. I was told chloramine won't just go away that easy. Also, it's not nearly as efficient compare to dumping then fill method.
Good thing is my design can do constant trickle if I choose to.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 04:29 PM
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@viodea

I see a flood because from the info you've given, unless I misread something which is totally possible, you're manually turning valves. I see you being distracted at some point and that sump overfilling.
I'm not talking a continuous drip. I am talking doing a partial each day but having it automated. And yes, small changes each day are better for fish growth than one large once a week. Think about it. You're letting the toxins build for a week then draining versus changing a certain smaller amount every day and not letting toxins build up. Years ago, many years ago, a buddy of mine and his wife were into show guppies. He changed his water once a week. Unbeknownst to him his wife was changing the water everyday in a few of the tanks. He noticed in those tanks faster growth and more robust colors.

There are filters around that will reduce the chloramines. Mostly they are a prolonged contact activated carbon cartridge.

I'm on well water and even I am looking to start filtering my well water. Thinking about a chlorinator for bacteria for the entire house, then a series of spun filters then carbon cartridges, then a demineralizing then RO maybe. Have to talk to Ron Bows about his system.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
@viodea
I see a flood because from the info you've given, unless I misread something which is totally possible, you're manually turning valves. I see you being distracted at some point and that sump overfilling.
One of the design goal is no human error can cause flood.
There are 2 drains from main tank to sump. Only the right side can be close by design to ensure even accidentally closed valve C won't cause main tank overflow.

Even with Both valve A & B turn on, sump will begin to fill up until it hits the drain hole. Unless the drain is block, it won't flood. The worst it goes is water parameter may be way off after prolong incoming water from RO and tap water.

Maybe I wasn't clear on the drain on the right side of the sump. It's not rely on the pump. It's passive. Even power outage is not going to cause flood. The only time it fails is blockage or broken pipes.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-28-2017, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viodea View Post
One of the design goal is no human error can cause flood.
There are 2 drains from main tank to sump. Only the right side can be close by design to ensure even accidentally closed valve C won't cause main tank overflow.

Even with Both valve A & B turn on, sump will begin to fill up until it hits the drain hole. Unless the drain is block, it won't flood. The worst it goes is water parameter may be way off after prolong incoming water from RO and tap water.

Maybe I wasn't clear on the drain on the right side of the sump. It's not rely on the pump. It's passive. Even power outage is not going to cause flood. The only time it fails is blockage or broken pipes.
I'd still do float valves on the RO and tap water. It makes it easier to automate in the future. Heck just by doing that and putting that drain pump on a timer can give you auto water change. Float valve on at least the RO will give you make up water without adding additional minerals since they don't evaporate. The valves I am looking at for my own tanks are about $8.50 each. I am looking to automate as many of the currently 40 tanks now and I intend to get all 70+ set up by December I need some automation.

As for your chloramines just get the filter.

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.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-30-2017, 03:45 AM
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Thinking out loud.....
With respect to the EI method and the drip/overflow system. I don't think it needs to run 24/7. If we were to have a 1g/hour drip it would be 24 gallons a day (168g/wk) - too much for all but a very large tank. So lets do this weekly and adjust the drip rate to an appropriate amount to do an appropriate drip water change today, turn it off, and re-dose ferts tomorrow????
This also gets past the chlorine/chlorimine problem as the tank could be dosed with Prime, then the drip system turned on. Might take it a step further and put the drip system on a timer to ensure only the proper amount of new water is added.
I think it has some merit.

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