2 tanks, one filter? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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Post 2 tanks, one filter?

I'm thinking of setting up my Fluval 404 to run filtration for both the 20 & 30G.
I've got a basic inlet & outlet manifold design in mind, using ball valve on the inlet side to regulate the flow.
Has anyone done or tried this before?
Can anyone see a problem doing this? Obviously both tanks parameters will have to be identical or very close at the onset, and inhabitants have the same basic requirements.
The only potential problem I can foresee would be cross contamination with disease (Ich, ect ), but if any new fish follow a strict quarantine procedure it should prevent those.
Currently the 404 runs the 30 and the 20 has an AC150. Both tank also have a UV running 24/7.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 12:12 PM
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I was thinking about that too one of these days. The woman is moving from Texas to Arlington (yea) at the end of the year and we'll be setting up her 10g tank for "Buddy the Betta" , but I also want to set up a small grow-out tank for clippings, rare species, etc.

If anyone has any success with one filter split for two tanks please share with us. I was thinking along the lines of T-ing off the input and outputs since both tanks would probably be 10 g.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 04:01 PM
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Ive never done this but i know it works, this is a really simple method of useing one filter for two tanks of THE SAME SIZE, obviously the filter has to be the correct size for the total volume of water.

If you get the 2 tanks and put them side by side and get them level with each other, you put the intake in one tank and the output in the other, the only thing you are going to need is some extra tube to create a syphon between the 2 tanks. Fill the hose or tubing with water and put your thumbs over each end of the tubing and put one end of the tube in each tank, and obviously have a way to secure both tubes under the water. The water will now stay level between the 2 tanks, the tank with the output will be flowing into the tank with the intake.

Now if the tubing making the syphon becomes loose and air gets in you are going to have a wet floor as the filter will empty one of the tanks and overfill the other.

Not sure how you could use this method to regulate the flow if one tank was bigger than the other but it works if both tanks are the same size.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-25-2005, 04:13 PM
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an additional thought.. they don't have to be the same volume, so long as the surface of the water is at the same height, as I understand it. I have a 20 and a 29 next to each other, and I might do a manifold setup with a larger canister instead of a single canister for each, and when putting them up, I made sure the water level was going to be able to equalize between the two at an acceptable place on both tanks. Anyway, the 20 sits a *tad* higher than the 29, but the canopy would hide the fact that the 20 wasn't totally full if I needed to drop the water level to the same height as the 29. Make sense? You should also *try* to make lengths and elevations of tubing on the input and output side equal from each tank if you really want to have 1/2 the power of the filter for each tank. If one tank is running through 6 ft of tubing, and the other only 3, the one with the shorter tubing will get much more circulation than the one with 6. (just think about single tank setups... 3ft. of head is much more efficient than 6... now you're splitting the output and inflow... the side that needs more work will get less flow than the side that needs less work to get the water to and from the filter).

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Oqsy, your explanation is along the same train of thoughts I had.
The 30 is an Oceanic cube, therefore about 6" taller than the 20. The stand for the 20 is a good 2-21/2" lower than the 30. So that leaves me with about an extra 4" to compensate for. I thought about making the tubing to the 20 slightly longer to compensate for the height. The other thought is to raise the return manifold to the same level as the water level in the 30 and using a shorter run into the 30 than the 20.
This places the manifold at about 3.5' above the filter with the intake manifold about a foot below that.
I think it will be a trial an error thing until I find the right combination.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 01:33 AM
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is your 30's stand made of wood? you can always take 4" off... a less permanent solution would be to place 4x4s under your shorter tank to raise it a bit. I'm not sure if tube lengths will help you deal with uneven water levels, but like you said... trial and error. best of luck, and keep me up to date, as I'm planning the same thing for my 29 and 20 in the next few months / year or so

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 02:05 AM
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I'm wondering if you could use a "T" with ball valves to control the flow between two tanks that aren't level (as in the 10g stands that you can put one on top of the other). Hummm

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgiadawgger
I'm wondering if you could use a "T" with ball valves to control the flow between two tanks that aren't level (as in the 10g stands that you can put one on top of the other). Hummm
This was my general idea, using a ball valve on inlet lines from both the 30 & 20 before they "T" off into the filter line..
Now the more I think about it I may also put one on the outlet side. might make it easier to fine tune the flow.
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