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My enclosure is 48" long, 24" deep, 18" tall. I plan on converting it into a paludarium for some killifish, shrimp and maybe a praying mantis. I will be drilling rear of the viv to install a bulkhead for an overflow that will drain into a simple wet/dry sump positioned under the viv. The water will then be returned to the viv via a marineland magniflow 160 canister filter. The water portion will be about 4" deep and represent about 25% of the viv's total area. I'm not exactly sure how many gallons this would equate to...maybe 15 or so gallons?

My issue/question is: Will my canister filter be able to draw water from the sump and return it to the viv with the canister filter being positioned NEXT to the sump? Or does the canister filter HAVE to be below the sump? I’ve used canister filters before, but they’ve always been well below the tank in which it was receiving and returning water. Hmmm….

Thoughts and comments are much appreciated!
 

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I don't expect a canister to work in this scenario as they depend on getting water to the impeller by filling the canister via siphon created by it being below the tank. I think you'll need to get a return pump for this application.
 

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My enclosure is 48" long, 24" deep, 18" tall. I plan on converting it into a paludarium for some killifish, shrimp and maybe a praying mantis. I will be drilling rear of the viv to install a bulkhead for an overflow that will drain into a simple wet/dry sump positioned under the viv. The water will then be returned to the viv via a marineland magniflow 160 canister filter. The water portion will be about 4" deep and represent about 25% of the viv's total area. I'm not exactly sure how many gallons this would equate to...maybe 15 or so gallons?

My issue/question is: Will my canister filter be able to draw water from the sump and return it to the viv with the canister filter being positioned NEXT to the sump? Or does the canister filter HAVE to be below the sump? I’ve used canister filters before, but they’ve always been well below the tank in which it was receiving and returning water. Hmmm….

Thoughts and comments are much appreciated!
Soooo the answer is yes the canister filter will work in this confirguration BUT its a pain to prime them. As in, expect to take the hoses off and fill them with water first kind of pain. I've run 2 canister filters like this before and both worked once they were running but were a pain to deal with anytime I needed to open them to clean them out etc.

BUT, you shouldn't use a canister filter at all. It sounds like you are definitely going to have a sump, so why not use a submersible pump inside the sump as your return? It sounds like you are creating for yourself a system that has the worst of both filter systems with none of eithers advantages. I am assuming you already own the canister filter and want to make use of what you already own, but a pump powerful enough to run a tank like this is only like 30 dollars... so just go ahead and buy one as it will save you a ton of grief.

Additionally I will say that if you want to run a tank like this you definitely should consider running your water portion at least 7 inches deep. I have a shallow tank in my kitchen and I really like it but wow is it annoying to deal with evaporation. An inch of evaporation (about a weeks worth in the winter) is a much bigger deal when your tank is only a handful of inches to begin with. My tank is about 8 inches tall with about 1.5" of substrate. I wish it was about 2 inches taller, then evaporation wouldn't be such a big deal. As it is if I go away during the winter on vacation I will need to install a top-off system if I'm gone longer then 2 weeks or risk fish deaths.

And finally, be careful when deciding on fish to go with shrimp. I believe most (almost all?) species of killifish will tear apart shrimp even ones much bigger then themselves.
 

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I'm working on setting up a sumped tank right now as well. For your overflow and drilling it might be worth looking at the eshopps eclipse overflow (or similar). It's not the cheapest option but it's very low profile, comes with a drill bit and you have to drill fewer holes.

I agree with everyone else on the return pump. I recently ordered the Jebao DCP 2500 for $55. This is a cheaper pump so I've heard quality can control can be an issue but most reviews are positive. I haven't used mine yet so time will tell. In all honesty the pump will probably be relatively small compared to other hidden costs in the sumps plumbing. I'm going through this right now and keep finding more things I need to buy.

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I got an Elite overflow from Marine Depot . Reasonably priced and works well .
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all who contributed! I think I’ll go with a 1” bulkhead for an overflow and the Jebao DCP 2500 as a return pump. I did have the canister filter laying around and hoped I could put it to use, but my gut was telling me to check with y’all first. I didn’t think it would work, but I was looking for a chance. Hahaha

I’m sure I’ll be bouncing some more ideas off of you all again soon.

thanks!
 

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I would go for a bigger pump because what you will I think will provide around 8x turnover which is fine but only if you run the pump at 100%. Get the biggest pump you can and run it at 60-70% to give yourself enough headroom.

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I ran into this issue (running a canister filter next to a tank in my case) and did a bit of research. Most canister filter depend on friction to draw water from the tank and if they work at all it is bad for the motor. However I did find one small canister filter that explicitly is designed to work level with the tank. So the answer is it depends on your canister filter model. Unfortunately I know nothing about the marineland magniflow but the vendor should be able to answer your question.

My enclosure is 48" long, 24" deep, 18" tall. I plan on converting it into a paludarium for some killifish, shrimp and maybe a praying mantis. I will be drilling rear of the viv to install a bulkhead for an overflow that will drain into a simple wet/dry sump positioned under the viv. The water will then be returned to the viv via a marineland magniflow 160 canister filter. The water portion will be about 4" deep and represent about 25% of the viv's total area. I'm not exactly sure how many gallons this would equate to...maybe 15 or so gallons?

My issue/question is: Will my canister filter be able to draw water from the sump and return it to the viv with the canister filter being positioned NEXT to the sump? Or does the canister filter HAVE to be below the sump? I’ve used canister filters before, but they’ve always been well below the tank in which it was receiving and returning water. Hmmm….

Thoughts and comments are much appreciated!
 
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