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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im in the planning and construction phase of a small fishroom ( 15 tanks--approx 500 gallons ) and Im wanting to install drip water change systems on all of the tanks so their is constant water changes going on. Im mainly worried about the overflow setup in the tanks and making them less visible and less likely to clog and overflow into the floor.

I will have a drainpipe system behind the tanks that will drain directly into a floor drain. I will also have a spot on each rack that I can drain into with a siphon hose for gravel cleaning if needed. It will have a water line around the perimeter of the room with individual valves for each tank so I can adjust water flow rate. Most of the tanks will be filtered with canister filters since I already have them. I may use air driven sponge filters on the shrimp rack if I go that route.

Ive never used any sort of overflow system but Ive read horror stories of them clogging and flooding the floor/house. Now, those stories have mostly been with sump systems and not with a system like Im planning.

Any insight to this? Recommendations? Sites to do research? Overflows that are better or worse than others?

Also, I want at least two of the tanks to be high ph hard water tanks as opposed to my tap that is low ph soft water. I know I can use substrate and additives to buffer the ph, but Im concerned that a constant water change system might not work in those tanks--thoughts? experiences? Should I just avoid trying to have a tank with a different water chemistry than my tap? I was wanting an mbuna and some sulawesi shrimp tanks.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading and for any input.

edit---is there any real good reason I couldnt use this type of overflow? I mean we are talking about draining fairly small amounts of water ( less than 1 gph in all but the largest tank and it will be around 2gph and some of that will be lost with evaporation instead of going down the overflow ) That style is easy to make, fairly easy to hide if I make it black and looks pretty effective for what I want to do.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
this is my inspiration for my fishroom. Mine wont be nearly this nice or loaded with nearly this many tanks---but I like the drainage system in place and the general layout of the place.

My only concern is a power outage with that many tanks. I guess that is a risk I have to take, only option is a generator.

http://www.brianstropicals.com/pages/My-basement.html
 

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this is my inspiration for my fishroom. Mine wont be nearly this nice or loaded with nearly this many tanks---but I like the drainage system in place and the general layout of the place.

My only concern is a power outage with that many tanks. I guess that is a risk I have to take, only option is a generator.
Do you have a link...?
 

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I would use float valves to control the flow of fresh water into each tank. You will need to clean your overflow often to prevent clogging with the design shown. Tom Aquatics and Fluval have a surface skimming intake for filters that you could use as template for preventing plant matter entering the overflow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would use float valves to control the flow of fresh water into each tank. You will need to clean your overflow often to prevent clogging with the design shown. Tom Aquatics and Fluval have a surface skimming intake for filters that you could use as template for preventing plant matter entering the overflow.

my main concerns with float valves---sticking valves that dont shut off and initial expense. Ive read many journals of people having valves that dont shut off all the way when the float comes up. Most of them switched to a solenoid with float--even more expense. My plans are to use a manual valve and dial in a set flow rate for each tank. I will have at least 15 tanks in this room at some point. I dont really relish the idea of wiring up 15+ solenoids for controlling water flow.
 

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holy cow, I can diagnose that as MTS with 100% certainty.
that's not MTS that's obsession, haha he's gotta have hundreds of tanks down there, i would have just opened up a fish store.... But that's amazing. If you do anything like that OP it will be crazy, i can't imagine having a whole room just for fish tanks:drool:
 

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my main concerns with float valves---sticking valves that dont shut off and initial expense. Ive read many journals of people having valves that dont shut off all the way when the float comes up. Most of them switched to a solenoid with float--even more expense. My plans are to use a manual valve and dial in a set flow rate for each tank. I will have at least 15 tanks in this room at some point. I dont really relish the idea of wiring up 15+ solenoids for controlling water flow.
I understand your concern and agree with wiring and cost aspects. I would as a minimum get a sensor for the floor near the tanks that would shut off flow to all tanks if one overflows. Have it warn you when it happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
that's not MTS that's obsession, haha he's gotta have hundreds of tanks down there, i would have just opened up a fish store.... But that's amazing. If you do anything like that OP it will be crazy, i can't imagine having a whole room just for fish tanks:drool:
yeah, I wont be doing anything quite that extreme. I figure 15-20 tanks is way more than most people need. To feel comfortable with that many tanks I would have to make them pretty self sufficient. Throw some food in there--clean some filters once every few weeks--toss in some ferts in a few tanks---enjoy. Thats all I want, thats the main reason for the auto drip changer.
 

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Overflows such as you plan can be very temperamental. The best solution is to drill the tanks and install bulkhead fittings. This way you don't need to worry about the siphon action breaking and causing a flood. Do make sure the tank is not made out of tempered glass.

This is something very commonly done in the SW hobby, and there are quite a few variations, depending upon what you want. Doing a net search should give you some good ideas.

As for floor drains, check carefully with your local building codes. They are illegal to install in many areas.
 
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