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I'm by all means no expert but the biggest flaw I see is bypass. With your tanks emptying into the live water barrel, there's a good chance that your pump will just direct that water back to your tank. I think it would be a better idea to have the incoming water from your tank go into your wet/dry filter. I probably would get rid of your live water tank and canister. Just build a bigger wet/dry and still use your ro/di tank for top offs. Your wet/dry will have all your filtering media. The hardest part is going to be balancing all your waterflow so that output is the same as the incoming water. This will become worse whenever your filter media gets clogged from gunk thus decreasing water flow.
 

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Just thought about this option. You can keep the live water barrel but have that drain into your wer/dry and have your tank return pumps pulling water after the filter. I still would get rid of the cannister since I don't think it will do much in this sytem.
 

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nokturnalkid, the reason for not connecting the sump inline is overflow potential in the barrel. A pump leading to another pump is a very bad idea with a high chance of overflow. The issue with bypass shouldn't really be an issue though. The barrel is always going to have churning water, with churning water it will always spread out nutrients and contaminants. The water will naturally find equilibrium. Plus, so much water will be moving through there, I don't really see an issue. The barrel must be there for the quick water change to happen. That is an integral component to rapidly flush a large amount of water. The canister is for recycling, literally, I already have it, might as well move some water with it. Also, it fixes my problem of how to integrate my inline water heater. This way I can keep water temps equal across the board. Does that make since? I'm not sure how well I explained that. Let me know if you have any more questions.
I was thinking of letting the barrel "overflow" into your sump. Then you would have the return pumps after your filter. That would eliminate one pump. Just have the waterlevel in your barrel low enough that in case you lose a siphon from one of the tanks, the barrel will still have enough room to catch water before the overflow in your tank kicks in. You would have to make a continuous siphon overflow in your tank since there would be nothing to shut off your return. If you go with a continuous overflow, then you still give your tank to regain the siphon once the pump puts a certain amount of water back in.

Since you already have the cannister, then you can leave it as is. I would just pack it with mehanical media since the wet/dry and plants will take care of your bio.

For your dosing, probably the easiest is to do a drip system, think i.v. drip. Are you going to suppliment co2? If you are, then the wet/dry will outgass quite a bit.
 

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nokturnalkid, I understand what you mean about overflowing, but what you are describing is a recipe for water flood. Correct me if I am misunderstanding you. You are essentially relying on the pumps to prevent flooding. If a single pump dies, there will definitely be flooding. Also, once a syphon looses its....syphon....lol...it does not regain it back without your help. The water level would just rise over the tank line and spill. As far as the canister goes, I am just filling it with some bio rings, and bio stars, it will be pretty much completely empty. It's really only there for the free pump to move water from barrel, across heating/cooling, then back to the barrel. As far as dosing, I want as little automated as possible. Gives me more control. It also prevents a dump or a lack of supply and I would have to keep a 3rd barrel to have premixed ferts in it.

All good ideas though. I am not trying to bash anyone at all. Some of this I have thought about, others I have not. I do understand the way the physics of water works though. The reason my diagram is, the way it is, right now, is because it can survive a single or complete pump failure and not overflow a single point. I could also loose all syphons and not flood anywhere.

xmas_one please expain, that is not very constructive or helpful.

Check this link out.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/diy-aquarium-projects/63801-easy-diy-automatic-water-change-system.html

A siphon like this will work. In case your water level drops and breaks the siphon, there should be enough water in your live barrel for the return pump to get the water level back up to the point where the siphon can restart itself. A siphon like this does work but it takes alot of tweaking.

If my thinking is wrong, please let me know. When I first seen this post, it just looked like something I would do.
 

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nokturnalkid, That siphon is a very good idea. I was considering that one too. Maybe even using acrylic pipes to make it look transparent under water. However, it relies on the exact same physics the overflow box uses. The swoop inside the tank maintains the tank water level and prevents the siphon from draining if the water level drops. The swoop at the other end evactuates the water and also holds onto the siphon that is formed by the loop that goes over the glass wall. However, over time (with many other variables) air bubbles can/will form in the siphon. If too much air forms a large bubble, it will drop the siphon. That siphon cannot be reformed without manual intervention. Some say by making the tube smaller you can increase velocity of water and have air constantly pushed out of the tube. This does work, but is the same technique as the overflow box too. The other idea is to prevent air build up within the syphon by having a pump at the peak. This is a good idea in the since that it will never allow air build up. If the pump fails though, it will allow air into the peak and drop the siphon. Part of the reason my build is so complex is to prevent single points of failure. Short of having a tube leak or glass break. The system cannot put water onto the floor. Unless physics are defied.


Yeah that's just one example of something that would work. I actually made a siphon based on some that you can find on the net. These claimed to regain it's siphon once the water level in thetank reaches a certain point. I must say, they worked like a charm. Worked better than overflow box that I had tried. We had an island wide black out a few years back that lasted almost a whole day. As soon as power went back on, system was running like a champ. With a system that uses that sort of syphon, with properly set water levels in your live tank and wet/dry, I don't see where there would be a leak. I would have the water level in the live tank about half way or so. Just below the water level of the live tank is where I would place the feed to the wet/dry. Your wet/dry level would have to be able to handle the extra water in the live tank in case of some kind of failure. As long as the outflow from your return pumps are pretty high in the tank, then there should be know problems. Just add a check valve on the outflow for safety if you want. You can still have the cannister/chiller/heater loop just circulating the water in your live tank. You can also use a product like tom's aqualifter on a timer to purge some of the air buildup, if any, in your overflow tube.
 

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The new design looks alot better. The only thing I would question is the heater/chiller on the 55 gal output line. I don't know how efficient it will be in chilling the other tank. How about having the chiller/heater on it's own loop in the sump? I'm not sure if that will work better. The heating and chilling is going to be the hard part since the smaller tank will raise/lower temp a lot faster than the bigger tank.
 
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