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Seems like a TON of spots for failure. Simple is better, I would put the barrel and ro alone, with a pump to the tank. I would then put the canisters on tank. And with a Y valve and a few on/offs you could use the same pump from the barrel to drain the tank, though you will find once siphon is started no need for a pump to drain if level or below tank level.

Don't over complicate this. I promise you that the worst CAN happen....
 

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Let me just say this again, to be clear. The way designed, it will not work. You will have entirely too many pumps to get to work together. Make this simple. If you want a central system, I recommend you look into them. If you just want to make water changes easier, there are much easier and safer ways to do it...

Not trying to crush your dreams. But I am trying to save you money up front and down the road when you are replacing floors, drywall, and paying intek for a mold removal...
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I see what you are saying. That's something to think about. Just use the barrels to store the water and pump in only after the actual tanks have been drained. That is a way easier system than what I have in the design.

Part of the reason I wanted to have the barrels connected this way, was to have all the water parameters 100% identical between the two tanks. Also, by having the canisters connected to the barrel, I could heat and treat the water before it ever enters either tank.

When you say the worst can happen, I do not see what could happen with this design. Maybe I am just naive, but I do not see what could go wrong in this setup. I would like to hear your thoughts on what could go wrong if you see something that sticks out. Obviously things like the tank breaking a seal on the glass or a tube getting punctured could happen. Other than that, though, I do not see what could go wrong. Please enlighten me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
over_stocked, I really appreciate your input. I am not trying to come off like an ignorant child here, but I won't accept "it will not work." I am a curious person and really want to know what would not work in here. It's not that I disagree with you. This is a very complicated setup, many points for failure, and pretty expensive. As far as I can tell though, there is absolutely no chance for flooding. This is the part I am confused on. If you don't want to explain, that is ok, but I would really like to know your thoughts on this.
 

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I see what you are saying. That's something to think about. Just use the barrels to store the water and pump in only after the actual tanks have been drained. That is a way easier system than what I have in the design.
I promise, easier is better
Part of the reason I wanted to have the barrels connected this way, was to have all the water parameters 100% identical between the two tanks. Also, by having the canisters connected to the barrel, I could heat and treat the water before it ever enters either tank.
Why do they need to be 100% identical? If you are using RO/DI water, you are going to need to reconstitute it somehow before putting fish in with it. You cannot use just pure RO/DI water. You need SOMETHING in your water... YOu can put a heater and airstone in the RO/DI tank, then use a simple formula to add the same amount of seachem equilibrium or whatever you use and it will be the same for both tanks. The tank that concerns me is the "live" tank. If what you want is a central system with connected tanks, research that. This is not the right way to do it. Pumps fail, people mess up, and there are a lot of failure points here. 4 active pumps(including canister) is asking for trouble. YOu prob wouldn't even need a chiller if you removed some of the electronics from your system...
Further, long runs for most pumps means crappy output and more stress on them. You'll either spend too much or get subpar performance.

You could likely outfit each tank with cannister filters, inline heaters, etc on EACH tank for less than this, and end up with better filtration.

Think "quality" not "quantity".
When you say the worst can happen, I do not see what could happen with this design. Maybe I am just naive, but I do not see what could go wrong in this setup. I would like to hear your thoughts on what could go wrong if you see something that sticks out. Obviously things like the tank breaking a seal on the glass or a tube getting punctured could happen. Other than that, though, I do not see what could go wrong. Please enlighten me.
The trouble is you have added extra points of failure. Pumps are the most likely, hose connections, switches you have to remember to turn on and off. Overflows that can fail, etc, etc, etc.
 

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When using a "sump" style setup, which you basically have 2 sumps plus a canister filter... you have several points of failure. A point of failure is a chance of flooding.

If the power goes out the main barrel has to have room for the reserve volume of TWO tanks, not one.

If what you want is a barrel to be central, run ONE sump with all filtration with both tanks coming to it. Not a barrel hooked to a sump with a canister filter as a red headed step child in between.

There are lots of ways to run multiple tanks on one filtration system, this is basically a few things thrown together hoping they work.

Not trying to be rude, just think it is silly to spend so much money to do something that could actually be done better for less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I am by no means trying to argue with you here. More like have a conversation.

If you are using RO/DI water, you are going to need to reconstitute it somehow before putting fish in with it.
I will be dosing water with supplements that I already have. This aspect is covered. I am aware of the issues with RO/DI. The reason I am using it is the same reason as dosing CO2, more control and consistency. I may have to dose the water to make it acceptable, but I can always guarantee the exact same content.

Pumps fail, people mess up, and there are a lot of failure points here. 4 active pumps(including canister) is asking for trouble.
The way I have designed this. If any and all pumps fail, then water is drained out of the siphon, eventually the siphons will come to equilibrium. You can't drain water below the siphon level. Both the barrels and the sump can handle this back drain. If I lost every one of the siphons, the the pumps would continue to run with no water to replace it, until there is no water for the pumps to push out any more and they run dry. At this point the pumps may or may not burn out, but the tanks will have enough clearance that they cannot overflow from this.

Further, long runs for most pumps means crappy output and more stress on them.
Totally agree on this, but the tanks are within 5 feet of all of this. The barrels are on the opposite side of the wall as the tanks are. No hose would be more than 10 feet long. Majority of which would be closer to about 4 feet. I would also be sizing the pumps accordingly.

YOu prob wouldn't even need a chiller if [...]
If I took every single thing out of the line, every pump, filter, light, you name it; my water would be sitting at 80+ degrees. That is the sole reason why I want a chiller, not to compensate for the equipment.

Pumps are the most likely, hose connections, switches you have to remember to turn on and off. Overflows that can fail, etc, etc, etc.
Agreed, I already explained the pumps. Hose connections, tubing, silcone seals, all of these are points of failure. None of which I can truly control, but I could limit the amount of them. I am not that concerned for a hose connection breaking randomly though. As for a seal break, well, that would just suck regardless lol. There is no issue with remebering to turn off switches as there are only 2 important ones, RODI and drain. Every thing else is 24x7. BTW, majority of hose connections are inside of buckets, so even if they did leak, they are leaking into buckets.

This was the easiest way to explain some of these. Let me know if I missed or overlooked any concerns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
If what you want is a barrel to be central, run ONE sump with all filtration with both tanks coming to it. Not a barrel hooked to a sump with a canister filter as a red headed step child in between.
I do not undertand this. This is not in the diagram. The canister is not "inline" with anything other than a chiller and a heater. The only reason for this is reuse/recyle; just for the pump inside. Not filtration. I only have one sump in this diagram, unless you are refering to two pumps one going to each tank. Also, all filtration is in the barrel with both tanks leading to it. I guess I don't understand what you are saying.
 

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I do not undertand this. This is not in the diagram. The canister is not "inline" with anything other than a chiller and a heater. The only reason for this is reuse/recyle; just for the pump inside. Not filtration. I only have one sump in this diagram, unless you are refering to two pumps one going to each tank. Also, all filtration is in the barrel with both tanks leading to it. I guess I don't understand what you are saying.
Obviously you missed the tongue in cheek reference. My bad.

You have a barrel and a sump, essentially two sumps. Why not just use a barrel as a sump, or a sump as a sump... Not both.

Simple, take line from tank A and tank B and run them into the SAME line, then run to sump. Then run your two pumps back to the tank. Put chiller on the output side of one of the tanks, which will in turn cool both tanks.

Search for "sump for multiple tank" or "central aquarium filtration".

I just designed all of that with 2 pumps for the filtration and 1 for the water changer. This will 1) allow you less pumps(save money up front, on energy, on chiller, and on replacement). 2) allow less failure points(it isn't about not being able to do anythign about them... you can... make LESS points of failure). 3) created more effecient, higher quality filtration with LESS BYPASS.

The way you have it designed, a huge portion of the water could come in and go right back to the tank without ever being filtered. This will mean your chiller will be really inefficient, your filtration will be inefficient, and your energy bill will be inefficient.

It seems you have your mind up, so I won't go on and on. Just understand that many of us have ran multiple tanks on one filtration system before. There is no need to make something so hodge-podge thrown together when for less money you could do it and have likely better results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
I agree with you. I am redesigning this pretty much like you described. I have not maid up my mind btw. I am not easily swayed though without proof or evidence. You do present a compelling argument and I understand exactly what you are saying. I think you may be missing some of my points, but that is ok too. Good point on the chiller, that is a smart design, using equilibrium in my favor.

I comprehend the bypass issue. I didn't think it was really going to be an issue with that much water movement. All water would eventually go through the filter anyways, thanks to the water contaminants want to spread out across the water and dilute.

I will put a revised diagram with these thoughts in mind on here.
 

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I only speak from experience. If you are set on having it be on a central system, you really should look at some of the examples out there. The easiest to maintain and the most efficient to use are the simplest ones, usually.

IN the end, you will spend more time looking at your tank instead of what is under and behind.

With a planted tank, efficient mechanical filtration is essential. I recommend using filter socks on the input into the sump for quick, easy change out.

LIke so.


Allows you to switch out prefilters without even stopping flow. Plus it will make maintaining the rest even easier.


In the end you will find what is best, but you might be like some of us and end up doing it 3 or 4 times and spending wayyy too much before you get it just right. Thats what most of us do in most of this hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
You have some pretty great ideas. This is what I needed. Not people bashing my diagram, but providing alternatives. I am drawing the new schematic now. Awesome suggestion on the sock!
 

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The sock is a cpr aquatics, runs about 20 bucks with the mount. Get a couple of the socks so you can switch them out quick.

Sorry if I sounded discouraging, I just know what it is like to design, build, spend and then end up having to do it over again. and again. and again.

For the sump, provide as much room as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I will order some of those socks when I start building the sump. Those are cool.

Don't worry about it. It's hard to interpret people's emotions on these forums anyways. I really do value your opinions though. I have revised the drawing to a much simpler form, fell free to bash this new one. :D

I will probably make the sump a 55 gal instead of a 20 gal now since I have extra space without all of that stuff in the mix.

See the first post for the newly revised diagram.
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Thanks! Thanks to water's ability to absorb and release heat, even chilling or heating the 55 gal will keep the 20 at the same temp. Even though you are right, the 20 could potentially waiver faster than the 55, the water would not have a long enough time inside of the 20 gal to raise or lower the temp enough. The equilibrium in water is faster than that tank can fluctuate. Water is awesome! The reason for not having the chiller/heater on it's own loop is to limit the number of connections and pumps. I like this design a lot now. I think there is definite potential for improvement, but this is significantly better than version 1.

Thanks for all of your suggestions!
 
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