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  1. #1
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Plumbing changes, need your thoughts...

    I have some plumbing concerns that I wanted to pass by all of you first.

    With the addition of the 60gal cube tank upstairs to my already running 180gal tank, I thought that I'd take this opportunity to add-on to my current sump/filtration system.

    The attached schematic is easy to follow if you don't try to digest it all at once.
    Before you all ask, I used MS Visio to draw this schematic.

    Sump Schematic (LARGE)

    The schematic is more spread out than things actually are, and some things like my calcium reactor were left out for simplicity sakes.

    My main concerns are to the left of the skimmer in the schematic, as that represents the addition. Also, if you look in main sump area, you can see to return lines. One going to the 180gal tank, and another going to the cube upstairs. I am using one 1.5" bulkhead with a TEE on the end. Both pumps, a Mag12 and a Mak4, will pull water from each end of the TEE to their respective tanks. Not shown are the ballvalves before and after those two pumps, again for simplicity.

    To the left of the skimmer, we see the Isolation tank, and the Secondary sump.

    In my current setup, My skimmer pulls water from the left area of the main sump, however with the addition of the secondary sump, my skimmer will now pull water from there. The reason for this was because I wanted to keep water-flow near the skimmer as slow as possible. If I had both tanks overflowing into the same sump, it would equal to ~ 2000gph near the skimmer. By separating the overflows of each tank into separetly attached sumps, I can keep the water-flow near the skimmer where I want it.

    The 60gal cube upstairs will overflow into the qt/isolation tank and down into the secondary sump. The qt/isolation tank can be taken offline from the system by simply closing the valve. In the schematic, I show it overflowing into the secondary sump, but I may opt to have it overflow into the main sump instead.

    The main sump and secondary sump will be connected via 1.5" spaflex.

    My concerns are the following:
    - Will the return pumps cavitate due to the fact that both are pulling through a 1.5" TEE? Both pumps have 3/4" intake diameters.
    - Is one 1.5" connection between the 2 sumps enough?
    - Is there anything obvious in this schematic that I havn't accounted for?

    Thanks!
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Woops,
    I also forgot to mention that each return line will have a checkvalve in order to be protected from siphoning back to the sumps when the pumps are off.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  3. #3
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    I think the only thing I would be concerned about is that if you did dose your quarantine tank with copper any you did drain and clean that tank when you wanted to put it back online there may be some residual copper in the overflow pipes that would enter your main system. I think you should keep you QT completely separate. Just in case.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Heya Reeferboy,
    Thanks for the insight. I thought about that. Any medicating (ie: copper, maracyn, etc) would be done in a separate and designated hospital tank if/when the need arose. The qt/isolation tank would just be a place for new arrivals to acclimate to captive surroundings without being harassed by tankmates, learn to eat prepared foods, etc. If ich is found, the isolation tank can be taken offline to start a hyposalinity treatment.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  5. #5
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    What if the new arrival has ich in its gills or another type of parisite that can't be seen with the naked eye and by the time you do see it, it has already migrated to the main system.

  6. #6
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    yes absolutly right REEFERBOY! I know completely were your coming from. :bawling: TANG MAN, I would completely keep it totaly seperate! you can plumb a line with a valve to fill it up from the tank water but I would leave it at that. maybe plumb a drain for water changes etc,, I'm doing this as we speak, the QT tank can be filled up from the tank but thats it. I'll also run an AQUACLEAR filter with media from the sump [sponge]. I will QT all things entering my tank from now on! rock/corals/fish/snails

  7. #7
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Reeferboy, Johnny,

    The process of the isolation tank can be done differently as well. For instance, the isolation tank can be isolated just before adding the new arrival to it. Even go as far as soaking sponges for the media filter in the sump a week before the new arrival. Then run the media filter (ie: Emperor400) on the isolation tank during the time the new arrival is there. If ich presents itself, then a hyposalinity treatment can occur. Other illnesses will still be carried out in a separate hospital tank.

    I'll also go on to say that I have my LFS hold my fish for a full 10-14 days before bringing it home. During this time, I visit the fish and make sure it's eating, has no disease, etc.

    What about the rest of the intended plumbing? Does it all look ok?
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  8. #8
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    I have a concern about the water flow from the 180. It doesn't get skimmed directly. In order to get that water skimmed, it has to pass all the way through the sump, then get returned to the 60 Gallon tank, overflow there and then get to the secondary sump before having a chance to get skimmed. (and some of that water will make its way back to the 180, perhaps by way of the refugium)

    I'd consider creating a small box within the secondary sump. Directing both drains there. Let the water underflow out of that box and have your skimmer intake inside that box.

    To partially address the refugium concern, you could put a redirect on the drain from the isolation tank. That would allow you to open the drain from the 60, overflow into the sewer, and easily refresh the water in the quarantine with no risk to the main system.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  9. #9
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    I here ya, thats exactly what I'm doing. for some reason I thought you were going to still have water running thru to the sump on the isolation tank.reason I ask is that ich cycsts can be present in the water corals etc.. are shipped in and on corals etc.. you knew that anyways but I thought that your isolation tank would be free flowing with the tank water in and out.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Cres, that's a good point about the skimmer. I'll look into that further. I'll point out however, that even though I have another tank added to the system, it is still one system, just larger. Look at the new cube addition as if it were another output within the tank... It's all the same water, just more of it. I've always believed that it's better to have slow water-flow near the skimmer so that it can turn it over more. I'm afraid that if I plumb both overflows near the skimmer, that it will actually reduce it's efficiency.

    Johnny,
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

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