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Old 06-01-2006, 01:16 PM   #1
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How do drains work?

I want to order a large tank 120"L x 36"w x 30"h One end of this tank would protrude though a wall to a storage room where sump and related equipment would be hidden from view. I've been asked how many drains and overflows and where I want them.

For this set up, I would like to have any of these built into the end of the tank that will be through the wall. The bulk of the tank will be 3' off the floor and separate dining and living area in a split level. It will be a highly visible show type set up, so I want clean lines and minimal utensils showing inside the viewing portion.

How does the overflow work and are drains drilled into the bottom of the tank inside the overflow? I've searched the archives and find nothing specific to 'drains'.

I'm sure I'm missing something very simple, but I'd like to know what to tell the company guy what I want, based on some good reasoning.

Thanks for your help

Dave
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Old 06-01-2006, 04:17 PM   #2
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Is this a FW tank or SW? overflows and sumps are just way more common in SW setups, so it may be better if we move your post to the general SW section. we can leave a shadow topic here for double exposure, just in case.

If you'd like it moved, just post back, and one of us Mods will do it.

I know nothing of overflows
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Old 06-01-2006, 08:57 PM   #3
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Gp ahead and move this to the appropriate topic. I was wondring which might be the wrong one.

Dave
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Old 06-02-2006, 12:11 AM   #4
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Built in overflows are the best, since they do not need a siphon tube like found in a HOB overflow box. A 10 ft long tank might need more than just overflows in the corners? Maybe one in each corner, and one or two in the middle? Run the hoses behind or beneath the display tank to get them to the sump closet. Sumps are awesome filters, and there are many DIY types to be viewed. The commercial ones tend to be small and expensive. With a large tank like that, one way to make a sump easily is to use a cheaper, smaller tank as the sump, you decide how big you can handle space wise. Overflows and sumps are noiser than other filter set ups, the water gurgles a bit in the over flow tubing. Sumps increas the volume of your tank, and you can put tons of biomedia in them, extra filters (if the sump is big enough), heaters etc. If I weren't lazy, I would have built one for my tank by now.

You can also skip over flows and sump and use a couple of canister filters too. Your plan sounds awesome. If the closet is big enough, add aholding tank to it so you have water change water close by that you can use a pump to put in the tank.

http://home.comcast.net/~tomstank/to...s/page0015.htm

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Old 06-02-2006, 06:04 AM   #5
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I'm with you on disliking the bucket thing....I have to bring in 5-6 water buckets from the horses to do my plant maintenance in the 90. I have a built in water feed and drain in the closet behind this tank. I use the drain for water changes, but have never used the water, as it comes cold from the pipe.

For this 10' tank though, I want no tubes, wires, heaters on suction cups, yada yada within view. I believe I can pump a good flow of water from the hidden 2' portion of the tank along the bottom below the substrate and keep a good circulation for filtration. There will be an aquascape with rock and wood in the middle area of the tank, so that when view from either side, there is no real sense of a 'back' of a tank. @ 36" wide, I should have plenty of space to lay up stacked rock, and such. I have my eye on a 6'+ piece of driftwwod near a favorite fishing pond. Any plants will be in large pots or flats. Substrate will be a combination of different size aggrigate from streambeds and commercial gravel. I will set up a cluster of this rock @ the far end away from the sump to diffuse the water flow from the pump.

If I were to have a drain or two on this far end, then water flow would be reversed as the return water would enter the tank from the hidden side. This is where my question about the drain came from. I just wonder how safe holes in the bottom of a tank can be...if this is how it works. I'm thinking though, that a drain is put @ the bottom of an overflow box, so that the tank cannot completley drain in the event of a tubing or pipe failure. This is what I need to be more clear on.

For a sump tank, I'm all set, as I have 2 tag sale tanks here that are in storage now. 55 & 75 gallon. They could be set up in this storage room, as it is only used for a chest freezer, recylcle bags, and .....junk. There are no outside walls, so I do have a concern about moisture as you mentioned. It wouldn't be such an issue in the winter, but summer heat & humidity could make for a problem. I'll have to think about that.

The 55g would be ideal, as it is 48" x 13"w x 21"h. I could have sections of filter area as the water travelled through the length of the tank. But that is not my current concern. I'd like to get this custom tank set up in such a way as to make these drains, and overflow boxes work to my advantage. It could be my big winter project. Better get my rocks before the snow hits! The drift wood can stay mostly under water for now.

Thanks for your input TomK2
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Old 06-02-2006, 08:56 AM   #6
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The overflow boxes can't drain the tank below the top of the overflow, excluding a leak lower down in the box. Take a look at the built in overflow boxes in tanks at the LFS. Water goes into them when the tank level is higher than their top. Gravity takes the water into the box. Inside the box, there is another tube higher than the bottom of the tank but much lower than tank water level. as the box fills over the inside of the inner tube, the water than flows into the tube and down the hoses. A sponge is usually placed over and around this inner tube to catch debris and keep it from entering the hoses.

Sure, you could have all the inflow on one end, and the overflows on the other. If you find that circulation is too weak at any part of the tank, power heads can fix that. I now understand what you mean with your set up. The last 2 feet of the tank will be inside the closet? So you want all hoses in the open inside the closet and confined to that area. All plumbing not exposed and inside the closet, going to the far end of the tank, are to be inside the tank. I presume you do not want any plumbing in hard to reach areas behind the tank and enclosed in the wall, fearing leaks and the inability to get at them for maintenance.

I think you are going to have a very cool set up when you are done. Unused 55 gallon or larger tanks are exactly what I figured would make a good sump. Post pics when you are done! Better yet, post pics of the construction phase too!
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Old 06-02-2006, 11:56 AM   #7
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Ok, moved to the SW forum. These guys should thoroughly educate you on overflows, sumps, and returns.
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Old 06-02-2006, 05:18 PM   #8
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tomk2- is that working for you w/o doing a vac to get the nasty stuff out?
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Old 06-02-2006, 05:51 PM   #9
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I water change once or twice a week. I do Gravel vacs every one or two months. Yes, for gravel vacs, I do have to drag out the python, but at least I can just pump water back in instead of using the python. I hate doing gravel vacs, mostly becasue I have so many plant decorations in the tank, its a pain to take them out and put them back in after a thorough gravel vac. The fact that the water is changed 40% once or twice a week makes the tank a little resistant to water quality deterioration. But if you wait too long between gravel vacs, tank odor developes.

I mostly put the pic and links above to show Creamhorses that there are many different ways to make a set up easier to maintain, and a holding tank makes frequent water changes a breeze. Taking what you like from anothers system and making it part of your own is a great way to get ideas for a good set up. Much of my system came from TFH articles from years ago.
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