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Old 11-13-2015, 01:57 PM   #1
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2 tanks 1 sump can it be done safely

This is a Question I had bouncing around in my head over 2 years ,
Room is becoming a issue so I must ask ! I currently have a 90g and a 40b but the 40b will become a 65g and use the 40b as the sump , now this may sound odd but I have limited space and wanted to know if it has been done or can be done , I am wanting to run one sump for 2 tanks is this possible or more of a disaster looking to happen .
I just don't want to attempt something of this caliber if it's not going to work
any thoughts on this I don't want a swimming pool in my living-room ,
or the thought of why did I do this,
thoughts and input I just want to know if it's doable or if it's more of a pipe dream than reality
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Old 11-13-2015, 02:05 PM   #2
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I think probably the most important thing to consider is the water volume drain from both tanks. Can the 40b handle the drain from both?

Also, you will be mixing water. If one tank gets a disease it mixes and the other tank can get it because they are connected.

I think that's the 2 big factors. Plumbing and return pumping is just tinkering till you find the balance.


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Old 11-13-2015, 02:19 PM   #3
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As long as the sump will be able to hold enough volume then yes with separate pumps to each tank IMO this should not be an issue?

You just need to able to adjust the flow properly to each tank...
I'm in!
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:16 PM   #4
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1 tank is a reef the other is a Fowlr and Caleb hit that button that's got me wondering now "disease" wouldn't that be more a factor if I was adding more stock as I have no future plans too , as the fowlr tank is stocked with dirtier fish than the reef , wouldn't mixing the 2 together make the water quality more stable , I just don't want to do something that may cause problems down the line this is why I'm asking and thinking out loud ,
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:20 PM   #5
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I'm far from a salty expert.

Maybe if you combined them a bigger skimmer would be taken into consideration to support? Unless you have one on each tank now and just run both?

Obviously the increase in volume would increase stability.


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Old 11-13-2015, 04:00 PM   #6
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I did plan on a bigger skimmer along with dual pumps for water return to both tanks
would 40g be big enough or should it be bigger only thing if it has to be bigger it would need to go into the basement and most likely need bigger pumps
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Old 11-13-2015, 05:46 PM   #7
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I run my 120 fowlr on a 30b sump with skimmer in sump.
I run a mag 18 on that tank and the filter /sump (covered tank) only evaps about 1 g a day?
I top off/up every3-5 days.
Possibly if the stock in fowlr is "dirtier" this could be a good time to look into vodka dosing or bio plastics to control nitrates assuming that would be the major hurdle(along with po4) to integrating with reef?
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Old 11-13-2015, 10:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 54seaweed View Post
This is a Question I had bouncing around in my head over 2 years ,
Room is becoming a issue so I must ask ! I currently have a 90g and a 40b but the 40b will become a 65g and use the 40b as the sump , now this may sound odd but I have limited space and wanted to know if it has been done or can be done , I am wanting to run one sump for 2 tanks is this possible or more of a disaster looking to happen .
I just don't want to attempt something of this caliber if it's not going to work
any thoughts on this I don't want a swimming pool in my living-room ,
or the thought of why did I do this,
thoughts and input I just want to know if it's doable or if it's more of a pipe dream than reality
It can be done easy peezy nice and breezy. 1 pump, 1 sump, 1 return line. I always use this setup for multiple tanks on a system. Here's how: For the water, the drain lines from the tank need to be large enough to handle the water flow. A good sized drain line is 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" if you need high flow or 1" for moderate flow. All drain lines drain directly into the sump. The return pump needs to be large enough to move the water to the height of the highest tank. If the pump has to be larger for the highest tank than it needs to be for the other tank(s), you run a bleeder line off the main return back into the sump. All return lines have a control valve to adjust water flow into the tank. Adjust each valve accordingly to the water volume necessary for each tank.
Disease control: The only way to do this is by installing a UV sterilizer( or similar machine) into the return line before it goes back to any tank. This way, diseases cannot spread between tanks as long as the light bulbs are maintained. ( I've done 20 tank lines without any issues with diseases so it's not an issue, just costly depending on the unit you need.)

Overflow protection: Fill each tank up so that the water starts to drain from the tank into the sump. ( make sure return line ends higher than the height of the drain hole.) Wait for water to stop draining. Fill sump all the way to the top ( or a little underneath the top ) and then turn the pump on. Adjust water flow to each tank so that water going in does not make the water level higher than the drain hole. Once adjusted, mark on the sump where the water line is when all the tanks are flowing at correct rate and do not add any water( for evaporation or filling) higher than that line. At that point, you cannot overflow the sump because there isn't enough water in the system to do that. That's your safeguard so that even if the power goes out in the middle of the night or when no one is home, the tanks won't flood. The only real issue will be if the sump can hold enough water to fill up the water lines when running. If it is too small, you may be sucking air into the pump from the low water. This would mean a larger or additional sump is necessary.

As I said, easy peezy. I recently had a betta rack with flow through water into a sump doing just this and it worked like a charm. I've also done 2500 gallon systems the exact same way. The only difference was the sizes of the machines.

Lastly, UV sterilizers need a particular water flow to be effective. This is all based on the size of the UV so you need to match the UV to the return rate of the water pump. Again, if the pump has to be too big for the highest tank or the UV, you just run a bleeder line after the UV back into the sump. ( I had to do this for the betta rack as the back pressure from the water restrictions was too much for the pump.) It truly is no big deal.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-13-2015, 11:16 PM   #9
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Thanks andy,
I'm going to draw up a layout maybe tomorrow to be sure I understand the easy peazy part and Ill post it so I know if I got it right
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Old 11-26-2015, 02:57 PM   #10
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well so far I got the 90g temp plumbed
now waiting on a overflow box to get other tank
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