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Old 10-03-2013, 03:46 AM   #1
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DIY Custom All In One Tank Build Project 001

Welcome to my first thread everyone. Today we will start a discussion on a custome tank concept that you will get to see collectively designed and built with budget and resale value in mind.

I have found myself with a few 10g and a couple 29g tanks one of which I was building a custom sump out of. The name of the game is to put everything you need into a compact yet elegant design that fits through a standard door frame then sell it. Lets start the requirements list for the beginner.

Obviously you need your show tank. If your building a show tank then you dont want a bunch of filters heaters and air stones ruining your view. Also you want a bunch of fish in there. So lets add a sump to place all that equipment in and add extra water to increase water quality to keep that beautifully overstocked tank healthy. You need quarantine and hospital tank or tanks to keep everything running smooth. Oh but wait you cant fight ich without 2 tanks so now we have to have 2 hospital or quarantine tanks.

The idea is in the image below. We will have 1 29g tank as a show tank at the top. Below that will be 2 10g hospital tanks. Below that will be a 29g sump tank. In a normal setup im thinking all 3 tanks will overflow into the sump and the sump will pump water into all 3 tanks simultaneously. Shut off valves will be placed on both 10g tanks so we can isolate them from the system to creat a hospital tank or when left running would make a great quarantine tank.

The whole front will be a giant door and when closed will only show the front of the tanks you see in the image below. Its a all in one compact design.

So for starters what is this set up missing? If its not missing anything then why wont it work. Once the concept is designed we will discuss frame sizes and plumbing.

Remember a all in one unit with size and cost in mind is our goal. We will concept this all in one design together and we will build and sell it right here. The goal is not just to build a cheap all in one unit but to show the new comers how affordable the hobby can be when done right and to watch our ideas unfold into a real build.

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Old 10-03-2013, 04:26 AM   #2
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Nice idea but you can't use the same water that feeds your DT to feed the QT and hospital tanks. cause then you are not getting rid of the problem. Let's say you get new fishes and you have them in your QT and one have ich you will infest the the entire setup cause they are all being feed from the same water. QT and hospital tanks need there own water supply
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:21 AM   #3
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looks really rad, I want one in my room haha!
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:32 AM   #4
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Nice idea but you can't use the same water that feeds your DT to feed the QT and hospital tanks. cause then you are not getting rid of the problem. Let's say you get new fishes and you have them in your QT and one have ich you will infest the the entire setup cause they are all being feed from the same water. QT and hospital tanks need there own water supply
Agreed, during the first stages of quarantine and all stages of a hospital tank they need to be separated. I figured this problem could be solved when we do the plumbing by setting up all 3 tanks to drain into the sump instead of flowing through each tank. Valves will be installed on the 3 intakes primarily to adjust flow since 1 pump will feed 3 tanks but also so you can shut the flow off to a tank. If no water is flowing in then nothing will overflow. It becomes iscolated. Drop in a sponge filter heater and air stone and the hospital is up and running.

Can anyone else think of a draw back or better design idea?
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:38 AM   #5
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Agreed, during the first stages of quarantine and all stages of a hospital tank they need to be separated. I figured this problem could be solved when we do the plumbing by setting up all 3 tanks to drain into the sump instead of flowing through each tank. Valves will be installed on the 3 intakes primarily to adjust flow since 1 pump will feed 3 tanks but also so you can shut the flow off to a tank. If no water is flowing in then nothing will overflow. It becomes iscolated. Drop in a sponge filter heater and air stone and the hospital is up and running. Can anyone else think of a draw back or better design idea?
um what about weight issues from the top tank and the support of the middle two
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:46 AM   #6
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Liking this project. I'll chime in when I get a chance.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:19 PM   #7
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Would it be possible to attach 2 small, maybe 5g tanks in/on to the 29g sump tank to act as sump tanks for the 2 QT's??

Maybe in the back, below the over hang of the QT's themselves.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:19 PM   #8
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Ok so first the stand and can it hold all these tanks. Water is just under 8.5 lbs per gallon. So...

29 gallons is about 245lbs. Lets just add 55lbs for decor rocks and such. Top tank will be about 300lbs. A single 6 foot 2by4 will hold 400 to 600lbs in the middle. We will have 2 of them across the bottom and will hold the tank no problem and only adding 2 inches of hight. Once the setup is fully thought out we will build the whole frame out of 2by4s with maybe 4by4s as the support legs on the 4 outer sides for safe messure. Remember cost is one of our elements here so I dont want to over do it but I do want it to hold.

Interesting micro sump idea. Could you explain more? Will this be part of the system normally with the option to run solo or will this be 3 total separate tanks with sumps? Remember these 2 10g added can be used to hold weaker fish that are having trouble competing for food with the main tank to rebuild strength as well as breeding pairs to breed or house fry not just as hospital or QT purposes. Thats why I was setting up the option to be 1 system or a solo setup. Would we be purchasing extra pumps to run the other systems? The only thing I can think of now to reduce cost is using a air stone in a pipe to return water to the tank like a sponge filter does.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:33 PM   #9
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I would think they would have to be separate. Isn't the point of a hospital/quarantine tank to separate new or current fish from potentially spreading diseases?

If there is an option to switch between a hospital/qt for sick/new and to a part of the main system to use to breed or house fry, that would be my option.
But I wouldn't have the 2 tanks connected together, allowing you to breed and hospital or breed and quarantine, or quarantine and hospital etc without effecting either the main tank or the second small one.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:43 PM   #10
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Interesting idea, so following along. What about including another small pump at the top of the system to provide a gravity feed refugium. Usable with either fresh or saltwater.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:53 PM   #11
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Agreed, during the first stages of quarantine and all stages of a hospital tank they need to be separated. I figured this problem could be solved when we do the plumbing by setting up all 3 tanks to drain into the sump instead of flowing through each tank. Valves will be installed on the 3 intakes primarily to adjust flow since 1 pump will feed 3 tanks but also so you can shut the flow off to a tank. If no water is flowing in then nothing will overflow. It becomes iscolated. Drop in a sponge filter heater and air stone and the hospital is up and running. Can anyone else think of a draw back or better design idea?
Ok as long as the QT and hospital tank water those not go into the DT or each other you should be good but also if all tanks drain to the sump then the return pump will take that infested water to the DT. The point of QT and hospital is to have a separate setup from DT. Plus when you add meds and it gets in the sump how will stop it from getting in DT.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:11 PM   #12
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Interesting idea, so following along. What about including another small pump at the top of the system to provide a gravity feed refugium. Usable with either fresh or saltwater.
I thought a refugium was the same thing as a sump? What would the small pump at the top be used for if its a gravity fed system? Guess im looking for a few more details to better help me understand your idea.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:22 PM   #13
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I think what I use my hospital tanks for is different than other people. If I notice a fish is hiding to much or doesnt seem to be eating I will remove them from the DT and put them in the hospital. No visable disease and nothing to medicate just seperate them so they dont stress out and can eat and stay healthy before a problem starts. My new fish will spend over a month in quarantine. After the first few days you know if its sick or not and can allow the same water from the display tank to be shared with the hospital. They are kept that long to make sure you can adjust their feeding types and times from how the LFS did it to how you do it as well as allow them a good amount of time to get good and healthy not to mention de stressed before I move them in.

The other question was how to keep bad water out of the sump if you do have a sick fish. With the valves on the intake for the 3 tanks I can close off 1 of the 10g. They will be using an overflow system so without water flowing in from the pump it cant overflow and drain into the sump. Additionally I will have pvc pipe caps that I will place over the overflow so if I have to put my hands in there I wont cause the water level to rise over the overflow and sending sick fish water into my whole system.

Any other improvement ideas or design concerns? Once I hear back aboit this micro sump idea on the 2 10g tanks we may be ready to start sketching out are idea frame as well as plumping and electrical.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:48 PM   #14
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I thought a refugium was the same thing as a sump? What would the small pump at the top be used for if its a gravity fed system? Guess im looking for a few more details to better help me understand your idea.
Sump and refugium are different. Ref has sand and plants sump just has water and eq. No sand or plants.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:51 PM   #15
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I see so the physical setup is pretty much the same its just what you put into it will very depending if you want additional water capacity or live sand or whatever you really want to use to improve water quality.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:59 PM   #16
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Yes it is I have a sump/ref
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:38 PM   #17
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Ok here is a basic plumbing until I hear back about the micro sumps. Black outlines show the 4 tanks. The orange pipes are gravity over flows. The black edged pipes have 3 valves after the split to adjust water flow to each tank and to fully shut off the water flowing into the tank which will then stop the tank from filling up and draining into the sump creating an isolated tank for hospital or quarantine reasons. Pros cons good bad thought lay it on me.

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Old 10-03-2013, 11:44 PM   #18
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You will have to put shutoffs on the feed also or the others will overflow.
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:06 AM   #19
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You will have to put shutoffs on the feed also or the others will overflow.
Im sorry my terminology is off a bit lol. The 3 valves are on the feed for the 3 tanks not the intakes or overflows.

My concern just now. Power outage and all the water drains down and thats allot of pipe compared to a normal sump system and I plan on running that thing full of water to get as many gallons circulating as possible. Do they have any simple ball drop valves that only allow water to flow one direction? I know they do for floor drains but those keep water down and this sytem will be pushing water up.
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:18 AM   #20
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It think they do I don't remember if it's on your post or someone else's but someone post the site that care them it's a PVC company forgot the name. Now let me ask a question when you shut off the feed all that over flow water that is still flowing will you sump be able to handle it till it stops ? Cause you said you want a lot of water.
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