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Old 08-31-2008, 02:53 PM   #1
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Intake advise

I'm going to install an inwall see-through saltwater fish-only tank. The tank measures 60" long, 8" wide, and 24" tall (45 gallons). I am planning to install a 3/4" drain high on each side with bulk heads connected to pvc pipeing in the wall down through my subfloor downstairs into a sump(old 75 gallon scratched up and drilled 100 times into tank) that will hold refugium, skimmer, etc... I was thinking of drilling a hole center of the in wall tank at the bottom, with another bulk head for my return. I would then connect a tee above that with 1/2" or 3/4" pipe running horizontal to the tank floor with 1/8" or 1/4" holes drilled every 2" or so with a plug end cap at each end; or I could use the undergravel system screens by themselves. This all would be buried by sand or whatever substrate I decide to use. I would also of course use a one way check valve right after my pump so the tank wouldn't completly drain in an event of a power failure. My question is that, is this a good idea with filtered water entering through the substarte pushing the waste up towards my drains or will it screw up the biological sytem or release bad gases, and could this cause failure of the tank strentgh itself? Keep in mind my sump could hold live rock or whatever I may need to support further bio. Thanks, Revango
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Old 08-31-2008, 03:55 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!

I think you're going to regret having only an 8" wide tank, but that's just my opinion.

I guess your system could work, as long as you ensure that the return in the center opens up well above the substrate line. i.e. 2" or whatever PVC run inside the tank before it opens up.

Please make sure you use ball valves as well. I don't know that I'd put that much trust in a check valve with the return being so low in the tank.
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Old 08-31-2008, 05:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response neilanh. I appreciate the info, but what I'd like to know is if the filtered water came up from underneath the substrate pushing up all debris up to my drains. I know I would have to use some kind of screen device so the substrate material wouldn't go down the drain. I'm going to have a trigger only tank (3-5 at the most with few decorations). They make a lot of waste and I don't feel like cleaning out the substrate a lot so I'm kinda hopeing this system would break up the debris at the bottom instead of settling down there.
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Old 08-31-2008, 06:01 PM   #4
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BAD IDEA! You want an overflow box that will drain the water down to the sump. That will prevent the tank from draining completely in the event of a power outage. You might want to look at pre-drilled (reef ready) tanks that already have the overflows built in. You should take a look at Melev's Reef - Sumps & Fuge's for DIY ideas and instructions.

Most fish need hiding space and use LR (live rock) for that purpose. You might want to consider putting at least some LR in the tank.

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Old 08-31-2008, 06:47 PM   #5
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The bottom would not be a drain, it is going to be the return. I'm going to have 2 drainns up high with either a sump box or bulk heads. And I'm probably going to use artificial rock an coral for the fish to hide.
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Old 08-31-2008, 08:20 PM   #6
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I dont think your return is going to work the way you think, well if theres substrate covering it it is deff going to get blown off so you will just have a vacant spot which is not going to help your debris. It just doesn't make any sense to me.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:07 AM   #7
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Welcome to AA!

This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Having the return at the bottom and depending on a check valve to prevent a flood is a bad idea IMO. All it would take is a small piece of algae or debris to keep the check vavle from closing and if the power goes out, all your tank water goes out with it.
Since you don't plan on using live rock, what is your plan for filtration?
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:41 AM   #8
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...... I am planning to install a 3/4" drain high on each side with bulk heads connected to pvc pipeing in the wall down through my subfloor downstairs into a sump(old 75 gallon scratched up and drilled 100 times into tank) that will hold refugium, skimmer, etc... ...... Keep in mind my sump could hold live rock or whatever I may need to support further bio. Thanks, Revango

lr in the sump
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Old 09-01-2008, 01:46 PM   #9
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Thank you everone, you've all brought up some valid points. I appreciate it!!!
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