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Old 12-20-2011, 07:25 AM   #1
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multiple tanks, 1 sump

I have 5 30 gallon tanks all have 2 dividers making them 3 10 gallon compartments each.
I want to set it all up to a 20 gallon? Sump with some sort of DIY filter system. I am thinking of a submersible pond fountain pump? 300 gph?. The tanks are out of a Walmart display and are all pre drilled with some fixtures. I have never undertook something this
large, could you give me some advice?

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This will be setup will be in the basement, so noise and mess is not a huge concern, I need some ideas on the Sump/plumbing aspect. Thank you
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Old 12-20-2011, 07:30 AM   #2
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And also will compact florescent bulbs with fixtures built in to the new shelving unit be a hood idea? I'm thinking about 1 bulb above every 10 gallon compartment with a glass jar around it protecting it, the whole system will be on its own gfci but I want to protect the bulbs because they are expensive, will this be too much?
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:36 AM   #3
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Cool find! I am interested in what you find out. I have been thinking on something like this for my numerous small tanks.

The GFCI is a great idea. Any time you have water and electricity together, well, thats a bad thing. The GFCI will help protect you, your house and your fish from a possible injury.

As for the lighting, you can go any number of ways. You can use a single bulb over each compartment or you could use a longer set of lights covering the whole length. It would mostly depend on what you plan to do with the individual sections. I dont think I would use a jar though. I think a glass or acrylic sheet between the light and the water would suffice. A jar would trap any heat from the bulb, or worse- it could trap water that condensed or splashed into it.

For the plumbing, may I suggest a visit to your local lfs and see how they have theirs set up?

The biggest problem with a setup like this with a single sump is that an issue with one tank will quickly spread to the other tanks that use that same sump. I would definately keep one part away from the others as a quarantine tank to prevent any diseases from a new purchase or a sick fish from getting a foothold in your entire system.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:42 AM   #4
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Thank you, great idea with the sheet of glass instead of jars, I'm thinking of a uv filter on the return from sump to manifold then to tank as the last line of defense for disease, but a seperate system all together at the ready with just s standard hang on back filter for quarentine and new purchase
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:47 AM   #5
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Those tanks look armor bigger than 30g are you sure they look like 50g tanks. Very cool though what are you going to raise
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:13 PM   #6
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I am pretty sure they are 30, although I have not measured, I will when I get home. I came across these on Craigslist, I traded 1 55 gallon tank for all of these, figured it was too cool to pass up, I think I'm eventually going to raise and try to breed some clowns and cardnial fish and maybe get more "exotic" from there, the largest system I have had is a 55 gallon, so I have a lot of learning and research to do
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:28 PM   #7
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Personally I would advise you to use something larger than a 20 gallon tank for a sump. If you are headed in the direction of saltwater and have the space ability, I would use a rubbermaid tub that has a total volume equal to twice the volume of all the tanks you are combining. A 20 gal tank on that large of a system will require one or more top-offs per day or an auto top off that will have to work constantly. Additionally, the reason for a sump is to have the ability to hide all required hardware rather than having it in the DT. You'll not be able to fit large enough heaters, protein skimmer, etc into a 20gal sump IMO for all that DT water volume.
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:15 PM   #8
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Would I need a sump? Could I somehow just use a filter?
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:48 PM   #9
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For that many tanks a sump is a must with a large protein skimmer
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:02 PM   #10
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They are 33g tanks which is what Walmart uses.
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