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Old 11-27-2013, 09:31 AM   #1
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Lightbulb plumbing question

Hi guys i'm new to this forum and i was planning on doing a DIY project, i have a question about plumbing.. i was thinking of going for a system like this (not on scale) with pvc pipes and the intakes will be covered with something that looks like a "tea infuser" so no fish or big debris fall through and clog up the piping.. the reason why i want my filter intakes to be on the bottom is because fish waste slowly falls down and i figured if i had multiple openings on the bottom i could possibly catch some of it before it touches the floor of the aquarium..


Now my question is:

is there a way of doing the same thing without that weird overflow method?

because i'd rather have those intakes go directly into my sump.. but i'm afraid of overflowing it and creating a swimming pool of my living room.

some details of the aquarium..
Length = 27 inches (68 cm)
Width = 27 inches (68 cm)
Height = 27 inches (68 cm)
Gallons = 82 (314 Liters)
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Old 11-27-2013, 11:07 AM   #2
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This design is an accident waiting to happen. I would not have drains to sump in the bottom of the tank. If a power outage was to happen, the entire tank would drain out.
Is this a salt water tank? If so, the return will make lots of bubbles in the display as well as throwing salt everywhere. You will ruin the walls and everything else close to the tank.

Adequate flow in the tank is how you keep detritus suspended long enough for it to be removed by a surface overflow.
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_X View Post
This design is an accident waiting to happen. I would not have drains to sump in the bottom of the tank. If a power outage was to happen, the entire tank would drain out.
Is this a salt water tank? If so, the return will make lots of bubbles in the display as well as throwing salt everywhere. You will ruin the walls and everything else close to the tank.

Adequate flow in the tank is how you keep detritus suspended long enough for it to be removed by a surface overflow.
agree !00%. not to mention that without some form of drain flow control, you would have to perfectly match the return pump flowrate (including whatever headloss) to match the drains.... and that too is a huge headache waiting to happen. if for instance one drain clogs up, your return pump will empty the sump into the tank. i absolutely LOVE the idea of a waterfall over a tank, however its just not really feasible in an aaquarium environment. (maybe for an outside pond). not to mention the evap loss on this tank would be rediculous.
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:32 AM   #4
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Am I missing something or does the "overflow" part of your diagram take care of the water not being drained from the tank in a power outage? Not sure if previous posters missed that or I'm reading the mechanics of that set up wrong..

However I do think there's better ways to do this. With a tea strainer type mesh the intake is going to clog far too fast, and an overflow is a better way to go. If you were going to drill the tank for water flow downwards, you may as well go with a proven method of drilling an overflow type.

Is your waterfall-type return for aesthetics or aeration?
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:41 AM   #5
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The weight of the water in the tank would push a majority of water into the drain and further to the sump in a power outage
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Old 11-28-2013, 11:52 AM   #6
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I was referring to the overflow, or lack of. Draining the tank from the bottom directly into the sump will drain it empty. As long as the overflow box in the picture is open topped, it will not create a siphon and drain the tank the way it is in the picture.
Still, to have 3 bulkheads at the very bottom of the tank is very dangerous. If you develop a leak, your tank will need to be emptied completely in order to fix it.
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:01 PM   #7
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As long as the bottom drains are connected to a standpipe above the water line (the overflow) then in the event of a power outage you should be fine. I agree with the other poster in that the bottom drains can become clogged and eventual over flow can occur. Adding a drain on the side slightly above the water line should provide good insurance in case the bottom drains become clogged.

Your overflow can consist of a vertical pipe leading to a T connector (picture the letter "T" turned sideways if that makes sense). The midpoint of the T should be equivalent to the desired water level. A 90 degree turn would be fitted to the part of the pointing sideways and that would lead to your sump.

If you could create a scaled down model it may help with design considerations.

Regarding the bottom drains, I have seen this design in aquaculture setups where intact waste is drawn from the bottom via gravity flow from a substrate-less tank into a settling tank (that is typically drained daily). Not very aesthetic but good for solid waste removal.
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Old 11-28-2013, 01:45 PM   #8
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The water pressure in the tank will not force through, according to that diagram. The water will stop once it is level in the tank and overflow.

Agree with mrX, no syphon, no way.

You could add I/O valves on the outlets to stop flow from tank and a secondary drain tap to allow debris to be cleared from the bottom pipe.

An emergency bypass is always a good idea!
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