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Old 04-11-2014, 03:29 AM   #31
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The stack of tanks system does bring some issues. WC is made much more difficult if gravity doesn't have the chance to be helpful. Assuming that all the tanks are running on the same basic top up water you can just use a return pump and bucket for filling. For the floor tanks you could also use a small maxi flow filter that can be modified to attach a water polisher attached to some aquarium line (urajoey also has a vid about water polishers i think). Using this as a replacement gravel vac would work as well.

Something i have not tried is to buy a cheap brake bleeding kit. One of the ones with a hand pump could possibly be used to do spot gravel vacs. My fish tend to deposit the bulk of their excrement in one quarter of the tank so it might work for me. I have never owned a brake bleeding kit so i may be wrong about the potential as a gravity free gravel vac. Maybe i'll buy one and experiment one day.

A third option would be to host a dual refugium on the top level. Return pump in each low tiered tank and a gravity fed return from the refugium.

Now if the water is all able to be filtered in one hit the options are limitless. MY LFS keeps bettas in jars, but the jars have 2 air hoses. One drains a small amount of overflow water to a sump filter while the return line is situated above and just drips water from a holding tank at the top. I hate seeing the fish in small jars but at least they get their water filtered.

I think the trick with all things aquarium is to keep it simple so WC is not a BIG chore.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:28 AM   #32
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It only cost 12 bucks for a hydroponic drip system comes with everything you need. Then you just need a charcoal filter to remove your chlorine and other filter you may want and you good. 12 bucks each tank and one filter? If that's to much money I don't see how you can buy your fish to stock your tanks.

There are many ways to do it efficiently look at some breeder set ups.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:07 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Hobgob View Post
It only cost 12 bucks for a hydroponic drip system comes with everything you need. Then you just need a charcoal filter to remove your chlorine and other filter you may want and you good. 12 bucks each tank and one filter? If that's to much money I don't see how you can buy your fish to stock your tanks.

There are many ways to do it efficiently look at some breeder set ups.

This is a good method. BUT, I'd rather spend my money on my fish and get my hands wet first. The problem with automation is it can fail. Usually at the worst possible time. IMO, that's what separates the "old school of hard knocks experienced" from the "new school I Googled something" expert newbies.

We can ague that all day as it is, but in the end, that newbie rookie that spent three months on the web net has learned less than I have forgotten. Just my humble thoughts. Everybody has their own way and that's cool.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:40 PM   #34
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The cheapest way to suck water out of a bottom tank is a drill pump. You attach it to a cordless drill. They work, they work good.
You could use this method to get water in/out of the top tank. It is still manual.
You need silly filters or in tank types as you lose room for externals... There isn't much room to get your hands in any tank, unless they are not very high, so a complete DIY unit from the start.

By my experience, the space under the mid level tank is good for external filters and general stores. Plus you get a nice view of both tanks.

A rack of tanks running one type of water is easily done, look at the reef world!
Everybody is at it! Sump(bottom)/display(middle)/refugium(top)
old skool, tried and tested. They change water at sump level for evaporation, possibly even actual water changes too (all water loss occurs at the bottom pump area). Assuming the system is wired up this way? Most stores do a similar thing.

Say you want soft acid on the bottom, hard neutral in the middle and brackish up top? Automate that cheaply? One system for all water top ups? That quickly gets pricey. You can't cheaply build the water mixer/distributor device, if you did you'd be cutting corners on component price. If all of my fish were in the care of a machine, I wouldn't be putting cheap parts into the unit.


12 bucks is nothing, even in pounds sterling or whatever. I have dechlorinated water already, mixing it up is the issue, and then distribution at the correct parameters per tank, while removing X amount of water from different sized tanks. You'd have more plumbing than fish tanks! It would be like a reactor plant or something, miles and miles of pipe and mixing vats, pumps and switches! Whew, no thank you. Bucket and hose, I already own!
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