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Old 12-14-2014, 04:16 PM   #1
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Repurposing SW for FW? (Overflow question)

I'm looking at tanks on Craigslist and keep finding beautiful, well priced acrylic tanks with built in overflows. Some say pre drilled.

I've done some reading and think I understand the concept of the overflow. I'm learning a bit about sumps too.

How might I use these for planted freshwater tanks? Would I have to use a sump?

My knowledge of equipment is so-so, so if anyone has links for more to read then thank you. I've had a 29 gallon with a HOB for 9 months, a 3 with an internal for a year, and I understand canister filters. Sumps I still don't entirely understand.

The attraction is that I keep seeing 50-75 gallon acrylic tanks with stands and canopies for about $150-200.


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Old 12-14-2014, 04:50 PM   #2
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And wow ... The DIY sump info out there is overwhelming!!


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Old 12-14-2014, 05:49 PM   #3
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If you don't want to use the overflow, you can always connect a ball valve or threaded plug (assuming the plumbing has a threaded female connector) on the outside end of the bulkhead fitting (where the drain hole is).
Though the sump is not necessary, there are benefits to using one. Along with providing additional volume and filter media to the system, a sump will allow you to place things such as heaters, thermometers, and CO2 reactors out of sight of the display tank.
If you choose to use the overflow and sump, you should take measures to minimize CO2 loss in case you are injecting CO2. Not much you can do about the overflow and downspout. But in the body of the sump avoid the use of trickle media (bio balls, etc) ABOVE the water line. Sponges, IMO are ideal over media with excessive void space when used above the water line. You can have bio media in the sump, just keep it submerged.


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Old 12-17-2014, 01:34 AM   #4
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Think I could do something with this to make a filter inside the end?



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Old 12-17-2014, 02:19 AM   #5
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Looks pretty much like a Fluval Spec V, so I'm sure you could rig something up. After all, all you really need for a filter to work is water flow through a sponge.

And I've said this before on other posts like this but I think I'll keep saying it--I had a very successful FW setup in a drilled 58ish gallon tank that was repurposed from saltwater where I used the sump filter and everything pretty much unmodified. My only warning would be that since, in general, freshwater fish are smaller than saltwater fish, a lot of them are able to fit through the cuts on the overflow (if you go with that design anyway), especially top-dwelling fish. I had to fish the zebra danios out a few times a week it seemed like when I had them.
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Old 12-17-2014, 07:52 AM   #6
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I was thinking the same thing (Fluval). Looks like a good deal.
Same issue with the overflow and small fish...ended up cutting plastic gutter guard into a 1" strip and weaving/snaking it through the cutouts. I looked up in the attic and the old wet/dry filter and sump are still up there. Bought it back in '90 when wet/dry filters were all the rage.


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Old 12-17-2014, 11:45 PM   #7
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The guy actually has a few beautiful $25 5-6 gallon tanks I'm eyeing short term. Because the plants in my 3 gallon betta tank are outgrowing the space that tank has no filter currently and is thriving (almost too much) so any little thing I could do would be more than adequate I'm sure.

I sure like the idea of hiding all the mechanicals. I imagined using silicone and black embroidery mesh to minimize the cut outs.

I know nothing about all the plumbing but have some resources, when it comes to the big tank. As I learn more about sumps I'm eyeing DIY designs that most closely mimic this interesting new type of septic tank an Oregon company has invented, that reduce nitrates.


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Old 12-18-2014, 12:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trennamw View Post
As I learn more about sumps I'm eyeing DIY designs that most closely mimic this interesting new type of septic tank an Oregon company has invented, that reduce nitrates.

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Do tell. Not like I have some creepy fascination with septic tanks, but filtration designs always catch my eye.


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Old 12-19-2014, 11:26 PM   #9
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Do tell. Not like I have some creepy fascination with septic tanks, but filtration designs always catch my eye.


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Right? I think he was surprised how many questions I asked at Thanksgiving about these.

Here is one ... http://www.norweco.com/html/products...lair_green.htm.

It may not be as helpful as I initially thought. The big idea is that it switched from an anaerobic system to aerobic. Since septic systems hadn't really changed in over a century, it may be that these were inspired by fish tank filtering and not vice versa.

But maybe there are aspects that are relevant. I know very little about sumps.

Brings up a whole different topic of humanity's nitrate footprint.


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Old 12-19-2014, 11:31 PM   #10
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This one might be more relevant to the nitrate discussion.

http://www.norweco.com/html/products/TNT.htm



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