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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a used 180 gallon glass tank for my growing African cichlids with the nominal dimensions 6’ x 2’ x 2’. It has one overflow box with two holes on the left bottom side.

With the tank being 6’ long and with only one intake location from a sump, I have a concern about water stagnation and dead zones on the right side, especially with the large rocks and caves planned for African cichlids, the water flow could be easily blocked.

I have a few options which have their pros and cons. Ideally I would like everything to look very clean, be cheap, and quick/easy to implement.

1)Purchase a canister filter for the right side of the tank: Fluval 404 or FX5 or similar. The intake and output tubes will make the tank look messy and I don’t know if a Fluval 404 would be enough. A used canister filter will run upwards of $80, $150 + for a used FX5.

2)Install a HOB overflow box. I am not exactly familiar with how these work. They look like the suction could be broken very easily if the power goes out or the water level changes.

3)Bring the tank to a LFS and have them drill the right side and install an overflow box. I do not have a vehicle capable to transport the 6’ long tank, and it weighs 340 lbs so I would still need some help. I have no idea how mow much a LFS would charge for installation.

What are your experiences? What would be the best way to prevent water stagnation and dead zones in my tank?
 

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What size holes are drilled in the tank.

If they are for 1-1/2"Ø or 2"Ø bulkheads you would be surprised how much you could flow thru them. You might not need worry about dead zones.
 

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3 sounds like way too much work if you ask me.

2 hob overflows are fine. They hold a vacuum if the power goes out just fine. Just priming them and getting all the bubbles out can be a pain.

I would go with 1 though. FX5's are great and it is the easiest to get going.
 

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Consider adding a powerhead at the other end. You could also split the return portion when you set up the tank, so the water returning to the tank can be forced in two directions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
tankhead said:
You could also split the return portion when you set up the tank, so the water returning to the tank can be forced in two directions.
That is what I was going to do, have two spray-bars. But it would be nicer to have two inlets and two outlets
 

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teh sukc said:
tankhead said:
You could also split the return portion when you set up the tank, so the water returning to the tank can be forced in two directions.
That is what I was going to do, have two spray-bars. But it would be nicer to have two inlets and two outlets
I'd take a long look at splitting your outlets, and aiming both of them back towards the inlet. This will go a long way towards giving you good overall circulation.

Then after you have laid out your rock formations, look again, you may need to adjust the placement of the outlets-or hide a power head in the rock work.

With an appropriate sized pump (and holes), you should be able to move plenty of water.
 

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You can also set up a under gravel jet system to eliminate any dead zones & help push any dirt to your overflow. Search this forum theres several good plans on how to make them.
 

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teh sukc said:
>snip< what I was going to do, have two spray-bars. But it would be nicer to have two inlets and two outlets
Instead of two spray bars use one and the other a loc line with a wye attachment pointed downward so you can "stir" up the lower portion of the water column.
 

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teh sukc said:
Ideally I would like everything to look very clean, be cheap, and quick/easy to implement.
This a just a suggestion geared towards keeping it simple & clean. Utilize your existing over flow & maintain a sump (not wet/dry) becasue the evaporation rate will be quick. Then add a canister to the other side & hide the intake with decor. Pros: it's cheap, quick, easy and you get the benefits a one primary bioical filter & one primary mechanical filter. Cons: initially it will be difficult to determine thein appropriate water level.

What I would do and this is not quick, but the final look will be very clean & give the tank the circulation you're looking for. First plug the current overflow & remove. Get the tank drilled in the center with one drain & two returns. Design the overflow to be narrow & long ideally centered in the back of the tank. I would drill the holes in this order from left to right; return, drain & return. This would allow one pump returning to two outputs. Pros: gives the tank very good surface change over from the center drain. Very clean & easy to maintain, with a large enough sump it could take 20 days before a top off is necessary and an excellent biological filter. Cons: time, money and single filter type.

To keep it real simple. Plug the holes, remove the over flow & add two canisters.
 
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