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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After way to much thought and research I've finally started my idea for a long good looking cinder block stand to support two 75 gallon tanks.
I need to do it it small steps because I have the first tank already set-up but in the wrong place blocking where part of my stand needs to be. I'm going to make two stands butting up to each other then skin the front to look like one big stand. I think I've figured out most of the details of the stand construction only thing I'm not sure of is if I want to run both tanks into one sump to make filtering better and easier? Just worried about flooding house if overflow get blocked by something.
I think the stand should be able to hold the weight easy, it is four cinder blocks high with a 4x4 box frame attached to a 3/4" piece of plywood. I took out carpet strip and padding under stand, so blocks sit carpet then concrete slab under that.
Here is some pics I will keep it updated as I go. Any ideas on the sump would be great you can see I will have two big spots under stand to put one.



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
D-007 Between the top of the blocks and 4x4 is a piece of the carpet padding that I took out from under the carpet. I have a nice long four day weekend coming up so I'm hopefully going to get the first tank transfered over on new stand and I will take some more pics from front and the side.

I like the sump idea in that thread it looks like it would work good. What I'm not sure of is what size overflows or pvc is needed to get the whole thing to work properly. I like a lot of water movement in the tank and wonder if I should get one big pump and split to both tanks or two smaller pumps, so both tanks have their own pump. :-? :? :-?
 

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One sump can serve many tanks. If there are two or more sumps in a system, they have to be connected so the one getting an over-share of the return water can divert some to the other sump.
 

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Inch and a half is the norm. A flexible ribbed tubing is better than rigid because it gives, greatly reducing the noise generated by the water running inside it. Rigid pipe especially when perfectly vertical can produce a perfect imitation of the sound of a constantly flushing toilet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mcdaphnia said:
Inch and a half is the norm. A flexible ribbed tubing is better than rigid because it gives, greatly reducing the noise generated by the water running inside it. Rigid pipe especially when perfectly vertical can produce a perfect imitation of the sound of a constantly flushing toilet.
Can you please clarify this a little more?

So I would go 3/4 in the tank for the overflow then when do I switch to 1 1/2?

And for the return I use whatever size outlet the pump has either 3/4 or 1"?

Then when I have two tanks on same pump I just T the line and put a ball valve on each return to dial in correct flow to each tank?

Does this sound right? Plus how do You terminate your return pipe back into tank, use bushing on pvc to create more pressure, crimp pipe, or just let it free flow out of 90 or 45?

Thanks for the help. :thumb:
 

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Steak Taco said:
Can you please clarify this a little more?
The overflow pipe from the bulkhead if drilled, or from the overflow box is gravity fed, so a large diameter pipe is needed. 1 1/2" is what you see on most commercial units and larger is probably not needed even on larger pumps than the average system uses. Flexible tubing also makes it much easier to service the sump and media since nothing has to be disconnected, you just move aside the lid the hose is attached to.

Steak Taco said:
So I would go 3/4 in the tank for the overflow then when do I switch to 1 1/2?
1 1/2 from the overflow box to the sump. or if you decide to drill the tank, from the bulkhead.

Steak Taco said:
And for the return I use whatever size outlet the pump has either 3/4 or 1"?
That is what I do except for systems with a lot of head or long runs. Then I use an adapter to go to larger pipe, cutting down on friction.

Steak Taco said:
Then when I have two tanks on same pump I just T the line and put a ball valve on each return to dial in correct flow to each tank?
You should need a gate or ball valve only on the line to the "closer" tank. Closer from the tee in the sense that there is less pipe and fewer fittings than to the other tank. This is one of those setings that drift as filter media becomes more clogged etc. so you hve to tweak it once in a while.

Steak Taco said:
Does this sound right? Plus how do You terminate your return pipe back into tank, use bushing on pvc to create more pressure, crimp pipe, or just let it free flow out of 90 or 45?

Thanks for the help. :thumb:
You can do any of those, or add a spray bar or add the gooseneck returns that let you adjust direction with a touch, or if you are a packrat and save all those extra fittings from every powerhead you've ever bought, sift through that pile of hobby junk and find something that will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here are some new pics. Moved the first tank on the first stand without a problem. Took the cheap particle board stand back to store and picked up the other tank and a 29 gallon for the sump. Not sure exactly how I want to do plumbing for that yet. Going to paint new tank tomorrow and hopefully place an order for a pump if I can decide on what to order.





 

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dogofwar said:
Why not eliminate a stack of blocks and have both stands share the center stack?
He could have, but not that simply since he had a tank set up he didn't want to move until the first tank was operating. Since the block are dry set not mortared, a load on one side could remotely buckle the stack. Frankly I know many people who just set up block, and maybe set some foam on it. They don't bother with plywood or rails for the shelving. I'm sure they would have taken the slight risk in stride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I figure for the small cost of the blocks and wood why not just play it safe and make it worry free. I feel very comfortable that those tanks on those stands.

For the filtration I'm going to play it extra safe also. Ordered up a mag drive 18 yesterday and bought a bunch of pot scrubbers. Planning on doing tannable's sump idea :thumb: with the 5 gallon bucket and 29 gallon tank. For the overflow I'm going to run dual 1" pvc in both tanks to cover my butt so I have an extra in each tank if one happens to fail for any reason. Found some very good pictures on Bluekiller82's thread. :thumb: Once I get all the plumbing dialed in I will start on covering front with wood and some doors.
 

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Steak Taco said:
I figure for the small cost of the blocks and wood why not just play it safe and make it worry free. I feel very comfortable that those tanks on those stands.

For the filtration I'm going to play it extra safe also. Ordered up a mag drive 18 yesterday and bought a bunch of pot scrubbers. Planning on doing tannable's sump idea :thumb: with the 5 gallon bucket and 29 gallon tank. For the overflow I'm going to run dual 1" pvc in both tanks to cover my butt so I have an extra in each tank if one happens to fail for any reason. Found some very good pictures on Bluekiller82's thread. :thumb: Once I get all the plumbing dialed in I will start on covering front with wood and some doors.
Playing it safe makes sense. I helped tear down a club member's fish room who retired and was moving about 1000 mi. south. Everything was on cement blocks, no boards, no plywood, no styrofoam on most of the tanks. One 90 had a sheet of plywood under it, but it had one stack of blocks on the left side, one stack in the middle of the tank, and the plywood on the right side of the tank with only air underneath. The plywood was not really holding anything up since in the 20+ years the tank had been set up with 6"+ of gravel in it, the plywood had sagged about an inch.

Today's tanks are not like those so you are wise to play it safe. Super heavy tanks, no bracing since the glass was so thick the tanks didn't bow detectably when full. It was a bear carrying those tanks up the narrow obstacle rich basement stairs, and each tank seemed to have about 50# of muddy gravel and water that was missed, and it all sloshed down to the end I was carrying.

However playing it safe can backfire if you don't take some things in to account. A Mag 18 is water cooled, and it will raise the water temperature. A Mag 18 bumped up my 250 gallon tank about 10 degrees, but the bottom, back and sides were insulated with 2" styrofoam. Putting in extra overflows may backfire since slow running overflows tend to fail. Air that would have been pushed out of the "U" builds up and breaks the siphon.

I am not keen on the 5 gallon bucket. It loses space that could have held more media. Weight is concentrated on two points on the sump walls. It might be more difficult to maintain, unless you can come up with some ingenious workarounds to deal with the apparent inaccessibility of the media in the bucket. Milk bottle crates seem a better solution and are in the same price range as the bucket.
 

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Since there's a tank set up on it already, it probably makes sense to make two separate stands.

Having both tanks share a center stack of blocks isn't risky at all, especially with the plywood supports that you have set up.

What's going to fail? the blocks? Not even remotely likely.

My fishroom stands are constructed of 6" cinder blocks, two by wood, and 1/2" foam. I go three levels high and 4-6' between supports. I've never had any issues with stability (either with the current fish room or the room in my previous house that was set up for several years.
 

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I am currently "messing" with the diy sump on my 180. The first rendition has two 1 1/2" diy overflows, I'll get a pic. and an overflow with skimmer in the middle of the tank. All 3 come together into a 3" pipe. my mag 18 was too much for this configuration so it is running with a mag5 right now. the skimmer has enough flow so it doesn't have bubble build up but the 2 diy overflows have one aqua lifter for the both of them. The lifter is on the left of the tank but that isn't a problem because air is easier to pump than water so if one side gets bubbles it sucks the bubbles out and then water from both again. And by too much i mean the water was almost missing the 25 gallon tank in my stand. If i re-rought the plumbing it should be good.

-matt
 

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thanks for the write up and great pics steak-taco' , im planning on building a fishroom in a while and now i will deff' have cinder block stands :thumb:
cant wait till i have more space to start building :fish: :fish: :fish:
 

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dogofwar said:
....

What's going to fail? the blocks? Not even remotely likely.
...
Actually a dry stacked block wall will commonly fail if the load is placed on one edge. The seams on the unsupported side will open, creating a curve in the wall and the least disturbance can cause the wall to collapse. Wedging some rebar in the holes or cutting a 2 by 4 down the fit snugly in the holes will prevent this.
 

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I'd love to see pics or some other verification that what you describe has actually happened to anyone's cinder block stand.

Mcdaphnia said:
dogofwar said:
....

What's going to fail? the blocks? Not even remotely likely.
...
Actually a dry stacked block wall will commonly fail if the load is placed on one edge. The seams on the unsupported side will open, creating a curve in the wall and the least disturbance can cause the wall to collapse. Wedging some rebar in the holes or cutting a 2 by 4 down the fit snugly in the holes will prevent this.
 

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dogofwar said:
I'd love to see pics or some other verification that what you describe has actually happened to anyone's cinder block stand.
dogofwar said:
....

What's going to fail? the blocks? Not even remotely likely.
...
Mcdaphnia said:
Actually a dry stacked block wall will commonly fail if the load is placed on one edge. The seams on the unsupported side will open, creating a curve in the wall and the least disturbance can cause the wall to collapse. Wedging some rebar in the holes or cutting a 2 by 4 down the fit snugly in the holes will prevent this.
I'm pretty sure common sense would have so far protected most people except dogofwar from putting the tank weight on an extreme edge. Obviously no one could be quick enough to do photos of a sudden collapse, just before and after shots which would not show much. But if you want to donate a tank to the demo, dogofwar, I can do the video. Or do we have any volunteers??
 
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