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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've had my little fry room set up and running in my basement for the last year. I enjoy it down there, but I'm a bit sick of sponge filters, air lines and pumps, and heaters everywhere so I'm wanting to clean it up a bit. I'm wanting to run all my aquariums off of one sump with one large heater. This is what I'm thinking:



My question is what Pump would I need? What flow rate would I need for all 6 aquariums? Would I need two pumps with separate returns for the top and bottom tanks? Also, would I just use ball valves on the returns to regulate the water flow to keep the sump water level correct and constant? And, would a 75 gallon sump be large enough? I don't have much sump experience so sorry about the questions.

Thanks in advance for your help!
 
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The only problem I see this might just be the diagram, but if you turned off the valve on the far right the water flow would stop to the tanks to the left. For the return pump I would either use two pumps or you could get one large pond pump.
 

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I run a single sump for two tanks, one above the other. Rather than as you've designed, I took one line up to a height higher than the top tank, and then tee'd them off to each. Otherswise, the water is going to tend to want to just take the easiest path to your 40's.

Yes, valve each return, so you can adjust flow to each. Getting the right size pump will be key in making this work well. Take the total, say 170 gallons, assuming the sump will be running with about 50. I'd look for a pump that'll push 1000-1200 gph at 7' hear or whatever the height the main return line goes to. If the pump is at the low end of that range, then I'd bump up to the next one because you can always throttle it back with a valve or tee that goes back to the sump. Consider external durso's for your overflows, as they'll be quieter. I'm assuming from your drawing that the backs of the tanks will be drilled.

Look at the Supreme Mag Drives here. Scroll down to the high efficiency pro 1600. It'll push 1250 gph at 7' head. And it's only 120 watts. If you may add tanks and wanted to oversize, the next one's only $18 more. Your decision really.

As said in the previous post, move your valves to the vertical line.

Last thought. I know a lot of the big box stores like the PetSmart's and similar run central systems. You might see if you can ask whoever manages that if you can take a behind the scenes peek at their system and how it's set up.

Cool project, so I'll be following this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow thanks guys! Yeah, I was hoping nobody would notice the valves not on the vertical lines... I'm no graphic design pro, so I used "Paint" on my lunch break to quickly draw this up and I ran out of room for the ball valves so I fudged the diagrams a bit.

I've thought about the mag drives, but I had not seen the "high efficiency" line. Are they internal or external pumps, because I'm thinking I should use an internal. Thats a great idea about running the return line up to the highest point first, and then running it back down into the tanks, it makes sense.

Yes, the I will be drilling my tanks. Should I use some vinyl tubing on the vertical return lines to allow for a bit of wiggle room for the aquariums, or just go straight pvc? I'm thinking the flexibility of the vinyl might not place so much stress on the drilled aquariums.

Anyhow, thanks for the advice so far, and I'll be sure to post pics as I move through my project.
 

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Or what you could do is get a couple of pumps that salt water aquairists use, check out Iwaki brand pumps. They get kinda pricey so be sure to shop around if you decide to get one of these, and also there are two kind of different of Iwakis, one is made in america and is louder, and the other is built in Japan with tighter tolerences with the ceramic shaft and bearings that are in there and is, from what I saw, a lot quiter than the american built Iwaki. I don't know how important noise is to you as this a fry set-up, just though id put it out there.

Here is an Iwaki that has 2000 GPH @ 4', but I'm sure 3 more feet wouldn't really hinder the output of this thing. I've seen some pumps that pump at about 4000gph, but those are lots of $$$$.

http://www.aquacave.com/iwaki-md-100rlt ... r-726.html

Here's the link for the page I found it on: http://www.aquacave.com/SearchResult.as ... goryID=230

Happy hunting!
 

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Are they internal or external pumps, because I'm thinking I should use an internal.
I have the regular mag24's and they can be used either internally or externally. Not sure about the high efficiency ones, but a quick call to them can answer that.

Should I use some vinyl tubing on the vertical return lines to allow for a bit of wiggle room for the aquariums, or just go straight pvc? I'm thinking the flexibility of the vinyl might not place so much stress on the drilled aquariums.
I used flex pvc. You can find it locally, but I got mine online. This is a great site for all kinds of pvc stuff. I do like allowing the wiggle room, but even regular pvc will move, so I'm not sure it's a real concern. I just found the flex easier to work with and like making the sweeping bends with it where needed instead of working out exact T placements, etc.

I didn't like using the hose as I did in one setup because the barbed fittings reduce the ID at those points. Watch out for valves also, as some really constrict the flow more than others. Unions, same thing. I did a lot of comparison and some things are cheaper at like the Lowe's etc and some are cheaper online, even with shipping.

And don't feel bad about your drawing. Mine wasn't great either, but got the idea across.


I had originally put the valves on the drains per the 'Herbie method', but changed it up and now have them on the inner two returns that feed the bottom tank. Without closing those valves a bit literally all of the water went to the bottom tank totally never reaching the returns for the other tank. Water will surprise you. It'll take the easiest path. Be ready to make changes if the original plan needs to be tweaked. I did four of these systems. I got the first one up and running and modified as needed by changing the valves, then just followed that with the other three.
 

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csnake said:
I've thought about the mag drives, but I had not seen the "high efficiency" line. Are they internal or external pumps, because I'm thinking I should use an internal. Thats a great idea about running the return line up to the highest point first, and then running it back down into the tanks, it makes sense.
Don't spend any more money on a high efficiency pump if you are using a heater anyway. Some people think high efficiency pumps are always better, but if you have to turn around and run a bigger heater to keep the tank warm then high efficiency is a waste of money. Now if you have a heated fish room, then certainly high efficiency would be a wise choice as you have more efficient ways of heating the room/water.

I would recommend buying the pump that meets the needs for your set-up and is a decent price.

You want to think about layout of the bulkheads and the return jets to get circulation across each of the tanks.

For your sump sizing - it comes down to the surface area of all the tanks in your system. If you have a bunch of skinny/tall tanks then you don't need as big a sump, but the larger the surface area, the bigger it needs to be to accomodate water level changes when the pump shuts off. If the surface area of your tanks is twice as large as the surface area of your sump, then a 1" drop in level in your tanks is 2" increase in level of your sump. If it is 3 times larger, then 1" inch drop = 3" rise in water level - hopefully this makes sense. You may also have to account for the water in the piping, but if you system is simple then it can be ignored. So your sump question really comes down to how you want to run your sump - if you can manage larger swings in level, then you can go with a smaller sump. With a sump system like this, your level change due to evaporation shows entirely in the sump - so you need to plan for that as well.

Hopefully my rambling here is helpful...
 

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Something else to consider. My mag 24's add too much heat to my water. The worst time is during change of season when it's getting warm out, but not warm enough for AC. In the winter I just close off heat vents and the tanks stay at 78 or so with no heater at all. In the summer, those same tanks are always in the 80's. The regular mags add a lot of heat. If I had to do over, I'd have gone with the high efficiency. I may actually be forced to change them out at some point.
 

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I am running a Danner Hy-Drive 3200 pump in one of our sumps. If you decide to use one make sure to allow for its size as they are a bit larger than the magdrives. We swapped out a mag18 and a mag7 for this one and the tank lost a degree or so of temp so it runs a bit cooler than the other two combined. Also you need to run at least a 1-1/2"Ø return manfold plumbing back to the tanks and tee off that with whatever diameter you use for your returns or spraybars.

We have ours submerged, I believe it helps in quieting down the pump noise. We got it at Aquatic Technology, the same link posted above in the second post.
 
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