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So as I'm pondering about my new tank at 2:20 am I really hope that I just came up with a solution to my problem. I'll be honest, this is not a cichlid tank. It is my first saltwater tank lol. A 20 long that I recently converted from fresh to salt. It is still being cycled. I have 10.4 lbs of live rock and 4 lbs of dry rock in the display. So far I have no filtration besides the LR but I am going to transfer my Eheim Ecco pro 2236 canister from one of my other tanks that is already well filtered to this. In addition to this I have an extra 10 gallon tank that I want to convert to a sump for this tank. It would be very nice to have considering I will probably add corals in the future once I save up some extra cash for good lighting. Anyway... The tank is NOT drilled. I am wondering if I can just put the return pump from my canister into my DIY sump and then just have the additional return pump in the sump that will put the water back in my tank? Would I have to get a return pump with the same flow rate as my canister? If so I will probably ditch the idea but if not I will be one happy lad. I always appreciate your guy's replies and I'm sure some of you have salt water systems- the reason for my post here.
 

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You won't be able to balance the flow rates, if you don't want to drill your main tank, you could always drill the 10g and install it above the main tank, let nature take it's course after pumping water from the display to the "sump". Good luck and enjoy your trip to the salt side...
 

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What you are suggesting is impossible to achieve. Even if you do manage to get the canister and return pump at the EXACT same flow rate it will never same the same. As the canister get clogged the flow rate will slow down and then you will end up running the sump dry and possibly overflowing your display tank. The only way to run canister and sump together is to install them both separately from the display tank OR have the canister running directly out of the sump (out of the sump and back into the sump). It is also conceivable to use a canister as the return pump (pulling out of the sump and discharging into the display tank) but most canister filters won't work properly with that setup because you end up with significant head loss and canisters pumps aren't designed for that.
 

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No it can't work because not only balancing issues but your return lower than your intake means you will just shoot all the water out of the tank at lightening speed anyways so using the pump in that direction is kinda silly. That doesn't mean you can't put some kind of unpowered gravity feed through a canister though. But you have to either drill tank or get one of those HOB suction thingies for a gravity feed to work.

Sump tank above main tank so you don't have to drill a precious large tank is just brilliant. I may have to try that some time.
 

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Cyphro said:
Sump tank above main tank so you don't have to drill a precious large tank is just brilliant. I may have to try that some time.
Then you need a pump in your display tank. Its also likely you'll need to put the "sump" on the floor above your display tank because where else are you going to put it? Can't put it directly on top of the display tank because then you can't get in the display tank for cleaning/feeding, plus it won't be hidden. You'll probably find it becomes more complicated to have a sump above the display tank.
 
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