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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a large, drilled, acrylic turtle tank, 8 feet long, 3 feet wide, with 12" of water. That comes out to about 180 gallons of water I believe. I use a wet/dry filter with a sump. Pump is moving 1,200gph total. I have a return and overflow in each back corner. Was thinking of putting both overflows together in one corner and combine both returns into the opposite corner to get more flow in one direction. Appreciate any opinions on this. Thanks.
 

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You could try it and see what happens.

One problem I can foresee is that the return lines are smaller than the drain pipe so you might have to finagle to get the second standpipe to work right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I already have two standpipes and two returns. One of each in both back corners. Guess I was thinking that having a return and overflow in the same corner just recycled already filtered water. My solution was to have the return(s) in one corner and the overflows in the opposite corner. I am experimenting with running all the return from one corner but am getting dead spots where bubbles, junk collect. Maybe it is better to have a return and overflow on each back corner. Has anyone else tried other return/overflow configurations that work very well?
 

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I figured that you had 2 standpipes and 2 returns. But the return lines are most likely smaller diameter piping therefore they use a smaller bulkhead on the tank. So attaching a bigger pipe to a small bulkhead is the problem I was talking about. The bigger pipe would flow fast and then bottleneck at the bulkhead causing the flow to slow down.

To get rid of the dead spots you can add powerheads in those areas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wouldn't need to change the bulkhead on the return. The pump will just move more water per second through the smaller return line.
 

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Are you talking about removing the standpipe from one corner and removing the return pipe from the other corner and swapping them to the other overflow so that both drain pipes are in the same overflow and both returns are in the other one?

The answer is either yes or no. If it is no then explain what you mean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. The two standpipes (overflows) would be together, side-by-side in one corner. The return(s) would be together in the opposite corner.
 

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Okay then what I am saying is that the second drain pipe that you added next to the other one would be using the bulkhead from the return pipe which is most likely smaller than the one you took the stand pipe off of. At least on my 210 gallon 7'x2'x2' anyway. My drains are 1.5" and my returns are 3/4". So if I wanted to move both drains to one overflow and the returns to the other I would have to get a reducer for the stand pipe from 1.5" to 3/4". 1.5" pipe dropping to 3/4" would slow the flow rate significantly.

What you can consider doing is putting it back the way it originally was and make it so that one of the returns sprays along the back wall of the tank. Then make the other return so it sprays toward the front of the tank and add some powerheads on this side pointing the other direction.

Regardless all the water is getting filtered even if you don't think so. There just might be detritus and other debris settling on the bottom because it cannot float up to the top of the overflow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I haven't changed anything yet. I experimented with the returns by capping one return so that only one was being used (with twice the output). Seemed to be some dead spots when I did that. I realize that if I want to combine the two overflows into the same corner, I will have to move the larger bulkhead with it, but I haven't done that yet.
 

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In order to move the larger bulkhead to the other side you will have to drill the tank to make the hole bigger which wouldn't be very easy.

Don't try to overcomplicate things. Try adding a powerhead or two to one side of the tank first. The added water movement will make it so more water from throughout the tank is being "filtered."
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I really appreciate your effort to help me. I feel I have not explained my situation very clearly. Sorry for the confusion. I have four holes in the tank, two on each side. They are ALL the same size. The hole size does not matter, the bulkheads for both the smaller return plumbing and the larger overflow standpipe will fit in the same size hole. I have mud and musk turtles in the tank so I don't wish to create a torrent of current. Perhaps in the back of my mind I was hoping to free up some real estate by doing this. I use a protective enclosure around the plumbing to keep the turtles and fish out. I wouldn't need that enclosure on the side with just a return, freeing up some space. Now that I have experimented with a single return (by capping off the other return temporarily), I realize that my rather large (24 sqft) tank will probably need both returns. So now my attention will turn to bringing the returns over the rim of the tank and having only a single standpipe in each corner. That will allow me to use a smaller protective enclosure around the overflow, giving me more room, or I should say, the turtles more room.

I would never go back to a canister because cleaning the filter media in the sump is a breeze compared to lugging a giant plastic, water-filled container outside to clean. Plus I have an automatic-topoff device that keeps my sump at the same level so I don't have to worry about leaving town for a while. A 24 sqft tank evaporates very fast.

Now to figure out how to secure the return plumbing outside the tank without having a nice bulkhead to secure it.
 

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Well if you wanted to you could completely close off all of the returns/drains and remove the overflow boxes altogether.

You could drill the back of the tank since it is acrylic and do something like this for the drains and then you can do the returns at one end of the tank but you would use a 90 instead of that T.



Just another suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's a pretty good idea. Nice drawing. I could get both the returns and overflows coming in from the back of the tank and gain back a lot of real estate. Thanks!
 

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IrkedCitizen said:
Well if you wanted to you could completely close off all of the returns/drains and remove the overflow boxes altogether.

You could drill the back of the tank since it is acrylic and do something like this for the drains and then you can do the returns at one end of the tank but you would use a 90 instead of that T.



Just another suggestion.
I like the overflow and drain all in one as illustrated, but would it be noisy? Also what about critters getting sucked into it? I was thinking about doing something similar but using an external Durso to keep it quiet.

How about extending the pipe up above the water line and then notching it like an overflow, or maybe adding gutter guard to the top? But, you still may have the noise issue.

I've seen them in pet stores where they just come straight through the back will with a bulk head and attach a strainer. You'd obviously need to drill through very close to the top. In other words, remove that inner elbow and extension and replace it with a strainer. Move it up as well. Add an air intake to the top of the external 'T'. Thoughts?
 

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That was just a rough sketch you would of course want to add gutter guard or some other type of device to keep the fish and other animals for getting sucked in.

The reason why I added the 90 and the piece of PVC is because depending on the size of the bulkhead you use it could bring your waterline down lower than desired. So by drilling lower and adding the 90 and PVC you gain back the waterline height.

He could flip 90 downward and build a little overflow box and have an external durso if he wanted to. But with the way I sketched it he wouldn't have to add a box which is his main concern of getting back space.

You would of course angle that T fitting so it isn't 100% vertical which will allow the water to drain down one side and the air to escape over the top. Which would remove the gurgling/flushing noise. I mean you can still add a cap and air valve if you want to but you can try it without first and if it is too loud then add the cap and air hole.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've got this vision which may be a technical nightmare, but it looks good in my mind. Have one end of the tank serve as the overflow, the entire width. There would be like a lip that the water falls over, almost like a water fall. My tank is 36" wide. So that lip would go the entire 36". The overflowing water would then be funneled down into the sump. A pump then returns the filtered water to the opposite end of the tank. It seems that there would be natural flow from the return side to the overflow side, easily dispatching of all surface sludge without the need for strong currents which some critters don't appreciate. If I built the lip inside my current tank, might be able to funnel it down to the drilled holes on that side, but that could get ugly, literally. Would prefer something more elegant but think I would have to build a test tank first.
 

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I did basically that for my in-wall tank. The top of the left side of the tank has the fingers for teh overflow. The box was then glued to the outside of the tank. This allowed me to make the tank just about as big as the wall location would allow without wasting space inside the tank.

Pics here:

http://www.rickysinger.com/58g_inwall_tank.htm
 
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