plumbing questions

vol_reefer

New member
Hi all,

Wondering if anyone with experience might be able to offer some plumbing advice. I'm going to be setting up our new "fish room" in the basement over the next few weeks, and am starting to think about the schematic design for the plumbing. The display tank will still be upstairs, but the basement room will contain the sump, chiller, skimmer, a frag tank or two, and a refugium, with other stuff added as room allows. The sump is a 100 gal Rubbermaid tub on the floor. The frag tanks and refigium will probably be set up on utility shelves.

The first-order question I'm wondering about is whether it's better to have the extra tanks (frag tanks and refugium) split off of the drain lines from the display tank, or to split them off the return line from the sump. I think I've seen it done both ways in tanks on RC. On the face of it, it seems like the drain line would make more sense because that keeps the full volume of the return line for water going back up to the display. If I put the extra tanks on a split off the return line, then whatever flow they take out of the return would just loop through those tanks and back into the sump. But I think I also remember reading that it's always a bad idea to put any kind of flow control on a drain line (lest it clog or back up), and I'm not sure I could put the extra tanks on the drain lines without some kind of flow control.

I've seen photos of manifolds that people have used for these kinds of applications - basically, a fat pipe with a bunch of T's coming off it for the different tanks. Are there rules of thumb to follow for using these (so I don't make any dumb mistakes)? I have two drain lines - if I split the extra tanks off of those lines, would I be better off having a separate manifold for each line or would it be safe enough to combine both into a single manifold?

I could also just run a separate pumped circuit out of the sump for the extra tanks (that's how my chiller and skimmer are currently fed in my tank stand), but that seems like needlessly adding an extra pump and the associated heat.

If anyone knows of some good references on best practices for these sorts of things, please let me know.

Many thanks,
Jeff (vol_reefer)
 

TriMax

New member
Jeff

That is just about a description of my setup, or my setup to be, anyway. You ask better questions that I did however. I am just now wondering if these questions need to be asked in the big tank forum. As far as I know, Dana has the only setup like you described.

I have two drain lines and one return line. I was thinking 2:1 because on the flow of gravity compared to that of a pump. But, "œhow many valves and unions" was also my questions. I know lots would be good, but everything you add to the line diminishes the flow, even 90s.

I had thought: send all of the drain to the sump. I, too, am planning on using a 100g Rubbermaid from Tractor Supply. Then, send water to all of the other stuff from the sump. Then send it back to the sump, and back to the display. You are bringing up questions that I had not considered. I have put this off for so long, I would hate to do it totally wrong.

Do you have a drawing of what you are thinking about doing?

:D
 

vol_reefer

New member


Do you have a drawing of what you are thinking about doing?
I have some ideas, but haven't made any drawings yet. Swamped with work tonight, but will try to draft something tomorrow.

Jeff
 

cee

New member
I'd do a manifold if I were doing it and control the flow on the "supply" side of the pump, not the return. You could then isolate the tanks from one another should the need ever arise and control flow to each individually so as not to overload the return line on a given tank. This won't give you as much flow in a given tank, but you really shouldn't use your circulation pump from the sump as your main source of flow.

The other idea I'd consider is plumbing them all in series. It would be tricky to size the lines properly so as not to flood a given tank, however. This approach would give the maximum flow and insure that all the water went through your refugium. I think that is how Tyree is setup.

Dave
 

vol_reefer

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=15550646#post15550646 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by TriMax
Did you make any decisions on the flow path?

Nothing firm - I've been traveling for work and haven't had time to implement anything yet. But I think I'm leaning toward putting all the auxillary tanks (refugium, frag tank) on the return line from the sump to the display (in other words, split off the line pressurized by the sump pump). These tanks would then drain back into the sump. That's what Dave suggested, and it also seems to be what most people do.

The one exception might be my skimmer. I have a Deltec, and the manual recommends using a gravity feed off the display's drain line. Have to think about this, though - I think if I do that, I'd probably want to merge the two drain lines into a manifold before splitting off the line to the skimmer because I've noticed that my two drain lines don't always evenly split the water volume that is draining off the display - not sure if that's because the height of my durso standpipes isn't exactly the same, or if there's algae that sometimes restricts the flow on one, or what... But it would be bad if I didn't merge them and then the one drain line that fed the skimmer started getting less flow.

Have you made any decisions on how to plumb yours?

Jeff (vol_reefer)
 
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