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Thread: 8 Tanks, 1 Sump, Direct Bulkheads, Too Noisy?

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    Platinum Member ODwyerPW's Avatar
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    Default 8 Tanks, 1 Sump, Direct Bulkheads, Too Noisy?

    Folks,

    Want to get opinions. Plan is to put 8 20L tanks (2 levels, 4 on each level) on one system. Filtering will be via a 2-part sump... 1st part is 20L full of prefilter floss and Poret Foam Blocks, 2nd part is a 15L where probes will reside, dosing will occur, floats for water level control will be installed and an additional heater will reside. The two parts will be connected by a 3" diameter PVC Pipe... This is necessary because the sump arrangement will actually stagger two separate stands. Return pump will sit outside of the 15L. on the bottom shelf of the other two stands will be dosing equipment, CO2 equipment, and a UV sterilizer. My drawing omits the other equipment.

    I will have each tank drilled 3X (water return, water exit, and drain). Note: my drawing does not show the water return going to bulkheads for each tank, but they will.

    The idea is to hide the plumbing along the sides between the vertical support members and make the tanks appear to be floating (I already de-rimmed them).

    Ok. So here is where I could use help. Will this thing be really loud? Each tank have a 3/4" bulkhead. The water will fall through a 1" line down to the sump (will be 4 1" Lines... My drawing shows 2, but it will be 4). Each line will return the upper tank and the lower tank. Hence, the lines are slightly bigger than the bulkheads.

    I know there is the risk that a plugged screen on a bulkhead could cause a tank to overflow.. unless I install additional overflow protection (e.g. a 4th hole slightly higher up). Just trying to avoid installing overflows and lots of extra down tubes... but maybe that's unavoidable.

    Note: there will be ball valves on each drain line and each return line. The overflows, being sized larger than everything else will just carry what they receive down to the sump.. I mention this because I didn't draw the ball valves... It's late... my old autocad skills are rusty after 11pm.

    8 x 20L.jpg
    Last edited by ODwyerPW; 05-28-2019 at 03:10 AM.
    Peter
    Cuerpo en Green Valley, Arizona, USA y Corazón en Alamos, Sonora, Mexico

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    Default Re: 8 Tanks, 1 Sump, Direct Bulkheads, Too Noisy?

    I would post this to a marine reef tank forum. Those guys are much more knowledgeable about complex sump systems. I do know that ball valves probably aren't going to cut it and that you might need to go with gate valves in order to have more precise flow control. And as far as loudness, you should look to something as simple as a durso setup or go to a bean animal setup which is more redundant. And you could look into ghost overflows along the back of the tanks to further reduce noise and cut down how many holes need to be drilled.

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    Moderator Team Adam S's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8 Tanks, 1 Sump, Direct Bulkheads, Too Noisy?

    For a single, non-siphon overflow, you may want to bump it up to 1" bulkheads with 1-1/4" to 1-1/2" drain lines (this will comfortably handle 6x/hour turnover). It won't be silent, maybe not even quiet, but lower turnover rates will most likely be quieter depending on how the drain lines enter the sump.

    What gators111 said about the more redundant overflow systems is true, but it does significantly increase cost on a multi-tank system like yours. Ball valves are fine for non-siphon overflows, but gate valves are something of a requirement should you go with something like herbie or bean animal overflows.

    Finally, I'd strongly suggest not using floss or socks if the sump is running blocks of Poret (or swapping the foam with cheaper media if floss is mandatory).

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    Platinum Member ODwyerPW's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8 Tanks, 1 Sump, Direct Bulkheads, Too Noisy?

    Gator and Adam, thanks for the responses.

    I won't use floss. the horizontal lines in my diagram just represent a mesh screen to quiet things down a little. However, I may have two 400u Nylon socks as a prefilter… nothing more.

    Regarding..redundancy of overflow systems... its more of a function of space, then costs. I will do something. My horse sense tells me I'm asking for trouble to rely on a sole 1" bulkhead that can plug. Noise will need to be secondary to overflow/spill prevention.

    I think I need to take one of my 20Ls and build a small section of the stand I have and start visually mocking things up. Although I will use iron wood, mesquite, and palo chino for the finished product... I have enough pine lumber kicking around to mock something for one of the 8 tanks... then I can drill on that 20L and see how it works.... I have a cracked 20L that I haven't repaired yet so I can make that the guinea pig.
    Peter
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    Platinum Member ODwyerPW's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8 Tanks, 1 Sump, Direct Bulkheads, Too Noisy?

    When I take my system as a whole, I'm looking at about 153 gallons of water.

    8 X 20L tanks w/ 16.25 gallons per aquarium (accounting for 1 1/4" fine gravel, and a total water height of 10.75" once I factor in margin of safety for drilling of bulkheads at the top) is 130 gallons
    1 X 20L PartI of sump w/ 12 gallons (normal operating height of 8" of water, but with the potential to absorb another 7 gallons if system shuts down) and 1 15L Part II of sump w/ 9 3/4 gallons (normal operating height of 8" of water, but with potential to absorb another 4 1/2 gallons if system shuts down).
    Equipment. Let's say between the CO2 reactor, UV sterilizer and plumbing I have 1 gallon of water.

    I'll be utilizing a Mag5 w/ a spec flow of 425 gallons at 3' head and 325 gallons at 5' head. The 4 tanks at the topmost shelf will have almost a 5' head, and the 4 tanks on the middle shelf will have an almost 3' head.. So I'll split the difference and say 350-375 gallons. That means I'd have a turn over of about 2.25X to 2.5X per hour on the whole system. Roy Schneider might suggest "You're going to need a bigger pump". Bummer, as I own two Mag5s.. Maybe with my manifold and 4 parallel lines sending a 1/2" line to each rack (1 top tank, 1 mid tank), my performance might be satisfactory. Perhaps I could put the two Mag5s, with check valves, in parallel to the manifold.. That would give me pump redundancy.. If I lost one, I'd still have half of my flow. Or, if need be, I could go to a different pump and deploy my Mag5s to the RO/Tap water storage for water change and top-off duty.

    That's said, the last time I operated a Mag5 was on my 120gallon discus tank w/ a 20gallon sump (about 16 gallons... it ran very wet), so 140gallons total... the 120 had a 5' head. Honestly, by the amount of water pouring into my sump, it felt like it was circulating much as much water as you'd ever want. I had a CO2 reactor and a 25W UV sterilizer on that one too.

    Now drawing my attention to each of the 8 tanks. if I divide 375gph x 8 tanks in parallel, each tank will be moving about 46.875gph through itself, so 46.875/16.25 is really a water turnover through each tank of 2.88X (let's call it 3X) per hour. That's what my tank overflows will see. I've messed around with some models and I think a 3X turnover of my tanks will be good. I have slightly oversized filtration, am employing a 3/4 RO 1/4 Tap for Water, and will utilize a 15-25W UV sterilizer (have not purchased this part yet).

    So, because I will be taking ~48 gph from each tank, or .8 gpm, that's what I need to size my bulkheads for... I'll add a safety margin of 3X to future proof it (two Mag5s in parallel or 1 bigger pump) and account for debris on the screens..... so 144 gph gravity fed volume. A 1/2" bulkhead is good for 2.5gpm or 150gph. I'm considering drilling 3 of them. Each of them would have an independent line to the sump. This is a theoretical evacuation capacity of 450gph... for each tank... which is well beyond the ~48gph I'm shoot for.

    This size allows me to use Quick Disconnects and fit the 3 bulkhead in the 5 3/4" space I have between my the primary support members of my stand design.
    I'm looking at something like this:
    https://www.gamurdock.com/ga-murdock...0-bag-r0820829

    Screens for the bulkheads will be tricky, but perhaps I can work something out... (Researching that now)… I like the idea of the same style fittings for everything (each tank will have 5 bulkheads under this desing… 3 for overflow, 1 for pump return, 1 for water changes).

    If I scratch that idea, perhaps I can try to see if I can get a few more of those (I have 8, so I need like 34 more).SCAquariumBulkHeadFitting.jpg

    Back to the noise discussion... 3 1/2" bulkheads attached to 3 separate 1/2" lines... that join to 3 1" lines for 4 tanks.. and 3 1" lines for 4 tanks... and all 6 1" lines flowing very slowly to the SUMP..... would it be NOISY?

    I'm waiting on another 1 1/8" glass drill bit (Ruby hole bit) as I've misplaced mine. So I can't mock it up yet. I suppose I should at least do an autoCAD drawing to illustrate.
    Last edited by ODwyerPW; 06-09-2019 at 06:08 PM.
    Peter
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    Registered Member Cove Beach's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8 Tanks, 1 Sump, Direct Bulkheads, Too Noisy?

    As an ex-reefer, don’t forget about head loss for every elbow,union, and valve you add. I think you will find the Mag 5 will not cut it. The head numbers they list as max are pretty generous . You will want a pump that your head falls into the middle of its range. This gives you the ability to tune the system. And yes gate valves are the way to go. Ball valves are best left to on or off settings and are often hard to turn. A good source for fittings is Savko.com . Also if you are looking for quiet drains, I ran all mine in spa flex. I ran the emergency in rigid plastic as it is empty normally and I want to hear a problem.
    Also another thought might be to divide the tanks into two separate 4 tank systems, each with its own sump. The reason I suggest this is if you end up with somebody sick you won’t be spending as much on meds, like the old saying, not all your eggs in one basket. As far as overflow styles, are you planning on weirs, or bulkheads with strainers? Five holes in a small space is a little scary to drill, especially in thin glass. You might consider a spray bar that is over the back to save some drilling and bulkhead costs. One more thought if you are going with a multi tank system plumbed into a central sump. Have you thought about just getting a 125 gal tank and partition it off with perforated dividers or solid ones which would allow individual sections to be drained and cleaned as needed?
    Just thoughts from a saltwater guy of 20 yrs.

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    Platinum Member ODwyerPW's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8 Tanks, 1 Sump, Direct Bulkheads, Too Noisy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cove Beach View Post
    As an ex-reefer, don’t forget about head loss for every elbow,union, and valve you add. I think you will find the Mag 5 will not cut it.
    after further research I'm beginning to conclude the same. So I have two options:
    1. Buy a bigger pump and use the 2 Mag5s for the water prep area (RO unit and 2 60gal totes)
    2. Place the 2 Mag5s in parallel, each supply 4 tanks a piece.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cove Beach View Post
    Also if you are looking for quiet drains, I ran all mine in spa flex.
    If I go with standard bulkheads I will look into that (leaning towards SCAquariums bulkheads as they have a strainer and a 90 bend.. all for about $6.50). However, if I go GAMurdock quick disconnect, then I'll be using LLPDE tubing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cove Beach View Post
    Also another thought might be to divide the tanks into two separate 4 tank systems, each with its own sump.
    I have my heart set on using 1 controller, 1 set of sensors (pH, temp, ORP, Conductivity, DO), 1 set of dosing pumps, 1 CO2 system and 1 UV Sterilizer, 1 TopOff/ Auto Change setup. If I go two systems, I have to duplicate all of that stuff. I have two 10 gallon tanks for quarantine and I'm a patient fishkeeper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cove Beach View Post
    As far as overflow styles, are you planning on weirs, or bulkheads with strainers? Five holes in a small space is a little scary to drill, especially in thin glass.
    Considering 3 1-1/8" holes for overflow on one end (so 3 holes w/ 1 1/8" between them.) and the other end will have 2 1-1/8" holes, 1 for water return, 1 for drain. The long spans will not have holes. Just received the drill bit today, so will drill one of them shortly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cove Beach View Post
    Just thoughts from a saltwater guy of 20 yrs.
    I certainly appreciate your responses. I've always wanted a multi-tank system. But I don't want it to look like a factory or fish hatchery. So form is as important as function. Fortunately, with the 20Ls... their smallish footprint, small volume and reasonable weight gives me some license to try a few neat things with the design.
    Peter
    Cuerpo en Green Valley, Arizona, USA y Corazón en Alamos, Sonora, Mexico

    learning never stops

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    Registered Member Cove Beach's Avatar
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    Default Re: 8 Tanks, 1 Sump, Direct Bulkheads, Too Noisy?

    I would go with the single larger pump and use the mags for other duties. Something that concerns me with your plans, is that you will have more water coming back to the sump than it can handle due to the bulkhead returns that will siphon back till the water level gets even with the bottom edge of the opening, not to mention all the water in your lines and drains. It all adds up. So be careful, siphon break holes will help a lot. As an example, I’m running a single 245 gal display with a basement sump. The display uses a weir with 1.5” drain and 1” safety. The returns are two 1.5” outlets on a teed spray bar. Both have siphon break holes which stops them quick but the weir allows about 30 gallons plus the volume of the plumbing to come back to the sump when I power down for maintenance. The sump is 180 gal acrylic DIY running at about 125gals which gives a comfortable margin of safety. Something to try maybe is to mock up one tank in the highest position from your sump, use a mag 5 and see how much drain back you get, that will give you real amounts for water and noise before you make Swiss cheese out of 8 tanks.

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