View Full Version : Linking multiple tanks together...

03-31-2011, 04:35 PM
I'm looking to take several tanks, possible up to 4, and plumbing them together on one filtration unit. I understand the issue with spreading disease but this is mainly for fry. I'd like to take one tank for my egg tumblers, 1 as a breeding tank and the others as fry tanks. My main concern is how to plumb them without flooding my room, I'm not sure what size pipe to use nor what size pumps to use to recirculate water into the tanks. Thank you for looking.

Lady Hobbs
03-31-2011, 05:32 PM
Wouldn't that make trying to treat one tank rather impossible? Most fry tanks only have a sponge filter so I don't see this as working even if it could.

03-31-2011, 07:45 PM
I wouldn't be treating anything, it's simply a grow tank for the cobue afra's, polits and such. I wouldn't be adding newer fish to spread disease only the fish I currently own. I'm just wondering how I would be able to do this with the proper pumps flowing into each tank and the drain to be able to keep up with it. Thank you :)

03-31-2011, 07:52 PM
Would involve a sump setup, and drilling/plumbing the tanks as well. Size of pumps, plumbing and the sump would really depend on the size of tanks you are going to be using to house the fish. Do a search on sumps to get an idea of how they are setup with multiple tanks. The diy sections on various reef forums are probably you're best bet to see what people have come up with.

For the fry tanks I'd really just go with sponge filters, they cost about $3-4 and run off an air pump.

03-31-2011, 08:00 PM
see my issue is, I have about 9 tanks setup in my room right now and I would really like to cut down on my power usage. I currently have a 125G predatory tank set up with a 45G community underneath it. I just got another 125G complete setup plus like 300-400 dollars worth of powerheads, skimmer, heaters etc. and I'm hoping to set the 125G up with a 60G sump. Then I wanted to take the 4 or so 15-20G tanks I have and hook them up to a 40G sump for a breeding seyup on a metal bakers rack. I just don't really understand the size of tubing to use vs. the size pumps I need to to keep a continuous, level water line.

04-01-2011, 01:34 AM
all tanks would have to be perfectly level and also have their own pump. while you may be able to get away with one big pump feeding all tanks, it would be a mathematical nightmare I'm not willing to figure out (to make sure each tank receives X% amount of water)...it's a huge undtertaking involving shelving units and I'm not sure this is what you want to do....

04-01-2011, 02:12 AM
It's nowhere near that big of a nightmare. A properly setup overflow system in those tanks would make it quite simple. The amount of water going out of the overflow would only equal the amount of water coming in in each tank, and the amount of water coming in would be controlled by ball valves. My lfs has most of them tanks setup on 1 pump. It's not that hard at all. The key is to make sure your return pump has a max GPH of less than the total GPH the overflows.

04-01-2011, 04:23 AM
For small drilled tanks, the drain or out flow would typically be one inch tubing or pipe and in flow or fill would be 3/4 inch tubing.

As ILuvMyGoldBarb said,
"The key is to make sure your return pump has a max GPH of less than the total GPH the overflows."

That would tend to mean using a power head rather than a stand alone pump as most dedicated pumps are a over kill for four 15 - 20 gallon tanks. I'd suggest something like an AquaClear 70 power head. I've used one to pump water into three 13 gallon tanks using 3/4 inch tubing. The inlets were three feet above the power head.

04-01-2011, 04:39 AM
I like the azoo powerheads as pumps....compact with 4 suction cups to mount it anywhere in the tank. I use them to drain my tanks for waterchanges.

04-01-2011, 12:30 PM
Not sure how you will protect eggs from fungus without hurting fry. Also, the overflows will need screens to keep the fish in and also, large enough not to trap the young against the screens - sounds like a lot of issues. If illness does hit, then you will very likely lose all the fish - just don't see any advantages here.
My zero point three cents:11:

04-01-2011, 09:35 PM
Funny enough, I have somewhere around 100 fry from four different fish, and I have the majority of them in a 60G tank with a Fluval 403 with their tank mate Matrix the ripsaw catfish. I've never had issue's with fry and disease though I have had psuedotropheus polit eggs grow fungus and rot in a tumbler, I used too fine of screen for them to sit on. I have so many powerheads that I got with a 125G purchase all for $100 so I'm set on those and I've set up a sump with two buckets and an aquaclear powerhead as the return pump and it worked great but I used an overflow pipe I made as opposed to drilling anything just for the simple fact that I'd like to understand how it all works before I go flooding my house haha.
i looked at the setup my LFS had and I just dont understand how you figure out how much water should be pumped back in with a certain diameter pvc as the overflow. And I don't want to use a ball valve to adjust flow on my return because I don't want to over work the powerhead and it ending up stopping on me and my sump eventually overflowing. So i dont know, I really appreciate everyone's advice, you're all helping a great deal, thank you!

04-02-2011, 04:20 AM
1" pcv overflow = 600gph (thats pretty much standard)

04-03-2011, 07:23 PM
sweet! that helps a lot haha, thanks man!

04-08-2011, 07:57 PM
Actually your pump doesn't need to be smaller than the amount of water coming in. Most pumps can operate with a back pressure without damage. You just throttle down each tank to match flow. You could also have a fifth line with a valve going back to the sump to relieve most if not all the backpressure. It will just throw the excess back into your sump.

You also wouldn't have to worry about the sump overflowing. You put your tank outflow only a couple of inches below the water line in each tank. Maximum amount in your sump would be less than eight gallons that way. If you don't take this into consideration what happens if your power goes out never mind the pump.

07-28-2011, 12:46 AM
This is an easy system.
Drill the tanks, presuming they can be drilled. If you will be using the long sides facing you, drill towards the bottom near one side of the tank. Use a stand pipe inside the tanks that sticks up a bit higher than the "full" level of the tanks. Make sure you have a filter screen or intake. The reason for a stand pipe is you can lower the water level by tilting the stand pipe up or down. If you need to isolate a tank, raise the stand up straight up and put an HOB on that tank. To drain the tank, tilt the stand pipe all the way down.

Sump needs to be large enough to hold all the water that can drain out of the tanks when stand pipe is at what ever you consider normal and about one full tank more than that. A large power head can handle the load if the distance from sump to tanks is not great. A small pond pump will handle the back pressure better in the long run.