How big a pump?
Can I link three or four 20 gallon longs with one pump and line system reasonably? What kind of back-up should I have? Can one cannister filter take care multiple tanks this way? Reason I ask is I just bought six twenty gallon longs- need to figure how to set up while cycling.
You can link them all together but the filter required to take care of them all will be huge. Many LFS use a massive wet/dry filter system to link multiple tanks.
The only issue though with linking multiple tanks, is if you get a disease in one, you pass it on to all the other tanks as well.
In my opinion the pump required to do this is going to have to be huge and not worth it/, you would need overflows in each tank, need to know the total flow rate from each overflow and then have a pump powerful enough to pump back into each tank at the same time.
It would be impossible to plumb that many tanks into one canister, the flow rate going into the canister would be more than it can handle, not to mention the return lines would need to go every tank and that requires you know the head loss to all the tanks.
If you really want to link all the tanks together, I would look at doing a massive wet/dry filter system with bioballs or plastic pot scrubbers for filtration.
Sure it can be done as it's done in most fish stores. As a matter of fact, you might go to one or more of your LFS's, tell them your setting up a multi-tank fish room and ask them to show/explain their system.
Note: I'm thinking that most often their tanks have drilled overflows which will likely not be possible for your aquariums so you may need a different type of overflow (just thinking)
Regardless of exact details, there is some pretty serious plumbing involved, but if you are up to the task, it will likely be more cost effective than treating each tank individually. Also, while on the subject, consider well insulating the room and heating the room to 76F or so rather than have heaters for each tank. OR, if you use a reservoir/sump system, slightly higher than normal room temp, with heaters in the system to make up the difference.
Yes, the disease problem crossed my mind right after I asked question. Sounds like I'll have to live with a lot of electrical plug-ins. Thank you, Taz.
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