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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone this is my first large tank and I'm looking to make it bullet proof. I have a few issues I need some help with. First the tank is viewable on all sides so I'm going to get it with a center overflow. Most of the stuff I have read says canister filters like the fx5 would be great but what do i do about the heaters? And do I run the pick ups out of the overflow and down into the tank or just pull the water out of the overflow cavity? I thought i could run a wet dry and have the heaters in the sump. But like i said this is my first built in filter setup have always used hob stuff before. the tank will be 72x24x31 advertised as 240 gallons. Any suggestions on setup would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Welcome to the forum first of all. :)

Something concerns me here...is the tank drilled with a built in overflow? If so then you dont need canister filters if it has a sump with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks . and yes it will have a center overflow so I can hide all the plumbing. trying to plan out how many and what size holes to get drilled
 

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You either have an overflow and use the sump or canisters. Having both only increases the filter capacity but at greater cost due to having to buy a return pump, have the tank drilled or purchase a store bought overflow.

If your tank is going to be drilled, 1 1/2" - 2" bulkheads for a tank that size. I would do 2 overflows and 2 returns, maybe even 3 overflows with one acting as an emergency backup. You need to work out the flow rate coming from the overflow and this will dictate the size of return pump, size of return pipe you will need.

If you are going to use canister filters there is no need to drill the tank at all. Canister filters 2 x Fluval FX5 would be sufficient for that tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My problem is i dont want to see the canister lines running on the outside of the tank since the tank is on an island in the middle of the room. I had figured that 2 fx5 s would work but how do i get heaters in the tank other than in a sump. I have never used a sump type filter and I'm trying to get more familiar with their setup and stability. I have an old 90 gallon tank that i could put in the basement. And i could make it into a wet dry but i'm not sure on how big to make the compartments. This is a long term project and I want it to be spot on.
 

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If you are running pipes down from a drilled tank into the basement, you will need a massively powerful return pump to get water that high back into the tank. Either way you will have things on view, the return pipes, overflow pipes on a drilled tank or canister intakes / returns on a non drilled tank.

I would seriously consider just having the canister filters and have the intakes in the middle of the tank, the returns at the ends. Heaters you can have in the tank at either end, 2 x 300w or maybe even 3 for backup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If you are running pipes down from a drilled tank into the basement, you will need a massively powerful return pump to get water that high back into the tank. Either way you will have things on view, the return pipes, overflow pipes on a drilled tank or canister intakes / returns on a non drilled tank.

I would seriously consider just having the canister filters and have the intakes in the middle of the tank, the returns at the ends. Heaters you can have in the tank at either end, 2 x 300w or maybe even 3 for backup.
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not sure you are understanding the setup the over flow is in the center of the tank and not on any wall of the tank so when the cover is on the overflow you won't see the plumbing. if I use the 90 gallon as the sump do you have any suggestions on how to divide it up?
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The overflow in the center of the tank, still is going to have either holes in the bottom of the tank or in back wall. The water will then flow into the sump via pipes.

http://www.salt-city.org/gallery/files/9/1/bean_animal_overflow.jpg - This is an example of a central overflow system.

Eshopps Overflow Box - Model 1800 // Aquarium Supplies Canada - Pond Supplies Canada - Reptile Supplies Canada // Pets & Ponds - Example of a store bought overflow box.

Either way unless you make something to cover the pipes, not possible to hide them.

Example of sump setups - http://www.melevsreef.com/allmysumps.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey its a good joke don't get mad I thought I was funny! I hope you know what I mean when I said( bullet proof) problem free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
yup. I have had many fish tanks before and never really had the money to set them up right so i'm going all out this time and i'm looking for suggestions on what the best of the best equipment is for fresh water and how to plumb it to avoid disaster
 

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Okay big tank, visible from all sides. Drilled in center for an overflow (presumably a stand pipe) and another drilled hole for the return. These would lead to/from a sump which might be a 90g tank. I agree that a sump in the basement can be done, but will require a more powerful pump for the return as well as more plumbing. But it's not a bad way to go!
Sump setups can vary quite a bit and don't have to be in an aquarium. Commercial sumps with various compartments seem somewhat over done and expensive to me.
Basically you can have mechanical media in a drip tray or 'socks' to collect particulate matter. From there, you might have wet/dry followed by other bio-media. You could have a refugium with plants and lights. Heaters could be in the sump and that's where you'd do water changes....Or add some more plumbing and you could setup a fresh water drip and overflow in the sump to automate water changes.
Now here's a twist...with it in the basement, the 'sump' could be nothing more than a 55g drum or other open holding tank with a return pump, that has heaters and uses a canister or diatom filter to filter the water.
There are some pretty inventive DIY aquarium sump setups out thereand you'd find a search on youtube very enlightening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well I think I've decided to go with sump in basement. What's your take on bio balls vs other media. Read a lot of bad press about bio balls getting clogged. Seems to me if you have good mech filter before them they should be fine. Doesn't the ceramic stuff get clogged to. And is a refugium hard to keep up and are they better than wet dry
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Well I think I've decided to go with sump in basement. What's your take on bio balls vs other media. Read a lot of bad press about bio balls getting clogged. Seems to me if you have good mech filter before them they should be fine. Doesn't the ceramic stuff get clogged to. And is a refugium hard to keep up and are they better than wet dry
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I don't have a sump, but I've done a lot of research. Bio-balls are okay for wet/dry, but I think I'd go with nylon pot scrubbers (from the dollar store)
Woolen Crochet Textile Thread Pattern
just as much or more surface area and a zillion dollars cheaper. In a refugium, you can grow plants in deep sand and/or setup an algae scrubber...but if I was doing one, I think I'd have plants in the tank load up the sump with Seachem Matrix or a mix of Matrix and De*Nitrate....or maybe even pond Matrix. But you could also use one of the ceramic (like bio-max) bio-medias. There are just so many different ways to setup a sump and there are almost no wrong ways to do it. The key to making sure it's most effective is making sure the water flows through your media.

Another thing that comes to mind, especially with a setup in the basement and a powerful pump, you'll want to make sure you have a bypass on the return line for flow control and size or oversize your lines appropriately.
 
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