View Full Version : Plumbing two tanks into one sump, looking for advice

12/12/2009, 10:26 AM
I'm building a stand to hold my 33g as the main DT and a 20L as a frag/grow-out tank below it. My sump will rest on the stand's bottom.

I thought I'd have the 33g overflow to the 20L and the 20 overflow into the sump via a drilled overflow. Is this right? Am I missing something or is it really that easy?
I plan to use powerheads for extra flow, so that's not a concern.

I'm also thinking about building in a valve set to bypass the 20 so it could serve as a QT tank if needed.

Any other concerns or ideas?

The sump is currently a 10g, but I'm probably going to go with a 20g just to take in the extra gallon or 2 of water that will fill it in the event of a power outage.

I would think that as long as the 33g's overflow doesn't exceed that of the 20L I should be in the clear as far as system balance, is that right? I'm going to drill the 20L, so I can make it flow anything I need.

12/12/2009, 11:40 AM
I would just drain them both into the sump and pump back into both of them. They will balance out as the water should drain as fast as it is being filled in each tank, as long as you don't overwhelm your drains capacity.

Then you could just stop pumping water to your quarantine if you decided to use it in that fashion.

12/12/2009, 11:57 AM
The issue is the pump I have. It's only around 650gph and buying a larger pump isn't in the budget right now.

12/12/2009, 12:57 PM
Then just run the pump to both tanks and put a valve on the return into each tank so you can control the distribution

12/12/2009, 03:30 PM
+1 on all Jason's suggested.

You'll be better served by the 20G sump. Power outages can be pure hell on shared sumps, and a 10G is just way too small. Add the very thin glass they're made from and you're better off with a plastic tub. A 20G should even give you enough room to make it a combined sump/refugium.

If the pump doesn't have to go much more than 4 feet, you should be OK splitting the flow. Just avoid 90 degree turns. Use Y's and 45's wherever you can and you'll get better performance. Remember that sump turnover isn't as critical as internal flow.

12/12/2009, 04:35 PM
Then just run the pump to both tanks and put a valve on the return into each tank so you can control the distribution

Jason... I think he is trying to say that he does not have enough flow to split it between two tanks. He would like it to flow to the display tank and drain into the grow out tank and from there to the sump.

That is a perfectly acceptable design choice. He can TEE the drain from the display and create a seperate path directly to the main sump in case he need to use the growout as a QT. Though that is likely more trouble than it is worth for such a small system. A seperate small 10G QT is a more workable solution.

12/12/2009, 05:00 PM
+1 on everything Bean said

Though you may consider taking two drain lines off of the 30g run one straight to the sump and the other to the 20g then you can valve both to control flow to 20g or by-pass completely. Of course what you propose will work just fine this is just another way of doing it.

12/12/2009, 09:56 PM
That's what I was planning on doing. I'd just valve each side to have all or some go to the sump or the 20.

The QT tank thing is just a little extra that may be helpful down the road. I won't be adding much, if any livestock in the next few months since i"ll be moving around a bit. I have a biocube that can serve as an emergency tank and could always toss a 10g together. When I get settled in a year or 2 I'll have a true quarantine tank of reasonable size up and running.