Connection between two tanks to increase water volume

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settlingnomad created the topic: Connection between two tanks to increase water volume

So here is what I want to do:

I have an established 55 g tank, with a Cascade canister filter. It sits on a DIY support that has a lower "shelf", directly under this display tank. I would like to connect a secondary tank (29 g) to this larger one, to increase my overall volume. The ultimate goal is to maximize my water quality, and "buy" myself some time between water changes, because I travel often, and sometimes for weeks at a time.

I am reading about sumps, and I feel they provide me with exactly what I would like to achieve. But instead of buying an entirely new setup, I would like to add to what I already own. So in a nutshell: I want to use the Cascade canister to suck the water out of the top tank into the lower tank, and use a Magnum 350 to suck the water out of the lower tank back into the display tank. And fill the lower tank with bio-balls. That way, I get mechanical filtration, biological cycling, Purigen filtration, micron filtration and hopefully a healthy nitrate consumption by adding plants in the top aquarium. (I also have a UV sterilizer and some peat filtration along the way).

There is the obvious issue of getting the pressures right (I intend to install ball valves) and the risk of failure causing catastrophic spills! But apart from that, has anybody ever tried to create such a setup?

Thanks for the insights!
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OFL replied the topic: Connection between two tanks to increase water volume

Okay, I can sort of see why you want to do this, however I believe that it will not be worth all the hassle. I'll try and explain why I think you're wasting your time. Sump filters are Really efficient filtration systems that allow you to pack enormous amounts of media into. However, they really only come into their own when used on very large aquariums. Even if you do put a sump filter on you'r 55 gallon aquarium, that is not going to change the fact that you will have to change the water once a week, maybe twice a week depending on what fish you have. Sump filters Enable us to pack loads of biological media into them, this of course will take care of all the ammonia, which means a fairly heavily stocked large aquarium will benefit one of these filters. But with a very small aquarium, you are limited to what you can have. So you might as well get yourself a good canister filter that cheap and easy to install. This will give you optimum water quality.

I hope you understand what I'm saying

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settlingnomad replied the topic: Connection between two tanks to increase water volume

Thank you for you prompt response!

I do understand what you mean. I thought that having 55 + 29 = 84 gallons was large enough to make the setup worth it... And I also thought that by linking together several types of filters, I was going to get the highest quality of water possible!

As an aside, the lower tank would not be a real sump, just a secondary holding tank to allow for 1) more surface for bacterial growth, and 2) more water for a stabler system. And an opportunity to hide a lot of the unsightly stuff that currently crowd my display tank.

And by the way, I have 4 juvenile Discus in there, and no intention of getting more than that.
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OFL replied the topic: Connection between two tanks to increase water volume

Yes, I can see what you are thinking. 84 gallons is quite a lot of water to have in your system. However, you only have 55 gallon aquarium, this is only big enough for a few fish. It doesn't really make any difference to the fact that you have the extra 29 gallons, if you had an 84 gallon aquarium then that would be a different ballgame altogether. Even so, I still wouldn't recommend sump filter on a small aquarium like that.

I'm not saying don't do it, what I'm saying is don't do it if you think it's going to prolong water changes, because it won't. And the fact that you have discus makes it even more important that you keep water quality in pristine condition, that means water changes on a regular basis.

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settlingnomad replied the topic: Connection between two tanks to increase water volume

Fair enough! Thank you!!
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OFL replied the topic: Connection between two tanks to increase water volume

We would love to see some photos of these fish, put them in the photo section of the forum if you want. I must admit, I've never had discus before, But they are magnificent fish, albeit expensive.

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settlingnomad replied the topic: Connection between two tanks to increase water volume

True! Another good reason to provide them with optimal water quality!!

I'll post some pictures: that tank is my pride and joy!!
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face mcshooty replied the topic: Connection between two tanks to increase water volume

I want to use the Cascade canister to suck the water out of the top tank into the lower tank, and use a Magnum 350 to suck the water out of the lower tank back into the display tank

if you do decide to do a sump filter i wouldn't recommend doing it this way for a few reasons but the biggest 1 is trying to get both canisters to have exactly the same flow rate will be nearly impossible and if they don't have the same flow 1 of the tanks will eventually overflow

Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead focus on what to do next
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DMD123 replied the topic: Connection between two tanks to increase water volume

I vote to get a bigger tank! :laugh:
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Big-Ken replied the topic: Connection between two tanks to increase water volume

Discus are very delicate and finicky fish and honestly there is no way around doing lots and lots of water changes. While discus can survive with 2-3 75-90% water changes a week you will not have big magnificent dinner plate size discus doing that.

Discus are so expensive because of the tremendous amount of time, experience, water, and high quality food it takes to raise up nice ones.

Honestly to be raised properly they need daily 75-90% water changes and 2-3 feedings a day of high quality food, if you travel alot and can only commit to a single water change a week i urge you to sell them while they are healthy and sellable cause once a discus starts going down hill and is stunted it will never recover no matter how many water changes are done

In regards to your question 83 gallons is really not that much water volume it might allow you to get away with 2-3 75-90% wc's a week but if you want to only do a single a week you need to upgrade to something like 120-180 gallons and even then you may have issues, discus are a major commitment especially while they are young and thats why i got rid of mine while they were still healthy
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