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Frankentank


Timfish
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A few times while moving tanks I've had to set up short term systems to house animals.  Rather than set up a single glass or acrylic tank on stands large enough to house everything I've used whatever large containers are available and easy to move, use and tear down and used pumps and automatic siphons.  One advantage is rather than having a huge time crunch getting a large system emptied, moved and setup, especially if there are major changes to the system, there is plenty of time to make a move along with any changes or redesigns.  One important note when using auto siphons is not to allow any air to get into the first section as it can restrict flow or even cause the siphon to be lost. 

 

This first set of pictures is of  300 gallon system that was being moved 30 miles and besides having scratches buffed out a completly new filtration system was added with multiple refugiums and sump.

Setting up a "Frankentank".  Three 55 gallon barrels, a 100 undrilled glass tank were set up with auto siphons draining into a 60 gallon acrylic cube used for a sump.

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(A gratuitous pic of me since I built the bowfront tank and stand also :D)

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As can be seen from this pics flow in this system was parellel with one pump feeding the 100 gallon tank and one barrel and another feeding the other two barrels.  A intake screen on the auto siphon in the 100 gallon can be seen also.

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This "Frankentank" setup used a 94 gallon glass tank that was drilled but as it was set on a desk and drilling the desk for the bulkhead fittings was explicitly denied an auto siphon was used.  Also used was a 100 gallon tub and a 40 gallon glass tank for a sump.  Flow was linear in this setup draining from the top tank to the middle tub to the sump.

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Here's how I made the auto siphon for the later ssytem in my first post.  I used 1 1/4" PVC, five 90° elbows and one Tee, return pump was a Mag 5 and there were additional powerheads in each tank.   The vertical section in the first tank goes about halfway down.  The first horizontal piece was long enough to reach over the glass lip on hte inside of the tank.  The second vertical section needs to be long enough to be well below the indended water level in the tank.  The second horizontal piece was as short as I could make it but that's mostly personal prefference.

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Here the third vertical and third horizontal pieces have been attached.  It's important to know where the intended water level should be when the system is running when laying out and cutting these sections.  In this case the top of the horizontal piece is close to the operating level of the system.  The water level whith the return pump off will be close to the bottom of this third horizontal section.  As you'll see in the next picture the fourth vertical section is placed on the other side of the second vertical section opposite of the third vertical>  I do this as it lets the whole assembly hang straight and keeps the third horizontal section level.  If I had placed it on the other side I would have had to have another mount someplace to keep it straight.

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Here's the completed auto siphon.  A Tee is needed at one end or the other of the third horizontal section.  The Tee lets air into the later portion of the auto siphon preventing a runaway siphon that would drain the tank down to the level of the intake in the tank.  To initially start the siphon I use a small powerhead and force water into the first portion.  When running temporarily I've not had issues with air bubbles accumilating in the first porrtion and cause reduced or stopping flow.  Long term a powerhead with with a venturi can be used to constantly remove any bubbles that might collect.

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