4 tanks 1 sump build advice

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I'm trying to tie 2 tanks (180g and 120g) on the first floor and 2 tanks (55g each) in the basement into a single sump (triton 44g). I have a lot of present unknowns. All help/ideas are welcome.

The 180 is presently active and will need to be cut over to the basement sump. It has 3x 1.5" overflow lines with a 3/4" return line split into 4x drilled bulkheads.
The 120 is empty with 2x 1.5" overflow lines and 1x 3/4" return
The 2x 55g basement tanks are meant to be frag tanks and in concept will be low boy breeder tanks connected with a single overflow
The 44g sump is presently behind the 180g in my garage

My big design problem is how best to capture all 7 overflow lines into the sump. I could make a large horizontal manifold of 3" or 2.5" reducing to 1.5" T's. I could possibly fit all 7 lines into the sump either as pvc or with conversions to vinyl. It is even sane to have all of these systems with ~410g share a 44g sump, or does the sump capacity need to be increased?

I've made a crude sketchup in the event it helps spark ideas.

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Dom

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It is a nice idea in theory. I did it for a while splitting one sump between a 15 gallon, 35 gallon and a 120 gallon.

It was a lot of work and in the end, not worth the trouble in my view.

Over time, I broke things down and returned to 1 sump per tank.
 

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I don't think a 44 gallon sump would be much use to a 400 gallon system.
I have a 240, 75 and 29 tied together.
I use 2 stock tanks 40 gallon and 100 gallon for my sump.
If the power goes off it gets pretty full.
The drains empty into the 40 gallon and that drains to the 100 gallon.
 

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That seems like a small sump for the amount of water that can run into it. Have you figured out how many gallons total will drain into it when all the return pumps are turned off? I wouldn't try tying all the drain lines to gether into a single manifold, with the higher pressure coming from teh upper floor and the lower pressure from the frag tanks you might end up with some screwy hydrodynamics that pushes water into the frag drain lines. Who know what kind of mess that may cause. Is there a reason you don't want water from the display tanks draining into thr frag tanks then draining into the sump?
 
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That seems like a small sump for the amount of water that can run into it. Have you figured out how many gallons total will drain into it when all the return pumps are turned off? I wouldn't try tying all the drain lines to gether into a single manifold, with the higher pressure coming from teh upper floor and the lower pressure from the frag tanks you might end up with some screwy hydrodynamics that pushes water into the frag drain lines. Who know what kind of mess that may cause. Is there a reason you don't want water from the display tanks draining into thr frag tanks then draining into the sump?

Good question. I could easily route everything to drain into frags and then frags into sump. For some reason I had convinced myself to supply the frag tanks with the output of my UV.
 
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Good question. I could easily route everything to drain into frags and then frags into sump. For some reason I had convinced myself to supply the frag tanks with the output of my UV.

Well, plumbing them that way would reduce the risk of transmitting something with the frags if you sell, trade or giveaway stuff. If you're quaranting fish and corals and dipping corals it seems to me the risk would be pretty low and that would simplify your plubing.
 
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I don't think a 44 gallon sump would be much use to a 400 gallon system.
I have a 240, 75 and 29 tied together.
I use 2 stock tanks 40 gallon and 100 gallon for my sump.
If the power goes off it gets pretty full.
The drains empty into the 40 gallon and that drains to the 100 gallon.
I am worried about this as well. I have a free 75g sump to use if needed. Otherwise I could step up to an arbitrary sized sump.
 
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Well, plumbing them that way would reduce the risk of transmitting something with the frags if you sell, trade or giveaway stuff. If you're quaranting fish and corals and dipping corals it seems to me the risk would be pretty low and that would simplify your plubing.
UV output was indeed intended to do the best I can do to keep corals clean given it is all 1 large system. Maybe having the 2 displays manifold together but keeping the frag overflow separate is a good compromise to avoid possible unintended flow into the frags.
 

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UV output was indeed intended to do the best I can do to keep corals clean given it is all 1 large system. Maybe having the 2 displays manifold together but keeping the frag overflow separate is a good compromise to avoid possible unintended flow into the frags.

That seems reasonable, be sure to use sweeping wye's connecting the 2 drain lines into one. They're made that way to avoid any kind of back pressure issues that might happen with two lines going into a straght tee.
 

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I'm trying to tie 2 tanks (180g and 120g) on the first floor and 2 tanks (55g each) in the basement into a single sump (triton 44g). I have a lot of present unknowns. All help/ideas are welcome.

The 180 is presently active and will need to be cut over to the basement sump. It has 3x 1.5" overflow lines with a 3/4" return line split into 4x drilled bulkheads.
The 120 is empty with 2x 1.5" overflow lines and 1x 3/4" return
The 2x 55g basement tanks are meant to be frag tanks and in concept will be low boy breeder tanks connected with a single overflow
The 44g sump is presently behind the 180g in my garage

My big design problem is how best to capture all 7 overflow lines into the sump. I could make a large horizontal manifold of 3" or 2.5" reducing to 1.5" T's. I could possibly fit all 7 lines into the sump either as pvc or with conversions to vinyl. It is even sane to have all of these systems with ~410g share a 44g sump, or does the sump capacity need to be increased?

I've made a crude sketchup in the event it helps spark ideas.

First, I'd like to say that with the word "engineer" in your user name, there is no way this project isn't going to happen. ;)

So that I am clear, it sounds like you planning on 1 return pump for the entire system. Is this correct? If so, what pump are you planning to use? And as an engineer, I assume you've taken into consideration head height and overall travel distance?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I ran three tanks off of one sump. It was a much less complex project as all tanks were in the same room on one stand and the sump was positioned below. I employed a manifold design, which I found to be a bit more tricky to balance, than a manifold on a return.

For some reason, check valves seem to have fallen out of favor. I use them as a second layer of protection in the event of a power failure (the first being the sump volume itself). I figure you have about 410 gallons of display, 44 gallon sump (of which we can estimate that 25 gallons is in use), plus water volume in the pipes itself... lets call it 440 gallons of total volume. I would ask you to consider using check valves if you don't move up to a larger sump.
 
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First, I'd like to say that with the word "engineer" in your user name, there is no way this project isn't going to happen. ;)

So that I am clear, it sounds like you planning on 1 return pump for the entire system. Is this correct? If so, what pump are you planning to use? And as an engineer, I assume you've taken into consideration head height and overall travel distance?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I ran three tanks off of one sump. It was a much less complex project as all tanks were in the same room on one stand and the sump was positioned below. I employed a manifold design, which I found to be a bit more tricky to balance, than a manifold on a return.

For some reason, check valves seem to have fallen out of favor. I use them as a second layer of protection in the event of a power failure (the first being the sump volume itself). I figure you have about 410 gallons of display, 44 gallon sump (of which we can estimate that 25 gallons is in use), plus water volume in the pipes itself... lets call it 440 gallons of total volume. I would ask you to consider using check valves if you don't move up to a larger sump.
Good questions. I'm holding off settling the pump until the design survives a few rounds of consideration. All of these questions and ideas are very helpful.

I'm considering a hammerhead reeflo external pump or something in that spirit. The napkin calculation for effective head height is something like 15-20' depending on the exact pathing and how many things I manifold off the return pump (presently approx 12 vertical and the rest being horizontal loss and splits and bends) . Since the pump has a fixed output there will be a final gate valve that returns to the sump if I need to dump off extra flow. Right now I'm thinking the return will feed the 2 displays and the UV->frag tanks.

Check valves always seem like good ideas to me until something I read talks me out of them. My general understanding is they will all fail at some point, so the best way to incorporate them into a plumbing design is to make the system fail safe even with them stuck open. That inclines me to leave them out. If I did add one at the most effective spot it seems to be at the return pump line where it splits off to run to the 2 display tanks

The sump size is basically a decision between the 44g one I have in use now and "whatever size is necessary". If I go to a larger sump, then it will most likely be a glass tank that I have to baffle off myself. Given that this is in a dedicated basement room sump capacity doesn't really matter to me so long as it fits the 4' width.
 

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Good questions. I'm holding off settling the pump until the design survives a few rounds of consideration. All of these questions and ideas are very helpful.

I'm considering a hammerhead reeflo external pump or something in that spirit. The napkin calculation for effective head height is something like 15-20' depending on the exact pathing and how many things I manifold off the return pump (presently approx 12 vertical and the rest being horizontal loss and splits and bends) . Since the pump has a fixed output there will be a final gate valve that returns to the sump if I need to dump off extra flow. Right now I'm thinking the return will feed the 2 displays and the UV->frag tanks.

Check valves always seem like good ideas to me until something I read talks me out of them. My general understanding is they will all fail at some point, so the best way to incorporate them into a plumbing design is to make the system fail safe even with them stuck open. That inclines me to leave them out. If I did add one at the most effective spot it seems to be at the return pump line where it splits off to run to the 2 display tanks

The sump size is basically a decision between the 44g one I have in use now and "whatever size is necessary". If I go to a larger sump, then it will most likely be a glass tank that I have to baffle off myself. Given that this is in a dedicated basement room sump capacity doesn't really matter to me so long as it fits the 4' width.

Ok... well... if you don't use check valves and want to keep the sump you currently have, you could incorporate a 100 gallon rubbermaid tub as a catch basin in the event of a power failure.

That it is a dedicated basement room sump, are you saying that you don't care if there is overflow during a power failure?
 
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Ok... well... if you don't use check valves and want to keep the sump you currently have, you could incorporate a 100 gallon rubbermaid tub as a catch basin in the event of a power failure.

That it is a dedicated basement room sump, are you saying that you don't care if there is overflow during a power failure?
the overflow tub is a good option. i'll look more at what I'd replace it with to get the right capacity into the sump. While there are floor drains in the basement the plan is to engineer a solution that can survive power loss without flooding for sure.

thinking more about a sump nested in a tub I'm concerned about the recovery. Let's say power goes out and the sump fills overflowing 20-40 gallons into the outer tub. Power returns and the system kicks back on only with the 20-40 gallons captured in the tub. Running lean those gallons things like the auto top off, skimmer, and already low capacity sump might not function until i reclaim the 20-40 gallons. I think you've helped talk me in to a larger single sump.
 

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the overflow tub is a good option. i'll look more at what I'd replace it with to get the right capacity into the sump. While there are floor drains in the basement the plan is to engineer a solution that can survive power loss without flooding for sure.

thinking more about a sump nested in a tub I'm concerned about the recovery. Let's say power goes out and the sump fills overflowing 20-40 gallons into the outer tub. Power returns and the system kicks back on only with the 20-40 gallons captured in the tub. Running lean those gallons things like the auto top off, skimmer, and already low capacity sump might not function until i reclaim the 20-40 gallons. I think you've helped talk me in to a larger single sump.

Agreed. The optimal solution would be to catch overflow water in a manner that allows it back into the system when power returns. You could install a bulkhead just below the top of the sump with plumbing to carry water to the overflow basin.

You could connect a return pump to the end so that when power comes on, water from the catch basin would be returned to the system through the same bulkhead. But it would require some type of float to turn off the pump once it returned the water from the catch basin to the system.

Something else to consider, with the system running lean, the ATO will add RODI only and drive down your salinity.

In the end, a larger, single sump would simplify what you are doing. But you will need a very big sump!

Rubbermaid makes a 150 gallon livestock water trough. Its very easy to add bulkheads to, but it would have to be a baffle-less sump design.
 
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