How to set up plumbing on a custom tank?

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hllb

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I ordered a new system. Build is probably 10 weeks out, so I can change things still. It's an acrylic tank, 36Lx24Wx18H with a center overflow (gallons should be just under 60). Their typical setup is 3 1" drains in the overflow (two drains, 1 emergency?), and two returns in the upper back corners of the tank. I think I know how I'd do that if I stick with their standard.

Can you tell me a couple of things? What is the advantage of having two main drains vs. 1? What is the advantage of having two returns instead of 1 in the center? Just flow, on the returns? Last time I had a sump, I had a single drain and a single return in the center overflow. The plumbing is more simple if I stick to that rather than the two returns on either side, but perhaps it really is that much better? I plan on a mixed reef so don't need crazy flow for acros.
 
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twhit030

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First off to answer that’s called a bean animal overflow. I started using the bean animal after I got my first tank flood. The main parts of the bean animal is the full siphone (a 90 degree elbo facing down) and the emergency (90 degree elbow facing up)

Sometimes the full siphone can make noises (water drops too low and rises too high in the overflow box) so then comes in the 3rd siphone usually is a siphone with a gate valve to adjust flow to about half. That way if water rises too high the half siphone picks up the slack keeping it silent.

as for the two returns it’s just for extra flow your tank being only 36 inches long some simple power heads will do but on large 60 inch or even 48 inch tanks one return simply isn’t enough to move water around on both sides of the tank.

it might be annoying having to plumb 5 holes rather than just two but I promise you it’s much more quit and much safer. Always always have an emergency overflow.

hope this helped sorry for the book!
 
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hllb

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First off to answer that’s called a bean animal overflow. I started using the bean animal after I got my first tank flood. The main parts of the bean animal is the full siphone (a 90 degree elbo facing down) and the emergency (90 degree elbow facing up)

Sometimes the full siphone can make noises (water drops too low and rises too high in the overflow box) so then comes in the 3rd siphone usually is a siphone with a gate valve to adjust flow to about half. That way if water rises too high the half siphone picks up the slack keeping it silent.

as for the two returns it’s just for extra flow your tank being only 36 inches long some simple power heads will do but on large 60 inch or even 48 inch tanks one return simply isn’t enough to move water around on both sides of the tank.

it might be annoying having to plumb 5 holes rather than just two but I promise you it’s much more quit and much safer. Always always have an emergency overflow.

hope this helped sorry for the book!
It does help, thanks. Not quite following the elbow discussion but I'm sure I can find a diagram somewhere.
 
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Eagle_Steve

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Here is a helpful image to understand a bean animal setup.
1625153352666.jpeg
 

Eagle_Steve

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OK, but now the big question...why is it called bean animal? I had seen this before and was going to read up on it but seems like a strange name LOL
I believe user name of the one who came up with it on another forum.
 
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twhit030

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948B5819-66DD-4A2C-8095-6E857F2EA3D2.jpeg

I have absolutely no clue who’s photo this is so credits go to them lol but this is about how you should plumb it. This is an overflow box someone used but it translates the same to the bottom of the tank. U on the left is full siphone u on the right is half siphone with gate valve (put valves on both tho) then center is emergency (no valve on it) you will have to kinda play around with the emergency tube length it can be as tall as you want it as long as the tube is shorter than the rim of your tank. Remember 1inch schedule 80 pvc at full siphone moves around 600 gph so both of those wide open will be 1200 make sure you have a return pump that can handle it or be ready to close some gate valves
 
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hllb

hllb

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948B5819-66DD-4A2C-8095-6E857F2EA3D2.jpeg

I have absolutely no clue who’s photo this is so credits go to them lol but this is about how you should plumb it. This is an overflow box someone used but it translates the same to the bottom of the tank. U on the left is full siphone u on the right is half siphone with gate valve (put valves on both tho) then center is emergency (no valve on it) you will have to kinda play around with the emergency tube length it can be as tall as you want it as long as the tube is shorter than the rim of your tank. Remember 1inch schedule 80 pvc at full siphone moves around 600 gph so both of those wide open will be 1200 make sure you have a return pump that can handle it or be ready to close some gate valves
Debating on return pumps too LOL...need to get a spreadsheet going.
 

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OK, but now the big question...why is it called bean animal? I had seen this before and was going to read up on it but seems like a strange name LOL

Write up by the person that started it.

 
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hllb

hllb

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Basically for the returns (drains are standard 1" and returns 3/4") I need to do a big T, correct? Never done PVC before. This seemed like a nuisance, hence the question about if two returns were really necessary LOL.
 

twhit030

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I’d go ahead and do the two returns yes just make a T section

connect a piece of 3/4 inch flexible tubing (black if you can find it to prevent internal algae growth. Connect that to a 3/4 inch barb fitting then connect the barb fitting into a T then run the sides to the return

also in the diagram yall found that works but you might find that that drain in the left makes a “toilet flushing sound” if that’s the case just add the u to it and it will silence it.
 

twhit030

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Plumbing is half the fun once you figure it out. You can do some cool stuff with the pvc. They also make colored pvc if you’re feeling creative.

all you need is pvc a cutter and some 2 part pvc glue
 
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hllb

hllb

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Plumbing is half the fun once you figure it out. You can do some cool stuff with the pvc. They also make colored pvc if you’re feeling creative.

all you need is pvc a cutter and some 2 part pvc glue
Already have that bright blue pvc on my wish list LOL. The sump I plan on getting is white/blue too. I admit, I really like the flex tubing I had on my tank years ago for ease of setup, but I did have two small floods because of it. My husband was not impressed :eek:
 
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hllb

hllb

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Yeah that’s the only problem with the flex tubing. If you want I’d be more than happy to help you come up with a plumbing diagram lol like I said plumbing is half the fun for me.
Nice offer, thanks! I probably need to wait until I get the tank to be sure, which is still a long way out.
 
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