Plumbing Question , 75 gal bulkheads w loc-line

nicklfire

Member
May 8, 2007
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Hey Guys,

I am doing a project with a aquarium i custom made for me. It's a rimless 75 gal with 4 holes drilled for bulkheads.

The 2 holes on the left will connect to a canister filter (rena xp3 or 4), and return via loc line to direct flow

the 2 holes on the right will be a closed loop system which will connect a pump, co2 reactor, uv sterilizer and then back into the tank return through loc line.

This is a Very similar design to Tom's 180 where i think he does the same thing.

My only concern is if in the middle of the night or if i'm at work and a seal goes on the filter, or some other leak than the tank will drain all the way to the locline.

I assume Tom thought of this already when he did his 180 or someone else might know what safeguards i could take in order to combat this.

thanks.

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Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
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South Florida
Hi,

Not really sure what you can do... My 180 is closed canister loop with overflows...If a seal leaked I would still get lots of water on the floor but not the whole tank...

I check my plumbing at least weekly looking for seepage, etc... newspaper works well as it will show moisture easily...

I am interested in this issue as we all face the same thing, just various amounts of water and damage..

Nice tank BTW... I think that type of setup is really optimal...
 

nicklfire

Member
May 8, 2007
46
0
6
Yea i liked the design of this system when i first saw it on tom's 180 tank, i really didnt think about the CON to the system but now realize it.

I really wanted a tank where none of the components were visible in the tank, that's a real eye sore to me.
 

shoggoth43

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 15, 2009
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There's really not much you can do to deal with the problem other than to make damned sure the cannister doesn't leak. If you have a seal go you are completely screwed. It's going to drain all the way down. The same applies for a leak in a bulkhead seal. In that case you're going all the way to the tank bottom.

The ONLY thing I can think of to prevent this is pretty much what Gerry has. He's basically "overfilled" the tank so his overflow chambers are full. If he has a leak in the bulkheads or some other plumbing he's only going to drain the overflows to the bottom. Even at 180 gallons of tank, that's still something like 10 gallons MAX so while a bad flood, it's not going to kill everything in the tank. You need some sort of airgap in the system somewhere to deal with it or you need some sort of technology solution.

i.e. solenoids locked open all the time unless there's a leak detected to shut off the water flow through them. This likely is going to be a PITA and it will work for a leaky cannister but it still won't help you if a bulkhead seal fails or the bulkhead itself cracks. Yes, I know firsthand they can crack and dump water. Again, the overflow design limited that amount, but even still, you'll be surprised at just how much 5 gallons of water actually is when it's on the floor as opposed to in the tank. Also, the more cannisters you have, the more bulkheads and seals you have to worry about.

None of this is insurmountable, but the great demon Murphy does have a way of showing up and causing those "are you frickin' kidding me" kind of moments. The kind of moments where there's no chance in hell that should ever have happened, but since you didn't even plan for how you might get back there to do anything about it pretty much guarantees at some point it will happen. Usually after the tank contains umpteen thousand dollars of corals and such just to make things that more "entertaining".

Keep spare seals around for your cannisters, and possibly some extra parts, tubing, or even a whole other cannister if you're paranoid enough. Make sure you have a second set of ball valves ahead of the cannister shut off valves as well just to give you that extra security. If you can't lock things down so they can't put stress on the bulkheads then don't hard plumb and make damned sure you use hose clamps. Once you get above a 20 gallon tank it pays to start being paranoid about failures. :)

-
S
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
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38
South Florida
Hi,

Please note that the intakes inside my weirs are about 50% above the bulkhead so the water loss will be even less. Going closed loop while keeping the wier walls has been a great setup for me. Nice surface skimming and works well. It does lose some tank space, true, but is a worthwhile tradeoff and I now scape around it...Just like you will do with your inlets/outlets :)

Since they are hidden I could use an extension pipe and place them higher and easier to reach...

I totaly second using ball valves, unions, etc. You WILL either change things or have to fix/replace something at some point. See Murphy's Law...

Think too about a drain so that if large maintenace is required you can drain the PLUMBING without a mess....

Plumbing can easily hold 1-2 gallons of water which can cause quite a mess itself...
 
L

lilieyen10

Guest
I think it is better if your equipment is installed first in the main display aquarium. Doing this will let you don't worry about any plumbing. This will let you think that it is safely installed.
 
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