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Old 05/16/2018, 01:53 PM   #1
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How do I "tie" 4 tanks together?

In my eternal quest to complicate my life, I have come upon the idea of "tying" 4 tanks together. Two of those tanks are currently tied.

My 210 display is inside my home, and tied to a 100 gal frag tank in the garage, and both feed into a 3-part fuge, which feeds into a 40 gal sump.

Since I needed more space, I recently purchased 2 x 60 gal frag tanks and stacked them one on top of the other. So now I am thinking HOW could I tie those two tanks to the existing system?

My main problem seems to be that the bottom tank does not have its overflow accessible and the only way I can see it happening is if I have the top 60 gravity feed down to the bottom 60, then have a pump in that bottom 60 going to the fuge. Then have another pump from the sump, feeding the top 60.

Honestly, I am afraid of flooding my garage and hearing it from the boss. Is there a better, more efficient way to do it (except NOT to lol)?

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Old 05/16/2018, 02:09 PM   #2
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Assuming cascading setup... (one higher than the next)
Top 3 tanks have overflows/drains.. Bottom tank has return pump

Being blunt and having fun
Straight up INTJ
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Old 05/16/2018, 02:19 PM   #3
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Just run the 2 new tanks drain lines into the same sump. Make a manifold for the return pump and feed each tank from the manifold.

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Old 05/16/2018, 02:26 PM   #4
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I just re-read your post....
You need a larger or 2nd sump
You can cascade as many tanks into each other as you want as long as the sump/s can handle all of the water when the power goes out
My largest set up were 7 all flowing to a common sump. 4 tanks directly to the sump, the other 3 cascaded into each other and then flowed into one of the larger the sump
Another sump would also work, but I would drill/plumb the 2 sumps together.
2 or more separate sumps leaves you 2+ to worry about running out of water instead of one
Keeping the number of pumps down to a min would also help
Time for a bigger house
Then maybe the van could fit inside the new garage

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Old 05/17/2018, 05:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by zoanutty View Post
then have a pump in that bottom 60 going to the fuge. Then have another pump from the sump, feeding the top 60.?
This is a giant nope. Never ever try to use two pumps unless they are both leaving the same sump and are for redundancy.

If you rely on two pumps they will never perfectly match up, and you will either starve one pump and run it dry, or overflow your tank.

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Old 05/17/2018, 09:43 AM   #6
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I agree with Rover, another option is that you can tie these tanks on same level and attach the tanks with bulk heads or uni seal with 2 inch pipes and all the tanks will have same water level based on what you feel comfortable with. this will work if you decide to keep tanks on same level if you are deciding to stack them then you will have to go with overflow these tank into one another...

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Old 05/17/2018, 11:01 AM   #7
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It seems to me the only good solution is to make the bottom tanks overflow accessible or add a new one.

240G mixed reef, 29G SPS/LPS clam tank, 50G mixed reef

Current Tank Info: 300g mixed reef, 50g cube
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Old 07/15/2018, 08:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rover88 View Post
This is a giant nope. Never ever try to use two pumps unless they are both leaving the same sump and are for redundancy.

If you rely on two pumps they will never perfectly match up, and you will either starve one pump and run it dry, or overflow your tank.
You need a bigger sump and to raise the lower of the 60G [or move them closer to the sump]. Big volume = stability, so it will be worth the trouble. The complexity you suggest is a non-issue. Gravity works and remains constant over time [unlike pumps]. I have a refugium draining This thread has been split. into 2 DTs and 2 surge tanks draining separately into each DT with both then draining into the sump; separately I have a frag tank draining into the same sump and again separately [all via a manifold] a cascade of a SW mixing tank into a tank of dark LR [cryptic zone] into a 6 foot DSB and then into the sump. and I added a small mangrove tank on the manifold draining back into the sump lol. The displays are 250G, the frag and refuge 220 each, and each cascading tank is 150 [and the mangrove tank 30G lol]. My sump is 300G and still overflows if the display pump loses power [admittedly, displays are remote at about 20 and 40 feet to the adjacent living room with 2" drains and 1.5" returns]. The sump does not overflow if either the frag tank/cascade pump/reactor pump/skimmer feed/mangrove pump loses power or if the surge tank/refugium pump loses power - but only because the sump is large. Think about the volume that each tank will drain until the overflow stops plus the volume in the return pipes [make sure you drill a siphon break in all of the return lines]. Cascading tanks as you plan at least double that volume. Plus the column of water in the return pipes from the pump(s) will return to the sump. I am not trying to discourage you. I love my system. But only because my sump is the largest tank in my system. A rubbermaid 150G might be an economical perfect solution for your system - or a used 180G tank, or a big sump from someone getting out. Or build one [I have done all 4 over the years lol]
My $0.02.


Current Tank Info: 2 separate 250G bowfront rimless ELOS tanks plumbed to 260G sump, 220G refugium, 220G frag, BK DeLuxe 300, 400W MH x4, closed loops, 3/4hp chiller x2, Phos reactor, Kalk reactor, Charcoal reactor, Ca reactor, 60G surge tanks, & a huge elec bill
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Old 08/19/2018, 05:08 PM   #9
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I am currently doing a multi-Tank system build with a 120g display on the main floor then a 90g frag tank in the basement and 2 other 30g tanks one for a remote fife and one for a dedicated holding/jail tank.

Upgrade to a bigger sump and get a pump dedicated to each tank plumbed externally or an appropriately sized single pump to feed a return manifold.

Then the display tank has a separate drain that returns to the sump while all the others are plumbed to a 4” drain line that dumps into the sump via 3 separate 1.5” bulkheads.

My manifold is fed by a reeflo gold Barracuda pump, the manifold then splits to run the tanks and an external skimmer.

Here is a image of the manifold.

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Last edited by Ls2Goat; 08/19/2018 at 05:14 PM.
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