Best filtration for multiple large tanks?

Hendre

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Well yes, you could totally wimp out and just buy conventional HOB filters, and suffer the conventional problems.

Or you can build a wonderful super custom one-of-a-kind filter system, which is way more fun.

Not everybody can deal with this.

Also HOB filters, in my mind, are not ideal because they mostly provide cross tank circulation (unless you use a flow robbing diverter of some kind.)

I noticed that my fish are much happier when the flow goes in the long direction of the tank.
I put HOB filters on the tank sides, not back which gives nice flow. Are these displays or purely holding tanks? Can make internal overflow boxes or matten filters easily for dirt cheap.
 
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twentyleagues

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Id do 1 sump or 4 individual sponge filters or if you are up for spending $30 a piece the ziss filters.
One sump makes it easy. 4 sponge filters or ziss filters keep them from cross contamination. You will nneed a good sized air pump to run the ziss or sponges and again a good sized pump for the sump. Personally id do the sump with a way to shut off each tank separately and keep some sponge filters in the sump should the need arise.
 

Coryloach

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but would individual canisters be better? individual canisters would eliminate the risk of cross contamination,
There some pro's and con's that I see.

Individual canisters, besides eliminating contamination(providing you don't share other equipment) would also provide redundancy in terms of filter failure. You can also set up different water conditions in each tank if each is its own system. Long term it will give you more options if you venture into keeping totally different fish that require different water conditions, e.g. in the last few years I got into the cold water type of fish..

Alternatively, if you use one sump for all, your system will be more stable as it will share the water in all tanks, hence it will act as one 120G tank(plus sump water volume) rather than 4x29G tanks.

If you're going to keep fish that require the same temperature, water, etc..then perhaps one sump would be best. Keep a spare pump or run some sponge filters separately for redundancy.

In terms of contamination when buying a new fish, just quarantine separately. A plastic tub with a cycled filter, a thin layer of sand and a cave or two will do short term. Once my fish have been with me for quite a while, I never worry about contamination between tanks.
 

Ulu

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. . . Once my fish have been with me for quite a while, I never worry about contamination between tanks.
This is true. I'm swapping fish back and forth between tanks and I don't worry about contamination because they don't have any health problems.

But I can't put some fish in some tanks because they're just not compatible with the residents.
 
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Hybridfish7

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Since I'm going with the sump, what type of sump should I go for, since I know there's a couple different types?
pretty much just how should i build it
 

duanes

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A sump is just something to gear like pumps, filter media, heaters and other stuff in, you are only limited by your own imagination, you can also plant them with aquatic or emergent plants as a refugium style.
But...the most important factor for me in any sump, is easy access for maintenance.
I hate putting sumps in a cabinet under a tank, because often times you need to be an expert yogi to get access. I also want plumbing to be easily accessible if I want to change something.
I know aquarists that put sumps in adjacent utility rooms for ease of maintenance, and so they are out of view. I know people who put sumps in a basement, even though the tanks are on a floor above.
I have used a 1500 gallon in-ground pond, as a sump for 55 and 75 gallon outdoor tanks, to help maintain temp stability outside.
The more room you allow, the more creative you can get with filtration methods.
Below, a 55 gallon tank with a 1000 gallon pond for a sump.

At the moment I'm using 2 commercial type sumps boxes on my 180 gal, because they came with the tank, but my plan is to modify them at some point.
One is an algae scrubber on one side, and the other side holds the pump and floating aquatic plants.
The other sump has a biological contractor (also a bit over grown with algae), and contained submerged bio-balls.
fullsizeoutput_1431.jpeg
 
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Ulu

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LOL yeah you can't put 1000g in a cabinet too well.

Personally I think that simpler is better and I lean towards a two-chamber design.

Much easier tobuild and keep clean than some with five and six chambers.

1. one chamber sits inside the other chamber and is removable for cleaning.

2. mechanical filtration media goes in the removable chamber

3. biomedia heaters and pumps go in the other chamber
 

Hybridfish7

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How would heating a sump work? do I put a heater that fits the size of the sump, or do I get a heater that powers the entire system, sump, tanks and all?
 

Ulu

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I put the sump heaters ar 78F if I want the tank to be 77F. There is about 1 degree difference from tank temp on all three of my sumps.

I size the heater to the total system plus a bit. And I use two. You don't absolutely need two, but I have a lot of heaters.
 
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