View Full Version : New here, but have a tank system question

11-29-2005, 09:20 PM
Hello all, I just joined up here and have been out of cichlid keeping for about 4 years, but now I have a house, with a nice sized basement to play with. I have kept both new and old world cichlids in the past so I do have experience with them. Anyway here is my idea for my fish room in the basement.....

This is what I am setting as a goal for a winter project for myself, well after cleaning out and painting the basement floor and walls with some good basement sealer paint of course.

I can get Perfecto 4' 50 gallon tanks for $50 each at the local store, and I am also planning on buying a diamond embedded hole saw to try my hand at drilling tanks. (of course practicing on a cheapo 10 gallon first) I plan on starting with 3 50 gallon tanks with one hole drilled at high as possible in the backs of them on one end, and building the stands so that they are each 4-6 inches shorter than the one next to it. Then having the tanks overflow into each other, untill the end tank which will return back to my 4' 40 gallon tank that will be set up as a mechanical filter, biofilter, sump, and probably a refugium of sorts with some fast growing, floating, plant like hornwort under a grow lamp at the return end if needed. Then of course pump it back up into the top tank.
The wood for this will be somewhat costly, and a glass cutting hole saw isn't cheap, but in the end it should be a nice system, and the tanks in the future could be unhooked from each other and have their overflow holes used for pump returns or overflows for their own sump system, or just plugged.

For a pump I would probably look into something that will turn over somewhere in the range of 1200-1800 gallons per hour which in theory will cycle the volume of all 3 of the tanks 10-12 times a hour. If I wanted to I could actually have the filter tank overflow into a small pond or horse trough before being returned to the tank too, but that will be something to think about in the future if it is needed. I plan on trying a heater or heaters in the sump to heat all of the water for all of the tanks, we will see if that works.

I also plan on plumbing a water lines down to the sump tank, which I will use for water changes, mixing the warm and cold water and the dechlorinator there then letting the pump take over and fill everything back up. It will take a little tweaking, but I think it should work out nice. I plan on doing vacuums to the tanks once a week or so as needed, or maybe running a small HOB filter on them if needed.

Now what to house in them? Maybe setting up some breeding colonies of Africans to resell, maybe some sort of breeding project for New World Cichlids or maybe flowerhorns?... With this setup the possibilities should be about endless as it can be added to or taken away from to suit whatever needs I have. I am also thinking about a rack system for 10 gallon tanks for fry raising if I do decide to breed somethng and am sucessful, using the same overflow style filter setup.

Any thoughts or ideas to improve upon it?


11-29-2005, 09:34 PM
I wouldn't build the stands where the tanks are lower than the next. Build them all uniformly. I would also install a drip type system above the tanks from the sump. The three holes you intend on drilling can be used as returns back to the sump.