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Re: Automatic leveling siphon

<< Isn't your basic sump (trickle filter) setup a self leveling siphon
 system -- assuming it uses a siphon/overflow rather than a bulkhead
 fitting?  Suppose in place of a sump you simply place another aquarium
 or two, or three.
 Scott H. >>

Good question/point.

I think a trickle filter, or a sump type system in general, hinges on making 
sure that the capacity for water to exit a given tank is always greater than 
the volume of water which enters it. Trickle filters or sumps are 
characterized by oversized prefilter/exit hose(s).  I guess this insures that 
water circulates but stays at a constant level/volume within and thus exits 
the system from the chosen portal and not from the top of the tank. The only 
really pressurized part of such a system is the run from the lower to the 
upper tank(s) and then gravity does the rest.

A standpipe, some type of oversized side portal or an overflow box are all 
the same in this scenario, I guess. In fact, an overflow box is really just a 
standpipe moved over one notch to a much smaller tank, isn't it? 

Now, apparently in this other, "circulating range system", I read about, all 
tanks are hooked together by the same sized/diameter siphon tube(s). The only 
difference between any of the siphon/connecting tubes of whatever material or 
diameter is that the exit tube leading from the last tank on the top level 
down to the next level/row has a loop in it, the apex of which also has a 
hole in it determining the water level of that particular row. I imagine this 
"hole" could be just that, a hole in the tubing material/pipe being used or, 
for a more practical example; just a three-way hose barb with the open end 
pointed up. 

Since the circulating range system as described by the author in this 
particular book uses only an airlift to move water, I should imagine the 
volume transferred to be a fraction of that possible with the sump or 
overflow method. Submersible pumps were rather more rare and expensive in 
1969. Flourite, CO2 injection and Power Compacts were unheard of and metal 
halide was a dream as were Anubias, Glosso and Eustralis s.

So see, we're making progress here ...

I'm investigating the current possibilities for water transfer between a 
series of small planted tank displays and also for grow-out/nursery 
containers too, possibly in a cascade system in order to be able to 
treat/heat one lager body of water instead of numerous smaller ones.

The devil is in the details - what materials, etc.

Bob Olesen
West Palm Beach, FL