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RE: Two tanks, run by one canister filter
Don't even attempt it! It will not work. You WILL have a flood.
I'm sure that you are thinking that you can T-off the lines from the
canister filter, but there is no way to regulate the lines so that the amount
of water flowing into any one tank is exactly the same as the amount flowing
out-- with that setup. So one tank will inevitably overfill (and flood) while
the other tank drains.
In fact, since one of your tanks is taller than the other, once you hook up
the two siphons, and before you plug in the filter, water will back-siphon
from the taller tank, through the filter into the shorter tank. You'll have a
flood before you even get started. If the power goes out, you'll have a
flood. If you have a flood, the pump will run dry and burn out.
Yes, it is possible to to set up a central system using overflow boxes (the
kind used by reef keepers) or drilled-through-the-tank overflow pipes, but
not with a canister filter. Air gets in the hoses and causes the filter to
stall. When the filter stalls, the water-cooled pump burns out. Central
systems only work when there is a central open-to-the-air sump.
Mike Wickham (mewickham at compuserve_com)
Pleco Press, publisher of aquarium books (info at plecopress_com)
Coming soon: http://www.plecopress.com!