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Re: Constant influx

> I am thinking of having a constant (but small) influx of tap water for new
> tank I am setting up. If the flow is on the order of 25% per week there
> shouldn't be any problems (especially since on occasion I have done 25%
> untreated changes all at once with no noticeable negative impact on fish or
> plants). I was thinking of pretreating this trickle flow through a peat
> media. (Note:  4 dGH and pH of aged tap water is 8)
> It seems to me that this would provide a very stable environment and lower
> maintenance.
> Who has such a system?  Any tips? How do you ensure that, if for some reason
> the outflow becomes blocked, you don't spill water?
> Thanks in advance.
> Bill Hamlin

I'm also toying with this idea, but there are some really tricky
problems to address in such a system. I would add/remove water from the sump
instead of the aquarium, using a standpipe in the sump to dump water 
outdoors. A second standpipe placed slightly above the first one could 
be used to ensure that no water would spill off in the event the 
main standpipe gets blocked. Placing the main standpipe in the clean side 
of the sump would minimize the risk of blockage. For feeding water in I 
thought first at using a garden timer to let water in daily for a 
pre-determined amount of time. The problem with this setup is that the 
water that goes into the system would have spent the previous 24 hours 
standing still in the pipe, enriching itself with copper and other crap. 
I changed my mind since to a continuous flow system using drip irrigation 
hardware. Since I don't want to mess with the piping inside my house, I 
would rather get the water from an outdoors faucet, preferably one close
to the mains water intake to the house, so water will never get in
contact with copper piping. The problem them is how to guard against 
freezing. Maybe using an intermediate reservoir would solve this type of
problem, at the cost of more complexity.

Another problem is that the flow rate is so small that it becomes 
difficult to tell apart evaporation losses from true replacement. For a 90
gal tank a 25%/week replacement rate translates to about 2-3 drops/second. 
This should ideally be monitored at the output end of the system. I wonder 
how accurate and reproducible is the adjustment of drip irrigation valves ?
Also, at such low flow rates water will still be practically standing still
in the pipe: in a 1/2" diameter pipe that flow rate corresponds to a speed
of something like 15'/hour, more if evaporation is high.

Hope these ideas help,

-Ivo Busko
 Baltimore, MD