Using a powerhead to pull water from aquarium, to wet/dry filter ABOVE aquarium?

Discussion in 'Filters and Filtration' started by tim1989, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. tim1989New MemberMember

    I have seen filter setups where people have an overflow that directs into a tank BELOW the aquarium, then it runs through a wet/dry filter and the pump lifts the water back to the aquarium.

    Is there an issue with using a powerhead meant for a foam filter and such, to lift the water up and out of the aquarium to a wet/dry filter located above the tank? Then the water will trickle down and drain back into the tank via a bulkhead fitting and plastic tubing.

    The reason I want to do this is I have a waterproof ammo can that I think I could find trays to fit in or maybe even just use bags, then the trays could be filled with my media, and a drain could be mounted in the bottom of the ammo can. This way there's no chance of a bin overflowing or leaking, and if the power goes out, I wouldn't have to ever worry about an overflow siphoning, and for that matter, wouldn't have to build an overflow.

    The aquarium is a 30 gallon, long style. We have 11 cory catfish, and 10 zebra danios along with some live plants. The tank is cycled and seems healthy after only 3 weeks, cheating and using a precycled 5 gallon biofilter seeded in a well established tank.
    The tank is on a heavy duty metal wire shelf, with a piece of 1/2" plywood to spread the load of the aquarium. There's a plastic tote of fish stuff and a tote with a gallon hobo-wine jug with sugar water and yeast I have bubbling through a homemade bubble counter / puke tank, and I just prefer that being below the fish tank.

    Also, as part of my plan, I want to ditch the current light fixture, a simple flourescent hood with a 24 inch bulb, and get a shop light with a 30 inch or 36 inch pair of bulbs to kick out some more light for the plants. I'll just hang the shop light underneath the shelf above the tank.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  2. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

  3. tim1989New MemberMember

    Hi. Yeah, my girlfriend had the crazy idea of getting a fish tank, and after getting a couple cory catfish, I started to get interested in those little now I'm here.

    The thread sounds like he kind of has the same idea, however my concern about pump head was never touched upon. If some sort of pump can lift water up high enough, it should work, at least in theory. However, if people put their wet/dry filters below, they have to lift the water the same height approximately.

    So, in short, how high can a powerhead lift water? Of could I put and airstone in the inlet to help lift it, similar to how an undergravel filter works while ran off an air pump?

    Also it sounds like he plans to do a typical wet/dry filter, and I'm aiming at more of a canister setup. The information on flow rates for certain tubing sizes does help a lot and I can keep those in mind when I go to get parts, so thank you very much for that link.
  4. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    In theory, it is exactly the same, just the roles reversed. The big difference, normally the sump/wet-dry can cater for the overflow in the event of a power outage.

    Depends on the powerhead. Each powerhead will have a Hmax (height maximum) that it can pump water. Typically smaller pumps (80-100GPH) have a Hmax up to 1 metre (3'), but check the manufacturers spec first.

    No problem. Always oversize any drain line ;)

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice